"Book Club"

Yesterday was just one of those great days. The weather was perfect, the house was clean, the kids were in the best of moods, and "book club" was at my house that evening. 

Miss Mary 

Took the kids out for a picnic at the edge of the property. Feels like a field trip, but we don't have to get in the car. 

I use quotes around "book club" because there is no book at the moment. Everyone is either a new mom, about to become a mom, or has multiple kids under 5, so books are a bit of a commitment once a month. Wine and food we can get behind. It is a great group of girls that I am so lucky to have become close with. It was so fun hosting this time and the weather outside made for great al fresco dining. 

I stocked up at Target on plastic plates, cups, and silverware. I like to use the clear plates to class it up a bit when I do not feel like doing dishes. Target has cute cups and napkins in fun colors. I have been cutting hydrangeas from the yard and they have wilted within hours every time. But, I tried a new trick that I read about online and I am happy to say they are going strong. 

1. Clip hydrangeas from bush and put directly in room temp water. 
2. Take out of water when ready to trim, cut to desired length and place stem in very hot water, almost boiling for 30 seconds. 
3. Place directly into room temp water in vase you want to use. Repeat with each stem or do quickly with a bunch. 

Here are just a few of the few of the menu items, wish I would have gotten pictures of everything. It was delicious. 

Lemon Quinoa with Arugula and Parmesan 

Whisk together 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 chopped shallots, 1/3 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons), 2 teaspoons of honey, 1/3 cup of olive oil

Cook one package of quinoa according to the package directions and place in a serving bowl. Let cool a bit. Season and toss the quinoa with the vinaigrette (you may not need all of it) to taste.  Refrigerate until chilled. (Can be made a day in advance)

Toss in a few handfuls of arugula and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. Toss to combine and serve. 

Water, Feta, and Mint Salad

Simply cube up watermelon, chop some fresh mint, and crumble on the feta. 

White Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Bocconcini 

2 pints cherry tomatoes, 2 cans navy beans (drained and rinsed), 1 pint extra small bocconcini (mozzarella balls), handful of chopped fresh basil, 3 cloves of garlic minced

Mix all in a bowl and season with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. Toss well to combine and refrigerate at least one hour or overnight. 

Great served alone, tossed with pasta the next day, or salad greens. So yummy. 

Fresh Tomato Pasta with Mozzarella 

Chop 3-4 fresh tomatoes, crush two garlic cloves, rip up a handful of fresh basil and throw in a big bowl. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Let sit at least one hour and up to all day. 

 Remove the garlic cloves. Cook your favorite pasta according to the box's instruction, drain and toss directly into the sauce. Add in 1 container of  bocconcini (mozzarella balls) and toss to combine. season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper to taste. 


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