Girls' Get Away - Dinner and a Cooking Class

The Ladies from Richmond!

We recently hosted a group of 10 women from Richmond.  They came for a cooking class and to get away from their day to day routine.

I could hear their joyful laughter even before they got out of their cars……… I knew we were in store for a fun time! It was a beautiful day and the dreadful heat had taken a brief break.

The new "Tack Room"
Suite at the Barn 

I got everyone checked into their rooms at the barn. Six would stay in the new Tack Room Suite on the lower level and four in the Hay Loft Suite on the upper level.

Snacks, cool drinks and coffee waited for them in their rooms.

Dinner was at 7PM so they had lots of time to relax and unwind. Their cooking class would be the following day.

At 7, they took a leisurely stroll up the drive to the Mane House.
Another lady (a friend of the group) joined them for dinner and the next day's class but, since she lived near by, she wasn't spending the night.

Dinner was a Cheesecake Farms style feast served family style in the formal, green dining room.

There were eleven around the big table with platters of home made, country cuisine waiting to be passed. Three entrees tickled their taste buds with plenty of sides. Dessert was divine.

They laughed and chatted the evening away before climbing into bed for a good night's rest.  Tomorrow they'd be in the kitchen!

Richmond Ladies Dinner Menu

Brandied Beef with Carrots, Braised Onions and Noodles
Cheese Pillows with Parmesan and Nutmeg Cream Sauce (recipe follows)
Breaded Italian Chicken Marinara
Country Sweet Potato Salad
Broccoli Salad with Sun Flower Seeds and Currants
Green Grapes, Walnuts and Champagne Gelatin
Fresh Fennel Tossed Cherry Tomatoes Vinaigrette
Home Made Corn Bread and Creamery Butter

Dessert - White Wine Slush with Blackberries and Pound Cake Fingers


Dinner is Served!

Cheese Stuffed Pillows with Parmesan Cream and Nutmeg


Serves 4 to 6


8 to 12 pieces of your favorite cheese filled pasta (like ravioli or pirogies)
2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups milk (whole or 2% work best)
Salt and pepper
Shredded parmesan cheese (to taste - about 2/3 cup - grated parmesan in the round containers is not recommended)
Garnish - fresh parsley leaves (finely chopped)

Prepare the pasta according to package directions.  Keep warm.

Prepare the sauce:
Over low heat, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Whisk in flour. Cook, whisking, 1 minute. Do not brown.

Slowly, whisk in a bit of the milk to make a paste. Continue adding milk to the paste, whisking in a little bit at a time until it's all incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Cook, uncovered and whisking, until mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Watch the pot carefully because it can boil over easily and make a horrible mess.

Stir in a pinch of nutmeg.  Add salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.  Heat to steaming.

Put a little sauce on the bottom of your serving platter (so the pasta doesn’t stick). Arrange the pasta on top of the sauce.

Nap (coat) the top of the pasta with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle generously with parmesan. Garnish with parsley.


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