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I am lucky enough to be part of a great little local ladies supper club. I was introduced to this club, and great group of women by my friend Erin (that’s her there in the front, striking a pose in the little dress) of The Olive Notes. I met Erin through the world of blogging, but was pleasantly surprised to find out that she and her husband Chris live about 10 minutes away from us. They have a great group of friends here in Saint Augustine, that have really welcomed Roberto and I since we moved here.

Well the ladies in this circle of friends started an awesome supper club. There are eight of us currently, and we all get together each month. It is kind of a dress up event. Sometimes people just show up in jeans and a nice shirt, which is totally allowed, but there are also party dresses and high heels. It is a very girly event – and no boys allowed!

We all take turns hosting, and each month, the hostess gets to pick the theme, then everyone brings a dish to add to the dinner. We always have a welcome cocktail and appetizer to start, which usually finds us all in the kitchen chatting, laughing and catching up with each other. Then we move on to the table and have soup or salad, and then the main course with a vegetable side and a starch side. There is always wine to accompany the meal, and of course we end with something sweet. It is always a great night and something we all really look forward to each month.

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Well this past Friday, it was my turn to host – and so I chose a Moroccan theme. For one, a lot of my table decor has a North African/ Middle Eastern flair to it, and the cuisine is one of my favorites….plus, did you know I recently got a Tagine!?? LOL! ;)

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This supper club was a huge success – the food was delicious and we ended the night by working off some of that food with a little belly dancing! I have a lot of music from this region of the world, and all of the ladies know I used to belly dance, so they asked for me to bring out all my gear and show them some moves. We all got down, and it was a wonderful time! Good music, good friends, good times.

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But I know that you are all here for the food, so here we go – We started with Moroccan Pomegranate Martinis – fresh lemon and lime juice mixed with vodka, POM Wonderful and simple syrup.

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The appetizer was a Spiced Moroccan Carrot Dip – with fresh cilantro, and green olives, served with pita bread.

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We started at the table with a wonderfully spiced Harira (traditional soup of Morocco. It is usually eaten during dinner in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to break the fasting day ).

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For the main dish, I did a Vegetable Tagine overloaded with fresh acorn squash, chick peas, onions and kale, dotted with prunes and topped with sliced almonds. There was fresh flat bread and a delicious vegetable curry to go with it, and for dessert,

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the Moroccan pièce de la résistance – M’hanncha -“The Snake” (although it kind of broke in the revelry!) – which was very reminiscent of baklava.

Everything was wonderful and I had a great time hosting these lovely ladies!
Click through for the Vegetable Tagine recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 acorn squash
olive oil
cider vinegar
salt & pepper

2 1/2 cups of chickpeas that have been soaked over night.
1 large bell pepper – any color, sliced
1 large onion, sliced

1 TBS of sambal belacan (Malaysian version of harissa given to me by my good friend Dharm)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

about 1/2 to 1 tsp of each:
tumeric
coriander
cumin
smoked paprika
saffron
cinnamon

salt & pepper
clove of garlic, sliced very thin
splash of red wine

4 cups of greens – I used kale

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut acorn squash in half and place in a baking dish filled with an inch of water. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Peel and slice. Place in a large bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, splash of vinegar and salt and pepper and let marinate for about an hour.

Slice, the pepper and onion and place in another large bowl with the soaked chick peas.

In a small bowl mix together the sambal belacan, cider vinegar, olive oil, and spices, garlic and red wine. Mix together and pour over the chick pea mixture. Let marinate for one and a half hours.

Preheat oven to 350. Pour chickpea mixture into tagine, and then pour the acorn squash over top. Let cook for one hour. After an hour, remove tagine lid, stir contents and add half of the greens. Cover again and cook another 40 minutes. Lift lid and add the rest of the greens, cook for another 20 minutes. Serve with couscous.