I recently took a 3-day “stay-cation” with my someone special. We figured, well Santa Barbara is a hugely popular vacation destination – just because I live here doesn’t mean I can’t vacation here too! So that’s exactly what we did. And we planned our three days to look like this: one day for the beach, one day for the mountains, and one day sandwiched between them for absolutely nothing at all. The chillaxin’ day.
But as it turns out, neither of us are very good at doing nothing at all. Silly type-As. So we filled our “nothing” day with all sorts of kitchen witchery, which we both adore (creative collaboration at its finest!), and spent the hours conceptualizing and executing an epic barbecue. Here’s how it went down:
Priorities, people. First thing we did was make coffee – iced of course – and spent a goodly chunk of the morning lying around like lazy laze-balls.
When the hunger pangs came strong enough to motivate us into action, we decided that there was simply nothing else that we wanted except for big sloppy plates of tofu scramble and home fried potatoes. Which, alas, we did not have the fixin’s for.
It was the perfect little teaser from our Farmer’s Market haul that we’d gotten the day before – a prelude of all the amazing produce that this day would bring.
While the food cooked, I made a giant juice for us to share. Because every meal is better with green juice!
And then finally, breakfast. Er, well, “breakfast”.
Tofu scramble with grilled bell peppers, portobello mushrooms, and red onions, plus black olives and fresh spinach, topped with melted vegan cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, and heirloom tomato. Oven-roasted golden potatoes with onion and Mexican spices, topped with green onion, avocado, and heirloom tomato. It was so good I wanted to cry.
After a meal as magical as that, you’d think that food would be the last thing on our minds. But nope, back into the kitchen we went. We had grillin’ veggies to prep! Here’s some of what was on the night’s menu . . .
After all that food prep, we had an important errand to run. See, up until that day, I’d had no outside seating in my back yard. But finally, finally I was inheriting a table! A beautiful old well-worn and gorgeous teak table – hence the celebratory barbecue.
We brought it home tied to the roof of my car:
And toasted our success with another round of iced coffee – rice whip topped this time:
**As an aside, that Califia almond milk is the best I have ever tasted, by far. It’s insanely good. Also, they just came out with this which makes me want to cry the happy tears.
In the afternoon we made and shot a new addition to the Sunday Morning Cocktail series, and before we knew it, it was time to get started cooking again.
We worked slowly, enjoying the evening. There was music, and dance breaks. It was a perfectly warm July night, just a bit of an ocean breeze, and Harley snapping at the Junebugs. Yes, perfect, I think.
It got harder to take pictures as the sun disappeared, which it did, as we continued our grillin’ into the dark of night. It was a late dinner, and lovely like that. Nibbling as we worked, we kept our hunger at bay until it was finally time to dive in.
Amazing. The corn and the tofu were the surprise standouts, with the portobellos as a close third.
Grillin’ and chillin’. A good day, indeed.