Chefs' Club Blog

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Tastes amazing! But, how long did that take to make?? – November 19, 2010

This November meeting marks our official TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY of the commencement of our Chefs’ Club.  We had our very first dinner in November 2008 and have faithfully met once a month ever since.!  As our little cooking club has evolved, it seems that we often create amazing food, but sometimes at the expense of time and budgets!

For this month, we decided we should aim for high taste standards (as always!) but try to shoot for something that is 30 minutes or less – trying to create dishes that we could make any night of the week, despite busy lives and lots of activities!  We used Rachel Ray’s 30-min meals and Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade as inspirations. The only caveat was that it should be relatively EASY and that it should be a dish that fits the fall season.


  • Cocktail: Mer – Apple Cider, lemon juice, maple syrup, apple brandy and brandy. YUM!
  • Appetizer: Tara – Creamy Pumpkin Pie Dip served with Apples .  Our resident dietician lightened this up by using less butter and light cream cheese.  Smooth and flavorful! Tara also made a Crispix Mix Cinnamon Apple Crunch with her husband to share with us, too.
  • Salad: Kim –  Arugula Salad with Manchego cheese, Dates, candied Walnuts, and Apples. The dressing was made of olive oil and white wine vinegar, topped with a balsamic reduction. This was my favorite part of the meal!!! Amazing salad.
  • Main: Kelly J – Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Blackberry and Red Wine sauce. Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Red Wine- Blackberry Sauce. From Rachel Ray magazine.  Wonderfully moist and perfectly cooked meat!
  • Side: Stacey – Brussels Sprout Hash – one of the featured Epicurious Thanksgiving recipes – but Stace added her own twist – Bacon!  The bacon and shallots really made this!
  • Side: Kelly B – Winter Squash Soufflé.  Touted as “a quick and cozy” fall meal on Epicurious, I couldn’t help but give it a try!  I used canned squash puree  instead of the frozen, because I already had several cans in my cupboard. It has a kick to it because of the cayenne and nutmeg. I liked it!
  • Dessert: Laura – Pumpkin Gingerbread with vanilla and pumpkin ice cream (Yes, Edy’s Slow-Churned makes PUMPKIN ice cream!!). .  Laura used a Trader Toe’s box version of “Gingerbread Cake” for the gingerbread portion of this recipe.  The original recipe called for more of a ‘crust’ and this made it more cake-like.  A good use of making a quick-and-easy trade for our ’30 min or less’ theme!
  • Wine: Thanks Stacey and Kim!
  • Not Present: Erin and Sarah L


The cocktail! Full of Fall flavors 🙂

La Salade 🙂 This recipe has fantastic flavor. We've made it several times since then!

Fun with friends 🙂

The main and the brussel sprouts. (Souffle is on its came out a bit after the fact!)

The souffle -- good flavor, but could have used a little more cheese than the recipe called for! Has a nice kick, though.

Sadly, we ate the dessert before we realized that we hadn’t taken a photograph!! Too late…but since it was gone, I guess you can assume that it looked fantastic and was absolutely delicious 🙂

Enjoy! Happy Cooking!!!!!!  – Chefs’ Club


January 21, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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