Today I’m sharing a delicious kalamata olive dip I brought to a dinner party this weekend, plus the rest of our weekend adventures!
Hi friends 🙂 How was your weekend? Hope you enjoyed some relaxation and fun. We had a blast meeting up with friends, enjoying dinner with the cousins, watching the Olympics, and catching up on the usual weekend to-dos. It was perfect. I caught an Orangetheory class (power day- my fave!) and we had Jess and her family over for dinner Saturday night.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been looking for food inspiration, so I called my brother Kyle to see what he’d suggest for a casual family-style dinner. He mentioned eggplant parmesan and I was sold. You can make it entirely in advance, and it’s such a vibrant, satisfying summer meal.
Eggplant parm was one of the first meals the Pilot and I would make together. When we first started dating, we often cooked dinner together, not only to save money but because we enjoyed spending time preparing casual dishes together. (Our staple was tuna steak marinated in TJ’s soy-ginger dressing with asparagus.)
Eggplant parm was one of the few things I could cook in the early days. 😉 During one of the times we made eggplant together, a group of my cousins “stopped by” to meet him (aka check him out My Big Fat Mexican Wedding-style).
I used madre’s recipe, which never fails me. 🙂
Before going into the oven:
I served it with artichokes, and to prepare them, I tried something a little different: cooking the artichokes in the slow cooker. I was trying to brainstorm a way to cook them without overheating the entire house, and googled to see if it would work to cook them in the slow cooker. It totally did, and I’ll be doing it this way from now on. I just cleaned the ‘chokes, added slices of lemon, bay leaves, salt, pepper and enough water to go halfway up the sides.
They cooked for 4 hours on high, and were super soft.
We also enjoyed this beautiful salad that Jess brought,
champagne and wine (YESSSS).
Kalamata Olive Dip
For an appetizer, we served crudités with homemade hummus and this recipe for kalamata olive dip that I made to replicate my favorite dip from True Food Kitchen.
Here’s the recipe if you’d like to give it a try!
- -12 oz pitted kalamata olives (80% drained; use the rest of the liquid)
- -1/4 cup Ranch dressing
- -1 tablespoon dried dill
- -8 oz feta, crumbled
- -a drizzle of olive oil
- -pepper to taste
- 1. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender, until blended but with a bit of texture.
- 2. Garnish with crumbled feta, a few whole olives, and chopped herbs.
- 3. Serve with crudités, crackers, or warm pita.
- This can be made 3-4 days in advance! Just store covered in the fridge.
Some more pics from the weekend:
We met up with our cousins for dinner at Tajima Ramen Bar in Hillcrest:
(this picture is a little blah, which makes me sad because it was so delicious)
(chicken ramen with gf noodles)
and then wandered down to Babycakes for dessert.
(Liv’s cowgirl boots are my fave ever.)
Babycakes is one of the many tucked-away hidden Hillcrest treasures. (PS it has a bar attached to it.) We all had a hard time deciding, but ordered a variety to share.
A much-needed haircut:
(San Diego friends, go see Shaylin at Jol Salon; she is AMAZING)
Return of the breakfast cookie:
and being silly with Miss P.
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, too!