Cooking Club – cannot believe its the first one of our THIRD year doing it!

Oh my Lerd, I wasn’t sure I’d get through yesterday it was so busy.  I needed to leave by 4:30 to get to Cooking Club close to the 6:00 start time.  I worked through lunch and finished everything I needed to get done with three minutes to spare!  #miracle.  I have today off to finish some last minute stuff for Hannah’s shower today, so I was happy to sleep in an extra hour this morning.

My eats before Cooking Club?  Boring!  I ate breakfast at 11 – a cup of egg whites (1) and fruit.  Oh, and I added 1/2 ounce of cheese so breakfast was only 3 points.

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At 3:00 p.m. I ate this picky plate.  Cajun turkey breast, cheese stick, hard boiled egg and fruit.  4 points!

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I wish I could take this 4:45 express train every day – I got to my train station at 5:40!  Hannah met me at the station with my dessert so that I didn’t have to drive home and then head to Courtney’s. 

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I was greeted with a glass of wine and two delicious appetizers. 

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First up was Tina’s Crostini with Pistachio’s, ricotta and olives – you can find her recipe here (check out the other recipes on her blog – she’s an amazing cook!   It was so good!!  I literally could have eaten the whole tray.

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Lindsay made crispy baked avocado fries with ranch dressing you can find the recipe here.  So light and delicate! I’ve had deep fried avocado fries, but I think I liked these better because they were so light.

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While the main course cooked, we caught up with each other – such a great group of women and I am happy to call my friends.

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Could you guys imagine what kind of damage I could do in that kitchen?!   Catherine, with the help from Courtney, was in charge of the main course.   Ina Gartin’s Roast Chicken over Arugula.  You can get the recipe here.  Oh lordy, I don’t think I’ll ever do roast chicken any other way.  If you follow me on Instagram, check out my story where Catherine explains the dish.  You basically cook the chicken over thick artisan bread so that when the chicken is done, you have these amazing chickeny crunchy croutons.   I wish that was a better picture, but can you see that delicious bread?!

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Once the chicken was cut, it was placed on top of an arugula salad with a champagne mustard vinaigrette.  So, so good.

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Donna made day ahead mashed potatoes – so smooth and creamy.   It looks like this is a recipe Donna got out of a newspaper:

10 medium potatoes, 8 ounces cream cheese, 1/4 pound butter, 1/2 to 3/4 cup milk, 1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons grated onions, 1 tablespoon chives and paprika for garnish. 

Boil the potatoes, when tender, mash.  Add the cheese, butter and milk.  Add sour cream, onion and chives, and pour into a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with paprika, and it can be refrigerated 48 hours in advance.  Simply bake for an hour at 350.

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Julie made this Mind Blowing Roasted Root vegetable with Spicy Radish salad – if you need a fall salad to bring to a dinner party or pot luck, this one fits the bill.   It’s got parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, raddichio – so much deliciousness in this salad!   You can get the full recipe here.  This is going on my dinner menu next week.

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My plate:

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My contribution was my homemade snicker bars – it’s got a shortbread bottom, caramel and nuts, and chocolate on top.  I served it with a vanilla bean gelato.  The full recipe is on The Chopping Block’s site for a blog post I did for them.  The only substitution I made was I used Bob’s Redmill Gluten free flower because Julie is gluten free – I would never know, this was delicious!

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This made a lot – it’s best when they are cut from the fridge – you get good knife cuts that say.

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And of course, Courtney wouldn’t be Courtney without a little gift to go – can’t wait to light this candle – it’s ginger pumpkin!

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I have a busy day planned.  Cleaning, last minute crafty stuff with Hannah.  I also have to do my blog post for The Chopping Block – I am making a butternut squash bolognese.  Does that sound good??  It’s sounds good in my head, so we’ll see!

Happy Friday – make it a great day!