Chalk Paper and Papaya Red Quinoa Mexican Caesar Salad

By AJ Dronkers We've all seen chalk paint gain popularity over the last few years but how about bringing that fun to the dinner table? I recently hosted a dinner party where I wanted to experiment with Chalkboard Paper Table Runner I got from Amazon but can be easily purchased through major retailers such as Target or Anthropologie. The chalk runner was 30 inches wide, so covers the majority of my kitchen table, and is 50 feet long so you just simply roll, cut, and tape the amount you need. It even comes with a starter pack of white chalk.


My design friend AnneMarie was coming over for dinner and I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to have fun with creative guests. I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks, Sprouted Kitchen, a California inspired cook and centered in on two new recipes the Papaya & Red Quinoa Salad with Mexican Dressing and her Beer Bean - Cotija Stuffed Poblanos. I also threw together a classic carne asada for my meat lovers.


With some simple geometric designs we created cute seat assignments. You can also use this as a base for appetizers and labeling cheeses or wines. I will warn you that if you leave the chalk out and serve wine during dinner the runner turns into a glorified children's coloring book. (TIP: remove the chalk runner immediately after dinner especially if it got wet so it doesn't stain your table.)

My favorite thing of the night was the papaya and red quinoa salad with mexican caesar dressing! It's an exotic twist on a ceasar salad which is equally refreshing as it is satiating. It's full of fruit and protein and will satisfy your healthy vegetarian crowd, picky kids and even your comfort food foodies.