The Chef: Aurelia
The Menu: Oh, wild rice-and-cranberry-stuffed mushrooms, what would life be without you? Well, it would certainly not have been the same lunch today without them, that's for sure. The appetizer theme didn't stop with the mushrooms, as you can see. Crostini topped with either white bean aioli or a red pepper hummus made a crunchy companion to the mushier mushrooms. To complete the meal Aurelia made a great spinach salad with corn, grated carrot, and chopped nuts. Simple and delicious, this meal gave us fullness of bellies and roominess of fridge.
The Goods: No, you didn't miss a post: the mushrooms and crostini were leftovers from our awesome year-end holiday-themed party, which took place last Friday night. It was catered by the very talented vegan chef Jesse Miner, whom you may remember from our March+April Vegan Weddings feature. Chef Miner made an impressive array of finger food, and was even kind enough to send the VN staff home with cookies, which, in case it wasn't already abundantly clear, is the way directly to our hearts.
Of course, a year-end party is a great reason to go a little crazy with dessert, and that's just what our amazing publisher Joseph and associate publisher Colleen did. The photo below, taken today, is an amalgamation of the three, utterly incredible cakes that they had shipped to us from Vegan Treats in Pennsylvania. Oh. God. The cakes were so good. They were as follows: peanut butter bomb cake, coconut, and chocolate brownie cheesecake. Now. The "bomb" part of "peanut butter bomb" means that on top of the cake there are huge gobs of amazing peanut butter frosting, all covered in chocolate. You can see part of this one sticking out from the bottom of the pile. The coconut cake of course has coconut frosting, and the cake itself is so freakin' sweet it makes us want to use the word moist. Here at the VNHQ, we hate using the word moist, but, heck, sometimes it really does describe the spongy, mouthy perfection of a layer of cake. Finally, the brownie cheesecake. Not a chocolate-flavored cheesecake as the name might imply, this is a full-on cheesecake covered in hunks of brownie and drizzled with chocolate, which you can glimpse hanging out at the top of the plate in the photo. Please excuse us for the rest of the day, we are in a hyperglycemic coma.