My mother, Pat (http://thebestmoments-pat.blogspot.com/) took these photos – she has a nice camera and actual talent in photography! Her specialties are “tablescapes” – but only while the garden isn’t blooming. This was our family’s Christmas Eve Tea Party, at my place.
I set the table, and Mom was nice enough to forbear comment upon my use of (horrors!) paper napkins and a slightly wrinkled tablecloth (I don’t own cloth napkins, and I absolutely refuse to iron anything). Hey, when the cook also sets the table, certain shortcuts must be made (especially if the cook has to find time to smear a little makeup on and do something with her limp hair in order to pose for family photos)!
This dessert platter was my pièce de résistance – mini chocolate cupcakes (Crazy Chocolate Cake: https://vegincowcountry.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/crazy-chocolate-cake/) and Lemon Bars (from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking). Tiered platter scavenged from Mom’s extensive collection of garage sale and Goodwill bargains, of which she is very proud. 🙂
Sometimes the simplest treats like fresh berries and orange quarters can compliment a meal perfectly. Mom contributed the floral arrangement – and Sister insisted on the bow, which sets it off great. I’ll have a hard time returning that cute little silver vase, but something tells me Mom will insist…
Dishes are Winterberry by Pfaltzgraff.
Sandwiches, clockwise from bottom left:
* Ham and swiss (I wore gloves to prepare these – a sacrifice, yes, but believe me, a necessary one. Those sandwiches kept the peace.)
Combined platter on the right:
* Chickpea salad
My sister the confirmed carnivore surprisingly declared her favorite to be chickpea salad!
(Note to self: never, EVER use cocktail bread again. It’s DRY. Find a bakery that will slice thin bread the day of or use English muffin wedges, as on the avocado-and-tomato sandwiches.)
Hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas also!
From Colleen Patrick-Goudeau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated, non-dairy butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup silken tofu (soft or firm)
1 cup granulated sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (2 to 3 lemons) [I had big lemons and got 1/3 cup out of one]
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch [I doubled to 4 Tbsp, as per some online comments, and it set up perfectly]
Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. Grease an 8 x 8 baking pan with canola oil (or use a cooking spray) and sprinkle with just a light dusting of all-purpose flour
3. To make the crust, cream the butter and confectioners’ sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour, and beat until the dough just comes together
4. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned
5. Remove crust from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling
6. To make the filling, blend the tofu in a food processor or blender until creamy, about 1 minute
7. Add the granulated sugar to the tofu, and blend until nice and smooth [I burned up the motor in my blender earlier in the day making cashew cheese, so used an electric hand mixer with great results]
8. Blend in the lemon zest, lemon juice, flour, and cornstarch
9. Pour the filling over the baked shortbread crust and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set
10. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool – if the filling isn’t completely set, it will set as it cools
11. To serve, cut into squares or bars and dust with the sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 can or equivalent amount chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 – 3/4 cup Vegenaise
2 Tbsp sweet pickle relish
1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
4-5 green onions, sliced
diced celery, optional
smoked paprika, optional
Chop chickpeas roughly, with a knife or food chopper. Add Vegenaise to desired creaminess, then add relish, mustard, spices, green onions, and other optional ingredients. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Eat on a sandwich or with crackers.