The great thing about taking inspiration from someone other than yourself is discovering new likes. This weekend I threw a birthday dinner for my friend Jen incorporating her favorites: Spanish tapas (I think bland), sangria (my tequila, the worst hangover I’ve ever had, can’t even smell it!) and lilacs (I hate purple). BUT, to my surprise, I ended up loving them all (mostly). Incorporating farmer’s market vegetables into the menu added the freshness I usually miss at Spanish restaurants and lilacs proved beautiful and fragrant, the new exception to my zero purple policy (the jury is still out on sangria). Amy made the birthday girl a lilac corsage and fastened flowers to the place cards. Simple, pretty, perfectly steamlined. And because the evening was ladies only, small plates were perfect as girls are better at sharing. So thanks to Jen for reintroducing me to the delicious flavors of romesco, saffron, chorizo, and my new favorite, tortilla espanola!