alfresco dining

Candle-lit dinner for two—doesn’t that sound romantic? Now throw in about 10 more people (plus two dogs) and you’ve got this:



My brother and sister-in-law started this tradition of setting up folding tables on the dock, dressing them up, and voilà! Perfect alfresco evening. We had dinner outside both nights my cousins were with us in NH. The weather was outstanding and too beautiful to be indoors.


mair“And you thought the live lobsters were feisty?”


After a night of merriment, we awoke to my cousin cooking up a storm. Egg casserole, hot biscuits, and cheesy grits. What more could this half-southern girl ask for…except to eat this plate of goodness in my pajamas. Outside. Looking at the lake.



Boiled Lobsters

I cannot believe how websites vary in how to cook a lobster! This link will tell you how to boil, steam, or grill lobster, and it’s the closest one to normal I could find. Really, it’s not a big deal. I’ve been witnessing it since I was born and actually tossing the lobsters in the pot since I was old/brave enough to try (probably around 12). I even pulled live lobsters from the traps one summer working on Martha’s Vineyard (this was NOT enjoyable—lobsters don’t spring from the sea with bands on their claws). However, I still squirm when I take these leggy guys out of the bag and plunge them to their death. But my hesitation disappears the second I see the shells turn that enticing bright red…yum!

  • Boil water in a large pot with a lid (you may add salt if you like).
  • Melt the butter and slice lemon wedges. Set up butter bowls and a large bowl (the “Body Bowl”) on the table to hold shells.
  • Submerge lobsters into boiling water head first (keep the bands on the claws).
  • Boil for about 12 minutes.
  • Drain and serve. (Make sure your plates are large and rimmed because of the water that will come out of the lobsters.)
  • If you want to make it easier for your guests and minimize the amount of liquid that pours onto the plates when the lobsters are cracked, take a heavy knife and crack the claws without detaching them, then hold the lobster by the tail over the sink to drain before serving. You may also want to slit the underside of the tail lengthwise so the meat is easier to access.

Blueberry Peach Cobbler

from foodie plus four

  • 1 quart of fresh wild blueberries, washed
  • 4-6 fresh large peaches, peeled, sliced, and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  3. Mix the fruit with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon, and cornstarch.  Spoon into prepared dish.
  4. In a bowl, mix the Bisquick, milk, sugar, and melted butter until just combined.
  5. Drop spoonfuls on top of the fruit.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the biscuit topping is cooked through.

Sausage and Egg Casserole

from foodie cousin

  • 2 lbs. Jimmy Dean sausage (one mild, one hot)
  • 8 oz.(1/2 lb.) Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 6 slices white bread
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Brown and crumble the sausage in a frying pan. Drain the grease, and set aside.
  3. Butter, toast, and cube the bread.
  4. Mix together the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  5. Butter a 9 x 13 dish.
  6. Layer bread, cheese, sausage, and egg mixture.
  7. Bake 45-50 minutes or until eggs are set.

3 thoughts on “alfresco dining

  1. Lee!
    Well-your dinner on the deck looks yummy and fun and a great way to end the summer . . .boo hoo! 🙂
    OK I just got home from seeing Julie and Julia and if you have not seen it you MUST!
    Especially b/c of your info about LOBSTERS and the lobster scene in the movie!

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