Middle Eastern Dinner Party
In July, I threw a sweet little dinner party. That’s right, July. I wanted to wait until all the guests had digested properly before speaking of the soiree.
Vin and I hosted the dinner in our little Queens backyard to introduce his Croatian family to my southeast Texan brood. It was an exotic evening filled with food, fun and a whole bunch of different accents. I chose Middle Eastern food not only because our neighborhood of Astoria has a large Middle Eastern population (and great food sources), but also because some of the attendees from my Dad’s wife’s family are Lebanese, and I thought they might enjoy it.
Party Tip #1: Know your audience and tailor your menu and decor accordingly.
I used one of my craft punches to make the food labels, then glued on some gold rhinestones for a little flash. I’m acquiring quite the Martha Stewart craft punch collection and will likely enroll in some kind of “scrapbooking for seniors” club in the near future.
Party Tip #5: Whether they’re elaborate or not, I’ve found that guests really do appreciate food labels. People like to know what they’re getting themselves into (it’s especially helpful to give a warning if something is super spicy or has meat in it for vegetarians).
For the main course we had lamb meatballs with tzatziki sauce (the big hit!) and a tagine with spiced butternut squash, sweet potato, honey and currants. I also served a great orange salad with red onion, olive oil, fresh mint and salt and pepper.
Party Tip #6: If you’re going to have lots of heavy dishes, try to lighten things up by adding a fresh fruit or green salad. It’s also nice to add a splash of color to the table.
We also had a bevy of delicious desserts brought by Vin’s mom as well as few that I didn’t end up serving because everyone was so full. We washed everything down with a homemade mint tea.
Party Tip #7: Refer back to Party Tip #1–Know your audience. Skip the tea. Buy some booze.