Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dining Al Fresco {#FRD2014}

One of August's challenges for the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution Ambassadors (I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep!) is to answer the following:

Do you eat outside? 
We want to dig into your alfresco dining world so share your favorite recipes and moments.

We love to eat al fresco. And, living on the temperate central coast of California, we eat outside a lot. A lot. Bonfires on the beach, barbeques on the patio, and picnics just about anywhere are the norm for us. We host picnics for welcome back bashes on the beach, we throw birthday parties in the woods, and we sleep - and cook - outside for almost two full weeks every summer.

I'm pretty sure my husband would be grateful if I didn't make him haul bottles of wine and beer bottles up mountains as often as I do!

One thing we do outside is cook over a fire. You would be amazed what you can accomplish with fire, foil, and some parchment paper. Think Campfire Steelhead, Potatoes, and Zucchini, Campfire Salmon, and Potato-Fennel Packets. And just straight on the grill we love Lamb Lollipops or locally-made sausages.

My absolute favorite date meal is a picnic with my Love. Fancy restaurants are nice, too. But I love lounging on the sand or grass and just having an uninterrupted conversation while we nibble on tasty treats. For these picnics, we usually just grab an assortment of cheese and charcuterie, bread, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Some of my favorite portable bites: Stuffed Grape Leaves, Frittata, and Focaccia - here's a Sweet Rhubarb Focaccia. Chocolate truffles are amazing picnic bites, if you're not going to be somewhere too, too hot. Here are my Strega-Spiked Chocolate Truffles. Cin cin!

Some of our picnics are a little more involved, cooking-wise. I cart chilled soups and salads outside for al fresco lunches and dinners. I love chilled soups, especially gazpacho. Check out my Olallieberry Gazpacho, Watermelon Gazpacho, and Chilled Ginger-Pea Soup with Fresh Pea Shoots. Here's my Secret to Sensational Salads.

What do you think? Do you eat outside? 
What are your favorite recipes or moments?

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