Dining Al Fresco.

I can’t stop smiling. Finally, after a long winter and a flooded spring, we are into the summer season. We have had a wonderful weekend from start to finish, with great weather and lots of cooking and eating outside. Not only does it make me happy, but the change of venue refreshes the kids’ enthusiasm for dinner time.

We were so laid back this weekend that I grilled all our meals. Saturday we grilled up chicken sausages, and ate them on whole wheat hot dog buns. I choose whole wheat for most of our bread and rolls. I don’t think the kids have ever had white sandwich bread. Makes it easier than starting with white and trying to switch, as we are with pasta and rice. Anyway, I also carmelized onions for the sausages, which Kyra liked a lot. Recently Garrett and Kyra voted for raw peppers over cooked for a taco, so I continued that trend by just making a crudite with raw green and red peppers and some light dip in the middle of the plate. The kids ate a lot of vegetables. Sometimes just varying how you cook the vegetable will make it easier to eat.

Sunday we spent the afternoon at the pool with good friends, so we had to pull together dinner quickly. We had burgers, corn on the cob, and watermelon slices. The kids ate an entire watermelon quarter themselves. It was refreshing and easy.

Today was an epic day of food. We started out at our local Boy Scout Troop’s pancake breakfast fundraiser. It was All-You-Can-Eat, and Garrett challenged me to a pancake eating contest. He ate 6 pancakes before my husband made me stop eating so Garrett could win without getting sick! Final Tally: Garrett 6, Mom 5. Kyra was not far behind with two sausage patties and three pancakes.

After that epic breakfast, believe it or not, we went to the Pawtucket Red Sox game, and kept eating. It was a beautiful day for baseball. Of course we all had hotdogs, popcorn, and ice cream. Somehow when we got home tonight, everyone still wanted dinner. We grilled again, although this time we went for tuna steaks. I also had some frozen stuffed clams that I made as a treat. Finally, I had made an orzo salad this morning with tomatoes and broccoli, so we had some vegetables. Garrett fought me over the last clam, so those were a big hit.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow, and it is hard to believe we may have to eat outside. Sigh. It was good while it lasted.

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