Hooray for long weekends! I spent the bulk of it cooking - it was nice to get back in the kitchen and be enthused and excited again.
On Saturday we went to visit my dear friend Emily, her partner Mark and their lovely wee girl Audrey. Em and Mark bought their first house recently and moved in about 6 weeks ago. I was keen to see their new place, but as Em is rather pregnant at the moment (she's due next week!) I offered to cook them dinner in exchange for a nosey beak and a play with Audrey. Win win situation!
What to cook, what to cook? I've never been of the mindset that, when cooking for friends, you should only use recipes that you have made before. If you can't experiment on your friends, what's the point? (That, and I have enough faith in my cooking skills now that I reckon I could salvage a dish even if the recipe was crap.) I spent a fair bit of time browsing my cookbooks and the internet and settled on a chicken and date stew from taste.com.au. (I did take a photo, but it didn't look terribly appetising so I won't bother posting it.)
The dish turned out great - it had lots of flavour from all the spices and the dates added a final bit of sweetness. I've said before that I'm not sure about fruit in savoury dishes, but perhaps I'm warming to it. I served it with cous cous that had sultanas and pepitas stirred in. It was nice to have the bits of crunchy pepita and almonds as a textural difference.
And dessert, of course I made dessert! Dessert was
chocolate and pear muffins with chocolate syrup (recipe also from taste.com.au). They look like it took a fair amount of effort to make, but they were actually quite simple to put together. Though I did almost forget to add the eggs... I might have a different opinion if I hadn't reread the recipe just in time! The muffins were quite dense and rich, with the pear in the middle helping to break up the chocolate. They look gorgeous and are worth making, I reckon.
Chicken and date tagine/stew
Chocolate and pear muffins with chocolate syrup