A bittersweet post

holiday window at Sauced

Recently I had to replace the hard drive in my MacBook Air. After I’d already decided I was doing Vegan Mofo. I caught the early signs of a failing hard drive, so nothing catastrophic happened, everything was backed up, and thanks to the cloud it was pretty easy to get up and running again.

My iPhoto library is kind of a bloated mess, so I’m probably going to end up manually choosing photos to import. That’s going to be time consuming, so I’m not going to deal with that right now. Instead, I just imported all the photos from my phone. Any past photos I want to use for blogging are on there anyway. If not, I know where to find them.

As I’m going through the photos I’d just imported from my phone, right early on in the first few is a set from Dough‘s holiday party the first year we were open, 2012. Ria Pell kindly hosted it at her second restaurant Sauced, just down the street from us. It was a more upscale place than her signature Ria’s Bluebird, but totally cozy even in its coolness. We’d actually looked at that spot for Dough, but decided it was going to take more work than we could handle. But she made it beautiful and brought out its best features.

Sadly, just a few months after our party, Ria passed away. Ria’s Bluebird lives on, but there will never be a replacement for Ria.

Sharing this special holiday meal she created for us seems like a perfect way to kick off Vegan Mofo. Oh, and keep in mind, she was not vegan, her restaurants were not, but she always took care of us well.

holiday menu at Sauced

The arugula kiwi salad:


Beans & Greens


Spaghetti squash in mushroom sauce


Eggplant Napoleon


Tempeh bacon, spinach & mashed potatoes


My blurry plate, one of them. I must have missed getting a picture of the brussels sprouts, but here they are!


Spiced soy ice milk with candied hazelnuts


Cardamom apple tart tatin


Yes, everything was amazing as it looks. And now I’m hungry.


Project: storing wrapping paper

Who doesn’t have a few rolls of wrapping paper taking up space somewhere. You might have one of those nice boxes you can get for them, but it still takes up space you could use for something else. I saw this post on Lifehacker and thought it was a great idea. There is definitely wasted space in the tops of my closets. So I filled one with wrapping paper. After hitting the after Christmas sales to restock, we picked up some heavy duty picture hangers and twine. Today I hammered them up and now the paper rolls are off the closet floor. Awesome! Now I just need to clean up the rest of the mess…

Thanksgiving turned to 11

Sure, I’m a little behind on posts. It’s not that obvious until I get to the Thanksgiving pictures … on Christmas eve. What happens when you get together a couple dozen vegans that love food on Thanksgiving? An epic feast.

Here we have a Gutenfleischer’s glazed ham and turkey, a Tofurky (actually 2. one got deep-fried), a Match Meat holiday roast, the Field Roast Hazelnut Cranberry Roast and I’m not sure what else.

We didn’t mess around with gravy and dressing.

Roasted veggies, mac & cheese, butternut squash casserole, mashed potatoes, crescent rolls, candied sweet potatoes….

Green bean casserole, maple roasted brussels sprouts…

Kale salad with mangoes

Many desserts…ginger bread cake, pumpkin cheesecakes…

Cookies, pie, bundt…

My first plate. Oh yeah, calzones and ciabatta bread….

Plate number 2…gotta try everything!

Someone else’s dessert plate because mine just had tiny bites. I was tapped out!

And a collection of the toughest turkeys in the world on the white board

Fancy restaurant gets it right

Did we all survive another office holiday party season? For vegans, this usually sucks. If you’re lucky, you’ll get spaghetti with marinara or some sad steamed vegetables. Even at nice restaurants where you’d think the chef would have a little more pride. Just because we’re vegan doesn’t mean we lack taste buds.

My company doesn’t give a crap about the vegans that work here (no, I’m not the only one), so I don’t even bother going to work food events. Kevin’s company usually makes a pretty good effort. This year was really nice. The party was at The Mansion in Buckhead. Our entree was ravioli but the pasta part was celery root. The innards were tasty mushrooms. It came with various root veggies scattered around. Of course, I can’t remember what the sauce was, but it was good. See people, it’s not that freakin’ difficult!

Thanksgiving feast

Wait, didn’t I just blog a Thanksgiving feast? No, that was a Thanksgiving-themed feast. This here one was on actual Thanksgiving day! Totally different. This was a pretty small gathering of 3 couples, but we didn’t lack anything.

For my contribution, I baked because it’s what I do. I figured everyone would like ciabatta rolls, so I made some of those. There was also a maple walnut oat loaf made with white whole wheat. Kind of healthy but didn’t taste like it.

Somehow I didn’t get any pictures of the snickerdoodles I made. They were definitely a hit though. Who knew such a simple cookie could be so popular? The main dessert was this pumpkin cinnamon swirl cheesecake. Tasty, but I think I would have liked it a little denser. Others liked the fact that it was a little softer. It was perfectly set up though and cut and stayed together nicely. I forgot to swirl it though so it kind of looks like rock strata.

Here’s my plate of belt-loosening goodness, clockwise starting at 12: sweet potatoes with Dandies marshmallows, mac & cheese,  Stuffed Hazelnut Cranberry Roast En Croute By Field Roast, dressing and mashed potatoes under the gravy, Match Vegan Meats holiday roast (this time the pre-made version), the maple walnut oat bread and green bean casserole in the center. There were also two cranberry sauces: the regular jelled canned kind and a home made cranberry pineapple sauce. I had to clear some space before I could get them on my plate though.

Both the roasts were great but different. A more traditional person might like the Match roast better. I really enjoyed the cranberries, apples and crystallized ginger in the Field Roast. But I know ginger is a strong flavor and can turn some people off.

I’ve been cruising the vegan blogs today checking out everyone’s holiday meals in between working and mopping up drool. As with vegan cheeses, how much does it rock that we have an actual assortment of holiday roasts to choose from now?