Here we go , we hit the most exciting time of the year!!! Kids are full of joy waiting for Santa to come, those who work is looking forward for few days off from work ..
Now we have the break from the busy schedules of girls , I can give my time to prepare good food and beautiful decorations to enjoy the time with our friends.
I post most of the recipes in my web site but one important detail about the main course that you need either a slow cooker or iron cast pot to cook the meat . (I prefer the iron cast) and it takes a long time to cook (at least 4-5 hours) You might also enjoy using the fresh herbs like thyme and rosemary in this dish. I have a little pot in front of my kitchen window and I buy the herbs in pots and keep them there for my cooking.
While thinking of my preparation girls are already excited about decorations. They love to help me with with the table set up and cooking.
The dinner table will be set in the Turkish way that means the cold dishes or you may call the starters will be put in serving dishes on the table. Guests can serve themselves .
My starters are :
- Rice stuffed vine leaves
- Eggplant salad
Few hints preparing the menu :
I have used a big box of portobello mushrooms , clean them , sliced them and sautéed them in a big pan with olive oil, onions and garlic. I separated a small part of it for the appetizer I serve when the guest arrive. In that batch I have added parsley, black pepper and small pieces of brie. On the other side, I prepared a walnut - garlic pate which I have spread over the multi grain bread slices and topped with the mushroom mix. When our friends arrived I popped it in the oven until the bread is crispy and the cheese is melted. Yummy !!!
The rest of the mushrooms: keep it in the pan, add some organic tamari sauce, some water and 1 tbs of flour. This make a tasty mushroom gravy which I serve as a side dish with main course. I topped it in the phyllo flakes that I prepared by cutting phyllo though in squares, spread vegetable oil in between and lay them on the back side of muffin moulds.
In a big salad ball mix 4 cups baby spinach and the above prepared ingredients, Season with olive oil and lemon juice.
Nobody can deny the sweet pressure of hosting people or buying the best possible present for the loved ones. Many details to think for moms , the decorations, wrappings, cookies, dinners etc.
Turkish people do not celebrate Xmas , however living in Vancouver makes our kids and us got excited about this spirit. It is a great opportunity to invite our friends for parties, great food and fun..Don't you think every occasion to socialize with your loved ones is awesome?
Sharing my party journey with you in these lines: Menus , decorations might inspire you for your upcoming events,
This is a friendly dinner party for a great couple that we met after moving to Vancouver. I started by deciding about the main course. I always figure out the main course first and try finding the best alternatives that accompany it.
Personally I prefer to serve beef as main course instead of classic turkey. My easy to prepare main course was :
- Slow-cooked organic beef chunk in red wine sauce
- Mashed Cauliflower and potatoes
- Portabello Mushroom Gravy in tenderflakes
- Roasted Asparagus
Eggplant and Pilaki are easy to prepare and not very time consuming. However some Turkish foods like stuffed vine leaves takes time to prepare. I find it like a meditative process , where you patiently wrap them and the prize is very unique: they are heavenly delicious.
Guests are very important in Turkish culture. They are hosted like they are the kings and queens. The host does their best to make them feel comfortable. Sometimes the food in the table looks overwhelming but is super delicious in all conditions.
Turkish food is generally healthy , includes lots of veggies and legumes.
Of course there would not be a meal without a salad. And here is one of my favourite salads:
- Spinach and Almond Salad
Start by cutting 1/2 cups of dates into little pieces.Slice 1/2 red onion very thin and add the dates and onion in 2 tbs of wine vinegar and mix well. Set aside to marinate 20 min.Then melt a tbs butter in a pan and throw in some raw almonds and square cut pita bread pieces. Cook them until pita is crispy and add sumac, paprika and rosemary. Keep it a side.
Of course I had a great healthy dessert recipe:
- Chocolate fudge cake with whiskey and vanilla ice cream
You might think how it is possible to have a healthy chocolate cake , but there is no flour, butter or refined sugar in this recipe ..The funny part: I forgot to take a photo of it when it is out of the oven with fresh cooked cake smell..I promise that I will post the recipe soon..
Happy Holidays ...