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Good Food, Good Friends

March 28, 2011

In college, my group of friends spent a lot of time talking, eating and goofing off.

Some things never change.

Even at age 25, when we get together it feels like being back in college. Except that instead of ordering Domino’s and drinking cheap beer, we cook delicious meals and drink cheap wine.

And honestly, sometimes we still eat greasy pizza and drink bargain basement beer. It happens.

For our latest monthly potluck, the theme was green. Yes, a color can be a theme. Totally acceptable. It all started with an Easter-y place setting with seasonal green Snickers.

Easter candy is delicious but please don’t ever read the ingredients label. It will horrify you–so many unidentifiable ingredients!–but that doesn’t stop me from indulging.

To counteract the massive amounts of chocolate at dinner, I made a big, leafy salad with romaine, orange bell peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes. An orange-ginger vinaigrette finished it off.

You know what goes really well with salad? Bread. This easy beer bread was buttery and flavorful–best of all, no kneading or yeast required! Since my bread maker is stuck in the basement until I find an apartment, no-knead breads have become my best friend and this recipe is definitely happening soon in my kitchen.

You have to love a short ingredient list that includes beer, butter and salt. Yum.

Rounding out our green feast was a big bowl of broccoli, the vegetable of champions, and pesto pasta.

We debated back and forth about what protein to add to the pasta. Chicken? I’m a vegetarian but I don’t mind picking the chicken out if that’s what everyone else wants. Tofu? Might be slimy. Shrimp? Delicious but not-so-much for the anti-shrimp members of the group.

Chickpeas? Ah-ha! Nutritious, delicious and cheap. Chickpeas are a winner in every situation. Know them, love them, use them.

What would any good dinner be without a good dessert?

Fact #1: Red wine pairs perfectly with chocolate.

Fact #2: I drained my glass, as is evident above, before dessert.

Fact #3: This was homemade chocolate fudge with marshmallows. Ooey, gooey, sticky… it didn’t settle into a fudge-like consistency and instead was like scooping up icing with a spoon. Oh so good!

Licking barely-solid fudge off a spoon, fork or your fingers is nothing to be ashamed of, at least not when you’re in the presence of friends who won’t judge you.

Wrapping up the college flashback, we ended the evening with a group photo shoot. I can’t begin to count the number of similar photos I have because 20-something girls love nothing more than taking photos of each other.

Major camera envy, Jenna!

Silly (except me and Allie, apparently):



Very good.

Vegetarian question: Do you mind eating around the meat at a dinner party or restaurant with shared dishes (for instance, eating just the pasta out of a pasta-and-chicken dish)? Or do you only eat entrees that are completely meat-free? I’m curious!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2011 6:12 pm

    You and your college friends are awesome!!! I have a million group shots with my college friends too but we dont’ really all live around here any more so we have more like a once a year reunion if we are lucky 😦

  2. Marie permalink
    March 28, 2011 6:16 pm

    Looks so fun!I’m totally down with a candy appetizer 😀
    I don’t mind picking around meat, really, because it’s easier for everyone. But then again I also occasionally eat seafood, so I’m really only a pseudo vegetarian… but yes, chickpeas rule in situations like those.

    • March 29, 2011 11:05 am

      I eat fish sometimes, too — hate all of these labels! :/

  3. JPatch permalink
    March 28, 2011 6:21 pm

    Great post, Rubs! You’re camera is bangin too though! Also, white beans, not chick peas 😉 BUT chick peas would’ve worked too!

  4. JPatch permalink
    March 28, 2011 6:21 pm

    OOPS! “Your”

  5. Angi Belsly permalink
    March 28, 2011 9:27 pm

    It depends on the dish… something like pasta with meat isn’t too bad for just picking out the meat, but if it’s something in which it was all cooked together, then I find there’s grease, juice, etc from the meat and thus picking it out just doesn’t work for me. I usually just get my own entree unless someone willingly volunteers to split something veg with me. Then again, traveling I’m sure I’ve eaten my share of meat broths, etc.

    • March 29, 2011 11:06 am

      Good point! There’s a difference between something like pasta vs. say, meat lasagna. Ew.

  6. March 28, 2011 10:17 pm

    Haha, more color themes (now that we know they’re acceptable ).. Love this post. And great pic of photographer Jen.

  7. March 29, 2011 11:00 am

    What a fun evening! In college, my group of friends would have “family dinner” once/week. It was a time to gather, cook, share, laugh…I really miss those days! I think you’ve inspired me to host a dinner party. 🙂

    I agree about the Easter candy! I was in CVS the other day, took a peek at the nutrition stats, contemplated putting the chocolate back on the shelf, and then thought, “no, I only eat this once each year!” Can’t beat those chocolate eggs.

    • March 29, 2011 11:07 am

      Agree! It can’t hurt a few times a year, just not every day.

  8. March 29, 2011 1:45 pm

    Looks like a fun group! I miss having all my good friends close! Oh and easter candy is a must, I just wish they didn’t put it out so early this year!

  9. March 29, 2011 6:02 pm

    It probably sounds really picky, but I won’t eat dishes that have had meat in them. It just grosses me out!

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