Monday, July 11, 2011

Carriage Club, Westport Food Truck Festival, and Sunday Berger BBQ!

 Another fun-filled, jampacked, and amazing weekend!  It goes without saying that I consider myself incredibly, ridiculously, amazingly lucky to have such wonderful friends that I cherish so immensely!

 It started out with the Carriage Club on Friday where the kids swam while the adults schmoozed, although I suppose the wives were actually all kind of in crappy moods, but S&Z hugging and posing for the camera quickly erased my shitty attitude!

Saturday was the Rounhill pool, which shabby and rundown as it is, is still such a fabulous resource to have literally one block away, the baby pool is shaded, and there were tons and tons of other neighborhood kids there.  We really are so fortunate to have such a cute little pool/tennis club right at our front door.  After S's afternoon nap we headed over to the Westport Food Truck Festival, which I know I've spoken about before.  It was a great idea, don't get me wrong, but the combination of some crucial rookie mistakes, with the 100-plus-degree heat, made for a rather interesting evening, to say the least.  Here are my thoughts for improvement:
1)Hold the festival in October when cooler weather will better lend itself to the heavy, filling, and mostly fried foods
2)If you are going to charge $5 per person and then proceed to charge quite a bit for the food on top of that, once you get in, the admission price really needs to get you something.  For instance, kick-promos or coupons/discounts to participating vendors, a couple drink tickets, etc.
3)If they want people to try all the different food trucks and give them all a shot at making money and increasing awareness, a few things need to be done.  A) Someone needs to get all the food menus in advance so there are not 13 tacos, 12 hot dogs, and 6 cupcakes.  There needs to be some oversight over the menu so people have a variety to choose from and don't feel like everyone is serving the same exact thing. B)Prices need to be lower to encourage trial and repeat visits.  The whole point of the festival was to get people to try multiple trucks and acquaint themselves with a number of different cuisines and offerings, this is not possible when each truck is serving a pricier meal.  Lastly, C)portion portion portion!  Serve smaller, more affordable portions so that people can SAMPLE!

However, the evening was still a lot of fun and we did finally get to try Magical Meatball Tour, which was DELISH!  Other than that, it was just too hot and the food just not conducive to trying a bunch of different things.  So we grabbed a drink at The Foundry where we gave S her dinner and enjoyed a nice glass of Pinot.  Then it was on to Peachwave and nighty night!

Sunday, I spent most of the day preparing for our Sunday Berger BBQ!  We definitely had a great menu plan.  Grilled whole butterflied chicken, turkey burgers, grilled asparagus, portabello's, plus bread for the non-grain-free peeps, and chips/salsa, plus a grain-free, vegan, sugar-free Peach Cobbler.

The chicken was phenomenal.  I marinated it all day in the Raspberry Balsamic vinegar I bought at The Oilerie in Fish Creek.  Just the vinegar, and then seasoned with thyme, kosher salt, and pepper on the grill.  It was amazing, thank goodness we have leftovers!  If you've not butterflied and grilled a whole chicken before, I definitely suggest you give it a try.  Skin side down for 15 minutes, then another 20 on the other side.  It's awesome!  And I got to use my Meyer Lemon Olive Oil on the veggies, which was fantastic as well.

Per usual when I am baking, I did not follow directions, not even close.  But it came out pretty good and everyone lapped it up happily!  I do have som2e suggestions for improvement, of course!  Next time I would probably not make it vegan and use Smart Balance in the crumble, or would not have left it sitting out for so long before I baked it, and perhaps that would have kept the coconut butter a bit cooler.  I think it melted sitting out so the crumble could not come together properly in the oven.  Also, the peaches weren't ripe enough, even after maserating with lemon juice, sweetener, and extracts.  But here goes!

Grain-Free, Vegan, Sugar-Free Peach Crumble
2 lbs peaches, sliced
juice of one lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sugar substitute, plus 2 teaspoons
1/4 cup brown sugar substitute
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 coconut flour
4 ounces coconut butter
Toss peaches with lemon juice, extracts, and 2 teaspoons sugar and let sit for 30 min to one hour.  Place in 9 inch diameter baking dish.  Pulse sugar subs, almonds, coconut, and flours in food processor very lightly until just combined, then drop in clumps of coconut butter and pulse until clumps form.  Spread evenly over peaches and bake at 425 for 25 minutes. 

So in summation- I am so very thankful for my great friends, fun weekend, yummy new recipe, new olive oil and vinegar, the proliferation of food trucks, my daughters unending ability to make other people, young or old smile and laugh hysterically, and my wonderful family that I treasure spending every spare moment with.  Keep on giving thanks, until next time!

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