The best thing about every place we’ve lived has been our friends, and Houston is no exception. I don’t know if this is typical of Houston or just our good fortune, but we have friends who smoke copious amounts of meat all day, and then invite us to help them eat it. These friends are also kind enough to taste whatever Barefoot Contessa recipes we bring along to go with the meat, so it’s a win all around. We brought two types of cole slaw, watermelon, cornbread, a roasted chicken for our picky kids, the Smitten Kitchen’s Salted Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats, a metric ton of deviled eggs, and some new Ina dishes, too. I’ve been wanting to try the Dark Rum Southsides from Cooking for Jeffrey for a while, but I like to make new drink recipes when we have someone else to share them, since I’m not much of a drinker. This recipe might change my stance on that. They were delicious, and I wished I’d made a double batch. (Our friend also has nicer drinkware than we do, so they even look fancy!)
For appetizers or kind of a side dish, I made the two bruschetta recipes from Cooking for Jeffrey – ricotta with butternut squash, and goat cheese (we used mascarpone) with figs. I looked everywhere for fresh figs – two grocery stores and a farmers’ market – and couldn’t find them. Instead, I bought two different kinds of fig preserves at the farmers’ market this morning and called it a day.
As another barbecue side dish, I made the Fiesta Corn Salad from Cooking for Jeffrey. This was a little bit labor intensive for a salad, but really good and with just a little bit of kick from the minced jalapeños.
After we’d eaten and let the kids swim, we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow after dinner.
Cheers to friends, food, and Texas summer nights!