Beach eats

It appears we left DC just in time, hours before yesterday’s damaging storm took out power across the region and at our house in Alexandria (according to our neighbors). After our poorly air-conditioned taxi ride to the poorly air-conditioned airport on the 104-degree Friday, I can only imagine how unbearable it is for all our friends now left without power and a/c in their homes.

Meanwhile, I’m basking in a beautiful six-bedroom beach house in Destin, Florida, with my six wonderful siblings by marriage, awesome in-laws and precious new nephew. And, while my pale self is already sunburned, I am looking forward to many more days on the beach, burying relatives in the sand, paddle boarding and wave jumping. Even if my sunburn reaches maximum capacity (which it usually does), there is one vacation ritual in which I can always participate — EATING.

Our party of nine plus a baby decided to take the economical route to vacationing,  buying gobs of sandwich fixings and snacks and parceling out dinners for each couple to cook. (Enchiladas are in the making for tonight, and the guacamole has nearly been consumed.) I love not having to get all prettied up after a beach day to go out to eat at some touristy shindig. And it’s so fun getting to cook for one another. But perhaps the best part about the ready access to hydrations and libations. The piña coladas have been flowing since mid-morning and I didn’t even have to make them (or pay $9 for them), not to mention the skinnygirl white cranberry cosmo mix that accompanied us to the beach (in non-glass containers).

I’m on the hook for tomorrow’s dinner, since it’s my husband’s birthday (!!), and I can’t seem to make up my mind about what to make. The problem is all my favorite recipes are based on farmer’s market fixin’s and staples from my “fou-fou” grocery stores, as my mother would put it. Pesto chicken? Not the same without garlic scapes and lemon basil. Pizza? A little rough without my pizza stone and whole wheat crust. Basically, Trader Joe’s has ruined me.

I know one thing, I am making red velvet waffles drizzled with cream cheese frosting for the husband’s birthday dessert (if this place have a waffle maker… I should check that). These were a hit at Valentine’s Day, adapted from none other than Rachael Ray (hard to believe, since I’m not really a fan). Just use any cake recipe and throw it on the waffle iron. Makes it faster and funner than a same-old cake.

So this is the only light-hearted blog post I can conjure with my sun-baked, vacationing brain. I did catch up on all my intellectual reading with the latest editions of Washingtonian and Flavor. But now my mind is elsewhere… leaning toward lettuce wraps for tomorrow’s dinner…

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