Our friends Mark and Jen are getting married this August in Vermont,
so along with Alicia, Mike, Bill, Kyle and Mary, we threw them a little engagement celebration.
It was beautiful out, so we staged the party on our patio.
Cooper, Alicia, Mike and Kyle strung lights from our holly tree to the fig tree,
while I drove Dixon to my parents' house for the night. Apparently,
I should feel lucky I missed the light-stringing episode.
All I know is that by the time I got home, the lights looked pretty and
exactly how I envisioned them. So sorry, boys + Alicia, that it took so long.
(Note: I am not really sorry.)
Even though the celebration only involved the nine of us, and we see each other all the time,
we decided to go all out, getting dressed up and making tons of food.
Alicia made cherry mojitos - recipe here - using cherries picked
from our tree last week and a cherry simple syrup I threw together the day
Jen and Mark moved to Baltimore from Boston, so to represent both New England and
Maryland, Cooper grilled clams, which we dipped in Old Bay butter.
And we reprised a favorite from last year - the roasted corn, manchego and lime
salad repurposed as a dip. It's amazing, just like I remembered.
Little caprese bites, using Ceriello mozzarella and sun gold tomatoes,
are so easy to make and better in the summer than any other time.
Cooper smoked some of the rockfish he caught last week
(served with honey dijon sauce from Neopol).
These ham, arugula and chilied mango bites are an individual
serving twist on a similar salad I made for Mother's Day.
Pulled pork sliders were the primary protein.
And for dessert, Alicia raided her mother-in-law's yard for raspberries,
added a few cherries and blueberries and made a summer berry cobbler
with homemade vanilla ice cream.
And then we got down to business - and I mean business.
I won't be posting any late-night pictures, but let's just say there was dancing.
Lots of dancing.
It was so much fun, and so funny. And now I can't wait for the wedding.