Sunday, September 21, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

A couple years ago, before I was vegan, I had a dinner party in my little apartment, bringing together people who previously had not known each other but who I knew would get along. It was a very adult thing to do; at least I felt adult doing it.  I cooked all day, the windows open to let in the cool autumn air. Before anyone arrived, my decades-old green table with spots of bare wood sticking through the paint was adorned with serving platters, a gravy boat and plenty of food. I set a jazz Pandora station to play on my iPad at just the right level. I made sure to finish the cooking before anyone arrived, so I could spend my time as a gracious hostess. My heart beat fast as I waited for my guests to arrive, people I'd known for years. 

There were only five people, including myself, and the apartment was crammed. I almost did not have to get up to bring the dishes from the stove to the table. Some people were in chairs, others were on the two-person couch. Still a few months from meeting my beau, I sat among the two married couples and enjoyed abundant conversation between kindly minds.

The only dinner party rule I broke was probably the biggest and one I still break often without remorse -- I served dishes I had never made before. I hosted the party to have a fun grownup meeting,  yes, but also so I could try something new. There was pumpkin, sweet potato and apple cider. The spices of fall abounded, and every dish was a hit.

I look back on that evening so fondly as a moment of Amanda growing into herself, throwing a party with married couples in her very own, no-roommates apartment. The dishes were an important part of that evening, and so I knew I had to veganize the Pumpkin Pasta dish. Last weekend, I served it in the very same apartment, on the very same table, in the company of my beau, and the cycle felt complete.

Here, it is, veganized, with mushrooms and a little cheat to it.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Fall has come at last. This past week here in Boston has seen absolutely perfect weather. It's sweater and leggings season, evening walk with a crisp breeze season. And it's pumpkin season. I know I'm not the first nor will I be the last blogger to rave about pumpkin, but how can I not? Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and all the flavors of fall just fold in so nicely with the velvety orangeness of pumpkin.

What I have brought today is actually a recipe my parents made using my grandmother's rolling pin, shown above. She used it to bake with love for many years before I came along and then watched it create a lifetime of goodies. And it's no worse for the wear, still going strong. So, this may not be a recipe from my grandmother, but she certainly played her part in it.

Let's welcome Fall back with some Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls.