In the Kitchen

photo

Happy Friday, friends! First off, I just want to thank you for your beautiful words regarding yesterday’s post. I am truly humbled and feeling quite blessed for having all of you in my life. Now onto my other love, entertaining.

Today I wanted to share my menu from a recent sips + snacks party we held on the deck. In my 12 years of city living, I’ve never had a deck. And now, K and I have a deck the size of our bedroom, which makes outdoor entertaining a must {especially after the winter we had}!

For cocktail parties, I like to keep the menu simple* with items that can be served at room temperature and are easily replenishable. I have been on a mezze kick as of late and thus decided to do a spread of four different mezze/dips with crudité. Each and every time I am putting together a party menu, my first go-to is my collection of Ina cookbooks. I decided on her Tzatziki and baba ganoush but knew I needed to add one or two more. While perusing Pinterest for inspiration, I found a beet root hummus and Moroccan spiced roasted carrot dip, which both turned out to be my favorite. K said the carrot dip was a pleasant surprise.

Dips always need a “vessel” (a term of endearment from my catering days) and thus I had plenty of pita on hand and a selection of crudité. I blanched the asparagus for 3 minutes in boiling water and then placed them immediately in an ice bath to stop the cooking. The result is a perfectly crisp and bright green asparagus spear. For the carrots, I did a simple peel and chop and then placed them in a plastic container with water. This helps to keep the carrots crisp. I quartered the radishes and did an ever so slight sprinkle of salt on top. And for the green beans and squash, a simple chop was all they needed. Next time around, I might omit the green beans and instead do some cucumber spears.

Another catering trick {which is oh so helpful for your guests}, label your food. I had these Moglea watercolor tags on hand and the colors matched our mezze spread perfectly. A little bakers twine around the jelly jars and voila!

I included my *asterisk above because although this spread of mezze was technically easy, it was a bit time consuming. In the end, though, well worth it. Looking to entertain this summer, I highly recommend this delicious and beautiful mezze spread.

Summer Bucket List

photo

Putting pen to paper to create my seasonal bucket list is how I like to greet each new season. I’ll admit I was 50/50 on last year’s list so hoping the below is a little more attainable. I’ll keep you posted!

1. Fly away in a hot air balloon.

2. Indulge my inner-child with the Harry Potter book series.

3. Fish

4. Explore the Boston Harbor Islands.

5. Master a ceviche recipe.

6. Rent a Hubway and explore all the wonderful new green spaces in my city, including The Green Way, Lawn on D, and The Arnold Arboretum.

7. Brave the Cape traffic and head to the iconic Wellfleet Drive-in for a night at the movies.

8. Explore the Catskills.

9. Work on my tennis game.

10. I am 33/50 in my dining experiences at the Top 50 Restaurants {according to Boston magazine}. I’d like to make it to 40. Thinking I will try No. 9 Park for lunch, Spoke Wine Bar one night after work, Bergamont for date night, Puritan & Company for brunch, Bistro du Midi for an early bite, Bronwyn for a long overdue dinner with my brother Travis and L’Espalier for afternoon tea. Anyone want to join me?