Mr. Mazhar is away for business for the day and so I am taking some much needed time-out from the kitchen! To start things off: a fresh look for my blog! I really loved the previous look of it but this theme appealed to me because I love to photograph the food I cook and many of my family and friends have said that my pictures look great. So this theme allows me to fulfil two of my passions – photography and cooking.
I have to say that as reluctant as I was to cook during my early years it is something I quite enjoy now. Maybe it’s part of growing up and maybe it’s because there are so many new things for me to try. But in all honesty it does get a little monotonous from time to time. The other thing is that being the perfectionist that I am I tend to overthink my daily menu and don’t even get me started on a party menu. I think about it for days before the event, I dream about it, I keep going over it in my head at least 20 times a day. I plan the menu, check out what ingredients need to be bought and what are available in my pantry, then I keep obsessing over it till the day of the party. So at the end of the day I am sooooooooooo exhausted mentally! Mazhar gets a little upset with me for working myself into such a frenzy and he does his part to help out around the house so that I can concentrate on cooking.
In between the cooking spurts I like to do up my table nicely too. I always get a color theme into my table setting. My dining ware and serve ware are mostly white so I get to play around with different coloured tablecloths and napkins. I find it to be the easiest way to give every party a new and refreshed look. I have plain coloured tablecloths, printed ones, embroidered ones and textured ones. Here in the UAE you can find the most amazing variety of napkins in colours and patterns and designs. I choose pretty and pink with polka dots and florals when my niece is coming over. She is 4 years and currently loves pink and purple. For Mazhar’s office colleagues I go with golden with hints of black and grey – very sophisticated. For family and friends I have tried blue florals and coral geometrics for light lunches and red and beige butterflies for formal dinners. I recently bought a new pack of napkins and can’t wait to try them out.
I also try and make an effort to plan my party meals around a cuisine. I have done an Italian themed party with risotto, penne pasta with spicy chicken, spaghetti and meatballs, roasted chicken with olives and vegetables and tiramisu for dessert. I tried Lebanese cuisine with sumac grilled whole chicken, shawarma spiced chicken, hummus, fattoush, baba ganoush and falafel (ok the falafel were store bought ;)). I have planned out a Mexican menu and a Chinese menu but haven’t executed them yet. Shouldn’t be too long now as we are almost always having people over. Alhamdulillah.
Now I believe it’s time for a break from all things Mazhar and cooking related 🙂 Hope you have a great day too! Thanks for reading.