I just realized it’s been a long time since the last FND dinner post. With the snowpocalypse we experienced a couple of weeks ago and Valentine’s weekend being last weekend, our regular FNDs have been a little disrupted. We decided this weekend we would do a “girls retreat” with the ladies of the group. It had been a long time since we’d all got together and just talked, laughed, had fun, and just been able to be our silly, goofy selves.
We all met up at Taylor’s apartment before heading over to OMSI. I seriously can’t remember the last time I was at OMSI. Christina was able to get the 5 of us free tickets for both the OMSI museum and the movie theatre they have there. We had a lot of fun doing all of the interactive activities OMSI has available. And we spent some time in their chemistry lab, wearing super attractive goggles and doing some blood typing.
After our OMSI experience we headed back to Taylor’s apartment for some margaritas (it was National Margarita Day and we just had to celebrate that!). These few hours were quite possibly my favourite hours of the day. We sat around Taylor’s table and talked about a variety of things that you can only talk about with your girlfriends. We bounced from topic to topic telling stories, laughing about things, just having the best time.
Taylor made most of the food (recipes below), a delicious soup and a quinoa salad. I made Eat, Live, Run’s crock-pot Mexican hot chocolate (actually, my crockpot did most of the work) and we rounded out the night with some Tahitian vanilla gelato and Parisian chocolate. It was a very international dinner!
Mary brought her guitar and played some beautiful music while the rest of us sat on the couch in one big cuddle pile listening. Seriously, you all should listen to Mary play and sing. So, so good. We’ve all already decided she’ll be providing the music at everyone’s weddings. Yeah.
Adapted from Bon Appetit
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 13.5oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until carrots are softened, 15–20 minutes. Stir in broth, coconut milk, and 2 Tbsp. chili sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very soft and liquid is slightly reduced, 40–45 minutes.
- Let soup cool slightly, then purée in a blender until smooth. Reheat in a clean saucepan, thinning with water to desired consistency; season with salt and pepper.
Red Quinoa and Black Bean Vegetable Salad:
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup fresh corn
- 1 small avocado, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 4-5 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.
- While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.
- Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.
- Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Keep fresh in a sealed container for 1-2 days.
Crock Pot Mexican Hot Chocolate:
- 1 cup half ‘n’ half
- 4 cups milk
- 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out OR 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch sea salt
- In your crock pot, whisk together the half n’ half, milk and sweetened condensed milk. Add chocolate chips.
- Turn heat to low and cook for 1 1/2 hours. At this time the chocolate should be melted. Add vanilla and whisk in the cinnamon, cayenne, sea salt.
- Serve with whipped cream and cinnamon or marshmallows or both!
Happy eating, everyone!