As usual, each family was responsible for cooking one dinner (for 21 people) on the trip. We were on our own for lunch, so that's when we really rocked it out in the kitchen. Our first lunch was the green bean/tomato dish we frequently make. It's simple, fresh and easy. We severed it over whole wheat spaghetti with fresh parsley. And dined outside. With chardonnay.
|green beans/ pasta|
Breakfasts were early - this is just a snapshot of one morning with steel cut oats topped with fresh strawberries. (and pre coffee shop coffee..because let's face it, I need coffee just to get me to the coffee shop!)
|oats and berries|
Another lunch - this one was the kale and chick pea dish with chorizo and poached eggs. (we were limited on spices so we had to be creative about how we added flavor - chorizo took the place of spiced paprika and added some heft to this dish).
And a photo of this tasty drink - the Mother's Helper (detailed in the previous post).
|refreshing pool bevie|
And then it was our turn to prepare dinner for the crowd. We picked burgers because it is easy and a crowd pleaser. Our side was the beet and potato salad - prep work for the salad seen here.
|potatoes, celery, herbs, and onion|
And our appetizer was a grilled pepper / smashed avocado (meyer lemon/salt) crostini topped with fresh mint and basil.
Burger toppings included lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles and bacon. It was clearly a smorgasbord!
|beet and potato salad|
A couple kids about to dress their burgers.
And dessert was a huge hit! We topped the peaches with a bit of whipped cream and fresh mint.
|peaches and cream|
And here's another lunch - braised beet greens (left from the beets used in our salad - we waste not) with bacon and onion. Topped with poached egg.
|braised beet greens|
We went out to lunch once (with the whole family) and out to dinner once (on the last night, with the fam). So I feel this was a huge gastric success! However, there was an abundance of Oregon pinot noirs on hand each night in addition to a nice selection of Deschutes beers. #drinklocal #partyresponsibly
When we returned to Chicago, we wanted to keep the goodies coming. Sunday was a pool day, a run in the woods (3.5 miles) and a grilled shellfish extravaganza. It started with clams dusted with rosemary infused butter.
The next course was gulf shrimp with basil infused butter. And a grand cru chablis #splurgebottle
Sides were grilled corn on the cob and a broccoli/red pepper salad (D. Mad recipe with olives, capers, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs).
It seems like a lot of food (and it is) but really it's a few bites of seafood per course. We like to think of our cooking nights as an event - and we drag it out for hours, sipping wine, bringing out each course, sitting outside and chatting. We've been lucky to have some fabulous summer nights, so these meals have really been awesome. We did it again last night with a grilled shrimp course and steak fajitas. And we will likely strike again - summer is short. Live it up.