Do you know what time it is?!
It’s Double Rainbow Potluck Time!
Last weekend we had our TENTH Annual Rainbow Potluck! It was such a great gathering… with lots of great food, of course! We also had a fun time reminiscing about ten years of rainbow potlucks… and we re-watched the most excellent Double Rainbow YouTube video. Oh my god that video makes me laugh so hard, I had tears streaming down my face!! The first year we had our Rainbow Potluck (2009) it was “just” a Rainbow Potluck. But then the Double Rainbow guy made his amazing video and we were inspired to have a “Double Rainbow” – each color represented with a savory dish AND a sweet dish. The rest is history!
Red Savory: Gazpacho
Red Sweet: Cherry Pie
M & M took on the red challenge this year (last year they whole-heartedly volunteered for blue, which was a bold move!). I’m sorry I didn’t get a more beautiful picture of this gazpacho, because it was exceptionally delicious and perfect for a hot last day of summer. I’m not always a gazpacho fan, but I really loved this one, it was one of my favorite dishes of the party!
For sweets, M made her second pie ever (!!) with a super fancy and beautiful crust and a delicious cherry filling. It’s hard to argue with cherry pie because pie is a power food, as we all know!
Orange Savory: Moroccan Carrot Salad
Orange Sweet: Sweet Potato Chipotle Chocolate Squares
S did both orange dishes! For Savory, she made a big pot of Moroccan Carrot Salad. It was spicy and I really liked it! As you can see, she even put it in her beautiful orange pot. This dish reminded me so much of all the many carrot dishes we ate when we were in Morocco. It kinda makes me miss our travelin’ days!
For the sweet dish, she made these sweet potato chipotle chocolate squares, from a Hannah Kaminsky recipe. They were SO GOOD. Happily, she made one million of them, so I got to rifle away some extras after the party. Great flavor, just a hint of spice, and a great texture too!
Yellow Savory: Yellow Rice with Korma Sauce and Tofus
Yellow Sweet: Lemon Cake!
A brought this huge golden Le Crueset full of yellow rice, tofus, and korma sauce and it was a SERIOUS hit. Apparently this is one of her son’s favorite dinners, and since she wanted to make sure he’d actually eat something at the party (ha ha!), this is what she brought. Her kiddo has good taste, because this was so delicious and was a great “main course.” The korma sauce recipe is from Isa Does It, and now I want to make it and try it in various stir fries.
N brought this lovely lemon cake (so cute!) – she even made it gluten-free since one of our beloved party attendees is gf. It was a total success. I wonder if this was the Millenium Restaurant lemon cake, de-glutenized? It was SO yellow and lemony, especially with the lemon drizzle and candied lemon peel on top. I am a life-long lover of lemon cake, so I loved this one.
Green Savory: Guacamole
Green Sweet: Kale & Apple Donuts
A brought a bunch of huge and perfectly ripe avocados and made two big bowls of guacamole. Guacamole is like the popular kid at the party – everyone always loves guac and he’s always so popular. ha ha. The bigger bowl was “grown up guac” with some jalepeno and onion and maybe a dash of hot sauce? The smaller bowl was “kiddo guac” with just avo, lime juice, and a pinch of salt. Everyone’s happy!
K & K took on green sweet with a reprise of K’s famous Kale and Apple Cake (also gluten-free). This cake has made an appearance at previous rainbow potlucks, but never in mini-donut form! You really can’t taste the kale, but it does make the cake pleasantly greenish in appearance. I LOVED these. I don’t know the source of her secret recipe, or of her cream cheese frosting, but these were extremely delicious and fun to eat. And cute.
ps. I am a dolt and forget to get proper photos of these last three dessert dishes, so these are actually just zoom-ins from that big picture of the whole table at the beginning of the post. I guess I was too excited about eating!
Blue Savory: Blue Coconut Rice
“Blue” Sweet: Chocolate Chip Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
M was in charge of blue savory – a challenge he has taken on many times over the years. This year, he had grand plans to make blue ravioli… but also had a crazy busy work week, so he made this really lovely pot of blue coconut rice. He used Blue Butterfly Pea flowers for the blue coloring. It works like magic!!
I was in charge of blue sweet … and my contribution was a flavor success and a blue fail. I was attempting to make blue chocolate chip cookies – but one of the rules of Rainbow Potluck is “no food coloring!” So, I used butterfly pea flowers, ground into a fine powder… but they really didn’t turn the dough blue at all. Just a little bit greenish. So then I added cocoa powder, to darken them a bit, which basically turned them into blackish cookies. Ha ha. FAIL. At least they were very yums. On the inside of my ice cream sandwiches was homemade Blueberry Ice Cream – with blueberry juice concentrate (from the farmers market) and two cups of fresh bloobs. Well, this was extremely delicious and also extremely purple. I guess it’s better to make something yummy, but not blue – rather than the other way around. Better luck next year!
Purple Savory: Focaccia
Purple Sweet: Blackberry Mochi
I was also in charge of both purple dishes. For Purple savory, I decided to try to make a purple focaccia, topped with purple veggies. I used butterfly pea flowers and beet powder to make the dough purple (but as you can see… after baking, the bread was really much more blueish than purple). I had a big selection of beautiful purple veggies to roast: purple potatoes, purple bell peppers, red onions, and a brilliantly purple Japanese eggplant. After roasting though… the eggplant and the bell peppers had cooked into a gloriously dull BROWN. ha ha. Thank god for the other two! I used a poolish focaccia recipe, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I’d like to try again and get a focaccia that I can be really proud of.
For purple sweet, I made Blackberry Mochi filled with homemade blackberry ice cream. I wish I had remembered to get a prettier picture! This was my first time attempting to make mochi. I watched a lot of videos on YouTube and read a few recipes online. I was really happy with my delicious blackberry ice cream, but my mochi was kind of a failure. It was too smooshy and not chewy at all. Harumph! I used Mochiko flour, but apparently there is an even better rice flour you can use. If you have any mochi-making tips, please tell me! I’d like to try again.
Purple Savory Bonus Pics
Just a baking/science observation here: On the left is my dough before baking, and on the right is after baking. As you can see, the dough was a beautiful, pale lavender color… But somehow, after baking, all the reddish color from the beet powder seemed to bake off into the ether, and I was left with blueish interior. Interesting! Maybe beet juice would offer a heavier RED hit, compared to the beet powder.
purple bell peppers – red cabbage – red tomatoes – orange bell pepps – carrots – orangey-yellow tomato – yellow tomatoes – avocado – cucumber
… all over a giant bed of lettuce
Over years of hosting and attending potlucks, I reached the conclusion that every potluck benefits from a giant green salad. Usually there are a lot of rich and special dishes, and it just feels good to have a huge mound of salad somewhere in the meal. Plus, for rainbow potluck, it’s a special joy to make such a beautiful salad with the glory of nature’s bounty… and I get to use my huge and beloved big blue bowl. I’m tellin’ ya, this was a big salad.
My Rainbow Plates... arranged in Rainbow Order, of course!
Because I am a nerd, and because I have enjoyed rainbow-order-ing things for as long as I can remember, I always insist on arranging my rainbow potluck samplings in gradient order on my plate. Somehow, it really completes the experience! What a great meal of veggies and flavors and colors! I especially love indulging a whole plate full of desserts! Check out how yellow that lemon cake was.
A Perfect Gathering
It was a perfect warm-hot day, the official last day of summer! We ate around our big outdoor table… which is a special treat where we live, and where there is often a cold coastal fog in the afternoons. This day was warm and lovely. After dinner, we gathered around our little firepit and chatted chatted chatted late into the evening.
This year was extra cool, because N and her kiddos have moved about 1 hour away and I hadn’t seen her boys in such a long time. We had three kiddos – reunited for the first time in a few years, and it was great to see them again and see them playing and laughing together! The oldest of them all is 10 this year, and he actually came to our very first Rainbow Potluck, as a little babe!
What a beautiful day. I feel lucky to have some pretty awesome and special pals.