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When your friend with the smoker suggests a summer potluck, it's tofu time. My pal smoked the two pounds I brought: one to take home, and one to tuck into MSV's own banh mi-style sandwich to eat and share on site. Because smoked tofu isn't nearly as rich as the eggplant in that recipe, it was necessary to cut back on the acid in the condiments a touch. Only half the chile sauce went on, and a couple extra tablespoons of oil went into the herb spread. The crowd seemed to approve.

What the crowd loudly approved of was dessert. Flipping through the trusty old second-hand copy of The Wine Lover's Dessert Cookbook while planning yielded this casual and delightful blueberry number. And it was already vegan (if you choose a nondairy milk for the milk).

These bars are sweet without being sugary, the blueberries take center-stage, and, happily, they're dead-simple to make. But the real genius is combining fresh and dried berries in the filling. During cooking, the fresh berries get soft and glossy and get you that sticky little corner piece pictured above. Meanwhile, the dried berries stay intact, plumping up and tenderizing into adorable, perfectly round bits that retain a touch of chew. So smart. Make a note.

Back with a new recipe next week. Until then, happy cooking out.

About the Party Animals posts: these posts contain brief mentions of other people's vegan recipes—and/or house-created vegan recipes—for special occasions, be they big, small, casual, or dressed to impress.