Sometimes people turn up their noses at games for grown-ups (unless it’s poker) but I believe that the act of laughing together and not taking ourselves too seriously is a great uniter. When we all look/feel/sound foolish together and isn’t it hilarious – now that’s community!
Chili and charades*. Soup and silliness. Drinks, of course. One recent evening we gathered a group of friends for all of the above. None of the guests knew each other previously but all were fast friends by the evening’s end.
* We didn’t really play charades but the sweet alliteration makes that little fib all worth it.
Keep reading to find out what on earth those photos are at the top of the post! Also recipes, photos, and yes, a Game Players Playlist.
Our Game Night Formula:
- Simple supper, buffet style. Soup, salad, cornbread. Boom. Well, if you’ve read this blog at all you know we’re incapable of doing things quite that simply.
- Spinach-Lentil Soup AND White Chili with Chicken with optional mix-ins.
- The salad came with add-your-own toppings and homemade vinaigrette.
- Not just cornbread but Corn-Jalapeño Mini-muffins. Mini! And Ilise made honey-butter to boot. I just cannot.
- After dinner, we dug out the boxed games. Apples to Apples is a longtime favorite in our house, but that evening we lost our minds over a game called Utter Nonsense. Players recite ridiculous phrases using an assigned accent, such as Southern Belle or Pirate and the “best” wins that round. Sample sentence: Why are there meatballs and maple syrup in your Jell-O mold? It turns out none of us has a burgeoning career as a voice actor but we sure had a whole lot of laughs. After several rounds of strange phrases and outrageous accents the evening drew to a contented close.
Recipe links provided after the photo gallery. Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
Everyone loved the Corn-Jalapeño Mini-Muffins which were featured in a previous blog post. Click here to get the recipe, see the pix, and read all about ‘em.
The White Chili with Chicken was a big hit – highly recommend! The recipe comes from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats. I turned it into a two-day process, roasting peppers, garlic and onions on Game-Day-Minus-1 and soaking the beans overnight. Everything came together in a smoky, creamy, cheesy chili with just the right amount of heat on Party Day.
Spinach Lentil Soup was also delicious, a longstanding wintertime staple in our house. It comes from The Cabbagetown Café Cookbook, a classic vegetarian cookbook in the same vein as the Moosewood series. Do not skip the final step – adding a good splash of red wine vinegar to the soup a few minutes before serving. This is an old trick when cooking legumes to really enhance their flavors. You may download a printable version of the recipe here:
What’s your favorite grown-up Game Night game? Let us know in the Comments.