I had such a good time last night at my friend Courtney’s Cooking Club.  This is our second time getting together, and it’s nice to get to know everyone a little bit better, as going in I only knew Courtney.

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It was tough eating and cooking in these conditions, but we made due. Ha!  Courtney’s house is so beautiful – if anyone in the Northwest Suburbs of Chicago needs help with designing or decorating, let me know and I’ll pass her info on to you.

Julie was our cooking demonstrator for the night and made a chunky chicken chili, which was unlike any other chicken chili I’ve ever had and it was delicious.  So spicy flavorful!  But first we started out with Fall Sangria and appetizers – my mini pretzel bowls with cheddar cheese soup and Courtney’s Mom made bacon, tomato avocado lettuce wraps.  I was really happy with how my appetizer turned out – we actually didn’t even need the tiny spoons, because after they sat for just a bit, some of the soup got absorbed into the pretzel roll and you could just pop it in your mouth – delicious at room temp too!

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She walked us through the recipe – she’s gluten free so she tossed the chicken in gluten free flour, but other than that, she followed the recipe below.  Although she says she does “eyeball” the recipe – if it seems too thick she’ll add some more chicken broth.  This is a great make ahead recipe too because it would freeze well!  Can you see all that peppery spicy goodness?!

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Ha, I just noticed that my insulin pen was right next to my plate – klassy!  All the food was delicious.  Tina (another food blogger!) made a crusted butternut squash and pine nut dish that was amazing – I told her I had never eaten butternut squash by itself, I’ve had it in chili, etc., but it was delish.  Lindsay made a healthier version of Chicken Divan using quinoa – again super delicious.  And Catherine made an almost cake like corn bread that was melt in your mouth delicious.  And last, but not least, Mary Beth made Pioneer Woman’s Knock you Naked Brownies.  I brought that home and Hannah and Jacob gave it two giant big thumbs up.

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What an enjoyable evening.  I love how food brings people together and it doesn’t matter if you’ve just met or known each other for years – our love of food makes us instant friends, and I thank Courtney for including me in this Cooking Club.  Looking forward to #3 in December!

Alright, I guess I have to get ready for work.  Is it 5:00 yet?!  Make it a great day!