This morning my family gathered at my house for our annual Christmas Eve Brunch. We’ve often dined at restaurants but this year I suggested that I host, as I knew most restaurants were not very vegan friendly for breakfast. I’ve hosted a meal over the holidays just about every year since I graduated college—my nice family has joined me for buffets served on my ironing board in a studio apartment, done Christmas-light-looking-walks after dinner, and seen me through some pretty experimental recipes (meatloaf in cupcake papers anyone?). But practice makes improvement, and I’m happy to say that today the 11 of us (just my parents, siblings and spouses!) finished with full tummies and empty plates! Here’s a peek at what we enjoyed:
Apple Fig Onion Tart—this couldn’t be easier—caramelize 2 pounds of onions and 4 apples until very soft (about 30 minutes) in olive oil. Add a 1/4 tsp of dried thyme, 8 ounces of fig jam, and mix well. Pulse about half in a food processor and mix back with the rest. You will have the consistency of a chunky applesauce. Using your favorite pie crust (I made mine from the Veganomicon cookbook), spread filling in crust and bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes, until crust is brown and cooked and filling is warm. Garnish with parsley.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls—I made pumpkin cinnamon rolls following Chef Chloe’s recipe. I skipped her cranberry filling and used her cinnamon filling from her cookbook. Delicious—I will be making this all of the time now—uh oh! I rolled them into a wreath following these instructions.
Hashbrowns—I made red potato hash browns following the Veganomicon
recipe, but I omitted the peppers and onions. I cooked mine with some salt, pepper, adobo seasoning, and oregano. Yum!
Fruit—I made two fruit dishes. The first is a fruit salad. I read a suggestion in In Style Magazine once to use just one or two colors of fruit in a salad to make it look more sophisticated. Today I used all reds and greens, using kiwis, pears, blood oranges, raspberries, and pomegranate arils.
I also made little Santas out of strawberries and coconut whipped cream. Super cute, surprisingly easy (I just used my pastry bag to squeeze the whipped cream out), and very quick to assemble. I think David ate most of them—he stole them off everyone’s plates!
What a delicious brunch! And with so many foods that I could prep the night before it was pretty easy.
Tomorrow I’m making a warm quinoa salad with jewel roasted vegetables—will definitely get a picture up to show you! And I’ll be enjoying leftovers of my Chocolate Peppermint cake, adapted from Chef Chloe’s mocha cake, replacing the coffee elements with peppermint.
After Christmas we’re headed up to the mountains with the whole family for a few days. Since my parents are treating us with the cabin I’m taking charge of dinners. I’m making a Mediterranean feast of hummus and lentil soup for one of the nights, and we’re going south of the border with Carrot Cumin Burritos the other night. And I might have to make more cinnamon rolls—yum!
Have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy time with your families!