For my first vegan potluck, I turned out some cashew butter blondies by modifying Vegan Diva’s recipe here. I used cashew butter instead of peanut butter, chopped macadamia nuts instead of peanuts, 2 flax eggs instead of egg replacer, and removed the chocolate chips. I topped them with coconut and let it toast for the final 15 minutes. They were very chewy and the salty-sweet cashew flavor really came through.

We had a spread of autumn casseroles — creamy crumb-topped macaroni and cheese threaded with spinach and nutritional yeast that was cheesier than the regular macs that I’ve tried, a pretty-hued pumpkin ziti that had a subtle sweetness lifted with caramelized onions, garlic chocolates that I didn’t try but regret being such a breath-watcher for, caramel apples, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, apple crumb muffins, pasta salad, and cranberry-topped cake with cream cheese frosting. Excellent company, too. It’s always interesting to be in a room with people who will talk about Silk Nog with you and not make you feel like a nerd about it.

Afterwards, I was too full to take on dim sum with my date, but I decided to try a couple of apps at New Harmony Vegetarian. I went with the fried chicken balls (funkiest chew texture ever?), along with a fried chinese doughnut stuffed with noodles (a pocket of grease that I was too disgusted by to finish), and something I love on rainy days, steamed veggie pork buns. It was then that we got the best fortune ever written: