Friday, September 5, 2008

Gourmet Club

Growing up, my parents had a monthly "Gourmet Club" meeting. Simply, it was dinner with their friends where they incorporated an international cuisine theme. They would rotate their meetings from home to home each month with the hosts preparing the main course and the guests bringing the appetizers, side dishes and dessert.

Now, here's the cool part, they dressed up authentic to the international theme for the evening. For example, if they did Japanese food, each of them would dress in a formal Japanese dress, kimono and all!

As a kid, I remember my parents getting all dressed up representative of a foreign country and preparing uniquely delicious foods.

Start your own gourmet club and see where it takes you! Here are some theme dinner ideas:
Chinese Night

Sample Menu:

Appetizers -

Spring Rolls

Sweet and Pungent Meatballs

Oriental Pork Potstickers

Main Courses -

Cashew Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Chinese Pepper Steak

Desserts -

Honey Apples

Chinese Sponge Cake

Melon Shells Filled with Fruit

Mediterranean Night

Sample Menu:



Moroccan Carrot Dip

Saganaki (Flaming Cheese)

Main Courses:

Greek Style Lasagne
Basque Barbeque Leg of Lamb


Italian Chocolate Cookies

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Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

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