Last night is a perfect example of why I could never be a blogger as a career (besides not being crafty or creative). I spent hours making a big dinner and didn’t take ONE picture! I’ll share what I made anyway and throw in a few random pictures from Captiva since I’m itching to go on vacation.
Every few months we get together with three other couples for a dinner club. We rotate who will host with a couple restaurants thrown in. It’s always a super fun night with great conversations and lots of wine laughs. The group is a mixture of folks that all (except me) work or previously worked in or around politics in some way. Most have known each other for years and now since we’ve been having these dinners I feel like I’ve known them forever too.
The dinner. As I normally do, I mixed homemade with ready-made. The menu:
- Cheese ball – homemade
- Jalapeno and artichoke dip – Costco (and sooo good)
- Bruschetta – homemade. Recipe here – delicious! I found some sourdough chips at Costco so we used it more as a dip but you still get the same great fresh taste of tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Wedge salad – traditional, old school. 1/4 head of lettuce, tomato, bacon, blue cheese with blue cheese or thousand island dressing
- Prime Rib (more on that below)
- Blue cheese mashed potatoes. Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. Delicious!
- Rolls from Meijer
- Chocolate cake from Costco. I just love their icing. It reminds me of my favorite cake growing up from a restaurant called Bill Knapps. Have you heard of it? We would go on Sundays or birthdays with my grandparents.
The prime rib I made is a Pioneer Woman recipe. She is one of my favorite bloggers. If you haven’t read her blog, it’s well worth the time. It’s an interesting glimpse into ranch life written with a great sense of humor, delicious recipes and beautiful photos. She now has a show on food network and when Matt and I saw her make the Prime Rib, we knew we had to try it. Prime Rib is one of Matt’s all time favorites. We made it for Matt’s family at Christmas and it turned out great (unlike some of the sides at that dinner – I don’t always have great luck – oops). Because the piece of meat is so big and expensive, it’s not something we would make for the two of us. The rub makes the dish. A combination of kosher salt, garlic, peppercorns, and thyme, it makes such an amazing crust. The cooking time in her recipe is much shorter than the two times I made it. I think I overcooked it a bit this time even though I pulled it out to rest at only 120 degrees. It wasn’t dark pink/red enough for Matt (he would be happy if it was just warm and red) but it ended up a nice medium/medium rare. I think I need a new thermometer! We had two five pound pieces and it was enough for eight people with plenty left over.
Next time you have to feed a crowd – try the prime rib and the blue cheese mashers. They’re sure to please!