Welcome to Kebab-a-looza! Tati is off to Spain to be with her new husband. She has her bags packed, her house packed up and shipped and we decided at the last minute to have a big send-off party for her. A couple of the gals called me and said, “don’t you think we should get together one more time before she leaves? Where should we meet up?” I say, “Are you kidding me? We’re meeting here, at my house! I’ll put the party together, you gather the gals.” There was some debate about having the men join us or not, but for me, there was no question – bring on the boys!! Boys eat way more food than girls, so of course I want the boys there.
So with one day to plan, shop and prep, where in the world was I going to get my inspiration? I grabbed a stack of recent food magazines and, what luck, Food Network Magazine had a pull-out insert with 50 kebab recipes. Ok then, we’re having a KEBAB-A-LOOZA!! And I just ran with it. No time to second guess.
Come on, join me at my
Welcome! May I offer you a Caribbean Breeze? Yes? Would you like the virgin version or the slutty version? (I know, I use this trick at lots of my parties.) When entertaining, I always serve a signature cocktail, but it is always offered with or without alcohol. I test the recipes to make sure both are equally as delicious. This drink is made with cranberry juice, pineapple juice, coconut rum, regular light rum and club soda. For the virgin version, I substituted coconut water for the coconut rum and ginger ale for the regular light rum. Both were delicious and it was a good thing I made more than I thought I would need. I had very little left at the end of the night.
Drink in hand, the Latin jazz is pulsating through the house, the patio lights are glowing, casting a multi-color, festive vibe. The smells coming from the trays being brought in from the grill are intoxicating. May I offer you a bit of cheese? How about an olive or some fruit?
For our salad course, we’re having insalata caprese kebabs. Hey, it’s kebab-a-looza, baby!!
These are made with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and black olives. After they are assembled, they are drizzled with olive oil, rice vinegar and sprinkled with sea salt. Every bit as yummy as the individual plated version – yummmm!
Please, let me introduce you to the guest of honor. To my right (your left) is Tatiana and to my left is one of Tati’s best friends on earth, Carolina. We are all tennis fiends. We play just about every day and can’t live without it. Tati has married a tennis pro who coaches Garica-Lopez, a Spanish player ranked in the top 50 in the world. We are all extremely jealous that she has a lifetime of free lessons! May I freshen your drink? Here comes the first entree off the grill – oh my goodness, it smells sooooo good….
This is pork loin, brined and grilled with pineapple and a jerk mop. As soon as I bring this platter in from the grill, I pull the dilled salmon kebabs from the oven. I had considered doing them on the grill, but decided it was overly ambitious. I put them under the broiler while the pork was grilling. It worked out perfectly. Please, help yourself to some salmon….
I had marinated the salmon in olive oil, lemon juice and fresh dill. I made a side sauce with sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, dill and capers. This was my dear friend Rozan’s response to the salmon..
Please, meet Maria and her husband, Marty. Maria is another tennis buddy, however, she has been noticeably absent from the courts lately. She is working very diligently on re-educating herself in the medical field. She also teaches English as a second language. Both are from Venezuela and are sick, sick, sick about what that crazy-man Chavez is doing to their homeland!
Just when everyone thought they had seen all the kebab-a-looza, I brought in the last entree tray from the grill; Satay Chicken, marinated in lime, garlic, onion, cilantro, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil. It’s grilled, ever so lightly and then served with a drizzle of Thai peanut sauce and chopped green onions. Everyone swooned and I thought Rozana might faint with delight! I just love feeding people delicious food!
Are you ready for a light, cool dessert? Of course, I’m serving more food on sticks, hey, it’s
Help yourself to some strawberries and chocolate. Have some grapes if you like. How about a little coffee, do you prefer tea?
Let me introduce you to some of the other guests;
Melvina hits the tennis ball harder than anyone I know. She is completely self taught. She watches tons of tennis on TV and then practices what she sees. It is a truly amazing method! The lovely gal next to Melvina is Mary. Mary was in a terrible car accident as a younger woman. While enduring her arduous recovery, she was inspired by her own caregivers. As a result, she pursued a career in medicine. She is a highly successful physician’s assistant and our tennis team relies on her kind expertise frequently.
Did you get some strawberries? The aromas are still amazing, the music is still reverberating throughout, and the smokers have gone out to the cabana to imbibe. Please, let me introduce you to Nancy. Nancy is an angel, and I mean that in a very literal sense. She is an earth angel, put here to do good things. She inspires me in ways that are difficult to explain.
As planned, many guests brought their old wedding albums. Tati had brought photos from her recent wedding in Spain (that most of us had missed). Upon request, other guests had brought their wedding albums (from years ago). We had fun looking at all the photos.
Everyone had a great time. We’ll miss Tati terribly, but it will be great to have someone to visit in Spain.
Bon voyage, Tatiana!