A few months ago, a friend of mine started a dinner group. It’s a really fun idea. The hostess chooses four recipes that she hasn’t tried before. Before the guests arrive, she sets up stations, each one with the recipe the guest will be cooking and all of the supplies and ingredients she will need. There are four of us in this dinner group, and so far it’s been lots of fun!
I love this idea because it takes the pressure off of being the hostess. If the recipe doesn’t turn out, it’s ok, and there is not nearly as much stress as preparing all of the food for a dinner party all on your own!
The first two months of our dinner group featured a few Thai recipes. I can honestly say that they are recipes I would never consider making on my own. They included ingredients like Fish Sauce, which I had never even heard of before. (I love to cook and bake, but I’m certainly not an adventurous cook!)
This time it was my turn to host the dinner group. I had no idea what types of recipes to choose. I wanted to come up with a theme, but my brain was on overload with school stuff. Instead, I just chose a cookbook that I had on my shelf, but hadn’t really ventured into yet. I chose PW’s Food From My Frontier. I love P-Dub and I knew she wouldn’t let me down with her recipes.
*Full disclosure here: I love food photography, but I just didn’t have it in me to plate up and photograph the food this time. These pictures are from freedigitalphotos.net.*
The Whiskey Meatballs were yummy. They didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the picture. Once the gravy was cooking with them, they started falling apart.
The Roasted Shrimp were SO yummy. I would make these again in a heartbeat. My hubby and I devoured the leftover shrimp for lunch the next day.
The Cauliflower Soup… well, the cauliflower soup needed a bit more cooking time. I really should have started this ahead of time and then had the chef for this station just finish it up. We all tried the soup, but decided that the recipe was not a keeper. (Sorry P-Dub, just being honest!)
In the cookbook, Ree suggests serving the meatballs and shrimp with rosemary dinner rolls. We made the meatballs into little meatball sliders and then also used the rolls to dip into the yummy shrimp sauce. The rolls were a good filler since the meatballs and shrimp are more appetizer-ish recipes.
Dessert was Tres Leche cake. It was soaked in three different types of sweet milk and topped with whip cream. It kind of had a bread pudding texture, which isn’t my favorite. I was too full of shrimp to finish it, but it was pretty good.
Overall, I think I needed to throw a vegetable in there, since the cauliflower soup wasn’t our favorite. I liked the meatballs, shrimp, and rolls. The cake and soup weren’t my favorites. I was surprised that I liked the meatballs because they included spicy mustard and whiskey, neither of which I particularly like.
To top off the night, we had apple cider with cinnamon sugar vodka. Talk about warm and yummy! I’m not a drinker, so I’m sure if anyone saw me trying to buy whiskey and vodka at Safeway they would have had a good laugh. I had no idea what I was doing…. I was just trying to figure out which bottle was the cheapest!
I love this idea for a dinner party! We’ve had a lot of fun and it’s pushed me to try a few new recipes (and venture into the whiskey isle at the store). Next month – putting our feet up and ordering pizza at Dawn’s house! Hey, don’t judge. It will be November and we’ll need a break.