Friday Night Trilogy: Part 1 By, Lisa

Before we continue on our discussion of culinary matters, I’d like everyone to take a moment and think back to Thursday.  There was a terrible oversight in my first post and it’s important that I rectify the situation before I’m deemed a liar and a cheat. Remember the brilliant bagel tune we all enjoyed?  Well… as it turns out I don’t know how to play the guitar, nor do I have the capacity to record music and put it on the computer.  “But Lisa,” you may ask, “how did all of that magic happen?”  The answer is simple.  It’s all thanks to our good pal Ricky.  And not only did he postpone a date, play the guitar, record the song on his computer, harmonize with me on the chorus, and take me out for tapas and sangria (this went undocumented due to my first night AG status – please forgive us our trespasses as we forgive your trespasses against us), BUT he also has done us the biggest favor of all and lent me his digital camera for the duration of Adam’s absence.  So let’s all send Ricky e-cards, roses and diamonds as a thank you for keeping the dream of the Amateur Gourmet alive (please pick whichever item best suits your budget).

That being said, we can get down to business.  Oh wait – one more disclaimer.  Ricky’s camera ran out of batteries in the middle of my meal preparation, so you’ll notice an abrupt change in picture volume (and quality) at the point where I start using Annette’s camera phone instead.  I deeply apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but you can take solace in the fact that none of the dishes were really THAT good, so you won’t necessarily be attempting to recreate them anyway. 

So now let’s get started with the eating talks.  Friday night my lovely roommate Annette and I had some people over for dinner and lively conversation.  Our meal consisted of three courses: 

  1. The Appetizer: Artichoke-Pesto Roll Up Wrap Things
  2. The Main Course: Roasted Vegetables with Cous Cous and an Optional Spicy Peanut Sauce (you’ll understand later)
  3. Dessert: Butterscotch Pudding

As you may or may not have noticed, I’m a tad long-winded.  For this reason, I’m going to divide Friday’s meal into three posts so that those who are more interested in one item and not the others can be spared the trouble of trying to find it within one ENORMOUS post (and clearly this is also to make up for the fact that I haven’t posted since Thursday.  Adam would certainly flog me for that if he were in the continental U.S.).

So here we are at Part 1: The Appetizer.

This is a creation that Annette and I whipped up a few months ago and decided to recreate for our guests because it was that delicious.  It doesn’t come from a recipe book, which might be frowned upon in the AG world, but I’m going to throw it in here anyway in an attempt to “make it my own” (I think it would make the American Idol judges proud). 

This recipe is simple simple simple.  It begins with artichokes in a food processor:


Grind them up to your preferred chunkitude, and add in a simple pesto dip/spread. We also like to add a little lemon juice to this concoction and we recommend you do the same. 


In our case, our pesto dip consisted of garlic, ground pine nuts, basil, parmesan and cream cheese, but it can surely be tweaked to your liking.  I don’t have measurements for you (I’m beginning to see why this is less useful to share than an actual recipe…), but you can’t go wrong trusting your instincts.  If you have trust issues with yourself, start with the cream cheese and ground pine-nuts, and add in the other ingredients bit by bit until it pleases you.  And maybe see a therapist. 

We’re not sure if there was artichoke water left in the processor or if our cream cheese was too gooey or what, but our blend was a smidge watery.  But have no fear, the ever-resourceful Lisa-Annette team whipped out our trusty strainer and set things right in the world. 


We then spread the mix onto some wheat wraps.  After the fact, we thought they might have been better on spinach wraps or perhaps another wrap with some oomph, but the wheat wraps definitely got the job done.


All we did then was roll them up and slice them into handy appetizer-sized pieces for our guests to enjoy while we continued to fumble around in the kitchen for many minutes (hours) trying to put together the rest of the meal. 


What actually happened is that our friend Anna arrived about 20 minutes earlier than everyone else, and by the time the rest of the crew arrived the wraps were all gone.  Lauren and Kate cried.


But don’t think Anna’s a hog or anything, though.  Annette and I had our fair share as well.  The wraps were just REALLLY good and they make you want to eat them before your guests arrive.  You don’t have any control over it.  You’re not a bad person if you eat the appetizer before everyone gets there.  You’re still valuable to society.  Stop blaming yourself. 

And that brings us to the end of the beginning. 

But LISA????  WHAT HAPPENED NEXT??? HOW DID THE REST OF THE MEAL GO????  Stay tuned for Part 2 and/or 3, depending on your personal interests.  Do you feel like this is a choose your own adventure?  If you like dessert turn to page 134, if you like optional sauces, turn to page 88….

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