"Dinner Club" - Dinner At Julia's - The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real Blog at Allrecipes.com - 159557

The Frazzled Pan - Cooking for Real

"Dinner Club" - Dinner at Julia's 
Feb. 24, 2010 10:50 am 
Updated: Feb. 25, 2010 7:36 am
I belong to a Dinner Club.  3 couples, one dinner a month, anything goes.  This time, dinner was at Julia’s.
I love dinner at Julia’s.  She’s one of those amazing women who has wonderful style, is impeccably organized, and entertains effortlessly.  I learn something about food, decorating, or party hosting every time I’m with her.
They key to Julia’s flawless dinner parties?  Planning, planning, planning (and then more planning).  Her parties are so well executed..she can actually join the group and have fun! (what a concept) Here’s how she handled a Mediterranean/Greek themed Dinner Club for six:
Appetizers were on the bar when we walked in the room.  Hummus, topped with toasted pine nuts and sprigs of parsley was set out in a big basket with lightly toasted pita chips. She had olives too, waiting for us in a hollowed out cucumber boat – too cute for words.  We were handed big goblets of red wine and nibbled as we caught up.  Was Julia in the kitchen, fussing over dinner?  Nope -- she was right there with us, enjoying the evening. She only needed a few moments to slip out to the deck where she had put the marinated pork souvlaki on the grill.
As we moved to the patio for dinner, we found the table beautifully set, and the candles lit.  Julia took the pork off the grill, and wrapped it in foil to keep it warm, then ladled out our next course --avgolemono soup that had been warming on the stove. The soup was really good; light and lemony, slightly rich from the eggs, and beautifully garnished with sprinkle of chives. 
The main course was the pork souvlaki, along with a really fresh tasting Greek salad, a big bowl of minty quinoa tabouli, and roasted red peppers and onions. The sides were all made well in advance and were served room temperature.  They had the perfect balance of tang, richness, and crunch. The pork, slightly smoky from the grill, was garlicky and soooo tender.  It was a lovely meal.
Of course, dessert followed.  Julia had made a fluffy ricotta tart with pine nuts and served it alongside sweet and sticky baklava that she picked up at the market.  Simply divine…..yum. We lingered over the sweets and coffee for at least an hour – laughing, and simply enjoying each other’s company.  Of course, Julia sat with us, relaxing after pulling off yet another delicious, stylish, organized, and seemingly effortless meal.  She had done it again, another fabulous dinner club!
Full and happy, we helped Julia clear the table, and conversation turned to our next dinner. It's Katrina's turn to host next and I can't wait.  She's such a great cook, and we get to see her new house, and she makes the best desserts, and we get to get together again, and.....I love dinner at Katrina’s!
Cucumber boat with olives
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Hummus and pita chips
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Souvlaki ready for the grill
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Greek Salad, Taboulli, Roasted Peppers
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Greek feast
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Ricotta tart and baklava
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Feb. 24, 2010 11:03 am
Thanks for posting this! Looks great!
Feb. 25, 2010 4:11 am
wow.....everything looks amazing!! im an olive lover, i love the cucumber boat what a great idea, i would love the recipie for all of this especially the main entre looks fabulous and the ricotta tart looks fantastic!! where do i get the recipies for these?
Feb. 25, 2010 7:36 am
What a fabualous dinner! Looks like the real Greektown favorites! I would love to have some of those recipes!!Kudos to Julia!!
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Home Town
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Living In
Kirkland, Washington, USA

Member Since
Aug. 2008

Cooking Level
Not Rated

Cooking Interests
Baking, Slow Cooking, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Healthy, Quick & Easy

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About Me
I recently returned to work full time and -- life's gotten pretty hectic. I have 2 really busy (and really hungry) teenage girls, a very active husband and an old yellow lab who really misses having me around the house. I love to cook and feel that sitting down to a meal with the family is really important. Unfortunately, I don't have the time or, frankly, the energy, to put a lot of work into meals every night. I'm determined to figure out how to get a delicious and healthy family dinner on the table with a minimum of fuss. As I figure it out, I'll post on my blog.
My favorite things to cook
I went to culinary school, taught cooking classes and read cookbooks for entertainment. Do we eat a gourmet meal every night? No way. Weeknight meals are quick and easy and, usually, nutritious. Weekends are when I have fun with my food. My weekend favorites: anything Greek, anything Italian, breads, soups and braises. I like trying new foods and techniques and love to have dinner parties.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Dolmathes (Greek rolled grape leaves) for birthdays, gnocci for Christmas Eve, pitzelle cookies with my Italian pitzelle iron, jack-o-lantern cake for Halloween and avgolemono soup for whoever is in need of comfort.
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