dinner party

Smokin’ Weekend

Over the weekend we got to try out our new Traeger smoker!

Saturday

We had another couple over for dinner to have ribs. Michael started the ribs at about noon and then we ate at 7-ish.

Michael has been really good at BBQing ribs, it’s one of his specialties, but smoking them for several hours first made them out of this world!

He used a combination of a BBQ seasoning rub and a recipe that the Traeger book recommended (honey, mustard, brown sugar) and then for the last hour of the cooking he added the BBQ sauce.

The ribs were absolutely perfect! The meat fell off the bone. The flavors were so rich and smokey. It was like nothing we’d ever had before. Smoking the ribs was sooo good.

Michael said next time he does ribs he’d do the timing a little different. I think he was saying it was a 3-2-1 process where you smoke them for 3 hours then cook them in foil for 2 hours then the last hour is cooking uncovered on the grill and using BBQ sauce. He said he wanted to play with the time a little bit next time.

Our friends brought a delicious Asian-inspired cucumber salad. The cucumbers were from her garden. The salad was really tasty and went so well with the ribs.

Sunday

Michael bought a giant hunk of brisket at Costco and started the Traeger at 7am. He followed the recipe in the Traeger book for the first time. A few years ago I bought him Franklin’s BBQ book so I think he’ll use that in the future, too.

This was definitely an all day process and he said he should have started it a bit earlier in the morning.

I picked the first batch of jalapenos from the garden and Michael pickled a bunch and then saved a few and made poppers as an appetizer. SO TASTY!

Michael’s mom and stepdad, sister and friend Jeremy came over to be guinea pigs for the first ever brisket.

Once the brisket was done, we wrapped it in foil to rest for almost an hour.

More wine:

And the unveiling!

Michael’s mom made potato salad from scratch and Michael’s sister made a delicious salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and onions. It was all really tasty and went perfectly with the meat.

For a first attempt, the brisket was really, really good. There were a few tough pieces but for the most part it was great! The flavor was outstanding. We are all super excited to try again!

Sleep Over

Over the weekend I had the pleasure to help a friend celebrate her upcoming wedding! My friend, Samantha, is getting married in August and we had her bachelorette party over the weekend.

I’ve known Sam for over 11 years. We worked together in my last job. She was the “floater” who would cover the people on vacation or leave so we met one day when she was covering for someone in my unit. We became friends right away. Sam is an awesome, funny, smart, strong lady who is the QUEEN of PUNS. 😀

On Saturday a group of people got together for lunch to start the party! We met at Matador–one of my favorite restaurants (and where we had our rehearsal dinner!).

I got the street tacos and the brussels sprouts. The sprouts were AMAZING! So delicious! I got a Mojito (they usually have Boneyard on tap but not this time, bummer!). There were 12 of us there to celebrate this awesome lady.

After lunch we had some time to kill before we could check in at the AirBnB so we stopped for gelato:

After that we all headed to the house that was rented. It was in Sandy, so not far from Mount Hood. I was the first one there and got to poke around before everyone else saw it. WOWZA. That house was stunning! There were several rooms with king sized beds and then a few rooms with bunk beds. But that view…words cannot describe how gorgeous it was.

Oh and…there were a lot of animals heads. LOL

And a fire pit:

We were pretty high up but the view was stunning and we could still hear the Sandy River below.

Every body else arrived and we unpacked and unloaded the beverages and picked out our sleeping arrangements. Then settled in for the evening. There was a lot of just hanging out, especially on that deck. I mean, how could you not?

Sam made everyone dinner, despite numerous and frequent requests from guests to help or do it for her. But she wanted to cook everyone a meal to show her gratitude and love. I mean, what an awesome person, right! She made a tofu curry that was absolutely delicious!

There was some wine and some of the ladies brought whisky and tequila (no thanks!!).

Group shot!

Then the fire and roasting marshmallows and making s’mores.

As the sun started to set, Mount Hood poked out of the clouds for the first time. It was breathtaking. There were bats flying around, it was a warm summer night and no one was in a hurry to do much of anything. Before we knew it, it was dark.

We had this gorgeous cake for dessert:

And just hung around around the campfire. My favorite summer activity! I think we all went to bed around 11:30 (party animals!) and it was a nice, quiet house for sleeping. I slept pretty good with my bunkmate in the king bed. She joked that we had the same bedtime routine: eye masks and ear plugs!! I woke up a few times kind of early in the morning because I could smell someone downstairs making coffee. It wafted through the house but I was so sleepy and lazy feeling I just kept going back to sleep. Then up for breakfast with the ladies.

Fresh fruit, granola, yogurt, coffee and mimosas for whoever wanted them) and someone made a “buckle” coffeecake. I’d never heard of it before but it was SO GOOD! It was basically coffeecake with a ton of fruit in it. It was a pretty slow morning. I enjoyed some coffee out on the deck in the sun. It was already a pretty hot day. Then it was time to pack up and say our goodbyes.

I had SO much fun celebrating my friend! She’s an awesome person and I’m so excited for her wedding. And I got to widen my friend circle and made some cool new friends. It was a very fun, relaxing, empowering weekend of ladies!

After leaving I went swimming and then home to my boys!