Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Kick-Off

This was one crazy busy weekend!! 

First I want to rewind about a year ago…we bought a house.  Said house had a feature in the back yard that made the decision to make an offer that much easier…

(this picture is from last year when we bought it).

A cabana!  Plus a great patio, path, outdoor lighting, and a yard!

We knew this would be a perfect spot for parties and spending time with friends, but last summer was so crazy with moving and the wedding, that we never had a party back here…until yesterday.

We invited a bunch of our friends, some who hadn’t even seen the house yet, over for a BBQ to officially break in the cabana and put our new patio furniture to use!

Obviously there was MORE than enough food…when am I going to learn how to judge the right amount??  I mean I’d always rather have too much than too little…but that can get expensive after a while.

The Menu

*=brought by a friend

  • Guacamole and chips* (she used my FAVORITE recipe)
  • bean dip and chips*
  • caprese skewers*
  • a humus/tomato/feta layered dip with pita chips*
  • fresh pineapple

Main Course + Sides:

  • Salad
  • Sesame Noodles
  • Potato Salad*
  • Baked Beans*
  • Pasta Salad*
  • Grilled Veggies
  • Marinated Steak Tips
  • BBQ Chicken
  • Burgers
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob


  • Homemade Whoopie Pies*
  • Cup Cakes
  • Lemon Squares
  • S’mores Brownies
  • Raspberry Choc-Chip Oatmeal Muffins (must get recipe from my friend!!)


  • Various beers (mostly summer brews!)
  • Brian’s latest Homebrew
  • Sangria
  • Wine
  • Soda

Yeah…a lot of food!

One of the dishes I made was my aunt’s recipe for Sesame Noodles!  I haven’t had these in many many years but I remember loving them and this was an easy thing to pre before hand.


Recipe post to come! 

The finished product came out pretty good if I do say so myself.



One of the other items I made were lemon squares from this Eating Well recipe.



When Brian wasn’t busy acting as my Sous Chef (i.e. veggie chopper), he set up the yard.




You can add the post about how we painted those black chairs and table to my growing list of things I need to blog about!!

And a canopy tent!


I picked this bad boy up for just $30 at Wal-Mart.  There was thundershowers in the forecast and I was SO worried about the rain!!!

However we totally LUCKED out!!  There was a very short shower lasting about 4 minutes, and other than that it was sunny and perfect :)

Then people started to arrive and then it was go-go-go all day and night!

How beautiful do these Caprese skewers look!  My friend Jen made these.



The BEST Guacamole…I recommend this recipe to anyone looking to make some guac!



My favorite God Daughter Riley!!  She’s the cutest :)      IMG_9852

Some of the girls….hey who gave Riley the beer bottle!!??!


My Sparking Sangria…this was really really good!!!


I was running around like a crazy person until we ate, so I didn’t get the best pictures of the food…or even all the food but I got some!!

BBQ Chicken made with a rub and then bbq sauce added at the end


Potato Salad…another Ina recipe!  I made a special request for this salad, it’s my FAVORITE potato salad.


My salad…it’s another favorite recipe that I make a lot for parties.  So simple:

  • chop tomatoes and combine with chopped garlic, and let those to sit and marinade for a couple hours before.
  • Combine with chopped Romaine, scallions, and grated Romano Cheese.
  • Dressing is equal parts lemon juice and olive oil (I do about 1/2 cup of each for a big bowl) + 1 Tbsp of dried oregano


Grilled Veggies!


Grilled Corn…to save time I pre-steamed the corn a bit, then we just put the ears directly on the grill for a few minutes.


Burgers. This was Brian’s creation.  To the ground beef he added fresh garlic, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and his favorite seasoning…Emeril’s Essence.


Homemade Whoopie Pies!!!  My friend made these and they were AWESOME!

IMG_9870 IMG_9871


You can’t tell from the pic, but we had just finished an INTENSE game of Badminton and were sweating pretty bad haha!


We also had a visitor fly in…I fed him some hot dog bun :)



Lights on.

IMG_9885 IMG_9886


Turned out to be a beautiful day, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I’ll admit I was a bit frantic up until all the food was ready, but I relaxed after that. 

We really lucked out with weather as there was basically a mini-monsoon today!! 

Brian and I were so tired we left the mess until the morning…fine by me!  We also have SO many leftovers.

So what’s your favorite thing to eat or make for a BBQ???


  1. Your backyard is gorgeous- congrats again on the house. Our backyard sold us as well!

    All of the food looks absolutely fabulous. I love BBQ leftovers and we grilled this weekend too. My favorite thing to grill is fruit- pineapple and peaches are my favorite:)

  2. 才華在逆境中展現,在順境中被掩藏。..................................................

  3. What a fun time. The backyard and food looked great, nice job.

  4. yayy for putting your beautiful backyard to good use. I always make too much food too, but I agree- better to have too much than not enough. Everything looks AMAZING. Love the guac and the caprese skewers especially. My favorite things to make for a bbq are dessert ;) and homemade baked beans or roasted veggies

  5. All your food looks absolutely amazing, your backyard is beautiful! I just found your blog and I am absolutely loving it! You have a new follower! Your wedding dress was crazy gorgeous!


  6. Bridget, you never fail to feature a beautiful part presentation! Your backyard is the perfect summer hot-spot ;) Looks like a fabulous time!

  7. this looked like an amazing party with an absurdly delicious looking spread! i want to try to make ALL of it! and it's making me itch to have a summer shindig, and come on! who doesn't love a sparkling sangria!!

  8. Wow! You guys are great hosts...the set up looks fab and the food looks tasty :)

    I like eating veggie burgs/sweet potato fries at bbqs...along with snacky foods like gauc+chips! yummy!

  9. your backyard is gorgeous, so jealous! sounds like a great party :)