We hosted our last Gourmet Group in October, and even thought it has come and gone, I wanted to share some of the highlights. We celebrated Oktoberfest!
The atmosphere was festive and casual. We started off with a warm beer and cheddar dip, which I served with pretzels and lots of vegetables to add freshness and color. Beer and a Dr. Loosen sparkling Riesling cut through the heavy but delicious cheese dip.
My favorite part of preparing to host this night was learning about German Riesling. I’ve always incorrectly associated Riesling with sweetness, and while they can be sweet, neither of the wines we served were. In fact, the wine that we paired with dinner, also a Dr. Loosen, was quite dry and really complemented the food. I printed out some information on Riesling to share with our dinner guests, which I think they enjoyed.
The most challenging part of the planning was the food presentation. Almost all of the dishes I chose were the same color, which is why I served so many colorful vegetables with the appetizer, and fresh green beans with dinner.
We ended the meal with this amazing Deepest Dish Apple Pie from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. It did not disappoint with 5 pounds of apples and a delicious 3+ inch tall crust. It’s an impressive dessert, and although my friend made the pie for Gourmet Group (pictured), I made it for Thanksgiving dinner and the crust is fairly easy as long as you are not rushed.
This colorful Layered Fiesta Quinoa Salad is so perfect for a summer lunch or dinner. It is light, fresh, and filling! I usually follow recipes exactly the first time I make them and then adjust to my taste. However, with this I did change a few things: I substituted scallions for the sweet onions, added jicama to keep the crunch that the sweet onions would have provided, and left out the cheese.