Food has always been big part of my life. It is one of my greatest obsessions and a topic discussed multiple times a day in my and my families household. A good example of this was when my mom secured our summer cottage in Cape Cod back in March, the first thing I said was, “When should we start making up the menu for the week?”
My mom and I got to work brainstorming meals for each night we were going to be in the Cape. We knew there were going to be some must-haves (per request), such as Lobster Rolls, Filet Migion and Lobster, and lots of Shrimp. We bought the bulk of our staples in Connecticut before we left to save money, and decided we would purchase the fresh items on our list while we were actually at the Cape. After a few months of back and forth, we ended up with this little menu:
- Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, BBQ Chicken, Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans,Vegetable Couscous
- Lobster Rolls, Homemade Coleslaw, Homemade French Fries, Salad
- Ziti, Meatballs, Spicy Sausage, Garlic Bread, Salad, Littlenecks, Garlic Shrimp
- Filet Mignion, Boiled Lobsters, Garlic Shrimp, Grilled Steamers, Baked Potatoes, Salad
- Linguini & Clams in White Wine, Garlic Ciabatta, Vegetable Pasta, Salad
While on vacation we went out to dinner two nights but later agreed we would have rather stayed home and cooked together as a family. There is something so special and priceless about gathering around a table covered with home cooked food and laughing your way through dinner with family.
My mom and I were the main cooks for the week. We had a routine: after a day at the beach we’d go to the Wellfleet Center to the fresh produce stand, fresh fish store, and the market with a list of our ingredients. We’d come home to shower and then immediately start preparing dinner (usually with a glass of wine in hand and the radio turned to a fun station). There were six of us in the cottage, and while we cooked everyone would come in to talk and take a turn tasting what we were whipping up. Those moments are something that I also cherish – everyone seemed to want to entertain the cooks with songs and dance, instead of ignoring us while we slaved away.
I think it was a unanimous vote that there was no “best dinner night.” Everything was SO so good. My husband and I have been quite depressed since we’ve returned – because even I can’t recreate what was made in that kitchen. Our passion for cooking and love for our family was so strong that it was baked, steamed, grilled, and sautéed into our food. We all hated seeing an empty plate and would go back for seconds and thirds until there was nothing left. At the end of every meal when the dishes were whirring in the dishwasher, we would all sit around the table and talk about how delicious dinner had been. The last night we were in Cape Cod my best friend and her boyfriend joined us for the night. Even they agreed after a hearty meal of homemade meatballs, spicy Italian sausage, and seafood that they could not get over how scrumptious everything had been. Our memories of this vacation will never fade and neither will the wonderful scents that came from our kitchen in Wellfleet.
Yankee Lobster Rolls
- 1lb Fresh Lobster Meat
- 1 stick butter
- 8 hot dog buns
- Begin to melt the stick of butter over low-med heat. Add the lobster meat. Cook until butter is melted and lobster meat is tender.
- Using a fork and knife, carefully cut the lobster into bite sized pieces. Spoon into a hot dog roll. Sprinkle with parsley.
Linguini with …wait for it… canned clams!
- 2 cans diced clams
- olive oil
- linguini – cooked al dente
- Open clams and drain juice into a bowl, setting juice aside.
- In a skillet, saute clams and garlic lightly in olive oil over med heat. Season with fresh or dried parsley , salt & pepper.
- Cook for about 5 minutes then add juice. Cook for about 5 minutes more, or until the clams and juice have thickened.
- Toss over linguini and toss with parsley and parmesan cheese.
Homemade French Fries
- 7 all purpose potatoes
- ½c olive oil
- 1 tbs sea salt
- 1 tbs fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbs Old Bay seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into 1 inch thick slices and place in a bowl. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, and Old Bay. Toss gently.
- Roast potatoes on a baking sheet for 20-30 minutes or until crispy. Using a metal spatula, flip the potatoes around every 5-8 minutes so they don’t stick.
- Serve in a bowl lined with paper towels and season with extra sea salt!
Grilled Littlenecks with Garlic Butter Sauce
- 24 Littleneck clams – washed and scrubbed
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic – minced
- ½ stick butter
- 1 HOT grill
- Place the littlenecks on a hot grill and cook until all of the clams open up. (If your clam doesn’t open – don’t pry the little sucker apart – throw it away! That means it is a bad clam).
- Place butter and garlic in a saucepan on the grill. Cook until the butter has melted. Pour garlic butter into small separate dishes and dip your clams into the sweetness!