Tag Archives: summer outdoor dinining

Sweet 17 Birthday for Girls

Lizzie's 17We celebrated my daughter’s 17th birthday yesterday. She and her friends typically celebrate each others birthdays with a dinner together – either at a restaurant or at home. Lizzie decided that she wanted a casual outdoor garden party dinner. Her menu choices: Hummous and Pita, Veggies and Dip (Garlic spread and Ranch Dip) Greek Salad with Grilled Chicken, Greek SaladChicken Lemon Rice Soup, Crushed Lentil Soup (for her vegetarian friends) and Fresh Berries and Key Lime Squares for dessert (she doesn’t like cake or ice cream). Her birthday flower is lavender, so I made Lavender Lemonade. Lizzies Bday drink tableI will post all of the recipes not already linked, particularly the key lime squares and the lavender lemonade – everyone loved them.

Dinner in the Garden

Dinner in the Garden

I could hardly believe that Summer Solstice had come and gone and we had yet to have dinner in the garden. Bryan and enjoy our postage stamp back yard; it’s like having a couple of extra rooms in the summer time. We did some renovating this year, so it seems that we’ve been busy working in the yard, but not enjoying it as much as we usually do. Bryan ran a direct gas line out to the garage and to his new grill/smoker (a Father’s Day gift), so he had to tear up the patio a bit. It worked out well, however, because he was able to address some low spots when he put it back together. We want to tile the back porch, so rather than refresh the black paint this year, we decided to strip it and live with an ugly floor until we could get to the tile. Bryan re-stained the patio furniture, and we had new cushions made. Another major decision was to put up the driveway gate (which I took down when I moved in, but saved). Bryan “MacGyvered” the gate so that it would attach to our new cedar fence (where we grow our lettuce). The importance of this is that we can let the dog out to join us in the yard. With all of our herbs and vegetables, I hadn’t really wanted Humphrey outside, but without the hunter cat, we’ve acquired a parsley and bean loving bunny. Being a Bassett/Beagle mix, Humphrey is, hopefully, the perfect bunny deterrent. Turns out he’s great in the yard – he stays out of the gardens and abstains from peeing on the herbs and vegetables. He has, however, taken a liking to eating our wild onions – we can live with that.

Humphrey enjoys his new “gated community”

So, we enjoyed a meal of Pan Seared Pork Medallions with a Red Currant Glaze and Fried Sage Leaves, Wild Rice with Mushrooms and Green Onions, Sauteed red Swiss chard, and grilled Ciabatta bread. I will post recipes for all later in the week. We enjoyed one of my favorite bottles of wine entitled “Sofa King Bueno” from an obscure, but fantastic winery named Chronic Cellars. The lightning bugs were out in full force, but the mosquitos were not, the sound of the fishpond waterfall served as nice backdrop, and Etta James was playing on the outdoor speakers. We enjoyed the last of our wine on the porch, and I was sorry to have to have to return to the indoors.

The Outdoor Porch