In two Saturdays, after the Butter and Eggs parade, a bunch of friends and family will gather at my aunt's house for a seafood barbecue. She has an amazing backyard, and my dad will man the grill while everyone lounges in Adirondack chairs near the fire pit. The colors of butter and eggs (pale yellow and white) inspire the event's decor. Yellow throws will be draped on the back of the chairs in case anyone gets cold. Oysters are served on porcelain oyster plates, while the sardines look scrumptious on a square platter. Pitchers of Rosé sangria will sit on the tables; guests can help themselves to a glass. The decorations will be minimal; I'll simply fill bowls with eggs, arrange yellow tulips in vases, and light lots of candles.
When entertaining outdoors, be it in Spring or Summer, my favorite drink to serve is sangria. It's a versatile, crowd-pleasing punch that can be flavored with everything from sage to peaches. It's easy to create a large pitcherful, and the further in advance you make it, the better it tastes. For my postparade seafood feast, I'll be pouring this Rosé sangria. It's a combination of white grape juice, cran-raspberry juice, and Rosé. I'll make two batches: one with regular Rosé like the recipe specifies and another with sparkling Rosé. Guests can try both!
It's a great way to get conversation started among acquaintances. To check out the recipe, read more
I'm hosting a big seafood feast after a local parade. The menu is light and fresh with raw oysters, grilled sardines, and a seasonal pasta salad with peas and radishes. With a meal that's not too heavy or rich, it's fun to surprise guests with a decadent dessert like this chocolate-glazed hazelnut mousse cake. It's the sort of thick, insanely sinful chocolaty cake that you can only enjoy a sliver of.
It's a mousse, so it must be chilled and can be made up to two days in advance — which is ideal for any sort of entertaining. I'll serve it with a big bowl of beautiful ripe strawberries. To see the recipe, read more
Every year I attend the Butter and Eggs Day parade in my hometown. Since 2006, I've hosted a brunch before the parade. However, this April I'm doing something different and will invite everyone over for a big seafood barbecue after the parade. We'll start with grilled garlic shrimp and flatbreads with caramelized onions, sausage, and manchego cheese. The stars of the show are oysters and sardines.
We'll enjoy the oysters both raw and cooked (with chanterelle mushrooms and parmesan), while the sardines will get charred on the grill. On the side? A huge bowl of Spring pasta salad with escarole, radishes, and peas. Want to see these recipes? Please read more