It’s time for our next Gourmet Dinner Club! It was Danny and Alicia’s turn to host, and they hosted at Alicia’s dad’s house.
We all made recipes from the famous Ina Garten (of Barefoot Contessa). This was such an exciting pick for me because I grew up making and eating recipes from many of the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks – they’re standards in the kitchens of everyone in my family. For our first Gourmet Dinner Club, I actually made her recipe for a Nicoise salad with my favorite French potato salad.
In addition to our standard group of six, we were joined by Alicia’s dad and her best friend Amy and her girlfriend Michele, who actually went to school with the guys, making this a reunion of sorts. South Jersey can be a small world sometimes.
To start the evening, I brought bruschetta with sauteed chard, smoked salmon tea sandwiches, and the zucchini and goat cheese tart (which I will absolutely be making again). We were able to sit outside in the cool fall weather, which made for an even more relaxing start.
Once we moved inside, we started our feast with Ina’s Italian wedding soup, made by Amy and Michele. I’m already thinking about when I can make this soup because it was perfectly comforting without being heavy. A great way to start the meal and the perfect recipe to now have in my back pocket going into fall and winter.
We all sat at the table for a while talking about food, work, vacations, and lake-effect snow.
To wrap up the feast, Eric and Jenn brought a cheesecake with raspberries which was cooked perfectly, an incredible feat for first-time cheesecake makers. My favorite part of the cheesecake was definitely the graham cracker crust.
Jenn also made chocolate truffles (also known as chocolate balls) which were the unexpected hit of the evening. I have a few on my kitchen counter and it’s taking all my self-control not to eat them now.
We’re up next for hosting! Any suggestions for a theme?