Coming up with a theme is my favorite part of entertaining. We are part of a fun dinner group where we host a small dinner party 2x a year. It's a really great group of folks who all enjoy entertaining and fun cuisine - but a laid back bunch who just want to share an evening of laughs and libations every now and again.
This summer I really wanted to do something fresh and light and take advantage of the farmer's market and mild weather. I wanted to be outside for at least cocktails and dessert and to find something that we haven't done as a group.
Mediterranean food is so rich in color and flavor, and all though there is lots of pre-party prep - at game time it is easy to prepare and still enjoy visiting with your guests. When I think Greek I think feta, lamb and hummus for starters.... This is not a food blog - so I won't go into recipe detail - but I found inspiration from the pros and was able to create a gorgeous buffet including a colorful rainbow Greek Salad, Rack of lamb with a creamy mint sauce, a mezze assortment (hummus, baba ghanoush, falafel, tzatziki, pita, olives), and tabouli. For dessert we served pistachio gelato with two flavors of fresh baklava. We sauced the crowd with an appertif of traditional Greek Ouzo and served Pinot Noir with the Lamb.
With ethnic cuisine I definitely need to source it out to be authentic. We found great Greek Bakery & Grocery on Lamar Phoenicia . Scott and I hit Phoenicia on an empty stomach. We sampled lamb, and hummus for lunch and loved their pita. We decided that we wouldn't mess with any baking for this party. We left with fresh baklava and pita.
Costco carries a great rack of lamb - so we went nuts on our core ingredient and bout six racks for 8 people!!!
We were able to complete the rest of our list at the farmer's market and the grocery store. Our day of was so fun! I flittered around setting our 6' round folding table with lots of white and sea blues inspired by the Greek isles while Scott was our sauce master - busy blending the complex mint sauce and marinade we made for the lamb. He chops, I chat. "We" debate presentation and creating the experience is as much fun as the actual party. We got a little silly when searching for a bouzouki channel on Pandora... Often wondering when and if we take the joke too far with a theme. NEVER!!!
The event was a hit, gorgeous, delicious, light, bright, and fun. I will do it again for reals.