Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last Days of Summer

Two Days.

That's all we have left of doing nothing but hanging together, staying out of the intense Northern California inland heat, sitting in our blind-covered closed-window house, reading books, watching movies, OH and going on adventures as a family.

You may be wondering why all this moaning and groaning.  Yes, technically there are still 40 days left of summer, but we all know that when school starts back up, even with the continued 100+ degree days, it's really over.  Fall sports pre-season has already started.(I won't mention any particular sport, but the Fall is ITS season and I deplore it!). The Fall TV season starts shortly.  Foodwise, apples, pears and grapes (all Autumn seasonal foods) are already appearing in veggie boxes around here.  So, regardless of what the calendar says, Fall is almost here and Summer. Is. Over. Baaah!

SO...in celebration of these last lazy days, I thought I'd capture some of the food moments and other wise with some photos.

Culinarily speaking, the highlight of these last few days was dining at Estate in Sonoma last weekend where we finished off a long day covering half of the 47 mile long county.  Sitting on the beautiful, large patio with a fireplace (it was even cooler than usual) we enjoyed pre-dinner drinks.

 Mathieu showing his subdued side.
The boys "cocktail" of choice.

 Harry (AKA the emerging food photographer)

I discovered that my oldest son is a natural food photographer, especially alongside my husband, who we long ago established was gifted at plate presentation.  Since Kyle and I chose La Cena di Famiglia, each of our courses was served on a communal plate. They weren't presented as beautifully as my food photographer wanted, so Kyle would go about composing the individual servings for us, then Harry would photograph. 
 Harry's first food photo, he composed the setup with the wine as well.
The Market Antipasti included (from the left):  
Arrancini with heirloom tomato sauce, citrus marinated olives, 
fresh figs with arugula, and house-cured Coppa. 
The Cline Sonoma Syrah accompanied each course.

The Primi:
Shaved Rainbow Garden Bean & Arugula Salad with Peppered Goat Cheese Croutons

The Secondi i Contorni:
Roasted Cornish Hen with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, Truffled Lentils 
and Roasted Belgian Endive with Saba drizzle

The Dolce:
 Though we had a fabulous chocolate sea salt tart, 
the boys' dessert choice was the only dessert photo we got. 
Zeppole with Peach and Nutella dipping sauces

This past weekend we went to the beach in Santa Cruz.

The only food photos were from our beach-friendly lunch.
Our take on the Salad in a Jar (see here or here just for starters) phenomenon.  
Chopped salad with beets, corn, roasted peppers, olives, boiled eggs, bacon, chicken and lettuce.  
No glass on the beach, so we used 6 cup plastic bowls so we could shake and eat out of the same vessel.  This is pre-shaking.  See how it looks all nice and clean. The dressing stayed on the bottom and moistened the chicken then once shaken everything was coated with dijon and garlic vinaigrette. 

 This is post-shaking.  
It's not pretty due to the beets "bleeding" onto everything, but for healthy beach eats, it was awesome.  
(And a great school lunch option I decided!)

 For dessert--locally grown grapes and peaches from a farm.  

Since I didn't capture any photos from the rest of our meals over our beach weekend, here are some of the highlights of our day in Santa Cruz.

Ready for a post-beach treat,  the boys insisted on Pull-Your-Own Slush Puppies from the Boardwalk, (Harry's with his by the yellow fence in the collage above).  But on the way into town, I saw this old shack at the end of a 40+ year old building on Ocean St.  The sign (barely) read Marianne's Ice Cream.  It looked the kind of place that would be all the locals' favorite but lost on tourists.

A quick YELP search and my suspicions were founded.  4 1/2 stars!

So before we even got TO the beach I made the executive decision that there WOULD be a stop here on the way out of town.  I told the boys to hold out, but they didn't, and soon wished they had. The AMAZING Mandarin Chocolate/Orange Sherbet combo we ended up choosing was so good we devoured it before even considering the fact that I should have photoed the location or the ice cream or something but I didn't.  So look it up and get yourself there if you find your way to Santa Cruz!  (By the way, we did give in and share a couple of bites with the boys.  Just enough for them to know that Slush Puppy is no longer the treat of choice in Santa Cruz.)  

I'm now beginning to look ahead at make-ahead lunch, breakfast and dinner ideas as our school year begins. Two of my people will have to be out of the house by 7:40 which doesn't leave a lot of morning prep-time.

Got any great ideas?  I'd love to hear them.

Print Page Copyright 2011 Christi Flaherty, Cook What You've Got

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