Party Dips – Guacamole and Tapenade

I did not remember how exhausting Birthdays are… I’ll probably forget again until next year and do the same thing again. The whole celebration weekend started with a dinner at a nice Japanese Restaurant. We already went there once a couple of months back and loved it. It was amazing, they offer lovely sushi as well as awesome starters. We never had any main dish but they look great as well. We finished our dinner with hot chocolate cake with green tea ice cream. What a start to the whole weekend.

The next two days were full of celebrations with family on Saturday and friends on Sunday. It was awesome but also really exhausting. The boyfriend was awesome, I don’t know what I would’ve done without him. He’s so organized. Oh, and he’s really good at the whole present thing! Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky with the weather. It was my first birthday with bad weather for as long as I can think of. It’s been around 20 °C (68 °F) for the last week. It’s August, what happened here? And this year I had planned a picnic – what a shame. But we just shifted it to our apartment and had a little party here. It was still organized like a picnic though and everyone brought something to eat. It was perfect with all the different dishes my guests brought. Everything tasted really great, not a single thing didn’t – perfect.

Birthday Table

Let’s get to the food on Saturday: It took ages to get to the final menu for Saturday. Apparently I have rather difficult family and family friends – well not really but some of them don’t like things I LOVE! I had a great menu plan for Saturday at the beginning of the week. I was inspired by a dinner we had the previous Saturday at my colleagues house. I wanted to offer a few antipasti and a salad as a starter. This was supposed to be followed by amazing pasta with prawns in creamy sauce. If you’ve followed this blog for a while already you will know that I love prawns. I would choose a dish containing prawns over any other dish! Oh well, turns out I’m very oblivious! My brother’s girlfriend doesn’t like prawns (they’ve been together forever, I should’ve known), my godmother doesn’t like prawns and my godfather is allergic to them. As three out of eight wouldn’t be able to enjoy my main dish, I decided to change the menu. Then I came up with pasta with beef in a creamy red wine sauce. It was all planned until we went shopping on Friday.

The Italian store we went to offered such a huge variety of antipasti, cheese, ham and fish that we decided to go with only antipasti and salads as a combined starter and main dishes. I usually enjoy starters much more than main dishes anyway so that was the way to go. It turned out to be perfect. We had a lentil salad and a wild herb salad as well as big platters of cheese and ham and olives and pepperoni and much more. I made a big pan of prawns with chili and garlic for the five prawn eaters as well. The dessert was panna cotta with blueberry sauce – which was really good!

So in the end we had a pretty tasty meal I guess. Therefore, I would like to share the recipes of two dips I made for Saturday as well as Sunday – guacamole and tapenade. The recipes are really foolproof and the dips are amazingly delicious. The dips are really fresh as there are not a lot of sauces or anything in it. Just the plain ingredients with a bit of lime juice or olive oil – very fresh and clean. I hope you’ll try these dips for your next parties. I’ll bring them to Fiesta Friday over at the Novice Gardener and wish all of you a lovely and sunny weekend.

Mademoiselle

TWO DIPS - GUACAMOLE AND TAPENADE

SERVES: 6   |  PREP TIME: 20 min

Guacamole and Tapenade

INGREDIENTS

GUACAMOLE

2 avocados
12 diced plum tomatoes
2 diced shallots
1 medium spicy diced seeded chili
juice of 1/2 lime
salt and pepper

TAPENADE

1 cup black olives
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
oil

HOW TO

For the guacamole, roughly chop the avocados. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt, pepper and the lime juice to taste. Don’t make it all creamy, it’s nice with the avocado pieces. Serve with crackers or French baguette.

For the tapenade place the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, Parmesan and parsley in a food processor. Add some oil from the sun-dried tomatoes or add some olive oil to it. The sun-dried tomatoes oil is usually really tasty so I love to use that. Pulse for a few times depending on how creamy or chunky you like it. Garnish with some parsley and serve with crackers or French baguette.

Trilogy of Wantons

When I was about five or six years old, we sometimes went to a Chinese restaurant near our house. One of the very few I must say. There wasn’t much foreign food in the countryside of Germany 20 years ago. We usually went there for some buffet kind of lunch. I always had the wanton soup. I don’t remember me eating much else. Maybe I indulged in every bit of the buffet and just don’t remember it. Anyway, I mainly remember the wanton soup (and that my brother looooved sweet and sour duck). If you are fast enough and eat it while it is still hot, the wantons are still nice and crunchy and not yet soaked with soup – which is really what you don’t want. I always loved going to that restaurant. Mainly because it offered types of food we didn’t really have at home – unhealthy fried things. Or maybe just because I’ve always loved to eat out at restaurants. I don’t know what it was but I loved it.

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Shrimp Ceviche and How I Got to Know it

The first time I heard about Ceviche was last year. I cannot believe it took me so long now that I know it. How could I – avocado-lime-prawn-lover that I am – have not come across it earlier in my life? But I’ll start from the beginning…

During the last semester of my Master program every student could do their semester abroad. You don’t have to but if you want to go, you are free to do so. During that last semester, just like the fifth semester of my Bachelor program, you can go study at another University anywhere you want. There are people going to Bali, Iceland or Malaysia. I wasn’t that adventurous and did one in Melbourne, Australia and the second one in Paris, France. During the semester in Australia, the boyfriend stayed at home in Frankfurt and kept working. He had lived in Melbourne for a year a couple of years earlier while studying there as well. So when he came visit me after five months he got to meet friends from back than and we traveled around Australia for five weeks. Awesome by the way, don’t miss Western Australia, it’s worth a visit. Then we flew back to Singapore where I did a three months internship, he flew back home after a few days.

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Kreppel, Berliner or as the Berliner says Pfannkuchen

I am allowed to eat again! Can you believe it? I was so relieved when the boyfriend and I decided to end the cleanse after 6 days. It was enough! Now I can tell you that it doesn’t get easier after day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Don’t let them fool you, it’s not true (for everybody)! My colleague compares it to a runner’s high after which you can continue to run and run and don’t get tired. I have to admit that I personally have also never experienced one of those – only know it from hearsay. Of course one reason for this could be that I never run long enough, but oh well who can tell. Back to the topic, there was no cleanse high for me within the first six days! And people tell me that the high usually is around day 3 to 6. Maybe people who already had a runner’s high have better chances at getting a cleanse high. Who knows?

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Salmon Spelt Bowl and Cleanse

Let me tell you something: If you are planning to do a cleanse of any kind, write you food blog posts in advance!! Don’t be as stupid as I was here. Let me tell you about the cleanse before we’ll get to the recipe I’m going to share with you today.

Why did I even do something silly like this? Well, I experienced some kind of allergy over the last couple of months and didn’t know where it came from. After experimenting a bit I came to the conclusion that it’s probably perfume. Mainly the bed sheets and clothes that are washed with washing powder that contains perfume to be exact. Even though it got better since we’re using perfume-free washing powder I wanted to find a way to get rid of this allergy. After reading many articles about it, I knew that a cleanse sometimes helps. The absence of food in our system can help clearing it and the allergy goes away. I thought I should try it. The boyfriend decided to join this little party by the way. Much better not to do something like that alone, let me tell you that – you can whine together!

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