|A beautiful setting for a wonderful evening with friends|
Saturday, we traveled the same distance (130 miles each way) that we had on Thursday, for another of my son’s high school soccer games. Fall colors were at their peak, and the sky was blue - so the miles flew by! Sunday, I volunteered at a school fundraiser - and enjoyed soaking up the sun during this outdoor event.
I haven’t mentioned this before, but my husband and I belong to a “wine group.” A while back, friends of ours purchased “The Everyday Guide to Wine” video lecture series by Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, offered by The Great Courses. They invited us and another couple to join them in this effort to learn more about wine. The six of us get together every few months to watch a chapter of the video, and sample the wines of the region being discussed. We take turns hosting, and the host-couple provides a meal. Although I still am a long way from becoming a knowledgeable wine connoisseur, we have had a lot of fun.
This weekend it was time to study California wines, and it had been decided that hearty appetizers would go well with these. Typically the host provides all of the food, but this time we broke tradition, and decided it would be fun if we all contributed to the buffet.
|Indian Six-layer Dip, Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus, & Mushroom Pate were only a few of the delectable dishes on this buffet.|
We arrived at our friend’s beautiful Arts and Crafts designed home, and realized we were in for a magical evening. They had set a table and buffet in one of their lovely gardens, overlooking their beautiful rural property. The evening was warm enough for summer clothing, with a need for just a sweater when the sun set. What could be better than amazing food, interesting wines, great friends, and even some entertainment by the horses in the pasture across from our table. The horse and mule frolicked - chasing each other, jumping a small hill, bucking with joy, and rolling in the dirt. We stayed long after the sun went down, and it was just a perfect evening.
Taking appetizers to this dinner gave me the opportunity to make two recipes I have been wanting to try. They were both amazing. You can find them here:
Mushroom pâté from Culinary Ginger
Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus from Pinch of Yum.
Our host made an Indian Six-Layer Dip, and I just had to have the recipe. To my surprise, he told me he got it from a cookbook I already own, Perfect ONE-DISH Dinners by Pam Anderson. The recipe is on page 248. Google Books actually includes this recipe in their preview of this cookbook, so you can find it here. I would really recommend purchasing the cookbook though - as it contains many wonderful recipes!
Our friends graciously agreed that I could include a few photos of them in this blog post. Here is a glimpse of the fun we had.
|We sipped wine in our friends enchanted garden, while we listened to the video lecture on California wines.|
|A perfect evening with great friends, delicious food, interesting wine and some friendly horses.|
|Before dinner, I just had to pick a few carrots from the garden, to give the horse and mule a treat!|
Top left: Indian Six-layer dip and Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Pumpkin Hummus
Top Right: A colorful plate!
Bottom left: Mushroom Pate
Bottom Right: Homemade vanilla ice cream with fresh raspberries and homemade chocolate fudge sauce.
This is not the last post I will write about our Wine Group adventures. Last spring my husband and I hosted a Spanish-themed dinner, when it was time to study Spanish wines. I am planning a series of posts with tutorials of how to prepare some of the recipes we made. Look for them this fall.
Have you ever belonged to a dinner or wine group that meets regularly? I highly recommend it!
All of the opinions expressed here are entirely my own and I received no compensation for any of the content provided in this post.