The Leaving Party {the eats}

There is a lot of pressure being a food blogger when you’re hosting a party. Aside from the usual logistics of cramming lots of people into a tiny urban apartment, there’s this: people expect the food to be out-of-this-world good. And rightly so, I mean I write about this stuff all the time, I should be able to deliver, yes?

Well, I didn’t want to disappoint, but let’s be real. The party was just a few days after we got back from Hong Kong and in the midst of a friend arriving to stay with us for the week, a blogger meet-up, meetings with the consulate, and organizing a move.

If I was going to be able to deliver, we had to keep it simple.

Delicious, but simple..

With that in mind, we decided to go with a seasonal taco bar, full of our favorite fall stuffings and heavy on the roasted veggies. I mean, who doesn’t like tacos?!

{If you have no interest in throwing a similar shin-dig, I give you permission to skip this next paragraph. It might be a bit, eh, boring.}

Logistics wise, the prep really couldn’t have been simpler. The day before the party, I prepped the mole seasoning and made the steak marinade, salsa, a batch of quinoa, the oreo truffles, and the cake. If you’re organizing a shin-dig these thing could easily be done more than a day in advance. That is just how it worked out best for us. On the day, I roasted the sweet potatoes, crisped the quinoa, and iced the cakes. I was going to let early guest help out with the skewers, but I ended up having a bit of extra time so I went ahead and did it. The Kiwi whizzed together the guacamole and prepped the cheeses. Shortly before folks arrived I whipped up the cider {recipe below}, and as they were arriving, the Kiwi put the steaks on so they’d be nice and hot.

The whole thing ended up being a breeze to throw together which was exactly what we needed. We needed to have time with our friends. We needed to have more time to focus on the reason we were there–letting all these fabulous people know how special they are to us and just how wonderful they have made our time here in Munich

And, if I do say so myself, it was a huge, huge hit. Every last bite was  gobbled, and I say that’s a mark of success.

Thank goodness.

Fall Taco Party

{I’m the worst at remembering to take photos at parties, especially my own, so I didn’t get a single picture of the whole spread. Schade. Picture a white tablecloth with craft paper runner, cutlery in mason jars, moroccan bowls, white china, these precious little place cards for the mains, and labels for the toppings scribbled in sharpie on the craft paper. It was beautiful while it lasted. All of these photos were taken at another time.}

for the starter
date, prosciutto and baby mozzarella skewers {kiwi+peach}

for the mains
mole roasted sweet potatoes and crispy quinoa {naturally ella via a house in the hills}
carne asada, for the meat lovers {kiwi+peach}
…with freshly pressed tortillas  and tortilla chips from the mexican grocery down the street.

Fall Taco Party from Kiwi and Peach

for the toppings
roasted tomato salsa {naturally ella}
guacamole {kiwi+peach}
sour cream
goat cheese, crumbled
feta, cubed
aged cheddar, shredded

for the sweets
oreo truffles {recipe from my friend Caitlin, remind me to tell you this story later…}
mini whiskey carrot cakes with cream cheese icing {the kitchn}

Mini Whiskey Carrot Cakes from Kiwi and Peach

for the drink
Augustiner beer {a Munich must}
Hot Caramel Apple Cider with dark spiced rum for spiking {recipe below}

Hot Caramel Apple Cider from Kiwi and Peach {recipe}

Hot Caramel Apple Cider

The Cider
2 liters apple juice
2 Tbsp mulling spices

The Caramel
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp cream {we use soy cream}
pinch of sea salt

Place a large pot on medium low heat and pour in the apple juice. Tie the mulling spices up in a bit of cheesecloth and drop it in the pot. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until its properly warm.

In a separate pot on medium heat, melt your butter. Whisk the brown sugar in and then add the cream and sea salt. Continue whisking constantly for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has completely melted and the caramel just begins to thicken.

Remove the mulling spices and whisk the caramel into the cider.

Serve as is, or spike it with some nice spiced rum if you’re feeling festive.

’tis the season {for classy kabobs}

You know, one reason blogging is great is because we get to share the joy of our big news with so many. Thank y’all for your sweet words. It goes without saying that we will miss our friends here dearly, but it really will be so nice to be back! Without further ado though, the promised recipe.

A few weeks back I saw an advert for Franziskaner beer in the train station. On the ad they had the beer, of course, but they also had the monk munching on a very classy little skewer–baby mozzarella, prosciutto, and figs.  So simple, yet incredibly tasty looking. As proof that inspiration can be found anywhere, I noted the tasty treat and hoped I would actually remember it next time we were entertaining.

The holidays are here and with them, at least for us, comes lots of get togethers. I’m all about a low work to wow-factor ratio, so the fact that these babies take all of five minutes to throw together and look pretty darn classy, make them a big winner in my book. Friends, the cat is out of the bag. Now you know what to expect from us at parties this year, and now you also know how little effort it took.

Prosciutto, Baby Mozzarella, and Fresh Fig Skewers from Kiwi and Peach

Prosciutto, Baby Mozzarella, and Fresh Fig Skewers

{for 12 skewers}

12 balls of baby buffalo mozzarella
6 pieces of prosciutto, cut in half
3 ripe figs

Wash your figs and cut them into quarters. Load up a piece of mozzarella, prosciutto, and a fig quarter on each skewer. Serve with sea salt and possibly a drizzle of honey.

If fresh figs are scarce in your area, dates would work beautifully with this as well.

Prosciutto, Baby Mozzarella, and Fresh Fig Skewers from Kiwi and Peach

Carne Asada Tacos with Homemade Guacamole

To me, summer in the South means lots of grilling. {That’s barbecuing for y’all Kiwis.} The last thing you want to do on a day that’s 99° and 100% humidity is to fire up the oven, so we take the heat outdoors where it can feel at home. I think the hardest part of cooking this summer has been our lack of a grill. Our kitchen is teeny tiny and heats up fast when you turn the oven on. Aye yi yi. Add that to the lack of air conditioning and its just downright unpleasant. Makes me want my church fan.

My solution to this problem {besides opening every single window to try and encourage a cross breeze to cool this Küche down} has been to focus on cooking stuff that requires very little time on the heat. This is only really a challenge for meat, but these tacos super fast! 4-5 minutes tops.

I suppose {if you want to get technical} I can’t really call these carne asada as that literally means grilled meat and we aren’t grilling it. I’m ignoring this fact and doing it anyway. One of these days I will make these on the grill and they will be perfection.

Kiwi+Peach: Carne Asada Tacos with Homemade Guacamole

Carne Asada Tacos with Homemade Guacamole

The Marinade
½ of a lemon
½ of a lime
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 of a green chili pepper {or jalapeño}, diced
¼ of a red onion, diced
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 flank steaks

The Taco
6 small flour tortillas {soft taco size}
6 red cabbage leaves, washed and dried
1/2 cup of grated cheese {monterrey jack, gouda, or cheddar could all be delicious}
as much salsa as you’d like
a batch of fresh, chunky guacamole {see recipe below}

Mix all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a tupperware container {or a medium sized bowl} and then add the steaks. Pop it in the fridge and let it marinate for an hour or two.

When you’re ready to make the tacos, start heating a pan on medium high heat. While that is getting hot, go ahead and prep everything else. Get out your tortillas, wash and dry your cabbage, grate the cheese, and knock out a fabulous batch of homemade guac.

Homemade Guacamole

1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/2 of a red onion, diced
1/2 of a green chili pepper {or jalapeño}, diced
zest from 1/2 of a lime
juice from 1/2 of a lime
splash of tequila {completely optional}
salt and pepper to taste

For chunky guacamole, just add all of the ingredients to a bowl and give it a stir. For traditional guacamole, put it all in a food processor and process until its your desired consistency. {I am more of a chunky guac girl.}

Anyway. Once the pan is hot, drop your steaks in and pour the marinade over the top of them. Cook for 2 minutes undisturbed and then flip. Do the same on the other side. Remove the steaks from the heat and slice them into strips. {They should be medium rare, but if you like your animal well dead to shoe leather, cook for about a minute longer.}

Now you can get to assembling your tacos. Start with the tortilla {obvs}, then the red cabbage, and finally a few strips of steak. Top with cheese, guacamole, and salsa and dig in!

It’s especially great with this warm corn, zucchini, and black bean salad from The Little Red House. {Aren’t her pictures phenomenal?!} I wouldn’t say no to some strawberry margarita cupcakes for dessert either.

Kiwi+Peach: Carne Asada Tacos with Homemade Guacamole