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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bake me a cake as fast as you can

What are broke and budgeting 20-somethings to do when they want to share a meal without sharing a check? A potluck, of course!

It's been fun over the past few weeks to gather at friends' apartments and houses to enjoy dinner without worrying about cost. It can be hard to plan a meal with so many special food requests (vegetarian, lactose intolerance, food allergies, anti-fish) and yet somehow, it all comes together deliciously.

An autumn theme dominated Erin's dinner with a big pot of hot apple cider, a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread from Spring Mill Bakery and a main course perfect for a chilly fall evening, steamed spinach alongside asparagus-and-mushroom risotto.

Putting on the finishing touches

The star of the show were these spiderweb brownies from Zoe, who provided a great way to celebrate Halloween week. Minus noticing that the icing was beginning to congeal mere minutes after downing a piece. We're troopers; everyone survived.

- 4 squares BAKER'S Unsweetened Chocolate
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine (next time, I would use a butter substitute like applesauce or yogurt)
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs (would also use egg substitute like banana)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup coarsely chopped PLANTERS Pecans (optional)

Mix all ingredients and pour into greased pan. Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. The recipe calls for marshmallow frosting but we just used vanilla from a packet and it was fine. Minus the congealing...

The finished product: spiderweb and spider

So many get-togethers revolve around food; whether it's meeting for lunch or coffee, we're incapable of sitting down together without some sort of food or drink. Potlucking and home-cooked meals let us enjoy that together-time while keeping costs low -- if everyone contributes something, the end result is good food, good friends and good conversation.


  1. i love how most of those food stipulations are mine...

  2. you're just special... :) I do have a gluten-free friend -- now THAT is a hard one.

  3. Oy! Everyone survived, thankfully. Or else, I'd be in a lot of trouble.

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