Book club tonight! Once a month I meet up with a group of lovely ladies to drink wine, eat food, and discuss the book we all just read (we get sidetracked easily though, so we don't end up talking about the book as much as you might think!). It's been almost two years since we started this book club (or should I say, my mother started this book club) and we have had some amazing reads! My favorites are historical fiction; I love learning a thing or two about a time or a place while getting lost in fictional characters. This month's book was a real winner, Orphan Train, by Christina Baker Kline.
I had never heard of the orphan trains, which apparently carried thousands of abandoned children from the East coast to the cities of the Midwest. The novel takes place in two different times, 2011 and the 1930's. Two orphans find each other, share their incredible stories, and find friendship where it was least expected. It's a fast read that kept me hooked until the end, I highly recommend it.
As for the club meeting tonight, I am, as usual, assigned to bring pupus (appetizers). This dish is inspired by the live cashew cheese we used to make at Mana Foods and the serving suggestion from Choosing Raw, only slightly adapted. I highly suggest you check out her version: raw herbed dill cashew cheese, and the rest of her blog as well! Raw cheese can be eaten as a dip or a spread for crackers or raw veggies. Or, in the case of my husband, with potato chips! Everything in moderation!
raw cashew + sunseed cheese
- 1 cup soaked cashews (drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup soaked sunflower seeds (drained and rinsed)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
Blend cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, and salt in food processor until completely broken down. While processing, drizzle in olive oil and water. You'll have to stop it a couple times to scrape down the sides. Blend until it is thick and creamy with no chunks of nuts or seeds.
- 1/3 cup fresh herbs (I opted for dill this time but I am curious to try basil for more of a pesto theme!)
Roughly chop herbs and add to food processor. Pulse to combine.
Serving suggestion: slice cucumber and arrange slices on a platter. Top with cashew + sunseed cheese, a caper or two, and off to book club you go. Or wherever you are taking this crowd pleasing pupu platter.