Seven Ladies Dining

The Gourmet Girls gathered at Miss Lynley's on February 20, 2013 for yet another delicious meal.  We started the evening off with Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons by LS, then an amazing Chopped Salad with Lemon Basil Dressing by Andrea. Raquel wowed us with some awesome Crusty Bread. Our main dish by Lynley was a Tri Tip. Unfortunately I didn't get the recipe or take a picture; duh. Jodi made fabulous Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes with Chipotle and Bacon. Our dessert by Lara was Chocolate Eclair Cake. I've made it a couple of times since. It's easy and delicious. It's also easy to make a sugar-free version if necessary. I brought a take-home treat of Sticky Vanilla Popcorn. It was so nice to have all seven of the gourmet girls together for this delicious meal and evening together.

The group sans LS: Lynley, Jodi, Andrea, Bridget, Raquel and Lara.

 Jodi, Andrea, Bridget and Raquel

Lynley, LS and Lara
Butternut Squash Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

1 Butternut Squash (2 3/4 lbs, cooked) - Laura says she usually opens it up, removes the seeds and places it face down in a glass dish, covers it in plastic and steams it in the microwave for about 15 minutes or until it feels tender.
1 T. Butter
2 cups chopped peeled pear (1 lb)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 1/3 cups water
1 Cup Pear Nectar
2-14 oz cans of Vegetable Broth
2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
Saute butter, onion and pear until lightly browned.  Add squash pulp and all ingredients EXCEPT for the half-and-half.  Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then puree the soup, add the half-and-half and serve.  Voila!  super simple!

Andrea said this is her favorite salad at Ruth's Chris and she was determined to make her own! We were all so happy for her determination because it was amazing! For the crispy fried onions she thinly sliced onions, coated them in flour and salt, then fried them in hot oil. Isn't this a beautiful creation?

This was DELICIOUS! It is time consuming because of the long hours of rising, but Raquel assured us it was very easy.

Sticky Vanilla Popcorn
I was the "extra" for the evening so I brought a take-home treat of Sticky Vanilla Popcorn. Embarrassingly enough, I made this in September of 2010! So this was a repeat. Here is the recipe, in case you missed it the first time! 

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.

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