Summer BBQ at Laura's

Okay, so the food looks half-eaten in this picture, but it really was amazing. Again, not an "official" gourmet night, but a BBQ hosted by one of the gourmet ladies. LS put on a fabulous spread on Saturday, June 28, 2008. The "Perfect Guac" recipe is listed on the June 3rd blog entry, where you will also find a link to "Charred Corn Salad". Word on the street is you will find those cupcakes in a Salt Lake bakery in the near future. Here are a couple of snapshots of friends and recipes for other tasy dishes of the evening.
Sour Cream Bundt Cake
2 cubes butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Then add 2 cups flour and baking powder. Mix thoroughly. Grease bundt pan and sprinkle half mixture of 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 tsp cinammon in the bottom (I use a little more). Fill pan with half of the batter, then another layer of sugar mixture, then remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes, take knife around edges and flip onto cake platter. 

Grapes and Pasta Salad
(same salad Andrea made for gourmet night August '07)
1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 TBS lemon juice
1-2 tps onion (grated onion)
1 tsp Sweet Hungarian Paprika
1 tsp celery
3/4 cup light vegetable or canola oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
12 oz bow tie pasta, cooked & well-drained
1 pound baby salad greens
1 cup seedless red or green grapes, halved
3-4 green onions cut diagonally into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cups toasted pine nuts
salt and gresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup Parmesan or asiago cheese, shredded
Mandarin oranges (optional)
(Can also add cooked chicken to make it more of a meal)
Place 1st eight ingredients in blender and blend at medium speed until all is blended. Place in small container and refrigeratre until ready to serve.
In a large salad bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients and toss well. Sprinkle shredded cheese over all, toss with dressing just before serving.

Bridget's Summer Kick-Off BBQ

Although not an official "gourmet group" it seems appropriate to mention the evening of Friday, June 13, 2008 since 5 out of the 6 "gourmet girls" were in attendance and all brought very tasty dishes! (Plus, we have to post the recipe for Lara's amazing "Mint Brownies"!) The main course (by Bridget) was BBQ'd kabobs with marinated tri-tips and chicken, peppers, zucchini, pineapple, tomatoes and mushrooms. Lynley made a fabulous mixed greens salad with strawberries and candied almonds, Jodi made her delicious brie appetizer, and L.S.'s "Perfect Guac" may have been the hit of the night! Okay, it was a toss up between the brownies and the guac. (See guac recipe in June 3rd entry). Too bad we didn't take any pictures of the food.

LS and Bridget

"The McBrides" Sister-in-law Whitney & Bro Dustin, Mom & Bridget

Lara’s Amazing Mint Brownies
Brownie Part:
2 ¼ cubes margarine
12 large T cocoa powder
3 3/4 c sugar
7 eggs
2 t vanilla
3 c flour
1/3 t salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt margarine and put in kitchen aid. Slowly add cocoa powder (while mixer is on), then add sugar and eggs (one at a time). Beat until smooth. Add vanilla, flour and salt and mix for 1-2 minutes. Pour into greased cookie sheet (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 for 25 minutes (mine oven is exactly this time) and let completely cool on a cooling rack.
Mint frosting:
1/2 c margarine (cubed)
2 c powdered sugar
2 T milk
1 t peppermint extract
4 drops green food coloring
Melt butter and put in kitchen aid. Stir in all other ingredients and make sure nothing is stuck to bottom of mixing bowl. Pour evenly onto cooled brownies.Chocolate frosting:1 1/2 cubes butter1 1/2 c semisweet choc. chips. In a saucepan, melt butter then add choc chips; stirring continuously until all the way melted. Pour over mint frosting (green frosting does not need to cool down). Place in fridge to set up until 10 minutes before serving.

Brie in Puff Pastry by Jodi (also served at Feb '08 gourmet night)
2 pound wheel of Brie cheese
1 package frozen Pepperidge Farm puff pastry
1 egg, separated
Brown sugar
Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts)
Cut wheel of Brie in half horizontally. Sprinkle on brown sugar and chopped nuts. Replace top of the Brie. Place Brie on one sheet of the pastry. Beat the egg white with a fork and brush onto the cheese and pastry. Place the other sheet of pastry on top of the cheese, cutting off excess pastry. Wrap bottom pastry up to top and crimp edges to enclose cheese completely. Beat the egg yolk with a fork and brush over top and sides of pastry. Place on baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove, and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with apples, sliced French baguette, grapes, etc.

Let's BBQ!

June 3, 2008 - Tonight was pure eating heaven. We had an amazing dinner in Andrea's beautiful backyard, where I believe we all ate more than we thought humanly possible. L.S. fully redeemed herself with "Perfect Guacomole" and a tasty "Charred Corn Salad" (William Sonoma) for our appetizers. Lara brought a yummy "Potato Salad", Lynley some very fancy "Stuffed Artichokes" (perhaps not our favorite), and Jodi treated us to "Peasant Bread" (Favorites). Andrea's main course was Cedar-Plank Grilled Salmon with a yummy maple glaze. We polished off the evening with Bridget's "Berry Trifle" (Food Newtork) and a Lemon Yogurt Cake (from Barefoot Contessa at Home). We were entertained by Andrea's adorable children and a "Gourmet Girls Photo Session" by her husband James. We all concurred that Gourmet Group is definitely our favorite night of the month!
Quote of the Evening: "Cuz if you can't find it at Costco, you must not really need it."

The Berry Trifle!

Lynley, Lara, Jodi, L.S., and Andrea

Bridget & Lynley
Perfect Guacamole
1 jalapeno chili seeded and chopped
1/3 c. cilantro chopped
1/4 c. chopped sweet onion
1/2 t. salt
2 ripe avocados
1 plum tomato
lime juice to taste

Chop and mix.