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Megans Cookin: Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A Wine Pairing Dinner Celebrating The Flavors Of Fall!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: A Wine Pairing Dinner Celebrating The Flavors Of Fall!

Partnering up with Foodbuzz and Visa Signature, I was able to toast in the Autumn season with a Wine Pairing Dinner;

Celebrating The Flavors Of Fall!

I invited good friends,

Wine Pairing Dinner

Wine Pairing Dinner

opened good wine,

 Wine Pairing Dinner

Wine Pairing Dinner

and we gathered around a pretty table.

Wine Pairing Dinner

The Menu!

Wine pairing dinner

The appetizers and wine were served outside on the patio. I lined up the luminaries that I made and placed them on a cement edge next to the patio where they glowed bright. A few candles and a twinkling of orange light wrapped in my lemon tree made for a festive mood.

wine paiting dinner


Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini

Even the non blue cheese loving people liked these. Seasonal pears caramelize in butter with sage and blue cheese on top of a toasted baguette slice.

wine paiting dinner

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Always  a hit and one of the first appetizers to go. The salty bacon wrapped around a dried date stuffed with a whole almond baked to  a sweet/salty perfection.

wine paiting dinner

Chevre Cheesecake with Biscotti Crust

These are a family favorite and I love to have some of these on hand in the freezer. Perfect appetizer and it’s nice to be able to pull a few out when company stops by. These little cheesecakes got their picture taken before I had the chance to garnish them. The unexpected flavor of rosemary combined with a biscotti crust will surly tickle your taste buds.

wine paiting dinner

All appetizers were served with

Rustico Nino Franco Prosecco


First Course

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

wine paiting dinner

The butternut squash was everything I was hoping for. It was a sweeter soup due to the apples, carrots and maple syrup. It was the perfect autumn soup and I served it in these fun fresh mini pumpkins! It made quite a statement!

wine paiting dinner

Served with Chateau Ste Michelle 2008 Riesling

Second Course

Salad au Chevre

Tender baby greens dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette and adorned with a thyme, lavender, walnut, and bread crumb coated goat cheese medallion heated till warm and gooey.

I forgot to take a picture but will insert one as soon as I make it tonight! ;-)

Served with Hop Kiln 2008 Thousand Flower

Third Course

Creamed Vegetable Vol-au-Vents

These were made from the homemade puff pastry I made for my Daring Baker’s Challenge. The creamed vegetables was the filling from a Vegetable Pot Pie recipe I made.  I had left-overs from the DB challenge that I froze and used for this dinner. It went perfect with our Autumn theme.

wine paiting dinner

Served with RRV Limited 2007 Pinot Noir


Forth Course

Fruit Stuffed Pork Loin w/ Fig Jam

wine paiting dinner

Smashed Apple Chedder  Potato Cakes

Smashed Yukon Gold potatoes with cheddar cheese and grated apples mixed in. Formed into cakes, breaded in Panko breadcrumbs and fried to a crisp on the outside, creamy on the inside,golden patties. It really doesn’t get much better then this!wine paiting dinner

Served with Renwood 2005 Old Vine Zinfandel

Before we moved on to the dessert courses, we took time to have a little fun. I bought English Crackers that are so popular at Christmas. In side each “cracker”, there is a small gift or toy, a joke and a paper hat. I waited till after 5 bottles of wine to open them, so everyone would be a little “loosened up”! That also explains the quality of these last few photos!  ;)

wine paiting dinner

wine paiting dinner

wine paiting dinner

Fifth Course

I knew I would forget something over the course of this dinner. As I’m typing up this post and uploading pictures, I realize I forgot the dried fruit for this platter. I also forgot to line the plate with a hydrangea leaf but if that’s the worse think I did, I did pretty darn good! Everyone was getting pretty full by this time so it wasn’t really a big deal. Few brownie points knocked off for presentation and missing ingredients! O-well!

Artesian Cheese Platter w/Dried Fruit

wine paiting dinner

Pictured is an Italian Truffle Cheese wedge with Truffle Honey, a Date and Orange Cheese, a piece of Torrone Italian Candy, a cube of Apple Smoked Garlic Cheddar and a Smokey Blue Cheese Truffle.

Served with HoneyMoon 2008 Viognier

Sixth Course

By the we got to this course, I became a little impaired. We were on our 7th bottle of wine, and this next course was served with a port! I forgot the chocolate sauce for these molten cakes and what’s with that mint spring. Apparently, the photographer was slipping.

It was served with a Chocolate Coated Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Pyramid.

Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes

wine paiting dinner

and a Pumpkin Pie Chocolate Truffle.

wine paiting dinner

Served with Trentadue 2006 Zinfandel Port wine paiting dinner

Butternut and Squash Soup

By 5 Star Foodie

(Printable Recipe)

2 tablespoons butter
4 cups butternut squash cubes
1 onion, chopped
2/3 cup baby carrots
1 cup apples, peeled, cut up in chunks
1/2 teaspoon allspice
3.5 cups chicken stock
Salt, Cayenne pepper to taste
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup cream
Directions: (6 servings)
In a large saucepan, melt butter. Add butternut squash, onion, and carrots and cook the vegetables for 5-8 minutes until the onions are translucent.
Add apples and allspice, mix well. Pour chicken stock over and season with salt to taste. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Let the vegetable stand, covered for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Blend well using immersion blender (can also use food processor or a regular blender). Strain back into a saucepan. Add maple syrup and cream and mix with an immersion blender.
Heat until the soup just starts to boil and serve immediately. Swirl cayenne pepper into each individual bowl.


wine paiting dinner

Smashed Potatoes with Apple and Chedder

Found at Cinnamon, Spice, and Everything Nice

(semi-adapted from Guy Fieri)
About 2 pounds of potatoes, cubed
4 cloves garlic, whole, peeled
Sea salt and fresh pepper
3-4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup milk
1 tablespoon Rosemary
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
2 large, tart apples, shredded
To a large saucepan add the potato cubes and garlic. Fill with water to just above the potatoes. Add a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes or until fork-tender.
Remove from heat and drain leaving a few tablespoon of water in the pan. Add the potatoes and garlic back to the pan with the butter, milk, rosemary and re-season with salt and pepper. Smash with a potato masher. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed or milk if too thick. Mix in the cheese and apples. Cover with a lid and let sit for five minutes before serving.

Potato Pancakes

Panko Bread Crumbs
Butter for pan-frying
Mix mashed potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs together. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. The skillet has to be hot enough to quickly brown the outsides or the cakes will melt. Add a pat of butter and coat the bottom. Add a large spoon of the mashed potato mixture and shape it into a patty using the spoon. Dip in Panko to coat. Cook about five minutes on each side until crispy golden brown. Repeat adding butter to the pan until all your pancakes are cooked. Serve with sour cream.

wine paiting dinner

Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
4 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 cup  (1 stick)  butter
1 tablespoon Cabernet Sauvignon or other red wine
1 teaspoon
Vanilla Extract
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
6 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon
Cinnamon, Saigon
1/4 teaspoon Ginger, Ground
1/8 teaspoon Cloves, Ground (optional)
1.  Preheat oven to 425°F.  Butter 4 (6-ounce) custard cups or soufflé dishes.  Place on baking sheet.

2.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 minute or until butter is melted.  Whisk until chocolate is completely melted.  Stir in wine, vanilla and confectioners' sugar until well blended.  Whisk in eggs and yolk.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour batter evenly into prepared custard cups.

3.  Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft.  Let stand 1 minute.  Carefully loosen edges with small knife.  Invert cakes onto serving plates.  Sprinkle with additional confectioners' sugar.  Serve immediately.

Make Ahead:  The chocolate mixture can be prepared up to 10 hours ahead of time.  Pour the batter into prepared custard cups; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

wine paiting dinner

I hope you enjoyed our Wine Pairing Dinner Party,

Celebrating The Flavors Of Fall! We enjoyed having you visit!

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Anonymous Karen said...

Wow, totally impressive. Too many good things here. Looks like fun!

October 25, 2009 at 6:50 PM  
Anonymous Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Sounds like a fun time... I love the fall, and all of your dishes sound and look delicious! I had an Italian dinner party for this month's 24, 24, 24, and it's fun to read about what others were doing at the same time!

October 25, 2009 at 7:50 PM  
Anonymous The Duo Dishes said...

You had a full alright, complete with a nice selection of wines. Whenever we have a dinner party with cocktails, things are always forgotten. :) You did a great job with your 24 submission!

October 25, 2009 at 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Fun party! I meant to say the other day how much I loved your pumpkin truffles! I love the way they turned out, can't wait to make some myself :) Was hollowing out those mini pumpkins a pain? They sure looked cute!

October 26, 2009 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger HoneyB said...

Wow, I love it Megan. I want to be your friend! LOL. Great job!

The Foodbuzz event was an awesome experience for me too...however, I never realized just how much work I was actually getting into until it all fell into place!

October 26, 2009 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger April said...

Wow Megan!!! This looks like so much fun! and the spread is fantastic!!!

October 26, 2009 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Maria said...

What a feast! How fun!

October 26, 2009 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Sassy said...

Holy Cow!!! You should open a restaurant. It all looks fabulous. What a tremendous undertaking.

October 26, 2009 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

While I would have preferred to be there your pictures allowed us to join in the fun. Your menu sounds so delightful and the recipes are appreciated.

October 26, 2009 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger stephchows said...

ooo you outdid yourself! everything looks delicious!! bacon wrapped dates... yes please!

October 26, 2009 at 12:16 PM  
Blogger teresa said...

too fun! your menu is incredible!

October 26, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Lyndsey said...

Everything looks so beautiful! You were a busy girl. It was fun to see how a lot of your prior projects all fit into place. We feel like we were there too.

And I thought the same thing as HoneyB, I want to be your friend! LOL!

Thanks for sharing the wonderful evening.

October 26, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Katy ~ said...

I am as stuffed as one of your dates! Wow oh wow what an impressive menu. I haven't seen so much delicious food at one time in AGES! You are a goddess!!

October 26, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What an amazing amazing dinner party!!!! Everything looks so perfect!!

October 26, 2009 at 5:17 PM  
Anonymous Nutmeg Nanny said...

Oh man I'm starving just looking at these pictures!

October 26, 2009 at 7:29 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

What an impressive menu! Everything pairs well together and it all looks great. I bet your guests were thoroughly impressed.

October 26, 2009 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger 5 Star Foodie said...

What a lovely dinner party! Beautiful presentations and everything looks delicious! Love the wine pairings! I'm so glad that you like the butternut squash soup!

October 27, 2009 at 5:53 AM  
Blogger Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

What a gorgeous Fall dinner! Your table looks beautiful. Everything looks so delicious! Love that pyramid. Thanks for including my tater pancakes!

October 27, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Kudos my dear Megan. You set an excellent table and the menu was divine. I am soooo envious. It truly sounds like you and your guests had a magnificent time.

October 27, 2009 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Tasty Eats At Home said...

That is one HUGE menu! Wow! I love the cheesecakes. Yum!

October 28, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

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