We met at my place and Lauren and Mary were unable to join us. Jen, Carol's daughter and frequent guest, was in attendance and the good news is that she is moving back to Houston and can join us in the future!
The theme was Kelsey's Essentials (Cooking Channel) and for a favor I gave the essential spice; salt. I found black lava sea salt from My Spice Sage. I really like the website as it has every spice you can think of! And with my order I received two free samples and I chose vanilla beans and fried chicken spice. Yum.
Carol and Jen - appetizer of Three Cheese Crostini with Honey and Roasted Asparagus as the side.
Tonya - Smoky Panzanella with Market Vegetables as the salad.
Angie - Chicken Cacciatore as the main dish with brown rice.
Janet - Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheesecakes for dessert.
The Three Cheese Crostini were delicious and addictive! The flavor was mild with a touch of sweetness. Carol and Jen left out the salt and pepper because they did not think it "fit" with the other ingredients.
Tonya made a bread salad and it was delicious! I have never had one before and I really liked this one. Plus, all the colors on the plate were beautiful. Smoky Panzanella with Market Vegetables is a serve right away salad as the bread will get overly soggy if you wait. The dressing was very tasty as well.
For the main dish we had Chicken Cacciatore and this was a homey, one-pot meal. I loved the mushrooms and the cremini (which look like slightly larger button mushrooms) held their texture despite over an hour of stewing. I used thighs and breasts rather than an entire chicken.
Roasted Vegetables was the perfect compliment to the chicken. Jen just used asparagus and cooked to crisp tender.
Last but not least was dessert! Janet made Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheesecakes which she adorned with whipped cream and a sprinkle of Mardis Gras colored sugars. YUM. I had two and I am not ashamed to admit it. Rather than the chocolate wafers in the crust Janet used the traditional graham crackers.