Saturday Party Prep

According to my iphone weather app, it was supposed to rain today. It did...for about ten minutes...and then, just before I was preparing to walk down to Souk el Tayeb (the local farmers' market at the Beirut Souks) the skies cleared to their usual clear bright blue. January blues be damned! We have my dear husband's extended, Beiruti family coming for dinner tonight. There were a few last minute ingredients I hoped would be available at the market (it was a citrus and hearty greens extravaganza) and then it was off to my spin class before a marathon cooking session this afternoon. A perfect Saturday![gallery size="large" type="slideshow" ids="5126,5125,5124"]In this part of the world it's customary to put out a huge spread with lots of menu options all at once. So we are serving fish, chicken, and meat along with several side dishes. It's not a way I'm really accustomed to cooking, but I'm hopeful everything will still go together. Our menu tonight:

Buratta with Blood Orange, Coriander Seeds, Lavender & BasilCavolo Nero Salad with Pumpernickel Breadcrumbs & RadishesPulled Lamb Shoulder with Orange & Herb YoghurtFilet de Bar (local white fish) with Dill & LemonChicken Tarragon with Peas & JusStewed White BeansMung Beans with Baby Carrots, Smoked Labneh & Zaatar CrispsCauliflower PureeDouble Chocolate Cake with Coffee French Buttercream