Friend Date Chronicles: Cooking Day

Many friends share my passion for food and cooking, but probably none more so than my friend Nicole. We chat daily about food, swapping recipes, sharing successes and disasters, and talking about the bigger issues around food and health. Even though she and her husband aren’t vegetarian, we’ve prepared many meals together and they are always supremely delicious.

Last week, Nicole and I decided to get together but we didn’t have a plan for what to do. The weather has been gorgeous here, so we discussed going for a hike in the Presidio, but Nicole lives in the East Bay and has made the trek the last few times to hang out. It was my turn to go to her hood. Then she suggested something that sounded great – a cooking day. We’d each bring 3 recipes and the supplies, cook together and then split the results. Each person ends up with six meals that can be popped into the freezer and you get to share the work.

I made roasted winter vegetable stew from Vegetarian Times; a butternut squash cashew coconut curry from Sunset Magazine; and black bean brownies from Joy the Baker.

Nicole made chana masala from Smitten Kitchen; carrot cake breakfast cookies from Oh She Glows; and individually wrapped and frozen breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs, spinach, black beans and sweet potatoes.

The beginning, when the kitchen was nice and clean.

Figuring out how to use the pressure cooker which was AMAZING. From dry chickpeas to cooked in 15 minutes. I clearly need one of these stat.

Browning lots of onions and butternut squash.

I’m so impatient when browning things! I have to walk away or I just keep stirring.

I got legit curry leaves at an Indian market. Very pungent and flavorful.

Best part about vegan cookies? You can eat the dough without worrying about salmonella!

Nicole’s dog Georgia being very loaf like. I think she would get along well with Hippo.

The finished products, minus the egg burritos which I forgot to take a photo of. Of course we tried everything. Surprisingly, and excitingly, everything turned out! We were both making new-to-us recipes so it was great that we didn’t have any duds. We sure know how to pick ’em.

Ah, kitchen destruction.

This was a great friend date and I would definitely do it again in a heartbeat. You come home with a ton of food and you don’t have be in the kitchen for hours by yourself. And you get double the recipes. Next time I would double  my recipes, which Nicole smartly did and I did not; but we still ended up with quite enough food. A great way to spend a Sunday!

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