Anniversary Dinner

Wednesday was Mark and my 3 year anniversary. Hard to believe we’ve been together for that long. Even though it was also our first day of classes of our last semester, we still wanted to make our anniversary a little bit special.

For our first anniversary, I made Mark a Carrot Cake and we made Asian dumplings

For our second Anniversary, we were driving back to school, so we spent the night at a cabin in the mountains and I made pumpkin cheesecakes (which did not appreciate the bumpy drive up into the mountains… hence the cracks)

For this anniversary, we cooked in… I made Lebanese dumplings and we had some classy Ben and Jerry’s Stephen Colbert Americone Dream. The dumplings might not be 100% authentic Lebanese, but they were tasty.

Lebanese Dumplings

Quinoa

1 tablespoon of oil

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

2/3 cup of uncooked quinoa

1 1/2 cups of water

Spinach Dumplings (makes about 10)

2 tablespoons of oil

1 12 oz package of frozen spinach, defrosted and all excess water squeezed out with a kitchen towel

1/4 cup of bread crumbs

2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese

1 egg

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 of an onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

dash of cinnamon

1/4 cup of cooked quinoa

Meat Dumplings (makes about 8-10 dumplings)

2 tablespoons of oil

6 oz of ground meat (beef or lamb, we used beef)

1/4 onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

dash of cinnamon

2 tablespoons of bread crumbs

1 egg

1/4 cup of cooked quinoa

Yogurt Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup of  Greek yogurt

1/4-1/2 cup of water

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 clove of garlic minced

2 tablespoons of minced parsley

***read the whole thing through first… this recipe involves some multi-tasking

Start by cooking the quinoa. Add the oil to the bottom of a small pot, and then add in the cumin. Let it heat up for a minute over medium high heat then add in the quinoa and water, stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, put a lid on the pot and let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed, stirring occasionally.

While the quinoa is cooking, start to prepare the spinach dumplings…take a medium sized bowl and add in the spinach, bread crumbs, parm, egg, spices, garlic and onion. In another medium bowl start the meat dumplings… add in the ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, spices, garlic, and onion.

Then make the dipping sauce by combining the yogurt water, garlic, oil and parsley in a bowl with a whisk, then set aside. At this point the quinoa should be almost done so heat up two large skillets over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil to each and preheat the oven to 350. When the quinoa is done, add 1/4 cup of quinoa to the spinach and 1/4 cup to the meat. Mix the meat mixture together and form it into 8-10 meat balls, place them in one of the frying pans. Wash your hands well, then mix together the spinach mixture and form into 10-12 balls and place in the other frying pan.

Turn all of the balls, meat or veggie, so they can brown on each side. Once browned on all sides, transfer them to two sheet trays or pans (I used a pie pan and an 8×8) making sure to keep the meat separate from the veggie. Place them in the oven for about 10 minutes until they finish cooking through. Remove from the oven when the meatballs are no longer pink in the middle, or until they reach your desired done-ness. Spoon quinoa into the bottom of a bowl, top with dumplings of your choice and spoons some of the yogurt sauce over the top.

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