Gahh, how is my BABY SISTER 21 years old?! She is six! Yet somehow… she is 21!
My sister is home for the summer and it is SO NICE.There’s something wonderful about both being (sort of… not at all but at least looking like it on the outside) grownups. Less bickering. More enjoyable times spent together.
Like this nice meal I demanded we eat by candlelight (to enjoy the last few minutes of natural light; avoid harsh flourescence; and set a totally romantic mood hah).
Sister is good sport.
Dinner was guh-reat. Caprese salad (okay, not MEGA classily sliced mozz, but it tasted good), roasted chickpeas (olive oil, garlic salt, cumin, paprika; GREAT); some leftover potatoes from a previous evening; and a tuna and pasta salad my sister made.
I love dinners that are comprised of a lot of tastes of a variety of things. Which is why if I could I’d get many more meals at tapas establishments and the Whole Foods salad bar. But that is a separate (financial, largely) discussion.
On my sister’s request, courtesy of some amaaaaazing local shiitakes I got while camping as well as some very tasty cabbage, I made our fave tofu recipe. It’s Japanese comfort food: cooked cabbage, mushrooms, and crumbled tofu, simply seasoned with soy sauce and mirin. A little peculiar for the gajillion degree weather we’ve been having, but good.
And so we arrive to Malindi’s birthday itself, the day I arrived home from work to find my front lawn looking like so:
So many questions so little time. Inflated kiddie pool? Watering can? Duct tape? Only the beer bottles were an obvious choice.
There was a lottttt of agonizing about where Malindi wanted to go for her birthday. Various ideas were discussed (All you can eat Korean buffet? Plate with a gazillion beers?) and it was discussed whether it was worth going into DC, whether the dinner should be combined with going-out-ing, but finally after Malindi seemed unenthusiastic about any of the things she was suggesting, I went “Ooh! I know exactly where to go!” And then we went to the place with this lovely chill-yet casual, enjoyable Mediterranean vibe:
Cava! Cava is the BEST. They have GREAT food, GREAT drinks and a GREAT vibe. My friend, via her sister who lives in DC, taught me about it. It is a great place to go with a group, whether to celebrate a special occasion or just catch up with an old friend :)
The birthday girl got a spiced pear martini. She loved it. Courtney (seated next to her) approved.
Gosh my sister is so beautiful right?!
Great food, poor pictures.
Grilled halloumi (uh-mazing. Grilled cheese! It’s grilled! And cheese!)
Zucchini fritters that had the most amazing molten-licious dill-y filling and the most wonderful crispy outside, with decadently rich tzaziki (whole milk yogurt for sure!)
Amazing spicy/cheesy mussels
Courtney got their version of the half smoke (DC’s famous chili dog) which involved tomatoes and feta and other awesomeness and looked amazing.
Being newly 21, Malindi went for another round: our waiter’s recommendation of this amaaaaaaaazingly refreshing gin, lemon ‘n cucumber concoction. So perfection for summer!
Then when Malindi went to the bathroom, our waiter, who’d already hinted at a birthday surprise, asked me, “Have you ever had the French toast?”
He brought out this beautiful creation and the thoroughly inebriated table to our right thoroughly enjoyed singing Happy Birthday to my sister.
So what was it?
Okay, have any of you been to a Greek festival? Inevitably they had loukomades, amaaazing fried donuts soaked in a wonderful lemony honey-rich syrup. This was a GIANT LOUKOMADE. With the added benefit of a mountain of whipped cream. Which, I suspect from its enjoyable licoricey note, had some ouzo thrown in for fun.