Ways to Woo Proffesors

I defended my Thesis two weeks ago, and as is per custom, I provided food. My food, was well, awesome. I spent weeks thinking about what I would serve, which deeply amused my office mates. I had to consider time of day, dietary restrictions, presentation, space, etc. This resulted in a lovely little non-alcoholic Mediterranean cocktail hour, and a very happy thesis committee. I also used it as an excuse to buy new serving ware (thank you T.J. Maxx).

The Menu:
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber Spears
Whipped Feta
Marinated Olives (assorted)
Pita Chips

DELCIOUS. I called all my friends over to my house after a (successful) defense and insisted they eat the leftovers. We did, but with the addition to wine.

Here is how you prep this baby:
  • Grapes and tomatoes need simply be washed. I sometimes cut grapes into little clusters, but this is labor intensive, annoying, and somewhat unnecessary.
  • Cucumber spears are a great way to eat cucumber, and they surprise people because they are not used to seeing cucumbers cut in this manner. First, peel the cucumber. Then slice in half. Slice each half lengthwise. Slice each half length into three long spears. Repeat for other sections. If cucumbers are particularly long, cut into thirds initially (each spear should be about 2.5 inches long). I prefer English cucumbers, but regular ones will work well too.
  • Whipped Feta is something I cannot stop craving after having it prepared it for this little gathering. This comes straight from The Best International Recipe cookbook: In a food proccessor combine 1 pound feta, 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, juice from 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper. Process until smooth then transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until needed. I think the same results could be accomplished with a sturdy bowl and spoon and some serious elbow grease.
  • I purchased my Hummus and Marinated Olives - but The Best International Recipe provides nice directions for making both on your own.
  • Pita Chips are simple to make and WAY more delicious then the ones that come in foil bags. Buy or make your own pita bread. Then cut each slice into sixths. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss pita slices on a baking sheet with a generous glug of olive oil and more salt than seems necessary. Place in oven and bake until the edges of the pita slices begin to brown and desired crispyness is achieved. Serve immediatly or let cool and store in an airtight container for about 1 day.
  • Lemonade should be GOOD lemonade, and by good I mean "not from concentrate." I likely Newman's Extra Virgin Lemonade and Simply Lemonade. 
And that, is a little Mediterranean party for proffs or friends alike.


  1. Whipped feta! Oh lord! I coincidentally had some whipped mozarella with cherry tomatoes the other night at a restaurant. UNREAL.

    Need I mention how much the IBR rules? Probably not.

    Your thesis! Way to go scholarly one! Wish I could have been there for the strong intellectual content of your work and the food, of course.

  2. I made the feta, with spinach from the garden and mushrooms as a crepe filling for lunch last thursday. I impressed my mister mightily. It was delicious. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Congrats. I anticipate defending my prospectus early in the fall. Given that I'm writing about food and have let it be known that I cook, well, I've already been told that the food better be good.


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