Oh winter, when will it end? The other day we were blessed with rare sunshine and warm weather and it was such a terrible teaser for Spring. Along my street, where all the luxury goods and luxury people usually taunt me, the pale peach and taupe cashmere sweaters seemed as harmless as sugar pills, and the rich bitches in fur coats, sunglasses and high heeled boots lowered their noses a bit and smiled at the peasant passersby. But the next day, it was gone, and I went back to glaring at the well-dressed mannequins and people on Avenue Louise. (But really, why wear bare legs and a fur coat when its freezing out? How about sparing an animal and just looking into pants?)
At any rate, to cheer ourselves up from the never-ending winter, a few friends and I have been having Friday night dinner parties lately. In general, our only requirements for a good menu is that it be inexpensive, vegetarian, and easy enough to cook for a group. So far we've had risottos, pasta, etc, but this week we went a little crazy with a theme and had everything Moroccan. We even decorated the table with batik prints and little lanterns.
The menu consisted of the following:
Appetizers: hummus, flatbread, olives, spiced olive oil and cheese cubes
Entree: Eggplant and Mushroom Tagine, Couscous with mint and almonds, red wine
Dessert: Baklava, fresh mint tea
The tagine, sort of a mix between my minimalist one and the more complex version was fantastic, and even though I make it all the time a couple people at the party had never had one before and were surprised at how good it was. The mint tea was also really simple and festive: just put some mint sprigs into glasses and pour green tea over it. It looks so nice too.
I have a weakness for themed dinner parties, and this one turned out so well that I'm already plotting the next one: maybe Russian, with buckwheat blini and mushroom caviar, and a beet salad? (And vodka!) That would go along with my recent Tolstoy obsession, although everyone in his books seem to eat "melt-in-your-mouth-pasties" all the time and I have no idea what they are. (Anybody know?)
At any rate, the dinner party set the tone for the rest of the amazing weekend: I went to Antwerp (above) for the day on Saturday, and spent Sunday roaming around the St. Gilles farmers market (but not buying anything, since Antwerp put me over the weekly budget.) Considering what to eat for dinner, instead of surrendering to the allure of pancakes, I decided to make a soup out of some sprouted potatoes, past-their-prime leeks, and a little leftover soy creamer. Happily, even with sub-par ingredients it turned out fabulously, and with some stale bread to complete the picture, it was fit for a queen.
Song of the Day: Belle and Sebastian- Fought in a War