Tag Archives: S&C dinner party

Happy [Vegan] Thanksgiving

The past two Thanksgivings for Ms. S&C have been meat free. This means no turkey, no Virginia ham, and when she’s visiting family in Southwestern Va., it also means no gravy and no stuffing. Some of you may be thinking “What’s left to eat?” Trust me, you can have a rich and hearty vegetarian (or vegan) Thanksgiving dinner that’s reminiscent of the one you know and love. (And it may be one you feel better about eating.)

Start off with a cocktail we’re calling the Old Fashioned Pilgrim. Adapted from Imbibe Magazine‘s Maple-Cranberry Bourbon Smashed, we used the same ingredients as those in our cranberry sauce (yes, the same sauce that’s served alongside the tofurkey).

The instructions are easy: add a tablespoon of the cranberry sauce to two and a half ounces of bourbon (we used Buffalo Trace). Stir well. Fill glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist. Enjoy a sweet and warming seasonal variation of a classic drink.



The Old Fashioned Pilgrim is a lot like the classic Old Fashioned but made with fresh cranberries, orange, agave nectar, and cinnamon

Enjoy this beverage while you’re putting the finishing touches on this delicious all vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Herbed Tofurkey (we used the Quorn Turk’y and roasted with fresh parsley, rosemary, and thyme)
  • Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes (we mostly followed this recipe but eliminated the cream, almost all of the butter — used vegan butter actually — and the brown sugar)
  • Chorizo-style Protein & Apple Stuffing (we used Field Roast protein sausage in this stuffing recipe and subbed veggie broth and beer for the chicken stuff)
  • Roasted Cauliflower (there’s nothing to it: roast cauliflower with salt, pepper, and olive oil)
  • Cranberry Orange Sauce (we fixed this version with agave nectar so it could be used in cocktail as well)


If you’re not used to eating a protein other than turkey and sausage, the taste will surely be different (and the tofurkey on its own could have used a little gravy), but the spicy stuffing and tart citrusy cranberry sauce are more than enough to give this all veggie dinner a lot of flavor.

S&C Dinner Party: Nouveau Southwestern

The S&C family enjoy a good dinner party. We also enjoy cocktail parties,  holiday parties, a supper club, a book club, happy hours — pretty much any occasion when friends gather for a drink.

Sharing our so-called Nouveau Southwestern-style dinner party is actually long overdo. But, having fixed a batch of agave nectar margaritas over the weekend, Ms. S&C resurrected the blog post.

The Occasion: At last year’s Super Bowl party, friends LC (also known as Sister Mojito) & CA were the recipients of a door prize — Dinner with the S&C’s. Funny enough, this lucky couple also won the prize the year before.

The Menu: Typically, there is one ingredient or item that Ms. S&C likes to build a menu around. For this meal, pork belly was the inspiration. We called it nouveau because we used pork belly, agave, and because it sounds fancy. Southwestern because of accompanying ingredients of roasted corn, black beans and poblanos.

  • First course: Bacon wrapped shrimp with crispy basil
    Wrap bacon around shrimp, drop in a deep-fryer. Fry whole pieces of basil for a few seconds. Serve all on a plate garnished lightly with Sriracha hot chili sauce.
  • Second course: Southwestern-inspired chopped salad
    Prepare a salad of mixed greens, roasted corn, black beans, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno. Serve with a simple vinaigrette.
  • Main course: Pork belly, stuffed poblanos, refried black beans
    Pork belly cooked for hours, poblanos stuffed with all kinds of good southwestern ingredients, served atop refried beans.
  • Dessert course: Fried ice cream
    Cinnamon ice cream served alongside cinnamon and sugar-dusted deep-fried tortillas.

The Drink: Eager to get a handle on a much-talked about ingredient, agave nectar, Ms. S&C decided margaritas would be the featured cocktail.


Similar to honey, agave nectar is becoming the preferred sweetener of the health conscious and natural food cooks. Extracted from the blue agave plant, the nectar has a lower glycemic index than sugar but still the same sweetness. Glycemic index relates to that “sugar rush” you hear about, and foods with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar quickly. And why do you need to know this? Well, you may not, but Ms. S&C has loved ones with diabetes, so she tries to pay attention to these things. More on the health benefits of agave nectar.

Agave Nectar Margaritas

Margaritas are one of Ms. S&C’s favorite drinks. Both tart and sweet, they are super easy to make, require only a few ingredients, and the proportions are easy to remember. Because Ms. S&C has tried a few variations using agave nectar, she strongly recommends the following: 1. use tequila blanco (the white, silver, unaged tequila), 2. do not use salt in this version, 3. as always, use only fresh juice.

Ingredients (serves one):

  • 1 and 1/2 oz tequila blanco
  • 1 oz lime juice (approximately the juice of one lime)
  • 1/2 oz agave nectar
  • 1/2 oz water
  • crushed ice
  • lime wedge


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Pour into a glass filled with ice (crushed ice works best). Garnish with lime wedge.

posted by Ms. S&C