Last night a group of friends came over, each with a carefully prepared dish containing an ingredient she had never cooked with before. It was a delightful evening--new tastes, a beautiful spread, and lots of chatting and laughs. Here's the menu:
Tomato with goat cheese and basil: Shireen
Red curry soup with coconut milk: Robin
Roasted red pepper soup with coconut: Audrey
Omelet with potatoes, onions, and saffron: Marni
Spinach dip: Andrea
Quinoa with Mango and Curried Yogurt: Dianna
Risotto with mushrooms: Suzanne
Thai Spring Rolls with peanut sauce: Lindi
Cranberry muffins: Jenette
Gingerbread cakelets: Julie
Pumpkin cheesecake with pecan praline: me(yes--it's true--I've never cooked with pumpkin. I hate pumpkin pie but have grown to love pumpkin cheesecake, thanks to Jessica, the Carlyle, and the Cheesecake Factory. In fact, when I told my mother I was making pumpkin cheesecake, she said, "That sounds disgusting!" to which I replied, "and YOU are the reason I've never cooked with pumpkin before." She just didn't raise me to be that way. But I'm learning. Oh, I'm learning. And just you wait--she'll love my pumpkin cheesecake at Thanksgiving. Then she'll learn, too.)
And thanks to our two male participants--Scott & Aaron. Thanks for balancing us out!
And yes, I've had a thing with gourds this fall. There's something about their bubbly, bumpy, colorful, imperfect, prickly, warty skin and bright colors...