Tuesday, August 05, 2008

200th Post Party!!!

Welcome to my 200th post! Of course we celebrated with a fun Sunday dinner. Even though it hit 105 degrees on Sunday, I decided to celebrate Texas style with grilled kebobs. Thank goodness vegan barbecue only requires a few minutes at the grill. Our meal was entirely gluten free and as usual very healthy.

I prepped all my kebob ingredients and marinated them for several hours. I had tofu, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, onions, and peppers, and made up four beautiful skewers for the grill.

Hot off the grill, a picture of summer.

I made two party sides. First, Baby Spinach Burgers from V Cuisine. I made them gluten free by using oats instead of breadcrumbs and also used fresh instead of frozen spinach. The patties are baked and served room temperature and they are delicious!

Next, also from V Cuisine, Zucchini Wrapped Quinoa, only I didn’t have enough quinoa so I used rice. The filling is so yummy and these were served cold. They look like sushi rolls and don’t you think they are just adorable?!!

I decided the kebobs and appetizers all needed a condiment to go with them. Trust me when I say it takes me less time to actually make three dips than to decide which of the three I want to make. I made my favorite Cilantro Spinach Pesto. It’s made with pumpkin seeds and I could eat a boatload of it.

I made Vcon Sundried Tomato Dip. I didn’t love it when I first made it, but it’s fantastic after short stay in the fridge.

Lastly, I made Ricki’s Avocado Mayonnaise. Well, sort of. I used raw cashews instead of olive oil and added in 4 chopped dates and I didn’t have very much basil so I left it out completely. It was still very good.

The pesto, dip, and avo mayo were all equally good with the grilled veggies, wraps, and patties. Here’s our table.

I made some cookies that Anna at Cookie Madness posted a few days ago, Wheat Free Vegan Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies. They are actually gluten free since they are made with rice flour. These cookies are awesome!!! I even forgot to add in the peanuts and I promise these are the best cookies ever. Chase even asked me where I bought them. (I never know whether to take offense at that.) Do yourself a favor and make a double batch of these delicious treats.

Anna’s recipe makes only six cookies, which was perfect because they weren’t our real dessert. I decided I kinda liked the couple of “Martha” comments I got from my Ice Bowl post (below), so I went just a little Martha again for our party dessert. Our dessert started with a unique and absolutely fabulous orange scented Cornmeal Cake. It’s a one layer cake with a slightly crunchy texture and a taste very similar to sweet cornbread. It baked up beautifully. I adapted a recipe in Bon Appetit, but made it vegan, less sugary, less fatty, and gluten free, so I guess that makes it MY recipe, and it appears at the end of this post. I served it with fresh blueberry sauce and these adorable miniature “watermelons”!

Aren’t they the cutest thing ever! The watermelons are actually limes cut in half lengthwise, pulp scooped out and filled with strawberry sorbet and chocolate chips, frozen, and then cut into wedges. Sadly it’s not my own idea, but it was still fun making and eating them. A little lime flavor does come through the sorbet and the combination of the lime, strawberry, and chocolate flavors was excellent. Even better is that combination, combined with the orange flavored cake and the blueberry sauce. So refreshing and so delicious.

All the food for this party turned out quite tasty and was fun to make. Sometimes a new presentation is just as much fun to make as an amazing new recipe, which I’m always in search of. That reminds me, my copy of Great Chefs Cook Vegan should arrive next week!

Before I end I want to thank Kelly at the Triumph Dining Blog for featuring me as the Gluten Free Blogger of the Month! She said really really nice things about me and my blog and for anyone interested in information on living gluten free, this is a nice site to look around.

I also must take this opportunity to thank my readers and fellow bloggers for keeping me inspired for 200 posts. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! It’s a great time to be a vegan blogger.

Now here’s the Gluten Free Vegan Cornmeal Cake recipe. I think you’ll really like this cake. It doesn’t need icing, just a bit of fresh summer fruit alongside.

Cornmeal Cake:

1 cup gluten free flour blend
½ cup cornmeal, plus extra for pan
1-1/2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. xantham gum
4 T. margarine, room temperature
4 T. applesauce
1 T. orange zest
2/3 cup sugar
2 EnerG egg replacers
½ cup plain soygurt
2 t. vanilla extract
2 T. coarse sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Oil a 9-inch cake pan and dust with cornmeal. Tap out excess. Sift flour into medium bowl; stir in cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and xantham gum. Set aside.

Beat margarine with electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth and light. Beat in applesauce and zest. (Don’t be alarmed by its curdled appearance.) Gradually add sugar, stopping to scrape sides of bowl a couple of times. Beat in soygurt, egg replacer, and vanilla. Slowly mix in flour mixture until just incorporated.

Pour into pan and smooth the top. Top with coarse sugar. Bake until tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then invert onto plate, then onto rack (sugar side up) to cool completely. Wrap in foil and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.


cedar said...

Congrats on the 200th post, everything looks absolutely delicious!

VeggieGirl said...

Happy 200th post!!! Diann, as always, EVERTHING that you made looks spectacular.

Nikki Douglas said...

Congrats on your posting! Your food is just amazing. I love it all but I think the mini watermelons have officially BLOWN MY MIND!

Mihl said...

Congrats on your 200th post and what a great idea to celebrate it! Wow, I don't know where to start, everything looks so delicious. The mini watermelons are absolutely adorable. And I am stealing one of the kabobs right from your plate, err, the screen.

Sanja said...

Those little watermelons are SO adorable! And congratulations. :-)

Judy said...

I don't think you understand how badly I want to come to dinner at your house....your son is a lucky man!

Catherine said...

Kebabs, dips, zucchini wraps . . . it's all so delicious-looking!

I have to admit, though, that I'm sold on the mini watermelons -- so cute! What a neat idea for kids (of all ages???) :)

Anonymous said...


Oh, please, please, please and one extra please, write a cookbook. I love your menus and your philosphy on eating.

Katy said...

Congrats on 200 posts!!!

Everything looks superb, especially those kebabas! And the dips! And the desserts!

Veg-a-Nut said...

congratulations on reaching 200! I love your blog and am thrilled with your wonderful celebration feast! So many cute ideas. I can't wait to try them. Can you share what marinade you used for your kabobs? Hugs

Cheryl said...

you have such beautiful pictures! what a spread.

Amey said...

What a fun post! I wish I could have been there for that party... all that food looks so amazing. I always appreciate the gluten-free finds on your blog. And wow, those little watermelons! Cute!!!

Happy 200!
:) Amey

Vegyogini said...

Happy 200th post!! Would you mind sharing your recipe for cilantro spinach pesto? It sounds delicious!

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

happy postings!!!!

Ricki said...

Congratulations on number 200!! Wow.

And what a party! Everything looks stupendous and SO delicious. Those watermelons are the cutest things ever! And I think I'll have to try your version of the avocado mayo--I mean, how could avocado be bad, in any form? :)

Vivacious Vegan said...

Happy 200! Love the colorful kebabs and those cucumber rolls - what a brilliant idea (there are so many recipes from that book I need to start making). The mini watermelons would be the perfect pot luck treat!

Carrie™ said...

I'm glad you like blogging as much as we like reading your posts.
Those zucchini "sushi" rolls looked so cute. They would look fab on an appetizer tray. The kebobs are so drool-worthy it's not funny. As are the cookies. Thanks for the cake recipe!

vegan addict said...

Happy 200! Isn't V Cuisine a great book? I found it at my library and kept until it was overdue! Oooops!

Your food is always so incredibly colorful and varied. The little lime watermelony treats are clever!

Liz² said...

happy 200th!! oh man, I wish I could try all those dips - and those cookies! I bookmarked that recipe. :)

Erin said...

As usual, your entire spread looks amazing. All the dips, the fresh veggies, the cookies, and the mini watermelons - so cute! The cookies look especially good right now.

Jackie said...

Congrats on your 200th post.

What a wonderful and colorful spread you had. Zucchini wrapped quinoa is such a good idea and is great finger food. Loved the cute little watermelons and will give them a try when our summer rolls round in a couple of months.

Sarah said...

Congratulations on the 200th post! Such a great accomplishment! And I love those watermelon sorbet cups, I saw that same recipe in the Chicago Tribune newspaper earlier in the summer, they are too darling.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Happy 200th Post!! And wow, you did it up right for this one. I can't get over the cuteness of those "watermelons" and the zucchini wrapped rice.

LK said...

The spinach burgers and avocado mayo! Sounds delicious! And cornmeal cake sounds like a great Southern dessert treat!

- L said...


those baby spinach burgers look tasty as all-get-out.

HiHoRosie said...

I'm a bit late but congrats on post 200! I just celebrated 100. :)

Again, all this food looks absolutely amazing. Those watermelon cuties look super yum and the strawberry shortcake I'm ready to snarf.

HiHoRosie said...

I'm a bit late but congrats on post 200! I just celebrated 100. :)

Again, all this food looks absolutely amazing. Those watermelon cuties look super yum and the strawberry shortcake I'm ready to snarf.

stilllifeinbuenosaires said...

Cornbread cake is really good with a fruit sauce. I had some with a raspberry sauce that I've been dying to recreate. I'll have to bookmark your recipe.

I agree with the other posters that you should publish a cookbook, or perhaps a book on nutrition, veganism, and fitness. I would definitely buy it!