Posted by: Catherine | March 3, 2009

The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner


I set the table with my favorite plates--they're Palio plates from Sienna, one in the color/pattern of each of the jockeys that rides the great race

I set the table with my favorite plates--they're Palio plates from Sienna, one in the color/pattern of each of the jockeys that rides in the great race.


Just when I’m about to crawl into bed depressed that I’m a NYC fish out of water here in LA, I have a party like last night’s. I invited five of my foodie friends to The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner, and asked each of them to invite one of their foodie friends—everyone was to bring a favorite dish and its recipe. There were ten of us (all girls, and someone did suggest that next time there be boy foodies, too); the food was superb (though a little heavy on the dessert end; I need to moderate a bit better next time); and I am pretty sure everyone had a good time—10:30 on a Monday night is late in LA.  There were a lot of writers at the table, and we talked books and food—is there anything else, really? I’m going to post all the recipes throughout the next few weeks, and then follow up with The Second Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner. In fact, I had emails from everyone this morning, even the guests’ guests, urging me to make these dinner parties regular events.  I’m aiming for one the first Monday of every month…Mondays so everyone can cook on Sunday. Here’s what you can look forward to from last night’s feast:

bunsUpside-Down Sausage-Apple Muffins




string_beans1Roasted Green Beans with Lemon, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano



spreadParmesan Cheese Spread




pastaOrecchiette Salad with Asparagus, Prosciutto and Ricotta Salata




shrimp1Spicy Sherry Shrimp




grain_dishBarley and Arugula Salad with Feta and Fennel Seeds




carrotThe Queen of All Carrot Cakes




strawberrycake1Strawberry Cake with White Chocolate Frosting




marange2Meringue with Apricot Jam




brownieBrownie Pudding 




bananacutBanana Chocolate-Chip Muffins



  1. That looks like so much fun! Most of my friends don’t cook, I’m jealous

  2. So, so sorry I missed it. The table looks just gorgeous. Make sure I know when the next one is?

    We went to TJ’s yesterday and loaded up on new things for the girl’s lunch boxes. While they aren’t entirely opposed to eating sandwiches, it’s gotten quite boring. Today was caesar salad, tomorrow is quiche! They are excited. We’re still working on getting them to pack their own lunches, though.

    • Leslie, we missed you and hope you’ll be able to join us for the next U-C’s Dinner. It was an amazing feast. Stay tuned for the recipes.

  3. Looks like a very fun time with great food! I look forward to seeing the recipes.

  4. upside down sausage muffins? too cool! and i’m a sucker for carrot cake any day of any week. EXCELLENT spread!

  5. What a fun idea! It sounds like you had a wonderful time with some great company. I would love to do something like this with my friends, once I’m finally out of the dorms.

  6. Oh how fun did this sound!! I so can not wait for the recipes. I’m envious.. dinner with all foodie friends. So cool!

  7. Looks amazing – will definitely be ‘borrowing’ this idea.

    Now all I need is a dining table that sits more than two.

  8. It was a terrific evening, I LOVED it! I made the green bean recipe last night, my family is so thankful to have a different green bean recipe. It was easy and delicious!

  9. […] Unconfidential Cook’s Cookbook Giveaway This is the week of firsts. First, there was The First Unconfidential Cooks’ Dinner, and now my friend Kim, whose blog bookstorepeople is smart, interesting and informative (do […]

  10. Oooh! That Molten Lava cake recipe looks scrumptious – I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  11. If I promise to wash the dishes can I come to your next party? That spread looks incredible!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. As soon as you said all girls, I thought lots of sugar. Sounds like loads of fun. And, in LA 10:30 on any night could be late. But as I remember living there, people bring great food. I love strawberry cake!

  13. […] a hit they were!  (The Roasted Green Beans with Lemon, Pine Nuts and Parmigiana she made for The First Confidential Cooks’ Dinner were fantastic, too—and, in the interim, most everyone around that table has emailed me to […]

  14. These dinners are like paradise for a foodie! Thanks for directing me to these posts!

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