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african-themed appetizers, anyone?

last night's girls' night was a total success. we ate a lot, we chatted a whole lot and we made even more bracelets. i think wade and i are up to about 50 bracelets now (and i still have several friends that are sending more/making more over the weekend)! add a very long plane ride - and we'll have plenty to share with the kiddos! yay.

thank you so much for coming & making, girls!!!

of course, in the moment i didn't get my camera out! so i have zero pictures of the festivities and the lovely ladies that came to celebrate with me. :( wah wah. this is definitely something i need to work on. and a perfect excuse to have a round 2 girls' night.

i did however snap a few instagram pictures of the FOOD:

african appetizers!?! i was presented w/ quite a challenge coming up w/ an african-themed menu. and of course, i'm one of the crazy few that like to try something brand spankin' new every time i have company. lucky (this time) everything turned out super yummy!

so here's what i collected --- a yummy (and not too time consuming) spread:

1 // peppermeat kabobs (this was my favorite!)

ingredients:
- 2.5 lbs beef chuck roast
- 1 tsp meat tenderizer (not seasoned)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp seasoned salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp peanut butter (yes - peanut butter!)
- 2 sweet onions, cut into 1" pieces
- 2 bell peppers, cut into 1" pieces (i used an orange and a green for color!)
- 6" wooden skewers

1) rinse and cut your meat into 1" pieces. place in a freezer strength ziplock bag. add tenderizer, both salts and black pepper. zip the bag. then, roll the contents to mix well. marinate in the fridge for an hour or more.
2) add jalapeno pepper to the meat again rolling once zipped to mix well. place back in the fridge to marinate for an add'l 20 minutes.
3) add the olive oil and the peanut butter to the zipped back and again roll to mix. the peanut butter should evenly coat each piece.

4) alternate onion, peppers and meat on each skewer or for the carnivores in your life, make a few all meat skewers. place on a cookie sheet.
5) broil in the oven for 8-10 minutes. then serve!

2 // plantain chips w/ avocado banana dip

ingredients:
- a bag or 2 of salted plantain chips (i bought mine @ trader joes! or you can always make your own.)
- 2  very ripe bananas
- 2 avocados, pit and peel removed
- lemon juice

1) place the banana and avocado in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
2) lemon juice to taste.

3 // strawberry lemonade (okay this isn't african - BUT it's my ultimate favorite party punch!)

ingredients: (for a group of 10 girls - i doubled this!)
- 1 pack of fresh strawberries
- 2 bottles club soda (approx 30 oz each)
- 1 can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
- an orange, lime and/or frozen raspberries for garnish
- a bag of ice

1) wash and cut the stems from the strawberries. then in your food processor or blender, puree the strawberries. add them to your serving bowl or pitcher. (i have this ginormous anchor hawking heritage hill storage jar which is my favorite. and i server w/ a ladle.)
2) mix in the club soda and thawed lemonade concentrate.
3) add ice and your garnish. frozen raspberries are super pretty and float along the top w/ the ice. i also cut an orange and a lime into thin slices and drop them into the mix sideways. pretty pretty!

4 // krakelinge cookies w/ strawberry jam

ingredients:
- 1 cup butter
- 1/2 cup sugar + a bit xtra for sprinkling
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 3 cups of flour*
- 1 tsp baking powder

- chopped almonds (optional)
- fresh strawberry jam

*my fav gfree mix: 2c sweet rice, 2/3c potato starch, 1/3c tapioca flour + 3/4 tsp xanthan gum

1) w/ mixer, cream butter + sugar. add the 1 egg and mix well.
2) sift your flour(s) + baking powder (and xanthan gum). little by little add to the butter mix.
3) on parchment paper, roll aprox 6" long and 1/2 thick logs with the dough. loop them to make a figure-8 shape.
4) brush w/ egg yolk and sprinkle generously w/ sugar & almonds (optional).
5) bake at 400ºF for 8-10 minutes. transfer to baking rack to cool. serve w/ jam.

we also had butternut squash and chickpea cakes via cook eat live vegetarian. they were so yummy especially w/ the tomato chili salsa and the cucumber, cilantro and lemon raita. definitely a blog i will be cooking from again in the near future!



okay - now i'm super hungry!!! :)

3 comments :

Jamie said...

I had a blast! Such a fun night.

Elisabeth said...

YOu are quite the entertainer! wow, i'm impressed. next time you have a girls night you are welcome to invite me :)

i'm the newest follower on here a case of the mundays and i'm so excited i found your blog :)
-elisabeth
http://lavitaebella-elisabeth.blogspot.com/

foodblogandthedog said...

Hey thanks for the link-love! I'm so glad you a enjoyed them as much as we did. I love the themed food idea, I am so into Etihopian food at the moment, they have so many delish veggie options & I'm trying to perfect their flatbread/crepe called Injera, it's really good! Lovely blog btw!!

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