Today our friends talk about what to make for a dinner party with friends. And it’s delicious.
Millie: Boo, I’ve been meaning to ask you some dinner party questions. I’m kinda freaking out about having 8 human beings to feed at once, but that’s what I’m doing next weekend.
Boo: Awww, very honored that you’d turn to me. I know how you love your meal kits….
Millie: Alright, alright. I know how you feel about them. They’re overpriced, the packaging, blah, blah. But this time, I’m doing it your way. I will shop, cook, bake, serve and clean up. A real meal. But I need some ideas.
Boo: Welcome to my world, friend. Ok, first question. Any special diets?
Millie: Are you kidding me? Of course! Everybody’s got their something. One gluten free, two pescatarians, one vegetarian, one vegan and three “regulars.” Some fast intermittently so they will come really hungry, some say they’re Keto or Paleo, you know, it’s a jungle out there.
Boo: Sheesh…I mean, great! Challenge accepted.
Millie: Ok, hit me.
Boo: Rice bowls, baby. Easy to customize, pretty, interactive and perfect for a group of diverse eaters.
Millie: I’m listening….
Boo: Well, first off, you make two rice/grain choices. White and brown, or jasmine rice and quinoa. Other options are cous cous, riced cauliflower, barley or farro. You getting this?
Millie: Ha ha, yeah. It cracks me up how excited you get about these things.
Boo: Don’t laugh, it’s a passion. Can I move on to proteins, veggies and sauces?
Millie: Yes, one at a time, please.
Boo: Yes, yes. Proteins first – chicken and/or meat, fish and tofu. Those are your go-tos. You either grill, broil or bake ‘em in the marinade of your choice.
Millie: How do I figure that part out?
Boo: You can look it up on the internet, but here’s some basic flavor combinations to work off of – turmeric and black pepper (Indian), oregano and basil (Greek or Italian), ginger and garlic (Asian), cayenne and chili powder (Mexican), thyme, oregano and marjoram (Middle Eastern). You’ll want some oil and possibly some citrus juice or soy sauce as the case may be. You got it?
Millie: Yup. Next?
Boo: Two things—you’ll want to cook the veggies in their own pan with your matching marinade. Time them based on thickness—as in carrots can take a while and spinach can wilt for a minute and it’s enough. Also, you should roast up one or more interesting flavor elements to add; nuts, chopped shallots or onions or maybe some shitake mushrooms. You’re looking for taste and a little texture there. Put everything out on the table or have your guests come into the kitchen to assemble their own bowls. A hot sauce that matches the flavor profile could be nice to add too—a harissa, a sriracha, like that.
Millie: I have to admit, this sounds feasible and fabulous. What about dessert?
Boo: Make a vegan pie or vegan cookies and then have some frozen confections to go with it—a sorbet and an ice cream and some fruit on the side. Then there will be something for everyone.
Millie: Fresh berries or grapes?
Boo: No slicing and dicing, just wash ‘em. Love it.
Millie: Love you.
Boo: Enough to invite me to dinner?
Millie: Um, yeah, I mean, sometime soon?
Boo: Whoa, did you think I was angling for an invite to rice bowl night? Because I’m out of town next weekend and I’m not eating it until you practice!
Millie: I see what you did there.
At Amava, we believe that age does not define us. We favor actual interactions and honest relationships over clichés like the one about Millennials and Boomers being at odds, at cultural loggerheads or at war. The Millennial and Boomer (get it?) are two friends having conversations about things that matter—work, social issues, money, relationships, travel and more. They were nice enough to write some of it down for us so you can be entertained and perhaps enlightened by their sharing and comparing. We hope it inspires you to start conversations of your own.