Dip-able Dinner

When you think of parties what is one food that is always present? If you’re thinking of dips you are correct! Dips, or dip-able foods, have become staples in American culture, but especially when it comes to big gatherings. I’m thinking tonight will be the most well-attended cooking adventure. I can’t wait for all my friends to be together for this menu: Asparagus and Green Beans with Tarragon Lemon Dip, French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches, and Chocolate Fondue. Lets get cooking!

This cooking adventure is pretty spread out. It all started on Saturday when I went to the grocery store. I knew I wouldn’t have any time to shop on Sunday, so I went ahead of the game and headed to Trader Joe’s. I really didn’t have to pick up much which was great, and everything pretty inexpensive. I thought this was going to be the cheapest week yet for me, until I picked up a pound and a half of roast beef at Fairway…I died a little inside when my item wrung up for $20. The price I pay for a good meal…whatever, it’s always worth it!

Sunday rolls along and I was pretty excited….until everyone bailed. I get it, everybody has busy schedules and things come up, but it was frustrating for me considering I had already bought items that would go bad in a few days. Not only that, but after long tiring weeks, cooking with my friends is what makes me the happiest. No friends to cook with = no cooking = empty stomach = a very sad Mary. ):

Luckily, Nicolette my forever right hand woman and sous-chef said that she’d be able to cook on Wednesday! So, fast forward to today (Wednesday.) I had a few more ingredients to pick up because I didn’t want to burden Nic with too many items, then after class Nicolette, and surprise last minute guest Morgan came over!

Instead of making everything at once like usual, we decided to take things one at a time starting with the Tarragon Lemon Dip. Making this was fairly easy: we just threw a few things into a bowl and voila! A few weeks ago when my dad came to visit he brought me the cutest dip tray and I had been waiting to use it just for this. Once the veggies were cooked and ready to be dipped we had our first moment of truth.

3..2..1.. WOW! I must say, we were all pretty skeptical about this, but it was addicting!! We ran out of dippers so we had to cook more. This dip was creamy, and honestly I don’t know how else describe it. The only ingredients were mayo, lemon juice & zest, a shallot, tarragon, parsley and pepper which seems so simple but the outcome tasted like it was crafted by a gourmet chef. Not only was the dip delicious but the fact that it was served with asparagus and green beans made the healthy girl inside me scream for joy. It’s decided: this is what I’m making for friendsgiving.

After we were done ooooing and ahhhhing over this dip, we went on to make the main course: French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches. This was probably the easiest main dish to make. Only 1 shallot needed to be chopped, then we mixed together a perfect dipping sauce on the stove that smelled just like french onion soup. When the time came, we dipped the roast beef into the sauce and set up little ramekins of extra sauce for extra dipping. We even decided to be a bit daring and put the Tarragon Lemon Dip on the sandwich…I know, we got fancy up in here.

Moment of truth number 2 here we go! 3..2..1 NOM! Also quite delicious, but from the first bite we could already tell what we could’ve done to make the sandwich even better. 1. toast the buns. 2. add cheese because everything is better with cheese. 3. the Tarragon Lemon dip was an exceptional touch. Still so good though, really no complaints here!

We had to let our stomach’s settle a bit before moving on to dessert: Chocolate Fondue. This was also extremely simple to make. We heated some heavy whipping cream, then melted in some dark chocolate and it was complete. We came armed and ready to dip some pretzel rods, biscotti, and strawberries into this delectable treat.

So, for the final moment of truth… 3..2..1 Yet another YUM-O moment. Let’s be real though, anything with dark chocolate is gonna be hella good. I didn’t think I’d be able to stop eating it. Morgan, Nic and I sat together and watched the debate with the fondue. Name something more American than that…I dare you.

After this long, filling three course meal we sat together and debated on what each recipe should be rated and this is what we came up with: the Asparagus and Green Beans with Tarragon Lemon Dip receives without a doubt ♥♥♥♥♥ (5) hearts. This has to be the best dip I have personally ever eaten…and that’s saying a lot because I’m in love with buffalo chicken dip. If I could rate this 10 hearts I most definitely would. Next, the French Dip Roast Beef Sandwiches receive ♥♥♥♥ (4) hearts. Also very scrumptious but there were a number of things (whichI listed earlier) that could’ve made this dish a home run. Finally the Chocolate Fondue receives ♥♥♥♥♥ (5) hearts. At last a dessert that wasn’t disappointing! I can’t get over how easy it was to make as well. The perfect ending on this little dip-able dinner.

After having a rather crappy week, cooking tonight really cheered me up. There’s just something about coming together with my best friends and bonding over food. Doing this makes me so happy, and I hope I’m able to keep doing this for a long time.

Until next week!

-Mary Honkus

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