Tout de Suite

Hello long lost readers. It’s hot as hell in Washington, DC, so when it came to making a French-themed fete for Bastille Day, Coq au Vin was out of the question. Essentially anything Julia Child would make was out of the question. We needed light, refreshing, and fresh. So the dinner I ended up making was more of a French-inspired dinner, but with lots of good stuff from all over.

It began in the early afternoon with some prep. Pate Brisee in a food processor, i.e. the best kind:

I also made some basil sweet syrup (more on that later…)

And of course, very slowly caramelized onions

The meal commenced with this plate of goodies (with Manchego, Havarti, Jarlsberg and Feta)

It continued with a little appetizer of stuffed fried zucchini blossoms  (I stuffed them with red onion instead of shallots)

It went on to this onion tart

But we couldn’t help and have a drink before digging into the tart. My sous-chef/best-friend/cocktail-master/benetton-twin made this gorgeous Blackberry Caipirinha

Which was a perfect summer drink

And then proceeded to pull the tart out of the oven, burn my arm really badly, drop the tart face down, which meant we ate this instead. It was still delicious but a bit on the salty side.

Luckily, the faux Niçoise was still real pretty

Dinner ended with delicious grilled peaches, honeyed mascarpone, and the delicious basil syrup (an amalgamation of three recipes which worked real well)

And to all, bon nuit!

Lahma Ba’ajin, hold the lahma

This Middle Eastern pizza is traditionally topped with meat and pine nuts, but this is a veggie friendly version with Feta and eggplant. The pita-like dough is an absolute misery to make, but totally worth it.

Mama in action

Feta

Catch up

Chickpea and cilantro dip

With homemade pita chips

Roasted butternut squash

Spinach salad with Brie and roasted butternut squash

Sundried tomatoes risotto

First time making my mommy’s meatballs:

they have beef, onions, potatoes, parsley, breadcrums, cumin, egg, salt and pepper

Cooked in spicy tomato sauce (and eaten with rice, but we devoured them too quickly to photograph)