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i was four years old when this picture was taken. if you had told me then that twenty one years from now i would officially be able to call myself a caterer,
i would have said:


a few weeks ago--i single-handedly catered my very first event. 
i've cooked for friends and family more times than i can count, but never have i EVER cooked for strangers. after working part-time as an occasional food-setter-upper at my friend's office, i mentioned to her boss that i do, in fact, cook. 
well, that's not exactly how it went down. i made a joke about setting up my own omelet station which led into the conversation that i know my way around a kitchen. right then and there he decided that i would have my very own day of catering the next time i was back at their office. a few weeks passed and before i knew it, it was time to start planning my dishes. 
there's something about greek food that i absolutely love. the fresh delicate herbs like dill and oregano combined with spicy garlic and bright lemon make a combination that i can't get enough of. keeping in mind that greek flavors are simple and light, yet full of flavor--i went forward with my mediterranean menu. i felt as if i had no other choice.

me NOT making greek food would have been like paula deen opening a chinese restaurant. it is!
(the recipes are all posted at the end)

two hours of grocery shopping.

six hours of cooking.
two coors lights.

eleven episodes of diners, drive-ins, and dives.

...and a partridge in a pear tree.

the above picture is of some delicious bruschetta i once made for an outdoor party. i knew it was going to be a hot day so i wanted something refreshing. what's more refreshing than strawberries and basil?
the below picture is from the catering day.
same dish.
fancier plates.

strawberry goat cheese bruschetta with basil, cracked black pepper, candied pecans, and a reduced sweet balsamic syrup.

spinach salad with roasted cashews, sliced apples, dried cranberries, goat cheese and a balsamic agave vinaigrette.

olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, agave, sweet vidalia onion, sugar, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

greek pasta salad with souvlaki-style chicken, caramelized red onions, cherry tomatoes, marinated artichokes, sundried tomatoes, feta, basil, and lemon zest tossed in an herb vinaigrette.

warmed pita pockets--
the only thing NOT made from scratch.

traditional tzatziki sauce with cucumbers, dill, garlic, and lemon.

the measurements in these recipes were for a little over twenty people, and i did everything through the eyeball method:
where you judge each step based on how much you THINK you'll need by taste or sight instead of sticking entirely to the recipe. i just wanted to list the ingredients in each dish incase anybody had the desire to make these in their own kitchen:

greek pasta salad with lemon chicken and feta tossed with herb vinaigrette:
  • 15 cups (dry) Orecchiette pasta
  • 15 chicken breasts
  • 3 ¾ - 4 cups feta cheese
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large thinly sliced caramelized red onion
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 8 cups arugula
  • 1 ½ cups sundried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 4 6 oz. cans artichoke hearts
  • 15 pitas (on the side)

chicken marinade:
  • 8 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red vine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

greek pasta salad herb vinaigrette:
  • 4 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cups plain greek yogurt
  • 8 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 cups olive oil
  • Pinch of sugar

tzatziki sauce:
  • 6 cups greek yogurt
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 4 medium seedless cucumbers
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 2 lemons (6 tablespoons lemon juice) + some zest
  • Salt and pepper to taste

strawberry basil bruschetta:
  • 30 toasted baguette slices
  • 5-6 oz. goat cheese
  • 3 cups strawberries
  • ½ cup chopped basil
  • ½ cup candied walnuts or pecans (candied in brown sugar and butter)
  • Small bottle aged balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked black pepper on top

spinach salad with goat cheese, dried cranberries, apples, and cashews tossed with balsamic agave dressing:
  • 32 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups toasted cashews
  • 1 1/3 cup goat cheese
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 4 apples (preferably pink lady or something tangy and sweet)
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 ¼ small Vidalia onion
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ½ minced garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¾ cup + 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil


Jeffrey Slater said...

Fanny, I am so proud of your cooking accomplishments. My only regret is that I didn't get to eat some of this great food. You make me so proud every day and it is a bonus that you are excellent at cleaning up after yourself too. I love you. Dad.

lisa singer said...

oh i just loved your blog...made me cry when i read about mango..i know that feeling all to well myself..they are apart of the family..and i wouldn't have had it any other way...and god i miss them so much..beau
beautiful writing...good food..what could be better..oh and your best glad you got to come down to spend time with sara..i know she needed it as much as u did...