Why we started this idea????

A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Supper Club: Holiday Cocktail Party

Yeah, she has nothing to do with Supper Club except being a really cute annoyance to our guests all night. But this photo is just too cut not to share.

In our many years of Supper Club gatherings I can't remember a December gathering that fell only 4 days from Christmas.  

We were happy to host Supper Club this month. It gives me even more reason to decorate for the season, which I enjoy doing regardless. 

So with the house all ready to go we decided that actually being so close to Christmas doing a theme that would be a bit less maintenance would likely be appreciated by all. We went with a typical holiday cocktail party theme. Everyone brought makings for a festive cocktail and a hearty appetizer. PERFECT, especially since almost all of our members love appetizers. 

It was a great way to kick off our winter break. 

Table set for a potluck style meal, holiday tunes a playing..... we were ready to celebrate.

We greeted everyone with our cocktail, a Tipsy Santa. Yeah, next time we would need to use a course type of sugar for the rim to help with the Santa hat look. But they actually were pretty tasty and tipsy.

Some great apps were included in the spread. 
(Of course per my usual Supper Club photography I remembered to start taking pictures after most of the food was gone.)

We made grilled lamb chops with a creamy mustard sauce and

Sliced Steak Caesar sliders.

Lisa & Derek made a fantastic Gruyere' cheese, caramelized onion & bacon dip (need we say more, YUM!) and

Brie with Peach Salsa Crostini. 

They served a delicious White Chocolate, Candy Cane Martini also.

Jeff & Kris joined us after attending their daughters choral recital. And they brought with a great platter of greek flavored pizza pinwheels.

They also made a refreshing Cranberry Amaretto cocktail.

Since it was an appetizer theme I just picked up some frozen eclairs and bite sized tastes for dessert. But given the sweet cocktails dessert was barely touched by any of us at the end of the night.

It was a great gathering during a very busy season to just sit down and nosh on some yummy food with some people who have become our Supper Club family.

From G, T & Sally P. we wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


All 3 recipes adapted from Rachel Ray Everyday Magazine Recipes. Linked below:

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Day of the Dead Christmas Cutouts

I'd have to say my favorite part of any holiday are the traditions attached to it. The traditions around Christmas are definitely my favorite. No huge surprise but we don't go crazy with the holiday baking around. 1) We aren't actually big 'sweets' eaters. 2) I am not a fan of baking in general.

But we do typically always make cut out sugar cookies, salted caramels and of course gingerbread babies with our niece and nephew.

This year I found these Day of the Dead cookie cutters which I knew G would think are really cool. He loves Day of the Dead decor. 

Usually we stick to more traditional decorating of our cookies, and we did a few stockings and mittens just to be traditional.

So although the Mexican Day of the Dead has is not exactly seasonal we thought if we decorated them with Christmas colors hey they'd be festive. 

But let me tell you once the cookies were done and cooled and we started decorating them and it was really hard to decorate them as ornately as they were done on the box. 

But we had fun trying and of course they were just as delicious. 


Christmas Cutout Sugar Cookies
prep time: 90 MIN
cook time: 11 MIN
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Store-bought or homemade frosting
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the butter until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla.
Turn the mixer off. Add the flour and then beat just until combined.
Remove the dough, shape it into a disk about 6 inches wide and wrap it securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for a minimum of 1 hour. (Sometimes I put them in freezer for 30 minutes to speed the process up.)
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.(This helps immensely to prevent cookies from breaking. A very necessary tool to use.)
Remove the dough from the fridge and cut it in half. Roll half the dough until it's about 1/4-inch-thick. Using cookie cutters, cut out your desired shapes and place them roughly 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining dough. 
Bake the cookies for 9 to 11 minutes until pale golden, and then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart

Running a bit behind in getting our 2013 Thanksgiving menu this year. But it was a good one as typical and I promised to post the recipes we used.

G cooked a bit smaller turkey than usual and this year he grilled it. It was delicious.

We always start out with too many appetizers and every year we say, "not this year."

I was so excited to make the Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart that was on our November issue of Fine Cooking this year. It just looked and sounded amazing. But several hours into making it I remembered just exactly why I HATE BAKING! It just takes too many ingredients, too many steps and far too much time and honestly for all that work it only tasted okay, not amazing.

It was a great meal with family we love that's what Thanksgiving is all about and why we love to host it each year.

Links to our 2013 Thanksgiving Recipes: 

Smoked Chile Scalloped Sweet Potatoes Bobby Flay from Food Network

Wild Mushroom-Bacon Sourdough Dressing Bobby Flay from Foodnetwork

Bourbon-Caramel Pumpkin Tart from Fine Cooking