Friendsgiving with Green Grounds!

Hi all! Meigan here, posting for Laurel since she is up in the chilly state of Michigan competing at the cross country nationals! (Good luck, Laurel and UVa XC club team!)

Tonight, Green Grounds held their annual Thanksgiving potluck, now dubbed “Friendsgiving.” (I suggested the name!) The dinner was potluck style and BYOB – Bring Your Own Bowls (and plates, utensils, cups, etc.) — to minimize waste and keep things sustainable. Although it wasn’t planned, the dishes were all vegetarian. YUM. I’m here to report on what I brought to Friendsgiving and dishes that we brought up in conversation that would also be perfect for potlucks.

Homemade Rosemary Foccacia

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Carbs.What else do you need? Photo by yours truly.

This was one of my recipes and quite a hit if I do say so myself! I got this recipe when I took a cooking class around 2006 at my local community center. This recipe is so easy and the results are very rewarding! Definitely go extra on the Italian spices (I used a generic Italian spice blend from the grocery store) and go beyond adding only rosemary. For this time around, I also added pink Hawaiian salt crystals (a gift from a family friend), not iodized salt to give it a nice texture. Although it’s not in this particular picture, I added lots of grated Parmesan cheese which blends nicely with the spices. (In other words, 1 tbs of freshly grated Parmesan isn’t enough!)

Ingredients

3/4 cup warm water

1 quarter oz. package (2 1/2 tsp) of fast acting yeast

1/2 tsp sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp table salt

1 tbs freshly grated Parmesan

2 tsp freshly chopped Rosemary leaves

Coarse salt to taste

Lightly grease a glass 13″x9″ baking pan.

In a bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar and let it stand until foamy (about 5 minutes). In a small bowl, stir together flour, table salt, and gradually add the yeast mix until a soft dough forms. On a lightly floured work surface, knead the dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, cover the dough ball with the bowl, and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then, roll the dough onto the pan, pressing into the corners. Let the dough rise, covered loosely, and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

After about 25 out of the 30 minutes (depending on how speedy your oven is), preheat the oven to 400F. Sprinkle the bread with rosemary (or Italian spice blend), salt, and Parmesan. Press little indentations with your finger about 1/4″ apart and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Honorable mention: Sesame Ginger Tofu

Marinated Sesame Tofu. Image from ABeautifulMess.com

Sure, it’s not your traditional meal found at an American Thanksgiving table, but hey, it’s delicious and vegetarian! I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, A Beautiful Mess. I’ve made it before and let me say that it’s fantastic and filling. However, being a broke college student has resulted in me tweaking the original recipe a bit. When I make it for just myself, I skip the sesame seeds and the process of coating the tofu in flour and bread. While doing so does alter the texture of the tofu, I make it up by simply covering the tofu in one whisked egg before putting it on the stovetop. I still get a similar texture by doing so and it saves me lots of time.

Honorable Mention: Homemade Flour Tortillas

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Homemade flour tortillas, picture taken by yours truly. Recipe from ATableforTwoblog.com

I made these with a girlfriend last night and we had a blast chowing down on these babies and consuming vast amounts of lentil soup. I discovered this recipe on an excellent food blog, A Table for Two, and absolutely love the texture of these tortillas. Since the blog is “A Table for Two,” I do cut the recipe in half when I make the tortillas for just myself. However, even 8 tortillas proves filling when I eat them with a hearty soup! This recipe is a little more time consuming since you cook each tortilla on the stove. If you have the time, I strongly suggest you try this recipe!

This Friendsgiving was so much fun. A good time filled with great people. What more could you want? Friendsgiving was great being able to sample so many different dishes, from pizza to a marshmallow-pumpkin casserole! I’m already looking forward to next Friendsgiving!

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