A Weekend in the Wilderness

So apparently, my friends and I know how to whip up a good meal...or four.  This past weekend was spent in Groveland, CA which is about 30 miles from Yosemite National Park.  A group of 9 of us rented a lake house which literally had a lake in its backyard, equipped with a gorgeous dock, a pretty bench swing, a paddle boat, and kayaks.  After a long week at work, it was nice to sit on the dock reading a book with a beer, kayak across the lake, then play a game of 6-on-6 volleyball with some strangers.  The weather was perfect, the company was amazing, the activities made us feel oh-so-naturey, and the food was spectacular.

Our first meal was Saturday morning.  Long and Preety woke up early and put together this delicious breakfast with toast slathered with fruit and a yogurt sauce, along with eggs and potatoes.  You can bet there were mimosas involved as well.

After some reading and kayaking on the dock, it was finally time for lunch and it was our turn for this meal.  Peter and I put together our typical tri-tip salad, except it was more of just a steak salad.  We cleaned out that value pack of steak, that's for sure.  It was simple - just a box of spring mix, corn, walnuts, cheese, cranberries, croutons, and of course steak topped off with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  We used up two huge containers of salad which ended up being a perfect portion for 9-10 servings.

Then it was time for our 3 course meal by Jeremy and Jim.  Don't think this was a simple cabin trip type meal.  They spent the previous days brining and marinating their meats.  Yes, I learned what brining is!

Below are some pork belly skewers that were cooked on the grill.  If you know me, you know I love eating fat and anything that's burnt so I was in heaven.  We even got wine pairings for the entire meal - the pork belly ended up going really well with a chilled glass of Riesling.

It's hard to follow that appetizer, but they then revealed a butternut squash and arugula salad, chicken and veggie skewers, and lastly mushroom risotto in a portobello mushroom!  Wait, so there are mushrooms in the risotto which sits in another mushroom!  I was blown away.

And for the last course, we were served cardamom panna cotta.  I had no idea what cardamom was until now.  

The chefs somehow knew exactly what I enjoy eating and ended up throwing it all into this wonderful 3 course meal.  Superb guys!

And last but not least, our final meal before we all headed home.  Anya and Stacy put together a good old continental breakfast with your waffles, bacon, eggs, sausage, and apparently some special hashbrowns that are a secret recipe that they wouldn't share!  You can't have breakfast without mimosas so we all had a few glasses before it was time to clean up and start the 2.5 hour drive home.

Next up for the group, maybe a Tahoe cabin trip.  What delicious food can we create for that??

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