Friday, July 04, 2008

Dear Niece's Birthday Party

[ts]
Our Dear Niece turned 3!
You know the drill: here's our menu for the party; photos below. (June 1, 2008)

Savory
Watermelon Feta Salad
with Greek olive oil, olives

Baby Spinach Salad
red and yellow bell peppers, tofu, carrots, green onions, miso-sesame dressing

Tomato Onion Tart
roast/confit tomatoes, caramelized onions, basil, on puff pastry

Roast Asparagus
Cold Spicy Cucumber Salad
Korean Sprouts Salad

White Rice

JS' Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chicken Wings Africana

Grilled Baby Back Ribs à la Chinoise

Mussels "Congolaise"
tomatoes, smoked chili, lime, cilantro

Steelhead Trout with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce

Sweet
Teddy Bear Birthday Gelato Cake
Grilled Pineapple with Nutella Sauce


Let's start the parade!


Watermelon Feta Salad
Nothing fancy. We've had a plain watermelon & feta salad Before. This time we decided to make it even more "Mediterranean" by adding olives. ;)


Baby Spinach Salad
red and yellow bell peppers, tofu, carrots, green onions, miso-sesame dressing

This was surprisingly good. This was the first time I made the miso-sesame dressing, and I must say, it was very good. It gets its own post!


Tomato Onion Tart
We still had puff pastry in the freezer, so I thought I'd do an onion tart again.

So that's grainy dijon, caramelized onions, basil, Parmiggiano-Reggiano and a new addition, some roasted tomatoes. Here are those campari tomatoes going into the oven with olive oil, garlic and some of their stems for that extra tomato aroma.


So pretty.


Roast Asparagus
Done simply with olive oil, salt and pepper.


Spicy Cold Cucumber Salad
So refreshing yet with deadly heat. Our Asian-style salad was dressed with soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Oh, and chile peppers (of course) and green onions too. Details.


Korean Sprouts
I very much dislike regular ol' bean sprouts, but I love these bigger-headed Korean sprouts! It's the same Asian dressing as the cold cucumber salad, but without the heat and with cilantro instead of green onions. Details.


JS' Spaghetti and Meatballs
Of course, what children's party would be complete without spaghetti and meatballs? Besides, the celebrant's mother (that would be CSC) insisted on it. During the planning sessions, when asked about her opinion of the menu, CSC also kept insisting that she really did not care: she predicted she would forsake all others for the spaghetti.


Mussels "Congolaise"
We don't actually have any idea on what "Congolaise" flavors are. We got this idea from a dinner at Chambar: nobody at our table ordered the mussels congolaise, but it smelled heavenly. According to their menu, the mussels were cooked with tomato coconut cream, smoked chili & lime and fresh cilantro. JS took those flavors and made our own version.


Chicken Wings Africana
This was quite a discovery! JS found a recipe through epicurious. We'll talk more about this soon. Read all about them wings here.


Grilled Baby Back Ribs à la Chinoise
We justify "à la Chinoise" with the use of a hoisin-based glaze (with hoisin, honey, soy sauce and black pepper).


Steelhead Trout with Vietnamese Caramel Sauce
This was quite popular with our crowd! I first learned about Vietnamese caramel sauce in Bittmans' How To Cook Everythingor Best Recipes in the World (I can't remember which; in any case, both are highly recommended!). This is deserving of an entire post. (Coming soon. Details here!)

For dessert, we didn't have humongo piles of different items like at Mama's Birthday Party, just two simple things.


Grilled Pineapple with Nutella Sauce
This was surprisingly good. We didn't want to keep the grill outside on during the whole of dinner, so we decided to broil the pineapple instead. They're not quite as "grilled" as I would've liked, but they were still good. The pineapple itself that we bought was super-good.



Of course, last, but not the least, the "Teddy Bear" Gelato Cake.


Happy Birthday D!

17 comments:

  1. It would be perfectly fine to label your watermelon and feta salad as Greek, 'cause it is! lol

    The array and caliber of food is fabulous...I'd renounce Toronto and become a Vancouverite for a seating.

    Finally, spill it on the Africa chicken, I'm still deciding on which chicken recipe I should use for my up coming BBQ.

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  2. Thanks for visiting BURP! Looks like you have quite the drool-fest going on over here yourself.

    What a fantastic feast!

    The watermelon salad looks scrumptious... as do the mussels Congolaise. I can taste the smoked chili already.

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  3. ohhhhh so much good food.....
    bet everyone is stuff...hehe

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  4. The gelato cake looks awesome. Actually so does everything. I feel like I just ate a feast looking at all that food. And yes, please explain the Africana chicken.

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  5. All those dishes look delicious! A great selection!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  6. Thanks for a great party! While reading this post, I got diverted by the spaghetti and meatballs link (see comments there)-- couldn't even get to the end of the post without drooling over the spag-metti (again)! But I did make room for the rest of the menu (2 mussels, 2 chk wings, 1 spoon trout, 3 scoops gelato, etc) hahaha

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  7. ooh, olives with watermelon and feta? that sounds great....I'll have to try it and maybe add some pine nuts too.

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  8. The menu looks like it should be on a $200 tasting menu :)

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  9. Thanks everyone!

    Peter M:
    Well, we're now afraid of calling anything "Greek", haha.

    Oh yeah, Vancouver is the best! Food-wise, at least.

    I left you a comment with the URL for the Africana recipe! =D

    jude:
    Maybe the next time we should start charging people! ;D

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  10. This seems more of party for the adults than the kids :) The food you have here for this party is fantastic!

    Hope your niece had a good time.

    And thanks for stopping by my blog.

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  11. Good lord, I'm full just reading about it and looking at your wonderful photos!

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  12. Everyone certainly had a feast to attend:D I have a section on my sidebar for Canadian Bloggers so have added you:D

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  13. Omg this is one very sumptuous spread, so amazing :)~

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  14. So much great lookign food!

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  15. If you only let me eat one thing at the party, I'd pick the mussels. Those look great! Oh, but then I'd beg you for some of the gelato cake :)

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  16. cynthia:
    Haha, yes, the food was mostly "for adults". We did have the spaghetti there (and chicken wings), so that was our nod to thte children in attendance.

    bellini valli:
    Thanks so much!

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