Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dinner Party

So my good fried Rachael (Nature's Ninja) and I decided to get together to throw a dinner party for the boys. We scoured cookbooks for recipes and settled on making:

Spaghetti Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Vegetable Rice Pilaf from How it All Vegan

Apple-Peanut Butter-Caramel Bars from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Here are a few photos from our adventure:
We went to Whole foods to gather all our ingredients. We bought this crazy hot sauce from Africa and completely forgot to use it. Which I guess was okay because the spaghetti squash ended up super spice on its own.

This is Rachael, she's super pretty. She's also working on the dessert. It was amaze-balls.

Pineapple for Salsa Fresca #1

I chopped the mango for Salsa Fresca #2. Rachael had me keep the peel on. I never tried it before but it was totally worth it. I highly suggest you try this. Yes. YOU.
This was onion and jalapeno for the spaghetti squash. I seeded most of the jalapenos, but whew! They were still super hot. My hands were burning!

Anaheim pepper, plus red, orange, and yellow sweet peppers for the rice pilaf. See my awesome ceramic knife? It's awesome. However.... I chipped the tip of it. Oops.

Those are the tiny sweet peppers. So cute!

More pilaf cooking.

Table almost completely set up.

Everyone sat down to eat. Rachael, Brian, and Kyle. 

Brian eating. I keep looking at those bananas, we didn't eat them that night, but now I want one!

Kyle is a silly man. 

Rachael and myself, enjoying the Salsas Fresca and chips. We like to look nice for our dinner dates. 

This was the most yummy apple crisp almond butter treat. 

 This is the love of my life. I am not ashamed of this photo. He actually looks quite nice when he's smiling like a human and not a jack-o-lantern. 

Okay so we may have looked all smiley but you're probably wondering: How was the food?

Squash Mexicana with Tropical Avocado Salsa Fresca 
First Reaction:
This was a pretty good recipe- the salsa was amazing.
What we changed:
The salsa calls for mango, pineapple or papaya. I made the salsa with pineapple, and made another mango salsa on the side. 
We also used pinto beans instead of black beans.
Overall thoughts:
If I were to make this again, I would use one jalapeno instead of two. They ended up taking over the flavor. I would probably toss a few fresh tomatoes in after as well. 
However, it was pretty good and we're eating leftovers!

Vegetable Rice Pilaf 
First Reaction:
This had a bland flavor.
What we changed:
We slightly burned the rice. Oops! Also we used cilantro instead of parsley because we had a ton from the salsas.
Overall thoughts:
Okay I get it, we toasted some rice on the bottom of the pan. But that ended up being one of the most interesting flavors in this recipe.  I don't know why, maybe with more salt, or peppers, or other spices it would have been better. 
I ended up mixing most of the rice with the spaghetti squash and it was pretty good then.

Apple-Peanut Butter-Caramel Bars 
First Reaction:
YUM and amaze-balls.
What we changed:
Almond butter instead of peanut butter. Brown sugar instead of white sugar. Agave instead of maple syrup. ALSO! I misread the recipe and bought 3 apples instead of 3 pounds of apples. HA! So we used a smaller pan.
Overall thoughts:
Okay even though we changed so much- this was one of the best desserts I've eaten in a very long time. Thank you Veganomicon for bringing this too my attention!!!

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