Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Birthday Dinner

Yesterday was the boy's birthday. In lieu of a big party this year, he decided a small dinner party would be preferred. We invited two couples we're friends with, and I planned a lovely vegetarian* menu which I neglected to fully photograph. I like to try to make something fancy for dinner parties. Casseroles and stir fries are great for week nights, but if we're having people over and I actually put down a table cloth, I want something a little dressier. Last night's menu was as follows:
First Course: French Onion soup with Gruyere Croistini*
Dinner: Balsamic and herb marinated grilled portabella mushrooms and baked tofu, coconut and nutmeg mashed sweet potatoes, homemade chunky cinnamon apple sauce, rapini with red pepper flakes, garlic, lemon and pine nuts.
Dessert: Peanut butter mini cheesecakes

I didn't photograph the soup or the cheesecakes, though I have cheesecakes left over so I'm going to try to get a photo before they all end up in our bellies. Dinner was very well received and enjoyed by all :)

* ZOMG WHY NOT VEGAN!? It wasn't my birthday. I don't eat French Onion soup to begin with because of my onion sensitivity, it's the boy's favorite soup and he asked me to make it for him. Considering the rest of the guests, as well as the boy, were omnis, and the rest of the meal, including the dessert, were vegan, I had no problem making him french onion soup with cheese as a rare treat.

And unrelated to all this -- I had to turn comment moderation on due to the high influx of spam I was getting in my comments. I LOVE the comments and support so keep 'em coming, and I'll try to approve them as fast as possible! As long as you're not trying to sell me porn.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lemon Dill Tofu

Has it really been 3 months!?

Actually, the last blog post coincided with when I started my new job. Now on top of the whole "PhD thing" I have a full time job, a part time job, and 3 hrs/wk at the co-op. Cooking has gotten interesting since I don't get home until 8pm 3 nights a week, and at that point, I don't really feel like cooking much. I've been experimenting a bunch with the crock pot and making casseroles ahead of time that the boy can put in the oven when he gets home. I need to find where I jotted down the recipes to a bunch of stuff I made up... but I did find the scrap of paper for this one, which is Lemon Dill Tofu. It is SERIOUSLY lemony, but in a good way. I served this with vegetable fritters from 500 Vegan Recipes. It's a good recipe, but instead of making 6 that all fit in one pan, like the recipe said -- it yielded more like 15 and took over an hour to cook them all. I wonder how big of a pan the author was using... Anyway, this is the recipe for my lemon dill tofu marinade. I marinated my tofu overnight, then baked it, and it was good.

Lemon Dill Tofu Marinade
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp tamari
1 clove garlic, grated or pressed
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp olive oil.

Mix all the ingredients together and use to marinate 1 lbs of tofu.