One of the best things to come out of blogging has been the acquisition of so many amazing new friends – friends that I connect with almost automatically because we have so much in common and understand such basic but important things about each other.
Really, we just “get” each other. I love that.
It was wonderful.
We started with some fun conversation over some amazing cheeses, salami, crackers, veggies, hummus, and red wine.
I have to get into more detail about the cheeses. I am a food blogger, after all.
There was a whiskey-infused cheese. I want to say it was a cheddar? It was phenomenal.
The other was a pesto-infused cheese. Again, I’m not sure what kind of cheese it was, but I’d guess it was a gouda? Check out Two Boos Who Eat… they brought the cheeses, so I’m sure they’ll have more information (also about where it was all from). This cheese was also so good. It was surprising, actually! Somehow the flavor of the pesto managed to control the flavor of the cheese without overwhelming it.
And, of course, there were veggies.
There was also some of this:
A lot of it, actually. Too often, it became this:
It’s okay, though, because the glasses kept magically refilling themselves!
It was like Harry Potter or something. 😉
Oh, speaking of Harry Potter (I’m awesome at transitions), check out Amanda’s amazing key chain:
This is why we’re soulmates. ‘Nuff said.
Eventually, we decided we’d dominated enough of the cheese/crackers/ veggies/ etc. and moved onto the dinner course.
Naturally, a photoshoot ensued.
As we do.
Only at a dinner party chock-full of healthy living bloggers will both people assigned to veggie side dishes bring Brussels sprouts.
Katherine made the sprouts on the left and I made the ones on the right. I believe her version was a Cooking Light recipe (I may be wrong on the source, but those babies were awesome). My version was Emily‘s Asian Sesame Glazed Brussels Sprouts, which you may remember I made with Claire when we had our multi-course dinner.
I actually really liked that the two versions of sprouts were so different!
The star of the show was Monica’s beef, butternut squash & cranberry stew, which was amazing. She served it with homemade socca (which I’ve been wanting to try for a while now).
I was sad when I got so full that I couldn’t finish it all.
Soon enough, we all took our seats and dug in!
The funniest part was when, after dinner, Monica started cleaning and the rest of us got so engrossed in conversation that we looked over and realized Dan was just listening in… on the other side of the room.
I took pictures to show the distance.
Too much blog talk, perhaps?
Anyway, we took some group shots for you, but had a little trouble. They all made me laugh, though (the progression is funny), so I’m posting them all. Even the bad ones!
(Note Monica and me cracking up in that one.)
What a good night with good friends! I needed that.