Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Tale of Two Dinners: The Best of Times

We had my sisters- and (brand new!) brother-in-law over to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday. There was deep sadness about the Patriot's loss - and we aren't even really fans! I think the local angle got to everybody.

But the food and snacks were on point. Peter made chili, and he claims it was his best batch ever. His secret ingredients? A splash of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of curry powder!

Inspired by Joanna Goddard's post, I put together a baked potato bar with all kinds of toppings. Above you see bacon, butter, grated cheddar cheese and chopped chives. I also sauteed mushrooms and steamed broccoli, and of course, people could put chili on top, too.

For dessert, oh my. Compost cookies! I've wanted to make these for a looooong time, but I guess I was waiting for some sort of over the top eating and snacking event to justify potato chip + candy cookies. I should not have waited! These are so good. For candy, I used chopped Heath bar, chocolate chips and peanut M&Ms. I made the dough on Saturday, and baked up a sheet of cookies after half time so they would be warm and gooey.

All week, I've been making a couple of cookies each night for dessert. I was always v. skeptical about people who keep cookie dough in their fridge or freezer to do this. Such restraint! But I've drank the cookie-dough-in-the-fridge Kool Aid. Having a single warm cookie on a Wednesday night while watching Inspector Lewis is one of life's great pleasures.

This whole meal was a winner because I followed the rules: make things ahead, and repeat old recipes. Peter, you have my permission to remind me of this when I start pushing for us to try turducken for the first time next Thanksgiving.

And I think on another level, it was fun and successful because it was so easy. For a normal dinner with friends, I wouldn't serve potatoes and cookies and call it a day. That's so silly, though! Those things are delicious and (almost) everyone likes them. I need to treat more gatherings like they are the Super Bowl, even if we eat at the dining room table and don't get to gush over E*Trade baby commercials.


  1. A baked potato bar is a fantastic idea! Sounds like you had a lot of fun despite the loss. I'm never invested in NFL football so I didn't really care either way. We're college football fans around this household! ;)

  2. We are guilty of almost always having cookie dough in the freezer! It's dangerous :)

    1. Emily, I added all the left over cookie dough to the freezer this weekend. It's so great to have on hand!


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