We hosted an inaugural dinner Saturday, February 13 to kick off the start of a new Texas Gourmet Group we have down south.
HOW OUR GROUP CAME ABOUT
Hubby and I have been spending the colder months this year in Texas. The topic of our current “Up North Gourmet Group” happened to come up when we were with friends back in December. One of the couples had never heard us talk about it, and asked us more about it. They became quite intrigued by the concept, and were interested in us starting a similar cooking group here in Texas. In a matter of a short time, we had 4 couples interested in forming a Group here in Texas.
All of us met casually one day to discuss the details of how we wished to proceed as a Cooking Group – format a group similar to the one we currently have had for years up north or instead maybe have a more-relaxed “Supper Club Cooking Group”, and how often we wanted to get together.
Our group decided they liked the way our Up North Gourmet Group has done it, and we would proceed the same way. The hosts would plan the entire menu including recipes, and then give each couple one of those recipes to prepare for the meal.
We offered to host the first Gourmet Group in our home since we had done it before. Our Group selected a mutual first date to start – Saturday, February 13th.
Our Texas group is made up of couples who love to eat good food and also love to cook! One of the couples is even currently taking virtual cooking lessons with a chef located in Spain!
This was a Group that was ENTHUSIATIC to start!
Covid and Things
One of the couples had a conflict with our first date (a birthday celebration for their mother) so for our first date, there were just 6 of us which worked better for table distancing. By the time we get together for our second date, at least half of our group (maybe more?) will have received both doses of the vaccine:-)
I was very happy that our first date to host happened to coincide with Valentine’s Day. I absolutely love tablescapes both creating and perusing them. Having a Valentine’s Day theme provided me with an easier theme to work with for both the tablescape and the menu.
OUR MASKS FOR THE EVENING
FOYER CHEST & POWDER ROOM
A VALENTINE’S DAY TABLESCAPE
~ Pretty in Pink ~
Place Setting Details
A white rose for each of the ladies.
Children’s Valentine Cards were used for place cards.
Of course with it being Valentine’s Day, we had to give our guests treat boxes.
ASSUMING THERE WERE EIGHT OF US
I wanted to see what the table would look like if there had been eight of us for dinner.
Just because the other couple weren’t able to come that night, I still gave them treat boxes and a rose.
DINNER MENU for the EVENING
A PEEK at SOME OF OUR FOOD
Cheese cut into heart shapes for our Valentine’s Day themed dinner.
Polenta Bites with Wild Mushroom and Fontina
Figs with Bacon and Chile
This was one of My Favorite Things I ate that night.
The recipe called for crushed red pepper as the spice in it. Our “chefs for this recipe” made the decision to replace the red pepper flakes with chipotle chili powder instead. I loved that in spite of our group being brand new, they felt confident enough in their cooking skills to make this change from the recipe. The chipotle gave the figs a tasty, interesting kick to them. A change for the better I think!
Baked Goat Cheese Salad
This recipe appealed to me because it was one from the iconic Chef Alice Waters.
I loved the X and O sprinkles on top of the cake.
I wish I had membered to take a photo of the Raspberry Cream Cheese Heart Tarts. They turned out very cute and were yummy!