One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends."
Laurie Colwin'Home Cooking'
Dawn and I at her 30th birthday party
For today's segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I am thrilled to introduce you to my sweet friend Dawn Minnick. She was my very first friend when I transfered high schools way back in my my Sophomore year. In a school that was relatively close-knit; everyone had pretty much gone to school together their whole lives. I was very much an outsider for a little while there. I was so very lucky to have Dawn sit by me in two back to back classes, and guess what- she talked to me! She never was one to bow to pear pressure, care what others thought, and just did what she felt was right. Her friendship helped give me a confidence that I so needed in order to be able to strive in school the way I did. She took me under her wing, introduced me to all of her friends and after no time at all I finally felt at home in a new school. I will never forget the kindness that she showed to me.
Dawn still has that wonderful easiness about her that makes everyone feel comfortable and like home. She is nonjudgemental and ever so kind. Even all grown up, she is still that same girl who cares about others feelings, but doesn't change how she feels because of them. She stands by her convictions and deserves all that life can give her. She has definitely works hard enough- that's for sure! I am so proud of her accomplishments and I look forward to witnessing the new and exciting changes this future will hold for her.
So for today's segment of Fridays, Feasting with Friends I bring you Dawn Minnick.
Me, Bonnie and Dawn. We have been a trio since, well, forever.
What is your favorite thing to cook?
Mexican. Its really the only thing I cook well.
How about your least favorite thing to cook?
I honestly don’t know, I'm really just starting to learn how to cook. Im sort of clueless in the kitchen. I guess I would have to say meat, other than ground beef. I always over cook it because Im scared I'll under cook it.
What is your favorite local restaurant and what is one you are dying to try out?
My favorite local restaurant is Mi Pueblo. An authentic Mexican place on the West side. Im dying to try Melt but everytime I go there is a three hour wait.
Music and food go together so beautifully. You are hosting a dinner party, what would be on your playlist?
I think that would depend on my mood, who is attending the party and what kind of food I'm making. I like a little bit of almost all music so its hard to tell what I'll be in the mood for at any given time.
What would you choose to be your last meal on earth?
Ooh, tough one. I think I would have to say either El Vaquero (Mexican restaurant in Columbus) or crab cakes
What are you currently reading?
Bruni’s Choice by Irwin Gelding
What is your favorite Kitchen Gadget?
My coffee grinder. I have a serious coffee addiction.
Do you have a signature go-to dish?
"7 Layer Goodness". Its always been a crowd pleaser. (see below for the recipe!)
What is your favorite thing about the Cleveland area?
Besides my friends and family? The Metropark system-hands down!
Do you have a favorite meal from your childhood and do you cook it today?
Its called SOS. (S*** on a shingle) It brings back great memories of my childhood particularly my Dad since he is the one that always made it for us. It’s a white sauce with chipped beef, served on toast. Yes, we are all aware it a little hillbilly.
Top 3 Movies of all time?
Little Women, Half Baked, and 101 Dalmatians
What was your happiest moment in life?
Pulling my grade up in Environmental Physics to a B, to be able to graduate with honors. I worked really hard all semester and had an D in the class before the final. Not getting that "B" would have meant losing my honors status for graduation.
Where do you do your grocery shopping?
Typically I do it at Walmart because it so inexpensive. I will get a lot of my groceries from local farmers markets during the summer/fall seasons.
What is your favorite guilty pleasure when it comes to food?
Chocolate. In all forms. Im a believer that there is no such thing as bad chocolate just varying degrees of good.
Can you tell me about what you are most proud of?
Putting myself through college and graduating Cum Laude.
Do you have Culinary Resolutions that you would like to accomplish this year?
To not be so afraid of the kitchen, learn how to cook and stop eating like a single lady. Even when Im not.
One word that best describes you is:
“7 Layer Goodness”
1 can re-fried beans
1 package large tortillas
1 pound of cooked “taco” seasoned meat of your choice
Spread refried bean on a tortilla. Then apply a layer of your meat. Then sprinkle with a layer of cheese. Place in your spring pan topping side up. Repeat until you run out of an ingredient. Place a clean tortilla on top so there are no toppings exposed.
Cook at 450 for 30 minutes. Then spread salsa on top and cook for antoher 10-15 minutes or until salsa is no longer runny.
I usually serve tortilla chips and the leftover salsa as a side dish.
Dawn, thank you so much for doing this interview for me! It was such fun to read! Your recipe has my name written allllll over it. I am so making it this weekend. It is like the perfect comfort food. Yum! I had SOS for the very first time just about a month ago or so and oh man, it is DELICIOUS! I couldn't believe I had never had it before. It is one of those foods that is definitely "retro" but has such a comforting flavor to it. I love it!
I am so thrilled that we do our monthly cooking night because that is a wonderful way to gain confidence in the kitchen. No judgement amongst friends :) Keep playing around with recipes and soon enough it will all become second nature.