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Monday, April 9, 2012

OUTDOOR CONCERT DINING AT CHASTAIN PARK


It's a wonderful Atlanta tradition (to pass the time until football season arrives in the fall ;^) to go to Chastain Park and listen to some amazing music while dining under the stars. It is truly a special venue where you can eat, drink, relax (and definitely "people watch" prior to the concert!).

There are tables available closer to the stage, and then the further back you go there are seats only, and people bring their own trays and food. The key is that the food (and drink) need to be light and refreshing since the weather in the summer in Atlanta is (ah-hem) a tad warm, and perhaps a tad humid as well.


chastain

chastain


chastain
Here's a shot of my favorite artist of all time that I've seen at Chastain - JAMES TAYLOR! He was absolutely fantastic there!

googleimages
Here is a short list of this summer's concerts:

Chastain Concert Calendar 2012
The Beach Boys
Steve Winwood
Michael Franti and Spearhead
KC and the Sunshine Band
The Trammps
Sting
Willie Nelson
with special guest
Earth Wind & Fire
performing with a full string orchestra
Al Green
Blind Boys of Alabama
Sarah McLachlan
with orchestra
Chicago & The Doobie Brothers


But - - - enough about venues and artists! The most important thing (other than the family and/or friends that you're with) is the food! There is food available for purchase at Chastain, and you can also purchase beer, wine, mixed alcoholic drinks and soft drinks there. You will pay a premium for these items however, and it's been my experience that the food is never as good as something I'd prepare. It saves time of course, and it saves the hassle of transporting the food to Chastain and then schlepping it to your seat, BUT (in my opinion) IT IS WORTH IT TO BRING YOUR OWN (and much more fun!).

I've created numerous menus that work at Chastain, and since I'm going several times this summer, I'm going to list a few to choose from. And of course, if you're attending with others, by all means assign dishes to different people so no ONE person has to do all the food prep, and then no ONE person has to do all the manual labor (i.e. my husband) in 95 degree heat and humidity!

CHASTAIN MENU #1:

Individual Mexican 7-layer dip with Tostitos
Boiled Shrimp With Rémoulade Sauce and Spicy Cocktail Sauce served on a bed of Bibb Lettuce
Orzo and Vegetable Confetti Salad
Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
Watermelon Martinis


INDIVIDUAL MEXICAN 7-LAYER DIP with chips


thegirlwhoateeverything
Makes about 8 individual dips

*Note: All measurements are approximate. Depending on whether you want thicker or thinner layers you will need more or less.
1 (16 ounce) can refried beans
1 (1 ounce) package taco seasoning
1 cup guacamole or make homemade guacamole
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 cup chunky salsa or pico de gallo; or make homemade pico de gallo
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of green onions, sliced
1 (2.25 ounce) can of sliced olives, drained
9 ounce plastic tumblers
tortilla chips

In a small bowl mix taco seasoning with refried beans. Here's how the layers are assembled:
Layer 1: beans and taco seasoning
Layer 2: sour cream
Layer 3: guacamole
Layer 4: salsa or pico de gallo
Layer 5: cheese
Layer 6: tomatoes
Layer 7: green onions and olives
In each plastic glass, layer about 2 Tablespoons of the beans, followed by 2 Tablespoons of sour cream, 2 Tablespoons of guacamole, 2 Tablespoons of salsa or pico de gallo, and 2 Tablespoons of cheese. Make sure you drain your salsa or pico to get the excess liquid out before you pour it on. Then top with about 1-2 teaspoons of tomatoes, olives, and green onion (If making ahead of time, wait to add these toppings until shortly before serving).

Garnish with one tortilla chip. Store in the refrigerator until serving and serve with chips. Makes around 8 individual dips.

BOILED SHRIMP WITH REMOULADE AND SPICY COCKTAIL SAUCES

pinterest
4 quarts water
1/2 cup Creole seasoning
2 large lemons, sliced
6 pounds unpeeled, large fresh shrimp

Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a large stockpot. Add shrimp, and cook 2 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink; drain and rinse with cold water.
Peel shrimp, and devein, if desired. Chill until ready to serve. Serve with Rémoulade Sauce and Spicy Cocktail Sauce

REMOULADE SAUCE

4 cups mayonnaise
1/2 cup Creole mustard
1 1/2 TBSP paprika
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
4 large garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Whisk together all ingredients until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

SPICY COCKTAIL SAUCE
1 1/2 cups chili sauce
1 cup ketchup
3/4 cup prepared horseradish
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 to 3 tsp hot sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Stir together all ingredients until blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

ORZO AND VEGETABLE CONFETTI SALAD
by Wendy Weisenburger

thegirlwhoateeverything
2 quarts water
2 TBSP salt
1 ½ cups (11oz) orzo
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (5 oz.) pkg. long grain and wild rice with seasonings
1 (3 oz.) pkg. slivered almonds
½ large red pepper, diced finely
½ large yellow pepper, diced finely
½ purple onion, diced finely
½ cup craisins
¼ cup capers (drained)
¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh parsley

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add the 2 Tablespoons salt and the orzo and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes.

Drain the orzo and immediately toss it with 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Cover and cool completely in the refrigerator.

Prepare the long grain and wild rice according to package directions. Let cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 4 Tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Add the almonds, peppers, onion, raisins, capers, basil, parsley, rice and orzo. Toss to mix well.

To serve, place in a serving bowl or divide among individual plates and garnish with the lemon slices.
Serve at room temperature (or cold is good too). Serves 6-8

CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES

(Adapted from All Recipes)

googleimage

Swirl:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Brownies:
8 TBSP unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang on 2 sides. Mist foil with cooking spray. Make swirl: Using a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and butter until creamy.

Add egg; beat until smooth. Beat in sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Set aside.

Make brownies: In a double boiler, melt butter with chocolate, stirring often.

Remove from heat; stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Transfer to a bowl; cool slightly.

Using a mixer on medium-low speed, beat eggs into chocolate mixture 1 at a time. Sprinkle flour over mixture and gently stir in.

Spread 1/2 of brownie batter in prepared pan. Carefully spread swirl mixture over brownie batter. Spoon remaining brownie batter on top. Use tip of a knife to gently swirl through both batters to form a marble pattern.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour. Remove brownies from pan to cutting board using foil to lift them out. Peel off foil and cut into squares.

These freeze very well if you want to make in advance. Simply take them out the day of the concert, and they'll be perfect by dinner.

WATERMELON MARTINIS
from Jennifer Cooks

jennifercooks
3 cups seedless watermelon, chilled
2 oz Absolut Citron
1 oz Midori Melon liqueur
1 oz fresh lime juice
1 cup ice cubes
watermelon with rind, for garnish

Dice one cup of watermelon into small cubes; set aside. Puree remaining 2 cups of watermelon in a blender and add vodka, melon liqueur, lime juice and ice and blend until smooth. Pour 6 oz martini into each martini glass, add 1/4 cup remaining watermelon into each glass and garnish with watermelon slices.
* For a sweeter martini or if your watermelon isn’t very sweet, add 1 or 2 packets of Splenda, to taste.
* For those who don't drink alcohol, add ice cubes and replace alcohol with a splash of orange or cranberry.

CHASTAIN MENU #2

Crudites with Blue Cheese Dressing and/or
Caprese on a stick
Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches with Sauce
Broccoli Slaw
S'mores Cookies
Lemon Vodka Slush


BACON BLUE CHEESE DIP
(to serve with fresh vegies - and potato chips if you like)

1/2 cup sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese
10 slices bacon, plus 1 slice for garnish, cooked until crisp
5 TBSP crumbled blue cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp celery seeds

Combine all ingredients (except 1 bacon slice and celery sticks) in a food processor.

Blend until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, and refrigerate until party time. Crumble remaining bacon slice and sprinkle over cheese mixture.

CAPRESE ON A STICK

thegirlwhoateeverything

cherry tomatoes
small fresh mozzarella balls
basil leaves
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
toothpicks

Place one cherry tomato, a basil leave (or half a leaf if it is large), and a mozzarella ball on each toothpick. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar if desired and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

MARINATED PORK TENDERLOIN SANDWICHES WITH SAUCE

(Southern Living) 

Sauce
2 cups mayo
2 TBSP minced fresh chives
1 1/2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika

Combine all ingredients; cover and chill at least 8 hours.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Tenderloins
3-4 (3/4 lb) pork tenderloins
1/2 cup olive oil
3 TBSP grated onion
3 TBSP white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Cocktail rolls ( I usually use Sister Shuberts frozen)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Trim fat off tenderloins. Place in large baggie or container. Combine oil and remaining ingredients and pour over tenderloins. Seal bag or cover container and marinate in refridgerator at least 8 hours (up to 1 day). Remove from marinade, reserving marinade. Place on rack in the oven and roast at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
catebogue
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and bake an additional 30-40 minutes (or until meat thermometer is at 160 degees), basting occasionally with marinade.
catebogue
Let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve with cocktail rolls and sauce. Can be refrigerated at this point and are delish cold.

BROCCOLI SLAW
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen (see bottom for blog list)

If you are pressed for time you can easily go with store bought here (Fresh Market or Whole Foods), but if you want to make it yourself here's the recipe:

Smitten Kitchen

Makes about six cups of slaw

2 heads of broccoli
1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

Buttermilk Dressing (Adapted from this salad.)
1/2 cup buttermilk, well-shaken
1/3 cup mayonnaise (this is more than is in the original, to thicken the dressing further)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (or, you could just use a little extra red onion to simplify it)

Trim broccoli and slice it into small pieces. From here, you can either feed it through your food processor’s slicing blade, use a mandoline to cut it into thin slices, or simply had chop it into smaller pieces. I used the stem and the flowerets, but if you have a broccoli stem aversion you can just use the tops.

Toss the sliced broccoli with the almonds, cranberries and red onion in a large bowl. Meanwhile, whisk the dressing ingredients in a smaller one, with a good pinch of salt and black pepper. Pour the dressing over the broccoli (if you’ve skipped the stems, you might not want it all; I otherwise found this to be the perfect amount) and toss it well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.

S'MORES COOKIES
(Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything)

thegirlwhoateeverything

11 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.

Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.

Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)

Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

LEMON VODKA SLUSH
(Adapted from My Recipes)

pinterest
2 (6 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed)
2 (6 ounce) cans frozen limeade concentrate (thawed)
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate (thawed)
3 1/2 cups water
2 cups vodka
1 cup sugar
carbonated beverage (such as 7-Up or Sprite - or diet of either)

In a large plastic container combine all ingredients (except sodas) and mix well.
Cover & freeze overnight.
To serve, scrape a large spoon across the top of the frozen mixture and place 1/2 cup of slush into a 8-oz glass. Fill with soda.

***This drink was a bit too sweet for me.  Next time I make it I'll definitely cut the frozen concentrate amounts in half.

CHASTAIN MENU #3
Gazpacho or Campechana (Mexican Seafood Cocktail)
White bean and roasted red pepper dip with pita triangles
Cold Grilled Flank Steak on Ciabatta
Orange Creamsicle Dip with Fruit
Strawberry Margaritas

GAZPACHO
courtesy of Grow It First with CK Worley blog (see blog list at bottom)

One seeded tomato, cucumber and pepper chopped
Chopped celery, carrot, onion and bunch of parsley
2 chopped garlic cloves and a bunch of arugula chopped.
1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper
Splash of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce.
Combine the ingredients together - cover and refrigerate
*You can use any color pepper you’d like
*You don’t have to seed the tomato if you don’t want to
*Use scallions, red onion or sweet onions
*Use balsamic, red or white wine vinegar
*Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight

CAMPECHANA (or Mexican Seafood Cocktail)

(Saveur Magazine)
googleimages

1⁄2 cup fresh lime juice
1⁄3 cup ketchup
1⁄4 cup chili sauce, such as Heinz
1⁄4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1⁄4 cup chopped green olives
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup finely chopped white onion
1⁄4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 cup tomato–clam cocktail, such as Clamato
1⁄4 cup seeded and chopped fresh tomatoes
1 tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
2 tsp. Tabasco
2 anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded,
and chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
1⁄2 lb. cooked and peeled medium shrimp
1⁄2 lb. jumbo lump crabmeat, picked and cleaned
1 avocado, cut into 1⁄4" cubes

Combine the first 15 ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt; toss to mix. Fold in shrimp, crab, and avocado. Serve with tortilla chips.

WHITE BEAN AND ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP(with Pita Triangles)

courtesy of Smitten Kitchen
smittenkitchen

Tired of dips that were nothing but cream and large amounts of dairy fat, and bored by all of the white bean dips out there that were nothing but bean-swapped hummus, this one beats them all! Low-fat and or fat-free cream cheese work equally well in here, as does goat cheese or mascarpone. A sprinkle of chives makes it even prettier, but it will disappear quickly, with or without them.

1 15-ounce can of white cannelini or navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 small jar roasted red peppers, or about 1 cup, drained
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice from half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

Puree everything in a food processor until smooth.

Serve with baked pita chips.

FLANK STEAK ON CIABATTA

2 (1 lb) flank steaks
2/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup commercial chutney
2 TBSP finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed

Trim excess fat from steaks. Score steaks on both sides and place in large dish or zip lock baggie. Combine oil and remaining ingredients; pour over steaks, turning to coat. Cover or seal and allow to marinate 8-12 hours (or more), turning occasionally.

Remove steaks from marinade (discard marinade). Grill, uncovered, over hot coals 10-12 minutes on each side (or to desired doneness). Cut steaks diagonally across grain into thin slices. Cool and then assemble your sandwiches. I use ciabatta rolls, as they are great for transporting. Bring whole grain mustard and provolone slices to your event.

Orange Creamsicle Dip with fruit
(Adapted from the girl who ate everything)
thegirlwhoateeverything

1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (3.4 ounce) small package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (6 ounce) container of frozen (concentrated) orange juice, slightly thawed
Fruit for dipping such as strawberries, apples, grapes, pineapple
Directions: Mix the whipped topping, vanilla pudding mix, and orange juice together until well combined. If needed add a little water to make it to the desired consistency.
Prepare the fruit by washing and cutting it. Refrigerate dip until ready to serve.

STRAWBERRY MARGARITAS
(Adapted from How Sweet Eats)
howsweeteats

2 ounces Grand Marnier
1 1/2 ounces Tequila
2 ounces lime juice
2 1/2 ounces strawberry simple syrup [recipe below]
lime + fresh strawberries for garnish
salt + sugar for the rim

Rim the ridge of your glass with a lime wedge and dip in a mix of margarita salt + sugar. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine tequila, grand marnier, simple syrup and lime juice with ice, and shake for about 30 seconds. Pour over ice and squeeze in lime slices and add a few strawberries.

For strawberry simple syrup: combine equal parts sugar and water, bring to a boil and let sugar dissolve, then turn off heat and let cool completely. Combine 1 cup simply syrup + 1 1/2 cups slices strawberries in a blender and blend until combined. If you’d like you can strain the mixture over a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

CHASTAIN MENU #4 (from Ina Garten)
Ina had such great ideas for a picnic that I just had to share (and will probably use one time this summer).

Pasta, Pesto, and Peas
Shrimp Salad
Tomato Feta Salad
Lemon Cake


PASTA, PESTO and PEA SALAD

(Ina Garten)
inagarten

3/4 pound fusilli pasta
3/4 pound bow tie pasta
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 1/2 cups pesto, packaged or see recipe below
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups good mayonnaise
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach, and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, peas, pignolis, salt, and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Pesto:
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
3 tablespoons chopped garlic (9 cloves)
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups good olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Place the walnuts, pignolis, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper. With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top.

Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.

SHRIMP SALAD

Inagarten

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon cut into quarters
4 pounds large shrimp in the shell (16 to 20 shrimp per pound)
2 cups good mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons white wine or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 cup minced red onion (1 onion)
3 cups minced celery (6 stalks)
Directions
Bring 5 quarts of water, 3 tablespoons salt, and the lemon to a boil in a large saucepan. Add half the shrimp and reduce the heat to medium. Cook uncovered for only 3 minutes or until the shrimp are barely cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. Bring the water back to a boil and repeat with the remaining shrimp. Let cool; then peel, and devein the shrimp.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, wine or vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and dill. Combine with the peeled shrimp. Add the red onion and celery and check the seasonings. Serve or cover and refrigerate for a few hours.

TOMATO-FETA SALAD

inagarten

3 pints (6 cups) cherry tomatoes
3/4 pound good feta cheese
1 small red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons white wine or Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Directions
Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Dice the feta in 1/4-inch dice, crumbling it as little as possible. Add the feta to the tomatoes and then add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley. Toss carefully and salt, to taste, depending on the saltiness of the feta. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

LEMON CAKE

inagarten

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup grated lemon zest (6 to 8 large lemons)
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 2 (8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch) loaf pans. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.

Cream the butter and 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and the lemon zest.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour. Divide the batter evenly between the pans, smooth the tops, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cakes are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cakes from the pans and set them on a rack set over a tray or sheet pan; spoon the lemon syrup over them. Allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice in a bowl, mixing with a wire whisk until smooth. Pour over the tops of the cakes and allow the glaze to drizzle down the sides.

SUPPLIES:

Some people go all out with candelabras and ornate flower arrangements with Dom Perignon to sip, and others bring a bucket of KFC and call it a night! I prefer something in the middle - simple decor to haul there and set up, BUT I insist on fabulous food.
Here's what to bring to Chastain to ensure a good time (not including the food!):

*bug spray
*wipes for your hands
*If bringing your own food - knives, silverware, napkins, plates
*Cooler with drinks and ICE
*Tablecloth
*Trash bags
*Mini hand fans
*ponchos in case of rain
*a simple centerpiece of your choice (small bud vase with little flowers and some votives will be beautiful - and cheap and LIGHT!).

ENJOY THE CONCERT!!!





1 comment:

  1. Tomorrow night will be our first experience at Chastain. Your tips are wonderful! I now know how to prepare and what essentials to take along. The only thing we need is your great picnic food. Thanks. HH

    ReplyDelete