Friday, July 11, 2014

A Dinner Al Fresco with Fred

As a family, we LOVE to eat out on our patio! Dinner is always a great time to bond with family and when you do it outside, it adds a great element of fun for everyone! Tonight we decided on a simple steak with brussels sprouts and a caprese salad. Can I share a recipe with you? Great!

The filet we cooked tonight comes from a friend of ours. A while ago, we went in with a friend and purchased a side of beef from a local farm. After hearing of this, my daughter decided to name our cow "Fred". Every time we have any sort of beef in our house, we all know that we are having some Fred. Fred is super delicious and very lean. All we used to make these awesome filets was salt, pepper and butter. That's all it needed. Jay popped these babies on the grill for a bit and we had wonderful medium-rare steaks in no time! 

This caprese salad was AMAZING! I found some high quality mozzarella at the market and used basic roma tomatoes. The thing that makes this salad so amazing is the oil and vinegar. Last year, Jay and I went on a long tour of the Mediterranean. While we were in Tuscany, we stopped at a wine tasting shop to sample amazing wines, olive oils, and balsamic vinegars. We ended up coming home with an amazing array!

On the far right in the picture above is our balsamic vinegar from Tuscany with the olive oil in the center. Let me just say, any good quality oil and vinegar would be great if you don't have any Tuscan lying around ;) On the far left, I give you our wine pairing for the evening. I stumbled upon this brand while shopping in my local liquor store. "Chime" Cabernet Sauvignon-2012 was the perfect red to add to this meal. It was light and went down easily with the steak. 

The other uber-important part of the salad (and mostly because I want to show off my green thumb) was the basil. I grow this basil right in the window in my kitchen. It is very fresh an flavorful! The best part is, it gives my daughter the very important job of picking the basil,crushing it up and sprinkling it on top of the salad! (How else would I get her to eat it?!)

The brussles sprouts have a few more steps involved, but is still a super simple side dish to make. Lucky for you, I have provided the recipe below!

(PS... Did I just make you a fancy dinner in 30 minutes? I think so!!!)

Brussels Sprouts

Serves 4
Prep Time: 10mins
Cook Time: 30mins
1 1/2 lbs of Brussels Sprouts
5 Strips Thick-Sliced Applewood-Smoked Bacon
1 Yellow Onion
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Cut the base part of all of your Brussels Sprouts off and discard. Cut the sprouts into halves. (If small leaves come off of sprouts, GREAT! Those pieces become super crispy and make this dish even better!) Lay on a large ungreased cookie sheet.
3. Slice the bacon into 1/4 inch pieces, add to Brussels Sprouts.
4. Slice Onion into large pieces, add to Brussels Sprouts.
5. Drizzle Olive Oil on top of Brussels Sprouts, Add Salt and Pepper to taste (I prefer pretty generously)
6. Using your hands, Mix all ingredients together coating thoroughly.
7. Bake for 30mins or until leaves become golden brown.

These sprouts are so good, my 9 year-old finished them first!

Do you love to eat outside? What is your go-to recipe for a night under the stars? I also want to know, what crazy food is your kid in love with? How do you get them to eat it?

Tell me your story! Leave a comment!


  1. YUM! I love sprouts, but Bran doesn't so I never make them. Love your posts!


    1. Thanks, Dear! Maybe you'll receive a mystery batch of sprouts one day! (insert sneaky smirk here)