It has been a busy summer, to say the least.
Bobby and I have been away from home every weekend since June 28. Our travels have taken us to Minnesota, Washington D.C., Chicago and Kansas City. More on the latter in my next post – with said travel comes a bit of a delay in regular updates!
Today I want to chat about our trip to Chicago two weekends ago. As has been the case with so many of our weekend jaunts this year, it was extremely quick but jam-packed.
The main goal of the visit for me? A summer-themed Pinterest party, of course. We’ve officially tackled three of the four seasons now (winter and spring posts here and here), but I think this may have been our best fête yet.
(Picture courtesy of Lauren)
The setting was idyllic for a summer party. Lauren’s dad has a beautiful new home up in the suburbs that he graciously allowed us to “break in” with our cooking experiments.
Don’t worry, we made sure to clean up afterward! On the menu this season:
Sizzling Summer Pinterest Party Menu
The keyword for this season’s menu was “grilled.” We had a great one at our disposal and wanted to take advantage of it as much as possible. ‘Tis the season! Monica and Kelli got to work as our grilling experts, while Lauren and I started in on those delicious cupcakes.
Note: The majority of the food pictures below are courtesy of Monica’s amazing photography. Thank you for letting me use your gorgeous photos, Monica.
This was my first time making cupcakes, and I can’t think of a better introduction than strawberry shortcake. It’s one of my favorite desserts! Monica provided these colorful liners for the pans.
We decided to make a batch that followed the exact recipe, as well as a mini version. I was incredibly pleased with how my first iced cupcake turned out. It ended up being a standard that was nearly impossible to follow, but at least we captured this one for the camera!
The bite-sized cupcakes were topped with the cream cheese frosting and a blueberry.
Once we had finished icing them all, Monica garnished the bigger ones with mint leaves and added them to her decorative cupcake tree. It achieved its goal of making them look even more delicious.
Meanwhile, the veggies for the gazpacho were sizzling on the grill.
Kelli and Monica shucked the corn and blended everything together to get this perfectly chilled soup topped with sliced cucumber and croutons. It had a spicy kick to it – I can’t wait to make it again. We found mint green salsa bowls at the grocery store, which ended up being great serving dishes.
Next up on the list for me and Lauren was making the sangria. Tough job, I know.
Monica provided ultra festive plastic glasses and cocktail umbrellas. The sangria itself was smooth and fruity. I loved having the real pieces of raspberry, blueberry and strawberry in there, too.
Several hours after we began, the individual pieces of our meal came together for the full spread. The grilled peach salad turned out amazing, especially with the balls of minty pesto.
The grilled corn on the cob was fantastically smoky and spicy with its paprika and Parmesan topping.
And the grilled pizza melted into yumminess with fresh basil from Monica and Kelli’s garden.
It was a labor of love, but as is always the case, oh so worth it for that final, “Cheers!”
Of course, the ultimate test comes in measuring our ability to match the Pinterest pictures.
I’d say that the above combined with every other picture in this post = Pinterest party success.
Can’t wait to see what the fall will bring for us, ladies! So lucky to have you all in my life.
What summer recipes are you loving this year?