Feeling less creative than usual, and with comfort food weather coming, for the last Girls Cooking Night we decided to all share with each other some of our favorite go-to dishes - the kind you make so often you don't need a recipe.
As so often happens serendipitously with our group, we ended up putting a together a very balanced meal, and a colorful one at that.
We started out with Brownie's sweet potato soup (a dish that she passed on to me years ago and has become one of my favorites too). The secret to the pureed soup is peanut butter (of the Skippy or Jif variety), sriracha sauce, and a squeeze of lime.
My old favorite contribution was beet pasta (click the link for instructions), passed on to me from a German former co-worker of mine. I also made a second dish - first time making it, but hopefully soon to be an old favorite. That was Kenny Shopsin's mac and cheese pancakes. After seeing him make them with Conan O'Brien, and then tasting them in the restaurant, I had to try them at home.
We also had Melissa's kale with feta and raisins - I'm usually not a big fan of kale, but this had me going for seconds! And Marian's delicious chicken curry - I took some for leftovers and was so happy having it for lunch later that week - nothing like sitting at your desk nose all runny and mouth all tingly with the scent of garam masala and cardamom wafting from your office.
For dessert we had Debbie's famous banana mocha cake. I once watched a chubby little 12-year-old kid eat about half this cake single-handedly. It served as a birthday cake, but I won't tell you which one of us is nicknamed Chip.