Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sixth Annual Cooking Club Christmas party goes Green

This past weekend we hosted our 6th Annual Cooking Club Christmas Party. There are 10 families in our group and we meet monthly to cook, eat and fellowship together. Our annual Christmas party is the only "adults only" event of the year. This year the theme was a "Green Christmas" and we tried for a menu full of local and organic specialties.

Our past Christmas party themes have included Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean and French cuisine. I had a tough time brainstorming a new type of food our group has not tackled before. Then I thought of a very obvious choice: Our family has been on a healthy living journey for the past couple of years. We've spent a lot of time changing our lifestyle to avoid processed foods and incorporate healthy choices like local and organic fruits and vegetables and even meat. This theme seemed natural for us.

Dorina Gilmore, Cori Schmidt, Shawna Thiessen, Christine Johnson
Stacie Benedict, Brandy Freeland, Allison Vasquez, Mary Andrade
Susan Holman & Marcy Pusey

Our menu included:
Sleigh Driver Punch
Organic Spicy Greens, Fuyu persimmons, Feta cheese
Sweet potato and Red Onion Galette
Oven-roasted Butternut Squash with Garlic & Parsley
Pomegranate Beef served over Quinoa
Upside-down Gingerbread with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Enjoy the recipes!

The fun part was we bought most of our ingredients at the local farmer's market or gathered them up from our own gardens or local farms.

Susan and Antonio get props for tackling the toughest job - prepping the butternut squash.

Stacie is always a wonderful sous chef. You can put her to work on anything. She helped this time peeling pears for our Pear Gingerbread dessert. This one surprised us and stole the show. We all were scrambling for seconds.

Nathan, Forest and Chris helped with setting the table and, of course, chipped in with clean-up along with the other men. Meanwhile, the ladies snuck in a few rounds of Scattergories.

All the guests brought new or used cookbooks wrapped in something recycled. This is our second year bringing cookbooks. It's not surprise that the girls get really competitive with this gift exchange. There is a certain strategy to getting the cookbook you want when your man is sitting next to you.

Nathan & Brandy stole the much-coveted subscription to Eating Well magazine in a recycled lunch bag.

Troy & Allison somehow pulled off taking home three cookbooks.

Cori & Darrel scored the vintage French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child. Bon appetit!

Ericlee and I enjoyed a grand evening celebrating local food and community. Ericlee asked each person to share one specific way God has blessed them in 2009. We were blessed to hear all the stories of God's provision, new jobs, new babies and more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just caught up on reading your blog and enjoyed the extra details and photos of the Cooking Club Christmas party. What a very special group of friends you have in this club and what fun it must be! I'm so glad you started this, Dorina.