Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Table for Four

This week we're going to focus on meals for a party. Matthew and I love to have other couples over for dinner.....all though, it doesn't always turn out well. Usually we have these big ideas and plan - what we think are crazy fun theme dinner parties and then we just end up having his parents over and playing dominoes.

Since we've moved to Samoa it's only gotten worse. We've found that while pologies or white kids like most Samoan food, most Samoan adults do not like pologie food. So we end up feeding our food to the kids who will eat ANYTHING....literally! They made a sandwich from pita bread, hummus, grape jelly, cucumbers, and kimchee. Now, I'm adventurous...but not that adventurous.

We've had some really fun theme parties though, mostly for Matthew's birthdays. One year was quinoa, which I've already mentioned. A few others included 'organic', 'salad bar', and 'squash'. Complete with poetry, artwork, and recipes to support the theme.

This weeks menu has flavors from around the world that are perfect for a romantic dinner for 2 or a party of 4 or more. So invite some friends over and show off your mad cooking skills. Don't worry, I'll give you all the credit.

Week Four
Monday: Sushi with Edamame
Tuesday: Fondue
Wednesday: Phad Thai
Thursday: Swedish Meatballs
Friday: Curry
Saturday: Mushroom Spinach Crepes
Sunday: Peanut Soup
Bonus: Thai Dessert Rice

Can you name all the places those come from? Go on, give it a try. Post a comment if you know. Matthew and I always like to try new foods. For example, for our second anniversary we went to "china town" in Las Vegas, which we had heard great things about. Turns out it was a strip mall that had a Chinese arch way at the entrance and a bunch of Chinese shops. For lunch we had heard about this great place where we could go for some killer dim sum. Honestly, I thought dim sum was some sort of soup....I know now. Dim sum is where people who don't speak English rush past you with carts full of things that you don't recognize but that they want you to eat.

The waitress so kindly seated us right next to the fish tank where a 10 lb guppy sat and stared at us the entire meal, pleading with us through his eye "please don't eat me." Finally, one of the whirling carts spoke broken English..."pork?" (we were asking ourselves the same question). Sure, we know what pork is, so we nodded our heads. "Shrimp?" We kept nodding. He then said something that we didn't recognize but we nodded anyway. He left us staring at our plates wondering if we had heard him right.

This was pre-vegan days so we started with the pork. It was a dumpling, which we recognized so quickly gobbled that down. Then we came to the shrimp....heads and all. Matthew handed me the plate and said, " make this look familiar" so I sat there, in that busy restaurant beheading, tailing, and "de-turding" ruffly 20 deep fried shrimp to the horror of the onlookers next to us. We then turned our attention to the third plate, looked back at each other, confirmed we had had enough adventure for one day and called for our check. I think now that I know what to expect I might like it a bit more but we'll have to wait to see if I'm right for some time far down the road. Hopefully these ingredients won't be as terrifying or foreign to you.

Grocery List
brown rice
nori/seaweed paper
garbanzo beans
Vietnamese chili sauce
veganaise
cucumber
avocado
edamama
red potatoes
artisan bread
broccoli
cauliflower
mushrooms
spinach
1 pkg masaman curry
2-3 carrots
lingonberry sauce or cranberry sauce
phad thai noodles
peanuts
cilantro
bean sprouts
green cabbage
2 cans coconut milk
peanut butter
tony's seasoning
1 bottle fruit juice ( ex: mango, apricot)
vegetable broth
soy free vegan cheese
"meat"

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