November 5, 2014

Dinner Club: Theme - Fall Foods

Dinner club is back in session on our cozy little street.  I missed it.  There is just something wonderful about the people living on our street, more than anywhere else I've ever lived. We all spend time with each other eating, drinking and looking out for one another.  It's great.

I was a little hesitant about dinner club in October because it's such a busy month for everyone.  Soccer is in full swing and I think most of us on this street have kids who play, volleyball is going on as well.  Not to mention trying to get ready for Halloween and school in general.  Busy busy busy, I'm sure you all can relate even if you don't have kids.

I decided to take a chance and host the first dinner club since back in the spring.  Luckily the attendance, food and company were awesome!  We had a new member join use last night, hi Alison!  Glad you could make it!

I made two recipes for this dinner club feast.  The main dish was Texas Chili that was made in the slow cooker.

The second recipe I made was dessert, Chocolate Lasagna in fact. I've had this dessert many many times but I've never actually made it.  It's so easy and so delicious that I can see why it's such a favorite. 

Jambalaya is a great fall weather food.  Alison brought this delicious dish and everyone loved it.


Ingredients and Directions

2 liquid to 1 rice ratio
Roux - 1 can tomato paste and oil 
add trinity and garlic
add sausage and chunky chicken
cool down a bit
add 1 can/box chicken stock/broth, 1 can hot water, 1-2 cans tomatoes whole/sauce, 1 can rotel
season with tony's
bring to boil
add uncle bens rice
bring to boil, cover and simmer until rices is done and no liquid remains (30-40 min) depending on how much is made

trinity-onion, bell pepper, celery

Everyone loved this cornbread casserole made by Lisa W. So full of flavor, I loved the texture and it appears to be easy to throw together for those busy weeknights. 

Cornbread Casserole
Recipe by Home Sweet Ruby

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can cream style corn
  • 1 packages Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Add all the ingredients (except the cheese) together in a medium bowl and stir.
  3. Pour into a greased 9x13 for thinner, 8x8 or 9x9 for thicker pan.
  4. Bake for 45 - 50 minutes.
  5. Add cheese to the top and bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

This little gem was made by Wendy. The original name for this recipe was "No-Bake Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes" but we all thought that they were much more like a mousse than a cheesecake.  We loved the light an fluffy texture and the wonderful pumpkin cheesecake flavor.  Easy to make since there isn't any baking involved.  Great for the holiday's because your oven is probably already overloaded.  We all enjoyed this one tremendously. 

Pumpkin Mousse Cups
Recipe from A Family Feast 

  • 1 sleeve graham crackers
  • 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 - 8oz package cream cheese
  • 1 - 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 - 1oz package sugar free cheesecake flavored instant pudding
  • 1 - 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-12oz container frozen whipped topping + extra for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Add the graham crackers to a food processor and process until they are fine crumbles. Add the melted butter and both sugars and process again until combined and it looks like wet sand.
  2. Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of several 9 ounce plastic cups. Refrigerate while you make the mousse. 
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
  4. Add the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and pudding until well mixed. 
  5. Switch to a whisk attachment and add in the whipped topping, slowly, until combined. 
  6. Refrigerate for one hour. 
  7. Use a pastry bag or a zip lock bag with a tip cut off to add the filling into the cups on top of the graham cracker crust. 
  8. Refrigerate until ready to serve, top with more whipped topping and other garnishes if desired. 

Thank you Emily for bringing this one. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we all loved this soup.  Most of us love sweet potatoes anyway so this soup was a favorite.  Sweet potatoes are so good for you anyway so to find a new use for them is awesome. Full of creamy flavor with little bites from the cashews.  So good!

Cream of Sweet Potato Soup
Recipe from

  • 4 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp half and half
  • 1 dash thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • chopped cashews for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender, about 45 minutes. 
  3. Peel off the skins and mash them.  You don't need to get them completely smooth, some chunks are OK. 
  4. Add the mashed potatoes into a large stock pot and add the remaining ingredients except for the cashews. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour. 
  5. Add cashews when ready to serve. 
I believe we will resume our dinner clubs after the holiday's.  I can't wait!

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