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Impromptu July 4th BBQ & Gardening Updates

So around mid afternoon on July 3rd, we realized we didn’t have solid plans for the next day. We decided to round up some family members and bear the heat together on the 4th.

I was excited because it gave me an excuse to try a few new recipes, as well as do a little RW&B decorating.  As with most parties, we were too busy grilling and having fun to take a a ton of pictures, but I got some great “before” shots of a recipe or two I plan to share with you guys. Actually, these two:

Having this bbq also filled a void for me as we decided not to throw our big annual bbq since we have Other Things on our minds lately.

I ran to the nearby 99 cent stores and picked up a navy tablecloth, a red and white tablecloth, and some flags and a patriotic spin-y thing (technical jargon).  I scooped up some white carnations with baby’s breath at my favorite bodega/cut flowers shop, and started my prep work so that I would be able to hang out with the family when they arrived.

We finally sampled some of the regional wine we picked up at Seneca Lake, NY a few weeks back

In addition to grabbing a few burgers and hot dogs so I could try this new grilling technique, I picked up some chicken legs and thighs, some ribs, and some potatoes for a new recipe I wanted to try (that came out great, and looked pretty too – recipe to come). I marinated the chicken, boiled the ribs, and smashed the potatoes in the morning.  For a simple cool dessert I made a few packages of jello and pudding in individual dishes, and had some whip cream in a can available for topping.  People brought over some easy apps like shrimp cocktails, anti-pasta salad, gluten-free pasta salad, and the most amazing fried onion rings I’ve ever tried, as well as  a large carafe of delicious iced coffee with kahlua to go with our dessert.

All in all – a very nice and relaxing July 4th!  Hope you enjoyed yours!

*I don’t know who I was kidding when I thought I would be able to relax – I spent over an hour in front of the grill! But luckily everyone graciously worked on the clean up so I could relax after the meal – thanks guys!

These are about eye-level height with me, and I’ve been encouraging  the vine to stay on the wrought iron instead of grabbing the fence. My luck would be that my neighbors would get all the blossoms on their side!
My morning glories are really growing! But they don’t look like they are going to give me any blossoms any time soon.  I’ll be certain to let you know when they do.  And an added bonus – we have “wild” cherry tomatoes growing!  I guess some of the seeds from rotten tomatoes last year decided to sprout again.  We will see if there is actually enough space in the bucket for them to grow fruitfully.  Fingers crossed!

Foodie Fridays – Spiral Cut Hot Dogs!

Hot dogs are definitely in my top three for favorite foods.  I know this statement may make you question all future recipe posts – I swear I like good, healthy, and complicated foods too.  I’m just saying, I can never say no to a hot dog.  I’m always looking for ways to spice them up so everyone else can enjoy them as much as I do.  In the past I’ve tried a marinade from this post, that was proclaimed “the best hot dog I ever ate” by one of my friends. So when I stumbled on this video via BoingBoing, I had to share!

I’ll definitely be trying this out the next time I grill! I hope you do too…


Cooking FAIL

epic fail photos - College Cooking FAIL
Picture via Failblog.org

So I was whipping up a recipe for my Foodie Fridays edition – something totally random that I had thrown together in the crock pot that I was hoping would turn out awesome and be worth passing it along to you guys.  It started out ok….chicken went it, some veggies, a can of cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup (it was a lot of chicken breast) and some spices.  I turned it on low and went to bed.  I even woke up and remembered to take it out and leave it on the stove top so it could cool before Tom put it in the fridge before he left for work.

But that is where this recipe ends.  Because I never told Tom to put it in the fridge, and we are both the type to stayinbedtilthelastsecondthenruntoworkwithoutbreakfastorcoffee so I knew he would never even walk into the kitchen if I didn’t tell him to.  So at 2:28pm today I realized my mistake, and frantically texted “what are the odds you saw the crock pot and thought to put it into the fridge this morning???” but I already knew the answer.  So texting turned into google searching “how long can cooked chicken stay at room temperature” and although I got a few different answers, none of them were close to the 6 hour mark we were currently at.  

So I’m pretty sure we are having delivery for dinner for the next few nights because it’s going to take me a few days to get over this cooking fail.

In other news…I finally finished making the favors for my bridal shower!  But you’re not going to see them for a few more weeks since at least most if not all of my “loyal readers” are invited to the shower 🙂