I've been traveling for the last 10 days, and head out again this afternoon for a long weekend visit to D.C. Most of the last bit of traveling was in St Louis, where I was able to help my mom adjust to (temporary) life in a wheelchair. She's home now, and doing really well! She'll be stuck in the chair for about 12 weeks total, and then will have to do lots of physical therapy once she can put weight on her hip again. It was wonderful to be able to help my family out for a while, to ease some of the burden on my dad, and to cook them some good food! I stuck to simple classics that were easy to transport to the hospital, such as my favorite couscous salad.
I also got to take the lead on planning my sister Colleen's graduation party. She's worked so hard in high school, and my family was thrilled to come together to celebrate her success! She's the baby in the family, and I'm still having a hard time believing she's headed towards college in the fall. Colleen and I decided to have a classic cook out, with burgers and BBQ chicken, plus all the necessary side dishes. I've blogged all these recipes before, but they're so great for summer that I had to share them again!
The potato salad and baked beans recipes both came from the Food Network website, and they are the best versions of two of my favorite foods! Plenty of bacon, good balance of acid and sweet, and just so satisfying. Next time you're planning to fire up the grill, try one of these recipes. Trust me, you won't go back to your old recipes.
We also made the Brewmaster Burgers from the Brooklyn Brewery website. They were so well received at the beer pairing dinner we went to in April, and I was excited to introduce the recipe to my family. Can life get any better than butter in your burgers? This is a perfect example of eating amazing food in moderation. Most days, I'll reach for a veggie or turkey burger, but this burger deserves a place at any celebratory cookout. Everyone thought Joe and I were crazy as we made the burgers, but the silence as people started eating spoke for itself!