Fave Cookbook: Super Fun Times Holiday Cookbook

Oh Hello MoFoers :)  I have so many favorite vegan cookbooks. I might consider Isa Does It  one of my most faves or perhaps Veganomicon...

Oh Hello MoFoers :) 

I have so many favorite vegan cookbooks. I might consider Isa Does It one of my most faves or perhaps Veganomicon. Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen is high upon the list. I really got into Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day for a long time,  as well as Vegan Eats World, for which I was a tester and for which I fell hard. I made everything from Vegan Yum Yum in 2011, and I've had many long days of tamale and empanada-making in the kitchen with Viva Vegan. And I obviously love all of Isa and Terry's series: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, Vegan Pie In The Sky... Oh and how could I ever forget Vegan Brunch?? I made almost everything from that my first year as a vegan. So many others are high on the list for me as well. Alas, I digress.

Super Fun Times Holiday Cookbook is just about the most epic book I ever cooked from. I mean, it really is a showstopping book and proves to everyone that everything can be made vegan. It's not devoid of typos, recipes with missing steps and ingredients, and some total flops, but when it hits, it hits -- and oh baby it hits hard. 

For example, last year I was supplying this vegan one-pot meal for thanksgiving, and this sundried tomato pot roast came to the rescue. It's so easy and so gorgeous. It left me wanting for nothing. 

The challah bread recipe is so much easier than I thought it would be and easier than others I've tried. This was a great Christmas morning bread, which I made ahead, froze, and brought with me across many state lines for the joyous occasion. It's obviously best when it's still warm, but that's what microwaves are for!

Oh, I guess it can't hurt to have two Christmas morning breads! I always make my dad his own cinnamon swirl bread for Christmas, and he graciously shares with us. This recipe is pretty good too, although the one from Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day still has my heart.

For the last 2-3 years, we do this thing where we drive 6-8 hours back to our hometown to have Thanksgiving dinner with our extended families, make some food -- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot -- then drive the many hours back to Philly and make a second, more extensive Thanksgiving meal with all the fixins for ourselves. This way we get to have the leftovers experience, coveted oven and fridge space, time to make all the good stuff, and we just have ourselves a GD party, just the two of us. It's the best part of Thanksgiving <3 <3 <3 All the recipes pretty much come from Super Fun Times, and the Thanksgiving chapter is not to be missed.

I have grown to live and die by my cranberry sauce recipe. I just take whole c-berries, and simmer them with two whole orange peels studded with cloves, the juice or segments of said oranges, and a smidgen of maple syrup, and let the damn thing go while I cook the rest of the dishes. Gravy is a similar sitch, wherein it goes all day in the background and really brings down the house with flavor.

If there was one dish from Super Fun Times that I would say you really mustn't go without, it's got to be the Green Bean Casserole. God Damn. Holy Guacamole. All of the curses. This dish is worth all of the searching for non-canned $6-per-half-cup fried onions at Whole Foods in late November, all of the money on cashews, and every bit of precious fridge space it takes up. This. Dish. Is. Everything.

As a preface to my next dish I will remind thee that the book's Thanksgiving chapter includes several gravy options -- my preference being the White Bean Sage. None are to be missed, but I think the white bean goes best with the whole Thanksgiving shebang. Especially with the Whipped Mashed Potatoes. The mashed potatoes are special. They're more than mashed; they're "hwipped" and so silky and creamy and rich and just so far beyond what you'd think possible from a homely spud. It's worth the extra steps and worth lugging out the yellow stand-mixer you got when you were 18. Besides, I always relish opportunities to use the wire whip ("hwip").

Super Fun Times is not just good for Thanksgiving but also for when you want pork fried rice, without ingesting MSG or your week's worth of sodium. This curry pork fried rice is so authentic, so impressive, and so tasty. I was so excited by the seitan that I dyed red with beets! It looked like pork, you guys! This is so special it makes me want to go dye things red with beets.

Now what would Christmas be without Christmas cookies? There is a whole chapter of Super Fun Times dedicated to Christmas Cookies. I have made them all, and I am here to share my work with you. The highlights are the PB Chocolate Chip (I bake the cookies separately, then push four chocolate chips into the center as soon as they come out of the oven to make PB Kisses!), the Chocolate Chip Candy-Cane (wait to press in the crushed canes until after they come out of the oven; they will melt and look ugly if you mix them into the batter!), and the Lemon Thumbprint Cookies (no recipe problems to report!). All of them are dreamy and delicious, but those three are my faves. Honorable mention goes to the Gingerbread Chocolate Chip, but I think they are from Isa Does It.

As I've said before, this book has its recipes that are just badly written and set you up for failure -- hello Buche de Noel and Philly Cheesesteak Casserole -- but really once you have flopped the recipes, you can just make yourself a note and do it better the next time. Who else fills the margins of their cookbooks with notes? For me it's a lifesaver. It's like I am the Half-Blood Prince(ss), and someday some lucky vegan baking student will get my copy and do great in class while everyone else fails. By now I'm sure you've had enough of KZ's imagination, so I will leave you on that note. If you ever are anxious before trying an ambitious-looking recipe from this book, ask me, I have probably already made it and can share my tips.

Much <3 to all the vegans,

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  1. Everything you've made looks great; I have Super Fun Times on my list of cookbooks to get someday!

  2. I have Super Fun Times, but haven't made anything out of it. Now I realize how sad I need to be about that. I will 100% get on that green bean casserole once those fried onions show up in the grocery store. And if I have any other questions about recipes in it, I know who to ask!

  3. I've never made that roast, but it looks gorgeous. I will have to try it!