Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Tale of Fireworks and Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Kitchen Play List - The Union ~ Sirens Song Album (so good! lol) 

Good morning/afternoon folks. Well there are times when all the best laid plans can go screwy..isn't there? And for me that was last night. Today's post was supposed to a wonderful blog about the food I served last night at our gathering of our friends. In England November 5th is known as Bonfire Night. Most of us get together and have a small bonfire in our garden, enjoy many fireworks and consume foods like baked potatoes, soups and basically anything you can stand around outside eating. Many go to the town or city large professional shows but we prefer to have the fun at home. 

So yesterday we lit our brazier fire and fired up our 'veggie' bar-b-que' (Yes we do have for for the very fact it's only ever happened once..occasion I have agreed to a meat bbq) And I spent most of the day prepping and cooking for our guests. I did manage to have a lovely time with my sister and her little ones plus other nephew J. Multitasking or what? lol. I was cooking for 8 people, including us, and I was set on how I wanted this to go. I turned to an very old cookbook for inspiration Sue Ashworth - The Vegetarian Barbecue

This was my menu and what we all ate and enjoyed greatly. Now I wanted to share with you lovely photos and the recipes.....but here is where my plans kinda went screwy...we ate everything before I had the chance to take any photos! Except for my Chocolate Covered Pretzels! Darn! or as My Love so eloquently put..."Oh Doh!.." But I say it just gives me the excuse to cook them again and then I'll share them then...Ahem! lol. 

First up was Curried Vegetable Kebabs with Wholemeal Chaptis which had new potatoes, baby aubergine, courgette, chestnut mushrooms, cherry tomatoes cooked on a skewer and basted with a rich spicy yoghurt sauce. They were really good. D & I agreed just a skewer with the potatoes and sauce would've been great. The general consensus was that these were the hit of the night. 

Next up was Turkish Vegetable Kebabs with Spicy Chickpea Sauce which had a fresh bayleaf at both ends along with lemon quarters, red bell pepper, green bell pepper,aubergine chunks and plum tomatoes that were brushed with a little olive oil. The Chickpea Sauce was more or less a hot hummus that had yoghurt in it. These were completely different from the Curried ones and were good but the curried ones just had that something...more. 

Sides and snacks were...Roasted Corn on the Cob (which was my pal B's highlight of the night..they were delicious.) Baked Potatoes and a huge salad bowl with mixed green leaves, ripe cucumber slices and grated carrots. I also tossed in the leftover plum tomatoes once I'd finished skewering. Snacks were a bowl of mini popadoms with a bowl of yoghurt and cucumber dip...a bowl of tortillas with a bowl of dipping hummus...a bowl of Rocket and Roses Roasted Cauliflower and Butterbean Pate with a huge bowl of carrot sticks. For a sweet/salt combo I made some chocolate covered pretzels (which were a hit too! lol) and I found some vegan sweeties called Meercats and we all enjoyed the sugar rush that came with them.It's rare thing to find vegan 'sweeties' and I think we all regressed back to our kiddie selfs when we ate them. lol That was fun to 

Now dessert..I wanted something very easy to make and that could be made in advance and be sat waiting to be eaten at the appropriate time. pals are made up of serious chocoholics and keen chocolate and I have made many chocolate desserts for them over the years. All greatly appreciated and drooled And last night I didn't fail them...I tried a new recipe out called Chocolate Lover's Pudding from Lois Dieterly's Sinfully Vegan. And I added raspberries in the bottom of the pot and garnished with raspberries too. This dessert lead to a marriage proposal...many "OMG's!"...and one It was so chocolately my poor sister who tested one earlier in the day left with a headache. Ooops. I didn't have mine until after everyone had gone because I don't really like chocolate desserts but even I swooned over this dessert. And with the raspberries as a zingy sharp contrast to the chocolate...this dessert was heaven! Heaven I tell you. This dessert will be a very...VERY...rare treat! lol Tomorrow I post the recipe and the photos for this dessert. Given the advance making of this dessert..I remembered to take some 

Chocolate Covered Prezels...a huge hit! lol
This recipe is so simple it doesn't require a underlined title or ingredients list and cooking instructions. I first had this 'snack' when I was staying in the US and my partner at that time was addicted to them! lol. I put off trying them for a long while and then caved in and found I loved the sweet chocolate and salty pretzel treats..dammit! lol. But theses days I eat them once every few years and I now make them with bitter dark chocolate. 

So to make them is as easy as this; take one bag of vegan salted pretzels and one cup of dark vegan chocolate. Have two lined baking sheets at the ready. Break the chocolate up into small chunks and melt into a sauce either over hot water or in the microwave (choice is yours..) and place the pretzels into a bowl. When the chocolate is melted simply pour over the pretzels and gently stir them to ensure each pretzel is coated. Then spread out over the two baking sheets and try to flatten into one layer or you will get clusters of pretzels ( that is tough..pals were enjoying those clusters! lol) Leave them to harden and cool and serve...simple. Obviously you could make these with vegan milk chocolate or white chocolate if you so wish. 

Finally I must say...the Fireworks were amazing and thank you to our pals who brought them. And the bravery and hardwork of My Love & D who set them up and set them off and for giving the rest of us who were snuggled next to the fire a fantastic show. I loved the name in particular of two of the fireworks...the Guinevere and The Goddess of very excellent fireworks and I have to say watching the gang playing around the Glitter Sparklers and the Coloured Glowing Sparklers was very funny..I was sat watching them with the Sock Stealer as they did various things like Yoga Sparklers movements...played Harry Potter wand battles with the Coloured Glowing ones and just larked about having fun. It's really good to get intouch with your inner child 

Happy Sunday All

If there are any of the recipes above you wish me to blog then drop me an email and I'll make it happen. ~R~