When we were kids, meals were always prepared by the parents (most likely by mom). They were simple and satisfying, except for maybe that occasional vegetable you really would rather leave on the plate For birthday parties and other celebrations, in my house my parents always prepared a giant feast (we actually had 2 large parties – one with all the kids, and a second one with all the adults – man, that’s a lot of prep!). If you are an American, the birthday parties were likely held at somewhere fun like Chuck E. Cheese. I never experienced such a thing.
In middle school, my family moved to Israel and the idea of take-out was introduced into my life. This was further solidified when we moved to the US, and most gatherings with friends were now at the local Dunkin Donuts or at someone’s house with a giant plastic container full of Chinese food. College was pretty similar, except alcohol was introduced into the mix – in large quantities at that.
Over the past few months, Adam and I hosted and attended a few dinner parties. There was no greasy, cheap food, no binge drinking – just a home-cooked meal with nice wine and a great conversation. Last night, on the way back home from such a dinner party, it hit me – this is what you do in your late 20′s (and probably well into your 30′s or until kids start ruining all your fancy plans)! I have to say – I’m really liking this new stage of my life, and I can’t wait to host more dinner parties at our own house soon!!
Before I get into the dinner party details, let’s quickly review the rest of the day’s eats – they were really good!
2 Vermont spelt toasts with low fat cottage cheese, Zoe’s granola and almond slices + 1 orange
Toast close-up – great combo!
1T peanut butter + 1/2 apple
The fun lunch date I mentioned last night was with the lovely Shannon of Tri 2 Cook. She joined me for a sweaty spin class and then we went to b.good. My salad from Friday finally convinced her to give b.good a go! I stopped myself from ordering the same thing and got the sesame ginger chicken salad this time – mesclun, carrots, jicama, edamame, sesame seeds, sesame sticks, orange-soy dressing
The lighting there is horrible but hopefully you can see all the goodies in there… chicken + sesame sticks
jicama, carrots, edamame…
I really liked this salad as well. Shannon liked her b.good burger.
For dessert I stopped by Paradise Bakery and got myself a choc chip cookie. I <3 them!
The salad + cookie combo held me over for 7 hours!! And now we get to the part where I tell you all about the dinner party Adam and I attended last night.
So as you all know, we currently don’t have a kitchen to cook in. Somehow we were talking about that and Turkish food, and my co-worker Egemen offered to cook dinner for Adam and me one day. Hey, you don’t have to ask me twice! I’ve never had homemade Turkish food so this was quite a treat.
Egemen did a really great job setting up for dinner. There were lots of candles and some simple apps to munch on while he was finishing up dinner. Very cozy. His friends Margaret and Amanda joined us for the meal as well. We all loved the juicy strawberries and the cheese sampler.
I had a few glasses of wine with dinner. Here is my first pour.
And now for the real treat – slow braised lamb + hunkar begendi (eggplant cream)
Egemen really went all out! The lamb took 2 days to marinate + 3 hours to cook. It was really melting in your mouth – so tender! The hunkar begendi was the most unique eggplant dish I’ve had. It is a combo of roasted eggplant meat, flour, butter and mozzarella. SO good. You could really taste the smokiness of the eggplant. Now I miss my mom’s.
Dessert was another traditional Turkish dish – walnut and cinnamon stuffed figs (sorry, I don’t know the exact name) with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge
This was very sweet and very cinnamony – a small portion was perfect to end the meal on a sweet note. Delicious! Thanks Egemen for hosting us – we’ll need to return the favor by cooking for you and the girls next time.
Do you like dinner parties?