Family, friends, food & wine, always makes for a good time

This past weekend was so much fun! My grandpa is home and feeling/looking great, the weather was beautiful and I got to hang out with my sisters, my parents and my best friends. Not a bad weekend. :)

Saturday evening we had my best friend Heather and my Aunt Maureen and Uncle Kevin over for dinner. We sat outside and grilled (thanks Mom and Dad, dinner was delicious!) It was such a nice night out. The food was wonderful and the company was even better!

The star of my blog this weekend, Uncle Kevin!


I <3 burgers

S'more? S'more what?

After dinner we hung out, chatted, looked at pictures from the wedding and whatnot. Afterward my cousin Catie who lives across the street came over to hang – it was so good to see her!

(*Side note, Catie grew up five blocks away from me – well, for most of our lives anyway – and she married “Chris across the street” (from my family.) Basically, Catie my cousin married Chris my neighbor, who is like a brother to me! Quite romantical.)

Anyway, Colin, Catie, Heather and I went into town to meet my other best friend, Mary and her boyfriend Matt at Horace and Sylvias for a few drinks (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT!)

Sunday Colin and Pops went out to Greenport to golf and my Mom and I got up early, went to mass, then headed out east ourselves. We had a different agenda though. Golf? No thanks! Wine? Yes please!

We packed a kick-ass lunch and brought it with us to Jamesport Vineyards, a beautiful, sustainable vineyard in Jamesport, NY that has been around since 1981.

From their website:

“Sustainable farming attempts to minimize environmental impacts and ensure economic viability in a safe and healthy work environment. We incorporate environmentally and economically sound production practices in our management of vine growth, weeds, diseases, insects, and soil fertility. We encourage you to come visit us to learn more specific information about how Jamesport Vineyards practices sustainability.”

Jamesport is one of my parents favorite wineries out east on Long Island. They also love Pellegrini Vineyards which is gorgeous as well…Both nice places for weddings. :)

My mom and I had such a lovely time together!! I literally LOVE when I get to spend some one-on-one time with my mom. We laugh so much, and she always makes me feel better about all my worries. I feel like I have a lot going on right now and a lot on my plate so it was so great to just let it all out and have my mom be there to listen and make me feel better.

While we were there we tried all whites – The Reserve Chardonnay 2007, The Reserve Sauvignon Blanc 2009 and Riesling 2008. I really loved the Sauvignon Blanc – very tasty. I literally could have hung out here all day; the sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, we had food and wine and to top it all off a great band was playing. What more do  you need on a Sunday afternoon?

Mom :)

Jamesport Vineyards

Our wines


So pretty

Friggin love a good turkey sandwich

The band

Enjoying my vino



Such a cutie

Hi Birdie

After the vineyard, my mom and I met up with Dad and Colin along with the O’Doherty’s (close family friends who have a house out in Greenport) for lunch. I had an amazing lobster roll at Claudio’s.

When we finished lunch we said bye to Mom and Dad and headed to the ferry. Back to Boston!

Overall, an A+ weekend. SO happy to see my parents, my sisters and my best friends. :)

Top 5 Summer Dishes

{Thanks so much A Boston Food Diary!}

As a person who is incredibly obsessed, Summertime to me means one thing- celebrating the delicious flavors of the season.  I have been tasked with the job (delightful job if you ask me) of coming up with my top five list of Summer Dishes.  So in true Tonight Show fashion I present

The Summer Taste Top 5:

#5 Gazpacho

What could celebrate the season more than the combination of fresh local ingredients blended into a tomato base all in a refreshing chilled soup.  The flavors of Gazpacho are so light and yet full of flavor and spice, it makes it the perfect dish to cool off with during a hot day.

#4 Clam Chowder

On the exact opposite end of the spectrum, here in New England, there is nothing better than a delicious bowl of piping hot New England Clam Chowder.  It has always seemed so strange to me to indulge in something boiling hot and creamy during a hot and sticky day, but the wonderful combination of flavors from smoky bacon, fresh herbs, native clams and hearty potatoes is just irresistible.

#3 Freshly Grilled Hamburger

Of course another great feature of the Summer in Massachusetts is that our weather (usually) finally gets nice.  That means that since we’ve all been cooped up all winter hibernating from the cold and the wind and the snow and the ice, we relish every moment of the better weather.  In my opinion the best way to do this is to grill outside on a barbeque and what could be any better than a big juicy fresh hamburger.  Seasoned just the way you like, cooked to your desired doneness, and accented with just a little ketchup and mustard, maybe some fresh lettuce and onion- really is there anything better?

#2 Lobster Roll

Now, as wonderful as every piece of living in this area is, there is nothing that is as wonderful, or as delicious, as a fresh, lightly dressed Lobster roll made from the meat that our lobstermen pulled in that morning.  The sweet meat, combined with just a little bit of mayo and celery, piled high in a hot dog roll-well they are just incredible and we are so lucky to live in an area with Lobster meat is readily available and we can get our fill of these wonderful treats!

#1 Caprese Salad

As phenomenal as so many summer dishes are, there is one that is near and dear to my heart.  I remember the tomato plants that my mother would grow each year, the rosy fruits ripening in the hot summer sun, the scent of the tomato so strong you smelled them each time you walked past.  Those tomatoes were succulent and juicy and when paired with home grown basil and just a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and maybe even a little fresh Mozzarella cheese…well there is nothing so simple, so delicious, so perfect.

So those are my top five summer dishes- and now that I think about it- I am incredibly hungry- thank goodness it’s summer!!!