When Danny gave me the opportunity to pick “anything I want” for dinner, as he often does, I had the usual “Oh-goodness-no” response. Then it’s followed by a complete and overwhelming feeling. I mean, what does someone mean when they say, “Pick anything you want for dinner and I’ll make it.” Are we talking, tacos or spaghetti, or some other item in the usual repertoire? Am I supposed to know what we have on hand and pick something practical? Is he wanting me to find a new recipe? Oh, the pressure! And then I always think, “How does he think I have time to do make a decision like this while I’m at work?” I take my food-related decisions quite seriously and they can be time consuming to get it just right and try to please several palates. Anyone that knows me, knows that at work…I work. My brain is completely engulfed in whatever task I’ve got in front of me and I spend typically zero amount of time thinking about home-related issues and this includes dinner. So these are the kinds of topics that are left to fight about when you marry someone like Danny, the fact that he wants me to tell him what to cook and I feel like I’m unable or ill-equipped to do so. Hey, it is what it is. Every couple must fight about something.
Kelly (Darling, Queen of Smores, Lamb-loving, little sister…not to mention one of the only people I trust dog-sitting my precious Daisy) and I enjoying a glass of Malbec at Terra Mediterranean Grill
On this particular day I thought about who I wanted to come to dinner and let the invited guest’s likes guide me. What to cook for my sister, Kelly (#3), who just got her first ‘big girl apartment?” It’s a little bit easier when you look at the menu this way. Kelly likes meat and veggies and she was quite fond of Terra Mediterranean Grill in Ft. Worth when we took her for dinner not too long ago. So for Ms. Kelly, Mediterranean food it is! Nevermind that Danny has not prepared a Mediterranean dish to date; this is just the type of challenge he was looking for when he asked me to pick anything I wanted for dinner.
Danny chose to recreate the best dishes from Terra. Starting with homemade, organic whole wheat pita. Here’s a peak at the process.
Organic, whole wheat pita dough rising
Pita dough balls
Ready for the oven
Warm, organic, whole wheat pita bread right out of the oven. It’s addicting! It was the perfect compliment to the Baba Ghanouj that Danny whipped up. Baba Ghanouj is a dip much like hummus but with the additional of eggplant and a few other items. Danny was quite proud of it, as he managed to remove the paste-like gooeyness and replace it with a smooth and creamy texture that had no resemblance of paste. I asked him for the recipe, but he is not telling. This one will remain a secret for now.
Baba Ghanouj and a new (to us) go-to Pinot Noir. The name automatically gives you permission to indulge any day.
Kelly and I could not get enough of the warm pita and dip, but we managed to save room for the Greek salad and main course….Lamb Kabobs!
Greek Salad – no filler lettuce necessary. It was super fresh and the type of salad that saves easily for a few days.
Any time a meal starts off with this many fresh vegetables, you know it is going to be flavorful and healthy. Arrange them along a stick with lamb nestled in between and coat with a sauce based from Greek yogurt and you have a recipe for success.
Now Kelly is a fan of the lamb. So much so that when one scrumptious piece shot off of her kabob and landed on the floor, I completely thought she was going to shout 3 second rule and snack it right up. Fortunately, she was able to show some restraint, at least in front of us anyway 😉
No pictures of Kelly and I on this particular day because dinner was served the best way possible…while we were in our pajamas. My favorite weeknight dinners will always be the ones where no makeup is required and cotton clothes are mandatory parts of the dress code. Thankfully, Kelly had no objections either.
It’s not you asking, “What’s for dinner?” at Danny’s Kitchen, he asks you “What do YOU want for dinner?” When the question is posed to you, you had better have an answer waiting up your sleeve. If you pause for more than a moment, he just might get out of the cooking mood altogether…and then you’re on your own. Definitely not ideal for a non-cooking, food-lover like me.