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Sunday Dinner with Friends

Sunday Dinner with Friends

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I discovered the Gourmet Worrier a few months ago when I stumbled upon a post titled Snot Blocks, the name alone had me intrigued!  I was further enticed into Nanette’s home through her beautiful site where she writes about not only food, but family, love and travel.  Then we found each other on Twitter. 

Sunday Dinner with Friends

For me I felt like I had just found my twin, we were so much alike, this was simply pleasurable!  The past few months, we have shared numerous tweets, emails and I am noshing, very often over at her site.  A couple weeks ago, I got a message that her charming husband, Stephen, was going to be out in San Francisco and she wanted to know if I could recommend some places for him to visit.  So, I dusted off my very rusty restaurant list, gave it an update and sent it on.  Literally, minutes after sending, I get a message from Stephen, thanking me for the list and asking if we would like to get together with him – BUT OF COURSE!  We knew there was only one place in the city that he HAD to eat at, it was a must …….. Chez Us.

We love entertaining but we don’t do it as often as we would like, so we were pretty excited to be having a guest for dinner.  Now we needed to plan a delicious but casual meal.  There were so many dishes that we thought about making, from grilled pork tenderloin to a Moroccan Lamb dish, we decided to let it simmer in our minds until Sunday morning.   The weather was beautiful when we woke up so we decided it was a must to light up the grill and dine al fresco.  We wanted the meal to have freshest ingredients that are available in the bay area, sort of the season’s bounty.  The menu we decided on was:

Spicy Walnut Spread
Warmed Olives over Goat Cheese
Toasted Baguette Rounds
Fig, Melon & Prosciutto Salad
Grilled Porterhouse Steaks with Warmed Cherry Tomatoes
Hasselback Potatoes
Mixed Berry and Passion Fruit Brown Sugar Cardamon Pavlova

Sunday Dinner with Friends

Now we have never met Stephen in person.  I know of his blog (check out the work he has done with UNICEF) and we follow each other via Twitter.  I know him through Nanette as well.  I like her and was sure we would like him.  Upon arrival Lenny wanted to serve cocktails.  Instead of offering the usual cocktail of choice, the vodka tonic, Laudalino decided on making his favorite drink, the Sazerac.   Lenny has not made one before so it was trial and error;  this drink may not be the drink for trial and error either!  The drink came out smooth and delicious but not quite the Sazerac he is use too drinking.  Either way the cocktails were a great way to start the evening and were enjoyed equally by all.

As soon as Stephen walked through the door, we all hit it off.  It was like a long lost friend was back in our lives.  We had so much to talk about, from food to business, to just getting to know each other.  Lenny and Stephen had lots of laughs commiserating over being with partners who are foodies  and how they use to have “six pack abs” but now they get baked treats – Nanette, no worries, they love it, it was all in good fun & I completely stuck up for us!!!  Thanks to technology, Nanette was able to join us via Skype, it was wonderful to be able to have her there with us.  It was such an enjoyable evening, that we completely lost track of time and food, the evening flowed as smoothly as the wine.   Okay Okay, I know you all love that we loved each other’s company, but where is the food!?  Here are some highlights and recipes.

Sunday Dinner with Friends

More Group Inspired Meals:

Pre-Wedding Cocktail Party at Home

Recipe:  Sunday Dinner with Friends Fig Salad

*adapted from David Tanis




fresh mint

Lay prosciutto on platter.  Cut figs in half, scatter onto the prosciutto.  Cut melon into thin slices and add to the platter.  Thinly slice mint and scatter on top.


Recipe:  Warm Olives with Goat Cheese

assorted olives

handful of fresh herbs – we used rosemary and thyme

zest from one lemon

sprinkle of olive oil

4oz goat cheese

Put everything into a frying pan and heat just until warmed.  Flatten the goat cheese into a disk and put into a swallow serving bowl.  Pour warmed olive mixture over the goat cheese.  Serve.  Eat.


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Monday 5th of November 2012

I saw this recipe and thought it would be great to try out... Call me unfocused, but I have a little confusion on the recipe.

1. I assume the brown sugar gets pulsed with the cornstarch. 2. Where/when do you add the brown sugar/cornstarch mix? Or is that what gets mixed into the egg whites for the meringue? 3. Do you recommend the cardamon get mixed with the 2T of sugar and mixed in with the berries? Or was it suppose to go with the meringue?

Feeling a little fluff headed at the moment, so I thought I would ask before I start mixing things together.


Saturday 4th of September 2010

A great menu beautifully, beautifully done. Your food always looks so gorgeous -- you can tell that it's delicious just by looking at it. I love the story of a friendship formed in cyberspace.

Big boys Oven

Monday 24th of August 2009

that pavlova looks good!I just love those berries !

The Purple Foodie

Saturday 22nd of August 2009

I love the menu you've put together! I wish I was close enough to experience what your lucky friends do! And I totally agree about how we've all gotten to know each other so much better over twitter. You especially, have a special place for me. :)

LoveFeast Table

Friday 21st of August 2009

That is totally are kind of meal!!!! Beautiful fresh food & friends, equals a feast on life! Chris Ann & Kristin