Monday, August 2, 2010

Inspiration: local produce

Lisa, Sam and I threw a birthday party for Joe and Lila.  Joe turned 80 (!) in March, and Lila's birthday is in late August.  We decided to combine the occasions to have a party while we were all here.

Lisa and I have been talking menu ideas since the spring, but waited until we were here for inspiration.  We kept throwing theme ideas around.  Meditteranean?  Mexican?  Finally, we decdied on Michigan produce, becuase the farmer's market was exploding with food we wanted to buy and cook with. 

We started with a colorful veggie platter with baba ghanoush in the middle.

We bought tomatoes.

We made Caprese Salad. (tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, salt, pep, olive oil, balsamic)

We bought corn, of course, for corn-on-the-cob.

We bought beets.

And made beet, apple, walnut, goat cheese salad.   (Roast, peel and dice 8 beets, chop 2 granny smith apples, add 1 cup of toasted walnuts and 1 cup of goat cheese crumbles.  Toss with dressing  (4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons sherry, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1 pinch of sugar).  Salt and pepper to taste.

We bought blueberries.

And made Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake.

We bought peaches.

And made Peach Blueberry Pie.  (I added 1 heaping tbs of corn starch to the filling so it would set up correctly). I cheated and used Pillsbury crusts that you just roll out to save time.  Lattice tops are easy and fun.  I swear.  Here it is before going into the oven:

Lisa made Lila's famous deviled shrimp recipe.  It's super lemony and the only way I like to eat shrimp.  I'll get her recipe for you.  You will love it.  It is served cold and tastes super fresh.

Sam grilled up a bunch of pork tenderloin.  Perfection.

Skyler and Reed helped in all sorts of ways.

All together now!  We served 15 adults and 5 kids with plenty of food to spare.

For 3/4 of the night, I had tiny cousin Max, one month old, sleeping on my arm.  People kept offering to take him, and I'd say:  "No thank you."  I might have hogged him, but his mom Catherine got to eat without a baby in her arms, and I got my baby fix. 

Sam gave a lovely toast about his parents.

Adorable, no?


Sarah Woulfin said...

Wowzers- the beet salad & peach blueberry pie sound fantastic!! Yum, yum- summer produce rocks :)