I’m pretty behind in posts this week, but that’s because I’ve been celebrating a lot of birthdays. I spent a night out at the Phillies game, enjoyed dinner at a BYOB in South Philly, sang karaoke in honor of a friend’s birth, and tonight will be celebrating a big 3-0 birthday. But in the midst of all of the celebrating, how could I forget to mention the most important birthday of them all? AMERICA! (and Rube Goldberg.)

We had a rooftop bash at our apartment, as I believe will become customary for any holiday involving fireworks. I tried to be very relaxed about it all and encouraged friends to BYO and go potluck, but of course at the last minute I began planning a bunch of fabulous recipes. We had so much produce from the CSA that it would be a shame not to share it.

Sunday morning we were up early to make a healthy batch of Sangria. After that I moved on to an Apricot and Peach Clafouti and an Isaraeli CousCous salad that featured some chard from our CSA. Stu threw together the Barefoot Contessa’s Old Fashioned Potato Salad and I finished everything off with an awesome white bean and garlic scapes dish. We also constructed some veggie kabobs and grilled up some home made burgers, brats, and Portabello burgers for our veg-friendly friends. And I should not forget the highlight of the night though- WHOOPIE PIES!

Click the link below for some recipes from the evening, and stay tuned for more updates in the next few days of other goodies that were enjoyed by all.

I am very thankful that my with my CSA share each week we receive a newsletter listing all of our produce and providing us with recipes in which some of the fruits, vegetables, or herbs are featured. I was especially thankful when we received Garlic Scapes in our share. They are awesome and I’ve been pretty fixated on them for a while. As a kid we had them growing in our backyard but never used them to cook and it wasn’t until recently that I even realized that they were the same thing I’ve been seeing in farmer’s markets for the last year or two. We got some of the green swirly stalks last week and I was anxious to put them to use.  In our CSA news letter was a great recipe for a white bean dip that would work perfectly for our guests on the 4th.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip
From the New York Times

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (3 to 4)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

In a food processor, process garlic scapes with lemon juice, salt and pepper until finely chopped. Add cannellini beans and process to a rough purée.

With motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil through feed tube and process until fairly smooth. Pulse in 2 or 3 tablespoons water, or more, until mixture is the consistency of a dip. Add more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice, if desired.

Spread out dip on a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with more salt.

No photo included, but this was a great dish. We cut pita bread into small triangles for dipping. It was very garlicky- but verrry good!

For dessert I made an apricot and peach clafouti. It came out fine and I’ve been snacking on it all week because we plain forgot to distribute it to our guests. (The whoopie pies stole all of the thunder.) It didn’t withstand the heat too much and I didn’t have the ideal baking dish for it, so I’ll skip the whole recipe all together.

Onto the good stuff- the Whoopie Pies. I found this recipe from Gourmet Magazine online a while ago. I think either the New York Times or the Kitchn did an article on the whoopie pie and it got me all nostalgic. I was afraid it would be too challenging, but it was really incredibly simple. You can find the recipe from Gourmet here.

All in all, it was a wonderful event. It was great to celebrate with old friends and new friends, share food and drink, light sparklers, and get kicked off our neighbors’ roof by the police. I’d say it was a huge hit and I can’t wait until next year to plan an even bigger and tastier event!

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