While many of us know today is the feast of the Ephiphany or “trree kings,” as they used to say back home, today is also La Befana day.
LaBefana is an old woman of Italian folklore who delivers gifts throughout Italy on the night before Epiphany. La Befana is usually portrayed as an old lady wearing a black shawl and riding on a broomstick. She is often depicted as smiling, carrying a bag filled with gifts, and covered in soot because, like Santa Claus, she enters houses through the chimney, leaving toys and candy for the good children and coal or garlic for bad children. She is also said to sweep the floor before she leaves a house. Much like leaving cookies and milk for Santa, Italian families typically leave a glass of wine and a small plate of food for La Befana. In some regions, the food includes broccoli and sausage (!).
Just in case the legend is true, I made some pasta with broccoli and vegan sausage so I could leave a snack for La Befana, along with some good Italian wine – a crisp vernachia from San Gimignano. I don’t mind if LaBefana leaves me garlic (who can’t use more garlic?) instead of candy, as long as she sweeps my house before she leaves!
Cookbook Giveaway: In honor of LaBefana, I’m giving away a gift to one lucky someone – a copy of my latest book, Party Vegan! Much more than a “party” book, Party Vegan is filled with great recipes and menus for everyday meals as well as special occasions throughout the year, from a guy-friendly Super Bowl party to a New Year’s Eve appetizer party.
To enter: leave a comment at the end of this post.
For a second chance to win: link to this post from your blog, Facebook, or Twitter and then leave a second post, telling me you did so. That’s it! I’ll choose the winner at random (using Random.org) on Wednesday, January 12 at midnight EST. The winner will be announced here on Thursday, January 13.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always liked to play with my food. Like most kids, I liked to make mashed potato moats for the gravy but that soon escalated to stirring ketchup into mashed potatoes until it was just the right shade of pink and then festooning it with a necklace of green peas. When I was a bit older, I made an entirely blue dinner.
It should be easy to understand, then, why having a wealth of Thanksgiving leftovers is an especially fun time in my house. The day after Thanksgiving we enjoyed the obligatory let’s have “another one just like the other one” with a delicious instant replay of the previous day’s feast. But then, the rest of the leftovers were mine for the creating.
Creation #1: Yuba-Wrapped Thanksgiving Rolls. (photo above) I wrapped leftover seitan, stuffing, white and sweet potatoes, and green beans in small sheets of yuba and cooked them in a skillet with a little oil to brown. I then finished them up in the oven while I made a dipping sauce with leftover cranberry sauce combined with ginger, soy sauce, and sriracha. All I can say is, “Wow!”
Creation #2: The Leaning Tower of Thanksgiving. I stacked layers of all the Thanksgiving dishes into one mighty tower and surrounded it with a cranberry-port wine sauce made with leftover brown gravy, cranberry sauce, and a generous amount of port. To serve, I sliced it right down the middle and arranged each half, cut side down on a plate with more of the luscious sauce. Leftovers never tastes so good.
If you follow me on Facebook, you may recall that a couple weeks ago I saw corn cob jelly for sale and had to buy a jar — I mean, who wouldn’t, right? Of course, once I got the jar home I had to figure out what to do with it. Enter: Spicy Corn Fritters!
To enter the contest: leave a comment at the end of this post telling me your favorite spicy food — it could be a single ingredient or condiment or an entire dish.
For Fridays during Vegan MoFo I’m writing about recipes from some of my very early posts that are of particular interest. This week it’s my recipe for Slow-Cooker Seitan Pot Roast. Why? Well, for one thing it’s the MOST visited post on my entire blog, secondly, it’s slow cooker season, and third, if you’ve missed out on this before, then you’ve really been missing something. (Unless of course, you don’t like seitan, then you probably don’t care. Although you could certainly make pot roast style vegetables and add some tempeh or beans, right? Or maybe you’d like the recipe for this Pot au Feu. The recipe calls for seitan, but you can use sauteed tempeh or cannellini beans instead:
There’s still time to enter to win a copy of Vegan Unplugged here. (The contest closes Monday at midnight and the winner will be announced on Tuesday.)
And at Vegan Appetite, Tami is giving away a copy of my book, Party Vegan. Check it out! Tami also posted some great recipe photos and review of the book.
And so ends the second week of Vegan MoFo!
I have a super-busy today today. For one thing, today I’m a guest on the Jazzy Vegetarian radio program. Tune in today at 1:15 Eastern time for some of my favorite party planning tips and the recipe for Sherried Mushrooms from Party Vegan.
No matter how busy, there’s always time to make an easy appetizer that can be assembled in seconds, right? Take these Tapenade-Stuffed Peppadews, for example. If you enjoy surprising your taste buds with several flavors at once, you just might like these little peppadew chiles stuffed with tapenade. I happened to have a little tapenade leftover from Halloween and a few of those adorable peppadews in the fridge, so what else could I do but stuff the tapenade into the peppadews?
In addition to being cute as a button, these zesty little appetizers pack a flavor wallop. The burst of flavors you get include sweet-spicy, salty, and just plain delicious. If you’re not a fan of peppadews or tapenade, then you can cherry tomatoes and stuff them with something else — but then you’ll have to call them something other than “Tapenade-Stuffed Peppadews.”
Vegan Mofo Giveaway #1:
Today is the first of a series of my Vegan MoFo Giveaways. To be automatically entered in next week’s drawing for a copy of my book, Vegan on the Cheap, just leave a comment at the end of this post that answers this question: What kind of stuffing would you put in a peppadew (or cherry tomato)?
A winner will be chosen at random (using Random.org generator) and announced on Tuesday, November 9.
Good luck in the contest!