A Fall Frenzy of Food with Friends and Filets

The evening of Tuesday, October 5, 2010 the gourmet girls met at Andrea's for a another wonderful meal.  We started off the evening with Lara's tasty appetizer, Pear and Prosciutto "Carpaccio".  Jodi's Maple Dressing Salad not only tasted delicious, but was also beautiful - lots of color!  Bridget brought Grandma Zoe's Buttermilk Biscuits from Keeping Up Cookbook.  Andrea made our main dish of Blue Cheese Crusted Filet Mignon with Port Wine Sauce.  (She substituted grape juice for the wine and it was delicious)!  She also treated us to some Bacon Smashed Red Potatoes.  Lynley brought some spaghetti squash, and for desert, Raquel made a scrumptious Pumpkin Cake.  Unfortunately LS couldn't make it until the very end.  As always, we enjoyed trying new recipes and catching up with old friends.

Maple Dressing Salad

1 large bag baby greens
2 cups blueberries
2 cups strawberries
1 purple onion
2 cups of crumbled blue cheese
2-3 sliced apples or pears (Jodi used pears)
2 cups of your choice (Jodi used pecans)

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 TBS white wine vigegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Grandma Zoe's Buttermilk Biscuits

2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup buttermilk (or more)

Mix all dry ingredients together.  Cut in shortening with a fork until small crumbs are formed.  Add buttermilk and stir until well combined, adding an additional teaspoon or so of buttermilk if any flour remains in bottom of bowl.  Scoop dough onto a generously floured surface.

With floured hands, give dough a few kneads and folds until smooth.  Pat dough into a 1 1/2 inch thick circle and cut 8 to 1- biscuits with a round biscuit cutter.  Shake off excess flour and place on lightly greased baking sheet, biscuits touching each other.  Bake at 400 degrees until lightly brown, 18 to 22 minutes.  I brushed a little melted butter on top of each biscuit right when they came out of the oven.

( I promise it looked and tasted much better than this picture makes it look!)

Lynley's Spaghetti Squash

Raquel's Pumpkin Cake

1 yellow cake mix  (reserve 1 cup)
1 egg
1 cube butter or margarine
Mix cake mix (minus 1 cup) with egg and butter/margarine.  Cut in like a pie crust until crumbly.  Press into the bottom of a 9x13 dish.

For the filling, mix the following ingredients together and pour on top of crust:
1 big can pumpkin
2 whipped eggs
1/2 cup evaporated milk

For the topping, mix the following ingredients and sprinkle over the top:
1 cup reserved cake mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 TBS butter or margarine

Bake at 350 for 50 to 60 minutes.  Served with whipped cream.

Interestingly enough, Bridget has a very similar recipe!  For a variation on the filling:
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

For nut-lovers, you can also add chopped walnuts or pecans to the crumble topping.