Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm part of a Gourmet Dinner Club and wanted to post the recipes for that here so I have them with all my other recipes.  This is mostly just for me but if you are interested the recipes are at the bottom of the post.

On September 25th we had the great pleasure of attending a Southern dinner party hosted by GG and Brittany.

We received postcard style invites explaining that we would be enjoying "A Night in the South", and to dress appropriately.  We had fun pretending to be Southern Belle's.

When we arrived GG and Brittany met us out front.  We took group pictures while it was still light out.  

GG and Brittany

The whole group
Top Row - Holly, Tanya, Alisha
Bottom Row - Tori, Brenda, Brittany, Carrie, Emily, GG, Mandy, Corinne, Alyssa

The event was hosted at GG's parents home overlooking the Sandy River.  It was absolutely gorgeous.
We were first escorted to the side lawn for appetizers.

 The little tables were so beautifully set with lace squares and fresh flowers.

Each place setting had it's own little bud vase.  I loved this touch.

Blackberry Lemonade was served in jam jars with the appetizers.

For appetizers we ate Fried Green Tomatoes, Corn Chowder and Chicken Salad Tartlets.  It was beautiful and yummy.  The chicken salad was especially good served in a cup made out of cheese with fresh blackberries for garnish!

We were then guided to the back patio for the salad and entree courses.  Along the walkway and around the patio there were candles hanging in Mason jars with purple ribbon.  It added so much ambiance.  My favorite part was that they had rented an outdoor patio heater to keep us warm while we ate.  On a September evening in Oregon it's hard to keep warm.

I loved this table configuration.  It was formal, and yet personal.  It made it easy to be able to chat with everyone there. 

The table had more lace, wild flowers and purple.   Our name cards and the menus were held up by bent forks. 

The sun set and we enjoyed the coziness they had created for us on the patio. 

Salad Course was a Juicy Watermelon Salad.  It was a delicious balance of sweet and savory.

The beverage served with the entree was a sparkling grape juice.  My favorite part was the kabob stick of frozen grapes as garnish.  They served as a perfect palette cleanser.

 And now for something very special!  The entree is served!
Lobster Tail (YES! Lobster Tail!), Cole Slaw and a cheese and herb roll.  Brittany was out on the patio with us while we ate our watermelon salads she was grilling the lobster tails.  She did a fabulous job.  Her pregnant brain did forget to put her apron on, but no matter because she did a great job of cooking our lobster to perfection!  It was a special treat, and I can't wait to use this recipe at home.

 This was really a progressive dinner of sorts.  After dinner we moved to a third table setting for dessert.  
Dessert was held in the dining room.  More lace and fresh flowers, of course, but also these really fun purple flower chargers.

For Dessert
Lemon Lush, Mississippi Mud, Nana Pudding
Oh my goodness!  These were all so scrumptious and very Southern!
The table had down the middle, printed and framed black and white prints of our group photo from earlier in the night.  We each got to take one home.

Our other take home gifts were homemade hand soap in a mason jar with pump, and a baked mini pecan pie in little mason jar.  It was really fun!  I have to say that it was really fun to eat the pie later in the week.  It was really good!  I can't wait to add this to my Thanksgiving menu.  

GG and Brittany did a fantastic job!  They put so much into this event and it showed in all the little details.
Thank You!!!


Blackberry Lemonade


6 Lemons
2 cups water
2 cup lime soda
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup blackberries

Zest 4 of the lemons and place in a 1 cup measuring cup. Add to the measuring cup the juice from the lemons until the juice and zest combine to make 1 cup.

In a saucepan boil 2 cups water with sugar, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Add zest, lemon juice, and let cool.

Smash the blackberries. Combine the lemon mixture, blackberries, and 2 cups lime soda. Add ice, or desired garnish (lemon slices, frozen whole blackberries, or mint). Enjoy.



1 1/2 stick butter
1 1/2  cup flour
3/4 cup chopped nuts (walnuts) (plus enough to sprinkle over the top)

8 oz cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tub cool whip (separated)

(2) 3.5 oz packages lemon pudding (can do chocolate or other flavors)
3 cups milk

In small mixing bowl mix butter, flour and chopped nuts. Press into a 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Cool.

When cool, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 cup cool whip in a medium mixing bowl and spread on the first step.

Wisk the pudding with the milk and spread on to make the third layer. Refrigerate until set (5-10 minutes)

Spread remaining cool whip over the top. Sprinkle with chopped nuts.

(Can be made a few days in advance)


5.0 2
Yield: Makes 6 servings
Total: 30 Minutes
INGREDIENTS:Find local grocery deals. Edit your ZIP code and select your favorite grocery stores to see what ingredients are on sale right now.

·         1 large egg, lightly beaten  
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·         1/2 cup buttermilk
·         1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         1/2 teaspoon pepper
·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour
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·         3 medium-size, firm green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/4 lb.)
·         Vegetable oil

1.     1. Whisk together egg and buttermilk. Combine cornmeal mix, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup flour in a shallow dish. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.
2.    2. Pour oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375° over medium-high heat. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt to taste.

·         6 ears of local sweet corn, shucked
·         1 ½ cups of half and half or cream
·         4 Tbs of butter
·         6 cups chicken stock
·         8 slices of bacon, diced
·         1 Walla Walla sweet onion diced
·         1 – 2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ to ¾ inch pieces
·         4 – 6 Tbs flour dissolved in enough cold water to make a thick slurry for thickening
·         1 Tbs chicken base
·         1 Tbs high quality soy sauce, Yaasa is a
         good one
·         1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
·         Freshly cracked black pepper

·         Saute the onions in the butter until soft and opaque, then add the bacon and cook
until the bacon is done                                                                                                
·         Add the soy sauce, the half and half or cream, the chicken stock and base
·         Add the potatoes and gently simmer until they are almost tender
·         Just before the potatoes are done, add the flour water slowly, checking consistency

While the potatoes are cooking, prep the corn:
·         On a large platter, stand an ear on its end and very carefully with a very sharp knife cut the kernels off.  Catch all of the corn and milk.
·         After removing the kernels, carefully using the knife as a scraper, drag it down the corn at a 90 degree angle to extract any remaining corn milk from the cob.  This milk adds natural sugar.
·         When steps to prep the soup are completed, add the corn and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
·         Garnish each serving with a pat of butter, a sprinkle of paprika, and some fresh parsley.

With Grapes & Pecans

Prep time: 25 min.   Yield: 8 Servings

·         ½ cup mayonnaise
·         2 Tbsp. sour cream
·         1 Tbsp. lemon juice
·         1/8 tsp. salt
·         1/8 tsp. pepper
·         4 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
·         1 ¼ cups seedless red grapes, halved
·         ½ cup chopped pecants
·         ½ cup chopped celery
·         ¼ cup chopped sweet onion, optional

·         In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients.
·         Add the chicken, grapes, pecans, celery and, if desired, onion.
·         Mix lightly to coat.
·         Spoon into parmesan cups, garnish with blackberry, papaya curl and mint leaf and serve.

·         Heat oven to 350°.
·         Spoon about 1/8 cup of grated parmesan cheese into a mound on a silpat.
·         Make six mounds on the silpat then, using your fingers, pat gently to spread into a larger circle.
·         Bake in middle rack of oven until they are bubbly, 4 to 5 minutes.  Watch carefully. Wafers should be golden in color and lacy in appearance.
·         Remove as soon as they can be handled and gently place inside a muffin cup to form a small bowl.  Allow to cool and become firm.


·         8 cups cubed seedless watermelon (about 1 medium)
·         1 small red onion, cut into rings
·         1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts or slivered almonds, toasted
·         1 cup fresh arugula or baby spinach
·         1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
·         3 Tbsp. canola oil
·         Watermelon slices
·         1 cup (4 oz.) crumbled blue cheese

·         Cut triangle slices of watermelon and place on 10 salad plates.
·         Sprinkle cubed watermelon onto slices, distribute evenly.
·         Lay onion rings (2 or three per plate) onto watermelon
·         Add nuts and arugula or spinach.
·         Drizzle vinaigrette and oil over salads.
·         Sprinkle each salad with blue cheese
Note: To toast nuts, spread nuts in a baking pan.  Bake at 350° for 5 – 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.



·         ¾ cup low-fat plain yogurt
·         ¼ cup low-fat olive oil mayonnaise
·         2 tbsp fresh lime juice
·         1 tbsp finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
·         ½ tsp ground cumin
·         1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
·         4 cups coarsely shredded red cabbage
·         4 cups coarsely shredded Savoy or green cabbage
·         1 cup unsalted cooked black beans or BPA-free canned black beans
·         Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

·         In large bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, 2 tbsp lime juice, chipotle chiles with sauce and cumin.
·         Fold in remaining coleslaw ingredients and set aside.
·         Coleslaw can be prepared up to 2 days in advance.

·         1 tablespoon active dry yeast
·         1 ½ cups warm water
·         1 ½ tablespoons sugar
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         3 tablespoons vegetable oil
·         1 egg yolk
·         4 – 5 ½ cups flour
·         ½ cup real butter,  softened
·         1 ½ tablespoons Garlic Bread Seasoning (see below)

·         Combine the yeast, water, and sugar in large mixing bowl and allow to stand 10 minutes or until bubbly.
·         Add salt, vegetable oil, and egg yolk and combine.
·         Add 3 cups of flour and mix well until combined.
·         Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that barely sticks to your finger.
·         Knead, either by hand or in a mixer for another 2 – 3 minutes. 
·         Cover and allow to rise 1 hour.
·         While dough is rising, combine butter and garlic bread seasoning. Set aside.
·         When dough has risen, roll the dough into an 18 X 6-inch rectangle on a work surface lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or sprinkled with flour.
·         Smear garlic butter over the entire surface of the dough and then sprinkle with cheese.
·         Roll up the dough jelly-roll style and then use dental floss to cut it into 12 equal slices.
·         Place each slice in a muffin tin cup that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover.
·         Preheat oven to 350° and allow rolls to rise while the oven is heating.
·         Bake 18 – 22 minutes.  If rolls start to get too brown place a sheet of aluminum foil over the rolls.

Garlic Bread Seasoning:
·         ½ cup powdered Parmesan cheese
·         2 teaspoons kosher salt
·         1 tablespoons garlic powder
·         2 teaspoons each: oregano, basil, marjoram and parsley
·         Shake ingredients together in an airtight container.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

With Chile-Cilantro Butter
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         ½ jalapeno or green chile pepper, seeded and minced
·         3 tbls chopped fresh cilantro
·         2 tbsp organic unsalted butter, melted
·         2 tbsp olive oil
·         1 tsp olive oil
·         1 tsp lime zest
·         2 tsp fresh lime juice
·         Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
·         6 lobster tails (6 to 8 oz each), fresh or frozen, thawed
·         High heat cooking oil (such as sunflower, safflower, peanut or grape seed oil, as needed
·         1 lime, cut into wedges, optional

·         Prepare butter: In a small bowl, combine garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, butter, oil, lime zest, 2 tsp lime juice, salt and black pepper.
·         With kitchen shears, cut away the soft shell of the entire underside of each lobster tail, towards tail and about 1 ½ inches wide, exposing meat.
·         Heat grill on medium-high and brush with high-heat cooking oil.
·         Add lobster tails to grill, cut side down, and cover.
·         Cook until shells are bright red, 4 to 6 minutes.
·         Turn and brush meat with butter mixture, dividing evenly.
·         Cover and cook until lobster meat is opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes.
·         Place on serving plates and serve with coleslaw and lime wedges.


·        Chill one 64-oz bottle white grape juice and one 2-liter bottle lemon-lime soda.

·        Combine grape juice, soda and 1 ½ cups white cranberry juice in a 5-qt. punch bowl
·        Keep chilled with frozen grapes on a skewer
·        Serve immediately

Makes 24 (3/4-cup) servings


Yield: Makes 8 servings
Total: 1 Hour, 15 Minutes

·         1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
·         1/4 cup butter
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·         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         4 large ripe bananas, sliced
·         1 cup granulated sugar, divided
·         1/3 cup all-purpose flour
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·         2 large eggs
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·         2 cups milk
·         4 large eggs, separated
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·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·         48 vanilla wafers

1.     1. Cook first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until bubbly. Add bananas; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat.
2.    2. Whisk together 3/4 cup granulated sugar, next 3 ingredients, and 4 egg yolks in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, 8 to 10 minutes or until a pudding-like thickness. (Mixture will just begin to bubble and will hold soft peaks when whisk is lifted.) Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.
3.    3. Divide half of banana mixture, pudding, and wafers among 8 (1-cup) ramekins or ovenproof glass dishes. Layer with remaining banana mixture, pudding, and vanilla wafers.
4.    4. Beat 4 egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. at a time, beating until stiff peaks form and sugar dissolves (2 to 4 minutes). Spread meringue over ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet.
5.    5. Bake at 325° for 15 to 20 minutes or until meringue is golden. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes.


This pecan pie filling will make a large 9" pie or about 8 of the ½ pint jar pies.
1 1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. soft butter
4 large eggs and 1 yolk
1/2 C. sugar, granulated or I like to use granulated Maple Syrup
1 C. Lyle's Golden Syrup or dark Karo
1/2 C. light Karo
2 t. vanilla
pinch of salt
1 1/2 T. heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Line 1/2 pint large mouth Mason Jelly Jars with pie crusts and trim. Take special care to push the pie dough out into the corners of the bottom of the jars. 

Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with the sugar, add the syrups and soft butter and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the salt, cream, and pecans until combined. Spoon into the unbaked pie crust jars leaving 1/8" space at the top. Place a pecan half in the center of each jar of pie. Place the jars on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes until done.

Cool and add lid.  Keep in refrigerator until ready to eat.

Note: Use the crust recipe from the “Apple Pie” recipe from the Taste of Oregon 
Gourmet Club Dinner.