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An Al Frecso Potluck Dinner with Friends

Hello and happy Tuesday, my friends!

You know what I love most about summer, besides the fact that it’s light out forever and morning/evening workouts are easier? Outdoor dining. To celebrate the official start of summer, last week a few friends and I had a fun outdoor potluck dinner date!

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My friend Turner’s apartment has a rooftop deck area, so we invited ourselves over to enjoy an evening of al fresco dining. It had been raining all day but cleared up just in time for dinner. Perfect!

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I love potluck dinners – we had quite the delicious spread! For appetizers, I brought some crackers and Cabot cheese. Cabot makes THE best cheese, in my opinion. Turner is especially obsessed so I knew she’d be pumped I brought some with me! My fave is the sharp cheddar. :) They recently sent me a big package of cheese with some new flavors to try – the horseradish was a hit, too!

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I’ll actually be doing a really fun trip later this summer with Cabot and a few other bloggers as part of their “Cabot Fit Team” – they’re having us up to Portland, Maine in August to run the Beach to Beacon 10k! It’s supposed to be an AMAZING race and I’m really pumped to enjoy Maine in the summer, too. :)

Anyway! It was funny because when I arrived, Turner already had some Cabot cheese out! Great minds think alike…

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For my other contribution, I brought zucchini and squash. I had a TON on hand because I got a bounty box delivery from Relay Foods last week. I simply sliced the zucchini and squash and sautéed it in a little rosemary scented olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Simple and delicious! Matt loved this, too – I put some leftovers in the fridge and came home to find he’d demolished them. :)

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So, what’s Relay Foods, you ask? A few weeks ago, they contacted me to see if I’d like to review their service, and I was really excited to check them out! They are an online grocery store that serves DC, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina, and they sell not only local products and standard grocery store items, but also bounty baskets, which are basically CSA boxes full of seasonal produce from local farms. So it’s essentially a CSA service + a normal grocery store, all in one. Sweet!

The team offered me a half share bounty basket, plus a little additional money to try some of their local products. I was really excited to see what they sent in the box when it arrived! (Both pickup and home delivery options are available – I went for home delivery.)

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The bounty baskets change every week based on what’s available, just like a normal CSA. In this box, I received radishes, cabbage, raspberries, basil, beets, cauliflower, beets, and of course the zucchini and squash. I think the best thing bout something like this is that it forces us to try some new stuff – I hardly ever buy radishes, cabbage, or cauliflower!

Oh, and guess what was also in the box? QUAIL EGGS!!! I’d never eaten quail eggs before so I asked my wise Instagram friends what to do with them. Turns out you can just treat them like normal eggs and poach them, or fry them, or whatever! I ended up hard boiling them and we’ve had fun eating them this week. They’re so cute! As for what I did with my additional funds, I decided to try a few of the local products – some No Bull Burgers (vegetarian — savory mushroom & roasted garlic – I haven’t tried these yet but Matt did and LOVED it, which is saying a lot since he hearts beef), plus some local ground beef and Bone Doctor BBQ sauce.

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Thanks again to Relay Foods for the opportunity to test them out! Want to try Relay Foods for yourself? Follow this referral link to get $30 off your first order over $50. :)

Anyway! Back to dinner. We had all sorts of fun stuff! Kathleen brought a homemade Asian-inspired noodle salad with snap peas, peppers, carrots, onions, and sesame seeds in a light sauce. So good!

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Turner’s contribution was a Quinoa Tabbouleh salad, which was also delicious. She said she used this recipe, but added a can of chickpeas and a container of feta to the mix. The fresh mint and parsley in it made the dish – so flavorful and summery!

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And for our main protein, Karen whipped up some tasty lemon chicken (this went so well with all the sides!):

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Here’s my plate. I definitely went back for seconds! Yum.

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As for dessert, Chrissy made a delicious lemon pound cake with some amazing stewed strawberries on top. Mmm. The strawberries made this – I believe she just cooked them in a little water and sugar until they softened! We also enjoyed some white wine throughout the evening. :) It was such a nice evening with friends – hoping to do it again soon!

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And now, I’m off to finish up some client work and wrap up a few loose ends because I’m flying off to Portland, Oregon tomorrow morning for the Fitbloggin’ fitness blogger conference! This is the 4th year of the conference – the first 3 years it was in Baltimore, and I attended in 2010 and 2011, just missing last year because of wedding craziness. Reebok is one of the big sponsors of the conference and I’m lucky enough to be attending this year on their behalf! I’ve never been to Portland before and I hear it’s amazing, so I’m heading out a day early to have some time to explore. Any Portland food/exercise/sightseeing recommendations are much appreciated!

Stay tuned for a fun new recipe post coming at you tomorrow! Posting may be a little sporadic the rest of this week as I enjoy the conference, but I’m planning to check back in at least a couple times to share west coast adventures. :) In the meantime, I’ll be sharing my adventures in real time via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook if you want to follow along.

Two Announcements Before I Go:

  • I’m excited to share that my searchable recipe page (“Recipage”) is now 100% updated with all my recipes. You can search by ingredient, dietary specification (e.g. vegan, gluten free), course, and more – check it out! I hope it will make it easier for you guys to find what you’re looking for. :)

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  • I updated my sponsor page so that you can now select your ad size and pay directly through my site, via PassionFruit ads! If you have a blog, small business, or Etsy shop to advertise, please consider advertising on fANNEtastic food. :)

Have a great day!

Comments

  1. 1

    I love dinners outside in the summertime! Looks like a great night. I have always wanted to try No Bull Burgers from seeing them so often on Kath’s blog :)

  2. 3

    I love roof top decks, I wish I had a cool friend in the city that had one! Ha-ha. All of these recipes look amazing!

    Sara :)

  3. 4

    This is awesome! I just bought my first relay food box this morning but was able to re-purchase (plus some veggies burgers!) with your coupon! I can’t wait to get it! One of my friends works for them and she has nothing but wonderful things to say about the company. Plus, this is so convenient for DC living!

    • 5

      Awesome! I hope you love it! It really was convenient – I love that it’s a combo of CSA and practical normal grocery shopping, too!

  4. 6

    Super cute and looks like it was a delicious evening! Hi to all you ladies :) Have fun in Portland Anne!

  5. 8

    Wow, you guys had so many awesome dishes at your dinner party! I love eating outdoors in the summer. When we are up at the cottage we eat every meal outside. There is nothing quite like a 6am post run smoothie on the dock watching the sun rise!

  6. 9

    You’ll have a great time in Portland! I’m so excited that everyone’s congregating in my city :)

    Everyone will tell you to go to Voodoo Donut, which is worth the trip if you’re willing to wait in line. I would highly recommend experiencing the food cart scene, as well as Saturday market on the waterfront. The parks are amazing when the weather is nice, and if you’re a reader Powell’s Books is like heaven on Earth.

    OH! And the best Portland ice cream shop is Salt & Straw if you can make it over there. The flavors are out of this world – last week I tried Smoked Hefeweizen and Strawberry Balsamic with Cracked Pepper!

  7. 10

    This is my first time hearing about Relay Box. I’ve used Green Grocer DC in the past and liked them but I may take advantage of your discount code. Thanks for sharing and have fun out west!

  8. 11

    Yayyy! Welcome to Portland! Hope you have a great time.

  9. 12

    I always see the No Bull Burgers on Kath’s blog and look forward to hearing what you think about them too.

    And al fresco dining is for sure a highlight anytime spring and summer roll around. I lurve it!

  10. 13

    I love dinners like that! It’s fun to be able to try all different dishes and even get some new recipes and ideas! Looks like you guys enjoyed yourselves!

    I did a CSA this year and LOVE it! Like you, I like that it gives you chance to try new things you wouldn’t normally buy – I’m testing out a recipe tonight with the cabbage I got!

    Have fun in Portland!

  11. 14

    Looks like a great evening! I love eating outside. We eat dinner and lunch 90% of the time out on our back porch during the summer even though we’re sweating bullets!

  12. 15
    AlisonJ says:

    Voodoo Donut (we went for dessert one night & ended up back there in the morning for breakfast!). And you will probably wait in a line any time you go =) Saturday market is awesome – lots of great food, fun shopping, and a nice crowd. Check out a few breweries! And if you have time, make it to the Rose Test Garden – GORGEOUS!!

  13. 16

    Agreed! Potlucks are the best (okay… well, maybe if I’m being honest I prefer carpet picnics as my very favorite, but potlucks run a very close 2nd).

    And I may be biased but I say a good cheese board to start the evening off is always the icing on the cake :)

  14. 17

    That taboulleh looked awesome! Gotta love summer eats :)

  15. 18

    Do you know if your friend used a recipe for her Asian noodle salad? I try to bring lunches that don’t require me to use the microwave, and that looks so good!

  16. 20

    Hello,as omlet quail eggs are excellend and have low cholesterol,,good protein.
    Enjoy!

  17. 21

    Yay! Welcome to my town. =) You’ve got to do a run along the waterfront, you can cross over some of the bridges to make a nice loop. VooDoo donuts are amazing too – but I’m boring and like the simple flavors. So many good restaurants to try! Have a great time!

  18. 22

    If you want to eat some awesome Thai, Pok Pok, is phenomenal in PDX. I also loved Kenny and Zukes which is a Jewish deli downtown. Have fun, PDX is one of my favorite cities!

  19. 23

    The Beach to Beacon is AMAZING! This year will be my third year running and I am continually impressed with the amazing level of organization, and the genuine passion for the event of everyone involved. I’ve run multiple BAA, NYRR, and other races and B2B remains my ultimate favorite. I’m from the next town over originally, and the whole area really gets into it!

  20. 25

    So jealous about your relationship with Reebok! And, you will LOVE Maine. I live in Boston but am from Maine originally and it will always have my heart! The summer is the best time there:)

Trackbacks

  1. […] ordered another Relay Foods bounty basket this week and the string beans were part of that. (My full Relay Foods review is here – it’s a cool local CSA + grocery delivery service for DC/VA area peeps. Follow this referral […]

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