Monday, July 27, 2015

Simple Summer Dinner By The Pool


My husband’s brother and his fiance were in town over the weekend.  We wanted to spend the day in Carmel so I prepared the dinner in advance so we could get home and just enjoy the views before the sun set.

image 
I gathered a simple bouquet of hydrangeas, eucalyptus, and fennel blossoms from my yard and plopped them in one of my vintage glass jars.
image
I set up a collapsable 48” table in front of the fireplace so we could start a fire once the air cooled.
image

I fixed (a new favorite) Lemon Feta Dip for the appetizer (also made the day before)
image

Lemon Feta Dip (via A Cup of Joe)
7 oz. feta cheese (about 1 cup crumbled) 
1 tbsp. grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1–2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Crudités, chips, toasts or pita crisps, for serving


This is super easy,delicious and one of my new favorites !  If you buy really good Feta it is even better.

This Ina Garten Guacamole Salad is one of my go to’s to serve with Mexican food and you can whip it up in a flash.

Image result for ina garten guacamole salad

Guacamole Salad
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and ½-inch diced
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup small-diced red onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno peppers, seeded (2 peppers)
½ teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice, (2 limes)
¼ cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled, and ½-inch diced

These crab enchiladas are an old standby recipe of mine that I have made for years.

image

 Crab Enchiladas
SERVINGS 4
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onion in oil, add flour, milk and chili.
  3. Cook until medium thick.
  4. Reserve 1/4 cup of cheeses to sprinkle over top of sauce.
  5. Heat 1/2 to 1 tsp of canola oil at a time in skillet.
  6. When oil is warm quickly dip tortillas in oil until soft and warm.
  7. Immediately put 1 Tablespon each of cheese, crabmeat and sauce in tortilla and roll up.
  8. Place seam side down in a 11x7 inch pan.
  9. Repeat until all tortillas are used.
  10. Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with reserved cheeses.
  11. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

For dessert I served coconut sorbet with good old Trader Joes Lemon Cookies since I hate baking!!
Of  course Beau was happy to keep everyone entertained (and damp) throughout the evening!

image

23 comments:

  1. You are the most wonderful hostess!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love the set-up and the menu too! Thanks for sharing your recipes, have to try that feta dip!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Crab enchiladas!!!! sounds so delish. Beau looks pretty happy in the pool too. Millie really misses swimming in the bay in Newport but she's so old she would probably sink. We would have to get her some floaties ; )

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks like a perfect evening, the salad looks stunning, lovely setting.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Cindy!! Dinner looks amazing and your table and flowers --WOW, beautiful country you live in!! I know they loved everything!! Leslie Sinclair

    ReplyDelete
  6. How perfect! Family gathering to celebrate some summer milestones and the salad and enchiladas are perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Everything you do is so well curated, I know you all must have had a wonderful visit.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have created an amazing en plein air dining! And the food looks delicious, if I was your extended family I would be thrilled to come your home for the weekend, or any other time for that fact! Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Cindy,
    This is my kind of meal, especially during the summer months. Anything I can prepare in advance goes to the top of my "favorite thing to cook" list. There used to be a restaurant in Newport Beach that prepared crab stuffed enchiladas. They were my favorite. I'll have to give your recipe a go. Your day, with your brother and his fiance, sounded ideal!
    xo,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
  10. We have to relish these fleeting opportunities to eat outdoors while they last. How lucky you are to have a fireplace to take the chill off. I too want to try your crab enchiladas!

    ReplyDelete
  11. WELL,I think I will COPY YOU since IAM back to cooking meals again.The BIRTHDAY celebrations are over as of lunch TODAY!!THAT FETA looks DIVINE.......as does everything else!I adore the BAREFOOT CONTESSA's recipes!!
    SOUNDS like your getting around ................YIPPY!!!!!!XX

    ReplyDelete
  12. Carmel!! How darn luck my friend!! What a lovely evening and those recipes look fantastic1 xo K

    ReplyDelete
  13. wow....love it all...I really like the color of your water!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Cindy, this meal sounds delicious and I would like to try it! I am wondering about the Crab Enchiladas recipe. I see you are baking at 250 degrees. I have never made these before, but that sounds like a very cool oven. Just wanting to be sure it is not a misprint. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Jennifer that is a misprint! The cookbook that it originally came out of said that....I have always baked at 350! Thanks for catching it!!

      Delete
  15. Everything sounds so yummy and your flowers look beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh Cindy what a fun post. I'm going back to read the recipes ...the menu is my kind of food. Yum. Your entire ambiance looks so warm and inviting. How lucky to be a guest at your home. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  18. What a purely delightful evening! Your patio is so inviting and your dishes sound delicious. We are having a rekindled love of feta this summer (especially with watermelon) so I'm adding this dip to my menu for this evening. Thanks for joining us at the #stylefocus Lifestyle Linkup, Cindy. You are such a stylish inspiration!
    xx, Heather

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cindy love your entertaining style. Great idea getting it all together so you could come home and enjoy your gorgeous home. These are super recipes and I am going to save them! Thanks for sharing your secrets! Hope summer is good to you and you are feeling great! xo Kim

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment! Your comments are what make a great post!