Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mamma Mia Reprise Party

So it appears that the Mamma Mia Sing-A-Long party may become an annual event for me. Ever since my party last year, my friends (who were reluctant at first) and I have been known to turn a regular evening into a night filled with ABBA songs, much to Joe (and my neighbor's) chagrin. This was easily solved by making sure Joe was far far away, and inviting said neighbor, who responded, 'if you can't beat em, join em'.

I was in London for work in January and got to see Mamma Mia (with some of the original cast!) at the Prince of Wales Theater. I went by myself, sat front row center and am not even kidding when I say this was one of the BEST experiences of my life! I was singing ABBA songs for weeks after seeing it and decided it was time for a reprise - hence the 2nd annual party.

This year, I timed it for when my sister was visiting me from Houston while the school she teaches at was on spring break. As you can see, she had a wonderful time (except for the part where she got out of the cab coming in from the airport and had to wait on the sidewalk outside my condo with her luggage and wait for Dancing Queen to be over so I could hear my phone ring - oops: )

As far as the menu went this year, since I had the party on a Friday and my friends specifically requested I make baklava again, I was a little constrained in terms of taking on any extra challenges. The one thing I really wanted to incorporate this year though was lamb, and I found an easy way to do it in the form of lamb meatballs (don't worry Mom and Dad, we didn't eat them until midnight since it was a Friday during Lent, I swear : )


Olives & Feta

Pita with Tztatziki & Melitzanosalata

Lamb Meatballs



Last year, I had way too much food, so this year's smaller menu worked out perfectly. With a little pre-planning and the help of a friend, this was a totally stress free event to pull off.

I made the tztatziki and melitzanosalata on the Wednesday night before the party, and my friend Melissa came over to help with the baklava and meatballs on Thursday night. That actually translated to me rolling the meatballs (which took all of 20 minutes), then drinking wine and watching - I mean 'supervising' Melissa make the baklava for the next hour and a half. Worked for me, and while it tasted every bit as good as last year's, her final product was much prettier than mine. So hopefully that becomes an annual thing too....

I'll repost any recipes that I made again here this year.


adapted from elly says opa


1 16 oz low fat Greek Yogurt
1 seedless cucumber
4 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 lemon

Peel & seed the cucumber. Using a box grater, shred cucumber and squeeze out all the excess moisture (I used a towel, which Elly also suggests) - you really want to get it as dry as possible.

Mix together the yogur with the cucumber and grate the garlic over the mixture using a micro-plane (or you could make a garlic paste). Mix in the vinegar and lemon juice, then salt & pepper to taste.

Like I said, I made mine a couple days in advance, but Elly recommends letting it sit at least a half hour in the fridge to let the flavors marry.



1 large eggplant
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons of wine vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Pierce the eggplant with a fork and broil for 10-15 minutes until the eggplant turns black and is very soft. Set to cool and drain on a rack with paper towels underneath.

As soon as it can be handled, peel by hand (the skin will come off easily), and transfer to a bowl. Chop the pulp into small pieces with a knife, and mash with a fork. With a wooden spoon, stir in oil and vinegar slowly, alternating between them, until well blended. Stir in garlic, salt, and pepper.

Serve chilled or at room temperature, with pita wedges.

Spiced Lamb Meatballs
source: elly says opa

These little devils were heavenly - the cinammon and spices really makes for a rich flavor, I've been craving them ever since I made them!

1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 small onion, grated or finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced or pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
fresh ground pepper
olive oil for pan frying

I prepped these the night before, mixing all the ingredients together for the meatballs (except the olive oil) and formed the meatball, letting them sit in the fridge until I was ready to fry them the next day.

Using a dutch oven or heavy pan, heat up the oil for frying, and brown the meatballs until cooked through.

I served mine with the tztatziki.

source: Elly's recipe on

1 package phyllo dough (16 oz.)

1 cup butter, melted

1 lb. chopped toasted walnuts
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves


1 cup water

1 cup sugar
1 cup honey
2 tsp. lemon juice

Remember to thaw your phyllo before working with it! Your best bet is to put it in the fridge the night before.

Preheat oven to 350, and grease a 9x13 pan. Mix walnuts,cinnamon and cloves, and set aside.

Layer 1 sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the prepared pan, keeping a moist towel over the phyllo that you are not working with.

Brush melted butter over it and top with a second sheet. Continue this until you have layered 8-10 phyllo sheets.

Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture over the phyllo and then repeat the layering 2 times, ending with layers of phyllo. I cut mine into square inches. Bake for 45 minutes.

For the syryp, heat sugar, honey, water, lemon and cinnamon in a saucepan.

Bring to a boil to thicken slightly, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool before pouring it over baklava.

Until next year Dancing Queens.....


  1. Oh my gosh that looks like so much fun! Mama Mia is one of my favorite shows :)

  2. Looks like you girls had a FABulous time. I love the picture of you dancing on the couch. Or are you standing on the coffee table?!

  3. Um -I think my sister is on the couch and I am on the coffee table : )