Hello, friends! I hope everyone has had a great summer. I've been slacking on blogging but I have quite a few ideas brewing and plenty of drafts to work on.
In early August, I spent a long weekend in Yellowstone (and The Grand Tetons) with my mom, and some extended family. It was some good family time, and lots of natural beauty. At every turn in the road, the views were AMAZING...
|Me in front of the Tetons (hazy day)|
We saw soooooo many buffalo, and I'll tell ya...it never got old.
On the home front...
It finally got HOT enough for our tomato plant to flourish!! We had a big, beautiful green tomato sitting on this plant for about a month. We had a nice hot spell a couple weeks ago and it FINALLY started changing to yellow and then red, within about 2 days! (We had been wondering for a while what was going on, but didn't realize they loved the heat so much.) Since then it's been pretty warm and we have 5 new tomatoes growing, the second one was just picked today!
Tomato #1 from our front yard tomato plant (that we did not, consciously, plant).
My boyfriend, ceremoniously picking it. I had to take a picture of the momentous occasion. :-)
We had some chocolate (and assorted topping) covered strawberries.
Just cuz he loves me. :-) (I forgot to use my real camera so just have a crappy Instagram pic.)
And now for the Grilling All The Things portion of this post!
As I mentioned, it's been warm and the grill has been calling our names. A few weekends ago our friend invited us over to help him eat a bunch of abalone he had gone diving for. He did a few preparations of it, and it was delicious! I was kind of expecting it to be somewhat rubbery, but it really wasn't. We had small pieces wrapped in bacon, larger "fillets" straight on the grill, and ceviche. To contribute to the feast, we brought artichokes and strawberries.
The grilled artichokes were inspired by a booth at the Ocean Beach Farmer's Market, where we had purchased a grilled artichoke a month or so ago, and fell in love. I looked online for a recipe, and it was as simple as I thought it would be. You boil them first, for about 20min or so. (I did that before we went to the BBQ.) Then cut them in half (from top to bottom) and spoon out the fuzzy stuff. Then drizzle olive oil, a little salt and pepper, and I also sprinkled some shredded roman cheese on top and (mostly, so it wouldn't all fall off in the grill) between the leaves. Throw them on the grill and do each side for maybe 5-10mins? Depends on the grill's heat. You just want it to get a little char and melt the cheese. They were a big hit!! We just ate them plain, no dipping sauces required.
Not a great phone pic but these grilled strawberries. O.M.G. Seriously amazeballs. (And amazeballs is not a term I use lightly!) Grilled strawberries are my new favorite thing. Balsamic and brown sugar grilled strawberries, to be precise. Rinse and cut the tops off (or leave them on, doesn't matter) of the strawberries. I had 2 baskets because there were 7 or 8 people coming to the BBQ. Then put them in a bowl and pour on some balsamic, just enough to coat them all but not so much that they are swimming in it. Give it 5-10 mins to soak in. Then pour some brown sugar out on a plate and roll the strawberries in it. Let them sit another 5-10 mins to soak in the sugar, otherwise it will all fall/cook off on the grill. Pile them up on your skewers (soaked for 20+mins in water so they don't burn!) and grill them for 10 mins, rotating often to avoid burning! The flavor is ridiculously good, and they are all hot and juicy. We ate them with vanilla ice cream. We will be doing this again, soon, and often.
Today we harvested our second tomato! Talking about how to eat it, we decided on kabobs. So I grabbed some stew meat (beef), bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and more tomatoes (cherry). We marinated the meat in a teriyaki sauce from our fridge, and then skewered everything together. Open a bottle of wine, and ta-da!! Easy and delicious Sunday night dinner.
So, that's what has been going on with me lately. I just (this weekend) got caught up on blog reading after being out in the beautiful wilds of Yellowstone for 5 days (like 2 weeks ago). I've been reading lots of food and, especially, travel blogs lately. Another vacation already seems in order. Hope everyone has been having a great summer!