Saturday Party Prep

Beirut, Entertaining

According to my iphone weather app, it was supposed to rain today. It did…for about ten minutes…and then, just before I was preparing to walk down to Souk el Tayeb (the local farmers’ market at the Beirut Souks) the skies cleared to their usual clear bright blue. January blues be damned! We have my dear husband’s…

Lemon Lime Cream Tart

Entertaining, Pastry, Recipe

The recipe for this tart is one I’ve been using for years out of Jamie Oliver’s first cookbook The Naked Chef. I love the mix of the two sharp citrus flavors tempered by the cream. I think the result with the mini meringues, raspberries, and lovely flower I found is pretty special. I hope our birthday…

Cooking Class Party Prep

Entertaining, Pastry

Today I’m starting preparations for a private cooking class party I’m the chef for on Saturday night. The birthday girl is quite the advanced cook herself (and has a Michelin starred chef cousin to boot!) so I’ve put together a somewhat experimental and technical menu for us to all cook together. As always for me,…

Books, Beets, Borscht & Blini

Entertaining, Events, Recipe

After years of avoiding them, I’ve joined a book club. Finally, it seems enough time has passed between the six years I spent in university and grad school doing nothing but reading and talking about books ad nauseam with a bunch of people who fancied themselves experts on just about everything. Nowadays it is the…

Fancy Food – Duck Breasts with Blood Orange & Star Anise

Entertaining, Holiday Food, Recipe

It’s been a while since I’ve had regular dinner party clients. While I’ve had lots of regular mid-week family dinners to prepare, it wasn’t until a recent stretch of menu planning and preparation for some swanky dos, that I realised how much I miss preparing that sort of fancy food.  All of those ideas gathered…

Lemon Debutante Wedding Cake

Entertaining, Events, Pastry, Sweets

As I sit here and settle in to the couch, preparing to tune in to the BBC’s Great British Bake Off, I wonder if perhaps I’ve been inspired by the weeks of its bucolic, mouth-watering competition.  I’ve never been a baker, never been one for the precision and patience that the pastry arts require. It’s a temperament…