Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Supper on the deck

When we got our patio set at the beginning of summer, we envisioned lots of suppers on the deck.  It hasn't worked out quite as we'd hoped, although we have eaten some meals out there.  We had one entire week where it rained pretty much every day.  We had another couple of weeks when it was just brutally hot outdoors.  Even though we don't have AC, it was cooler inside the house than out, so we ate indoors.

So last Thursday night when we were ready to eat, Mr. T suggested we eat outside.  The meal I had planned and was ready to serve was just perfect for this: some simple wrap sandwiches and a pasta salad with veggies.   I'd made some iced tea, too.

 I really doubt you need recipes for these, but I will just quickly share how I made these very simple foods that work so well for al fresco dining.

Wrap Sandwiches
Some sort of flatbread intended for wraps, or flour tortillas
Some sort of spread -- mayo, mustard, barbecue sauce, pesto, guacamole, hummus
Some sort of meat, the more thinly sliced the better
Some type of cheese; I like the ultra thin slices
Vegetables like lettuce or spinach leaves, chopped tomato, chopped or thinly sliced pickles

Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap for each sandwich desired.  Lay a flatbread or tortilla on the plastic.  Spread with whatever spread you choose.  Lay a couple slices of meat on top, then a couple slices of cheese.  Sprinkle with the vegetables.  Fold in two ends of each wrap (so now you have a circle with two straight folded edges).  Roll up the bread tightly and wrap securely in the sheet of plastic wrap that's underneath it.  Refrigerate until ready to eat.

Now the pasta salad is even easier.

Vegetable Pasta Salad
12 ounces of any pasta shape -- I like either the tricolor rotini or the tricolor ruffles
1 pkg. (16 ounces) of any frozen unsauced vegetable mixture -- I like the sugar snap pea stir-fry blend or the deluxe stir-fry blend
Salad dressing to taste -- either Italian, or Greek, or some other type of savory vinaigrette
Salt and pepper to taste, or other seasonings like herbs or seasoning blends
Parmesan cheese if you like

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Stir in the pasta and cook as package directs. 

Meanwhile, place the frozen vegetables in a large colander and set it in your sink.  When the pasta is done, pour it into the colander right on top of your vegetables.  Let it stand as it is for a half hour or so, then rinse with cold water.  You have just "cooked" your frozen veggies to the point where they will be just right in a pasta salad.

Let the pasta and vegetables drain thoroughly, then transfer them to a large bowl.  Add salad dressing and seasonings to taste.  This most recent batch that I made had freshly snipped chives and basil in it.  Sprinkle in some Parmesan cheese if you like.

Will probably make 4 to 6 servings or so.

When my hubby suggested eating outdoors, he quickly set the table.  I chose this pretty vintage tray to carry out the food and so I arranged the wraps, salad, and salt and pepper on it. It looked so inviting!

So there you have some no-recipe recipes that just might facilitate an outdoor supper for you as well!

We've decided we are going to eat supper on the deck whenever possible.  Just being out in God's creation, even in our own backyard, has such a calming and relaxing effect on us after a busy day.  Before we know it, the weather will be too cold to eat outside, so we plan to make the most of our deck and patio set throughout the summer and fall.


  1. Great idea! I’d do the same except I can’t keep the cushions dry. πŸ™ƒ I bought a bunch of fresh produce yesterday and have eaten veggies, veggies, and more veggies. I am starved for them! I could eat this way until fresh produce is a thing of memory. Happy times to you and yours on the deck...🌲🌿🌺🌻🌼🌸🌿🌲

    1. I know what you mean about the cushions, Vee. I will tell you how I keep my cushions dry: I took them off the chairs and brought them inside. No, this is no special wisdom on my part -- I brought them in because I was planning to make covers from a vinyl tablecloth to fit them. Still haven't gotten to that project, but when it began raining so frequently I just decided not to put the cushions back. So all we have to do is wipe down table and chairs with a cloth, and we are good to go!

      Sounds like you are catching up with all of your veggies now! I think if I was cooking just for myself I could pretty much live on veggies with some cheese, fish, or chicken now and then.

  2. That platter is great and you are right about it being perfect to carry your dinner to the patio! When you said you don't have AC I nearly choked! I live in Florida. Our AC runs 11 months out of 12. Oh my goodness! Now, I grew up in Ohio without AC and I understand you live way up in New England... still, your comment gave me pause! LOL Your meal looks and sounds delicious!

    1. Thanks, Terri! Hope you enjoy the recipes if you try them.

      Yes, I'm sure that living in the South, it is easy to forget that there was ever a time when you did not have AC. Most of the time I don't mind, but right at the moment there is just a lot of heat and humidity going on here in our state.

  3. What a wonderful idea! We've had a lot of smoke from the fires in our area so we have been staying inside as much as possible. When the smoke clears out it would be nice to enjoy a supper outside.

    Your pasta salad sounds delicious! I love a good pasta salad. Hugs!

    1. Hi Stephanie!

      I'm sure the smoke does make it unpleasant to be outside. My daughter lives in northeastern NV and they have fires not far from them. We have actually had firefighters from our area go out to help fight the fires in Montana.

      Hope you enjoy the pasta salad if you try it!

  4. I do love eating outside but like you said, so much of the time it seems we can't...rain, etc. and when you live in the south, it is unbearable much of the summer months. Early spring and fall is great! Your veggie pasta looks SO of favorite things!

  5. I understand your delight with eating outdoors (when it's at all practical). We eat out on our screened-in back porch for most of our lunches. For supper we would except that the sun comes in at such an angle at this time of year that it's intolerable. But for lunch, it's wonderful.

  6. I so enjoy eating outside, but haven't this summer either it was to hot and humid or it was raining, hopefully the weather is soon changing. The recipes look delicious, thanks or sharing.


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