Just Dinner

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I don’t like to call it a ‘dinner party’ because that sounds stressful.  But just dinner?  I can handle regular dinner.  Even if I’m cooking for six, not my normal two.


On the menu for tonight’s non-‘dinner party’ party:


Vegetable quinoa


Roasted potatoes

Roasted Brussel sprouts

Salad with almonds, cranberries, and goat cheese


Amazingly, the entire meal took me only 45 minutes from start to finish.  I mean – I destroyed my kitchen in the process, but at least I wasn’t slaving over the stove.


The easy entrée is what made all the difference in the time prep – I cooked tri-color quinoa and then combined it with carrots, canned corn, chickpeas, English peas, and an entire bottle of red wine and oil olive salad dressing.  Ready in a blink of an eye.


Really, the tofu was intended to be mixed in, but a few of my guests aren’t fans, so I kept it to the side.


Simple salad with goat cheese to add, if guests wanted to:



And the roasted veggies completed the meal.


All together now:


After the meal, my friend Heather whipped out a personality quiz book called The Wisdom of the Enneagram.  It started off with two simple questions, the answers to which determined your basic personality type.  Then, there were 15 questions for each personality type to confirm how intensely you conformed to those characteristics. 



There are nine basic personality types (broken down quite neatly on the Wikipedia entry for the book).  When we answered the questions, we all also answered for our spouses to see how well our perceived personality matched up to what others think of us.   


The Husband is a clear Helper: 

  • Basic fear = being unloved
  • Basic desire = to feel love
  • Temptation = denial of own needs, manipulation
  • Vice = pride
  • Virtue = humility


I was a clear Challenger:

  • Basic fear = being harmed or controlled
  • Basic desire = self-protection
  • Temptation = believing they are entirely self-sufficient
  • Vice = lust or forcefulness
  • Virtue = Innocence


The whole discussion was really interesting; if you’re into this type of thing, I would definitely recommend the book.  Plus, it was a fun dinner party game to play with close friends – we laughed a lot about each other’s weird habits (like my fixation with doing laundry every Sunday, no matter what – a clear Challenger personality quirk). 


Hope you had a nice Friday, too!



  • Shannon April 7, 2012, 1:02 am

    I’d love to see this book. I hunch that I’m a challenger as well. I definitely have a lot of those qualities. Maybe I’ll get the book and discuss it at a dinner party soon!

  • The Clean Eating Mama April 7, 2012, 1:36 am

    what a fun “non” dinner party! Beautiful food!

  • Kristin April 7, 2012, 3:39 am

    Looks good! Where did you get your dining room set? I love it!

    • CaitlinHTP April 8, 2012, 4:00 pm

      At World Market!

  • Jen April 7, 2012, 3:56 am

    Sounds like fun! As much as I adore you, based solely on the information above, I actually sound more like your husband. I just wanna be LOVED (although, most of the time, I am too proud to admit this…LOL). 🙂

  • KaraHadley April 7, 2012, 4:52 am

    If you like that sort of thing, another book you might be interested in is Gary Null’s Who Are You Really?: Understand Your Life’s Energy.
    It breaks it down into different types of life energies and then teaches you how to honor that energy, as well as the best way to interact with other life energies. It’s really cool and then once you get the hang of it, you can pretty easily identify other people’s energies, which can make interpersonal interactions much more fruitful.

  • Leslie April 7, 2012, 7:33 am

    Your home from everything I’ve seen so far is really nice. I love your dinning room. So happy for you and your little family. Have a lovely Easter weekend.

    • CaitlinHTP April 8, 2012, 4:00 pm

      Thank you! Happy Easter.

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 7, 2012, 8:09 am

    That book sounds really cool – I love things like that!

  • Alett April 7, 2012, 8:15 am

    That dinner looks yummy!

    re: the book
    What a fun evening. It was really interesting to read about the differences in personality traits between you and your husband.

    (after reading the description ->I feel that I am definitely a “helper” as well)

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 7, 2012, 9:34 am

    Yum!!! That meal looks SO good.

    I don’t mind doing dinner for friends either. I DO like to call it a dinner party though so I can sound like I’m from Mad Men.

    It’s funny how different personalities attract. I’m definitely the same type as your husband although occasionally I display type A tendencies (of control issues).

  • Brenda April 7, 2012, 10:25 am

    FUN! I’m going to look for that at the bookstore today. I think it’ll be entertaining at Easter dinner 🙂
    Have you read The UltraMind Solution? It has a ton of quizzes in it to show if you are deficient in certain vitamins, fats, proteins, etc. I took that to my sisters house last week. It lead to some interesting conversations.
    BTW, lucky you to have found a Helper!

  • Becca April 7, 2012, 11:01 am

    Whenever I think of dinner parties I think of all the military dinners my parents would host and attend 🙂 it always sounds so formal. I like the idea of just saying dinner! much more fun and relaxed.

  • Stephanie @ Legally Blinde April 7, 2012, 11:43 am

    Sounds like an awesome dinner! And I’m so impressed that you put it all together in 45 minutes! If I’m having people over it turns into an all-day preparation event, haha.

  • Marissa C April 7, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Whoa woman! You moved in a week ago, you’re 7 months pregnant, and you are hosting dinner parties already?

    I bow to the domestic goddess!

  • Shannon April 7, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Where are your dining table/chairs from? I am looking for a similar set!

    • CaitlinHTP April 8, 2012, 4:02 pm

      World Market. Love that place.

  • Amber K April 7, 2012, 1:57 pm

    I love personality quirks and learning what my own mean. This sounds like a fun book!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb April 7, 2012, 2:24 pm

    what a lovely spread! everything looks delicious.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well April 7, 2012, 6:02 pm

    I must say, I loooove your dining room and think the purple wall is great. I’d never think to paint that color purple but I think it looks lovely!

  • Cheryl Boswell April 7, 2012, 7:01 pm

    Great tip on the book. I hear you on the dinner party. I guess it is the difference between having people you are totally comfortable with as guests and people where you know it will be a social struggle.

    The social struggle or awkward one should be called a “dinner party” is how I look at it.

  • Emily April 7, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I am absolutely a Helper. It can be kind of a lonely life when you base your worth on others’ affection and want to constantly take care of people, especially when those people take advantage of you.

  • Chriseda April 8, 2012, 9:52 am

    Had to order a used copy of the book for a girls camping trip coming up. Thanks!

  • Amy April 8, 2012, 11:19 am

    I love your dining chairs. Could you tell me who makes them or where you bought them? I’m looking for chairs that can double as dining and comfortable extra seating for guests.

    • CaitlinHTP April 8, 2012, 4:02 pm

      they are really comfy – we got them at world market. they come in blue too

  • Karen April 9, 2012, 11:06 pm

    I LOVE the color on the walls in your dining room! Share the name and maker? I’d love to find a place in my house to use it:)

    • Caitlin April 10, 2012, 8:38 am

      Eggplant by Martha Stewart!

  • Tri Gear Girl July 23, 2014, 11:48 am

    Looks yum. I love having friends over for dinner. Great times!!

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