It’s so nice to be back in North Carolina. I love going on vacation, but it sure is nice to come home again. No matter how much I try to get ahead there’s always a ton to catch up on – like a Gothic dinner party to host!
Since I talk about it all the time, I thought it would be nice to give you a glimpse into my favorite party of the year. All of the photos are from phones and in particularly difficult lighting. But I think it still will make you feel like you were there.
(If you are only interested in the One Pot Veggie Vodka Sauce recipe, just scroll past the spooky photos.)
Below are a few Instagram pics of the party from my friends and guests, Jenni Field of Pastry Chef Online and Stephaine Manley of CopyKat Recipes. Since I’m cooking and serving, I never get the chance to take photos as the party is going on. The uncredited photos are from Cheryl Purser, my picky eater.
Stephanie is the best house guest ever and she helped us so much with the party set-up. She secured an invite to the 2016 party before this one even began!
Jessica played Martha Stewart and glued plastic snakes, spiders and bugs to these beautiful fresh roses. It’s been a wonderful reminder of the party whenever I look at them. Thanks again Jessica!
Cheryl is trying to get everyone to get seated for dinner. Jessica, Bruce and Faith win the prize for listening to directions. Notice the looks from Faith and Cheryl at the people that are in between them and dinner.
More guests and more costumes. I’m somewhere in the kitchen, of course! At least everyone was having a good time.
This photo is blurry, but at least you get to see me in my evil queen costume. I got a great necklace that day with glow in the dark beads, but that doesn’t show up well here.
Why yes, those are whole wheat skull biscuits dusted in paprika. Underneath is a hearty mushroom butternut squash stew. This was my favorite savory dish from the party.
Jenni Field was kind (and brave) enough to veganize her Halloween cake recipe. It’s coming to her blog and I’ll do a shout out when it’s up. Until then you can just imagine the moistest chocolate cake vegan or not! The icing is not only orange in color but flavor too. It was a huge treat and it’s great for an after party breakfast.
Now, back to our regular scheduled post…
It’s always good to have an easy recipe like this One Pot Veggie Vodka Sauce. This recipe is from my book, The Easy Vegan Cookbook, and I think you’ll really enjoy it.
We made it the day after the party while the dishwasher was running. Fun fact, it took 5 dishwasher loads to clean up after 10 people at the Gothic Dinner Party!
Feel free to vary the veggies, but make sure to time putting them in where they won’t overcook. If you aren’t a fan of eggplant, the easiest substitute is to use extra mushrooms in its place.
One Pot Veggie Vodka Sauce from The Easy Vegan Cookbook
This has all the ease you expect from a one-pot meal. You cook the pasta right in the creamy tomato sauce, which has the barest hint of vodka and mushrooms, carrots and eggplant.
- 2 1/2 cups (8 oz [227 g]) rotini pasta (*use gluten-free pasta)
- 3/4 cup (52.5 g) mushrooms, chopped small
- 3/4 cup (82.5 g) shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup (41 g) minced eggplant
- 2 cups (18 oz [510 g]) vegan marinara sauce or Mushroom Red Pepper Pasta Sauce (page 85)
- 2 cups (474 ml) plain nondairy milk, unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) vodka (optional)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons (3.3 g) nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
- Salt, to taste
- Add everything but the salt to a deep skillet and push the pasta underneath the liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes.
- Stir every few minutes so everything doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 9 minutes or until the pasta is tender. The timing will vary depending on the shape and kind of pasta you use. Taste and add salt if needed.