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“A Night in Venice”

February 26, 2010

Each month, my nearest and dearest girlfriends and I get together for our “Big Girl’s Dinner.” This tradition, which has made for some amazing memories, jaw-dropping conversations, and side-splitting laughs, started shortly after our eclectic and wonderful group became friends. When people ask how we all met, I have to pause, take a deep breath and ask if they want the Cliff’s Notes version or the real thing.I’m going to give you, my devoted reader, the Cliff’s Note version.

No one in our little group is originally from Charlotte, a characteristic that seems to be the norm for this city. We come from all over (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Florida and Tennessee) but were absolutely destined to meet. Through friends of friends, run-in’s at the local watering hole, to the sharing of cubicle walls and apartments, we have become a force to be reckoned with.

The name “Big Girl’s Dinner” made sense when we first started doing our evening’s out at local Charlotte establishments because, back then, we were rolling 12 or so deep. “Big Girl’s Dinner” of course became misconstrued when one dear soul, who will forever remain nameless, thought it meant a group of large and in charge females were going out to eat. Bless her. Since our first dinner over a year ago, we’ve switched from restaurants to potluck, girls have moved away, new ones have entered, but the name, “Big Girl’s Dinner”, has remained the same.

For these “unbuttoning the top button of your jeans” evenings we try to pick a fun, creative, totally out there theme. For our inaugural dinner (think inauguration), every food had to include some form of red, white or blue (and yes, one girl did indeed dye her mashed potatoes red and blue…). There has been a “Bring a dish that reminds you of home” theme, an “It’s cold and we need comfort food” theme, and last night we experienced “A Night in Venice.”

As a side note, whoever tells you that they dislike Italian food is lying. Lying straight to your face because what is there not to love about pasta, garlic bread, salad and the desserts that accompany Italian food?!? Last night’s meal was no exception. I think I’m still full (minus the tiramisu that I had for breakfast). I have included some of our delicious recipes from last night AND pictures. I capitalize the word “and” because I want you to know that I never take pictures. I’m no Annie Leibovitz, never will be, and these are the first picture’s I’ve taken in a long time. Shameful I know, so be kind. They’ll get better, I promise.

A side dish that brought smiles to everyone’s face and them going back for seconds, thirds and fourths while we were cleaning the dishes was the Anytime Vegetable Salad. But a word to the wise from the fabulous Ashley Joyner who brought this dish. Substitute the tarragon for basil if you aren’t a fan of tarragon. Two enthusiastic thumbs up for Ashley!

Not to toot my own horn (toot, toot!) but I brought a Tiramisu that got rave reviews from the crowd. For those that want to try this dish, I doubled the amount of sauce that was used to drizzle over the Lady Fingers (which are impossible to find by the way!). You’ll run out of sauce otherwise. I think I was also a little heavy-handed with the Kahlua…

I hope you enjoyed the first “Food Friday” and I ask you now to share some of YOUR favorite Italian dishes with everyone. I love to cook, am not always successful, but I would love to try some new recipes.

A colorful side dish provided by my amazing roommate, Amy

The Loves of My Life

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Ashley permalink
    February 26, 2010 4:08 pm

    Woohoo! So excited to have made your blog and thoroughly enjoyed this post. Almost teared up when you were describing our friends – so near and dear. For anyone who enjoyed foods as much as we do, especially you home-style, southern foods then check out this blog: You won’t be disappointed!

  2. Amy permalink
    February 26, 2010 4:18 pm

    Your tiramisu was a defnite “crowd pleaser” so toot away! Thanks for posting the pic of my side dish, I’ll be sure to send this to my mom to make her proud! Great post and looking forward to more recipes from Food Fridays!

  3. Deuscain permalink
    February 26, 2010 7:15 pm

    Sounds awesome – neat theme this time around too.

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