Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Praise of Al Fresco Dining...

I complain a lot about the Texas heat.

A lot...

But with a warm climate comes especially lovely Spring and Fall weather. (And often winter -- we've been known to have 70 degree days in December...it's true.) Otherwise known as ample opportunities to eat outside.

Food tastes better eaten outside...it just does. And somehow, my otherwise unruly-at-meal-time kiddos seem to mellow out when we dine in our backyard. Maybe they're blissed out by the chirping birds or maybe they're just vibing off Bryan's and my decidedly more mellow demeanor. Either way, it's a game changer.

Last Saturday we had some of our dearest friends over for a little al fresco dinner. We served that super easy orecchiette with sausage, asparagus and spinach + one of my favorite "salads" -- a tomato hollowed out and stuffed with goat cheese and honey and then baked served over some lightly dressed arugula.

A perfect outside meal for sure...



our little friend Gracie surveying the meal...

15 comments:

  1. Looks like a lovely dinner. Wish we had more opportunities to eat outside. It's a little tougher here in Boston. But you're right - food just tastes better with a little sunshine on your shoulders.

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  2. This makes me want to move to Dallas so I can invite myself over for dinner :)

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  3. Where did you get your table!? The meal looks awesome!

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  4. Jen -- the table and chairs are from IKEA this season!

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  5. I live in Raleigh, and we have miserably hot summers too. But the spring and fall - we eat outside as much as we possibly can. And, you're right, everyone is way more mellow outside and the food is more slowly consumed. Eating outside feels like a vacation. . .

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  6. I agree, it all makes for a pleasant way to eat. My boys who are the WORST eaters in the worls, even they are tempted to at least try something new when we eat outside.
    Engracia
    xx

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  7. I used to live in TX and I remember feeling the same way. We have summer heat where I live now, but it's nowhere close to the same. Your pictures are inspiring me to get us outside for dinner more often while we can!

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  8. Beautiful. As a child I was strongly influenced by the Famous Five in the books by Enid Blyton who always said 'food tastes better outdoors'. And like you, they are right. And I still believe this and teach my children that eating outside is special and we are lucky to be able to do it. For us it is the end of summer when we have to stop eating outside, and I miss it. Nothing better. Does Texas have mosquitos I wonder? We do and that is the only downside for me. xoxo

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  9. Joslyn - My cooking club had your orecchiette last Thursday night and everyone loved it!!! I picked our menu this month and had to include it because it has become one of our favorites and I wanted the other moms to try it.

    As for the weather... When I lived in Dallas, I rarely/never put the top on my Jeep which is kkkkiiinnndddaaa nice.

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  10. Wonderful. The thing I love most about spring is being able to eat outside. I love the photos.

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  11. My girlie and I had your salad with some huge heirloom tomatoes, Cypress Grove Purple Haze chevre and lots honey and used the juice to dress the arugula - YUM! I've been daydreaming of having it again since.

    Love both your blogs - I have a sister named Millie (and while she's 45, it was still an unusual moniker for her time) - your girlies are adorable. I grew up in Mill Valley and I, too, love Stinson Beach! Thank you for sharing your stories - look forward to each new post.

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  12. I agree! Eating outside is fabulous!

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  13. 每一粒厄運的種子,卻包孕著未來豐盛的果實..............................

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  14. Jane -- we do have mosquitos ;-( but usually not until later in the summer when it's way too hot to eat outside anyway... we have to enjoy it while we can!

    Kim -- i'm so glad your cooking club liked it...i need to find a cooking club ;-)

    Tamara -- your version of the salad sounds fantastic!

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