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!



30 09 2008

Holy crap it’s been a long time since I’ve posted!! 

I will post a real update soon; I miss cooking new things and writing about them on here (and especially checking out everyones blogs for recipes and inspiration).
Currently I have a few things going on (besides being obsessed with bike riding), such as putting together another vegan potluck picnic!  It’s going to be held on Sunday, October 26th, at 1:30pm in Candler Park (the picnic area).  It’s going to be Halloween themed, as evidenced by the below flyer I put together for it:
So if you are in Atlanta or just happen to be visiting here at that time, please join us!  We would love to have you!  The last potluck picnic was so much fun and everyone brought insanely delicious items – I know things will be the same this around if not better!  I’ve already sent an email out to the attendee’s of the last picnic and Cosmos Vegan Shoppe has posted it in their store blog (Thanks Leigh & Ken!).  I plan on dropping some flyers there tomorrow afternoon and at a couple other spots around town, to help get the word out some more.
I’m also in the process of creating a vegan resource site for Atlanta, where folks can see in one place listings and information on our vegan restaurants (as well as vegan-friendly and vegetarian), groceries, bakeries, events, organizations, links to vegan-owned/vegan-friendly businessess in Atlanta, etc.  I’m also putting together a discussion board for the site so the Atlanta vegan community can keep in touch and share information on upcoming events, potlucks, etc.
It’s not fully up and running yet, still have a lot of content to add and some design work to do, but hopefully by mid-October it’ll go live!  I’ll be sure to post the details here when it is, for anyone who is interested.
That’s all for now!

Atlanta Vegan Potluck!!

7 04 2008

This was so much fun. Look at how much fun we’re having! I love meeting new people and everyone who came out was so rad and brought an amazing dish!

I know I’ve sent e-mails and all that, but I wanted to say thanks everyone for coming out yesterday! I can’t wait to have another one 🙂

My dish was the Goddess Pasta Salad from Yellow Rose Recipes. I think it turned out really well (the last time I made it I thought it’d be cool to put 6 cloves of garlic in it. not cool whatsoever). My favorite dish though was the macncheese that my friend Lori from Pleasantly Plump Vegan brought. So delish. Laurie from The PPK brought 4 dozen cupcakes: Pink Lemonade, Root Beer, Chocolate (super super chocolate) and Chick-O-Stick!!

Idalys from Dulce Vegan brought the most awesome Pineapple Upside Down cake EVER. I think everyone was in agreement, as evidenced by the photo above.

I think we had about 25 folks out and that was the perfect amount to fit at the picnic tables! The weather was perfect too, not too hot with a nice breeze. I was so worried that it was going to rain or that the pavilion would be taken by someone else; but everything worked out in my favor for the day! Success!
I was up until 2am with a sugar rush from all the desserts I ate!! That was pretty fun and it was totally worth it. Next time around I want to see if people would be interested in bringing copies of the recipe for the dish they bring. There were so many yummy things there, like the super tasty broccoli cauliflower salad that Leigh brought (along with the strawberry no-bake pie). I’m so glad she posted the recipe on her blog!

Here are some cute photos of the lovely people who attended the potluck followed up by the dishes they brought. We had tempeh w/ a miso-tahini dipping sauce, citrus rice, a mango rice dish, assortments of pasta dishes, potato salad, hummus (saba hummus, killer!) & chips, 7-layer dip, chickpea salad, sliced fresh fruit and so much more!! I look forward to more potlucks and to hanging out with all of these awesome Atlanta vegans!