Sunday, April 8, 2012

Shining at Parties!

One of the greatest opportunities I have to share my vision of how the world should work occurs when I accept an invitation to bring a dish to a party!  Yipee! Here is my chance to whip up a delicious vegetarian dish that goes beyond the ever-present and dreadfully boring VP.  (Vegetable Platter*).

It's my chance to provide something filling, something beautiful and something that surprises the omnivore... "THIS is vegetarian?!", "YUM!  I need this recipe!",  "My kids would totally eat this!"

...tinkling music to my ears...

Some of my biggest hits have been Thai Curry Tofu surrounded by roasted broccoli, garlic and chickpeas;  a bulgar wheat salad with broccoli, fresh tomatoes, basil, toasted sunflower seeds and Greek dressing; and the Vegan Lemon Bars I gleaned from The Joy of Vegan Baking.

Oh, and lest I forget... the great Lasagna Challenge I embarked on with my brother in April.  We had a full blown cook-off in my Grandmother's retirement home - complete with little 'voting' ribbons made by the retirees for first and second place.  My little bro beat me by ONE stinkin' ribbon but I have to believe I changed some hearts and minds by coming so close to victory!  Also worthy of a mention:  Retirement homes in the wilds of remote British Columbia are not my normal target audience.  I digress.

Little Bro hard at work on top of the community pool table.  Deluxe!
Our creations exiting the oven side-by-side.  In sibling harmony. 

A much blonder version of myself during the lasagna presentation ceremony.
Please remind me not to do that to my hair EVER again.  Thanks.

I am being afforded such an opportunity next weekend as I co-host a baby shower with three other women.  Yes, it takes FOUR women who have never had children to host a shower for ONE who is about to!  My chance to shine is even greater as two of the four hosts aren't big into cooking - I'm pulling double duty and it had better be delicious.

To that end, I am testing the "shower" recipes this week and will share them with you judiciously - good or bad.  Keep in mind that I work off the recipes of talented vegetarian chefs and simply report back.  I am no Issa Moskowitz - because there can only be one...

Another hostess is making biscuits and gravy (of the animal variety) so I have my work cut out for me!

Tuesday:  Beefless Brunch Empanadas (IF they have pastry at the grocery)
Wednesday:  Greek Veggie Quiche (IF there are fresh tomatoes)
Thursday: Brunch Bake with "Sausage" and Hash Browns
Friday:  Ginger Pear French Toast (IF the pears aren't rotten)

It's all a crapshoot when you're cooking on a faraway island in the Caribbean. There's no guarantee that what is available on Tuesday will be available by Wednesday afternoon.  I am responsible for two dishes so I've learned to cook four in anticipation of a product availability meltdown.

And yes, floating around in the gorgeous 85 degree waters of Barbados more than makes up for these issues!

Stores don't reopen from the Easter break for another 36 hours.  And so I wait...

*Fair warning:  When you request a vegetarian meal at a wedding or other formal event, the VP suddenly morphs into the GrilledVP.  Is there not a creative chef in all of wedding catering?

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