March 31, 2015

Party food that lasts for days

Flowers brought by our guests.

We had a little dinner party recently and the plan was a simple soup and salad supper with an appetizer. You know how that goes; "hmmm, maybe we should have roasted brussels sprouts with the soup. Maybe I should make more than one appetizer," etc. I was thinking that when the main course was served, the appetizers could go onto the table and blend in as part of the meal. So the dinner party is over and we're still eating the food — not that I mind, of course. I like leftovers. We ended up with soup, salad, roasted brussels sprouts and bannocks for the main course, a hot nacho dip with chips and raw carrots, mini-omelets, a sliceable vegan cheese with two kinds of crackers for appetizers, and great brownies (minus the walnuts) from Oh She Glows, for dessert. Read on for photos and links to recipes.


The soup, called Aash-e Reshteh,  was inspired — copied actually — from the Persian New Year Celebration featured at Vegan Eats and Treats. If you follow the link, there's another link in Amey's post to the recipe. My husband made the soup, and he says the reason Amey's soup is more red is because he used a golden beet instead of a red one. Maybe. Her soup also looks thicker to me. In any case, it was very good soup, though a tad labor intensive.

Leftovers.

Amey also inspired me to make muffin pan mini-omelets from Isa Does It as one of the appetizers. When Amey made them for her dinner party, she added cupfuls of fresh herbs to make the little omelets more suited to a Persian New Year celebration, so I followed her lead and added parsley, dill, green onions and spinach to mine, and they were pretty green. They seemed softer, creamier and less springy than the ones I had previously made with fewer herbs, but they were delicious, and a big hit with our guests. And they were so easy to make. I made them about an hour ahead and we ate them warm. The leftovers are great cold.


Even with all the herbs and greens I added, my mini-omelets weren't nearly as green as Amey's. She is just a more colorful cook than I am. :D


A couple of weeks before hosting the party, I made a batch of mini-omelets to try out the recipe. I added a few fresh herbs I happened to have — basil, oregano, chives, plus green onions — but not nearly as many as for the party — and loved the results. The omelets you see in the photo above are closer to the original recipe than the ones served at our party. Both versions were wonderful.

If you don't own a copy of Isa Does It (and you should!), I've found you a link to the recipe for muffin pan mini-tofu omelets. 

I'm limiting myself to no more than two or three recipe links per post, and I've reached my limit, but I'll share more party ideas in a future post. Do you get carried away with food choices at parties? Do you have a favorite easy appetizer?

18 comments:

  1. I totally know how that goes when it comes to going overboard for dinner parties! The last one I had - for four people including myself - had me in the kitchen cooking from 2 pm until guests arrived at 7:30. It was ridiculous! Next time, soup and salad. I promise. ;)

    I love those mini muffin pan omelettes! They are so cute, and I think I like them as leftovers even more than fresh out of the oven. They've always been too soft for me, and so I use a lot less liquid than the recipe dictates. I love how easy it is to mix them up with vegetables and herbs, depending on what you have in the refrigerator.

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    1. We had seven adults and two kids and enough food for at least six more. I've gotten pretty good and pacing the cooking so it doesn't feel like I'm slaving in the kitchen.

      The omelets really are great and I'm so glad I finally tried them. I enjoyed both versions I made, but maybe with all the moisture in the herbs, cutting down on the liquid is the way to go. If I ever finish the ones we have, I'll try that! :)

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  2. What lovely flowers! They are never anything I buy for myself, but they are so nice and really brighten a place up.
    I do usually over-cook for dinner parties, but it's often stuff that I don't necessarily want to eat myself, since I tend to cook crowd-pleasers for other people. Silly, right?
    But those mini omelets look fantastic and very cute. I've been wanting to make them for a long time.

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    1. I never buy flowers, either, but they look so beautiful when someone brings them as a gift. I tried to grow more flowers last year so I could cut some, but I don't seem to have the flower gene.

      I don't think it's silly to cook foods to please your guests. I don't make the stuff we usually eat, but I mostly like what I make. The omelets are something I would make just for us on occasion. They're easy, tasty, and relatively healthy.

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  3. That soup looks so good, and I think my guys would love those omelets. We do the same whenever I'm cooking for company. I'm great at planning a meal for one to three people, but four or more and I go completely overboard. Leftovers for days!

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    1. The soup keeps getting better. Yesterday it was thicker and even tastier than on Sunday. Today should be the best yet! (And the last. Whew.) Leftovers mean no cooking — always a plus!

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  4. I get so excited about bringing vegan dishes to dinner parties I don't realize I'm over doing it till I've got the oven going, all the burners, the blender, the food processor and I'm chopping trying to multitask it all! I'm learning -a slooow learner- but glad I'm not alone in this ;) I love those purple spiky flowers!

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    1. I'm not sure if it's 'slow learner' or 'no learner.' I don't believe that I will ever not cook too much food — it's genetic. We have company coming Friday and I'm already over-planning...

      I've been changing the water and trimming off stem ends in an effort to keep the flowers going — something I never do — because they're so pretty. :)

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  5. You can't not cook too much food when people come over! I always end up thinking 'well, someone might not like this, so I should make something else instead so they don't go hungry'. And it spirals out of control. Like you, I don't mind leftovers so I can't complain!

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    1. I like your attitude. Of course we have to cook to much, and cover all possibilities!

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  6. A successful dinner party is when there's more food than can be eaten in one meal! Leftovers are one of the best rewards after cooking for a group, because then you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors well beyond the big event. I can't say I do it often, but I always do cook enough of each dish to feed at least a small army when company is coming.

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    1. Oh, I agree completely. I would be horrified if something I cooked was completely gone. That would mean I didn't make enough! And leftover party food is my reward for all the effort!

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  7. I'm going to make these for breakfast!

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    1. Believe it or not, I had the last one for breakfast today. I highly recommend them!

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  8. Isa Does It is an excellent book! The dilly stew with rosemary dumplings is probably my favorite from that book. The wee little mini omelets are so cute! Can I invite myself over for dinner at your house next time? Kay, thanks! :)

    Those flowers are beautiful!

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    1. Hmmm. I happen to have a lot of dill in the house. Maybe I should look up the recipe. And yes, of course, you're welcome anytime. Next time you're in Seattle, let me know!

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  9. I've made the mini omelets before and they're awesome as is, but what a cool idea to add herbs and veggies. Better to have too much food than not enough. :-)

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    1. Next time I had herbs, I'm either going to make sure they are really dry, or else add less liquid to the recipe. Amey's addition of herbs was a wonderful idea!

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