Fall Gourmet Goodness

The gourmet girls met for yet another evening of fine cuisine.  Friday, September 17 we convened at Laura Steven's for a wonderful meal.  Raquel started us off with her amazing Mini Chicken B'Steeyas appetizer (Martha Stewart).   Lara's Green Salad with Vinaigrette was light and flavorful.  Jodi favored us with her "labor of love" Cracked Wheat & Molasses Bread from Keeping Up Cookbook.  Our main dish was Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Applejack Cream.  LS also served some mashed sweet potatoes on the side.  Lynley brought yummy Twice-Baked Potatoes and for desert there were Spicy Chocolate Truffles (Williams-Sonoma) and Fresh Orange Pound Cakes with an Orange Glaze (an Emeril Lagasse recipe from Foodnetwork).  It was another home-run with an array of delicious food and fun with friends!

Our chef hard at work in the kitchen!

Lara, Jodi & Bridget

 Lynley, LS and Raquel

Notice the new blog format.  Each of the recipes from the evening's meal are in a separate post.  We will tag each recipe post and create a directory by category in an effort to make your recipe searching easier.  Also notice our new search bar on the sidebar to the right, which is very handy for locating just what you're looking for.

Also, I just posted the recipe for Lara's crepes from last month.

Green Salad with Vinaigrette

1/2 lb Butter lettuce or mixed salad greens
2 TBS red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
6 TBS olive oil

In a small mixing bowl combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.  Whisk until well blended.  Add the oil steadily while continuing to whisk.  Taste and add more salt and pepper as necessary.  (You can also adjust the amount of vinegar and oil to your liking).  Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.  Can be used on green salads, tomato salads, and to dip steamed artichokes in.  Experiment with all of your veggies!  Serves 6.

Lara tossed the lettuce with the dressing and in a separate bowl tossed fresh tomatoes from her garden with the dressing.
Cracked Wheat & Molasses Bread

Jodi found this recipe in Keeping Up Cookbook.

Lynley's Twice-Baked Potatoes
Spicy Chocolate Truffles

Heavy Cream, 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter, 2 tablespoons at room temperature
Semisweet (plain) chocolate, 12 oz finely chopped
Unsweetened chocolate, 1 oz  finely chopped
Pure vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon
Unsweetened coco powder, 3 tablespoons
Sugar, 2 tablespoons
Ground red chile, 1 teaspoon
Ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon

1. Make the truffle filling.  In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the cream and butter until the butter melts.  Remove from the heat, add the semisweet and unsweetened chocolates, and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.  Add the vanilla and stir until smooth.  Scrape the truffle mixture into a large bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface, and refrigerate until firm throughout, at least 2 hours or up to overnight.

2. Shape the truffles.  On a dinner plate, using a fork, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar, chile, and cinnamon.  To form each truffle, scoop up a tablespoon of the cold filling, quickly roll it between your palms into a rough ball, and roll the ball in the cocoa mixture to coat evenly.  as the truffles are formed, place them on a lined baking sheet.  The truffles may be served right away, or covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  For best results, bring to room temperature before serving.

Warning: These truffles have a real kick!  If you don't like spicy, omit the chile powder.

Gourmet Girls Go On Tour

Last night, Tuesday, September 7th, five of the gourmet girls had the opportunity  to give a small presentation at Andrea's ward Relief Society night.  Andrea was generous enough to have matching aprons made for all of us.  I think we looked pretty legit!  :)  We had so much fun explaining the format of our group to the ladies who attended.  We shared favorite recipes, favorite gourmet memories, told them about the blog, and of course had food to sample!  Andrea made Liege Waffles on the spot!  We also displayed a cornucopia of table settings and displayed some of the cookbooks we like to use. We loved getting to know the ladies of the Holladay 27th Ward!


 Jodi preparing the Liege Waffles


The Cooking Station


Lynley Preparing Watermelon Bites


Watermelon Bites
These were originally made by Laura Stevens at our August 2010 gourmet night.  They are small pieces of watermelon, topped with honey goat cheese, pistachio nuts and a piece of arugula.


 Favorite Chocolate "Go-To" Cake
We actually haven't made this for an official gourmet night, but it is a new favorite of all of ours.  It is in the new "Keeping Up" Cookbook.

Lynley originally brought this tasty appetizer to our October 2008 gourmet night.
Marinated Cheeses
Lara brought this to our very first gourmet night! 
I make them quite often and everyone loves them!
8 oz cheddar cheese
8 oz cream cheese
Cut into small squares and alternate in glass dish.
Mix ingredients well, pour over cheeses and marinate overnight.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
3 TBS green onions, minced
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (2 oz) jar pimentos
Serve with crackers or toasts

Here are some shots of our table settings


Display Table of Cookbooks
the Gourmet Girls like to use

Let's Get Crackin'!

On the evening of Tuesday, August 31, 2010 all seven of the gourmet girls gathered around Lynley's table for a decadent crab feast!  We started off the evening with Lemon Margaritas (w/o the alcohol) and LS's delicious appetizer: watermelon with goat cheese and hazelnuts.  Coincidentally Andrea's Arugula, Watermelon and Feta Salad had many of the same ingredients.  Raquel treated us to Red Lobster's Cheddar Biscuits and our side by Jodi was Ina Garten's Corn Confetti.  Our main dish of course was King Crab Legs and Lara treated us to some authentic French Crepes for desert(made by a Frenchman himself)!  Bridget sent a "to-go" treat of Sticky Vanilla Popcorn.  Lynley was prepared with bibs, buckets for the disposal of crab legss, crackers and tiny crab forks.

Our hostess hard at work!


Lemon Margaritas


LS's Fancy  Appetizer 
Watermelon bites topped with honey goat cheese,
pistachio nuts and a piece of arugula




King Crab Legs! 
Lynley boiled them for 4 minutes.  Because they were so long, she turned them around 1/2 way through.  She cooked 8 lbs for the seven of us, which allowed each of us two crab legs.  So generous!  She shopped around a little and found Costco to have the best price. 


Lara's Delicious Crepes

1/4 cup sugar
3 drops vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
2 TBS melted butter
pinch of salt

Mix everything but the flour first, then slowly add the flour.  Mix it until blended.  IT should be thick but not too thick.  Turn the stove on to about a 7 (you can adjust up or down as necessary as you cook).  Spray or butter a crepe pan.  Pour into the buttered pan to cover the bottom of the pan thinly while rotating your hand to get coverage.  When it's done sprinkle some sugar on it while it's hot.  Makes 6 crepes.  BON APPETIT!

Sticky Vanilla Popcorn
1 cube butter
1/2 cup sugar
A little less than 1/2 cup Karo syrup
1 tsp vanilla powder

Pop popcorn and set aside.  Melt butter in saucepan on stove.  Add sugar, Karo syrup, and vanilla powder, stirring continuously.  Let boil for one minute.  Stir in popcorn and enjoy!  I popped 3/4 cup of kernels and it seemed just the right amount to be thoroughly covered, but not too gooey.  I dump the popped corn into another bowl after it has popped to remove uncooked kernels.