Our November gathering was held at Mary's lovely home, and featured recipes from Melissa Clark’s Dinner: Changing the Game, paired with desserts from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Both authors contribute recipes to the New York Times, and their fresh, flavorful and creative combinations made for another terrific meal together.
Melissa’s recipes from Dinner are designed to stand on their own as a meal, and she also includes some delicious appetizers and finger food in the collection. We shared several herby dips, two kinds of meatballs, and a brown-butter-topped corn bread which gave Crescent Dragonwagon a run for her money! Tofu made an appearance in three delicious dishes, each completely unique due to the accompanying spices and cooking technique. Butternut squash & red lentil soup provided the perfect taste of fall, and our savory dishes were rounded out by a refreshing farro salad, fried lemon pasta, fried halloumi with Brussels sprouts, and coconut curry shrimp, with a side of coconut rice.
Luckily, we all managed to save room for Dorie’s desserts! Seasonal specialties included cran-apple crisp, rugelach, and "Not Just For Thanksgiving" cranberry shortbread cake. We also enjoyed brown sugar-pecan shortbread cookies and a luscious chocolate cream tart.
As always, the afternoon was filled with great conversation, laughter, shared stories and our mutual enjoyment of cooking and dining. We departed full and happy, and inspired for our own Thanksgiving feasts!
Several of us continued on to hear Dorie Greenspan speak at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center in La Jolla, where she was promoting her latest cookbook, Everyday Dorie. Our local San Diego Union-Tribune food writer, Caron Golden, interviewed Dorie and added her own observations and wit.
Dorie is every bit as charming, funny, entertaining and relatable in person as she is in her food writing. She shared funny stories about cooking mishaps (including burning down her parents’ kitchen as a pre-teen attempting to make French fries, and getting fired from a baking gig for “creative insubordination”)! She talked about her own history of learning to cook, and discussed the creative process as she puts recipes together. This was a wonderful finale to a delicious afternoon!
Click here for photo gallery and recipe links.
Next month: Our 3-Year Anniversary Celebration and Holiday Gift Exchange!