About Our Group

The group consists of 12 girls, each paired with a partner. Each month a partnership will host a dinner, which entails formal invitations, decorations, menus, a multi-course dinner, party favors, etc. Each year we'll have six hosted dinners, a few potlucks, and then take the summer off. The dinners are a lot of work, but a lot of fun. Each partnership will host once a year, and usually have a few months to plan. There are no set themes – be as creative as you want. This gives each of us plenty of opportunities to not only try out new recipes, but to also share an evening with friends.


Gourmet "Ghouls" Halloween Party
October's Event:

Mini "Pumpkin" Cheese Balls

8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese, softened
¼ cups Finely Chopped Roasted Red Peppers
½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
1 cup Finely Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Paprika, For Dusting (I used a mixture of normal paprika and smoked paprika)
2 whole Green Onions

Preparation Instructions

Beat cream cheese, red peppers, garlic and cayenne until well blended. Stir in cheddar cheese. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm enough to handle.

Roll into 1-inch balls and then coat in paprika. Make indents in the side of each one with a knife to make a pumpkin shape (refrigerate longer if needed before shaping with a knife).
Slice green onion into 1-inch pieces (green parts only). Stick into the top of the cheese ball for a stem. If they are larger green onions you may slice each piece in half lengthwise. Roll each half back into a circular shape and stick into the top of the cheese ball to make it the appropriate size. Refrigerate until serving.

Back To School
September's Event:

Veggies and Dip
Grilled vegetables with Almond Pesto

Grilled Vegetables

3 eggplants, sliced on the bias (diagonal)
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 banana squash, sliced lengthwise
2 red peppers, seeded and quartered
¼ cup olive oil (to coat)
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or preheat the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with olive oil to coat lightly. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini and eggplant; 4 minutes for the asparagus. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill. You can also grill zucchini, mushrooms, green onions and whatever other vegetables you like.

Roasted red onions (served with the grilled vegetables)

1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients in a roasting pan and roast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.

Almond Pesto

1 head roasted garlic (see recipe below)
1-2 bunches basil
1 bunch parsley
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 or 3 tablespoons water (more if needed for consistency)
2 cups blanched almonds (toasted in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes until lightly browned)
2 cups olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Blend the roasted garlic, basil, parsley, red wine vinegar and water in a food processor or blender until it becomes a thick paste. Add the toasted, blanched almonds and blend until the almonds are coarsely chopped. Add the olive oil slowly, either blending or whisking continuously by hand (whisking provides a better texture). Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted garlic

1 head garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
A pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice off the top of the head of garlic to expose some of the cloves inside. Place the garlic on the foil, with the exposed cloves facing up. Drizzle with olive oil, add the salt and wrap in foil. Roast until cloves are lightly browned and tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool and then remove the cloves. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Herbed Whipped Ricotta

Ricotta cheese (15 oz)
1 tablespoon of fresh herbs, chopped fine (we used oregano and thyme)
3-4 cloves roasted garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Whip the ricotta, herbs, roasted garlic, olive oil and salt and pepper with a hand mixer until light and creamy, adjusting the consistency with olive oil. Chill and serve with your favorite artisan bread (we served this with prosciutto, fresh basil and a tomato ciabatta).