what’s cooking in il castello di sabbia?

Charleston fall is incredible. I assume today was just a teaser for the weather that is to come—as it’s supposed to be back at 90 this weekend—but nevertheless it was perfect. Blue sky, crisp air, warm sun, gentle breeze, about 75 degrees. And NO humidity. My bliss.

So I took this fall-like day as a note that it’s about time I post photos of our days of deliciousness at the beach this past summer. The annual Abbaticchio beach week (or two) indeed yielded some great homemade feasts with fresh caught crabs, shrimp and tuna, lots of fresh summer veggies and of course, PEACHES.

The drinks were flowing as well in celebration of my 21st birthday, and we made some killer cocktails with fresh herbs and berries.

Play, eat, drink, relax. My kind of routine. Oh how I love the days when there’s nothing to do but watch the sun drift across the sky and enjoy good food, drinks and friends :] Already looking forward to next year!

And now for some culinary highlights of the week…..

One of my favorite meals of the trip was Tara + Jamie’s Vietnamese Bun, a light dish of assemble-yourself vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs and vegetables, shrimp or steak and nuoc cham sauce. The perfect summer dish. Patty sauteed the shrimp with coconut milk, curry and pineapple, adding even more yummy Asian flavors.

Fresh mint brought from mom’s garden

…but wait! Jeremy, Kyle and dad returned home with their dinner contribution, crabs caught out in the bay behind our house. Time for a quick crab feast appetizer….

A proud father.

A perfect combo.

And now back to dinner, featuring chef Jamie….

She shows us how it’s done

And now we eat.

Room for dessert is out of the question in this house. Here Jamie impressed us with her lemon-blueberry cornmeal cake. It was divine.

These photos make Jamie look like the master chef of all the deliciousness here, but I promise we all helped out.

See? Laura contributes by grating a nectarine over the finished cake….hmm..

And now a breakfast of fried plantains– one of my all time favorite foods, and one of the only occasions I will gladly eat something deep fried. I made a cinnamon-maple yogurt sauce for dipping: a mixture of Greek yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla soymilk + cinnamon. MMM.

Another one of my favorite meals: coconut curry shrimp + pineapple tacos with a delicious barley salad, made by (once again) Jamie! I think my eyes were a bit bigger than my stomach, but seriously, how good does that look?!

So there we have it. There were obviously many more tasty meals on this trip that went un-photographed, but I was obviously too busy eating to care :]  It was one successful week of cooking, playing, laughing, swimming, fruity drinking, card gaming and just being together. I can’t wait for next year. But for now, here’s to the fall!!!!


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