Surf and Turf

Over the top with flavor dinner last night!  Nothing but the best for Mikey’s 41st birthday.  His best friend, Barry wanted to gift him with a special birthday dinner.  Barry has been Mike’s best friend since kindergarten and is a second generation restaurateur.  He brought over a whole prime beef tenderloin and showed Mike how to cut perfect filet mignons.  Barry and I threw around the idea of getting two whole lobsters but, settled on some really nice tails.  

I made twice baked potatoes and picked up Mike’s fave Greek salad and rolls from a nearby restaurant.  I made a mixed herb butter and a honey thyme butter.  Barry’s wife, Zoe made a delicious key lime pie from scratch.  

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Champagne & Apps

What’s a celebration without champagne, right?  I needed to come up with an appetizer as serving your guests champagne and no food is bad ju-ju.  If I were wealthy and fancy, I would have paid the $150 for 1 ounce of Tsar Imperial Ossetra caviar (just because I really want to try it)!  Unfortunately, I am neither wealthy, nor fancy.  Although I must admit, my table looked pretty fancy. 

I started with a fresh herb centerpiece from our garden that smelled amazing!

over the top flavor

I used my best dishes, which are also my every day dishes because I like to use what I love all the time!

over the top flavor

Nothing that would be featured in Southern Living magazine, but fancy for this southern gal.  Except I’m bummed that I have broken all of my matching wine glasses.  
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Over the Top

I found a recipe for a caramelized onions, Gruyere, and bacon spread on a couple different sites.  I found a slimmed down version on  If you’ve read my post 12 Confessions of a Dietitian, you know that I did not make the slimmed down version.

Oh. My. Goodness!  Let’s talk about flavor!  Over the top flavor!  Everyone swooned over it and no one could stop eating it!  I served it with water crackers and a head of roasted garlic.  Nothing could make this dip better!  At a whopping 100 calories for 3 tablespoons, it will have to keep its place in my ‘special occasion’ repertoire.  Even so, you will not want to miss this!  I would swap an entire meal for 12 tablespoons of spread with 6 water crackers which would make a 490 calorie meal.  Worth it!  Please give it a try and comment below if you loved it as much as we did!  Here’s the recipe!

Caramelized Onion, Gruyere, Bacon Dip
Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 5 mins

An impressive, creamy appetizer with nutty, smoky, salty, tangy, sweet, and savory flavors everyone will love!

Course: Appetizer
Servings: 8
Calories: 101 kcal
  • 3 1/2 cups onion diced
  • 2 oz Gruyere cheese shredded and divided
  • 2 tbsp chives chopped, divided
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 3 slices cooked bacon crumbled
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. 

  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter or margarine in skillet.  Add onion to pan and sauté 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  3. Add sugar and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low.  Cook onions for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be sure to spread onions out on pan as much as possible while cooking.  Continue to cook until deeply golden brown.  Set aside to cool slightly.

  4. Combine half the cheese, caramelized onion, 1 tbsp chives, and the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Transfer mixture to a 1 quart baking dish. Top with reserved Gruyere.  Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Sprinkle with remaining chives.  Serve warm.

  5. To make ahead, reserve chive topping, cover and refrigerate. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Top with chives and serve.

Only an over the top flavorful app could hold up to the melt in my mouth best fillet ever to pass my lips!  Happy Birthday, baby!  Kinda felt like mine too!

Thanks to Barry and Zoe for making this a birthday dinner to remember!


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