Yesterday, I had the privilege of hosting a baby shower for my dear friend, Amanda, who is due in January. As I mentioned in my last post, the baby’s gender is unknown (by choice), so I chose aqua/Tiffany blue for the color theme. I figure that shade of blue could suit a boy or a girl. Not to mention I LOVE that color and I already had serving dishes/plates and accessories to match.
I created the shower invitation (above), glued it to aqua paper and created a band using strips of scrapbook paper, topped with monogrammed ribbon. Postage was about 20¢ extra due to the knot in the ribbon.
The shower menu was all vegan (except for the Sixlets in the snack cups and the chocolates in the party favors). I was REALLY surprised at how well the food went over. I thought some people might be disappointed or nervous to try it, but everyone was a good sport and a few even went back for seconds ;)
Crunchy Veggie Wraps (my own recipe)
Artichoke-Walnut Pesto Crostini (from Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli)
Hummus & Pita Chips (store-bought)
Potato Salad Provençal (from Big Vegan by Robin Asbell)
Fruit Cups (pineapple, grapes, blueberries)
Mini Cake Donuts (from Erin McKenna of Babycakes)
Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton)
Snack Cups (peanuts and light blue Sixlets)
My Crunchy Veggie Wrap Recipe (yields 12 full size wraps or 24 halves)
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
4 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 extra-large cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 large (or 2 small) carrot, peeled and grated*
3 large (or 4 small) avocados (skin and nut removed), chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed with garlic press
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
(12) 10″ tortillas (I used Mission Wraps in Zesty Garlic Herb flavor.)
1½ cups (12 oz.) hummus
¾ cup sunflower seeds
agave nectar or honey (I used honey, which many vegans do not eat.)
(1) 9 oz. bag of baby spinach
(1) 4 oz. container of sprouts
Instead of grating the carrot, I like to use a vegetable peeler to make short strokes along the carrot. When there’s nothing but a nub left, I cut it in half and give it to the pups ;)
Combine all of the vegetables and avocado in a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper to make a vinaigrette. Add vinaigrette to the vegetables and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
On one side of a tortilla, spread 2 Tbsp. of hummus to about 1″ from the edge. Lightly drizzle agave nectar or honey over the hummus and sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sunflower seeds on top. Top with about ½ cup of baby spinach, forming a bed across the middle, from left to right (staying about 1½” from the edge). Top the spinach with about ¼ cup of the vegetable mixture, then about ¼ cup of the sprouts. The trick is to not overfill the tortilla so that it can be tightly rolled (next step) without spilling out.
If making 12 large wraps, tuck in either the left or right side of the tortilla (to form the bottom), then fold over the top and bottom sides of the tortilla, wrapping tightly. Secure with a toothpick if desired or plate seam side down.
If making 24 half wraps, tuck in the left and right sides of the tortilla, then fold up the bottom side (while holding in the left and right sides) and tightly roll upwards (like a burrito) until a wrap is formed. Slice the wrap in half on a diagonal and plate seam side down.
Repeat Steps 3 & 4 with remaining tortillas.
The potato salad was DELICIOUS! I’ve raved about this cookbook (Big Vegan by Robin Asbell) before, and again, it did not disappoint. I’ve never had artichokes in potato salad before, and I loved it. You know it’s good when people ask you for the recipe! This is also great for entertaining because you can make it a day or two ahead.
The crostini recipe from Chloe’s Kitchen by Chole Coscarelli was very flavorful. Just a little too much garlic for my taste – next time I would use 2 cloves instead of 3 – but everyone seemed to really like it. Unfortunately, I’m still using a cheap food processor, which processes to a pulp… so my pesto looked more like tuna salad than crostini topping. Oh well. Again, great for entertaining because you can make the topping the day before if you like.
I posted about the Mini Cake Donuts (along with the recipe) in my last post. Aren’t they darling?! I may have baked them a little too long this time – they were just a little dry, but a whole lot easier to get out of the pan!
I didn’t get a shot of the cookies (you can barely see them in the lower right corner of the left photo above). So I took a quick pic of a few leftover cookies today… because just look at how PERFECT they are!!! I swear they are not from the store. Leave it to Dreena Burton to have the best ever vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe. And it’s SO easy. I literally whipped these up as a last-minute menu addition right before the shower.
Dreena Burton’s Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from Vive Le Vegan by Dreena Burton)
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (or 1¼ cup spelt flour, which is what I used)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup unrefined sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
¼ tsp blackstrap molasses
1½ tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup neutral flavored oil (a little generous 1/4 cup)
⅓ cup non-dairy chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup with the molasses and vanilla, then stir in the oil until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry, along with the chocolate chips, and stir through until just well combined (do not overmix). Place large spoonfuls of the batter (I rolled mine into balls) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten a little (I did not flatten). Bake for 11 minutes, until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute (again, to prevent drying), then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 8-10 large cookies or 15-20 small cookies.
Could there be a cuter expectant mother?! Just as her usual sweet self, Amanda got up and hugged the gift giver after opening each gift. I thought the gift above was so creative and thoughtful – a first year scrapbook, complete with every month and more. All she has to do is place in the photos. Genius!
Each guest received a party favor, which included a nail polish and chocolates. Regretfully, I forgot to take a pic of the basket of favors (they were so cute all together), so I snapped a pic of a leftover favor with my phone. I created the tag by taping (with double-stick tape) the Thank You message to a scalloped piece of scrapbook paper (made with a Paper Studio 2″ Scallop Circle Punch), punching a whole at the top and securing with ribbon. Click here for a free sheet of 35 Thank You tags (you’ll need to print and cut by hand or with a circle cutter).
Whether you’re hosting a baby shower or not, hopefully this will give you some vegan entertaining ideas ;)