Matt and I have an informal resolution to invite friends over at least once a month for dinner. It's "informal" because I like to set quantifiable goals that guide all aspects of my life, while Matt prefers to handle things like dinner parties more organically.
Claire and Jorge came over at six, and the four of us (plus Hoss) descended upon the kitchen and started making dinner: Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew + Fudge Brownies with Walnuts (from scratch).
Claire and Jorge gave Matt the recipes for his birthday back in November, and we've been trying to get together ever since (hence the reason we made a "winter squash" in spring).
Even though our kitchen is relatively small, we each managed to find a working space and got started.
Here's what we made:
Thai Tofu and Winter Squash Stew
- 1-3 medium leeks, white parts only (we used a white onion instead)
- 2 T. roasted peanut oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 serrano chiles, minced
- 1 T. finely chopped ginger
- 1 T. curry powder
- 1 t. brown sugar
- 3 T. mushroom soy sauce
- 1 15 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1.5 lb. butternut squash (we found this in the frozen section)
- 1 10 oz. package silken tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- juice of one lime
- 1/2 c. chopped peanuts
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
- Heat the oil in a wide soup pot.
- Add the leeks/onions and cook over fairly high heat, stirring frequently until partially softened (about 3 min.).
- Add the garlic, most of the chiles (less, depending on your spice preference), and ginger, cook 1 min. more.
- Add the curry, sugar, and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to medium, scrape the pan, and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add 3 C. water, the coconut milk, squash, and 1 t. salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for 15 min.
- Add the tofu, fried or raw, to the stew once the squash is almost tender. Then simmer until it's done.
- Taste for salt and add the lime juice.
- Garnish with lime, cilantro, and peanuts.
- Nonstick vegetable oil spray
- 5 oz. + 3 oz. bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 C. (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 2 C. sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 t. vanilla extract
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1 C. all purpose flour
- 1 C. chopped walnuts (optional)
- 1 C. (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Spray 9x9x2-inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Stir 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, butter, and unsweetened chocolate in medium saucepan over low heat until smooth.
- Remove from heat.
- Whist sugar, eggs, vanilla, and salt in large bowl until fluffy.
- Stir in melted chocolate mixture.
- Mix in flour, then nuts and chips; spread in pan.
- Bake until tested inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached (about 35 minutes).
- Top with vanilla ice-cream. Yum!
Here's a picture of our compost (we keep it in a tupperware cupcake holder in the refrigerator until it's full and we move it outside). Plus, you can see the cool dishtowel Claire knitted for us for my birthday.