Progressive Dinner – Cherry Soup and Beet Carrot Fennel Salad

We live in a great neighborhood with great friends.  These things are priceless.  Travel from home to home and eat great food and you have magic!!  Food, friends and fresh air….nice!

off we go to the appetizer stop with some of the other party goers.

The party began at the first home for Appetizers mmmm….

some garlicky asparagus, nut thins hummus and various cheeses…. great start

mmmmmm…. apple juice. I promise

On with the jackets and grab the strollers…

Next was our turn.  We were in charge of the soup/salad course.  I knew the main course was going to be warm and homey so I choose a lighter sweeter soup and salad.  The soup recipe comes from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special (by far my favorite cook book ever!!!)  The salad comes from the December 2011 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

I realized we didn’t have enough bowls for everyone so we used our coffee mugs instead!   We also don’t own enough glasses so we pulled out a bunch of jelly jars for beverages.  My little one was in charge of setting the kids table.

cherry almond chilled soup (or smoothies if your kids won’t eat soup!)

and Dave wonders why we have so many jars!

here is the salad.  the color is really much prettier than it looks in this photo

dads getting a few bites in little mouths before eating for themselves (nice!)
happy eating!

Then over the river and through the woods (quite literally) on to the main course!

over the river and through the woods to more tasty food we go……

leek and potato gratin – you can’t go wrong with cheese and cream added to your potatoes!

happy hostess (and organizer of this fabulous party, Jamie)

herby, yummy, homey lentils

Bundle up one last time to work up our appetite as we walk making room for the dessert course. Which, I am sorry to say I have no photos of.  Argh, my batteries died not once but twice.  But I can tell you dessert was delicious!  We had a beautifully layered flourless chocolate cake!

 Yummmmmmmmagical! Night

Thanks everyone for the super fun night.  Next time I get to do the Dessert (less dishes!)!!  I have some great ideas!

Cherry Almond Soup
(adapted from the Moosewood Daily Special)

1 1/2 pounds frozen cherries
6 cups almond milk
1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
3/4 tsp nutmeg (more if you like)
1 tsp almond extract
Throw it all into the blender and blend until smooth!

Keep refrigerated till serving.
Add a mint sprig to each bowl if you like

honestly so simple

purple!  (it did fade in color as the night went on though)

Beet Fennel and Carrot Salad
(adapted from Martha Stewart Living)

1 Fennel bulb
3 Beets
6 Carrots
2 apples
(grate with a food pro attachment or hand grate and or chop as you like)

2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1/4 cup orange juice (or other sweet citrus)
2 Tbls sherry vinegar
2 Tbls lemon juice
1 tsp onion flakes (or shallot chopped)
1/3 cup olive oil

Layer your veg – beets on bottom, then carrot, then fennel (don’t toss until serving – it looks so pretty layered wait till everyone is ready to eat)

Toss with dressing or allow your guests to drizzle dressing as they like

if you have one of these food pro attachments then you don’t have to hand grate all the beets and carrots

awesome – 30 seconds later- here we go!

raw beets are so lovely grated like this!  Oh and no need to wear lipstick after eating this salad!  

dressing ingredients
i had some hard clementines to juice up.  they get hard on the outside if you don’t eat them right away, but sweet inside still

still eating these left overs (this makes me happy)

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