We traveled to San Diego yesterday for Gastropalooza II, a day devoted to fine dining and friendship. It was a 2 1/2 hour drive each way, but well worth it! This is the second time that the Hartwell’s home has been the “G” spot (so to speak), and the garden was in full bloom for our feast. Fresh sweet peas and green beans, tender young green onions, a huge variety of salad greens, beets (with greens), and even a couple of artichokes donated from our niece Morgan’s garden all complimented the super sauted scallop salad that Frankie and Wally found on one of their favorite food shows, “Mexican Made Easy”. Add in grilled tiger shrimps and take us to heaven! But none of this got properly started until Wally rendered a round of Hartwell Pure Citrus Margaritas. Well, to be honest, he insured his success by starting everyone with shots of Milagro tequila. Which were downed while everyone drooled over his platter of fixin’s.
Take all of this stuff and add in Cabo Wabo, Cointreau, Grand Marnier and fresh squeezed lime juice and KABOOM!, it magically transforms into the Hartwell Pure Citrus Margarita!
Frankie’s Kitchen is a true delight. It just LOOKS like good stuff to eat long before there has been any cooking done. Everyone is invited to jump into the preparation, and when just the right amount of Milagro’s and Hartwell Pure Citrus is poured into the crew a Gastropalooza jumps out of the pans and onto the plates! It’s a magical thing to see.
This happy group is about to chow down on the perfect early dinner for a very warm San Diego day. The salad contained fresh cut greens (don’t ask how many different kinds), scallops sauteed in a citrus anato marinade (which was also used to dress the salad), sugar sprinkled avocados grilled until carmelized, and grapefruit wedges. The tiger shrimp were also marinated in the anato sauce and grilled hot and fast. We warmed up our taste buds on grilled baby green onions and green beans, which were perfect just drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, and fresh garden peas and roasted artichokes with a small ranch dressing to dip.
Of course, there is ALWAYS dessert. We somehow missed taking pictures of these, and I attribute that to the Hartwell Pure Citrus hand grenades. There was a “really homely but totally delicious” layer cake from Barbara, and Piggy Cake Pops from Wendy. If you are interested in cake pops, visit Morgan and her tutorial at The Little Hen House.
A GREAT time was had by all, our thanks to Frankie and Wally, Barbara and Joe, and Mary and Jeff. We thought of each of you, and how nice it must have been to put your head on your pillow, as we make the long trek back to the rig in LA.
And now, don’t forget to “Like” this post so Hartwell gets his props. Oh yeah, and Tippy has a thing or two to say about things!