In last week’s blog, I told you about a vegan dinner party I recently hosted for new friends. If you missed it, you can catch up on the first part of the party here: http://wp.me/p8fKKd-78
After our cocktails and appetizers, we headed to the dining room for dinner. To continue the Moroccan theme, I attempted to create a vibrant, colorful and layered table setting. For the most part, I was lucky enough to be able to utilize dinnerware and materials I already had.
After thinking through the tableware I owned, I realized that the best option for this dinner would be my formal wedding china. The ornate gold border, when teamed with the colorful tablecloths and overlays I found, added just the right touch of elegance as well as a bit of opulence. Plus I was happy to be able to put this rarely used dinnerware to good use!
I used a plain white tablecloth as my foundation and hit the thrift stores to find textiles I could add that would contribute to a Middle Eastern feeling. I found a fuschia colored dress I was able to adapt by cutting it off at the waist and opening up the seam to obtain a flat piece of fabric. I also found a pillowcase with an orange print that nicely complimented the fuschia piece. Again, I opened up the seams to get a large flat piece of fabric. For the third overlay, I found a vintage pink and white flour sack in my fabric collection that played well with the other fabrics. I layered these three pieces on top of the white tablecloth base to add texture and to give the table a sense of luxury.
As I was going through my stash of vintage linens, I came across a lovely set of cocktail napkins with a rather elaborate pulled thread border. I decided to add them under the wine glasses for yet another layer of color and texture.
I always like to give each guest a small take home gift which provides them with a lasting reminder of the evening. In this case I added to each place setting a small box of mints tied with a burlap ribbon.
I had a pair of hand-hammered silver tea cups that my cousin brought me from a vacation in Turkey a couple of years ago and I decided to use them as condiment holders. I put some spicy harissa sauce in one and chopped mint and parsley in the other. I love the additional sparkle they contributed to the table.
I enjoy making menus for each table setting and thought the motif of a mosque dome backed with a vibrant Arabic print motif would be appropriate. For the background print, I found an image on line in a complimentary color scheme and printed it out on white card stock. I then drew a simple dome shape on a piece of paper as a pattern and then cut it out on heavy card stock to use as a template. The menu was printed on plain white card stock and the mosque shaped image was traced on top and then cut out. I taped the cutout to the background print at the top with a piece of cloth tape acting as a hinge. The card could then stand upright on its own. Our guests were invited to take them home at the end of the evening as mementos.
Here are the links for the recipes on the menu.
Quinoa Tabbouleh: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/quinoa-tabbouleh
Moroccan Carrot Salad: https://kelliesfoodtoglow.com/2014/05/01/a-moroccan-carrot-salad/
Marrakesh Vegetable Curry: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/13988/marrakesh-vegetable-curry/
Coconut Rice Pudding: http://www.sarahbakesgfree.com/2013/03/vegan-coconut-rice-pudding.html
While I am not accustomed to cooking either vegan or Moroccan cuisine, I must say I really enjoyed putting this dinner party together. I loved planning the menu and hunting around my home for items that might be appropriate for the table setting. I found the vegan dishes surprisingly delicious. The complex flavors made up for any lack of animal products. As an added benefit, it was probably one of the healthiest meals I’ve ever prepared or eaten!