Thursday, September 17, 2009

I'm No Julia

This Monday I am hosting Gourmet Dinner Night at my house. What's that? you ask. Well, once a month 8 of my high school friends and I get together at someone's house for dinner. The hostess makes a gourmet dinner for everyone and posts the recipes on our website Cookbook Junkies. The website doesn't have all of our recipes because in the past, we used to just print out recipes for everyone.

We've been doing gourmet dinner night for about four years and this is my fourth time hosting. Anyone who knows me knows I love to eat but I hate to cook. I've already made an Easter Chicken Cordon Bleu dinner, a nautical Salmon dinner and a catastrophic Beef Stroganoff dinner (where I forgot to make the noodles!) along with every salad, side dish and vegetable I know how to make. I have been dying over what to make this time since I've pretty much given 'em all I got. I considered dropping out of the group. I seriously don't have another thing in my repertoire that is considered fancy. We don't do a lot of fancy around here. In fact, when the group comes to my house, I insist we call it simply Dinner Night instead of Gourmet Dinner Night.

Amy (Vranes), Jill, Liz, Lisa, me, Natalie (Darla), Jaime, Andrea and Nicole

The worst part is, we have some very very good cooks in the group--people who don't consider grilled cheese sandwiches a major effort. Luckily, they are all my friends and we spend more time laughing and talking than worrying about the food. In fact, husbands have been known to hang around corners or help with dishes just to hear the girl talk.

So in preparation for Monday, I have been searching food blogs and cooking every night this week in order to find something decent to serve. Sam actually hates it when I cook because I make the biggest mess. It is thunder dome in the kitchen when I'm done. Here is a real-life photo from Tuesday night. Scary huh?


Now can you see why I'm terrified to try to cook and entertain at the same time. I'm going with a Mexican theme because who doesn't love Mexican food? I found an awesome food blog that I will share with you after Monday. Wish me luck. The good news is my guests are my friends and we will still have a good time even if the food bombs.

20 comments:

Natalie said...

Brooke,
your meals are always to die for! You don't give yourself enough credit, girl. i'm totally looking forward to monday & some fab mexican food & sam doing the dishes so he can hear us talk about our sex lives Ü

Christie said...

That is such a fun idea! I'd be a disaster though - can't good meat to save my life. The dessert? I could rock it.

Lisa Cannon said...

I love that you guys do that! We get together with my hs friends every couple of months, but we go out to dinner. You guys should do that, or you should get take out and make it look like you cooked :) Just hide to containers!

We totally talk about sex, too. Sam probably won't let you go out, he'll miss out on the great gossip!


I love your friends! I worked with Lisa at the Gap and I know Andrea and Nicole. Such a fun group of girls! We still need to do dinner, let's go soon!

Melissa Walker said...

I love that you guys are still friends and get together! My good high school friends are scattered and I haven't seen some of them since college! I have an awesome chicken enchilada recipe if you'd like--way better than the typical enchilada. It uses pecans for a great texture/taste as well as the chiles/cream cheese/soup/monterey jack mixture! Here's our family cook book blog if you're interested in checking it out: youcooklikeagirl.blogspot.com

Jen (and her men) said...

love mexican food! can't go wrong there. (and my kitchen has looked just like that plenty of times!!) good luck! call me when it's over and we'll talk...

Sam said...

After the last incident, I've made sure that Brooke will be using paper plates. No kitchen duty for me.

I recorded the last discussion and had the cassettes stored at the Draper City library under "historical fiction."

Jill said...

This would be a stressful group for me to belong to, so it's a good thing I'm not part of such a group. Just having to bring one part of our book club dinners usually sends me into a tizzy.

leandparkermakes3 said...

Brooke,
I feel the same way every time I have to host! I stress out for weeks! You always do a great job. I LOVED your beef stroganoff dinner. I can't wait for Monday. Bring on the Mexican!

sheryl said...

Mexican is sooo much work! ...unless you go to the mexican market. Buy their fresh homemade tortillias (next best are costco finish cooking at home ones) Also... buy pre done carne estada. call me for wonderful more recepies!

And... if you want gormet simply... call me. I will tell you what my kids wanted every dance date. (the simplest fancy you would not believe it) Its not so much the food but how you dress it.

Good Luck! (on both the dinner and the DISHES!)

alexandra said...

that sounds like a fun little club. is the blog the pickypalate? there is a great enchilada recipe on there? i love getting recipe ideas and i look forward to hearing what you made.

brigham is not related to george, except that they are probably cousins since utah + polygamy + cannon = related somehow.

Jill Tew said...

Don't ever consider dropping out again! That better have just been for dramatic effect! It's always a great time and yummy food when you host!

Mexican sounds perfect...I'll be thinking about it all weekend! I've also been thinking about recipes since my turn is coming right up!

Em said...

That website is amazing. I'm totally trying the coconut lime cookies tonight.

Good luck with the Mex meal!

HAPPYHANERHOME said...

Awesome idea. That kitchen mess is my mess! I embrace that and am so glad you posted it because it makes me feel a lot better. Gourmet meals without the mess? Who can do it for real? I think only Rachel Ray and Martha--and Julia of course...because they have little elves running around picking everything up and wiping up the drips and dribbles. I need some elves.

Amy M. said...

Order pizza before you ever again consider dropping out. And whatever, I'm sure your food will be great, like everything you do. I'm excited for Monday. I always have so much fun.
My kitchen always looks like a total disaster when I cook too. I try to do everything so fast - you have to with kids.

The Mostess said...

You did all that damage for 1 night? Geez, woman!

It's all about the crockpot. You can totally do gourmet in that baby. Pulled pork carnitas with jalapeno-jack cheese cornbread!! It's high-end and tasty.

We always gossip at our dinners. The husbands love it.

Kimmie said...

What a great thing you crazy gals have going...tell them all hello for me on Monday! I see Darla sometimes at school, but other than that I haven't seen those ladies in FOREVER!! oh....and GOOD LUCK!!

Pandy said...

In SLC and here we belonged to a Dining Out Group. We went out once a month and each month one couple was in charge of choosing. The only rule was it had to be a place new to us. It was great fun - and we tried all kinds of food. We usually had dessert at the hostessess home afterward. We were mindful of cost so no one was stretched. No recipes, no dishes, and no worries. You might want to consider it.

j3and12002 said...
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Em said...

If haven't seen this yet, well, you should. A friend pulled it up at a party and I immediately thought of you.

http://peopleofwalmart.com/

Linde said...

I know what you mean about stressing, but you are also right--it is a lot of fun! Good luck!