Potluck, biscuits & sausage gravy & ice cream testing party!

26 10 2008

Just got home from another incredibly fun potluck!  There was lots of delicious food to be had and so many new faces to meet (I didn’t count, but I think about 30 people showed up).  The weather was perfect, so that just helped make the day even nicer.  Mondo was taking pictures for me while I stuffed my face and he seemed to only be interested in the first sweets to arrive – but I’m sure Leigh will have lots of photos of all the food and more desserts (I saw her snapping away on her camera).  I decided to make something with a fall theme and choose the butternut squash lasagna w/ bechamel from Yellow Rose Recipes.  It doesn’t photograph too well, but tastes great (I think).  Laurie makes amazing sweets and totally brought the halloween theme to the potluck with her cookies (which I am snacking on as a type) and cupcakes:

There so many yummy dishes, I really enjoyed the mac and cheese Idalys & Howell brought, the macaroni salad Lori & Jared brought, the potpie in a biscuit Kevin & Laura brought, the pizza rolls Jill & Tony brought, the sloppy joe biscuits Leigh brought and the kale salad that Alicia brought.  Angelina brought an amazing pumpkin cheesecake (recipe from fatfreevegan.com) that I couldn’t stop eating, and there were so many tasty cookies and other desserts – I think everyone was about ready to undo their jeans and let their stomachs hangout for a bit after eating 2 plates worth of food!

I can’t wait for the next potluck, spring sounds like a good time to have another one…once everyone defrosts from winter.

Saturday morning we were being lazy and I decided to actually make breakfast (this seriously is a rare occurrence).  We had picked up some spelt biscuits the day before at Sevenanda so we decided on biscuits with sausage gravy. I’ve never had anything by the brand gimme lean, but I heard it makes a mean addition to gravy and it really did…I can’t think of a breakfast that has tasted better than these big fluffy biscuits smothered with juicy vegan sausage and creamy gravy.  Just another one of the perks of being vegan, this was all cholesterol & cruelty free!

Last but not least, I am so late on posting this, but I received many many samples from Turtle Mountain of their new ice cream flavors & products.  It was way too many for Mondo and I to devour ourselves, so I brought everything over to Cosmo’s and called on Atlanta vegans to due their civic duty by taste testing vegan ice cream.  We had a nice little gathering, sampled some tasty new things and Leigh took photos and tallied up everyones rating of each item.

The samples I received included: Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl ice cream, Passionate Mango ice cream, Mocha Almond Fudge ice cream (my personal favorite, I could eat that everyday), Coconut Almond mini ice cream bars,  Vanilla mini ice cream bars &, Coconut mini ice cream sandwiches & Banana split mini ice cream sandwiches.

We all agreed that the cookies part of the ice cream sandwiches was a bit too crunchy, but Tim from Turtle Mountain explained that they were just made the day before I received them and need a little while to soften up and have that texture people are used to.  The next day, they were totally soft and sticking to my fingers! I really liked that the center portions of the sandwiches and bars is sweetened with agave nectar, I learned that this has a different freezing point and helps keep the centers nice and soft!

Here are the ratings we all gave each sample:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl – 

Ashley – 3 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 3 / Leigh – 3 / Howell – 4 / Idalys – 3 / Ken – 5 / Mondo – 2

Average rating: 3.5

Passionate Mango – 

Ashley – 3 / Laura – 4.5 / Leigh – 3 / Howell – 3 / Idalys – 2 / Ken – 4 / Mondo – 4

Average rating: 3.35

Overall consensus “It was good, for a fruit flavored ice cream”.  Very smooth & nicely flavored.

Mocha Almond Fudge – 

Ashley – 5 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 5 / Howell – 5 / Idalys – 5 / Ken – 4 

Average rating: 4.8

Coconut Almond Mini’s – 

Ashley – 5 / Laura – 5 / Kevin – 5 / Leigh – 5 / Howell – 5 / Idalys – 5 / Mondo – 5

Average rating: 5.0!!!

Overall consensus: Perfect in every way!!

Vanilla Mini’s – 

Laura – 3 / Kevin – 4 / Leigh – 3 / Mondo – 4

Average rating: 3.5

Banana Split Mini’s – 

Ashley – 2 / Leigh – 5 / Howell – 1 / Idalys – 3 / Ken – 5 / Mondo – 2

Average rating: 3.0

Overall consensus: You either loved ’em or not.  Some devoured them with pleasure, while others thought the banana was artificial tasting.

It seems that we completely forgot to tally our ratings for the Coconut Mini’s, but I think everyone enjoyed but couldn’t get past the crispy sandwich part (which as I stated earlier, softened up completely by the next day).

I am glad to have been selected to sample the new treats from So Delicious and was happy to share.  Cosmo’s is ordering some of the products to sell in the store after having taste tested them, so go grab some and ENJOY!  These really are amazing and it’s great to see Turtle Mountain expanding their offerings; things seem keep getting better and better ever since the addition of their coconut milk varieties – makes everything creamier and less icy tasting.

A nice end to a busy day, I’m off to join Mondo & the dogs on the couch and catch up on some reading!