Saturday, September 24, 2011

T'was a Good Night

   Last night was filled with awesome people, great food, and a little too much Sangria. Unfortunately, you won't be seeing any of it.  My camera decided to throw a temper tantrum and would not cooperate. After 15 minutes of frustrated button pushing and cursing, I decided to Just. Walk. Away. So, I went on to enjoy my evening with all the good food and good company, sans picture taking machine. (There were also plans for a homemade photobooth, that were obviously thwarted by said camera. Argh.) Why it did not occur to me to take some shots with my iPhone, I cannot tell you. Can copious amounts of Sangria cause absentmindedness? Maybe.
   I should note that this was not the camera I purchased for my trip. That picture taking machine has been returned, but that's another story for another day.
   Anyway, back to the task at hand. Even though I am limited in sharing images from last nights festivities (the shot above taken with Instagram is the lone survivor) I thought I could share a few recipes that I made.  If your eyes can't be pleased, perhaps your taste buds can.

   Our main course was Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew. I got the recipe from Alicia Silverstone's cookbook, The Kind Diet, and it was definitely a crowd pleaser. Made with yummy flavors like tumeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon, this meal is hearty and warm, and very much feels like an Autumn dish. I served mine with brown rice, and my friends contributed cornbread and roasted veggies to round out the meal.

Sweet Potato-Lentil Stew
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
Fine sea salt (optional)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4” cubes
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup brown or red lentils


Heat two tablespoons of the broth over medium heat in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for two minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and ginger and cook for three minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt, if using. Cook and stir for two minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.
Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.

***One quick word of warning, this makes enough to feed a small army! We hosted 14 last night, so I made two batches as it said it was for 6 to 8 servings. The second batch was partially dispensed in takeaway containers to my friends and the rest is in my fridge. This meal would be really great to freeze though if you were made it and were left with a ton leftover.

   For the main course dessert, we had s'more cups (pictured above, before the last step of dipping in melted chocolate) and ginger cookies, served with vanilla ice cream. It was pretty ridiculous.  The ginger cookies were 'scratch baked' cookies that you can just throw on a cookie sheet by Immaculate Baking Co. They are awesome, and don't have any of the nasty crap like hydronated oils or high fructose corn syrup. Kuddos to JB for knocking these out like a regular Betty Crocker. The s'more cups I made from scratch, but are super simple and quick. These may be my new go-to when I need something to bring to a party, or just on a random Thursday. After finding these on Pinterest, I got the recipe from Texas Cottage.

S'more Cups

7  whole graham crackers (1 cup finely crushed)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
4 bars (1.55 oz each) milk chocolate candy, divided
12 large marshmallows
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place graham crackers into a large resealable plastic bag. Finely crush into crumbs. Combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and butter in a small bowl.
Place 1 tablespoon of crumb mixture in each cup of a mini muffin pan. Press crumbs to form shallow cups. Bake 4-5 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Meanwhile, break two of the candy bars into rectangles. Remove pan from oven; place one rectangle into each cup. Cut marshmallows in half crosswise using shears dipped in cold water. Place one marshmallow half, cut-side down, into each cup. Return to oven 1-2 minutes or until marshmallows are slightly softened. Remove pans from oven to cooling rack; cool 15 minutes. Carefully remove cups from pan. Cool completely.
Break remaining candy bars and place in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring every 20 seconds. Dip the top of each marshmallow in melted chocolate. Turn top-side up and let stand 40 to 60 minutes or until set. Makes 24 cups.
   Very quick and easy, both to make and to inhale.
    We haven't been the best about taking the plunge and having people to our house. Yes, I admit it, we are that couple, always willing to show up to the party, but never throwing one in return. But NO MORE! Last night was a lot of work, but super, super fun, and I can't wait to do it again. With a camera.

   Autumn seems to be a favorite time of year amongst so many, I'm curious, how are you guys welcoming in the new season?


1 comment:

  1. glad you had an awesome time!! and thanks for sharing these recipes, maybe make some from thanksgiving!