September 20, 2012

Dinner Club - Theme: Drinks for Dinner

July's dinner club was hosted by Wendy, one of our newest neighbors.  This was the first time she's hosted a party and she was a little bit nervous.  She had no room to be nervous especially when she chose "drinks for dinner" as her theme.  Everyone had such a good time and she was a great host.

We all had fun trying different drinks and shots.  Wendy had some great recipes and I hope I can get them posted here just in case you decide to have drinks for dinner one night too. :)

Lisa F made this yummy smoothie.  I'm a fan of any blended fruit drink so this was right up my ally.

Vodka Smoothie

6 oz vodka
18 oz orange juice
1 cup frozen strawberries
4 scoops orange sorbet
1 cup crushed ice

Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

Brie Dip brought by Shannon.  I am totally in love with this dip, in fact I woke up wishing I had some for breakfast.  Sad but true.  Three magical ingredients.  Highly recommended for any gathering (or sitting by yourself with a good movie).  Must try.  Please.  Seriously.

Brie Dip

8 oz cream cheese
8 oz Brie
8 oz butter

Microwave in intervals until smooth and keep warm in a fondue pot or over a flame.

 Spinach Artichoke Dip

Posted about here and brought by yours truly

I have never made a spinach artichoke dip before but I love artichokes and have eaten many different varieties of this dip.  I thought this one was good but I'm still on a mission to find the perfect one for me.  I had a delicious one several years ago while I was visiting my family in Montana and I've never been able to find another one like it.  I won't give up until I do.

 Frozen Vodka Slushy

I posted about this drink here

I drank this all night after sampling all the other drinks.  This has everything I look for in a good drink.  You cannot taste the alcohol at all which is key for me. It tasted like tropical fruit punch with a slight fizz from the sprite.  I love this drink.  Oh, and as a bonus this recipe makes a large amount so I've got lots in the freezer that I'm sure will last me all summer long. I just need to stock up on Spite or 7up for emergencies. Oh, and I also tried this recipe using a lime flavored sparkling water instead of Spite or 7up and loved it just as much.  For days when you want something a little less sweet. :)

Sliders brought by Heather.  I love how she brought them pre-made with condiments on the side and surrounded by yellow grape tomatoes.  The condiments she included were ketchup, mayo, mustard and pickles.  Yum, they were delish!  I'm not including a recipe here because there wasn't any unusual ingredients.  Simply patty up some ground beef and cook to your liking.  They even sell little slider rolls now, isn't that convenient?

TiNeill brought these cookies and they were a hit.  Everyone kept asking her for the recipe.  They were soft yet plump and full of flavor.  TiNeill is a great cook and we love it when she can attend our dinners, she always has great contributions.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 Cup salted butter, softened
3/4 Cup packed brown sugar
1/4 Cup white sugar
1 (3.5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well.
 Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 min.

*the key is to cook them until they are barley brown, take them out and let them sit on the baking sheet for a few min, then remove to completely cool. 

3/1/2013 - I just made these cookies and decided to put a little better picture.  They were awesome!  Highly recommend these cookies.

Jennifer brought two yummy items.  One was her delicious Onion Tartlets and the other was Maggiano's Signature Apertif.

Thanks Jennifer for coming to dinner club, your contributions were wonderful!

Spicy Onion Tartlets

2 medium-large sweet onions, like Vidalia, cut into very thin wedges (about 1 3/4 lbs )
2 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 -3/4 tsp hot paprika (preferably Hungarian)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup coarsely grated reduced fat Gruyère or Jarlsburg cheese
2 (2.1ounce) packages frozen mini phyllo pastry shells.

To prepare the filling, spray a 12-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onions, cover, and cook until they are tender and have released their liquid, 10-12 minutes. Uncover and cook until onions are golden, 30 minutes. Stir in the broth, paprika, and salt; cook until the broth has evaporated and the onions are very tender, 3-4 minutes more. (You should have approximately 2 3/4 cups.) Cool 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Stir the Gruyère into the cooled filling. Place the pastry shells on a baking sheet; spoon a level 1 1/2 tsp of filling into each shell. Bake until the pastry is lightly crisped and the filling is hot, 6-8 minutes. Serve at once.

Maggiano's Signature Apirtif

1 ounce gin
1 ounce X-Rated Passion Fruit Liqueur
1/2 ounce Campari
Sour mix

Shake the gin, liqueur, and Capari. Pour into an ice filled low-ball glass. Fill with sour mix to taste.

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