If you watch my Instagram stories you know that I am a quest to find the best grain free donut recipe. This post isn't about that, I just wanted to let you know that it is coming. This post is featuring a very easy very yummy greek inspired dinner and some thoughts about friendship.
My boyfriend just recently uprooted and moved to merge his life with mine, which I guess is just a nice way of saying that we are shacking up. To celebrate we had some friends and their three teenage kids over for dinner and it was a blast. It was really nice to spend time with a family who has made it past having small children, and confirm my theory that no matter how old they get kids will always be willing to play "hide and go seek". It was also really nice to spend time with another blended family that knows a lot of how it feels to navigate through a lot of the same things that we are right now. It's reassuring almost to be able to look at a friend and eyeball communicate "this is fucking crazy right?" and have her look back (also eyeball talking) "yeah girl I know".
Sometimes I think that that is the most supportive and perfect thing a friend can say, yeah girl I know. There are beautiful people that always are there to support a friend going through a tough time and who are pillars of support when a friend needs help, and that is wonderful. Then there is always going to be friends are there to support you and celebrate with you during the best times, and that is also wonderful! I am really lucky to have friends that reach out during both those times, I am also really extra lucky to have friends who reach out during less extreme times of change.
You know when when something good is happening but it's a big change. Like a big change. I think sometimes people don't know if they should keep a distance and give you space to sort of get comfortable in your new situation, but I also think that this is the perfect time to check in and see if a friend just needs to hear "yeah girl I know".
"Oh my god I'm so excited to get to spend more time with him!"- Yeah girl I know!
"I have to figure out how to organize my makeup to make room in the bathroom" - Yeah girl, I know.
"It is going to be really different to navigate parenting with another person!"- Yeah girl I know!
Anyway, it's all just so new and wonderful and different that it feels nice to know that I have friends who are excited for my family and know how much it means to make room for someone in your life and home. Plus I just love to entertain and always appreciate when friends will go out of their way to spend the evening surrounded by my wild children and risk loosing their taste buds with my notoriously over salted food.
I have followed Diane Sanfilippo on the Gram for years now and finally decided to order a
few of her Balanced Bites spices. I was most interested in the Greek spice because I love Greek food but often find that dried spice blends are too heavy on the oregano for my taste. I am going to tell you that this blend is probably as close to perfect as someone could get. You definitely pick up on the oregano taste but its very well balanced with the other simple and traditional flavors present. Once I knew I was going to enjoy this spice blend I decided to use it liberally along with fresh ingredients for a Mediterranean inspired easy to cook and eat dinner.
I brined a bunch of chicken thighs like I wrote about a few weeks ago, then made a fresh herb blend with EVOO to smother them in. I minced a few garlic cloves, chopped up fresh oregano, rosemary, dill, and basil, then added the EVOO (and a teeny bit of salt) and rubbed the combo all over the thighs.
The dried Greek spice blend was abundantly applied to a pound and a half of shrimp along with lots of chopped bell peppers, red onion, and zucchini, all drizzled with olive oil as well.
Once everything was what I hoped was properly seasoned, the shrimp and veggies went onto wooden skewers for the grill. Remember to soak your skewers for at least twenty minutes guys, because I didn't soak mine long enough and ended up scorching and burning a bunch. Despite the burnt skewers, all the food grilled up wonderfully. I love a meal that all cooks up at the same time on the same surface like that. I have never really perfected the art of timing a meal and getting everything all done at once but can kind of fake it on the grill.
At the last minute I whipped up some tahini yogurt dip using one cup of plain yogurt, two tablespoons lemon juice, three tablespoons garlic tahini, and some flat leaf parsley. I probably should have followed a recipe like this one since my dip's texture was too thick, but the taste was good and the veggies scooped it up just fine.
I know that I'm not really giving you guys any real recipes here, but you all know that I'm not actually a chef and just sort of throw ideas together and hope that they come out palatable. The Balanced Bites Greek spice blend was really the star of this show. It was so easy to fix up a meal that seemed like I knew what I was doing while still allowing me to chat and socialize with friends, which is really what I want to do when I have people over!
I hope that everyone has had the opportunity to enjoy their weekend. I hope that this post inspires some dinner ideas for the week. Most of all I hope that everyone has friends that can say "yeah girl I know" with their eyeballs from across the kitchen!