Bon Appetite Cooking Club

Great friends, great food, great wine (and martinis!). That’s what this evening was all about. When I saw the Tuscany on the Grill menu in the August 2008 issue of Bon Appetite, I knew it was the perfect meal to invite my friends over to help cook and enjoy. We divided up the work a bit by having each person bring the ingredients for one or two dishes. We prepared everything together, then feasted!

To start, the grilled pizzas were phenomenal. We actually used manchego instead of the fresh pecorino called for in the recipe, but it went just as well with the pears and walnuts. Instead of making pizza dough, we purchased some gluten free dough for one of my friends, and for the other pizzas I just used some low-carb lavash wraps. I always keep these on hand and they work great on the grill for a flatbread pizza.

My friend Vanessa also made some rosemary-infused simple syrup and mixed this with limoncello and vodka for a fun take on the lemon drop martini, and these were a big hit.

All the other dishes in the menu were prepared pretty much according to the recipes (which you can find in the link above), except for the tomatoes, which we opted to oven-roast. We did not prepare the lemon gelato for dessert but rather a dish of grilled figs stuffed with honey-whipped marscapone and fresh raspberries. This was a delicious meal shared with awesome people and I can’t wait to do it again!


My dining room, set with my nicest – love an excuse to use it!

Opal Innocence place settings

Herb-Roasted Tomatoes

Grilled Smashed Potatoes


Caramelized Lemon Jus

Grilled Leg of Lamb stuffed with Pancetta, Sage, and Garlic – absolutely delicious!

My friend Vanessa and me

My favorite coworker, the lovely Charlotte

Vanessa and Wes

Ronnie and Tamir

Benjamin and me

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5 Responses to “Bon Appetite Cooking Club”

  1. 1

    Colleen — August 25, 2008 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    cara, this all looks so delicious and impressive! but i wouldn’t expect any less from a dinner party at your house!

  2. 2

    ~Amber~ — August 26, 2008 @ 3:09 pm Reply

    Looks like a great time. Beautiful china.

  3. 3

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  4. 4

    Shauna — September 5, 2008 @ 8:20 pm Reply

    Everything looks like it is out of a magazine. Your house looks great too. Seems like you are all settled in and enjoying it.

  5. 5

    Colleen — April 5, 2011 @ 1:23 am Reply

    cara, this all looks so delicious and impressive! but i wouldn't expect any less from a dinner party at your house!

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