The Buttery Blog

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West Coast Picnic: Dana Point August 17, 2009

Filed under: Desserts,drinks,Salads,Sandwiches,Soups — butteryblog @ 10:47 pm
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Salt Creek Beach

Salt Creek Beach

Lady Butterbuns and Mrs. Butterpants finally realized they didn’t actually live that far away from each other and scheduled a summer picnic at Dana Point, which is roughly midway between LA and San Diego. Joined by our husbands and the Butterbuns’ very large dog, we packed our coolers with Capri Sun, watermelon juice, blackberry basil lemonade, rice and artichoke salad, melon soup, pear and camembert sandwiches and fruit hand pies. The following IM took place a few weeks later.


Date: Sun, Aug 9, 2009 at 9:19 PM


Lady Butterbuns: Okay, let’s get cracking. First of all, that park [Salt Creek Beach Park] is really nice! Not too crowded and the weather was great.

Mrs. Butterpants: Yes, it really is. Gorgeous, not too crazy, lots of families, and a good amount of parking — that’s important to SoCal folks.

Lady B: So we drank …watermelon juice, Capri Sun and lemonade. I was thrilled with the Capri Sun, even though it brought up bad memories of punching my straw clean

Refreshing watermelon juice

Refreshing watermelon juice

through the pouch as a child.

Mrs. B: Yes, Capri Sun is the one of the best reminders of childhood ever. I love people’s expressions when you pull it out. The watermelon juice was tasty, but suffered from me forgetting to strain it.

Lady B: I really liked it! Very refreshing and a lovely pink color.

Mrs. B: That lemonade was seriously one of my favorite things ever.

Lady B: I’m glad you liked it! I think that’s the first recipe I ever made up.

Mrs. B: It was so good. I really just wanted to keep drinking it. The next time I come down to your house, I’m stealing your lemons so I can make some.

Lady B: Please do. I can’t use all the lemons! I even give them away, but that tree is, well, fruitful. So we ate cantaloupe soup. I thought it was tasty, but as you said, a fresher melon might have given it more flavor.

Mrs. B: Yes, I wanted to get the cantaloupe from my farmers market, but ran out of time. So I bought it from the store and wasn’t as pleased. But I think it was good. The mint and rum gave it a nice flavor.

Lady B: Yeah, I don’t always love fresh mint but it worked in the soup.

Mrs. B: Agreed.

Lady B: More rum next time!

A rhyming sandwich: pear and camembert

A rhyming sandwich: pear and camembert

Mrs. B: Done and done! Then we had the sandwiches, which I thought were excellent. I didn’t partake in the bread, but I enjoyed my fruit and cheese plate very much. I loved the sweetness of the pear and honey with the mild camembert.

Lady B: The bread was the worst part anyway! Too dry. But I did like the pear/honey/camembert combo. Camembert is so delicious.

Mrs. B: It did look sort of dry. It would be served by a thinner egg bread I think.

Lady B: Yes and technically it’s supposed to be panini-ed. That would help. Or foccaccccccio which is moister.

Mrs. B: Oooh, yes. That would be excellent.

Lady B: And we had artichoke rice salad. Did you have any of that?

Mrs. B: I actually didn’t eat any. But Mr. Butterpants liked it very much. I think he went back for seconds and thirds.

Lady B: I was pleasantly surprised. I wasn’t too sure when I was making it, but it was pretty good. I like food that can be served room temperature.

Mrs. B: It looked and smelled good; I just don’t eat rice. And I was having mouth trouble that day, but we won’t get into that. Anything served room temperature is my friend. Or cold.

Rice and artichoke salad with spinach

Rice and artichoke salad with spinach

Lady B: Easy food.

Mrs. B: Yes. I could make a quick and easy joke, but I won’t.

Lady B: We can each make one silently to ourselves.

Mrs. B: It’s better that way. What was next? The pies right?

Lady B: Yes. I didn’t have the apple, just the peach. The flavor of the filling was really good. And you know how I feel about something I can eat with my hands — LOVE IT!

Mrs. B: I like the flavor of the apple better than the peach, but I thought they were both tasty. I’d add more bourbon to the peach next time.

Lady B: Yes! More rum and more bourbon!

Mrs. B: The pastry was a little overpowering so I’d go for a thinner one or make larger pockets so I could fill them with more fruit. And I should have added brandy to the apples. More alcohol! More alcohol! More alcohol!

Lady B: And seriously, I’m no fan of making my own crust — get the refrigerated pie dough from Pillsbury. It’s delicious and so easy. can eat with your hands!!! can eat with your hands!!!

Mrs. B: Yeah, I’ve done it a few times and I just haven’t found my favorite. This one was definitely a victim of being overworked. If I make these again, I’ll try the Pillsbury. I love their crescent rolls, so they can’t possibly steer me wrong.

Lady B: Oh yes, those are delicious. Their biscuits are pretty tasty too.

Mrs. B: Yes and their cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip cookies. Really, I should just buy stock in Pillsbury.

Lady B: Pretty much that little doughboy can do no wrong.

Mrs. B: I concur.

Lady B: So that was all the food, right?

Mrs. B: Was that really all the food? It felt like more.

Lady B: I know. That table was covered with foodstuff. But I think that was it.

Mrs. B: Overall I was pleased with the food. Yours more than mine.

Lady B: I think we tend to be overly critical of our own cooking. I rarely think anything I cook is good.

Mrs. B: Always.

Lady B: Have you ever thought about taking the watermelon juice and freezing it into pops?

Mrs. B: Yes, we did exactly that. They work really well. The top tends to be overly sweet since the syrup settles there, but they’re very refreshing, a good sweet cold treat that is not an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

Lady B: B&J — I constantly have to give myself time outs from them!

Mrs. B: I know. I made the mistake of purchasing the peach cobbler flavor.

Lady B: I saw that in the store and thought of you. What do you think to just posting one recipe each? You can send me whichever one you like. I just don’t want this post to be 8 miles long, you know? Oh, send the recipe for Capri Sun!

Mrs. B.: Yes!!

Happiness in a pouch

Happiness in a pouch

1 straw

1 pouch

Punch straw into pouch

Let childhood memories rush over you

Lady B:: Yes! 5 stars!


Lady Butterbuns and Mrs. Butterpants are scheduled to meet up in October. Stay tuned …


Artichoke and Rice Salad (Martha Stewart Living)


Serves 6


* 1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 cup Arborio rice
* 2 teaspoons coarse salt
* 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
* 12 small green olives, pitted and sliced
* 12 ounces marinated artichoke hearts, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, liquid reserved
* 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced on a bias
* 1/2 ounce baby spinach (about 1 cup)




1. Bring stock to a simmer. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Add rice, salt, and curry powder. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Raise heat, and add half the stock. Stir 30 seconds. Stir in remaining stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook 20 minutes.
3. Spread rice onto a rimmed baking sheet. Let cool. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.
4. Combine olives, artichoke hearts, and celery in a large bowl. Add rice, and toss. Add 1 tablespoon reserved artichoke liquid, and toss. (Salad can be made up to this point and refrigerated overnight.)
5. Before serving, stir in spinach. Serve cold or at room temperature.


Cantaloupe Soup (Gale Grand/Food Network)


– 1 cantaloupe, peeled, seeded, and cubed
– 1/4 cup dark rum
– 1/4 cup cream
– 1 lemon, zested
– 2 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
– 4 mint leaves, julienned


Place everything but the mint leaves in a blender and puree. Strain through a fine chinois or strainer. Chill. Serve in chilled martini glasses with
juilenned mint. (I’d bump up the rum to 1/3 cup.  It definitely needed a little more kick.  And buy a super-fresh cantaloupe!  It makes all the difference.)


♥Lady Butterbuns & Mrs. Butterpants