Oh, Martha! Monthly Gathering V1

mediterranean-night-dinner-party

We thought a Mediterranean dinner party would be a wonderful way to take advantage of the bounty of late summer produce and a tasty way to enjoy the company of friends. And lo and behold there was a piece in MSL on preparing a Mediterranean dinner party. So with Martha’s guidance, we developed a menu plan.

We attempted to make pita bread from scratch, the key word being attempted. Luckily we were able to get our hands of the good stuff from New Yasmeen Bakery in Dearborn. We also bought some delectable baklava from there as well. When were purchasing our baked goods we noticed that just down the street is Dearborn Halal Meat Market. So, we decided to purchase our meat there for the kofta.  When we inquired if they had ground turkey, the clerk said he had just the thing…He went over to the freezer and pulled out a package of beige ground meat; which, he informed us, was already seasoned. The frozen block of meat was dubious looking, to say the least, but we placed our trust in it’s authenticity. Originally we had planned to use Martha’s recipe for the kofta, but after frying a bit of the mystery meat for a taste test it was clear that it was deliciously well seasoned.  To complement the spices we added one cup chopped onion and a cup of chopped parsley to the two pounds meat, and followed Martha’s instructions for preparation.

grilled-kofta-kabob

We served the kofta with pita, a simple (and simply delish) tomato and cucumber salad, quick pickled beets and radishes, cucumber yogurt sauce, extra cucumber slices (to state the obvious, we LOVE cucumbers), Martha’s red bean-tahini spread (basically a kidney bean hummus) and Lebanese tomato sauce. And as previously mentioned, we had stellar baklava for desert.

quick-pickled-beets-and-radishes

red-bean-tahini-spread

Good food and good company were enjoyed by all. It’s always wonderful to share and savor a meal made with love with good friends.  The best compliment came from Carl, saying that food goes together, not just in a complimentary sense, but that it could all be mixed up together and still taste amazing.

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Glen Arbor/Sleeping Bear Dunes


Glen-arbor-michigan

There is nothing better than taking a weekend getaway with good friends. Ditch the kids with grandma and grandpa and prepare for a tantrum free weekend. The weather was beautiful!  We even got to go swimming in the lake (which by the way is VERY unusual for this time of year in up-north Michigan).

simple-tomato-salad

Friday evening we stayed in and barbecued on the grill.  Unlike most barbecues I have seen this one apparently had a high setting you could set to “surface of the sun” so it cooked fast and with giant plumes of smoke…good smoke though, not “burning your food to charcoal dust” smoke. I made a very simple (but in my humble opinion) extremely delicious tomato salad.  Saturday we got up early, made breakfast and headed out on a 15 mile bike ride.  It’s been a while since I did a 15 mile anything. Did I mention the hills?!?  By the end of the bike ride my quads were reminding me why bikes have gears.  Looks like I need to get back to the gym.  Afterwards, we stopped at this little place in town and got drinks.  Nothing like a cold stout after a hard workout.

When we got back to the cottage Mike insisted that we all go into the lake.  I really didn’t want too and wasn’t very subtle about it as I knew the water would be freezing cold.  After being splashed by my husband for a good five minutes I finally caved and went under.  So glad that I did!

little-glen-lake-glen-arbor-michigan

Later on in the evening we headed out to Traverse City and had an amazing meal at Trattoria Stella.  Unfortunately it was too dark in there to take any good pictures of my meal so you’ll just have to take my word that it looked and tasted amazing.

lake-michigan-glen-arbor-michigan

I’ve traveled to many beautiful places but Glen Arbor will always have a special place in my heart.