Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dinner Party: Build your own nachos

We finally getting the boxes unpacked just before Christmas that were just dropped in the living room at our farm home after finally moving there last April, and after having a great time with both sons and one new wife home for Christmas (our other son's new wife is currently doing her doctoral research overseas, thus missed being with us this year), it was finally time to have a dinner party with some of our wonderful friends.

I wanted to invite some friends over before we 'put Christmas away' and wanted to make it simple for me and all of them, too. So I came up with the idea of 'build your own nacho supper'. I think I have confessed on this blog in the past that during ultra-busy times on the farm when we are too tired to cook supper late at night, one of our stand-by dinners is a very simple nacho supper with (relatively) healthy chips, black beans and garlic, roasted sweet potatoes, and home-made salsa as the bare bones of a meal. I usually would add some greens, as much for color on the plate as an added vegetable to this simple and quick supper.

So in some ways I thought 'bingo-easy!' but then I thought, 'oh no, so lame!' However, whew! I then remembered that I invited some of our best friends who were just happy to be together without any 'show' necessary.

We provided the chips, some pulled spicy chicken, some black beans with garlic, and our home-made salsa, asking our friends to bring a topping of their choice to add to the variety of options. I didn't say 'you bring xxxx and then so-and-so will bring yyyyy'. I just let it happen as a true pot-luck.

In addition, i also asked our friends to just bring any left-over holiday treats still hanging around the house to share.

It was GREAT!! What an easy and fun dinner!

There were no duplicates, none at all. Here is what was brought to add to our toppings:
• chopped cabbage and green onions from a local hoop house
• grated organic cheddar cheese
• guacamole (none of us are 100% locavores - avocados are very hard to give up!)
• multiple hot sauces
• roasted sweet potatoes
• caramelized onions
• roasted peppers and onions
• salsa verde
• I'll bet I have forgotten something that was scrumptious!

(Photo: Black beans with Spanish Roja garlic and one Thai chili pepper for a bit of a kick)
(Photo: Nachos and multiple hot sauces)
(Photo: Build it yourself nachos - yum, yum - oh I love good food!)
Desserts included two types of homemade pie: peach and apple (oh wow!), peppermint bark (oh-wow!), roasted almonds (oh-wow!), and some povitica (Italian rolled date-walnut sweet bread - oh wow, oh wow!). I'll bet I forgot something as everything was SO good.

Best of all? Sharing our new home, sharing our farm, sharing food, sharing conversations, being with friends and sharing the evening.

Here is the food blessing I read  before our meal that night:

We eat and we are revived, and we give thanks
to the lives that were ended to nourish our own.
May we merit their sacrifice, and honor
their sparks of holiness
through our deeds of loving kindness.

We give thanks to the Power that makes for a Meeting,
for our table has been a place of dialogue and friendship.

We give thanks to Live.
May we never lose touch with the simple joy and wonder 
of sharing a meal.

~~ Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro (b. 1951)    

Everyone raved about the meal. No one thought it was lame........ (whew!) :-) What would you have brought as a topping? Suggestions?     

Cultivate your life - you are what you grow - inch by inch, row by row,

Diana Dyer, MS, RD          


TeacherPatti said...

This could very easily be turned into a lady food blogger event!

What kinds of chips do you use?

Anonymous said...

If I had come, you would have had duplication, as I love fresh guacamole, so that's probably what I would have brought! And I might have brought some apple blackberry crisp.

Diana Dyer said...

Just like garlic, there is no such thing as too much guacamole! Ahhh, apple-blackberry crisp. I'm yours!

carley said...

Hi Diana,

hope you don't mind - I pinched your idea for my first event, however I'm in the UK and because we can only choose US charities I chose American Cancer Institute fro Research :)

Thanks for the inspiration & keep up the good work!


Heather Morgan, AICR said...

To Carley: Thank you for choosing the American Institute for Cancer Research to be the recipient of the funds raised from your dinner party event. We truly appreciate your thinking of us. We love this concept as a fun way for supporters to raise funds for AICR. If you would please contact me so I can hear more about your event as it will help us as we encourage others to do the same, I’d really appreciate it. Also, if you are thinking of having the funds raised go towards the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors’ Nutrition & Cancer Research Endowment at AICR, please also contact me so that I can ensure that the funds go where they are intended: Heather Morgan, AICR,, 1-800-843-8114.”