June sucked. It was chaotic and disorganized. I was reaching for the end of the month by June 2nd. So, inspired by SNL and BFF (you see, I only consume media with acronym titles), I had my own Lazy Sunday.
With my tiny kitchen comes a small living space, but I invited 15 people and 10 or so made it. I was tickled pink because I love entertaining.
Originally (two days before) the plan was to do burgers or hot dogs on the outdoor grill, until I realized that I don’t have one. Sometimes I get lost in my head. Then (later that day) it became a vision of eating light, fresh bites by the pool, soaking up the sun…I even bought a pink pitcher for sangria! And I was going to make white sangria too! And a kiwi apple lime champagne monstrosity!
Then I saw the forecast. Yesterday I opened the blinds and saw that it was already raining. In Houston, rain is followed by a harrowing buzz, which is an ominous swarm of mosquitoes heading directly for you. And your flesh. Due to flying zombies and possible sporadic downpours and I guess the whole lightning striking the pool thing, the party was moved inside. So we spent a relaxed afternoon hanging out together playing Scrabble, talking, and most importantly, eating.
I wanted to make a whole mess of grilled things but that didn’t really pan out due to the rain and the fact that I didn’t start cooking until 1.5 hours before the party. That’s okay because it forces me to get creative for the coming week’s menu. And whatever produce I don’t use, I can juice.
Let’s get to the recipes. I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted because my phone was hooked up playing music.
Tequila Basil Lemonade
Muddle the leaves of an ounce of fresh basil and two quartered lemons, add a cup of simple syrup (1c of sugar dissolved in 1c of water, cooled), twoish cups of tequila, and twoish cups of lemon juice. The basil needs time to get into everything, so leave it alone for about 20 minutes.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think mushrooms have a certain sweetness about them. I have this fantasy about making a mushroom and/or onion dessert. For this, I dunked portobello slices in balsamic vinegar, sprinkled on some tarragon, and slapped them on the grill (dunked, slapped, this is all very active language…I feel like I should wear elbow pads). The photo is pre-grill, clearly.
I am in love with sweet potato fries, and we have a great relationship, but I definitely have entered into an affair with carrot fries. I tried to make this batch crispy by covering them in cornstarch before baking, but it didn’t work super well. I got a slight outside crisp but not the crunch I was looking for. Maybe I should have just left them raw 🙂 I shook them in a bag of cornstarch, coated with olive oil, and baked at 425F for 15-20 minutes. Probably should have turned them halfway through, but I was doing things like cleaning and showering while each batch was in the oven.
As far as stuff to dip them in, I mixed up a little red curry paste and honey. It reminds me of when I was a kid and ate chicken nuggets with honey, ketchup, and barbeque sauce mixed together.
Didn’t take a photo because they weren’t pretty, but I mixed up some minced jalapeno with ricotta, let it sit for about an hour in the fridge, then hollowed out some mutant-sized strawberries and stuffed them. Interesting, not the best thing but a solid idea. I think next time I will let the ricotta dry out a bit and dip the bottoms in really dark chocolate. Or maybe use chevre, which I am obsessed with. More on that later.
Miles brought potato salad, Amanda brought a fruit salad with lavender honey, and Rachel brought a Southwestern quinoa salad. All were fantastic.
Great friends & great food.