Giving Dinner - Cooking with Friends for a Cause

Friday, September 24, 2010 - 
Every year, Indy area Sigma Kappas come together through many events and activities to raise funds for our Memory Walk team to support the Alzheimer's Association.  I've done other events to benefit The Association, but the Memory Walk is one of the biggest and can bring people from all over together to fight for a cure.  This will be my 10th year participating in The Walk - I started when I was a freshman in college when I pledged my organization.  And it is has stuck with me, something I continue to participate in for the good of many people.

The alumnae chapter has a Giving Dinner every year as one of the events.  This dinner is an opportunity for a few of our chapter members to get together, but instead of going out for dinner and drinks, we stay in!  We chop, saute, broil and mix to our hearts content, cooking a generous meal together over drinks.  You then donate money that you normally would spend at a restaurant, and it goes to a great cause!

This year, we had some great treats to share in - the first a cheese fondue.  Swiss cheese was blended with a roux and stirred to perfection - it was delicious.  I did my fair share of dipping (and forced myself to walk away at one point) with the sourdough bread and apples to enjoy the cheesy goodness.  Thank you to KNS for her stirring talents!

 A simple spinach salad, prepared by MM, with a lemon & garlic vinaigrette tossed with some fresh tomatoes was one of our sides.  The other, a basil and mozzarella warm macaroni salad.  A mixture of garlic, extra virgin olive oil, purple basil and lots of mozzarella was delightful (especially the next day when tossed with some grilled me on this one.)

Main course - sliders!  I was in charge of these tasty bites, and of course, I strayed from the basic recipe.  MM just shook her head as I pushed the recipe aside and didn't measure - but alas, I can't help it.  These were extremely basic - just ground beef mixed with grill seasoning, Worcestershire and parsley.  That's it - it was pressed into a pan and baked for about 12 minutes or so (also baked the bacon at the same time too - lots of great smells from that oven!)

The great thing about these sliders - all of the fantastic toppings HC had to offer.  There were your basics, but she catered to my love and brought out a jalapeno as well as the peanut butter (if you haven't tried the Shewman at Scottys, give it a go, this is where my love comes from.)  Yum...can't go wrong with that combo, including sharp cheddar and bacon...
It was a great and filling meal, prepared with love.  Yum!
No meal is complete without a dessert!  How about a mix of ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream, malted milk balls and chocolate fudge?  That is what we had in this whopper delightful ice cream cake.  It was sweet and delicious - a perfect ending to a great casual meal!

Through the meal, everyone had the opportunity to bid on some great prizes, including donations from those in attendance.  There was a makeup package, some wine lamps, a fantastic Italian basket (which I won, yay for me,) an evening at the Conrad, some items from The Association, as well as goodies and gift cards from local restaurants.  There were many items to be won, and the raffle was a successful fundraiser for the evening!

My dear friend, HC, is a fantastic hostess who sets the menu and donates all the food for the evening. She's amazing, such a caring woman who has three energetic boys and a crazy intelligent husband who she adores.  I heart her.  She is like a big sister, remembering me as a freshman at UMass (she was one of my advisors!) and understanding how being away from home and family (the big W) is sometimes difficult.  A big thank you to her for such an amazing menu selection - I left with a full belly and warmed heart knowing all that money (to be matched by Eli Lilly - thank you very much!) was going to a great cause!

Want to learn more or donate to the cause?  You can do so by donating to my team - any donations are welcome and extremely appreciated!  Visit my personal fundraising page - thank you!