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Keri’s theme this month was herbs:  each dish should feature one of your favorites, and its flavor should be prominent in the dish.

click for more pictures!

For those with the money to do it (I’m talking well over a thousand per room per night), I hear that the Blackberry Farm in Tennessee cannot be beat for a very, very special (and did I mention, expensive?) getaway, with to-die-for cuisine.  Pamm challenged us to create our own little evening of food-pampering, and we began to understand why a place like this charges what they do:  this food takes TIME to create!  But look at it: it’s gorgeous!

The recipes we used came from various websites, so you can find them here by clicking on the dish:

(Pamm made her Carolina Caviar for a starter – I need to get that recipe and post it here, because it’s a go-to for parties.)

Butternut Squash Soup with Spiced Seeds

Bourbon and Orange Glazed Ham

Roasted Carrot Salad with Muscadine Vinaigrette

Wild Rice with Apples

Haricots Verts

Honey Buttermilk Rolls

Chocolate Buttermilk Cake with Blackberry Meringue

And that Chocolate  Buttermilk Cake with Blackberry Meringue was gorgeous too, even after it succumbed to gravity and fashizzled all over the electric knife.  We laughed and ate it anyway.  Julia would have been proud.

If you’re hosting a dinner group, pick a favorite inn or resort and use their menus and recipes for inspiration, decorate as they would, and enjoy and evening of the very best… without the sticker shock.

Oops. Yum.

Christmas parties at Keri’s are famous for at least four things: very special cocktails, an amazing tablescape, well planned party games, and a fun and mostly civil gift swap. Click on the picture below to see all the fun.

Keri never serves ordinary cocktails. (Hurray!)

I do have two recipes from the evening:  Pamm sent me the recipe for the green beans she made:  12-10 Oregano Green Beans, and here is the recipe for Mary’s Chocolate Praline Cake: 12-10 Chocolate Praline Cake.

Amy hosted us (November 2010) for an evening of Kenyan food, which meant most of us were making recipes we never heard of before.  The food was wonderful, but unfortunately I didn’t remember the camera, so this one is a borrowed image.  However, I do have recipes!

Main dish:  Chicken stew (recipe below) with chapatis (Recipe here)

Mokimo (a hearty potato dish – recipe at a great website called Eat So They Can)

Sukumu Wiki (so fun to say, but it just means kale) – Recipe here)

Dessert was  Biskuti ya nazi, otherwise known as 11-10 kenyan coconut macaroons.

Amy didn’t have a recipe for her chicken main dish, but she describes how to make it like this:

  • Whole chicken, cut up and browned.
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 can tomato paste to thicken
  • Medium onion, chopped and browned
  • Cinnamon, masala, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
Cook all together for a long time & serve over chapatis or rice.

I have some photos but no recipes for two memorable evenings:  Food Look-alikes at Keri’s (August), and German Night at Cindi’s (October).  Susan hosted us in September for Jamaican night, which was really tasty: Jerk Chicken, Keri’s coconut rice, and such.  Alas, no pictures from that one.

Enjoy the photos of the other two nights… the recipes for all three of these dinners are not anywhere I can find!

First, Food Lookalikes –

The idea was to make a dish in which the food looks like something else. Click on the picture for the rest of the photos.

Then German night… in October, of course.  Keri’s birthday in October prompted a lovely Black Forest Cake!

Making a wish? (Click for more photos)

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