Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Al Fresco #1

Over the weekend, I had my very first visit to the Hollywood Bowl, a lovely amphitheater that is a summer must-do for many LA locals. I was looking forward in particular to the Bowl's "bring your own" food and (alcoholic) drink policy; they've got plenty of refreshment options there, but the hefty prices and long lines can be disheartening to say the least. Although I did not have a gingham lined picnic basket to glide along with (this time!), I did pick up a new cooler, which bodes well for future trips to the beach.

I was very excited to make chocolate covered pretzels, a recipe I had seen on PBS's Everyday Food. The process had looked charmingly easy and I had made a mental note to try it sometime. Well, the steps are so simple and the pay-off is spectacular. I must recommend you try them for your next festive occasion. They'll be gone in mere seconds.

I also wanted to take a substantial protein of some sort. Chicken drumsticks sounded easy to handle both for the cooking and the eating. When I stumbled upon this recipe on the Everyday Food site, it was case closed. But, I did choose to use a bottled honey bbq sauce instead of making it from scratch. These little darlings (Jamie Oliver's vernacular has effectively seeped into my brain) turned out wonderfully.

Not homemade, but still part of our feast were: French bread, Havarti cheese, salami, Italian giardiniera (pickled vegetables), grapes, popcorn with Mrs. Dash seasoning (a habit I picked up a year ago from my best friend, Mary) and two 24-oz. Tecates.

I have lots of ideas for next time. Like, so many. So, stay tuned for my next al fresco experience!


Mary P. said...

I've started to put loads of pepper and salt along with cold grated cheese - like marble jack, pepper jack, or sharp cheddar. If you do it right out of the pan the cheese melts perfectly on the top of the pile. P.corn is also excellent with freshly grated parm.

Those pretzels look delicious. I can't believe you only packed that many.

Marie said...

Yes, I've been doing the grated parm bit, although most of it ends up in the bottom of the bowl.

As for the pretzels, the number was partially due to a time crunch and I knew we'd eat every single one, so exercised some caution. :P