Second to the last gathering! Wow. Hard to believe it. What a journey. But enough of that, I’ll save that for the wrap up post. Now that some time has passed we are definitely feeling the familiarity that time can bring. Over the last month, the group has since been whittled down to the final few. There is such an ease as each person walks in the door now. My stress levels over serving dinner have diminished. There is simply an ease over our gathering at this point. And this was one of the goals of Dinner & Discussion, to try and get people to commit to a period of time… to work through those sometimes awkward moments, to build security as we all share bits and pieces of our lives over the weeks. Now we are seeing the fruit of it. It brings joy to my heart when conversations start with things like; “I don’t have this all figured out but…” or “this isn’t the most polite way of saying this…” and the brutal honesty of, “This makes no sense to me.”
The familiarity and the thinning out of the group has certainly changed how I put together menus. It now feels like I’m cooking a family dinner rather than hosting a large dinner party. Not as many people means not as many dishes are needed. And as I tire from the weekly undertaking that is D&D, I find that I am allowing myself to simplify. With the fog returning to the coastside this week, it doesn’t get much simpler than chili.
Chili Con Carne: I don’t really have my own chili recipe so I went looking around for one. I loved the approach with this one in that it used chunks of beef rather than ground beef. Good overall flavor, a bit spicy but that’s what I get for using serrano’s instead of jalapenos!
Smoky Black Bean & Corn Chili: Yes, I made two different chilis! The above with meat, and this one, vegetarian. And you know what? I really liked the flavor this one over the one above.
Mini-Buttermilk Corn Muffins: I LOVE these muffins.
Taco Salad: No D&D menu is complete without a salad. Went more or less a traditional route with this taco salad, sans meat. Made a spicy dressing out of mayo, sour cream, salsa, and spices. Toss the dressing with crunchy greens and loaded it up with beans, tomatoes, avocado, cheese, and crunched up tortilla chips. Great way to change up salads.
Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies w/Ice Cream: I’m not sure what is so magical about chocolate chip cookies, a little on the underdone side, right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. But it is exactly that, magical. It truly never gets old.
Dinner and Discussion is a weekly gathering over a meal and discussion. Read more about this series.