A Midwinter Night’s Dinner



I remember mentioning in my very first blog post that because of our love of cooking, we have been in a gourmet dinner club for probably 12 years now.  Our Dinner Club started when hubby and I, along with our foodie friends invited 2 other couples to join us.  One couple, who have been with us from the start, is “Giada” from across the street and her “no green veggies or no seafood main course” husband Mike (had to put that in there, “Love ya Mike!”).  Then we asked friends of ours that we know through my husbands job at the time to join us. 
Our dinner club was to get together every other month and we would rotate the host couple.  The host  selects the menu, assigns a course to the other couples and makes sure the menu and recipes reaches them 2 weeks before the dinner. The host supplies the main course and some sides, wine or cocktails, coffee and a welcoming table.  
Well 12 years later and an exchange of one couple for another, we are still going strong.  We now have a wonderful southern cooking influence with our beautiful artist friend and her always happy and smiling husband that she refers to as “farm boy” in her blog in the group, along with our foodie friends and neighbors.  We have had menus ranging from prime rib (1st dinner) to an Italian Feast, a Chinese smorgasbord, a Thai dinner, some wonderful southern delights, Mexican entrees, tailgaters delights’, crock pot entrees and more.  So many menus and recipes from all these dinners that they fill up two binders I have in my kitchen. 

Well this weekend is our time to host.  Our menu was inspired by two things, a need for an easy preparation because of a planned afternoon basketball game and some recently viewed recipes that we wanted to try.  The first recipe I saw is from the Traditional Home magazine I saw while at the hair salon.  I love Michael Chiarello and his restaurant Bottega in Yountville, Ca.  His whole menu loved wonderful, probably not for dinner club, but the appetizer could work.  The salad is from Fine Cooking Magazine.  I wanted something a bit different and the shaved asparagus made this interesting.  And Ina’s Turkey meatloaf and Green Beans Gremolata, how could you go wrong.  The potatoes have been assigned to our neighbors.  First because we thought we had a basketball game in the afternoon and second, they live right across the street and so their oven is really close.  They were so delicious.
Now the dessert…. It looked very tasty, light  and because the difficulty level was hard.  Ha ha, we assigned that to our “Foodie Friends” because we know that they are up to the challenge.  When we sent the menu and recipes out, we put in fine print that if that thought it was too difficult they could contact us for a substitute.  But they didn’t and it was very good. What a wonderful evening with great friends, good food and delightful conversations. Who could ask for anything more!
Bon Appetite!

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