Going away BBQ

BBQ and bonfires should always be together. They are one of my favorite entertaining activities because it involves, good people, good food, music and the outdoors. With enough luck in the Pacific Northwest your event can stretch from the afternoon until late at night. before I left for Italy I decided to cook up a storm and have some friends over for some good times. I’ll include recipes of what I made here. I went for simplicity since I was making so much food. I apologize in advance for the lack of amount of ingredients listed. I made these recipes up and this was a while ago.

The slideshow at the bottom is more for memories sake of my amazing friends. My wonderful friend Nikki captured a glorious video of my friends giving me travel advice and well wishes. I can’t believe I didn’t cry. My friends are the best and I am so grateful to know such amazing people. It was a perfect way to start my epic weekend.

Mid-feast (some food not featured)

Pulled Pork – I made my first ever Pulled Pork…started it at 4 in the morning since I was up late and didn’t want to get up in a couple hours to start it anyway. I took the simple route. Removed the fat, seasoned it with some salt and pepper, and tossed it into the crock pot with some root beer. Around 4 p.m. I tossed in some Sweet Baby Ray’s and I was set. It could’ve been a million times better, but it was good enough for me and for everyone else!

Jalepeno Mac and Cheese – This was definitely a winner and I’m so glad people were there to help me eat it or I would’ve eaten it all. This recipe is from memory so bare with me on the approximate ingredients.

  • 12 oz of elbow macaroni
  • 1 medium packet of shredded cheddar cheese
  • A couple tbsp of flour
  • 4 tbsp of butter
  • 1.5 cups of milk
  • one cup of chopped jalapenos (I cheated and got some in a jar but I wanted to use the juice for some flavor)
  • breadcrumbs for the top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boiled water and cooked pasta till it was al dente.
  3. Melted butter, added milk, and sifted flour into the mixture on the stove.
  4. Slowly mixed cheese into the mixture until thickened and added the chopped jalapenos and some of the jalapeno juice to flavor.
  5. Added the breadcrumbs and baked for about 45 minutes.

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna – Inspired by a delicous lasagna cooked up by Carl, I decided to make some vegetarian lasagna for my veggie friends.

  • 1 package of corn tortillas
  • Shredded cheeses of your choice
  • 2 cans of Green Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 cans of Red Enchilada Sauce
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1-2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 tsp of tamarind

The recipe was simple, it was all about making quality goodies for the insides.

  1. First I roasted the bell peppers with a little bit of olive oil in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once they looked and smelled nice and roasted, I peeled off the skin a placed them into a zip lock bag to let them cool.
  2. Meanwhile, I chopped the onions and prepped the baking dish for my first layer. With a little enchilada sauce of your choice on the bottom and using corn tortillas in place of what would be lasagna noodles.
  3. Once the peppers were cool, I took took them out and sliced them jullienne. I was careful to save the delicious oil and used it to sautee the onions with. I also added some tamarind, it was an experiment but it came out great. It smelled amazing.
  4. Then I began layering the lasagna, alternating enchilada sauces and mixing up which veggies I wanted to use. For the last layer I placed slices of tomatoes on top and covered it with cheese.
  5. Once it was ready, I baked it at 375 for about 45 minutes.

I forgot to take an after photo with all the chaos, but its in the bottom left corner of the feast photo above. I served it with some sour cream, fresh avocado, cilantro, and salsa.

As staple favorites, I also made my Cheesy Shrimp Bites, Jack Daniel’s Bread Pudding, along with some bruschetta.

We had quite the feast, Emmett brought some tasty quinoa salad, Amanda brought the healthy vegan foods, Ashley brought some homemade chocolate truffles, Katie brought the BEST BISCUITS EVER from Both Ways Cafe, Nikki made nachos…and the boys brought beer, firewood, and instruments. My lovely friend Graham even came down all the way from Bellingham just for the party. It was a memorable night for sure and I have never felt more loved than that night. A special thanks to Katie Lybeck who captured these wonderful moments for me below.

And the video with so much love in it. It’s hard to hear some people but the love is there. It also misses the dear words from my friend Patrick, but just know they were wonderful. I think my last quote at the end is pretty hilarious. Michael poured beer into the fire and I was sad.

I love you all – thank you so much for being a part of my life and making it as wonderful as it possibly could be. Thank you so much for sharing this journey of life with me and enriching my life.

Most importantly, thanks to my lovely friend Jenn who let me host in her beautiful home since I was all moved out even though she was out of town!


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