Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates: Festive Meals for Holidays and Special Occasions


For three decades, the famed Moosewood Collective has prepared innovative meatless meals that have left vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike clamoring for more. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of their internationally acclaimed Ithaca restaurant, The Moosewood Collective presents their first-ever collection of menus for memorable occasions, with vegetarian specialties for every season.

Holidays and celebratory gatherings can present a challenge for vegetarian ...

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For three decades, the famed Moosewood Collective has prepared innovative meatless meals that have left vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike clamoring for more. Now, just in time for the thirtieth anniversary of their internationally acclaimed Ithaca restaurant, The Moosewood Collective presents their first-ever collection of menus for memorable occasions, with vegetarian specialties for every season.

Holidays and celebratory gatherings can present a challenge for vegetarian cooks who want to serve festive meals that will satisfy all of their guests. The Moosewood Collective has met this challenge brilliantly, with more than thirty-five ingenious menus that can transform even casual get-togethers into a party. Covering a diverse array of holidays and occasions both traditional and spur-of-the-moment, Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates provides the perfect excuse to get to-gether with friends and family more often. You'll find inspiring food ideas for all these and more:

  • Traditional holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Kwanza, Passover, Diwali, and Christmas
  • Family gatherings, from a casual Rainy Day Picnic on the Porch to an outdoor Labor Day Get-Together to a fully orchestrated Wedding or Commitment Celebration
  • Just-for-fun events, perfect any time of year, including a Tapas Party, a Birthday Breakfast in Bed, and a Sports Night Supper
There is even an additional section on versatile party nibbles and celebration cakes to choose from, plus a chapter of delectable foods you can make to give (or mail) as gifts.

Filled with practical advice on preparing holiday feasts with the minimum amount of fuss, and incorporating the rich flavors and ethnic influences that the Collective is renowned for, Moosewood Restaurant Celebrates is an indispensable assortment of lively vegetarian menus spanning a dazzling array of cultures and occasions.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Moosewood Collective and its Ithaca restaurant celebrate 30 years of good vegetarian cuisine this year. With the increased popularity in vegetarian cooking, Moosewood has grown and developed its style in its roster of popular cookbooks. This new volume covers festive occasions and holidays from weddings to Father's Day, Halloween to Kwanza, which are challenging for everyone and more so for the vegetarian cook or those with vegetarian guests. Divided by season and then by celebration, this volume offers for each occasion a menu with recipes and useful hints for timings and presentation. The dishes have a modern, international feel. From the Southwestern Dinner Party with its refreshing Avocado Citrus Salad that brightens the Winter section, to the luscious Chocolate Souffl Cake that would happily grace any dessert buffet, most of the recipes are simple to produce. The ingredients are described fully in a very helpful glossary, and the recipes carefully explained and often finished with alternative variations. After three decades, this book shows how vegetarian cuisine has come of age and can be appropriate for any occasion. (Sept.) Forecast: This well-produced volume, timed with Moosewood's 30th anniversary, should prove successful as more people have switched to or included vegetarian dishes in their diet. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
It's hard to believe that Moosewood, the venerable vegetarian restaurant in Ithaca, NY, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In its tenth cookbook, the collective offers 35 menus for holidays and other festive occasions, organized by season, from Juneteenth and the Fourth of July to Passover and Cinco de Mayo. Some recipes include fish and thus are not strictly vegetarian, but substitutions are often suggested. There are both vegetarian and vegan menus for Thanksgiving-often a "problem holiday" for those who don't eat turkey-and a list of all the vegan recipes. An introductory section presents tips on entertaining, and make-ahead tips are included throughout. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609609118
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/23/2003
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 7.64 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Moosewood Restaurant opened more than 25 years ago and was recently named by Bon Appétit magazine as one of the 13 most influential and revolutionary restaurants of the twentieth century. The Moosewood Collective has received three prestigious James Beard awards and is now marketing prepared foods starting with a line of all-natural salad dressings.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Read an Excerpt


For centuries, native cultures in the Western Hemisphere survived on the interdependent cultivation of corn and beans. In the Iroquois tradition of upstate New York, corn, beans, and squash—known as the "three sisters"—were the staple source of food. Grown together, the beans wound their vines around the sturdy corn stalks and the squash leaves shaded the ground, keeping it cool, moist, and free of weeds.

At Cornell University, the department of crop and soil sciences has been cultivating a demonstration garden of corn, beans, and squash to illustrate the caloric and protein advantage of the "three sisters" compared to crops of corn, beans, or squash alone. This garden is open to schools and visitors curious to learn about indigenous cropping systems.

Serves 8
Total time: about 1 hour

5 to 6 cups butternut squash (bite-sized chunks)
2 cups coarsely chopped red onions
2 tablespoons minced or pressed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons dried thyme (2 tablespoons fresh)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups frozen lima beans*
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (optional)

*canned lima beans, rinsed and drained, are also fine.

Preheat the oven to 450°.

In a large bowl, combine the squash, red onions, garlic, and salt. Evenly coat the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the oil and spread them on a large baking tray. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but crisp around the edges.

When the squash has baked for about 1/2 hour, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add the sage and thyme and simmer for just 4 to 5 seconds. Stir in the corn and lima beans and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes, until tender. Cover and set aside.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the roasted squash and red onions with the seasoned corn and beans. Add parsley, if desired, and serve immediately. This dish is fine to make ahead of time. Store it in a covered container in the refrigerator; then reheat just before serving.

From the Hardcover edition.

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First Chapter

Cottage Romance

Cabbage roses, whitewashed flea-market furniture, wrought-iron beds, faded vintage floral fabrics . . . cottage romance is all about easy charm, simple pleasures, and unabashed femininity. It's all in the mix: sparkling crystal chandeliers with timeworn painted pieces; chipped floral china with precious family heirlooms. White paint and slipcovers update and unify mismatched pieces; add in lots of personal touches.

Above: A monogrammed lace tablecloth becomes a feminine slipcover on a club chair in the bedroom. The tiniest crystal chandelier and wide-slatted plantation shutters turn this alcove into a special sanctuary, the perfect place to curl up with a good book.

Right: Small shades and a linen sleeve (concealing the chain) add polish to a dripping-with-charm chandelier in the dining room.

White Magic

Tucked away in a somewhat scruffy neighborhood in West Los Angeles is an amazing oasis of airy white charm. Enclosed in a garden brimming over with roses and hydrangeas, lush bougainvillea, a canopy of wisteria, and fragrant drifts of gardenia, this tiny California bungalow from the 1930s seems like an enchanted cottage happened upon in a forbidding fairy-tale forest. Indoors and out, white is the rule, not the exception, in furnishings forgivingly slipcovered in Marseilles spreads, peeling-paint cupboards and tables, wicker settees, and sheer floor-skimming curtains that dance in the breeze. And yet, this is also the cottage its owners call "the house that doesn't matter"-which is not a reflection of their sentiments toward their home but rather of their philosophy that scratches, spills, chips, and stains simply aren'tworth fretting over. The worn finishes, genuinely acquired patina of age, and washable slipcovers ensure that no one splotch or tear is likely to show or stand out. The style is "comfy casual," says Penni Oliver, who owns the house with Jean Bown. They have two dogs that are welcome to lounge on the furniture ("They basically let us visit and clean," jokes Penni), and they want guests to literally put their feet up.

Both Penni and Jean worked at a wondrous Venice, California, store called Bountiful, owned by Sue Balmforth, that both embodies and has influenced their style. After a yearlong house hunt in Los Angeles's stratospheric real estate market, they had grown discouraged about the prospect of finding something with charm that they could afford. Then one day a customer told them she was selling her house, and it was love at first sight. The bonus of buying from someone with similar taste was that the house didn't need any work (as the sales flyer said, "Just bring your toothbrush!"). On cross-country buying trips for the store, they had occasionally put aside finds for their dream home, and once they bought the house, "we cherry-picked everything else we needed from Bountiful," says Penni. "Except for the stove and refrigerator, everything in this house is old."

The look is white, light, and clean, with icons of romance in abundance: airy wrought-iron beds, candles and fresh flowers everywhere (a wonderful fringe benefit of their devoted attention to the garden), the reflective shimmer of mercury glass and crystal chandeliers, touches of vintage florals on throw pillows and curtains, and reminders of the nearby sea in bleached white starfish and shells. Beautiful lampshades Penni has fashioned from old lace come to light on vintage lamps and sconces; unexpected pieces like a medical cabinet serve as showcases for beautiful soaps and potions in the bath, arranged with all the care of an enticing store display. The existing wainscoting, French doors, transom windows, and plantation shutters imbue the house with a vintage charm that's amplified by a few thoughtful additions, such as the gracious corner cupboard with a swirly pediment in the dining room. Though the house is a diminutive 1,200 square feet, the consistent, calming palette and the way the interior opens up to the outdoors (furniture moves back and forth with ease) make it feel spacious and serene. Penni and Jean may call it "the house that doesn't matter," but any visitor can see that it clearly does.

An easygoing mix of cushioned wicker chairs and side chairs with ruffled skirts gathers around an old leather-topped card table. A compact table like this, with leaves for expansion, and the corner cupboard are good space savers in a small room.

Literary Lovers

Some of the classics that have shaped our vision of love and passion:

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Romantic Reads

Great love stories to get lost in:

Atonement by Ian McEwan
Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen
Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur S. Golden
The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Possession by A. S. Byatt
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Samurai's Garden by Gail Tsukiyama
Shogun by James Clavell
The Valley of Horses by Jean M. Auel

Above: Romantic touches in the bedroom-the zebra-striped I Married Adventure, Penni's vintage-lace lampshades, and an urn overflowing with flowers.

Right: A medical cabinet, fitted with glass shelves and stocked with soaps, lotions, bleached starfish, and shells, adds beauty to the bath.

Following pages, clockwise from top left: Perfume bottles, lilies, and a vintage photograph form a nostalgic dresser-top tableau. The old farm table, cut down to form a coffee table in the living room, was a gift from Sue Balmforth of Bountiful. Mercury glass on the mantel reflects the creamy glow of candlelight. Chenille and Marseilles spreads and lace-edged linens romance the bed.

From the Hardcover edition.

Copyright© 2003 by The Moosewood Collective
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