Last week, Mina went on a trip and wanted to cancel the event, but I wasn't gonna let that happen. Instead, I coerced Suzie into helping me host. So, we invited the League over for dinner. Here's what we made:
An unplanned leftover salad (my creation)! Mini sprouts, baby greens, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, old bell peppers, a few kinda squishy cherry tomatoes, a beet I didn't know what to do with, and roasted perilla, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. Dressed with olive oil, white wine vinegar, and some Italianish herb mix so kindly procured and exported by my mom.
Croutons made with multi-grain sesame bread, olive oil, and just a hint of salt and pepper. All credit to Suzie for these.
Suzie's pumpkin/carrot soup, with just a hint of curry.
Potatoes Donatella-style. I learned this from my host mom in Padova in 2005. Just cube the potatoes, swish them around in a mixing bowl with a bit of oil, salt, and rosemary, and then roast them for an hour. Suzie added a little twist: steam the potatoes first, so that they're a little squishier on the inside, but still nice and crispy outside.
I also woke up at 6 that morning to makee a giant pot of chili in the slow cooker - kidney beans, black beans, tomatoes, tomato paste blended together with an onion/bell pepper/garlic/red pepper powder sautee. It came out tasting OK, but was a little ugly, so there's no picture.
Low-energy CHOCOLATE FONDUE, the heat source for which was just 3 tiny little candles. Amazing.
And here's everyone having a great time:
This was my second time co-hosting the event with Suzie. It's a bit stressful in the moments beforehand, trying to whip everything up in the one-hour gap after work and before everyone shows up, but it really winds up being a blast making good food for your friends - particularly if you can make stuff they're not likely to have tried, even if the ingredients are all available.
Ah, also, the whole meal cost just about 5 bucks a person, and that's counting about five servings of leftover chili, too! I deceive you not!
Mina's out of town next week, too, which means that the 지구를 위한 채식 밥상 is coming to my place.
The menu is:
-Suzie's roast sweet pumpkin appetizer (uncharted territory for me.)
-Indian style cabbage curry (I made a test batch today - easy and delicious^^)
-Thai style curry with potatoes, coconut milk, and whatever other vegetables are available when I swing by the organic shop tomorrow (also going to be a bit of an experiment).
-Mixed-grain rice, perhaps with some sweet potato slices mixed in for good measure.
-And perhaps, if everyone is lucky, my patented peanut-banana-soy milk-powder of roast grain supershakes.
Can I just say, nothing beats food with friends?