Third Coast Kitchen I Tomatoes + Peaches

Seeing as how anyone who reads my blog at this point is most likely a friend or my stepmom, you probably already know, but Tanya and I have moved!!!  Last May we thought that this was a possibility.  We spent a Monday shooting the last 3 months of blog posts in my studio apartment in Chicago.  A whole lot has changed since then!


In late June we packed up our apartment and sent our belongings West.  In mid-July we cried, and hugged and kissed our friends and the amazing city of Chicago goodbye.  We jammed what was left into our car and drove to California.


We made it in a few days with a few fun pit stops along the way.  And now, we are residents of Orange County in Southern California!  It sounds incredibly glamourous right?


Well it is.  For the most part.  Aside from the fact that we still haven’t figured out where we want to live, and are trying to save as much money as we possibly can, and are sleeping on the pull0ut bed in my mom’s den.  Super sexy.


But we are happy to be here.  The weather is great.  We are outside as much as we can.  We’ve both started swimming laps in the morning for exercise.  I started an amazing new job with a restaurant group in San Diego.  Tanya has totally rebranded our company and is nearly finished with the website.  And I get to see my family and my two best friends a lot.  So life is good.  What also doesn’t hurt is that it is August.


August is probably my favorite month of the year for produce.  I mean yes, April is amazing with its early strawberries, and ramps are incredibly exciting.  But peaches and tomatoes are probably my favorite foods (other than eggs, cheese, bread, and bone marrow, of course).

I put together my ideal menu for an easy outdoor summer party.   It is easy to prepare and requires little work immediately before your guests arrive.




Caprese Salad

Peach + Blue Cheese Toasts

Scallops in Tomato Water

Fresh Peach Shortcakes with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

Peach + Blue Cheese ToastsScallops in Tomato WaterGluten Free Peach Shortcakes

Most of the prep can be done ahead, and very little uses your oven.  I baked my shortcakes first thing in the morning and toasted my bread for the toasts immediately after and then never turned my oven on again!


I could not possibly choose only one dish to cook with all of these amazing fruits.  So I made all of them.  Caprese Salad was a must, not necessarily for the purposes of creating and sharing a recipe, but for the purpose of eating it.  It’s a staple in my summer diet.


So is cheese.  I put together this meal that was actually really easy to make. Mostly all small plates.  My favorite way to eat.  This entire meal would be the most amazing dinner party meal.  Only 1 dish is plated.   Your guests can help themselves to the rest.


I went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on cool cheeses and crackers and picked up some sopressetta from the farmer’s market where I bought my heirlooms, peaches, and basil.


I served everything at once.  Once the cheeseboard was set, the canapes where on a tray, and the caprese salad was prepped, I put it all out for guests to start munching on.  My shortcakes and  whipped cream were done and peaches were mascerating.  Tomato water was done.  All I had to do when everyone arrived was sear the scallops and plate the dish.  Then It was time to take the rose out of the frig (honestly, the freezer which inadvertently turned into Rosé slushies) and enjoy the evening with my friends.  We spent the next few hours grazing, drinking wine, and talking outside.


Okay…. truth in advertising.  By guests, I mean Tanya and I.  We don’t have many friends in our new home yet, and couldn’t quite wrangle anyone to come over.  And we did spend hours grazing and talking outside once we had finished taking all of the photos and the sun set.  But we also found that half of what we were eating was covered with ants.  So learn from our mistakes; don’t cook this much for 2 people and keep your dining table well lit so you can see the ants enveloping your brie cheese.

San Diego, CA