we finally did it!
we started a gourmet club ... i started calling it a "supper club" but danielle dubbed it "gourmet club" and i liked it better ... so "gourmet club" it shall be!
so last night was our first meeting and it was a fabulous time!
the goals of this "club" are the following:
1. for good friends to make some great food, preferably something you haven't made before
2. don't stress about your dish ... if it doesn't work out, stop at safeway on your way over! (just make sure it's something good!) :)
3. relax and forget about any stresses or troubles we may have
and our first night accomplished all of our goals!
here's the rundown.
we decided to do the gourmet club while at the cabin over new year's weekend, so we didn't have a set plan for our "january meeting". so this month was thrown together rather quickly and dubbed "cocktail party" night. danielle hosted the soiree at her place and we were all quite glad - because she is THE.BEST.HOST.EVER! we all love parties at her place. and she also made a dessert (more on that later). adam was the "barkeep" (nicknamed by heather - hilar!). heather made a savory dish, traci and i also made savory dishes and lyndsay made a dessert. while eating all the superb food, we shared our successes and horror stories about our dishes, why we chose them and whether we have made them in the past. after eating we played a game of apples to apples. traci and heather caught on VERY quickly - a little too quickly because traci cleaned up! we had to extend the game b/c she won so fast. but she ended up kicking all our butts anyway. and then we moved on to a NEW(ish) game at danielle's casa ... and i just realized i really should have taken a picture of this ... but she has a set of 8 chalkboards (i think - maybe it's just 6) and they're all lined up together to make one big chalkboard. so we played PICTIONARY! and danielle had the great idea to use the apples to apples cards. it worked perfectly and we had a blast! all in all a GREAT first get-together for us foodies.
now here are the details on the food!
heather - a delicious terrine made with goat cheese, pesto (homemade pesto!), sundried tomatoes and toasted pine nuts. this was served with pita chips and displayed with kumquats on the plate. it was so beautiful! it looked like a mountain or volcano! and it tasted SO good!
traci - rolls with barbecued beef. VERY good! traci had the first "horror story" of the gourmet club. she tried to make bbq beef but said that it didn't look quite right :). those of you who know traci know how funny she is ... so of course it cracked all of us up that this was her explanation for why her dish didn't work out :). but she made a fabulous recovery by bringing store-bought bbq beef. i told her she could have gotten away with telling us she made it ;) ... but i guess that's the fun of the club! we'll all have successes and horror stories at some point!
jeanine - i made roasted shrimp cocktail (a barefoot contessa recipe). i followed the recipe but i also added 3 cloves of chopped garlic and i think it made SUCH a difference. it would have been too boring without the garlic. the recipe comes from ina's latest book - back to basics!! i was really happy to get to use my new cookbook. the recipe also calls for a homemade cocktail sauce but it was still VERY easy and delicious.
danielle - not much of a "horror" story, but her original idea didn't work out as she planned. she wanted to make mini napoleons. if you don't know what a napoleon is - here's a picture of the delicious pastry. napoleon's - how i LOVE napoleons! (or anything with pastry cream for that matter!) anyway, danielle thought she cut the puff pastry too small so she baked tiny little mini puff pastries and baked them and we had deconstructed napoleons. i still couldn't stop eating them! even if they weren't what she originally planned to make.
lyndsay - molten chocolate cakes. i need to find out where she got this recipe b/c she made them in a muffin tin! and the reason i rarely make molten chocolate cakes is that i don't want to deal with all the individual ramekins! so i will certainly welcome a muffin tin recipe for these delicious concoctions! they were VERY good and very rich (although i managed to eat the whole thing) and lyndsay had the bright idea to serve them with a scoop of coffee ice cream on top.
adam - aka barkeep (per heather) ... adam made a fantastic cocktail! first a short story ... adam got an iphone for christmas. it was ALL he wanted so basically EVERYONE (including yours truly) who bought adam a christmas present most likely contributed to adam's iphone and/or his many interesting applications on the iphone. one of the coolest applications is "bartender" (at least i think that's what its called). so adam chose something with bourbon (yum) and decided to make a bourbon smash. however he re-named it "EVERYBODY IN THE POOL!" and i will admit that if it had not been january, that's how we all may have ended up if we had one more of those babies! it was SO GOOD! and it has been "favorite-d" on the iphone for future use.
the drink consisted of blackberries (the original recipe calls for raspberries, but blackberries were on sale - and i prefer them ... so i'm thankful for safeway's sale of blackberries) :), lime juice, & mint leaves muddled in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. then adam added a little simple syrup, bourbon and cranberry juice. it is all shaken with ice and poured (not strained) into a glass. SO good!
i think that covers the evening!
i took a few pictures - but as usual, i left thinking i should have taken more!
i don't have pictures of apples to apples, pictionary OR the group! :-/
i will post the pictures a little later and maybe by then i will think of something i left out of the above description!
danielle also offered to host for february ... hooray for danielle and her fabulous hosting abilities - and DESIRE to host us crazy folks! we are having a RECORD PARTY!! i am so excited i can hardly wait for february! danielle's dad got a record player for christmas so we are going to have a 70's party ala swingtown (minus the swinging) ;)
we will make fondue and dress in costume and arrive with dippers and records in hand.
i am pumped! can you tell? ;)
thanks for reading this NOVEL ... but i am so excited we have kicked off the gourmet club so well! i decided to document every detail!
let's see if we can keep the momentum going for the next few months of 09! ;)
happy inauguration day tomorrow everyone!