Meet Jack. He is the newest member of my family.
Like all members of my family, he loooooooooooves food.
We had a “Yay! Rachel and Richard are here and now they also have a cute baby!” Rachel and Richard live in Austin, TX, my favorite place (you can see me rhapsodize about some of my visits in which I got to go backstage with the flaming lips, ate the best brussels sprouts ever which I've been subsequently trying to recreate, got a dirty sanchez (it's a taco! read the post!), got the most flattering picture that's ever been taken of me and generally, like many people before me, discovered my latent Austin powers. Oh and also brunch with chickens).
So, we were excited to catch up with them and BABY!
Like any family event, that meant huge quantities of food.
It was all really good and I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep the night before and man that makes me eat a lot!
Here are some pictures I selected to take that are in no way representative of quantities.
An excellent sammich:
Cheese tomato and pesto.
And my grandmother’s signature plum cake (which appeared to also include peaches, mmm).
Oh, I need to amend the eating claim cause of Kayla. My wonderful and precocious but entirely too picky cousin, who was also visiting from out of town (she lives in Denver.) With the feast on that table, from what I can tell, all Kayla consumed was this Izze:
And then some Ben and Jerry’s. Calcium for growing bones?
Also growing bones! He is all adorable and bouncy and happy.
Well, although. Poor guy. He was still largely adorable and bouncy and happy two weeks later, yesterday, when we celebrated our Easter (as I mentioned in my previous post, we Greeks are on a different schedule, so ours was a week later than everyone else this year), but poor little Jack was also quite jet lagged, having spent time in England with his other relatives. So… waking up at 1am meant waking up at 7am! He was ready to go. Both baby and parents looked a little beat.
Fortunately, there was GREAT FOOD to wake them up! (My family. loves. food.)
A small sampling of the selection:
For me the highlight was the LAMB! I didn’t eat meat all of Lent. And honestly, even if I had, lamb is the best. Theeeee bessssssssssst.
For some reason, I also opted to photograph this attractive tray of pickled veggies. All were great.
This is a general overview of what I ate that was savory.
(lamb with tzaziki; succulent and lamb-y roasted potatoes; beet greens; pickled turnips; a piece of pita with taramosalata, which is a dip made of whipped up fish roe, bread, and lemon juice; salad; manestra which is orzo cooked up with lamb drippings; and spanikopita)
But the sweets, ohhh, the sweets.
I had been selected to take home a veggie tray leftover from a work event, so I had massive quantities of baby carrots. To me, that meant, obviously, I should make carrot cake!
I began with this highly rated carrot cake from Cooking Light.
And then, I didn’t have any cream cheese icing. But obvi, the cake needed something atop it. So I selected this butter packed glaze (halfed the recipe for an 8 by 8 inch pan).
As seems to be my habit when I make anything these days, I then made… caramel. Why does that happen?
But it wasn’t burnt caramel, so I persevered.
Pulled the cake out of the oven…
… glazed the cake
NO. DON’T DO THAT.
Take the cake out of the oven, then PUT IT ON THE SERVING PLATE, THEN GLAZE IT!
Otherwise you will remove the cake from your serving plate by breaking it in half, as I did, and have yourself a canyon cake.
Which is too bad, as it’d been beautifully decorated with carrot shavings and “leaves” made out of mini Christmas tree sprinkles.
C’est la vie. It was still delicious (the butter glaze perhaps negating the healthiness of the Cooking Light cake)
We had quite the dessert collection (and this was before the mini cupcakes arrived!)
Here’s a NOT AT ALL EVEN REMOTELY REPRESENTATIVE picture of what I ate. It’s just an overview of the selection!
At 2:00, my cake. Then kadithopita, made by my aunt Dena, which is sort of an amalgamation of cracker crumbs (she used Melba toast) bound into a cake, then thoroughly soaked in a wonderful honey-sweet glaze; one of the mini cupcakes which had wonderful orange-y frosting, and half (yeah right) a piece of koulouraikia, a wonderful eggy Greek cookie.
Again, not remotely representative.
We’d also brought baklava (my poor mom spent hours making it the day before and then had a horrible migraine on Easter and missed all the festivities. UGH.) I didn’t have any of that only because I’d had roughly fourteen pieces earlier in the day.
My aunt and uncle (Rachel’s parents) were nice enough to give her and Richard a night at a hotel and their babysitting services so that they could go out and have fun and then get a good night’s sleep sans baby.
And they invited Steve and I (and my cousin Lara) along to join them for drinks, which we got at Brabo tasting room.
We all got drinks, and then Richard wanted a snack and ordered cheese and pate, of which I then proceeded to eat a ton as well because they were OH MY GOD SO GOOD.
Particularly great: that blue cheese with the quince. Oh and the goat cheese with the honey. Oh and everything.
MEAT. SO GOOD MEAT!
And then we all went up to their glamorous hotel room (they got a free upgrade to a suite with a balcony, a claw footed bathtub, and a private staircase, among other perks. What?!) and we played a delightful round of cards. And I was reminded that my family is amazing, in matters culinary and otherwise.