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Project Food Blog Challenge #3: Share a Little Ole with Us

Welcome to Challenge #3 for Project Food Blog!  Thanks again, from the bottom of my heart, to all of you who voted for me in rounds 1 and 2.  I’m so thankful to be competing in round 3!

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It’s 4:20 pm on Sunday, and as I stand over my kitchen sink, scrubbing wine glasses and frying pans, I feel content and joyful thinking back over the last few hours.

You see, I hosted a last minute dinner party for my husband and two sweet friends, and even though everything has been a bit crazy around here, I can’t wait to do it all over again.  We ate. We drank. And we shared stories.  All over a comforting and delicious 3 course meal.

It’s hard to believe that this time yesterday I was still driving back to Oklahoma from a 4 day wedding event in Iowa, filled with amazing food and exhilarating reunions between friends.  It was one for the books!

But then I found myself pulling into my driveway at 10pm Saturday night, thankful that I had cleaned my house ahead of time and planned my menu on the long, 10 hour drive home, yet still a bit nervous for the array of tasks ahead.  First on the list – get last minute ingredients and fancy up the table!

Thankfully, I had the best sidekick ever, to help pull off this epic party.

I knew in order to host a vegan dinner party with very little time that would still make my guests feel on top of the world, I needed to plan a menu that I’d be very comfortable with.  And for all of you who read my blog often, you know what that means.

Two words: Tex-Mex.

I grace the pages of this blog with Tex-Mex food quite often – it’s delicious, it’s relatively quick and easy and it doesn’t cost a whole lot!  Plus, who doesn’t love the thrilling flavors of Tex-Mex food?  But this couldn’t be just any Tex-Mex meal…it had to ooze luxury and class.  And considering my dinner guests aren’t familiar with vegan meals, I wanted to give them an unforgettable first impression of what vegan food has to offer.

With that in mind, allow me to invite you to share a little Olé (spanish for “cheer”) with us.

We started the afternoon off with refreshing glasses of iced Passion tea, paired with appetizers of Spicy Chipotle Salad, organic blue corn chips and three different kinds of guacamole – chipotle, barbecue and classic.

I like to think of guacamole as my forté.  I love to make it, and I still have yet to find a recipe my husband likes better; however, I decided to spice things up with a little variety as this was no ordinary dinner party.  The barbecue version won the award for most loved, while the classic came in a close second.

The appetizers were a huge hit, and I pulled them away just in time to bring in the next course: Mini Lentil Tacos and vegan Tempeh, Bean and Zucchini Chimichangas.

I’ve made this chimichanga recipe once before, but today I took the opportunity to change it up a little bit by adding a spicy drizzle of vegan Chipotle Sour Cream Sauce.  It was the perfect touch of creaminess with a bit of a kick! The tacos were a simple combination of some of my most favorite ingredients, topped with a fluffy vegan sour cream.

And just when everyone thought they couldn’t fit another bite, I tempted them with classic Fried Plantains, just warm enough to melt a scoop of vegan French Vanilla Ice Cream.

This was my first time to make fried plantains, so I went out on a limb a little bit.  Actually, let’s be honest…this was my first time to ever fry anything!  I gritted my teeth (and possibly even squealed a bit) when I plopped that first plantain down in the bubbling oil.  And I have to be honest, I was beginning to think I’d made a huge mistake.  But, when I took that first bite of the crispy outside and the gooey inside, all regrets melted faster than the ice cream on my tongue.  Bliss.

With full bellies and smiles on our faces, my guests and I spent the next couple of hours enjoying a slow Sunday afternoon…thankful for the simple things in life and good friends.

And now, as I place this last plate aside to dry, I glance at the clock, realizing how little time until my dinner party post is due, and I can’t help but think how thankful I am…

that Foodbuzz is on the west coast, giving this Oklahoman two extra hours to meet the deadline! ;)

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**I’ll be sharing some olé with you all as I post these recipes throughout the coming week!

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20 Responses to “Project Food Blog Challenge #3: Share a Little Ole with Us”

  1. I give your dinner party a DIEZ out of DIEZ :) I’m so impressed you pulled this off right after all the traveling! The lentil tacos look perfectly delectable, and I love invitations and menu cards. Good luck on round #3!

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    candice Reply:

    Thanks so much, girl! It was pretty crazy, but still so much fun:)

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  2. Brie says:

    yum, everything looks so delicious! great job – you have my vote!

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    candice Reply:

    Thanks so much! I really appreciate your vote:)

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  3. Looks like you had a great little fiesta! Those chimis look GOOD!

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    candice Reply:

    Thanks – they were much better this time around because I left out the cinnamon. Delish!

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  4. jen cheung says:

    congrats girl for challange #3! your table setting and food looks gorgeous!! totally got my vote for it. :) your awesome.

    Have a fabulous week!
    jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Thanks so much, Jen!

    [Reply]

  5. I LOVE your menu girl! Congrats on a great job! Vote!

    http://whitneysamusebouche.blogspot.com/

    [Reply]

    candice Reply:

    Thank you so much!

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  6. Susan says:

    I’m on EST so I reeeally appreciated the extra deadline too ;) Amazing meal – everything looks like something I’d love to eat! Especially dessert, per usual ;)

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    candice Reply:

    Thanks! Total lifesaver, right? Can’t wait to hop over and check out your entry!

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  7. Jessica says:

    Everything sounds great! Hope we both make it to the next round! :-) You have my vote!

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    candice Reply:

    Thank you! Good luck to you as well – looking forward to checking out your entry!

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  8. Great job considering you didn’t have much time to plan. Your food looks delicious. You got my vote and good luck!

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    candice Reply:

    thanks so much for the vote:)

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  9. Allison says:

    Everything looks SO GOOD! Great job!

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    candice Reply:

    Thanks so much!

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  10. Jenni says:

    Wow, had I just driven a million miles, I’d have definitely blown off the party–kudos for you for taking it on and doing a great job of it! You certainly have my vote:)

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  11. kelli says:

    bravo!!! everything looked amazing. oh how i wish i were a dinner guest!

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  1. 2010: a look back part II|ChiaSeedMe - [...] the month, stretching and challenging myself in new ways.  I made it to rounds one, two and three before ...

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