Category Archives: How to

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Bring An Ingredient Quesadilla Party

The Friday before Christmas Lura & I hosted another really successful Bring An Ingredient party.

Simple, good cheer! Pinecone decoration

photo credit Darwin Bell on Flickr

This time the theme was quesadillas. We provided the tortillas and cheese (learned from that from last time- if the host doesn’t provide cheese, everyone else will!). This time folks brought three kinds of homemade salsa, guacamole, ground venison, and so much more.

We had at least two rounds of guests, and the arrival of new ingredients encouraged people to come back through for a second helping.

Build your own! It’s so simple:

  • Pick a theme that can take a lot of customization (quesadillas, pasta, pizza, or stir-fry)
  • Think of it as an open house- set the expectation that people will mill about, and chat while they wait to cook their plate full of deliciousness.
  • Invite a bunch of people- less than half will come and those who do will likely be a pleasantly varied mix (or maybe that’s just my friends).
  • Be sure to provide a couple of non-alcoholic beverages and feature them prominently.
  • You may want to seed the table, by asking one or two confirmed guests to bring a widely popular side item.
  • Relax!

If you do try this at home, please come back and let us know how it goes.

I hope your holiday has been full of good cheer! Here’s to many more delightful community meals and cooking events in 2012!

A Great Garlic Themed Night

The stove mid-cooking at our first Community Appetite celebration

Toppings for the garlicky pasta on the stove.

Last Friday was our first gathering.  It was so much fun!

Our host provided pasta for 15 people, a little left over pesto, and 2 bottles of red wine.

The guests brought more wine, bread, cheese, mushrooms, spinach, more cheese, swiss chard, roasting garlic and, oh yes, more cheese!

Note: For your event, especially if you are using Facebook for your RSVPs, encourage folks to post what they are thinking to bring.  Luckily a blended cheese sauce is great for pasta, but a salad bar party with only greens would probably be less successful.

Lura and friends making the deliciousnessLura’s is a ‘four butt’ kitchen, so lead chefs were appointed and the rest of the crew rotated through or stayed in the living room fullfilling the second tenant of Our Community Appetite- quality conversations.

I unfortunately had to leave before the roasted pears were served (with cinnamon and melted cheese, I believe), but before I hugged my way out of the party participants were bubbling with ideas for future gatherings.  Success indeed!

Thanks Lura for taking this idea and running with it!

An invitation

Read this beautiful invitation (sent out on Facebook).

You, people of my heart- I want to eat dinner with you! Come, cook with me! And let’s not make it fancy, let’s just play with it.

Let’s eat garlicky pasta and wine. I’ll provide a coupla pounds of good pasta, and all the garlic and olive oil you can imagine. Maybe a bottle or two of wine, nothing expensive.

You- bring *one* ingredient that you think goes into a garlicky pasta dinner. Not a side dish- no cooking at home! Maybe a vegetable, cheese, wine, bunch of herbs, whatever you want to eat. We’ll spread out all the ingredients we have, and create a wonderful dish or two! (probably more than one, to accommodate all food needs/wants/allergies/etc)

Bring whatever friend or date you think will add to the joy of the night.We’ll leave feeling so rich! (in spirit, heart, and wallet!)


Wow! That’s what we are talking about simple, real, heartfelt.  What do you think? Leave a comment below- is this note inviting? What would you bring to this event in Our Community Appetite?

Potluck the ingredients

That’s the central ‘how to’of this experiment.  I will write more on the ideas,  inspirations, and values that inform this Community Appetite project, but for now you are wondering “What is this? How does it work?”

Basically I looked around at my life and my friends;  we are busy,  concerned about finances, and struggling to eat nutritiously (and/or ethically).  Here is an opportunity to come together, in someone’s home, relax, and cook good simple fare to support us during the week ahead.

It’s like a potluck, but you bring the ingredients and we spend our time together cooking (and cleaning up after cooking).  Instead of eating together, we create together, and enjoy the fruits of our labor on down the line.

I am looking for at least eight volunteers to lead a night of our  Community Appetite in their kitchen between now and Oct 24th.  What do you think? Does this sound like fun to you?