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GIRLS NIGHT IN THE GARDEN










Summer in the midwest is far too short, I try to take advantage of the longer days and warm weather whenever I can. What better way to enjoy summer evenings then sitting on the patio with some good friends. A few days ago, I called a few friends to join me for cocktails in my garden. Midweek and slightly impromptu, it was the perfect opportunity to kick off our shoes and get down to some serious girl talk.





The morning of the party, my faithful sidekick accompanied me in the garden. We filled a basket with fresh herbs and ripe cherry tomatoes.












Back in my kitchen I got to work on prepping for the party. I tossed the tomatoes with lemon infused olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt, then placed them on a sheet pan in the oven. While my tomatoes were roasting , I whipped a block of feta cheese with olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon and thyme. Before my guests arrived, I plated the feta spread with grilled bread and topped it with the roasted tomatoes and an extra sprinkle of lemon thyme.



Upon arriving, my friends were greeted with a refreshing Dark and Stormy cocktail. The warm spice of ginger and rum was balanced beautifully by fresh squeezed lime and a snippet of mint artfully prepared by my husband.



To compliment a selection of cheeses, I set small jars of caramelized onion compote and fig jam on the serving board.


Finishing my platters with fresh herbs is not just esthetically pleasing- a snippet of fresh thyme or rosemary allows for personalized flavor profiles for the cheese and spreads.




As the evening progressed, seasonal fruits added a light ending to the rich appetizers.




We can all agree friends are confidants, a support system, share in your joys, and lend an unbiased ear when you need it. My girlfriends are all of that and more. What I truly cherish is the way your oldest friends can transport us to those carefree days of our youth- laughing and just enjoying the moment.

Cheers to that!








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