July Eating Club: A Very Berry BBQ

1 08 2011

Happy August Friends! I know that I am not the only one who has no idea how August is already here! Although to be honest, at the end of every weekend, I say that I can’t believe its almost Monday and at the end of every month, I profoundly exclaim that I can’t believe the month is over. Time flies when you’re having fun 🙂 Or as Chris would say, “Time’s fun when you’re having flies.”

Anyyyway, I know that you all were on pins and needles wondering when we were going to have Eating Club in July. Don’t worry, we have yet to miss our monthly (and VERY important) all girls food fest and we had no plans of skipping it in July either. We squeezed in a Sunday afternoon club meeting yesterday afternoon. Since berries are ripe for the picking these days, Steph and I thought that it would be really fun to have each girl come up with a dish (drink, appetizer, main dish, side or dessert) that incorporated some type of berry. Kind of like an Iron Chef, Eating Club Style. Other than the rule that each dish had to have some type of berry in it, the girls were free to create whatever their hearts desired. The girls did not let each other down!

Eating Club this month was at my house. Girls showed up around 5:30 and immediately dug into some strawberry, raspberry and pineapple salsa, served with cinnamon chips…

After snacking and catching up for a bit inside, we headed up to my rooftop patio, which is complete with grills and patio tables with chairs.

We enjoyed Allie’s Cranberry Walnut Bread.

I awkwardly poured everyone some Berry Spritzer…

We got the grills going with Steph’s strawberry chipotle BBQ ribs and my shrimp, mango and blackberry skewers, which had been marinating in a sesame gingery teriyaki sauce for a few hours!
The girls hung out and tried not to sweat in the heat. It was hot, but so nice to be outside on the roof!
Allie kept me company while I manned the grill, and filled me in on life in Charlottsville VA, working with Matt and Kath at Great Harvest.
The green portion of our meal came in the form of a summer spinach salad with strawberries, raspberries, dried cranberries, candied walnuts AND almonds. The salad was dressed in a raspberry vinaigrette.
Steph’s ribs were out of this world. We both decided that they needed their own post, so stay tuned!
The skewers turned out great as well. The saltiness of the marinade complemented the sugars from the mango and blackberries and the grill gave it all a really smoky BBQ taste.
We managed to get one group shot before digging in, but didn’t pay enough attention to the light and ended up with a half sunny/half shady picture. We were too hungry and hot to retake it though so moved on the feast!
And if our antioxidant and sugar levels were not high enough already…dessert! We decided to move the party back inside to my cool apartment before digging into some ridiculously decadent berry treats.
Blueberry pie STRAIGHT out of the oven…
A berry custard pie, which was made with  a shortcake base, cream cheese custard filling and heaps upon heaps of fresh berries on top!
And last but definitely not least, oatmeal raspberry preserve bars. These were so simple, so sweet and so unbelievably addicting! (I asked to keep the leftovers!)
We each made ourselves a plate of dessert and sunk into the floor, couch, chair or any other space where we could begin digesting this amazing meal.
If you are just hearing about EC for the first time, check out our previous meetings. Each month we feature a recipe that one of the girls created. This month’s featured recipe is…

Oatmeal Raspberry Bars

(Created by Jenny and adapted from Real Simple)


What You Need:

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups raspberry preserves

What to Do:

  • Heat oven to 350° F. Place the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the ingredients are combined and the dough is crumbly. Add the oats and lemon zest. Pulse to combine. Press 2/3 of the dough firmly into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Spread the preserves evenly over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining dough over the jam, gently pressing down. Bake until golden brown. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Cut into 24 bars. Enjoy!

Question of the Day: If you could pick one ingredient to be used on Iron Chef, what would it be?