Tag Archives: summer

1 of my top meals of the Summer

2 Sep

I hate to say it, but I keep seeing red or orange leaves. Last week when I got off the subway, I wished for a sweater. I refuse to let summer go without a fight.

So last weekend became a three day weekend for me, so I could take the opportunity to go to the beach in 90 something degree weather. So I could take the chance to have one more seafood centric meal sitting on an outdoor deck.

My family and I went to Oaklands, located in Hampton Bays. Oaklands, along with the other restaurants on Dune Road, sit between a bay and the Atlantic on a narrow strip of road. Most of the time this road gets washed out, not due just to hurricanes ( I’m looking at you Earl) but also just by high tides.

We got there pretty early, which is why it looks deserted. But if you don’t pull stunts like that, you end up with an hour and a half wait for a seat. So we got our seats at our white plastic tables on the deck, and this is where I had one of my favorite meals of the entire summer.

This wasn’t it. This was a beet and blue cheese salad, with apple and an 11 fruit vinaigrette. Honestly, I would have preferred more beets and less vinaigrette.

No, this. THIS is what I’m talking about.

Grilled sea scallops over black bean puree, with a lime cilantro sauce, and crushed sweet potatoes infused with cinnamon and jalapeno. (Plus a side of asparagus)  This was perfection, and felt so innovative. Maybe it’s a sign that I’ve been eating out too much, but I feel like I see the same thing at so many restaurants. This was something new, and something amazing.

Equally amazing? The deconstructed chipwich I had for dessert.

Way to go out with a bang summer.

Beers with a Bestie

11 Jun

If that title isn’t a girly way of negating a statement I heard last week from a co-worker (“Whoa…it’s weird to find girls who like beer”), I don’t know what is. In the moment, I promptly disagreed by saying “I don’t know any of my girlfriends who dislike it”. That may have been a bit of a stretch, but I needed to prove a point. And I proved it again last night when Dana came over for dinner and impromptu beer tasting. Because, as I might have mentioned, we really enjoy  beer.

She brought over Flying Dog’s Doggie Style, and Victory’s Golden Monkey. The Golden Monkey was brewed with spices but the overall effect was slightly overbearing. It would have worked better with spicy food, instead of the pasta salad that I had made. Flying Dog wasn’t a winner for either of us. The winner of the night?

Bud Light’s Golden Wheat. Normally, I wouldn’t choose Bud Light to drink because it has many college life associations with it but Golden Wheat is actually a pleasant summer beer. It has a nice finish, and I prefer it to Bud Light Lime.

And because we love food even more than we love beer:

Impromptu Pasta Salad

Simply combine

whole wheat pasta, arugula, chickpeas,

chopped red pepper, kalamata olives, feta cheese,

tomatoes, and chopped artichoke hearts.  Season liberally with pepper.

(maybe not quite so liberally as me. I accidentally knocked the top off the canister as I was shaking it)

Toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar.

Enjoy with a beer.

If only it had been warm enough for an impromptu swim.

What happened to the weather?

10 May

You know what I hate? When it gets balmy and summer like, with daily temperatures reaching into the mid 80s and then BAM. Extreme winds with a high of 60. Mother Nature can be such a tease. The only cure? Foods that are quintessentially summer.

Crab cakes and Summer vegetables.

This was spur of the moment decision making, so I unfortunately did not have enough crab meat to make the proper serving for my entire family or the accompanying remoulade. Sorry guys, next time we’ll each get at least two. These crab cakes are essentially ALL crab and rely on panko breadcrumbs to bind them together.

If only this meal had been eaten outside near the water. 🙂

Cinco De Mayo

6 May

Last night, my friends wanted to go out for Cinco De Mayo. But when my friend Stef typed in “mexican restaurants” near our zip code, the first thing to pop up was Taco Bell. No thank you. I’ve gone 22 ( almost 23) years without eating Taco Bell, and I don’t plan on starting anytime soon. And it’s not exactly the most festive party atmosphere.

This meant we went to Cabo in Rockville Centre. Because I insist on eating at time appropriate for senior citizens, we managed to get a table before the wait formed. I don’t know whether it was because this place was packed (Cabo has a great bar with a waterfall and extensive drink menu…so pretty much everyone showed up here for Cinco de Mayo) or if it’s standard but service was kind of slow. Our waiter was attentive when he came to our table, but it was a good thing we were in no rush to give up our seats. My friends and I sampled a bunch of the drinks on the menu, which were delicious but ridiculously expensive. This is why I usually stick to beer, but an Island Breeze Margarita felt more appropriate for the occasion and the weather.

Our waiter was nice enough to ask if we wanted guacamole with our free chips instead of just salsa, to which we answered with a resounding yes. And man, that was some good guac. My friend Stef and I nearly licked the bowls clean but we saved enough for Jess to have her first try of guacamole. I can’t tell you what type of quesadillas they ordered, but I ordered Salmon Alambre for my dinner. It’s essentially a shish kebob of grilled salmon, tomato, pepper and onion served with rice and two types of salsa. Parts of it were a little charcoal-y tasting when a pepper lingered too long over the fire, but I really enjoyed it.

We considered the idea of ordering dessert in order to keep our table (which meant sitting and drinking instead of standing and drinking), but luckily the rest of our group showed up by then. We then moved to the outside bar. This meant no seats…but you can’t deny the allure of 75 degree weather and the chance to finally enjoy meals ( or drinks) outside now that summer is practically here.

2 May

Is there anything better than a waterside town filled with restaurants, at dusk in early summer?

I didn’t think so.

And for anyone who visits Port Jefferson, Pasta Pasta is an absolutely delicious option. Especially the individual chocolate and peanut butter mousse cake. Or spinach ciambelli topped with broccoli, shiitake mushrooms, pignoli nuts and grilled chicken in marsala wine sauce. Or the escargot wantons.

Mmm…cake.

30 Apr

Blackberry Crumb Cake

Now that it’s basically berry season, I can bake my favorite go to “bbq/party/I have to bring SOMETHING” dessert contribution. It’s a pretty simple recipe, and a pretty good crowd pleaser as well. I baked two cakes for one of the bbq’s my friends throw at our old stomping grounds…and before dinner even came off the grill, one of my three plates of cake was demolished. And seriously, who doesn’t like a good crumb cake?

I swear I don’t only use Peter Berley Cookbooks

23 Apr


I promise that I have a wealth of other cookbooks and resources, but Peter Berley’s are just so handy. This is his Lentil and Corn Salad with Sweet Peppers and Coriander from Fresh Food Fast.  I have a feeling it’s going to be a fantastic portable dinner for tonight when I have to head over to my old university to monitor the printshop facilities.

It was really  simple to put together and I think it’s pulling me out of my at home food rut. (Does anyone else get bored with the quick meals they tend to rely on?) And I don’t think anything smells better than fresh basil. Hello summer, I’ve missed you.

And for the meat lover in my life, I’m adding some grilled chicken to his portion.