I love hosting friends at our house for dinner.
My friend Emily and I collaborate regularly on what we like to call family dinners. We'll make our favorites, or try out new recipes. Whatever the menu, it's always a tasty and lovely time.
This weekend she brought falafel from the best/easiest falafel recipe EVER. I found this recipe by visually searching on foodgawker (Go there now, I'll wait. ) I love searching for recipes on foodgawker because it catalogs many many food blogs, and it's a visual smorgasboard.
However, the recipe I found on foodgawker was based on the one that is found here here, which I find to be superb! I promptly shared it and am excited to share it again.
The falafel were eaten with pita pockets and a delicious cucumber dill sauce and gone before I even had time to take a picture!!
I made empanadas for my contribution to family dinner.
Easily intimidated by pastry, I haven't made empanadas (or many foods that require a crust or a dough... Ryan's the baker around this house) but I wanted to try it anyway. Even though it's not my forte I am not opposed to the occasional culinary risk. Sometimes I just have to get out of my comfort zone of chopping and roasting. Often it yields fantastic results (recall the ham) or a disaster... either way I have fun doing it.
I could have googled endlessly and found many opinions and methods on empanada dough, but I just needed one easy recipe from a trusted source. So I turned to my friend How To Cook Everything for a reliable dough recipe, and Mark Bittman didn't let me down. It was probably one of the easiest things I have ever made. It required flour, vegetable oil and water and my beloved food processor. I wish I would have taken a video of the dough coming together because it was awesome! And oh so easy.
Ryan helped roll out the dough and turn it into tiny 6 inch rounds...
The great thing about these little pastries, found in many cultures and by many names, is that you can fill it with anything you desire. I chose spicy sausage, peppers and a little cheese. I also made an apple filling for desert!
Yum. I look forward to more experiments with empanadas... and many more dinners with friends.