Friday, July 19, 2013

Cooking out West

As I said yesterday, we have just returned from spending almost a month with my in-laws. Last summer, their house was in complete disarray; they were in the process of putting in an addition, as well as doing a complete kitchen remodel. Last summer, my mother-in-law moved all of her kitchen into her dining room and survived by cooking with only a microwave. But this summer, we got to enjoy the fruits of the labor, and I enjoyed every minute working in the new kitchen.

While we were there, my in-laws welcomed some friends whom they hadn't seen in twenty years. My mother-in-law and I had great fun preparing a dinner to feed 13 people, centered around her famous garden linguine recipe. I made two batches of Peter Reinhart's pain a l'ancienne (recipe here), most of which I turned into garlic bread. (A couple loaves were left plain for the non-garlic lovers.)

I also baked a batch of these banana split brownies to go with my sister-in-law's homemade Tagalong ice cream.

The next morning, my hubby baked a batch of his famous fancy scrambled eggs (eggs with onions, ham, and cheddar), and, having had both cinnamon rolls and blueberry muffins requested, I made both! I used Peter Reinhart's all-purpose sweet dough recipe for the cinnamon rolls (recipe here) and a Cook's Illustrated recipe (via Tracey's site) for best blueberry muffins. I actually baked the muffins twice over our vacation; they truly are the best.

Finally, we took our annual camping trip to Yellowstone. In previous years, we've just brought cold foods in the cooler and visited Yellowstone restaurants, but this year, hubby decided we should actually cook at the camp site. As we pulled into the campgrounds, dime size hail began to fall on the car, and my intrepid hubby built our fire through a continuous rainfall.

For dinner, I'd prepared hobo packets. Hubby was expecting the traditional simple ground beef, potatoes, carrots, and a little butter, but since I was preparing them at home, I decided to go a little fancier. I was inspired by this post on 100 Days of Real Food, and I used her marinade (olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, and salt). In the packets, I included chicken sausage, onion, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and a green pepper (only in hubby's...the rest of us don't like peppers). With our packets, we had yogurt and fruit. We, of course (we were camping after all), enjoyed s'mores for dessert.

For breakfast the next morning, we made campfire eggs-in-a-nest, which was about the most delicious way possible to start our day.


  1. How funny--I pulled ABED off the shelf the other day, after not baking bread in way too long. I made French bread dough. Half is still in my fridge, and will be baked tomorrow. Garlic bread sounds like an excellent idea.

  2. What a wonderful sojurn... with family and great food! I'm jealous! (and happy that we were both making ancienne at the same time!)

  3. Wow, a new kitchen, how fun would that be to cook/bake in that?? I am certain they all appreciated your wonderful efforts. There are people who are not garlic lovers? Who are these people??? lol Your food always looks so good and it always is just the most fun of recipes!