Tag Archives: cooking

Vegan supper club #3

Last Wednesday my friend Tracey and I had our third supper club. Each month or so we get together to cook a vegan meal (Tracey is vegan, I like trying vegan recipes… it’s the perfect set up!) using recipes from our cookbooks and Pinterest boards. I posted about our first two supper clubs back in August in this post where I also gave some tips for starting your own supper club with friends!

Vegan supper club #3

Since it’s officially apple season, we decided to go with an apple theme. The first dish we decided on was an apple and squash soup from Terry Walter’s cookbook Clean Food (read my review of it here). I was flipping through the cookbook before bed one night and I bombarded Tracey via text with pictures of different pages of recipes I thought looked good. I wouldn’t do that with anyone else for fear of annoying them to death… but I knew Tracey would appreciate it since she’s as crazy as I am. She loved the look of the squash and apple soup, so we added that to our menu.

Vegan supper club #3 - Squash apple soup

We found the soup was a bit lackluster, but its flavour was really improved once we pureed some roasted butternut squash into it (the squash we bought was huge, so we only used about 2/3 in the soup originally and roasted the other 1/3 separately, planning to just use it in the salad). I also found it tasted even better the next day after it thickened up in the fridge a bit.

Obviously the best side for a soup is biscuits, so we made this recipe from Minimalist Baker. The dough turned out quite sticky it first, so we had to add a lot of extra flour, but they eventually turned out perfectly! The texture was great too – just like a biscuit made with butter.

Vegan supper club #3 - Vegan biscuits

We rounded off the meal with this garlicky kale salad from Eating Bird Food to which we added some of the extra roasted butternut squash. I’m a dope and forgot the giant bunch of kale I bought at home, so we had to use a mix of kale and spinach from Tracey’s fridge. It was delicious though!

Vegan supper club #3 - Garlicky kale salad

Last but not least is dessert. Originally we wrote down a whole wheat apple cake on our menu, but the night before our supper club I was browsing Pinterest and I saw that Tracey had pinned a droolworthy apple tart. I messaged her on Facebook and said “OMG that apple tart you pinned” and she replied “It’s not too late to switch…” to which I said “DONE.”

Our version of the apple tart looked nothing like the author’s (i.e. ours looked kind of ugly), but it was delicious! You can never go wrong with any recipe involving a coconut oil based crust and dates.

Vegan supper club #3 - Apple tart

As we were feasting on the fruits of our labour, we chatted about our plans for October’s supper club. We’ve got an awesome menu planned – I can’t wait!

Have you been doing any cooking or baking with apples lately?

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5 tips for starting a supper club with friends

Do you guys ever get in cooking ruts?

I do. All the time. I’ll go to the farmers market and buy the same vegetables as always, and then make the same boring stir fry (ok, it’s not boring, it’s actually really good – but isn’t there a saying that “variety is the spice of life”?) three times in a week. There are tons of new foods to try at the farmers markets, and tons of recipes at my finger tips on Pinterest, but yet I don’t take advantage of them because I feel too busy or overwhelmed to plan to try a new recipe.

But recently I’ve found a solution: a starting a supper club with my friend Tracey (who just so happens to have recently started a blog – check it out!).

She loves cooking and trying out new recipes as much as I do, so it’s the perfect set up. We’ve done our supper club twice so far (check out our first dinner here) and I think we’re aiming to do it monthly because there are so many perks, like:

  • Splitting the effort of cooking labour intensive recipes
  • Sharing ingredients so that you don’t have to spend as much
  • Lots of leftovers to ease the burden of cooking for the rest of the week
  • Getting to enjoy a delicious meal with friend(s)!

Last week we got together for our second supper club:

We started with a cabbage hemp salad from Kris Carr’s cookbook Crazy Sexy Kitchen. It had avocado, cilantro, and lime in it, which is always a great flavour combination.

Supper club

For our main course we made these lentil beanball subs with sauteed kale marinara from Veggies Don’t Bite. They were pretty time consuming since we had to make both the beanballs and the marinara (thank goodness we precooked the lentils, or else it would have taken us even longer!), but the effort turned out to be well worth it because they were really good!

Supper club

We finished off with Oh She Glowssummer stone fruit crisp, which we both really enjoyed but felt could have used a pinch more salt in the topping to bring out the flavour of the coconut. That would just be a small improvement on an already delicious dessert though!

Supper club

Are you interested in starting your own supper club? Here are my tips based on my experience so far:

5 tips for starting a supper club with friends

1. Before starting a supper club: Choose a person or group of people who are on the same page as you. Are you an adventurous eater? Make sure they are too. Do you want to try lots of ethnic dishes? Make sure that’s what they want to do too. Do you want to make budget dishes that won’t break the bank? Make sure they’re on board with that too. It’s also a good idea to make sure all dietary preferences and allergies are known.

2. Create a Pinterest board for your supper club: This is a great way to share recipe ideas for menu planning. And also a great excuse to waste way too much time browsing Pinterest.

3. Make a shareable grocery list: Write up a grocery list with all the ingredients and amounts needed, then send it to all members of the supper club (or share it on Google Docs) so that everyone can fill in what ingredients they already have at home or volunteer to buy ingredients that need to be bought. This also acts as a good resource in case someone forgets one of the cookbooks you need to cook from, which I totally didn’t do (except, I did – luckily this list allowed us to make the recipe without it though!).

4. Read the recipes first: To make sure that the recipes are doable within a few hours and to find out what cooking equipment and appliances are needed. We write all the cooking equipment and appliances that will be needed directly on the grocery list so that the host can make sure that he/she has them in their kitchen. Because grating carrots is pretty hard without a grater! This happened to me once at a friend’s house… let’s just say we ended up with a very crunchy carrot cake.

5. Cook a double or triple batch of the recipes: If you’ve got the capacity to do this, it’s definitely worth it so that everyone can have some leftovers for the week!

Have you ever done a supper club with friends? Any other tips?

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Weekend recap: all about cooking

You know what I’ve realized? My weekends totally revolve around cooking. Some people might find that boring, but I kind of love it. Since I don’t get the chance to cook much/at all during the week, it’s nice to spend some solid time in the kitchen on the weekends doing what I love.

With the exception of Friday nights… I’m usually so exhausted by Friday at 5 pm that the idea of cooking makes me wince. So when I got home and my dad said “Hey Chels, want to order Ichiban?” I could not have been more in agreement!

Ichiban sushi

Surprisingly it gave me just enough energy to whip up a batch of soup for dinners next week. Yeah, I spent my Friday night cooking. Hashtag lame-o.

And then I spent Saturday wanting to hurl my DSLR camera across the room as I attempted to learn how to use it when taking photos of the soup. What do all the buttons do, what does AE-L mean, and why the heck did all my pictures turn out so disgustingly bright?!

8March8

Clearly I’m not becoming a professional photographer anytime soon. Professional recipe tester though? I could get on board with that. I spent the afternoon making yet another recipe from Oh She Glows’ cookbook. Everything I’ve made so far has been delicious, and these Glo Bars are no exception. I have a feeling this batch won’t last long…

Glo Bars from Oh She Glows

Later on I continued my cooking spree by making dinner for JZ and I. I decided to try making a cheesy sausage baked pasta, which was a good idea in theory, but it turned out on the drier side. It was still really good, but it was a hundred times better when I heated up the leftovers with extra tomato sauce the next night.

Skillet cheesy baked sausage pasta

I made up for the dry pasta with dessert though! Earlier in the week I made super rich chocolate ice cream using this recipe. It was amazing on its own, but the addition of homemade crumbled brownie and almond butter totally took it over the top.

Chocolate ice cream with brownie and almond butter

Breakfast the next morning was another big production. I had been promising JZ homemade breakfast sandwiches for weeks, so I finally made good on my promise. I used this recipe to make the biscuits and then put out some fried eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese so we could make our own sandwiches. Then my parents invited themselves to join us and stole half our food! But mom did the dishes for us, so I guess I can’t complain.

Biscuits, eggs, bacon, fruit salad

That meal marked the end of my cooking duties for the weekend, so I hung up my figurative apron (I need do dig out my real apron from the boxes of all my university stuff in the basement!) and then I went to the gym to do a solo spin workout while reading Fine Cooking. Even when I’m not cooking… I’m apparently still thinking about it!

Fine Cooking on spin bike

Do you cook more on the weekends or on weekdays?

How the heck do you use a DSLR camera?!

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