Saturday, September 4, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

This weekend was exactly what I love about this time of year. Clear blue skies and temperature highs in the upper 70s. Perfection. I was lucky enough to have this weekend off from work to spend doing what I love to do most- Cooking/Baking!! Today my entire family, kids and all, got together for a casual little cookout.

On the Menu:
-Port wine cheddar cheese log with Kashi crackers for an appetizer
-Wegman's cracked pepper sliders with whole wheat buns
-Homemade potato salad
-Homegrown, local tomato salad
-Coppola Merlot

And so we got started:
DaddyDeLuxe and I went to Wegmans (my absolute go-to grocery store) to stock up on some necessities. While there we found this lovely port cheddar cheese log.

Don't judge it by its color. This lovely "pink" delight is tasty!! It is coated with slivered almonds. I chose to serve it with whole grain Kashi crackers. What a healthy snack!! I ate that entire portion you see right there in the picture. Oops!!

Next, we cooked up these tasty little hamburger sliders. They are the cracked peppercorn ones. Best part is that Wegmans now has whole wheat slider buns. Wahoo!! Here are my little baby burgers on the grill.

They need just 5 minutes per side and they will be fully cooked. Half of these burgers were topped with Jalapeno cheese for an extra kick!!
The other half were topped with sauteed spinach and mushrooms for more of a savory, garlicky taste.
My sister requested a potato salad so I bought 2 bags of these yellow and red whole potatoes that can be steamed in just 8 minutes. No boiling water!!
My Mom worked her magic, added in a few ingredients, and Voila!!! A beautiful, healthy, delicious potato salad!!
I'm not the biggest fan of potatoes so I used some homegrown, local tomatoes and cucumbers, added in some S&P, oregano from Greece and olive oil to create a "Village style" greek salad. I left out the feta cheese because I already had some cheddar cheese for an appetizer and I planned on eating cheese on my burger. I thought I'd give my arteries a break!! So at the last minute we decided to throw on some delicious, juicy hot dogs. They were organic, no additives, etc. I'm sure you KNOW organic hotdogs don't come cheap....which is why letting ME "man the grill" was the biggest mistake anyone could've made. Just LOOK what happened to them!!!

OOpsies!!!! Y'all, i swear to the chocolate gods that I turned my back for just ONE minute...but who knows...maybe the couple sips of this lovely wine prolonged the actual time. Oh well, I'm sure the fam forgave me. Nonetheless, here's my lovely plate:
Drool...In my defense, i ended up eating a hot dog too and they were just fine...burnt and all. What a wonderful weekend with a wonderful family. I'm so excited for many more.

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