Don’t you wish every day could be a perfect spring day in the garden? I had my friends Thi and Simon over recently for an easy dinner on the grill and some croquet.
If you’re a fairly new reader, I should tell you that croquet is not a new activity for me. In fact croquet is part of what inspired me to create The Rose Table. I played croquet almost every single week at my old house while dinner was on the grill. I had a much better (flatter) lawn for it then, plus a covered patio where my croquet set lived so it was always available. The grassy part of my lawn now is quite bumpy and not ideal for croquet and my original croquet set sadly bit the dust (after about 25 years of service). I kind of got out of the habit of playing during the year or so that I didn’t have a croquet set, but my parents gifted me this adorable portable set so I’m bringing back croquet days, bumpy lawn be damned. There’s just something about an easy chat with a mallet in one hand and your wine in another that makes me so happy!
Thi made tzatziki to bring over, which is classic thoughtful Thi. Not only is tzatziki one of my FAVORITE dips, but also paired perfectly with our dinner. (You can get my tzatziki recipe here.)
The wine of the day was Kuhlman Cellars‘ 2019 Hensell rosé, a gorgeous Provence-style rosé. I was lucky enough to first enjoy this wine on the winemaker’s porch in the Texas hill country, which she paired with hummus, Kalamata olives, and cucumber slices. It goes so well with Mediterranean food, making it a perfect choice for the evening.
I kept the menu very simple. In fact, it’s very strange that this menu has never appeared on The Rose Table because it’s one of my top five menus I make for my friends! First I made a Village Salad (better known as a Greek Salad) and popped it in the fridge before my guests arrived. We noshed on tzatziki and pita chips while playing croquet for a bit, then I set water on the stove to make couscous. If you’ve never made a box of couscous, you literally boil water, stir in a flavor packet, add the couscous, take it off the heat, and let it set for ten minutes. It’s one of my favorite side dishes when I’m grilling because I can leave it in the house to do its thing while I’m outside grilling.
Finally, I grilled chicken tenders and beef kofta. I’ve FINALLY added both of those recipes to therosetable.com. I make both all the time because they take only ten minutes to grill and about five minutes to prep. And there you have it! The easiest, yummiest dinner – especially paired with tzatziki!
For dessert, I made Peanut Fudge Ripple Ice Cream the day before. I’ve been on a real homemade ice cream kick lately. This flavor is creamy, crunchy, salty, and sweet. It really has it all! If you’ve never made ice cream with an egg base that you cook, DON’T PANIC. I spent years thinking, “Ugh, I’m so not doing that” and I was horribly wrong. If you can separate eggs, you can make *real* ice cream and you’ll never want to go back. The thing is, it stays creamy for weeks in the freezer. Just make the base in the morning (it takes about ten minutes and the fudge ripple takes about five), then let the base and the ripple chill in the fridge all day before churning your ice cream. Just layer the vanilla ice cream with ribbons of fudge and a sprinkling of peanuts and that’s it!
I hope you enjoyed this evening in the garden with me.
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