vegan

Holiday Entertaining Event: The Menu

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carrot_dip_cider_punch
Get ready for fancy snacking, galore.

It’s almost here! This Saturday evening (December 7, 5–7pm) is Vida Vegan’s holiday event, Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos—hosted by Janessa Philemon-Kerp, Jess Sconé, and Michele Truty. We’re down to the fun stuff: final recipe testing and crafting and practicing our demos.

If this is the first you’re hearing about it, then yipes stripes, grab one of the few remaining tickets now so you can hang out and eat and drink and craft with us this weekend! If you’re in the Portland area, we’d love to see you there! And keep an eye on our Instagram feed, where we’ll continue posting photos of our testing and behind the scenes prep sessions.

Finally, a recipe for homemade cauliflower "goat cheese"
Finally, a recipe for homemade cauliflower “goat cheese”

We’re having a great time playing with wintery flavors. Just check out our menu!

EAT

  • Savory spiced popcorn

  • Red curry carrot dip

  • Cauliflower goat cheese

  • Speakeasy smoked Yukon Gouda

  • Coconut vinegar quick pickles

  • Cheese Plate fromage fort & crackers

  • Baked maple bourbon popcorn

  • Depression-era chocolate cake with chocolate ganache

  • Italian olive oil citrus cake

  • Poppy-seed kolaches

  • Candy cane chocolate–chocolate chip cookies

DRINK

  • Spiced apple-red wine punch

  • Sparkling cranberry orange punch (non-alcoholic)

  • Coffee

  • Stash tea

CRAFT

  • String balls

  • Hands-on papercraft table (gift tags and menu/place cards)

  • Décor ideas, tablescaping

  • Homemade gift-giving ideas

So yeah, loads of food and fun, and a special gazillion tips throughout the evening.

Bonus holiday cookies, always.
Bonus holiday cookies, always.

And we’re putting a bunch of the recipes together in a little booklet for attendees, with a little homemade present, too! And who knows, you may win one of our door prizes. Now you can see why we’re so excited.

Remember, this private event is 21+, so bring ID.  Hope to see you there!

We’re Throwing a Party: Holiday Hors D’oeuvres & How-Tos!

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holiday party revised

The ladies of Vida Vegan—Janessa, Jess, and Michele—are throwing a December do! It’s a party with a purpose, a lovely evening of mingling and eating and drinking…and inspiration and education. We’ll help you get ready for your wintery event, cozying up with friends and family and food and fun.

We’ll have vegan sweets and savories, party-worthy punch and cocktails/mocktails, and décor ideas. Demos, hands-on crafting, and a special take-home gift!

Learn more about this 21+ event here, and get your tickets here—it’s a small space so make sure you don’t miss out. (And here’s the Facebook event, so you can let the machines mark your calendar for you.)

Month of Memories: Demoing for Seniors

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salad-tempeh

Last August, Janessa, Jess, and I presented some vegan meals to the folks at Rose Schnitzer Manor, a Jewish assisted-living home. They were already serving a few meatless meals a day and wanted to use and learn more about plant-based proteins.

We made them a big berry salad with maple-agave tempeh, and a baked tofu mac-n-chee, and ran through the benefits of a vegan diet, offering some super accessible alternative proteins.

They had SO MANY questions for us—and I’m not just counting the seven times Ruth asked what kind of cheese we used. We talked about how they could get more options from their cafeteria, since most of them couldn’t shop or cook for themselves anymore.

And they ate the food! And most of them liked it! I don’t think we moved anyone to become vegan that day, but I do believe we took some of the fear factor away from some unfamiliar ingredients.

Month of Memories: Capital City Bakery (Austin Tx)

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Kristin rocks
Kristin rocks

When we visited Austin for location scouting earlier this year, we knew we had to visit Capital City, Austin’s amazing vegan bakery owned by Kristen Davenport.

The cart has since moved, and a brick and mortar bakery is currently in the works. She makes the best best best treats, and donated ridiculously good brownies to this year’s Galarama. I’m pretty sure everyone in Austin knows about this place already, but if you don’t, do your mouth a favor and get down there.

Here’s Jess and Michele picking out their treats:

Jess and MIchele at the old Capital City cart
Jess and MIchele at the Capital City cart in the original location

And a sweet romantic cookie and mouthwatering cupcakes:

Don't break my (vegan) heart
Don’t break my (vegan) heart
vegan cupcakes
vegan cupcakes

Month of Memories: 2012 Beer Pairing Dinner

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One of the  projects we really enjoy working on is partnering with local restaurants to showcase their take on creative vegan food and drink.

We call this The Exquisite Dinner Series, and our first one was in 2012.

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Beer Pairing Menu

We partnered with BridgePort Brewpub, and the Chef and his sous chefs whipped up a modern take on classic pub food. The dessert, a chocolate layered cake with strawberry preserves and BridgePort Porter ganache, was both a visual and gastronomical hit.

amazing vegan chocolate cake

Team Vida Vegan’s Always Cooking Something Up!

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Lentil pâté and notebooks, that's how it gets done.
Curried lentil dip and notebooks, that’s how it gets done.

After wrapping up VVC 2013—you know, returning rental fire extinguishers and dropping off the recycling from the Galarama—Janessa, Jess, and I all collapsed for a few good hours. Like real hard.

But then the sun rose, and it was back to spreadsheets and emails and meetings. Even with Janessa flying all over the damn globe, we’ve been videochatting and scheming and daring to dream. And we gotta tell ya, we’re pretty excited about the future of Vida Vegan. (Aside from VVC3, because yes, we’re obviously planning that too!)

The website: Vida Vegan Headquarters. Sure, we’ve given ourselves a little spit ‘n’ polish here, but by mid-2014, we hope to bring you an expanded site, where we can share so much more with you, including an events calendar and forum threads…because not everyone wants to be on Facebook, and besides, we can be a lot better organized here.

Vida Vegan Focus. More one-day intensives, like our Fall 2012 Tech offering, where we focus on one main topic for a small group. In 2014 and 2015, we’re looking at topics like Photography, Ethical Business, Blog Building, and Organization & Outreach.

The Vida Vegan Creative Retreat. What could you do with five or so days to focus on writing or photography while eating all vegan food in a relaxing setting? Maybe with breaks for yoga or meditation or a little nap under a tree? We’re location-scouting for a very intimate group (think a maximum of 30) for some loosely guided artistic/work retreat.

Online courses and guides. We know not everyone can travel to our events—although we are definitely getting out on the road to reach more of you—so we’re developing some very focused online courses and downloadable guides so you can get your learn on while still in pajamas (which is exactly how we do a lot of our planning). Let us know if there’s something you want us to cover!

Local events. We’ll also be producing some smaller, Portland events…maybe even one in early December 2013.

Sooo…that should keep us all busy for a bit!