Last night we sat on a cool, grassy lawn under the shady protection of a large tree with friends and ate and talked and ate and talked. It was perfection. When Tim and Sara sent out the invite, their reasoning behind having a potluck gathering stemmed from their Midwest roots. I love that. Joe would tell you Oklahoma’s in the South, but anyone who knows Oklahoma knows it’s a Midwest way of life out there. In fact, everyone that came yesterday has spent time as a Midwestener at some point in their lives. We all got it.
Remember my severe recipe anxiety? It wasn’t completely unfounded. These friends of ours are also major foodies and alongside our shared love of cooking, baking and eating also comes a variety of restrictions. Meat free (yes, please), Dairy free and Gluten free. That’s a lot to consider, but we all pitched in so everyone had something to eat at every stage of the meal. What are friends for?
Here are some highlights of the night:
Meet Miriam. Adorable daughter of our awesome hosts. She’s got the cutest little voice, repeats anything and everything you say in said voice, strawberry blonde curls and electric blue eyes. She’s got it all.
She knows her fruits and vegetables thanks to a huge garden in their backyard, where she called for “KALE!” and “RASPBERRIES!” until her dad helped her find them.
Here’s Chris holding down the blanket fort with cat Nadia. Check out the garden in the background.
Denise prepares her salad while Tim looks on with a skeptical eye…
Chris and Chilali’s homemade dal:
Which contained a drumstick root that lends its spice, but is otherwise inedible minus the gelatinous center that you suck out. It was surprisingly delicious, despite how disgusting that last sentence sounds.
The dessert spread….more on that lovely on the left tomorrow…
Gluten-free brownies with rose buttercream frosting….made from roses in Sara’s garden. (OMG — these people mean business)
Food coma time
So much good food and good conversation.
The full spread (some not or barely pictured) included polenta-like bites made with chickpea flour and topped with a caramelized onion marmalade, boom boom sauce with chips and/or broccoli florets, garden salad with edible flowers and grilled chicken, dal, quinoa and cheese bites, sprout salad, tropical fruit salad, those delicious brownies and a soon-to-be-revealed dessert. Not too shabby, eh?
You might be asking yourself, “what the heck is Boom Boom Sauce?”
Good question. It’s just the easiest, most tasty sauce you’ll ever have. This is a knock-off recipe from Chuy’s–a tex-mex staple down in my parts–that’s similar to a jalapeno ranch sauce you can eat as a dip, or on top of tacos or enchiladas, or right out of a blender with a spoon…whatever floats your boat.
Make it early and the jalapenos will get hotter and hotter as it sits in the fridge, so be wary of that when prepping yours. Poor Miriam got a huge bite of “white soup” when we weren’t looking and was screaming bloody murder as it ran down her chin. But, then, like everyone does…she went back for more. It’s the nature of the Boom Boom.
Boom Boom Sauce
1 1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/3 c. buttermilk
1 (4 oz.) can chopped jalapeno (use as much or as little as you like, or not at all)
1 (4.5 oz.) can chopped green chilies
1/3 c. cilantro, or to taste
1 (1 oz.) packet dry ranch mix
Chill before serving. Keep refrigerated.