Perfect Weather Here In The Lowcountry – Time To Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market And Enjoy The Outdoors
We are enjoying perfect weather here in the Lowcountry. Sunny days with low humidity makes it a great time to enjoy spending time outside.
Now is a great time to spruce up our outdoor space. We have so many trees and lots of pollen here in Bluffton, South Carolina. Until now it just did not make sense to do any cleaning of our porch or patio until the pollen subsides.
Alfresco Dining And Picnic Time
Alfresco dining overlooking the marsh in our backyard is one of our favorite things to enjoy before the extreme heat arrives in the summer. Also, this is the time of year that we change up our meal planning to include more grilling and lighter fare. Check out our new featured recipe for Garlicky Provencal Artichokes And Tomatoes recipe, and stay tuned for some of our very favorite summer inspired recipes.
We are always looking for a quick and easy side dish to serve with grilled meats or fish. Well, we found a winner! Sometimes it is best to search for recipes based on what you have on hand or in the pantry. We ALWAYS have Campari tomatoes and canned artichokes. This recipe is inspired by one of Valerie Bertinelli’s recipes. Of course, we “tweaked” it a bit to make it our own. It was so delicious that it is sure to become one of our “go to” items.
Of course, we had to find the perfect wine to pair with this dish. The Nickel & Nickel Truchard Vineyard Chardonnay was a great choice!
The Perfect Summer Side Dish To Serve With Grilled Meats Or Fish
Garlicky Provencal Artichokes And Tomatoes
- April 29, 2022
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- 1 14 ounce can artichokes, drained and rinsed
- 2 - 3 tablespoons pitted and halved kalamata olives
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 5 Campari tomatoes quartered or 3 Roma style tomatoes quartered (we like the Campari tomatoes as they are sweeter)
- 2 strips of lemon peel (about 1 inch wide and 2 inches long) and juice of half of the lemon (use only the yellow skin and not the bitter pith). We used a vegetable peeler and it worked perfectly
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- Optional: Can add 1/4 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- Step 1
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- Step 2
- Place all of the ingredients in an oven safe baking dish
- Step 3
- We added half of the basil in the dish and saved half to sprinkle when removed from the oven
- Step 4
- Bake for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are softened (stir half way through the cooking time)
- Step 5
- Place on a platter and serve with fish, chicken or meats. This would be great with grilled shrimp, too!
Also, this is the best time to enjoy a picnic in the park or overlooking the beach. Lately, we have been keeping things simple and just picking up some chicken salad, a fresh baguette and some grapes and heading out. Check out some of our favorite picnics in Napa Valley. Or, we love to head to the beach house for a little nosh.
Although we have been here for a year and a half, it seems like yesterday due to Covid restrictions and staying close to home. Thankfully, we have been able to stay healthy and to not get the virus.
Upcoming Projects Going On The Calendar
Eventually, we want to add a screened area out back. The temperatures here are conducive to spending time outdoors most of the year, but the bugs can be a challenge.
It is almost impossible to get contractors for any projects in our area. Any small projects are just being pushed aside to allow for major renovations or new builds. There are virtually no homes available in our community and many people are remaining in their homes and doing major renovations.
One option is to order a conservatory structure (pictures courtesy of Tanglewood Conservatories) that would be positioned on our deck area in the back. This would involve extending our existing deck and installing a foundation. We love the look of a traditional conservatory and perhaps this would be a good choice. Click on the link above and let us know what do you think of this “look”?
The Perfect House For Us
We were lucky to get a house that suits our needs. There are a few projects that we would like to tackle, but we are taking one day at a time and enjoying life. Construction projects are always a challenge. Our small kitchen “redo” even challenged our nerves. All we did was replace the countertops, install new appliances and backsplash. It made a huge difference and we love the results, however, it was a bit of a disruption.
South Carolina Or Bust
We were originally planning to escape the summer heat in North Carolina this summer. Then, we decided to just stay close to home (except for a short trip to Charleston and our usual business trips to Florida) to get to know our area better.
Staying here will provide us with an opportunity to visit our local farmer’s market, pick our own produce in St. Helena and just enjoy the sunshine and blue skies. Check out this “bounty” of veggies we got recently.
What do you have planned for summer?
Life is good and we are planning to enjoy every minute.