With a Grateful Prayer and a Thankful Heart: Birthday Lunch with Dear Friends

Monday, October 31, 2011

Birthday Lunch with Dear Friends


 Getting together with the dearest of friends is always a blessing and a delight.
Celebrating birthdays with these precious ladies makes each added year much easier to accept.

Part of the autumn themed menu included this Ina Garten recipe using butternut squash tossed with a warmed cider/mustard vinaigrette.

We also enjoyed an artisan bread dipped in olive oil that one friend brought back from a recent trip to Italy.
Served with French Onion Soup (recipe to follow soon), Grilled Chicken and Ina's Easy Parmesan Risotto then a fabulous Pecan Pie that our sweet Sandy made.


Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Ina Garten recipe

Ingredients

1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry (or greens or your choice)
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.



I couldn't ask for a more loving and thoughtful group of friends, including the Birthday Girl (top left).

And always present in our conversations and hearts is our precious friend in TX!
She is never further than a warm thought away!

18 comments:

Maple Lane said...

What a great picture of you and your friends. The food sounds delicious. I have a blog friend in Iowa that has a LOT of butternut squast. I'll pass along a link to this post!

Viv said...

I find that get togethers with girls are always filled with amazing food and great conversations :) Def a blessing a delight! I'm sure your friend who was photoshopped in feels the love!

Your previous post made me laugh out loud...Raider looked so grouchy in the photos...haha. Maybe it's the haircut or something?!

Thanks so much for sharing what books you've been reading/studying! I'm always asking people for book recommendations so will check out the ones you've mentioned. I also have Living the Cross Centered Life but it's been sitting on my other shelf for a while (I'm a slow reader and should stop buying books before I finish what I have!)

Walking on Sunshine... said...

What lovely pictures! And what fun to get together! The food looks so yummy! Hope you had a nice weekend and not too much snow!

Sue said...

A beautiful group of ladies, LDH , spending time with friends with delicious food, is Priceless. I enjoyed reading your previous post, Raider is absolutely gorgeous!! I believe he knows it too. ~smile~
Enjoy your day.
Sue

ArtyMarti said...

Girly days are so fun! And the squash salad recipes sounds so yummy. Happy Monday.
Marti

T's Daily Treasures said...

Lunch sounds yummy! I like how you put your TX friend right up there between ya'll. :) Have a great week. Tammy

corners of my life said...

I can't wait to try this recipe and the best news is . . . we can buy butternut squash already peeled and diced at Wegman's.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love butternut squash and I enjoy trying new recipes such as this. It is so nice to get together with good friends --happy birthday to your friend!

Ann said...

What a great lunch. Even better sharing it with good friends. I think that the pecan pie sounds like my favorite part :)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Delicious-looking salad! I do love butternut squash. Great-looking group of friends too!

Mary said...

Lunch with friends is certainly a joy. We look forward to having lunch with former co-workers on Friday. Both of us are retired from a childcare agency, and we keep in touch with some of them on a regular basis.
Mary

Julie said...

Nothing better than getting together with good friends! The menu looks lovely, too!

podso said...

I know what you mean about these birthdays. they always make a good reason to try extra hard to get together. BTW, I'm making your pumpkin scones for a second time this week!

marie said...

Having "girlfriends" is such a blessing. I'll be going out with my two dearest friends tomorrow and we'll be celebrating one of their birthdays. You're so right - it makes each extra year absolutely worth celebrating. I can just imagine the fun you had sharing with one another.
I'll be sharing this yummy recipe with my friends!

alissa {33shadesofgreen} said...

Lorraine - your entire lunch menu sounds delicious, including this salad. You can't go wrong with an Ina recipe! Thanks so much for coming over to Tasty Tuesdays and linking up!
Alissa

Aimee said...

Stopping by from Tasty Tuesdays. This salad looks incredible! Thanks for sharing.

Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Great blog and lovely recipe. The salad looks awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Hope to see you on my blog:)

Kathleen said...

What a lovely group of ladies! Salad looks delicious!

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