Woo hoo no more blogger!!! Thank you ladies for letting me switcheroo! So our crazy cooking night was at Renee’s house and we had a fantastic time. Here is the marinated shiitakes with vermicelli. This was a pretty lengthy appetizer recipe, and it didn’t help that I totally forgot tomatoes and had to run down to the Mexican market at 5:30! So it starts off with a tomato sauce, richened with paste and herbs de provence and sauteed onions. Then you saute the sliced mushrooms and let the whole thing marinade for awhile. The pasta is a sharp flavor contrast, as its sauce is comprised of soy sauce, five spice powder, ginger, sesame oil and scallions. I loved the pairings of these distinct flavors! It was eaten right up and I’m pretty sure Renee’s leftovers in her fridge are nearly gone!

Next was Alayne’s butternut squash soup. The flavors were enhanced with some rutabaga and sweet potato, some spiciness and lots of cream! An enhanced version of classic butternut squash soup for sure.

Here is our exciting array of dishes for the entree! The main was rockfish and bok choy with a insanely delicious caramelized sugar sauce. On the left is Julie’s grits souffles. Slightly fallen in the picture but a perfect eggy and light concoction. On the right is Tracy’s sweet corn relish, which was just so fresh and tasty it reminds me of my confetti salad (although totally different ingredients… but you know what I mean right??) These dishes went so well together and they were all very healthy!

And for our dessert, Joanne created a grapefruit and chocolate pecan crusted tart! The first bite of this instantly transported me back to Paris at the De La Tour restaurant when we had candied orange peels with our espresso. Even though it was a citrus dessert, it was still very rich and I could only eat half! The bright citrus flavor was my favorite part.

Next month is Daniel Boulud’s cookbook at Julie’s house! Can’t wait!

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