This weekend was the 30th birthday of someone very dear to me, my best friend Andrew.
Drew and I have been the best of friends since our freshman year at DePaul University. He has been a constant source of support and encouragement for me over this last crazy decade and he is someone I can always count on for a smile and a song which he usually has for just about everything.
Yup, this guy:
So, I was more than happy to host a party at our place to celebrate the milestone of turning 30. Drew requested a middle eastern menu and I got to work Saturday morning after getting my house together after work Friday night.
Let’s do this!
The Menu (for about 20 people)
Beef, Chicken, Veggie kabobs
Bulgur wheat salad
Mixed green salad
Spinach and feta pastries
Iced Mint Tea
Grapes and feta cheese cubes
I jazzed up my table with a vibrant tablecloth, candles from World Market, and a floral arrangement. It was my intent for this to be an outdoor party after a lot of work in the garden but the weather had other plans.
I picked up the hummus, baba, and pita from the Pita Inn Market because let’s be honest, making homemade pita for 20+ people is insane. The orangey/red stuff is Muhammara, a Syrian spread, that is a lot like olive tapenade but made with roasted red peppers. It was really tasty and I will probably make it again for gatherings. Recipe from Bon Appetitt via Epicurious.
Beef and chicken kabobs with yogurt marinade were the main course. It was just my luck that the propane ran out on our grill right before guests arrived so I grilled them on my cast iron grill and finished them in the broiler.
1 cup plain yogurt
1 chopped medium onion
2-3 garlic cloves
Red wine vinegar
Red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Mix all ingredients with meat and let marinade for at least 4 hours (preferably overnight).
Spinach and feta puff pastries. I sautéed some organic baby spinach and a couple of cloves of garlic, added some crumbled feta and placed a spoonful of the mixture into a square of puff pastry. General rule: pretty much anything tastes good wrapped in puff pastry.
Flowers for the birthday boy and hostess. Thanks George! 🙂
There was a lot of chatting, mingling, and munching as people joined the party.
I was worried that we might run low on wine but I walked into the kitchen and saw the variety of wines our guests brought.
And finally Mike came home from the theatre…
…and the showtune books came out.
Ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery.
Happy Birthday Drew! Welcome to the club, I no longer feel so old 😉
Speaking of birthdays, I’m looking forward to my 29th birthday in August 😉