I just got back from volunteering all day at Whiskers in Wonerland, the largest cat adoption fair in NYC! We volunteered on behalf of Timber’s Legacy, a non-profit started by a wonderful woman who rescued our dear Gizzy and was his foster mom for several months.
I met so many great people and most importantly, CATS!! OMG if our building were more lax on their animal policy, I would have walked home with my favorite cat that day: Rosa
Here are some highlights from the event:
A wonderful event indeed. If you are interested in any of the cats shown above, along with other very loving cats in need of a kind owner and a forever home, please contact me via email or leave a comment and I will connect you with the foster parent!
Now, onto an entirely different topic: our coat drive brunch! We collected nearly 50 coats, all in very good condition, including many sturdy parkas and down coats with hoods, which will be much appreciated given the recent downturn in weather. OH, and we also collected this lucky number:
LOL. It is surprisingly warm! Not that I tried it on or anything.
Here are pictures of the food we prepared, which included finger foods such as cheezy garlic bread, vegan mushroom bites, organic salted popcorn, chocolate caramel drizzle kettle corn, Stacy’s cinnamon sugar pita chips (my sister may have eaten the entire bowl), and lentil tomato stew served with crusty bread.
Everyone enjoyed the food and prosecco, but the hit of the brunch was absolutely the vegan mushroom bites. I was anticipating about 10-15 people therefore made 50 mushroom bites, which in my mind, was already over-shooting it, because it assumes that each person would eat 4-5 pieces each.
I prepped all 50 the night before and popped the first half in the oven as people started to arrive. I recall arranging 25 on a platter, walking off to open another bottle of prosecco, and coming back to find them completely demolished!!
I made another 25 and the same thing happened. I didn’t even get a chance to try one myself!
So be warned people: should you make these delicious and nutritious mushroom bites for a party, be sure to make 3 times more than you think people will eat. They are that good!!
Vegan Mushroom Bites
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large leek, light green and white parts only, chopped into rounds
- 2 scallion stalks, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 50 mushrooms* (about four 8 oz packages), stems removed and finely chopped
- Salt & pepper
*Note that I used a mix of white button and baby bello mushrooms. Also note that you will very likely end up with more filling than you need, which is not a bad thing! I used the extra to make a quick marinara sauce with whole wheat spaghetti for dinner. Recipe also follows.
- In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over a medium high heat and add onions, cooking and stirring until they are soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and salt and cook and stir another 2 minutes. Add red wine and cook and stir until all the alcohol has evaporated (do a smell test!). Finally, add diced mushroom stems and cook and stir until their liquids have released, about 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Pour mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F.
- Once mixture has cooled, fill each hollowed out mushroom cap with a heaping spoonful of the mixture by first packing the hollow tightly, then add a small mound on top. Line stuffed mushrooms on parchment paper or oiled baking sheet (I used a silpat) and bake for 15-20 minutes*. The mushrooms should be toasted and browned and the mixture should be bubbling.
*Note that baking times vary depending on your oven (ours is extremely hot). Also, these keep very well in the fridge overnight if you are making them ahead, just be sure to cover them with saran wrap or keep them in a tupperware container (they can easily be stacked top of each other).
I wish I still had some leftover stuffed mushrooms, or pasta… I am getting seriously hungry now, which means I must sign off and make dinner.
Have a wonderful Sunday evening and an even better start to your Monday morning everyone!