The Brellis House

 

Category Archives: Holidays

Happy 4th Anniversary To Us!

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Susanna

The fourth anniversary materials are either flowers and/or fruit. We chose flowers.

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Dan cut out a 4 from some cardboard, I gathered flowers from our yard and we attached them to the cardboard with hot glue. There was a moment when it was cheesy and very hippy-like, but I’m fairly pleased with how it turned out. There are black-eyed susans, white wood aster, goldenrod, rose hips, and purple coneflower, among others. #mostlynatives

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If you can’t get enough of our silly cheesyness, check out our Year 1 and Year 2 and Year 3 photos!

Valentine Doughnuts & Marshmallow Cream

Posted on February 7th, 2014 by Dan

Doughnuts are the best baked good to celebrate holidays, birthdays or any special day really. I have the fondest memories of my grandmother whipping up batches and batches of doughnuts for Fat Tuesday before Lent. She makes enough chocolate, cinnamon, jelly-filled and cream-filled flavors for all 7 of her sons and their families. I was actually able to get her recipe, but I found it doesn’t veganize as well as my go-to doughnut dough. Never-the-less, as a result, I have a sentimental part in my stomach for deep-friend dough on Fat Tuesday. Last year we were too busy to make doughnuts on Tuesday, so we had Susanna’s niece over to help celebrate Fat Thursday with doughnuts 🙂 (which, coincidentally  was Valentine’s Day).

We made up two varieties, a yeasted gluten-free dough from VeganDad. This is more of a cake style doughnut (pictured below). Still deep-fried, still risen with yeast.

Gluten-Free Valentine Doughnuts

The second style was with my aforementioned go-to doughnut dough. With these I was able to make filled doughnuts with a delicious marshmallow cream. Oh, it was so good. Some we added a little peanut butter into the cream too.

Vegan Doughnut Marshmallow Cream:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup tofutti cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup ricemellow creme
  • 2 tsp smooth peanut butter (optional)

Methods

  • Mix everything together with an electric beater until fluffed and slightly runny.
  • Use a piping bag to fill the doughnuts, or poke a small hole into the doughnut and drizzle in the creme with a spoon.

Raspberry Chocolate Macarons

Posted on December 13th, 2013 by Dan

The Brellis House: Vegan Raspberry French Macarons with Chocolate GanacheWe had such an overwhelming reception to our updated French Macaron recipe. We were featured in 9 Vegan & Decadent French Desserts by Care2.com and had a big boost of visitors from pinterest, tumblr, and findingvegan.com. Thanks to everyone who visited the site, made the macarons, and commented on the recipe.

The Brellis House: Rows of Vegan Raspberry French Macarons with Chocolate GanacheI know, as a group of vegan bakers, we can perfect this recipe. I made this batch with my same base recipe (no lemon zest or yellow food coloring) and added a few drops of raspberry juice to the versawhip ‘egg whites’. The filling is a chocolate ganache left over from our Berger Cookies.

The Brellis House: Vegan Raspberry French Macarons with Chocolate GanacheThese turned out beautifully, the pink shells and black chocolate contrast very nicely. To get rid of my hollow centers, I let them rest on the counter for 2 hours before baking and then baked them at 250°F for 25 minutes. This resulted in shells that mostly were not hollow, but still had porous centers. I have a few ideas to fix this, which I think comes from the batter being too thick- also this should help make a flatter, less puffed shell. Next time I think I’ll keep the 25 minute baking time at the lower temperature and try less almond meal/powdered sugar.

Let me know how your macarons are turning out and thanks for all your sharing & support!

Wintery Wreath

Posted on December 10th, 2013 by Susanna

The Brellis House: WreathMy mom has always had the ability to seemingly effortlessly whip something crafty together and it always turns out beautiful. She’s especially good at making wreaths and floral/green arrangements so I decided to give it a try myself. Dan and I wandered around a nearby park and walked around the forest edge and found lots of grape and honeysuckle vines, a few pine and holly sprigs, and also gathered some wisteria vines from the backyard. I started out with a hoop that was actually from an old lampshade I took apart a few years ago.

The Brellis House: wreath ringThis next step was a terrible idea, but I thought that if I fattened the ring up a bit with newspaper then I’d need less vines to give the wreath some thickness. What I didn’t realize was that all my vines were so thick that they wouldn’t really cover up the newspaper. By the time I realized this I was too far into it, so I just continued and hoped it would be covered enough, which ended up working.The Brellis House: newspaper wreathThe Brellis House: Wreath Making The Brellis House: Wreath Making The Brellis House: Wreath MakingOnce I used up all of the vines I had gathered, I stuck a few of the greens on one side, salvaged a ribbon and stuck it on the door. I might keep my eye out for some red berries (holly or winterberry) to pop in for some more color.The Brellis House: Christmas Wreath

Christmas Eve

Posted on December 24th, 2012 by Susanna

Hope every has a great holiday season and New Year!

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Thanksgiving Menu

Posted on November 16th, 2012 by Dan

I enjoy Thanksgiving like I enjoy other holidays- a chance to cook for a lot of people. This year my parents will be away, so Susanna and I can devote our entire weekend to her family, which is always nice since we don’t have to spend half the day driving around.

Somehow, I’m getting organized and providing a menu to our readers before the actual holiday. So here’s my menu as it stands. I’ll be keeping it vegan on my end (and as gluten-free as possible). Using a lot of French inspired dishes and recipes from others as well as some I’ve made up.

Appetizers

  1. Salad of Shaved Fennel, Oranges, and Candied Pecans (GF)
  2. Spiced Balsamic-Beet Compote on baguette slices (GF option)

Sides

  1. Truffled Mashed Potatoes (GF)
  2. Raw Kale Salad with Cranberries & Almonds (GF)
  3. Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds (GF)

Entrees

  1. Tofurkey (store bought, I know, but so delicious)
  2. Butternut Squash, Cranberry, Root Vegetable & White Kidney Bean Stuffing (filling from Harvest Pies) (GF)

Desserts

  1. Pumpkin Pie (GF pie crust, recipe to come)
  2. Vegan Galette des Rois
  3. Chocolate-Covered Cranberries (GF, recipe to come)
  4. Macarons (GF)

Drinks

  1. Cranberry Soda (GF)
  2. Ginger Beer (GF)
  3. Sipp Mack 2010 Gewürztraminer
  4. Red Burgundy/Pinot Noir

This turkey from the Ithaca Farm Sanctuary, and others, thank you for choosing vegan on thanksgiving.

Lightly Steamed Green Beans with Garlic and Slivered Almonds

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • oil for frying and dressing

Method

  1. Stem the beans over 1 inch of boiling water for 5 minutes (cook to al dente, do not over cook!)
  2. Plunge beans into ice water to retard cooking.
  3. In a sauce pan, saute the almonds in about 1 tbl of olive oil until fragrant (these burn quickly). Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.
  4. Toss with the beans, salt, pepper and additional olive oil to taste.
  5. Toss with an optional vinaigrette of 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tspwhite-wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp lemon juice.
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Happy Second Anniversary to Us!

Posted on September 23rd, 2012 by Susanna

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Keeping with the tradition we started last year of making a number out of the traditional gift material and taking a photo with it, this year I made a pillow with a quilted two. I used fabrics from Dan’s old gingham and striped boxers and flannel pajamas. We had a bit of a flannel theme this year, which wasn’t totally planned.

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A Lovely Christmas

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by Dan

I wanted to title this post, A Loafly Christmas, but I thought it was too lame.

It’s a bit late, but I wanted to share a few presents from my lovely wife. First, one that she out a lot of effort into and handmade all by herself: a bread board.  She made it from walnut boards her dad had from a walnut tree that fell on their property years ago. It’s perfect for slicing bread and displaying breads at the table.

My latest ciabatta, thanks to another Christmas gift from Susanna, turned out light and porous. I had heard that you could use unglazed quarry tile instead of an expensive pizza stone and she set off on a wild goose chase to find me some. These are 6×6 inches and fairly inexpensive; I line the middle rack with 6 of them placing free-loaf breads and pizzas right on the super hot tiles.

And while we’re on the subject of Christmas, we made pumpkin butter from our Halloween pumpkins and preserved them for Christmas gifts for pretty much everyone. Susanna made some labels for the top and we put together a label with some suggestions for use.

It was a good Christmas.

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Happy Halloweenie!!

Posted on October 31st, 2011 by Susanna

Happy Halloween to everyone from The Brellis House. We’re not very festive with this holiday but we did get a couple pumpkins (for Dan to cook with). Halloween, pumpkin, cat

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