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Extreme Makeover: Back Yard Edition

June 1, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!

I love this holiday. The meaning is important, the weather is nice, the family is home, and the planting begins.

Well, it began weeks ago but this weekend we kicked it into high gear. My graduation party is coming up in T-3 weeks, and my parents love excuses like that to perfect little things about the house.

I was raised in a “do-it-yourself,” “read-a-book-on-it,” “never-take-the-easy-way-out” family. This is probably why I feel the need to make everything from scratch, from bagels to hummus to smoked salmon. So this weekend the DIY projects included painting all the trim on the house, putting down a tile floor, putting in landscaping, planting flowers, spray painting, raking, weeding… the list goes on.



Last year around this time, my mother was painting a giant painting and my father was building a garden arbor. I know, they’re weird. 😉

Breakfast today hit the spot:


Peach Rhubarb French Toast Oats in a Cashew Macadamia nut butter jar.

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I started by chopping a stalk of rhubarb and simmering it with 1/2 cup brewed French vanilla tea until it broke down.

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  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup strong French Vanilla tea
    • sweetened with 1 packet stevia
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup tea or water
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/3 cup egg whites
  • 1 small peach, chopped
  • cinnamon, nutmeg

Simmer the rhubarb in the 1/2 c. tea until it is completely broken down. Add almond milk, water, oat bran and simmer until thick.

Add eggs and peach, whisk over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

Add spices and serve in a nut butter jar. 🙂 Yummm.


Other weekend happenings:

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-Sold some peanut butter at the Farmers’ Market. It was a’bustlin’!


-Mmm, French Vanilla Iced Tea made with the Iced Coffee method.


-I just finished 1,000 Splendid Suns… It was amazing! If you can get through Part One which is rather depressing, you will love it. It’s so deep and ultimately, uplifting.


It took me about 3 days (weekend) to finish, so it’s a pretty quick read.


-Sunday afternoon workouts are the best. I arrive at the gym at 12:30 and workout until my life guard shift starts at 2:00. I can’t say why, but it’s the highlight of my weekly workouts.


-Local readers. GOO GOO DOLLS. At SPAC. July 22nd. Ahh!


-Right now I’m trying to plan my graduation party food. We are meeting with Alex Herrera, creator of the real Saratoga Chips, on Tuesday. He’s going to run the pasta bar, but the rest of the dinner is still up in the air. We are good friends from the Winter Farmers’ Market where his booth was next to mine.

I’m thinking appetizers:

  • Italian Potato Salad (a la ma Petit Abuelita)
  • Mini crab cakes (?) or crab dip with pita chips
  • Vegan corn chowder
  • Homemade sushi: brown rice vegetable rolls and California rolls (?)
  • Vegetable crudités
  • Fruit basket… (wait for the beastly how-to post on this one!)


  • Pasta bar with: penne or farfalle, choice of Veg:  asparagus, sundried tomatoes, walnuts, spinach. Sauces: pesto, marinara, or garlic butter sauce. Protein: grilled chicken or shrimp
  • Carving station of some sort
  • Sides and other choice are still up in the air.


  • Refilled fruit basket
  • Sponge cake with strawberries and whipped cream (??)
  • I want to make frozen chocolate dipped bananas… we’ll see if my parents allow it
  • Ice-cream

Late night munchies:

  • S’more components
  • Hotdogs
  • Grilled pizza (!!Recipe to come… you will love this!)

Like I said, this is completely tentative. It may be hotdogs and hamburgers the whole night if we decide to sheetrock the garage! Hopefully not. :/

What would you serve at a graduation party for about 150 people?

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Little Bookworm permalink
    June 1, 2010 3:09 am

    Peach Rhubarb French Toast Oats sounds absolutely amazing! What a fantastic idea! 🙂

  2. June 1, 2010 7:35 am

    wow 150 people?? That sounds like a huge crowd…it might be hard to cater for, but i think i would do a black bean salsa with chips if you’re short on time. Peanut butter brownie bites for dessert because they are easy, delicious, ties in with Saratoga PB (not that that’s why it’s there) but it’s a crowd pleaser!!! 🙂 And it’ll double as a late night munchie. heheh

  3. June 1, 2010 8:29 am

    Ohh wow, that menu goes way beyond any party I’ve been to. Why, why don’t I go to your high school? Haha.

    Another side I really like in the summer is grilled vegetables, like eggplants, zucchini, artichokes, etc…those would be great in pasta.

    And you know how to make bagels?? Would love to see that on the blog so I can convince my mom it is doable as I have wanted to make bagels for ages.

    Back to writing my term paper for now…and love your new sidebar picture!

  4. June 1, 2010 10:42 am

    I loooooovvvvvvvved that book! Have you read the Kite Runner too?

    Holy moly 150 people? Hmm..I’ll be cooking for two days straight! I’m really digging the sponge cake with strawberries and whipped cream 🙂

  5. June 1, 2010 12:01 pm

    Gorgeous breakfast!

    My gosh, I wouldn’t even know what to serve that many people! Maybe a “Make Your Own Taco” bar?

  6. June 1, 2010 11:23 pm

    Damn! That’s a lot of food- great spread for your graduation party!!! NICE! Lucky people getting treated to Ohh May’s food! Congrats with finishing school and thanks for the book recommendation!!!

  7. Lana Wilson permalink
    June 2, 2010 7:14 am


    It was so great to meet you this past Saturday at the farmers market!! It was so exciting to put a face to a name!! btw, the Almond butter is AMAZING!!!
    The dinner spread sounds delicious…can’t wait to hear all about it!!

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