This past weekend my roommate and I hosted a small gathering of friends at out apartment in South Philadelphia to celebrate the warm weather, and the necessary use of our back porch. We have a small but comfortable back deck and a tiny grill that serves us well. My roomate and I both really enjoy cooking, baking, and hostessing, so we made sure to put on our party hats, and our aprons, and to get down to business.

Everything that we made was mostly from scratch. Starting with home-made salsa with tomatoes, red onion, jalepenos, and cilantro in the food processor. Guacamole and spinach dip were also hand made.

I threw together a fruit salad with anything that I could find:
Strawberries from the farmer’s market, blueberries, raspberries, mango, peaches, grapes, and watermelon. Topped it off with a little bit of lime juice and orange juice for freshness and extra flavor.

For a side I did some veggie skewers, my personal favorite. Easy to make, wonderful to look at, and extremely delicious. I concocted a rainbow of red and yellow bell peppers, red onion, zucchini, and portabella mushroom. Eggplant, cherry tomatoes, green bell peppers, and any kind of fish/meat are excellent additions to these kabobs. I just marinated them with a few brushes of olive oil, but there are plenty of ways to spice these up.

Our main course was burgers. We bought about 4lbs of 90% lean ground beef, added some worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and a few other seasonings (roommate’s recipe, not mine) and formed a bunch of patties. Accutraments included raw red onions, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese.

And finally, my roommate, who is the more superior baker, concocted Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes and Strawberry Lemonade Bars. I’m not totally certain what recipes she used, but I found two similar ones that seem to match what her desserts ended up looking like:

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

Strawberry Lemonade Bars

And of course, more of my favorite Sangria! Sangria! was served, to a pleased crowd, as well as Mojitos, but this time we took the safe/lazy way out and used a mix as opposed to some muddling.

A good time had by all, and hopefully many more to come! Cheers.

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