The Full Meal: Starting with a Focus Dish

When I first started putting meals together I would head to food blogs and recipe sites and find something that looked great, but inevitably the next question was…what do I make with it? How do I make a full meal?

This blog will contain the recipes for everything that I served to make a full meal. It will then include any variations that I made to the recipes. Possible serving tips, and then will conclude with a bit about who shared our table that particular evening.

While there are many ways to put a meal together, this meal began around one single dish: CARAMELIZED SHALLOT AND BLUE CHEESE BUTTER. It looked delicious, was something I had never attempted before, and I wanted to try it. So thus, the meal was started.

FULL MEAL RECIPE: Tomato-Arugula Salad with Homemade Dijon Vinaigrette dressing, ribeye steak with caramelized shallot and blue cheese butter, sautéed wild mushrooms, lemon garlic brussels sprouts and homemade strawberry and blackberry cobbler for dessert.


Caramelized Shallot and Blue Cheese Butter. I had recently learned that shallots weren’t the same as green onions (remember, I’m fairly new on this journey) and instead looked a lot like garlic (and that is usually where you will find them in the grocery store). I had also become a fan of caramelizing, this goes perfect on steak, and I love steak. So this was a win all around.

I chose ribeye steaks for this meal and used this cooking method. I suggest more than 30 seconds to create a greater sear on the steaks. And I cooked mine for 3 min on both sides and they came out between Med-Med Well.

I wanted to figure out a few side dishes that weren’t potatoes. So I chose sautéed wild mushrooms and lemon garlic brussels sprouts. The mushrooms were delicious and added a great smell to the kitchen. And, don’t be a hater of brussels sprouts until you try them!

I wanted a simple salad to serve as well so I went with a Arugula- Tomato Salad with homemade dijon vinaigrette dressing. I would suggest doubling the dressing recipe.

And for dessert…homemade strawberry and blackberry cobbler. I’ve made this many times and the substitutes are unlimited. You can do coconut milk and gluten-free flour (it just won’t come out looking very fluffy). You can do fresh fruit or frozen (fresh is better, but seriously, the frozen is pretty darn good as well.) P.S. the reason the pic of the cobbler isn’t that great is because we tore into before I remembered to get one…this was seconds.

There were no leftovers.


We got to share the evening with our friends, Billy and Carly Pruden. They are rock stars in the wedding world. They own and run Carly Rae Weddings  and they offer one stop shopping for wedding planning/coordinating, flowers, and videography. They do incredible work so if you or someone you know is in need of these services, check them out!