Last week, Nicole's friend Courtney joined us as we tried to figure out what to do with the gigantic, two foot long summer squash that my friend Beth gave me. Besides whacking each other over the head with it, of course.
We eventually decided to make a stuffed squash. I found a recipe that involved portobello mushrooms, quinoa and ricotta cheese... but Trader Joe's was sold out of the latter two, and we wanted to add whatever we'd gotten in our CSA pickup, so we wound up just mixing together some couscous, some strange, chewy grains from TJ's, tomato, green pepper and onion from the CSA, portobello mushrooms and queso blanco from the bodega. (Oh, and an egg to bind everything together... and a bunch of red pepper flakes... and some other spices I found in Nicole's cabinet.)
It reminded me of the kind of hippie meals we used to have at the co-op in college. Veggie- and grain-centric, cheap and tasty. It was good, especially for something that we basically just made up as we went along.
Dinner with Monica this week started out with Nicole's warm Brie and hot pepper jelly on crackers - an indulgent appetizer before a lighter main course. We got beets and tons of apples this week, so Nicole and I decided to make an apple, orange and beet salad with toasted walnuts and a side of corn. I roasted the beets, sliced everything up and drizzled it with olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Yum...
For dessert, the pendulum swung back to indulgent: warm, cinnamon-y apple crisp. I think I went a little too heavy on the brown sugar, so none of us could really clean our plates... but I think it'll be a good topping for some oatmeal later in the week.
I've still got last week's pears kicking around, so sometime this week, I'm going to follow Nicole's lead and make some pear-applesauce. (Her version was sooo good.)