My husband's coworker and his wife have two boys, 5 and 3. We've been trying to get their boys and our boys together for a playdate, so we decided to invite them for dinner. Success all around! The boys had a great (loud) rough and tumble (but no crying) play, and the rest of us enjoyed a dinner that pays homage one last time to autumn fare:
Fresh vegetables and yogurt cheese dip with olives and sweet pickles (a stand-by for me from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian). Recipe below.
Sirloin steak with gorgonzola sauce (a la Filet Mignon with Gorgonzola Sauce—all my favourite ingredients in one sauce!)
Buttermilk mashed potatoes
Roasted beet salad with beet greens and feta
Balsamic roasted kabocha squash
Homemade oatmeal raisin cookie ice cream sandwiches (from Sarah McClachlan's cookbook, Plenty)
Poured a Chilean Cabernet Merlot to go with, and enjoyed immensely.
Yogurt Cheese Dip
Okay, so if you've never made yogurt cheese, you should really give it a try. Dead easy, especially if you have cheesecloth on hand. I actually didn't this time, so did it the lazy way—just dumped a whole 750ml container of plain yogurt into a fine mesh sieve, placed it over a bowl, and let it drain over night. The resulting 'yogurt cheese' is the texture of soft cream cheese. The dip then calls for you to mix in:
• 1 large clove finely chopped garlic
• 20 pimento stuffed green olives
• a small handful of sweet pickles (I use homemade bread and butter pickles, but gherkins or any other sweet pickles would work)
• a pinch of something spicy (I use coarse ground chilis, often used in Korean cooking)
Mix thoroughly and serve with anything you can think of—potato chips go fantastically with this dip, but we served it today with newly dug carrots, kohlrabi and radishes. There's a lot left over though, so some of it might find itself placed next to a bowl of chips...