Friday
Jun122015

Taking the Party Outdoors with a Backyard Greek Taverna

 

 

This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports.

 

 

 

 

The weather is finally perfection, the patio has been whipped into shape courtesy of Pier 1 Imports, and the stars are all aligned for hosting a party at our newly christened backyard Greek Taverna (see my before/after prep post here). 

Well, there was one hiccup in all our planning, an extended family trip overseas, and not a lot of time to get everything ready. I should have known not to worry though, pulling together all the decor was a total snap with the carefully curated collection at Pier 1 Imports- all the Mediterranean flair and ideas a gal could ask for.

Another life and time saver? I had a portion of the meal catered, from our local favorite the Fiesty Greek (how can you not LOVE a place with a name like that?), and prepped the rest of our family favorites day of.

 

The menu (check links for my favorite recipes):

Beef, Lamb, and Chicken Souvlaki 

Spinach Pie

Lemon Potatoes

Fasolakia (green beans in tomato sauce)

Horiatiki (traditional country salad)

Spicy Feta (my recipe, below!)

Baklava

Galaktoboureko (Greek custard dessert)

Ouzo and Sangria

Trying saying Galaktoboureko 10 times fast- a delicious dessert well worth the tongue twister.

 

Guests at the party were wowed by all the Pier 1 Imports goods, especially the gorgeous turquoise melamine platters and plates, which even fooled my husband into thinking they were glassware! My happy hostess tip? Even when you don't have the time to do all the cooking yourself, take the time to serve it on a pretty platter- no one knows the difference. Presentation is seriously 3/4 of the game.....remember, you "eat" with your eyes.

Finally, I pulled together some simple center pieces with flowers and gorgeous glass encrusted lanterns, all in shades of white and green (my other hostess tip, keep flowers to a single color and go crazy with size and variation). Decor was completed with a few vintage Brimfield flea market finds- the Moroccan tea table, Hellenic inspired glasses for ouzo, and the wooden bust. Once the play list was on and the lights lit, you were instantly transported to the Greek isles, minus airfare.

I may have taken my theme to extremes with a cool blue caftan (from Bazaar 28), straight out of the Mediterranean style-wise- comfy enough to run around all day, accommodate my growing belly and waistline with baby, cool enough for the hot temps we had, and actually perfect for hiding any hostess stains, which we know will happen.

What an amazing day, full of delicious food, drink, and people. Can't wait to do it all again soon.

 

Spicy Feta

Makes 1 large bowl (about 2 cups)

 

Ingredients

1 lb good quality feta, look for traditional in a brine

2 fresno peppers, de-seeded (anything with medium heat will do)

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon/juice about 1 lemon 

pepper to taste

*1 clove garlic optional

 

Directions

Whip all ingredients in a food processor until light and fluffy. Chill if it becomes too runny to firm up.

Serve with pita and fresh cut veggies, or alongside a meat dish for a little extra kick.

 

Find what speaks to you. See our Outdoor Living collection in stores or at pier1.com/outdoorliving

 


 

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Thursday
Jun112015

CSA Cooking: Oat Groat-Meal with Apple & Raisin Recipe

 

In between my all consuming pregnancy cravings for Twizzlers, I try and squeeze in healthy meals to make up for my sweet tooth. Enter, the Oat Groat-Meal. Something I was also inspired to make because my CSA was selling huge bags of groats and I thought, hey, I bet I can do something here.

Be forewarned, this takes a little extra time, not the ten minutes you are used to with regular oatmeal. The reason? Regular oatmeal cooks up so fast is because it is partially cut or ground. The groat is the entire oat kernel, not cut, pressed, or messed with in any way, shape, or form, the least processed of all our oat friends. What does this mean? Some extra stove time, or a quick sesh in the slow cooker (which I have not tested, but I am sure would be divine, maybe with a little crisp on the bottom).

Worth the effort my friends! I like to think this banishes all the red dye and sugar I add to my diet with the steady stream of Twizzlers- right?

 

Oat Groat-Meal with Apple & Raisin

Serves 4-6

 

Ingredients

2 cups oat groats (try Bob's Red Mill)

3 cups almond milk (enough that the groats should be covered, but it's not an exact science, you could always add more liquid)

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup peeled, grated apples (about 2)

1/4 cup maple syrup (Grade A)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

additional fruit and/or nuts for topping

 

Directions

Place groats, milk, raisins, apple, syrup and cinnamon into a sauce pan over medium high heat. Cook about 60 minutes, until the mixture has thickened substantially and grains are cooked through (they have a spring to them regardless of cook time, so don't expect the total soft texture of regular oat meal). Add more liquid if necessary and cook longer/to desired consistency. Oatmeal is kind of personal and everyone has their style. Top with fresh fruit and an extra sprinkle of cinnamon or maple syrup. 

 

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Monday
Jun082015

Dressing the Baby Bump: Week 26 + Boston Weekly

Above: Isabel Marant Etoile scarla eyelit dress (on sale!), Free People vegan clutch, Celine espadrilles, Sisco + Berluti bracelet (c/o), NARS Red Square lip

 

 

Who: As in, who am I listening to. Okay, I already featured Jenny Lewis, She's Not Me. But you need to revisit it because the video is utter perfection. She finally takes us back, all the way, to Troop Beverly Hills.

 

What: As in, what went down this week/end. 

So very happy to be home and back to our routine. We had a busy weekend, full of parties (stay tuned for another post from Pier 1 Imports) and showers, but this week was a nice return to normalcy. 

I wore this dress to my sister-in-law's bridal shower. Ten years in my adopted Greek family and I still can't get the dresses right. When I think pseudo casual it's more like glam to the max. I just ordered two different dresses for the wedding itself this fall. Not only am I nervous I'll blunder on the dress, but I have no idea what will even fit, or if I will have a new baby or not. Talk about a dress dilemma.

 

Where: As in, where it's at. Launches, events, general goings on you need to know about. 

Just in time for Father's Day, Skinner Auctioneers hosts "The Gentleman's Auction". Online, the sale features everything dear old dad (or hubs) could want- think signed Pat's helmets, Louis Vuitton suitcases, and aged cognac to whet the whistle.....ends June 8. 

Celebrate New England craftsmanship with Room & Board, Wednesday June 10, featuring some of the best furniture and design New England has to offer. Details & RSVP: www.roomandboard.com/events/SummerPartyBOS


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