Tonight was exciting for sooooo many reasons! Where do we start??
Well let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. We invited a special guest this week to enjoy dinner and our newest reality show, SYTYCD. Juba joined us for the evening and SJ dropped in for appetizer before heading over the mountain and making his own dinner. After the initial excitement we settled down and enjoyed our appetizer of roasted chickpeas and a dill dip with sliced bell pepper and cucumbers. One of the best aspects of this BIV was the addition of a new game, banagram. This is a word tile game packaged inside a banana that we played a few rounds of. The game is fast paced, competitive and very fun! If you like word games, it is worth checking out - but I will admit that SJ and I both ended up as rotten bananas.
After recovering from our game we settled into preparing our main course which was comprised of the classic combo soup and sandwich; but this was BIV style. Our soup was based on a pureed blend of roasted vegetables becoming a smooth, flavorful dish. The sandwich was an awesome accompaniment for the soup. SB prepared the sandwich the night before by roasting eggplant, zucchini, squash and red peppers then placing them in hollowed cibatta bread with a pesto sauce and thick slices of mozzarella cheese. The sandwich was wrapped and placed in the fridge to allow the flavors to mellow. It turned out wonderful!
And then for dessert, we enjoyed a new treat with the tropical fruit mango. The mango crisp was a warm, bubbly fruit mixture topped with a macadamia nut mixture. We served it with a vanilla tofu pudding for an incredible finish to our great evening!
Now to top it all off we are watching SYTYCD and having a great time!


And Mom Makes Three . .

The BostonsInVirginia are cooking on Friday this week because we have a very special guest joining us. . . . . . . . our Mom! That makes three Bostons In Virginia! We knew we wanted to fix a special dinner for her since she came all the way to visit us and since yesterday was her birthday. So, we went back through our archives and chose some of our favorite dishes to put together the special birthday dinner. We invited the boys to join in, so really it was quite a party!
We started with appetizers and happy hour.We recreated a couple of our faves; Fig and Goat Cheese Bruschetta and Asparagus White Bean Tart. Both were very tasty while sipping on a cold beverage and catching up with everyone.
We moved out to the deck to enjoy our main course, a garden salad with potato gnocchi.
We rounded out the evening with a game of cards and lemon pie. It was a great night!


Cuban Fun!

Summer is here and what better way to celebrate than with a little foodie trip to Cuba. Well, SB and SH are still here in Virginia; but in our minds we are exploring the streets and flavors of our southern island neighbor (now that travel restrictions have been lifted, maybe someday we can actually go).

Our starter tonight was Spicy Corn Fritters. These fried patties were full of corn, green onion and fresh cilantro then spiced with cumin and coriander. The patties were served with a sweet and sour sauce that enhanced the flavor of the fritters.
The main course tonight was an adventure into the unknown for us. We were familiar with frozen black bean burgers that come in multiple varieties in the frozen food section at the grocery, but we had never ventured there from scratch. To serve burgers with chips is an American staple; but we took it to the next level with yucca. We chopped the yucca into thin slices, fried them in peanut oil, and finally sprinkled them with salt, chili powder and cayenne.
I cannot say enough about this combination- the burgers were a bit spicy and so much better than the frozen veggie burgers you buy. The chips were crunchy and flavorful (and easy!).
The sweet treat to finish off the evening was the Tres Leches Cake. This Cuban delicacy was a rich cake soaked in milk that we topped with fresh fruit. This cake was slightly sweet and feels like summer with the raspberry topping.
Another successful dinner!


Inspired by the Middle East

As our President is in the Middle East brokering world peace BIV are following in his footsteps (well, not literally but culinarily). Our meal tonight was inspired by the flavors and ingredients used in Middle Eastern cuisines. We began with a classic appetizer, hummus. Hummus is likely the Middle Eastern food most integrated into American culture. Tonight we made a traditional chickpea hummus enhanced with the flavor of roasted red peppers. We served the hummus with toasted pita chips, carrots and sliced orange bell pepper. We didn't plan on it, but this course was a delightful, monochromatic orange.

Our main dish tonight was again inspired by our favorite food blog 101 cookbooks. Heidi recently posted a recipe for Sweet Potato Falafel and we could not wait to incorporate this into a meal. We paired the falafel with a flavorful couscous enhanced with edamame, tomatoes and feta cheese. The flavors of the slightly sweet, yet spicy falafel with the creamy, peppery couscous were a perfect combination. The only change I would make next time is to add a dollop of cool yogurt to the plate.

The dessert was inspired by the combination of phyllo dough and cheese known as Knefe. Our interpretation was Sauteed Grape Napoleons with Red Wine Reduction which incorporated a goat and cream cheese mixture with toasted phyllo dough sheets. White grapes were sauteed then stacked in layers with the cheese and phyllo. The napoleon was a light cap to a wonderful meal and a dessert that will take a place among our favorites.

SB- What an amazing feast! This menu is one of my favorites that we have done. The flavors came together perfectly, especially serving the flavorful yet mild sweet potato flafel with the spicy couscous dish. The presentation of this dish was easy and elegent.

The dessert blew me away! It is easier than it looks, don't be afraid to try it. It is light and flavorable, and beautiful as well!