Happy belated Easter from our favorite Pacific Northwest Leporidae, Bells and Nuage! Is there ever a bad time for a bunny video? Of course not.
Nevermind Eggs, Throw an Easter Beer Hunt! »
I don’t usually celebrate Easter, but this brilliant idea has me pondering a party. It’s apparently a THING in Europe: Sending your buddies all over the yard/park/house in search of pastel-painted delicious adult beverages. Not only is this much more vegan-friendly than hiding eggs (assuming you pick your beers well; barnivore.com), it’s also SO MUCH TASTIER. Beer, people! On a Sunday morning! With pastels!
You can get fancy and invent rules, winners, blind taste-tests, etc. Or you can be lazy and just hide cans of PBR in your roommate’s bathrobe. Whatever you do, tell us about it! Get the full scoop on Food Republic.
Photo by Shawn Allen on flickr.com
Homemade vegan creme eggs: Can it be done? »
Liza Eckert attempts to make vegan creme eggs chez elle for Persephone, with mixed results. Mainly because her electric mixer gave out before the ingredients of the creamy centers were fully combined, and then she ran into trouble with apportioning the chocolate shells … but, she says, “Nothing, not even weird consistency or uneven chocolate, will stand between me and my creme eggs.”
Have any of you attempted to make creme eggs? I loved the Cadbury’s original more than life itself as a kid, and had an excellent grown-up version at Timeless the other week—creamier centers with a sort of lemony finish to the vanilla, offset by darker chocolate—but I’ve never felt inclined to do them myself. There’s a recipe on VegWeb, though, for the brave!
[photo by Liza Eckert for Persephone Magazine]
Sugary pastel chocolate-filled toadstools from Andie’s Specialty Sweets, coming to you from Dallas, Texas, via etsy! Maybe you saw them in a recent issue of Chickpea magazine? They’re super-cute, probably delicious, and perfect for a fancy vegan Easter basket (very Martha, right?). Andie’s Specialty Sweets isn’t all vegan, but a number of their adorable products are. These toadstools are filled with fair-trade chocolate, too! I love fancy candies.
Hello, Easter dinner! Someone got a fancy vegan dish at Bar Agricole! It had asparagus, spinach, English peas, cauliflower, Tokyo turnips, and nasturtiums, and it was delicious. And later, for dessert, they brought a fruit place with brûléed grapefruit, kumquats, and almonds. We attacked it before I could remember to get my phone out.
Obviously I am biased; my brother works at Bar Agricole, and if I didn’t have nice things to say about it, I would be a pretty terrible sister. Bias aside, they’re all so lovely, and they took such good care of us, and the food is to die. TO DIE. As are the cocktails (if you don’t have a daiquiri you are basically punishing yourself). Spring is a wonderful time for bright green vegetables, and at Agricole, they make their veggies sing.
How do Spanish vegans celebrate Easter? With hot cross buns for semana santa, a.k.a. Holy Week! The crosses represent the crucifixion. Taste that delicious religious murder.
[photo by juanelos via Flickr]
These are the cutest! Vegan Easter basket cupcakes! And they’re gluten-free too, gf friends. These are from Made Just Right. I want you to make them for me! Jeez, I’m getting into the Easter spirit! I don’t even do anything on Easter. What do people our age without kids do on Easter? Like, if you don’t see your fam?
[photo by Elina Innanen via Flickr]
Order this delicious OCD Sweets candy for Easter! It’s not too late! I think! »
I’m not exactly sure when Easter is because I’m a heathen and a glutton and don’t wait for holidays to gorge myself on all the treats [Ed note: It’s this Sunday, April 8!]. Anyway, I do know that OCD Sweets is the absolute best and I know this Hoppy Easter Vegg basket of sweets looks crazy amazing so I’m pretty sure you should get all up in it. DO IT.
Seriously, this stuff sells out ridiculously fast so get up on it because if you don’t, you’ll be all hella sad when everyone is eating candy and you’re eating a Clif Bar, TRUST.
Cookbook Reviews by Rachel: Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas »
Overall Rating: A-
Level of Difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate
Best for: Anyone looking for no-fuss ways to veganize their family celebrations.
You know how they call that time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s “the holiday season”? There are holidays all year round, it turns out. (Flag Day: June 14). What would fill the “seasonal” aisle of the grocery stores otherwise? So while you might think a cookbook called Vegan Holiday Kitchen should get reviewed in like, November (which happens to be when everyone else reviewed it), it’s with an eye to strategy and not simply a result of laziness that I bring you this late March report. This cookbook covers not only Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah, but Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, and Independence Day. Plus brunch, which I guess is its own holiday.
PSA: Passover starts after sundown Friday, April 6. Easter is Sunday, April 8. Holidays approacheth! Do you have a plan?
Nava Atlas had a clear purpose with this photo-heavy offering: honor tradition, add the vegan element, and create special-occasion meals that are fun, not stressful. To that end, her recipes tend to the simple and don’t shy away from shortcuts (canned lentils?!). But the lack of elaborate preparation or unusual ingredients makes this a really awesome resource when you’re looking to cook in someone else’s kitchen (like I did for Thanksgiving), or if you’re short on time, or if you just think complicated recipes are scary.
I’ve made a lot of stuff from this book over the last six months (though it’s not an everyday go-to), but somehow I failed to photograph most of it. Here’s the Red Wine-Roasted Brussel Sprouts everyone loved in November (pre-roasting):
And here’s a sandwich I made on the Vegan Challah, which came out really delicious, if not quite as flaky as the original (secret ingredient: squash!):
While some of the recipes are restricted to particular holidays or seasons (Passover = lots of matzoh, July 4th = grilling), it’s also fun to mix and match. At Christmas, we brought Moroccan-Flavored Tofu with Apricots and Olives, in theory a Rosh Hashanah offering, to a friends’ house for fancy dinner; it got devoured with compliments.
Atlas is a good communicator: The recipes are written clearly and are easy to follow, and each is labeled at the top if it is or could be soy-, gluten-, or nut-free. I’ve wanted to tweak some of her instructions (less sweetener in the Agave and Mustard-Glazed Green Beans, for example), but haven’t had any disasters or failures, praise be.
My only major complaint is that, especially in the Thanksgiving and Christmas chapters, Atlas shies away from star-of-the-show, protein-heavy, centerpiece dishes that I think are pretty key to a vegan celebration. Stuffings and pilafs abound; hearty stews and tofus do not. Perhaps this is a rebellion against Tofurky, but I want my protein, dammit.
Anyway, this book will be my #1 go-to for figuring out what to cook in my mother’s kitchen to bring to a seder next month. I’d wanted to try the matzoh balls before writing my review, but I’ll just have to post about it later.
Final verdict: Solid, crowd-pleasing recipes designed for simplicity. Especially valuable for the wealth of Jewish recipes, more than I’ve seen collected anywhere else.