Small Gatherings & Family-style Food

This week’s theme at the cooking club is “February Pot Luck” and a trip to the freezer resulted in everything that I needed for a last-minute pot luck dinner with friends and what could be more fun than a pot luck Italian dinner. Giada’s marinara, as well as Ina’s, are good starting points for the basics and I add my own special touches in seasonings. Marinara is a good basic sauce to have on hand for many dishes and this time I combined it with some Bolognese sauce (a go-to Marcella Hazan recipe) to serve at the table for those that are saucier pasta eaters.

Links for Giada’s and Ina’s marinara sauce listed below

Now and then we enjoy a good night of fun and food with fantastic friends at small gatherings and last night was no exception. As one friend mentioned so “delightful and uplifting” sharing certainly can restore one’s faith in people during trying times. Many thanks to our pals and their many kindnesses.

It felt like a night out at a cozy restaurant the likes of which we haven’t seen for more than a year now, a nothing fancy dinner started with an appetizer of melted brie with figs and hazelnuts appetizer, and then on to a nice dish of lasagna with a lovely fresh side salad, and a good loaf of garlic bread.

I must thank everyone for their dinner contributions, a fantastic salad & dressing, and oh what lovely custom pottery wine cups and spoon rests which were put to immediate use. Lovely surprises indeed.

Certainly a good night out, in…

Maybe things will get to be somewhat normal in the coming months when we feel comfortable enough to go to a restaurant but for now, we all are accomplished cooks that enjoy sharing fantastic meals.