Monday, January 5, 2009

Pee Wee's Veg Adventure, Holiday Treats, & a birthday!

Please head over to my new blog at, where you'll find this post & more!

Happy New Year! It seems 2009 is here & the resolutions are flying. While I didn't make any myself, I hope those of you who did are able to stick with them. Hopefully some of you decided to give veganism a try & will see how easy, fun, & rewarding it is!

I brought in the New Year at my home with a group of friends from the PPK. We decided to have a themed potluck, "Pee Wee's Veg Adventure" & I can safely say it was the most beautiful potluck in puppetland! All of the dishes were crafted up beforehand to keep the Pee Wee Herman theme & we all chowed down on dishes like "Jambi-Laya", "Connect the Dots Quinoa", "Copper Penny Salad", "King of Stuffed Mushrooms", & "Dinosaur Family Kale". Erin from Vegan Homemade brought two delicious dishes, "Simone's French Toast Bites" & "Footlongs for Mickey", which you can check out on her post. For dessert, we had even more themed options like "Cowboy Curtis' Cookie Sandwiches", "Chairry Pie", & "Whacky Tapi-oca Pudding Shooters".

My contributions were one savory & one sweet. I made "Pterri's BBQ Not Wings" which were seitan kabobs on skewers, smothered in sweet & spicy barbecue sauce & "Globey's International Speculaas Brownies", which were a gluten free brownie recipe from the upcoming 500 Vegan Recipes book by Celine & Joni. I'm considering posting the wings recipe, which is inspired by Vegan Dad's Wingz, let me know if it's something you might want to try & I'll post it!

A package arrived on my doorstep on New Years Eve bearing gifts from a cross country vegan bakery. In the recent VegNews contests, I was the lucky winner of one dozen Cowvin Cookies from Sticky Fingers Bakery. I can't think of a more serendipitous surprise! I was thrilled to be able to cut these giant cream filled oatmeal cookie sandwiches in to bite sized pieces to share with a room full of vegans! They're downright delicious & I found myself going back for far too many!

Back to the party; when the clock struck midnight, "Tequila" started playing over the speakers & we did a little dance in Pee Wee's honor! Overall, it was a fun & fabulous night. Good food & good friends are a wonderful way to ring in the new year & create optimism for the year to come. I truly hope 2009 is a prosperous year for each & every one of us!

My holidays were a bit uneventful this year. I had two meals with my family & made a large portion of the food from polenta cakes & roasted veggies to black eyed pea quinoa croquettes & golden gravy, but it all went by so quickly, I didn't do much in the way of photo taking. I did manage to snap a photo of the sweets I made. Mini Mint filled Chocolate Whoopie Pies were a hit, as were Peanut Butter Blondies from the upcoming cookie book by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero. For Christmas Day, I made the Gingerbread Apple Pie from Vegan with a Vengeance, putting little sakura cut outs on top & serving it with homemade caramel sauce & vanilla bean ice cream. I was certainly stuffed from the sweets by the end of the night!

I love a good surprise, so I was thrilled when a little green box showed up on my doorstep right before Christmas. The always adorable Hannah of My Sweet Vegan & Bittersweet blog fame sent a sweet & chocolatey treat, chock full of cookie chunks, & perfect for adding to my Christmas platter of vegan goodies!

Hannah's surprise & the Cowvin cookies, plus the amazing birthday package I received from Marijke & opened for my birthday today have made for some seriously fabulous mail in the past few weeks. Rumor has it, there's belated birthday gifts on the way as well. I am very thankful & I truly appreciate all the birthday love I've been feeling today! Tonight I'll be having dinner with some friends at ubuntu in Napa. Ryan made me this little widget, so you can hear what I like to listen to on my birthday. Make sure you save it to torture people on your special day, hehe!

Next time I'll start my New York City series (finally), so look out for delicious dining & sweet treats in the near future!


VeggieGirl said...

So fuuuuun!!!


Megan said...

Ohmygarsh. Everything looks so yummers!

Anonymous said...

I LOVED that movie when I was little...but I haven't seen it in forever =(

All the dishes are so creative and I would love to see the wings recipe. Mmm.

How is that Gingerbread Apple pie? I was thinking of making it soon.

Mandee said...

The pot luck looks fantastic, so much good food!

Also Happy New Year AND Happy B'day!

Amey said...

Happy Birthday!
I love the PeeWee pics. And so many sugary delights... I'm practically getting sugar shock just looking at them all. :)

Have fun at Ubuntu!

Melody Polakow said...

Happy Birthday!

Anonymous said...

What a fun idea for a potluck. I haven't seen that movie since I was little.

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!

Anne said...

Yes yes yes (please) to the seitan not wings recipe! I think I drooled a little looking at the pic...

Anne said...

Oh yes, and happy birthday and Happy New Year!!!

Anonymous said...

Fun!!! I couldn't help but bust out laughing when I read "Chairry Pie."

Happy birthday and happy 2009! I hope your year is filled with peace, love, and joy.

Anonymous said...

What an awesome spread! Happy New Year and Happy Birthday!!...looking forward to the NYC series. I miss my old stomping grounds. Sniff.

Vegetation said...

Oh everything looks deliciously wonderful! Happy Birthday and Happy New Year :D

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year and Happy Birthday, you dancing queen! <--- what the...?

Sal said...

Happy new year and happy birthday!

That is a lot of awesome looking food. The apple pie is so cute with the little cut outs on!

Anonymous said...

PEE WEE!! Love it. I watched PWBA outside by the river once and it was beautiful.

Your contributions look divine!

jessy said...

happy new year to you, too! yippeeeeeeee!

your Pee Wee's party looks like so much fun! man, i wish i weren't in rva sometimes! ;) that's one glorious spread - hooray for Pee Wee themed yummies. i am loving them all!

too sweet on the cowvin cookies & treats from Hannah! your whoopie pies look super stellar - and those peanut butter blondies - oh my gosh! so awesome!

glad you've been enjoying all the fun & awesomeness your birthday brought too!

can't wait for the NY post!

River said...

Happy belated birthday, Melisser!! What a fun themed party and what a yummy themed feast!

I hope you are having a super fantabulous 2009!!

Vegan_Noodle said...

It has been sooo long since I've seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure. Oh I loved that movie as a kid. What a fun theme for a potluck!

The holidays are such a busy time, it's hard to snap photos. But all your sweets look delicious! And yay for surprises.

Hope you had a wonderful birthday dinner at Ubuntu!

Vegan_Noodle said...

oh, and yes... you should definitely post your recipe for the not wings!

kittee said...

Happy birthday sweet Melisser! Thanks for the playlist. Those whoopie pies look hella yumpy.


Hannah said...

Oh, happy birthday Melisser! I didn't realize that it was so soon or I would have sent you a second treat as well!

I wish I could have been at that party though... It beats the pants off my lame new years eve at home.

allularpunk said...

happy birthday! happy new year! awesome post full of yummies... i would really like to have that not wingz recipe as well! guys always get to have the coolest potlucks. i love peewee herman. and food.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Love that song. And Happy Birthday!!

Anonymous said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! And Happy New Year, Melisser! I am loving all the delicious fantasticalness! Love the PPK fiesta!

DJ said...

Happy Birthday and Happy New Year, Melisser! I can't take my eyes off those chocolate-mint whoopie pies... and what a great theme for a New Year's Party! All the best for 2009!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Happy Birthday!!! And oh gosh, I looove Sticky Fingers!

Maria Rose said...

What a great party. I looove those plates too!

Cakespy said...

Happy Belated, Happy New Year...and OMG, I am jealous. My friend Jenny in Baltimore introduced me to DC's wonderful Cowvin Cookie...oh how I wish I had one right now!!

quarrygirl said...

OMG! the pee wee thing sounds like so much fun! i am jealous of all you vegan cuties. the food looks off the hook as well!

hope you had a wonderful birthday. i wanna hear all the deats on the evening!

i'm headed to SF sometime within the next 3 months...hopefully. i shall not leave without buying some SBS cupcakes! hope we can hang out. :)

Melanie said...

Those Chocolate Whoopie Pies look Uh-mazing. Me want! Also I hope you had a great birthday! Cheers!

Vegyogini said...

Oh, no, I didn't read this post until today, so I missed your birthday by 3 days! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MELISSER!! I'm happy you got some fabulous goodies to help you celebrate.

Lucky you that you're a Celine & Joni tester. All the tester photos floating around the blogs look great!

What a wonderful way to ring in the new year!

P.S. Ventura is right around the corner, so a meet-up is definitely in order next time you guys are in SoCal. :)

Brook said...

MMMMMM everything looks so good!!!!

Early Bird Special said...

Holy crap, Melisser! This sounds like the best New Year's Eve / potluck / party ever! I am a huge Pee-Wee fan, and all the dish titles are awesome! I just might steal this idea for my upcoming 30th birthday party in April. ;)

I don't have your regular email address, so I'm responding to your cross stitch comment here. You *totally* should take it up! It's so much fun, and the amount of cute patterns out there now are pretty shocking. Although embroidery is super easy too, maybe even easier than cross stitch. Email me direct for more tips and info.

ebscrafts at gmail dot com.


herbivore said...

Mmm. Not Wings look great. I will have to try them :) I can imagine seitan would be more realistic than tofu. I love the ginger bread apple pie. so good.

Bianca said...

Those whoopie pies look so yummy! And what a nice way to ring in the new year. Kind of wish I'd taken a little easier. I got wasted and blacked out, but my friends say I had fun. If anything, it reminded me that maybe I should stop getting so drunk in 2009

Lovliebutterfly said...

Happy Birthday! Looks like you had a great party1 How sweet of Hannah to send you those treats! Yum! All the food and photos look super! Besh wishes for 2009!

Alisa said...

Happy New Year! I'm coming over to your place for dessert .. resolutions, smesolutions.

kelly g. said...

A Pee Wee potluck!? Now that is just all kinds of awesome!

T said...

Oh, everything looks marvelous! I'm so jealous that you got to hang with the PPK crew, there needs to be a DC meetup.

Anonymous said...

What a cool idea for a theme potluck. Sounds like so much fun! :)

icancarryallthebagsandthebabiestoo said...


And YUM!!!!!

JennShaggy said...

Seriously...the next time I'm in town, we have no excuses not to have a throw down :)

Penny said...

Okay, so I am obsessed w/ this cake that Pee Wee's neighbor (on the show) made. (What was her name?) It was called ice-cream cake (mashed up cake w/ ice cream) and I always thought a vegan version would be fun.

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