Solstice Supper!

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Solstice is a big deal in these parts. The mural above is inspired by Seattle’s annual Fremont Solstice Parade, the highlight of which is an au naturel bike ride that launches the parade. A perfect homage to 16 hours of daylight, and launch to the summer months.

The sun “rose” at 5:11 am this morning (of course, being Seattle, it was cloudy), and will set at 9:11 pm tonight. We’ve been graced with blue skies this afternoon, so I’m hoping for a beautiful solstice sunset.

The longer days definitely have me thinking about more picnics – at our amazing local waterfront parks, or even in our own backyard. I think we’re going to stop at Boar’s Head for a to-go order of pulled pork, cole slaw, and baked beans to keep it nice-n-easy tonight. But, here are a few recipes on my list of summertime bbq/cookout/potluck must-tries…

peach bbq sauce

Grilled Chicken with Peachy Bourbon BBQ Sauce – well, RF is not a fan of fruit and meat, but it’s my favorite. Add the sweetness of peaches and a spicy spike of bourbon to savory chicken (or ribs), and I’m in heaven.

corn

Amagansett Corn Salad – I love fresh corn. It’s enough to pop is straight on the grill in the husks and eat it right off the cob. When I’m feeling really fancy, I slather it with creamy butter and add a sprinkle of salt. But, the addition of cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas rounds this out nicely as a legit side dish – perfect for potlucks

potato_salad

Potato Salad – Not all potato salads include egg, but my favorites do. This is a terrific version if you’re also a fan of the pairing. Since my tastes tend toward the sweet, I might also swap sweet pickle relish for dill and let the onion balance it out. But I’ll leave that decision up to you…

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Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint – When I first heard about this salad, my tastebuds turned flips and couldn’t quite decide what to make of it. However, it’s become one of my standards. The sweet and salty pairing of fruit and feta is incredible. Add a little mint to the mix, and zing! This recipe includes kalamatas as an optional ingredient and I’m super intrigued… (P.S. Never ever bother with a melon baller! Cubes are just fine.)

cookies

Flourless Salted Chocolate Cookies – George Takei says it best, “Oh my!” Sweet and salty gets me every time. Add chocolaty and chewy and I’m done for. Plus, these are gluten-free without having to use a special flour blend. BTW…if there are gluten-free folks in your picnic crowd and you’re looking for dessert ideas, I would delight in any one of these options!

blackberry-smash

Blackberry Smash – The easiest bbq booze is, of course, a 6-pack. But, I’m a cocktail girl. This one picks up the bourbon in the bbq sauce and the mint in the watermelon salad, and is based around my second favorite fruit – blackberries. (Peaches will always be numero uno.) Don’t forget these clandestine options, if you’re headed to the park.

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