Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grilled Cooking Club

Cooking Club was at my house this month. The theme for the night was "Grilled!" I fired up my gas grill, and Valarie brought her little charcoal grill. We had a special guest! Nancy's sister Valaree was in town and joined us for the event. She brought this delightful chilled grilled fish platter of tilapia and cod with a dill sauce.

Ladies out back grilling and chatting!

Yumi made these Indian Shrimp Skewers with Cantaloupe and Red Onion.

Ta da!

Valerie made Grilled Halloumi with Watermelon and Basil Mint Oil.

Emily showing off her manicure!

Valerie's cheese. YUM!!! This was SO fresh and delicious. The cheese was incredible. Warm and yummy.

Shrimp skewers! The marinade on the shrimp was divine!! It was spicy and went so well with the cantaloupe.

Valaree and Summer ready to chow down!

Yay! Time to eat!

Meanwhile, Summer's chicken had been grilling away, getting ready for the next course. She made Mario Batali's Spicy Black Pepper-Coated Drumsticks.


Emily made panzanella! There she is, grilling up the bread.

Putting it all together.

Yum! The bread was SO chewy and delicious. I definitely munched on a leftover slice later in the night as I was doing the dishes.

Paired with the juicy drumsticks.

Yay! More eating!!

Time for some more food!! Here are my pizzas, all lined up and ready for the grill.

Grilling pizza! My favorite thing to do!

Valarie brought a delicious chilled red wine. She originally met this wine in France!! Ooh la la!

I made three types of pizza. Pesto with grilled shrimp, heirloom tomatoes & feta, Pear with blue cheese, and a Caramelized onion, sauteed mushroom, goat cheese and basil with red sauce.

Summer declared it orgasmic!

"Then we played Apples to Apples!"

As a judge, this was my toughest decision of the night. Well played, ladies! I ultimately went with Beer. I would have to say going to the gym is more "invigorating," which was one of the descriptors on the Refreshing card. Had it been the ACTUAL word on the card, it would have totally won!

Nancy made a grilled nectarine tart with Italian pastry cream.

It was so, so, so, so, SO, SO GOOD.

And that concludes another DELICIOUS cooking club!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Remember how just over a week ago, I got all four bags in the hole? It was a first for me, and a very exciting evening. Well, tonight Ben got all four in TOO!!! We've both been trying all summer, and now we both have finally done it. WE ARE LIVING THE DREAM!!!

Look at all that blue in there!


So, so, so excited!

Congratulations, Emly & Marc!

Today was Emily and Marc's wedding day!! Hooray! The ceremony was beautiful. As they exited the church, we blew bubbles.


There is the woman that did the marrying part!

Ben and Nancy!

Next we headed to Eclipse Company Store for the reception. Polka dots!!


APPETIZERS! Look at the size of THAT feta pesto dome!! Hilarie is the original source of the recipe, and I must say hers tastes especially magical. And it's extra delicious on that Salaam bread that I worship. Mmm. Look at that big giant bowlful!

YUM! Hilarie's famous lamb chops! And feta pesto dome!!

The weather was sunny and gorgeous.

Ry made lots of beautiful music.

The cooking club ladies (minus the bride, of course!) each just HAPPENED to wear a dress of a color that perfectly matched one of my polka dots!! *I* felt like a bride with bridesmaids of my own!!

So super fun.

Speaking of matching, J's beer (Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold) perfectly matched my purse!

Ben got a spanking from Yumi!

Wheee!!! There she is, the beautiful bride!

Shoe inspection.

Time to move inside!


They started things off with the most delicious gazpacho I have ever had. I think smoked olive oil was the secret ingredient?

Some of the guys did a game where they had to act out different animals.

It was hilarious!

The main course! Salad nicoise! Featuring amazing swordfish poached in olive oil.

YUM!!! It was soooooooooo good.

First dance!

More dancing!

Time for toasts! CHAMPAGNE!

Cheers to the happy couple!

Anyone who wasn't going to finish their glass of champagne donated it to Summer. (Lucky!!!)

Cake time! Yay!

Mmm, it was fantastic. My only regret of the night is not tasting all three kinds!!! But I might have exploded if I had. I forgot to take pictures of the incredible cheese course that followed the dinner, but it was amazing and I ate LOADS of it!!