There is hardly a better excuse for breaking into our cache of champagne from last year's trip to France!
Look at those well-behaved pups!
After our lovely back porch celebration, we continued on to a lovely dinner with our friend Tamar, one of our all-around favorite people back here in NoVA, who is always willing to pick up and celebrate with us when the occasion strikes.
Saturday, we lazed around the apartment in the morning before heading out for some quick errands to the Apple House Garden Center and the grocery store. You see, a heat wave struck us this weekend. After months of rainy, cold grayness (with not-nearly-enough Spring sprinkled in), we have had sunshine and warmth! For days on end! And so our weekend plan took shape: we will work in the yard and make yummy summer meals, all the while enjoying one another and the pups in the glorious hot sun.
Yummy "welcome sunshine! we've missed you!" meal #1 can be found here-- Italian Chicken Salad in Lettuce Cups. I first saw this recipe about four years ago, and have periodically considered making it since. It turns out that I was totally depriving us of deliciousness by putting it off! It was, in the words of Giada herself, "sooo good."
After a nice visit with our friends Liz and Dan, who popped over to visit (and fall in love with) our little Otter, we started in on yummy "welcome sunshine! we've missed you!" meal #2: Baby back ribs with parsley fried onion rings and grilled corn on the cob. Sorry for the lack of pictures. We were apparently too hungry for a photo shoot. But feel free to imagine the deliciousness. It was only our third or fourth foray into ribs, and we have a lot of changes to make in the recipe, but what a meal to enjoy the fortuitous weather!
Sunday after church, we headed straight to Home Depot, along with everyone else in NoVA. Determined to make our little back yard an oasis for the enjoyment of summer evenings, we purchased paving stones, plants, planters, and dirt. Since the projects are as yet unfinished, I won't share the photos, but I will show you what cute, helpful doggies we have:
Mama's pulling weeds and I helped!
I'll just sit here in the shade and look pretty.
And finally, after a scorching hot day of hard work in the hard, we've come to yummy "welcome sunshine! we've missed you!" meal #3: snow crab legs, steamed potatoes, and more corn on the cob, along with some super cool and fresh cucumber salad (sliced and deseeded cucumber, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, couple pinches of sugar), by candlelight (citronella!).
Snow crab tip: When you can catch it on sale, like we did, it is SO EASY, thanks to my dad's super secret (oops! not any more!) cooking method: Rinse off any ice from the clusters, pat dry, and throw into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve with melted butter. This is one of my all-time favorite meals, and on a hot evening on the porch, it reminds me of home.