Outdoor picnics

There's a slight theme to the posts this week -- two months delay! My apologies for these delays. Back at the end of April Patrick took a solo trip to visit his family. I took the opportunity to make some fancy ramen for myself and plan a few dates with some of my favorite gal pals. I made all my favorite things that Patrick doesn't like while he was away and served them to said gal pals a la outdoor dining. Here are some of the details:

On Saturday Marianne came over in the afternoon for our Garden Date! I made us a pasta dish (with yucky artichokes according to Patrick) and a bountiful side salad. The pasta dish featured grilled artichokes (packed in oil), baked chicken, and whole wheat penne.

Here are the fruits of our [garden] labor:

We planted some flowers and herbs. I had already started the lettuce on the table (we had a great spring crop of mixed greens lettuce and arugula). I planted begonias and some colorful flower Marianne picked out and shared with me (can't remember the name). I'm happy to report that all the flowers are thriving!  The herbs I planted are thyme, sage, basil, and lavender. Unfortunately I can't report that all the herbs are thriving; we lost the lavender somewhere along the way. It was my "experiment" plant this season.

Then on Sunday Stephanie came over for an evening dinner and a move date. We enjoyed Easy Crab Casserole with steamed broccoli and casserole. This recipe is one of my childhood favorites; Patrick doesn't like imitation crabmeat while it's one of my guilty pleasure. My mom emailed me the recipe for the casserole (below):

Easy Crab Casserole
   From a Melrose Women's Cookbook; Marie Cooke's recipe
1/2 lb crackers (I use saltines)
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cups boiling water
3 Tbsp mustard
1&1/2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
pepper to taste
several dashes Tobasco (I never used this)
2 cans or 1 lb crab meat (I used imitation crab)

Crumble crackers. Add boiling water. Have butter melted and add to crab meat. Fold crab mixture into crackers. Add other ingredients. Mix well. Bake in buttered casserole dish at 400 degrees for 20 min.

After dinner we watched "August: Osage County" and both agreed it was only okay.


  1. You always did love that casserole! Glad you and the girls got together while Patrick was visiting family.

  2. Flowers are beautiful!