Outer Banks Adventures Part 1: The Food

Hi guys! We are back in DC after a wonderful week with Matt’s family and family friends at the beach in the Outer Banks in North Carolina. It’s always one of my favorite weeks of the year, and this year was no exception!

It’s so fun to get the whole gang together – although this year we missed Morgana, my sister-in-law, as she was tied up with work! She’s actually going to be performing in a dance show in DC over the next few weeks, though, so we will get to see her soon. :)

This year was really special because we got to introduce Riese to so many new experiences! We think she is an extrovert like her mama because she seemed really happy with all the people and action going on all week. Her cousins were also so sweet with her – they loved holding her and were good about being gentle. :)

I’m going to do a few beach recap posts because I have so many photos from the week. Let’s start with the food highlights, and tomorrow I’ll talk about the fitness adventures! Next week I’ll also have one more beach recap post for you featuring one of our huge group dinners in more detail because it was a really good one.

We stayed in a big house with all of Matt’s family, and there was another house a few doors down of good family friends. We ate in almost every night since it was easier than going out with all the kids involved. For most of the dinners each house did their own thing, but twice we got together as the whole big group – once at our place and once at the other house.

One of my favorite dinners was early on in the week – cedar plank salmon cooked on the grill. Matt’s dad marinated it in some lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and Old Bay. So good!

roasted salmon with dill lemon old bay

Served with a quick pickled cucumber and onion salad, tomato pie (purchased locally from one of the farmer’s markets – so good), cinnamon baked sweet potatoes, and sauteed chard. Yummmmmm.

roasted salmon beach dinner

On July 4th we had a big joint BBQ with the other house. Delicious! I had a burger and a hot dog (topped with kraut + mustard). Plus some really good rice and bean salad, and some baked beans.

July 4 family photo attempt that Riese was not super into because it was bed time. :)

We did go out to eat one night – every year we do a night where the grandparents are in charge of the babies/kids and the parents all go out. A nice treat! This year we went to Sunset Grill, which lived up to its name.

sunset grill duck sunset view duck nc sunset grill view

The views made up for the food, which was good but not as good as the prices they charge (must be that view!). I had two appetizers for my meal – a beet salad and a quinoa and tuna poke bowl. We also shared some oysters to start.

sunset grill duck dinner

Breakfasts were standard so I didn’t get photos – I usually did toast with nut butter and yogurt and fruit. Although one day we had a pancake feast (made into fun shapes for the boys)!

beach breakfast obx

For lunches, we did a lot of sandwiches (unpictured/eaten by the pool) and leftover salads.

I will end this post with a photo of Duck Donuts. :) Had to do it – a classic!

duck donuts obx nc

I’ll be back tomorrow to share some of our fitness/outdoorsy adventures while at the beach. Stay tuned!


  1. 1

    It looks like such an incredible trip! All of your homemade meals look absolutely perfect, and everyone looks wonderful! Stinks that the meal out wasn’t as tasty, but the views were stunning. I’m looking forward to reading more about your trip!

  2. 3

    I LOVE Duck donuts!!! Awesome vacation!!!! Everyone looks so relaxed and happy!!!

  3. 4

    Love it! So cute to get the cousins together :)

  4. 5
    Roadrunner says

    Your family clearly has some serious foodies! Looks like a wonderful time – and delicious food!

  5. 6

    That cedar plank salmon looks amazing!!! I’ve never even seen or cooked a piece of salmon that big before haha.

  6. 7

    Hey – looks fabbie! Could you share a recipe for the salmon? How to cook etc? I am a fish novice and although I am sure it is easy, would love some guidelines! Thanks in advance. x

    • 8

      My father-in-law cooked it; he says if you google “cedar plank salmon” it will tell you all about how to do that method. You basically soak the cedar planks in water for an hour and then place the salmon on them and cook at medium high on the grill – keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t flare up, but it should be smoking. For the marinade, he didn’t measure but it was a mix of dijon mustard, lemon juice, dill and Old Bay. I hope that helps! If you want a similar recipe that’s done in the oven that has specific measurements for the marinade/ingredients, check out my Baked Salmon with Lemon Mustard Dill Sauce! The marinade was similar. :)

  7. 11

    Looks like a wonderful trip! We are headed to OBX in a few weeks with our 6 month old. Any suggestions on baby gear that came in handy on the beach?

    • 12

      We had a little baby pool with us for the beach but she wasn’t super into it yet, so we just had her hang out on a towel with toys while we were at the beach. For the big pool at our house, we either held her or used an infant floating thing (with a nice sun shade which was helpful) like this one. Other than that, swimsuits, and a baby hat and some sunscreen (we like ThinkBaby brand), we didn’t need much specific for the beach/pool! For her sleep, we brought a pack ‘n’ play. Have fun! :)

  8. 13

    This looks like so much fun! I love the idea of having the grandparents watch the babies while all the “kids” get to go out. I try to offer to watch my brother’s kids every once in a while so he and my sister in law can get a usually much needed night out on their own.

  9. 15
    Jennifer says

    We have given up on Sunset Grill, never had a good meal there. Coastal cravings isnour new fave, especially since they now have the live music venue/bar in the back. We live part time in Southern Shores but still do a big house for extended family gatherings in Duck. So fun!

  10. 17

    That sunset is gorgeous! Yummm Duck Donuts – we have one in Charlotte and I’ve become obsessed.


  1. […] week adventures with Matt’s family. My first post talked all about the food highlights, so check that out first if you missed it! Now it’s time for the fitness/outdoorsy highlights from the […]

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