EAT

Shakshuka

I must write a post about one of my favorite dishes. It is my signature dish for brunch or for a light dinner. This is another traditional dish and I grew up with my dad’s version where he used a lot of diced peppers. My version is more Greek in its style using kalamata olives and feta. Shakshuka is a super easy dish that can serve as the star of any gathering. All it needs is a good white bread to accompany it. For best flavors serve it with Tahini on the side.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp kalamata olives, pitted and halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large can of rustic cut tomatoes
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large eggs
2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add kalamata olives and garlic. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes to allow the olives to soften (this will remove some most of their bitter flavor). Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook further for about 10 minutes.

Make 4 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pure each into its own dip taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle the feta over the eggs. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 15 minutes, until the eggs are set. Remove from the heat, and leave for a couple of minutes. Spoon into individual plates and serve with tahini.

Note: This recipe I only used 4 eggs since it was only made for two. This base is good to use with up to 10 eggs.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Happy Birthday P&C!

A year ago, I embarked on a new journey and started “Peonies and Caramel”. A blog where I share my inspiration and my passion for life. I have enjoyed every moment of my first year. Each post made me a better blogger.

My only wish is that this year will be just as good and even better.

Thank you for following, commenting, sharing and just visiting.

XOXO,

Shani

PS – it can’t be a birthday without a party… Take a look at the birthday luncheon I hosted at my house. 

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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Summer cool

I’m always looking for new recipes to try. I love making recipes that are simple, easy and don’t require any special ingredients. My father is visiting with us and we have been cooking and baking all week long. He is by far the best cook I know!  That being said, it is difficult getting recipes from him because he cooks and bakes from the heart.

Last weekend was so hot and humid, and he immediately decided that it was time to make cucumber yogurt soup. I think his wife created the recipe and he add his own touches along the way. The combination of the dill and mint makes this cool dish even more refreshing. Serve it between courses at a dinner party or for lunch with toast and salad. The soup needs a good 24 hours in the fridge before serving.

Naturally when we made this it rained the next day, but I still had the perfect lunch!

Yogurt cucumber soup

2 containers Greek yogurt
8 oz sour cream
6 green house cucumber, unpeeled, chopped 
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon garlic oil
1/2 cup dill and mint chopped 
freshly ground pepper and coarse salt for seasoning

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt and sour cream (If the yogurt is too thick, add a little bit of milk). Mix in the cucumber, garlic, salt and pepper and stir well. Fold in the dill and mint, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Serve chilled, garnished with fresh dill.

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Clothing ETC., EAT, OUT & ABOUT

11 Things for Summer

I’m good at making lists. I write them constantly to help me keep organized. I also love to make fun lists of things I’d like to do, clothes that I’d love to wear, food that I want to make and places I wish to go.

Summer in Michigan is the best! We have daylight from 6AM to 10PM, we have beautiful beaches, great local farmer’s markets and lots of outdoor time. We usually spent most of our time either at the pool or on the beach.  I love to have friends over for  BBQ on our deck, and I’m always on the lookout for fun summer recipes. The list below is a little bit of everything – beach and pool items, and food and entertainment ideas.

I hope they will inspire you the way they’ve inspired me. I already made the Sangría for a dinner party I hosted last week, and I just bought the Beets for the salad.

All

  1. Beach chairs by Serena and Lilly
  2. Beautiful summer table setting by Crate and Barrel
  3. Lace Caftan by Miguelina
  4. Striped bikini by MIKOH
  5. Gold plate flat sandal by SEE BY CHLOE
  6. Illesteva Leonard Mirrored Lense Sunglasses
  7. Fresh flowers including my favorite pink peonies
  8. White Sangría with Mint, Peaches and Plums
  9. New Balance MINIMUS ZEO V2 in white, blue and coral.
  10. Vans for J Crew slip-on shoes
  11. Crushed Beets with Lemon Vinaigrette salad by bon appetit
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An afternoon delight

Sometimes, I wish I could live in “Downton Abby” days – having afternoon tea, eating on fine china while dressed in ball gowns. Then, I remember how much I love my espresso machine and amazon prime.

So, I decided to take out the fine china and macaroons and have an afternoon tea.

I made cucumber sandwiches with ricotta cheese and dill, mini puff pastry rounds with goat cheese and balsamic reduction and of course macaroons (that I did not make. I am not that ambitious).  To decorate the table I used  mini Gerber daisies that I found at a local flower shop and mini fabric flags I ordered from Etsy.

The china, silverware and crystal glasses are all family heirloom. They belonged to my husband’s grandmother. I never met her, but always heard the stories of how much she loved to entertain and have family and friends over. I’m honored to have some of her treasured dishes and I love the idea that we are keeping her tradition alive (with some modern twists).

Afternoon tea was simple, elegant and full of fun. Perfect way to spend an afternoon.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

 

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Salad and Company

There is nothing better in this world than good friends and good food. The combination of the two is what I consider my “happy place”. So, naturally, I had to write a post that brings the two together. I love a big salad that has a little bit of everything. The way I prepare a salad is by looking at the fridge, taking whatever looks good to me at the moment, toss in a bowl and hope that it will taste good in the end.

I told Kate (my partner in crime) that I have the perfect salad for a fun morning. While my kitchen is undergoing some cosmetic changes, I showed up at her doorstep with a basket full of goodies.

We had a lovely time, and  for the first time since forever, it was warm outside enough for me to wear shorts!

Kale, Beets, Green Beans and Tuna Salad (for two):
2 Small heads of lettuce, chopped (I like to use one red and one green, doesn’t matter what kind)
5 Kale leafs, chopped
1 Can of Tuna in olive oil
1 medium size Beet, peeled and 1/2-inch diced
4 “Almost” hard boiled eggs, halved lengthwise
A nice size bunch of Green Beans
Olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F. Wrap the beet in tin foil without peeling and place in a baking pan, bake for about an hour until tender. Allow to cool and peel.

Boil eggs for 5-6 minutes. Place  green beans in rapid boiling water with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Place the lettuce and kale in a large salad bowl and add the beets, green beans and tuna. Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and toss well. Arrange the eggs gently on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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Photos by Kate Bolt

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