These Cooking Playdates are quickly becoming the highlight of my month! I have such a great time cooking, sharing tips and laughing with the great women in the group :)

We started off this session with a theme which was: no oven! Yes, that's right, so far, we have been making dishes that mostly require using the oven and we realized that not many people own an oven so we need to change our cooking methods. So this time around, our recipes were "oven-free": Creamy Mushroom Spaghetti, Rosti and Chocolate Pudding.
First on our list was to make the rosti and we had such a good laugh and learned so much while making this. You see, Dinda had prepared all the ingredients in advance and after explaining all the steps needed, she started to heat up a pan and start frying the rosti. Unfortunately, they became all sticky and burnt! After using 5 different pans (yes, I kid you not!), we realized that a) the oil was probably not hot enough and b) the rosti preparation probably needed to spend more time in the fridge before frying so that the cheese wasn't gooey and all sticky when put in the frying pan. So you see, our sessions don't all end in perfectly presentable dishes but I can assure you that the rosti (though unpresentable) was delicious :)
The creamy mushroom spaghetti was super easy to make; a mixture of mushrooms, garlic, spaghetti, cream and parmesan cheese. Nothing could have gone wrong there! And it indeed turned out to be as delicious as we thought it would be.
Our dessert was something that I made and found in Laurie David's cookbook "The Family dinner" and I'll post it here since it's real simple:

Chocolate Pudding Fast

You need:

½ cup sugar

2 tablespoon cocoa powder

3 tablespoon cornstarch

3 cups regular milk

120 grams good quality milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

How to make this:

Stir the sugar, cocoa powder and cornstarch together in a medium-size saucepan. Gradually stir in the milk. Heat, whisking constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil and thicken, about 10 minutes.

Add the chocolate. Turn off the stove. Gently whisk until the chocolate is completely melted.

Stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour into small custard cups. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 small or 4 generous servings

The Cooking Playdate now has a blog of it's own, slowly being updated with the full recipes so check it out: http://thecookingplaydate.blogspot.com/. I'll post the other recipes from this session very soon so wait for it!

Why don't you start a cooking group of your own? If we can inspire you to learn to cook, share recipes and talk about food with your friends, family and kids, the world could be a happy, healthier place :)