Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snow spiked activities

Brrrr, it's cold, but it just makes everything that much cozier. Last evening, our dinner group enjoyed a cozy evening with comfort food, a toasty fire and great conversation. We are a group of six couples that have been getting together once a month for a themed dinner. The host/hostess for January selected "Taking Comfort", and provided the perfect setting in their beautiful country home. The menu was sooooo good, and we started with wine and appetizers served by a cozy fire. We then moved to their cozy living room where they setup banquet tables to accomodate the 12 of us. Perfect! The menu consisted of french onion soup that warmed our toes, a tropical salad that took our mind off the cold by taking us to the tropics, turkey meatloaf with baked mashed potatoes and peas, and then a wonderful chocolate godiva cake for dessert. We ended our wonderful evening with espresso and cordials. I had no problem falling asleep! Today, we will go cross country skiing to work off SOME of the calories.

Here is our comfy setting.

We have wonderful Italian pastry shoppes, so our thoughtful hostess, surprised Joe with this Chocolate Godiva birthday cake that was out of this world.

The Tropical Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing was declared a winner! I found the recipe on the internet, and would love to give credit, but I can't locate it.

The salad:
4 cups mixed baby greens
1 ripe mango diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup fresh strawberries (sliced thick)
handful of blueberries and raspberries combined

Raspberry Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 cup Agave
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
2 TB poppy seeds
1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 TB shallots, minced

I put all the ingredients for the salad dressing in the food processor, with the exception of the poppy seeds. Once the dressing was mixed, I added the poppy seeds.

Here is one of the few pictures I got of the meal, putting the finishing touch on the wonderful French onion soup.


  1. Looks like fun Debbie..I love the cake..brought me back to Umria and Tuscany.Just the ords!

  2. I laughed when I saw the cake :) I didn't know it was Joe's birthday - Happy Birthday, Joe (aka Guiseppe)

    You have a wonderful group of friends, Debbie. Thank you for the salad recipe, I'll be trying that one this summer! Anything with shallots in it calls to me.

  3. looks like a great time! i see you all got giant hershey bar slabs too. the cake looks wonderful and i liked their bear~

    we used to do this too, it was great fun! thanks for the recipe!

  4. You have such a great group, Debbie, I think we all look forward to your get togethers, too :)

  5. That looks like fun!
    Did she make that cake?? I am jealous!
    Your salad looks delicious..

  6. Salad copied and filed! I love poppy seed dressing and with the raspberry makes it that more special! Good job Debbie!

    The onion soup looks really yummy..and warm!!!

    Glad I wasn't the only one noticing the giant Hershey bars !!!!

  7. Happy Birthday, Joe! Beautiful pictures, Debbie. I love the 2 tables together, what a great idea.

  8. What a fun time your group must have! Do you meet once a month all year round? I love your beautiful tropical salad and all the peeks into the party. I have those antler candle holders, I should get them out for a tablesetting soon.

    I not only noticed the Hersey bars but that two plates are already missing theirs :-)

  9. Thanks everyone, and today is Joe's actual birthday. His favorite meal on his birthday is Chinese, I'm having a get together at our home tonight.

    Marsha, we meet once a month, but not in the summer. We're all too busy with summer activities.


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