Saturday, January 1, 2011

Better Than Take-Out

Happy New Year! I can't believe it is already 2011. This new year will bring many great opportunities. I will be starting college in 2 days. I will be taking a weekly ballet class starting next week. I am going to get certified to teach Zumba next weekend. I will also be starting a new job next week. It will be a year of learning and growing and more than likely a lot of change. But that's what life is about, right? 

To bring in the New Year we had some good friends of ours come over. Whenever I am going to have people over I have the hardest time coming up with a menu. I tend to over think and over stress trying to come up with something everyone will like. I had been going back and forth for awhile, and ultimately one of my Christmas presents made the decision for me. 

My dearest husband gave me a wok. He did his research and got a flat bottomed one because of our electric range. It is hand hammered, and he even watched a youtube video on how to season it and did that for me too. What I didn't know about seasoning woks is that you actually burn the oil onto it to create a non stick surface. I have made a stir fry and we used it to cook last night and it works great!! I love my new wok. 

I decided I wanted to do asain and came up with the idea of a dinner of appetizers. We all cooked together and when we finished a dish we would sit down and eat it. Then we would make the next one and eat it.

I was planning on taking pictures of each course. But, we ate it before I could get any. I have realized that I am not the best food blogger because I am always in the moment of eating and don't think about anything else. Hmm... maybe that should be a new years resolution. Take more pictures.

Our dinner started off with some Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps. Then we moved on to a palate cleansing Miso Soup with ginger, mushrooms, and garlic. After that we made Springs Rolls which Chris and Peter fried up nicely in the wok. While they were frying, Jessica and I rolled out some Fresh Summer rolls with cilantro, avacado, cucumber and bean sprouts. To dip our summer rolls in we made a fresh peanut dipping sauce compliments of Chris. For our final course, each person made their own sushi roll. 

We had such a great time cooking together. I loved that our dinner spanned three hours and there was a lot of funny moments and all the food turned out great! I like this idea of social cooking and I want to do it more often. 

After the guys helped us clean up dinner they went to watch the New Years Eve happenings while Jessica and I made dessert. We made Coconut Cupcakes with a Coconut "Cream" Frosting. I found the recipe off a neat blog called Veg Food and Fit. The cupcakes are made with coconut milk, brown rice and garbanzo bean flour making them gluten free, dairy free, and vegan. The icing is also dairy free, and has no powdered sugar. It is made out of coconut milk, evaporated cane juice, coconut butter and arrowroot powder. I was impressed by the texture and flavor of both the cupcake and icing. They were moist, had a great coconut flavor, and one of the best gluten free recipe I have ever tried. We iced half of them with the coconut cream icing and the other half with some leftover chocolate cream cheese icing. It was great both ways. 

We topped them off with toasted pecans and some unsweetened coconut shreds. 
Yummy, yummy. 

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