Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Julie & Julia-Inspired Gal Pal Christmas Dinner Party

Mary Johnson & Carolyn Mueller

What fun!  That’s me, Mary Johnson, on the left, with Carolyn Mueller at Carolyn’s home on the big night.

It has become a tradition with our LAFF gal-pal group to celebrate Christmas with a dinner at Carolyn’s home.  It started out, years ago, with just soup and salad and then progressed to what it is today – an elegant dinner party that is the hilight to the year. 

The logistics are that everyone comes with their own bottle of wine and each pays a flat fee to cover the expenses of the meal (in our case $20).  Our December meeting also includes a “White Elephant” gift that we turn into a game where you can either choose an unopened gift or steal a “previously revealed” gift from someone else.

We decided to play-it-up and wear our “pearls” and June Cleaver Christmas-themed aprons, complete with chefs hats. 
The MENU –  Appetizers

The MENU –  Entree

  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • Noodles
  • Green Beans Amandine
  • Fresh Whole Wheat Bread
  • Fresh White Bread

The MENU – Dessert

It was an ambitious menu, driven mainly by Carolyn’s “let’s do it spirit” that was a huge hit with the LAFF ladies and rightly so because everything turned out delicious and looked great too. 

I had such fun working with Carolyn on this joint effort.  Carolyn has a degree in food nutrition from her past life (she is currently a practicing attorney) and her philosophy was to create these recipes as true as possible the first time – even though they had ingredients in quantities that most health-conscious people would never eat on a regular basis – such as butter, butter, and did I mention butter? 

In the coming days, I’ll add the actual recipes to the complete menu and link to them from here.

Throughout the evening, I tweeted about the event and you can see those photos below. 

I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this lovely group of women.  They don’t like to play cards or Bunko – they just love to talk and laugh — the perfect accompaniment to food!

  1. What a great idea. I so loved the book but have not seen the movie. Now that its on DVD I can invite the girls over and we can create one of Julia’s dishes while watching the DVD.

  2. Julie, good luck with the DVD multitasking, but why not just do one or the other and slow down to enjoy the moment – then you’ll have double the fun with friends. This advice is coming from a self-professed recovering multitasker.

  3. Hi! I’m a writer for CNN.com and would love to talk to you about your Julie and Julia dinner for a story I’m doing on Oscar theme parties. Please email me at your earliest convenience if you’d like to be included! Thanks, Jacque

  4. To our readers, I did contact Jacque, from CNN, that same day and she did interview me. I’ll post the link to the article next week when it comes out.

    I can’t tell you the thrill I experienced in being asked for an interview from CNN! I definitely have something fun to share at our neighborhood’s get-together this evening.

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