The Family That Eats Together…

…Stays together. Over the last two weeks I’ve had the good fortune to do lots and lots of eating and cooking with my family. From graduation parties to BBQs to a 4th of July lobster fest, we’ve done it up right. So while I’d love to go into detail about every bite of food I’ve consumed, I’m going to select a few of the standout highlights. Let’s start with last night’s LOBSTER FEST in the Hamptons. It is simply not summer until we’ve broken out our gigantic lobster steam pot and made an authentic New England clam bake. What is so great about this way of cooking is you can feed an army with very little effort.

After a full day at the beach we picked up some clams, lobsters, and farm stand vegetables. This meal is so easy to make that I was able to whip up some appetizers, take a dip in the pool, shower, mix a perfect cocktail and have dinner on the table, all before sunset. The first step is choosing the right lobster. First of all, local seafood markets are the key, I’d stay away from lobsters at the grocery store at all costs. 1 1/2 pounders are the perfect size, they retain the sweetness and flavor but offer a hefty portion size. For the clams, I’m partial to little necks, my mom prefers steamers, either will do. Into the big steamer pot you can layer a variety of things, little potatoes, corn, crab legs. Whatever is in season and tickles your fancy.

In the bottom portion of the pot, place water, lemon, garlic, and whatever spices you have on hand. Once the water is boiling, place the larger pot on top with the lobster, clams, and potatoes layered in that order. Let it steam until the clams have opened and the potatoes are fork tender. Serve with some of the broth, drawn butter, and lemon wedges. Add a big salad and some crusty bread and you have the picture perfect summer meal. Eating outside on newspaper is a must!

The next highlight of my family eating tour came at my cousin’s graduation party last weekend. The appetizer and entree spreads were amazing, it felt like there was miles of Italian food as far as the eye could see. Meats, cheeses, pizza, foccacia, seafood, pasta, chicken parm, lasagna, and the list goes on. But the dessert table, both literally and figuratively took the cake. Maybe it was the martini glasses filled with chocolate covered fruit and almonds, the 3 pounds of cannollis and pastries, or the not one but two graduation cakes. I have to admit that this table-scape put some of my event creations to shame. My uncle was beyond proud of his creation and rightly so…this guy knows how to feed a crowd. And they best part is they have seven kids, so I get to indulge in their graduation party offerings year after year.

Finally, I leave you with this simple delicacy that my sister and I perfected this weekend. The Tate’s cookies ice cream sandwich. I’ve sang Tate’s praises before I’m my blog, and I’ll say it again, they’re hands down the best cookies in the world. And when you sandwich a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream between them, they’re frickin’ outrageous. Also, look closely at the picture and enjoy the patriotic manicures we were sporting all weekend courtesy of my 15 year old cousin…what can I say, the girl’s got talent!

Also make sure you check out the not one but TWO new posts! AND Who likes the new blog look?  And the new links? Also, who wants to pay me to make them lobster again…I’m hungry.

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