Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mediterranean Inspired Dining......

 ~Dining is an integral part of the Mediterranean culture~
~My own version of a table setting created just the right ambience~
 ~Chopped Mediterranean Salad~
~Recipe below~
 ~Invite your guests to serve themselves as they begin arriving, giving them easy
access to the things they will need for their beverages~
~Personalize each table setting for your invited guests to make each one feel welcomed~

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.  It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter, for the way was barred to me.  There was a padlock upon the gate, I called in my dream......"  So begins my love affair with a beautifully written book by Daphne DuMaurier, REBECCA,  which I have loved and read several times in my life, always gaining something significant about life!  It is also available as a film! The story begins by the sea in the south of France  and moves quickly into a vast dining room, ornate and ostentatious,  at the hotel Cote d'Azur in Monte Carlo!  From there, I was captured by the story, the beautiful flow of words by the author and the French style of dining and life on the Mediterranean Coast of France!  This region of Europe known for its rocky shores, deep azure water, and charismatic towns and villages hugging the coastline is also famous for foods of intense flavors and aromatic ingredients!  " Dining is an integral part of the culture and meals play an important role in the community and in family life,"  according to a writer from Victoria Magazine.  I have always taken pleasure in preparing meals for our family and so  I couldn't wait to prepare something for a recent dinner from this region of the world!  Worlds away from where I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast...... but our climate in my region is warm and sunny also on most days of the year and near the Sea!  Yes, it is a gift to be so close to the sea and enjoy the abundance of seafood served when one lives near the ocean!  Psalm 24:1-2 says, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters."  These resources God gave to us for beauty, health, and sustenance!  I do love God's Words and find blessing as He speaks from the Bible words that encourage us all to live an abundant life! John 10:10

Preparing a lovely meal for your family or guests is, I like to believe,  most often motivated in love.  Any worthwhile investment takes time and energy and so does healthy meal preparation for our families.  We can exercise and we should, daily, but eating foods that are in their freshest state really do make us feel better and give us nutrients that insure good overall health!  What brings contentment  and good health into your life?  God has a design for each and every life and  it is a design which can be rich in joy and happiness! Often the cares of the world strip us of this beautiful life that He has designed for us.  We choose our on way without stopping to think of Him or better yet, asking Him for direction through prayer and guidance.  Today, allow me to encourage you to stop and renew and refresh your thoughts about where you are going in life.  You know.....the direction! We all should do this!!!! Plan to renew and refresh!  Possibly, you have plenty of time in your day for this planning, however,  most people have  just a few minutes and most hurriedly stop by the market and pick up a few things for dinner!  I hope that you will be inspired today by the lovely photos above  to create in the time that you do have, an environment of love and acceptance for those who come to your table!  Blessings to you, beloved,  for a beautiful day!!!!

Chopped Mediterranean Salad
Makes 8 servings

2 cups chopped pepperoncini peppers
2 cups chopped cucumber
2 cups halved grape or cherry tomatoes
1 cup of kalamata olives, pitted
1 cup green olives, pitted
1 cup nicoise olives, pitted
1 (14) can quartered baby artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and toss!  Just before serving sprinkle the feta over the salad!  I served this on a bed of baby field greens, and a white fish of choice!  It was beautiful and delicious!  

1 comment:

  1. It was beautiful and delicious. I liked the Mediterranean meal. It was light but filling and packed with flavor. Thank you Sweetie for your zest and excitment. LUM - SKB