Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Grilled Chicken

Mom and Dad had us over for a little cookout on Memorial Day. We worked up an appetite by playing some cornhole in the sunshine!

These were some intense games!

Then we headed to the back deck where Dad worked his grill magic on some chicken.

We had some drinks and waited for the magic to happen.


Mom made this SUPER delicious pasta salad with asparagus.

And I made a giant salad.

Plus some of Mom's homemade bread, which I think I had four pieces of?!? Soooooooo good.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone! We sure feasted like kings. YUM!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Cooking Club Picnic

Summer was the host of the May cooking club. Since her new house is currently under construction, she and J are living in his parents' partially finished barn! Since they are living very simply and a lot of her kitchen stuff is packed away, she decided to do a picnic theme. It was a super hot and summery weekend, so the theme was perfect!

I got started right away on a big batch of mojitos featuring fresh mint from my mom's Mojito Patch.

Refreshing! Cheers!

Yumi gathered a bunch of delicious items from the Farmer's Market to create a tasting plate. She also pickled some green beans, which turned out AWESOME! That camembert on the bottom right of the platter rocked my world. It was creamy and rich and delightful.

Summer was serving fried chicken as the main course, but teased us first with this chicken-fried edamame. Which let me just tell you, was genius.

Valerie started things out on a light note with this spinach, walnut and asian pear salad. Mmm!

Nancy made a soba noodle dish and served it in these adorable takeout containers.

Whee! Look at that deliciousness! It was so tasty and super fun to eat.

Look at all of that fried chicken!!

Emily made cassoulet. It was tomatoey and beany and scrumptiously comforting.

Chicken 'n' beans!


We were all pretty full from dinner, so we took a stroll to make more room in our stomachs.

A pretty goofy picture of Emily and I showing off our matching lip gloss.

What, WHOA. Summer's house is GONE!!!!! That is where her HOUSE was! And where her new house will be! As you can see, J is pointing out various notes of interest.

Back to the barn for more fun!

Nothing makes room for dessert like a few rounds of cartwheels!

For dessert, I made a chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. I wanted to carry it in my cake-carrier, so that it would be safe and protected. However, it was 90 degrees when I frosted this cake, and the frosting was just RUNNING down the sides. I had to keep it refrigerated or else!! I stuck it in my huge cooler full of ice and wedged a bunch of items up against it, crossing my fingers that it would make it there safely.

Luckily, it did! Whew!!

Once we started to dig in, Valerie pointed out that any of us who were enjoying our cake without a glass of red wine to wash it down were missing out on an amazing experience. So we pretty much all had a round of red to go with! And she was right! It was a great combo.

After dessert, a whole mess of Nascar racers showed up! One guy for every girl....

Once we all chose our boyfriends, we had a little photo shoot in the telephone booth.

Yumi's boyfriend has such a distinguished mustache!

Emily's boyfriend is super intense!

Aw, Valerie is fixing up her boyfriend's goatee. How sweet!

At first glance, you might think that I was dating Emily's boyfriend. But NO! That is his twin!

Besides, it wouldn't matter anyway because clearly Emily and her twin aren't that serious.

Heather with her boyfriend!

Twins!! Every girl's dream!

Emily and I mingled with the twins for awhile.

The twins are very serious, but it's cool. We can hang.

Group photos!!!

These crack me up, because there are a handful where Heather is sitting in front of the guy who is flashing the "number one!" symbol with his finger, but it sort of looks like HER finger in all of them.

Finger! Hahah.

What an awesome cooking club!!! Fantastic picnic deliciousness and then a barn full of Nascar hotties. Who could ask for anything more?!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mothers Day Mojitos

Tonight we got together at our place to celebrate Mother's Day! Mom brought along the fixings for mojitos, featuring a gigantic bunch of mint fresh from her mojito patch!

Yum!! Refreshing, delicious mojitos! What a great idea, MOM! Yet another example of why we should be celebrating you!!


We played several games of cornhole.

And then headed inside for a feast! I made Thai Pork Stew and a huge salad.

After dinner, we headed back outside to play with some toys from Ben's vast collection. The highlight was one of those spinny things that shoots the flying disc way up into the sky!

There it goes!

There it goes again!

Up so high! It only landed on the roof once!


Kate is excellent at toy retrieval.

Ben busted out some little wooden gliders as well.

Fun with aeronautics!


Oops, one of the planes landed in our neighbor's tree!

Ben had to retrieve that one!

At this point we were ready for dessert. Mer made a Texas sheet cake with mocha chocolate frosting!!

Oh, hi, sprinkles!!


It was great to spend the day with family to celebrate the awesomeness of Mom!! I love you, Mom!