Wednesday, June 9, 2010

look out for the cook out

On Sunday we had a big graduation party/cookout at our place. We of course had all my favorite summer foods (summer foods in my mind meaning ones that I don't have to cook- I'm fine with chopping and mixing, but I don't want to turn on an oven when it's 100 degrees out)
For sides/appetizers we had:
insalata caprese,
yummy fruit salad with pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi
field green salad with chevre, strawberries, and pecan pieces in balsamic vinaigrette
shrimp cocktail
salsa and home-made guacamole

Ethan made some delicious hamburgers, along with brats and hot dogs for the little guests:

For dessert, my mom got me my favorite cake from Whole Foods, the Berry Chantilly, and my little sister Erin surprised us with a dozen cupcakes from Sprinkles (which I may or may not have eaten for breakfast the next day)

I made some REALLY yummy sangria
Me enjoying the sangria and our new Adirondack-style chairs that my mom got for our yard

Shannon and Brittany enjoying some sangria

Two of the most popular things we had were the sangria and the burgers. I made a double batch of sangria and had to go back and make more mid-party, and I think Ethan made more hamburgers than we had adult guests, and they were almost all eaten.

1 750 mL bottle of inexpensive red wine (I used bottles that were $5 from Whole Foods)
1/2 Cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4-1/2 Cup sugar
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1/4 Cup Orange-flavored liqueur
I mixed up all of the above ingredients (Although I made a double recipe) and put it in a big vase. I served it with a side of chopped up strawberries and blueberries, and seltzer water on the side for people who wanted a little less strong of a flavor.
I guess if I were being fancy I would have used nicer wine and maybe some Grand Marnier instead of triple sec, but honestly there were so many flavors going on that I don't think it would have made a huge difference (especially after the first glass!)

1 pound ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 t dried basil leaves
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, shape into patties, grill.
Ethan uses Hickory lump charcoal and no lighter fluid, which makes a big difference in taste from using gas or charcoal briquettes.

We had way too much food, but luckily it was all things that we love to eat, so we don't mind in the least! I've been eating fruit salad and shrimp and cake for every meal for the last couple of days, and I don't think I will ever get tired of those foods.

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