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.
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.
TWO DIPS - GUACAMOLE AND TAPENADE
SERVES: 6 | PREP TIME: 20 min
|12||diced plum tomatoes|
|1 medium spicy||diced seeded chili|
|juice of 1/2||lime|
|salt and pepper|
|1 cup||black olives|
|1 cup||sun-dried tomatoes|
|1/4 cup||grated Parmesan|
|2 tablespoons||chopped parsley|
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.