tasty nom nom an exception to the daily meal


Accidentally Alienate Your Friends

Dear Dinner People:

When I plan dinners, I usually start at one ingredient or one dish that I want to make and flesh it out from there. This week I just wanted to play 7 Wonders. That did not help with menu planning.

N and I discussed options. Lebanese lamb? Herb-rubbed beef tenderloin? Chili?

Chili won out, but specifically Terlingua Red chili like our DC area fav Hard Times serves.

My favorite item to order at Hard Times is Chili Bubba -- cornbread topped with two types of chili, plus sour cream, tomatoes, onions, and cheddar cheese. I always get Cincinnati and Terlingua Red (aside: when I was a vegetarian, I loved their vegetarian chili).

With some web-searching I came across a recipe for Hard Times Terlingua Red that had all of the notes on how to cook it for competition. Why not? While we were at the butcher shop picking up coarse grind beef, we picked up a pork chop. And I tossed it in the pot.

J's chili

I had planned to eschew the beans since N keeps telling me he hates beans in chili. I was surprised when he suggested we add red kidney beans and black beans. I love kidney beans in chili, so we added a can of each.

In the end, the chili was not exactly like Hard Times Terlingua Red. I can't put a finger on exactly what was off. It was tasty enough for this chili fan, though.

jicama salad
jicama salad

I wanted a cool chopped salad to go along with the chili and work as a palate cleanser. I liked this jicama salad because it had cool and tang and crunch and sweet. When I found that recipe, it reminded me of one you made back in July of 2011.

A couple of weeks ago N and I went to Sazerac in Seattle. While waiting for our friends to meet up with us, we ordered two appetizers. One was bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed medjool dates. N remembered that they were stuffed with goat cheese, but I said it was blue cheese, so he bought that. I was wrong. N made his-my version. They were ok if you like savory dates.

stuffed dates
stuffed dates

I was determined that we would play a new-to-us game, 7 Wonders (BGG). I prepared. I over-prepared. I read through the instructions, set up a board, watched a How To Play video and then an entire game played out by the WatchItPlayed crew. Then I convinced N to play a 2-player round with me the night before you and G came over! I was determined that we were going to play 7 Wonders and that we were going to like it!

E's board, end Second Age
E's board, end second age

We played one game and I'm not so sure how we felt as a group. I think N felt good since he beat the rest of us by almost twenty points!

Learning all of the cards and iconography and how to win the game takes at least a game's worth of playing. I think it would have been much smoother the second time, but someone requested a break to formulate a strategy. Maybe we'll try again next time.

I do think the game scoring is fairly even. Even if you don't build your Wonder, you can make up the points on military or science or guild. That's where I think the gameplay is interesting. I can also see that it is frustrating because you aren't sure where you are relative to one another, especially if you are not seated next to someone!

After some tasty Salted Caramel & Strawberry Basil ice cream (thanks!), we played a round of... Uno.


Apparently our new Uno cards with the stupid design gave me a stroke but I still kicked y'all's asses handily. Chili power!

PS: sorry about all the hated food! I hope all the fritos helped mollify the menu made up of your hated foods.

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