Fun fact #1: when you decide to open your home to guests, the unexpected must certainly be expected. Fun fact #2: that little nugget of wisdom only comes from unexpectedly experiencing that which was unexpected.
Hello, again! I am so pumped to share with you my recent Sunday dinner experience and all the fun and (not so fun) things that happened! You see, it's the combination of the bitter and the sweet that makes community thrive. So with that in mind, let me provide fun fact #3, the reason we engage in community to begin with: Just as in life, sometimes it's the little unexpected moments that make experiences like these the most memorable and worthwhile.
Some of the fun chaos that happened was a few guests cancelled last minute. Which, at first this was hard for me and I freaked out a little. But I do know that this will happen and I just need to remember: the people that came to my dinner were supposed to be there. I also had the help of a few friends that told me to breath and that everything will work out. Thank you friends!
Also...it is the BEST when you are cooking a dish that takes at least an hour about an hour before the guests arrive and then you realized that you forgot the main ingredient (shakes head). Thank God that I have an awesome husband who ran straight out the door to pick up what I needed.
Having these dinners means the world to me. I want everything to be perfect. When I had some hard stops occur it did get me down and it did make me anxious, but I had to step back and realize that my "perfect dinner" is not what this is all about: This is about real people, beauty, bumps, bruises, and all, gathering together to REALLY experience food, fun, and fellowship.
The fun begins. My guests were a riot. I had my friends Shannon and Jason over and these two make me die laughing. They are also some of the most lovable people I know and I cannot help to smile when I am around them. Shannon walked in and handed me the most incredibly sweet hostess gift...a cat apron! How perfect?! Anything with cats and cooking is pretty much my life.
Speaking of cats...I am proud to introduce Mr. Jim and Watson. Mr. Jim is the handsome fellow on the chair and Watson is the one that Jason thought he could hold like a baby. Watson is a very interesting cat. He likes his belly rubbed and likes to snuggle all the time, but when I strange man comes and grabs him, his first reaction is to run for his life.
Another very special guest, was my BFF Larissa who has been my best friend for 13 years. I love our relationship. We started off in 7th grade making pancakes at 3am in the morning and laughing our heads off to making snap chat filter videos and laughing our heads off. I love this girl, and I know she would do anything for me.
Because I forgot an important item for my dinner, I had to spend some time in the kitchen while my guest were here. I hated that I had to do that, but they kept me so entertained with their hilarious stories and jokes.
Fun fact about Kristel Kazda is that anytime I cook, eat, see or smell food, it makes me want to dance and act goofy. Like I cannot control it or help it. The following is some evidence.
Let's get to the food! I made two different types of chili and two types of cornbread. I wanted my guests to pick their favorite of each and whichever they picked, I would share on my blog. To my surprise, they were both a pretty close call and everyone really loved both, but what I will be sharing with you is "Debdoozie's Blue Ribbon Chili" and "Healthy Corn Muffins" (I like to call them "Corny Corn Muffins" because they use real corn!).
What I love about the chili. First, it is SO easy. This is the perfect quick, winter meal that is comforting and delicious. This can become your "go-to" chili whenever you are in the mood for it. Second, the recipe requires minimal ingredients and third, it is a budget friendly meal!
Click HERE for the recipe.
What I love about the "Corny Corn Muffins". Boy, are these tasty? I mean so yummy and incredibly easy to make. This too uses a minimal amount of ingredients and you probably have most of the items in your pantry. It also is budget friendly! I promise you that this chili and cornbread meal would be your choice anytime you have company over or wanting to make a quick week night meal.
Click HERE for the recipe.
What makes chili so much fun to make when company is over? The toppings! It is so fun to layout a chili bar that allows your guest to create their perfect bowl of chili.
Here are some toppings below that I think you would enjoy:
- Sour cream
- red onion
- diced tomato
- green onion
- pickled jalapenos --->YES
While I was cooking dinner, I was listening to the conversations that were being shared. I overheard a lot of the guests talking about their past, what they have done and who they were and then they talked about who they are now. I love hearing stories about the change and growth people go through. It is so encouraging to know that everyone has a past and they can be healed and restored from it.
Something from my past is that my selfishness would have kept me from hosting dinners at my house. I would have never wanted to spend my time, money or food on others. But I knew in my heart that community, relationships and food matter to me and that I need to focus on that agenda and not my own.
I thoroughly enjoyed this dinner. At the beginning, I was filled with nerves and frustration because things did not seem to be going how they should. I want my guests to really enjoy their time in my home and the unexpected that occurred did make me worry. But this Sunday dinner was imperfectly perfect. Jason gave me the best compliment and my heart was so full from it. He said:
"I'm not trying to be polite, this is literally the most fun dinner party that I have been to in ages".
This is why I do what I do :). Cannot wait for my next dinner!