September 24, 2007

Supper Group

Last night we had our supper group at our house. Originally the five of us gals met together for what I posted earlier - 'Bible study or Divine Reading' - for several years. Then we thought of inviting our husbands for a supper. So it's an official church small group, that came about on it's own, and we've been doing it for more than two years now.

Monte says I need to post all the recipes. It WAS a wonderful Mexican meal. I'll just talk about the menu and if anyone wants specific recipes, I'll post them.

While finishing up the entrees we had appetizers and drinks ready to go for people to dive into. Typical chips and salsa, and my homemade guacamole, and Monte's fresh tomato salsa with lots of cilantro (the last of my garden's). But I have a tortilla press and mixed up masa and made some of our own chips, but we need to perfect getting them crispy. The hit was 'queso panela'. I'm always asked for this recipe. It's a round pound of cheese, queso fresca, in most stores' specialty cheese section, poked and marinated with olive oil, lots of garlic and lots of oregano. Then bake to soften.

Our dessert was ready too. I've read that if you have a great beginning and ending to a meal...So that's where I try and focus now, often veggies and dips up front or fruit. We made pureed mango and fresh squeezed lime juice with just a bit of sugar into an ice cream and served it with a few raspberries from what we picked Friday.

I grew up loving tamales and chimichangas and still do. I found authentically, chimis are really called chivichangas (they're fried burritos). So we made them. Monte usually browns the meat and crockpots it. This time he browned the beef on the grill with mesquite smoke and then crockpotted it till it could easily shred. Then sauted it with some tomatoes and onion (he'd have to tell me the rest). But that was the filling for the thin tortillas we get raw, and cook, from Costco. I made pork filled tamales with a 'verde' sauce (grilled tomatillos, jalepenos, onion and garlic, pureed, and cooked down with chicken broth, and add cilantro).

The side dishes were parboiled purple potatoes, then cooked in butter with lots of garlic slivers. Then because we had just got a bushel of mild green chilies roasted, we sauted some of these up, cut in slivers along with sliced onion and added cream. That was most of us's favorite. And then a salad with an avocado dressing I made.

We all really look forward to this getting together. We strive for once a month. In today's busy lives - from pastoring, to eldering, to church secretary, and counseling, and writing, and geology, and plant nursury seasons...It's great to have a time to unwind, to laugh, to share, to cry, to pray...with close friends.
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