We love summer for the obvious reasons, but if you ask me, the season has its downside too. I love splashing around in the pool as much as the next girl (if not more), but can’t help but feel just a bit bummed each time I reach out to a friend to get together for an afternoon swim, only to be reminded that she’s out of town. Between all my besties, someone always seems to be on the road this time of year, and getting everyone together all at once is almost impossible. Well, with September’s arrival, friends have finally been flocking back home, and to celebrate the occasion we partnered with with Skinnygirl® Cocktails to host a laid-back reunion. Healthy food, tasty Pinot Noir, and great company were all we needed to pull this party off without a hitch…
Not every get-together requires a fully conceptualized table design. For this laid back gathering, we set a table that was as simple as it gets: we’re talkin’ just a dinner plate and a napkin at each place setting, and a potted succulent centerpiece.
Of course, we love our classic rattan bistro chairs that seem to go with everything, and a round dining table always encourages easy, inclusive conversation.
There’s something so primal and satisfying about cooking over an open flame. And if you thought grilling was a job reserved for the man in your life, think again!
Camille’s 3 tips for grilling the perfect steak:
1. Remove the steak from the fridge at least 45 minutes before it goes on the grill so that it can come to room temperature.
2. It’s important to get the grill hot enough to give a good sear on the outside. For a 1″ thick steak, you want the grill to be 400 degrees. Test it by holding your hand over the flame — you shouldn’t be able to hold it there for longer than 4 seconds.
3. Once you put the steak down on the grates, close the lid and resist the urge to move it around until it’s time to flip. This allows the steak to form a delicious caramelized crust on the first side.
The steak should cook for about 5 minutes per side for medium rare. After that, let it sit at room temperature off the grill for 5 minutes, tented with aluminum foil, to let the juices redistribute before slicing it against the grain.
Camille then added the hot-off-the-grill sirloin slices to a fresh bed of greens, and tossed it along with the remaining garnishes and salad dressing.
Our table was just a few steps from the grill, meaning guests got to be a part of the preparation and enjoy the food the moment it was ready.
Click here to get the recipe for Camille’s Steak Salad with Radishes, Cucumbers and Spicy Ginger Dressing
For this party, just one big family-style dish — packed with lean protein and fresh produce — was all we needed to create a complete meal. Best of all, our Steak Salad paired perfectly with Skinnygirl® Pinot Noir, which has notes of dark cherry and toasted oaks. Together the two made for an oh-so-satisfying dinner.
Keeping the menu simple means you and your guests can focus on each other and the conversation. We found that after months of seasonal travels, summer house guests and Camille’s maternity leave, we had a lot to catch up on.
Of course, we always leave room for a little indulgence. Camille served up these raspberry truffle cakes, and who can refuse a dessert that comes in such a sweet little package?
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©2015 Skinnygirl Cocktails, Deerfield, IL: (per 5 oz.): Calories 100, Carbs 5g.