Elise Eats With Friends: 1

In 2015, I had the goal of creating a dinner group.  In my head, a group of people who all loved food and gathering around the table was the greatest idea and I needed it to happen.  And while it still sounds like a great idea, I am also a college student and the reality is there are very few people who also think that is a fun idea.  Therefore, this happened a grand total of zero times last year.

Initially, I was a little disappointed, but then I realized I don’t need a constant group of people to have dinner parties.  And it doesn’t have to be a ten person production.

I had friends over for meals frequently last year, but this year I want to be even more intentional about bringing good friends and acquaintances around my table and using my passion to build community.  Oh, and I want to take mostly bad pictures of them and

My first dinner was not at my house, wasn’t super planned, but was so soul-filling.

It was with my middle school forever-friends.  The ones I only see like once or twice a year but that doesn’t matter because we love each other and quickly gloss over the formalities and start right back were we left off.  The four of us are so different from who we were yet together it’s still this familiar comfort of acceptance and love and ridiculousness.  It’s this low-maintenance  friendship that is somehow super strong still.

We spent the afternoon and night sitting around the table, dancing in the kitchen, and cuddling on the couch.  It was perfection.  They are my people.


Vegetarian Chili: 

adapted from Cooking Classy


1 yellow onion, diced

2 Tbs minced garlic

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

28 oz diced tomatoes

15 oz tomato sauce

2 cups water

7 oz diced green chiles

3 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp cocoa powder

2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste

30 oz kidney beans

15 oz black beans

1 1/2 cups corn

2 cup cooked quinoa



lime juice

sour cream or Greek yogurt





Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan.  When it gets hot, add the onion and garlic, sauteing until soft.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring the soup to a boil and then cover, reduce to a simmer and let the pot cook for about 30 minutes.  The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop.

When ready to eat, divide into bowls and top with whatever sounds great!

Leftover soup makes the greatest lunches!



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