Throw Your Own Farm Dinner

photo (72)Summer is in full swing! That means the garden is at its peak, the farmers markets are bursting with a rainbow of colors and fresh produce, the sun is setting later leaving a blanket of stars and warm nights filled with the flickering fireflies. What better way to celebrate the summer than to grab your closest friends and throw your own farm dinner! You don’t have to have an extravagant six course meal with wine pairings! You can have a good ole Eastern Shore shin dig right in your back yard using local produce from your local farms and wineries.

Things You’ll Need:

  • A fun guest list, a time, and a place.
  • Large table and enough chairs for people to sit
  • Table cloth, plates, silverware, cups and wine glasses
  • A menu and recipes for dinner
  • Food, wine or spirits
  • Lanterns, candles, flowers, music

Plan your menu ahead so you know what you’ll want to have for each course and also be prepared. Focus on what’s in season during the time you hold your farm dinner. Summer has the best selection for fresh produce, tomatoes, squash, peppers, melons, and berries are at their peak. If you have your own garden, choose one recipe that you could use your own harvest or visit your weekly farmers market or closest produce stand to purchase your fruits and vegetables. Find a local brewery or winery in your area to use for spirits. Make your own porch iced tea that has been brewed in the sun all day. We’re in prime fish and seafood season during our summer months. Buy from local crabbers, seafood distributors, or fisherman, (If you’re lucky enough to know someone in the trade, invite them to your dinner maybe they’ll bring something to help with the main dish!)

Chose 3 or 4 dishes, when you’re planning your menu so you don’t spend so much time in the kitchen and more time with your guests. Summer is perfect for cold dishes so pick one or two you can prepare ahead of time. Appetizers and desserts are perfect for preparing earlier before your guests arrive. Need some ideas? How about Caprese Salad, fresh tomatoes and mozzarella smothered in olive oils, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and fresh basil. What about raw Strawberry Cobbler or grilled peaches with homemade whipped cream for dessert? Make your own salad dressing, marinades, or sauces for your main course. Chose fish, chicken, or crab for your main course, they take less time to cook and tend to have easier recipes.

Set your table. Have fun with it! The more mismatched your plates, silverware, and glassware the more rustic and fun it will be. Find a great place in your yard, driveway, porch, or even inside to hold the dinner. Decorate your table with a tablecloth, flowers, or candles. Place flat ware, silverware, glassware and desired places for each guest. Make sure you have a chair for each person coming also. Need a little light and ambience? Use lanterns or tiki torches. You can even put place cards out or let people sit wherever they’re comfortable.

Have your guests arrive 30 minutes before dinner. Let them mingle and enjoy a cocktail while you put the finishing touches on the first course. Have everyone sit down when you’re ready, give a toast, share some great stories and lots of laughter, eat slowly, enjoy your company, and indulge in all the incredible sights, smells, and tastes of summer!

 Back Porch Lavender-Peach Sun Tea

  •  5-6 green tea bags
  •  3-4 fresh peaches
  •  2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
  •  2 tablespoons honey
  •  1 lemon- sliced
  •  2 tablespoons chocolate mint (more sprigs for garnish)
  •  Ice

Bring water to a boil. In a pitcher add tea bags, pour boiling water into pitcher and let steep for 15-20 minutes. In a separate container using a tea strainer, add lavender and mint, then steep for 8-10 minutes. Compost used lavender and mint leaves. Add lavender and mint infusion to pitcher with tea bags. Add lemon slices and honey. Stir well. Let tea sit in the sun for an hour or more too cool and absorb all the flavors. In a mason jar, add ice and pour tea. Garnish with mint sprigs.





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About Farm, Foodie and Fitness

Kelly Roberts is a Healthy Living Advocate. She is the owner and CEO of Beach Pilates and Wellness and Farm Foodie Fitness. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and received her training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York City. Fueled by passion, she founded her holistic health practice, Farm Foodie Fitness. She educates and teaches her clients and the community the life changing benefits of nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle. Her practice consists of corporate and private clients from all across the country. Kelly is also the owner of Pilates on the Beach in Ocean City, Maryland and Bethany Beach, Delaware. She offers classes out on the beach for locals and visitors from May to September. She is a Certified Pilates instructor by world renowned Body Arts and Science International. BASI Pilates ®. For the past ten years, she has specialized in Pre and Post-Natal, athletes, rehabilitation, and clients with chronic illness. Kelly also offers private one-on-one sessions, as well as semi-private sessions. Kelly first discovered Pilates twelve years ago after a serious car accident left her with debilitating back and neck pain. She incorporates the Pilates method into her teaching and daily practice to maintain movement, a healthy lifestyle, and to live pain free. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Salisbury University with a concentration in Mass Media. Her passion for nutrition and food lead her to Alissa Cohen, where she studied to become a Certified Raw Chef. She enjoys incorporating raw foods into her diet and sharing her knowledge with her clients, friends, and family. She offers private and group cooking classes, food demos, and has also been a private chef to a number of families. Also a Certified Master Gardener, she understands the importance of fresh, local foods, and knowing where your food comes from. Kelly offers gardening knowledge, advice, and hands on training through community gardens. She also teaches elementary children the benefits of nutrition and how growing your own food through edible school yards. Kelly is also a published author; her fiction novel, "The Road to Chianti" and her summer and winter cookbooks, "Farm Foodie Fitness Homegrown.” She has been featured in Mind Body Green, Charleston Home Magazine, and many other publications. Kelly recently released her first fitness DVD "Beach Pilates and Wellness, Pilates Mat Workout." She also has a successful health, nutrition, fitness, and organic gardening blog. Make sure to check it out! When Kelly is not running businesses she's chasing her two little ones. Contact Kelly to book seminars, demonstrations, book signings, or speaking engagements.

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