07/31/15

Tips on Creating the Best Outer Banks Beach House Meals

Surf or Sound Beach House Dinner

The afternoon sun begins to lower in the sky, the kids start to wander in from the beach, and the family shoppers have just returned from the market with pounds of fresh local produce and seafood. It’s time to begin the annual ritual of cooking a bountiful vacation meal.

Whether you have a family full of chefs or you prefer to keep things as simple and lazy as possible, vacation meals create rich, fond memories, that can be summoned up on even the coldest Midwest winters day. We’ve gathered our favorite advice from experienced guests and chefs to help you plan the best culinary experience for your family.

Preparation

While you don’t have to have every detail of your menu planned out, it does help to prepare a bit ahead of time.

Start a Pinterest board with your favorite recipes and meal ideas and invite family members to contribute. Check out our Delicious Beach Eats and Great Beach Drinks boards on Pinterest for inspiration.

Bring your recipes with you. Don’t worry if you can’t find what you want to cook online. Take a photo of your grandma’s best seafood recipe card or your favorite magazine clippings with your phone so you can access them away from home without the risk of losing family heirlooms. You can even upload the image to pinterest.

Assign meal nights ahead of time. Make a list of everything you’ll need and ask family members to sign up to bring items like spices, cooking oils and special sauces so you want have to buy everything once you get to the house. Some families like to assign nights ahead of time so that each group has a specific meal to prepare for. Even kids can get involved, helping to prepare ingredients, set the table, and decorating.

Breakfast

Fresh brewed coffee, bacon, eggs, sausage and pancakes? There’s nothing better than coming home from a long sunrise stroll on the beach to the smells of breakfast cooking. Some families have traditions where the first to rise in the morning gets breakfast started for the group. Others keep it casual with everyone preparing their own breakfast as they get up. However you like to do it, vacation is a good time to try new things and treat yourself. Try this recipe for Everyday Granola from Epicurius, it can be made ahead of time and makes a great addition to yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut*
  • 3 tablespoons (packed) brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup assorted dried fruit

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Mix first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Stir honey and oil in saucepan over medium-low heat until smooth. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture; toss. Spread on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, stirring every 10 minutes, about 40 minutes. Stir granola and cool. Mix in fruit.  Can be made 1 week ahead. Store airtight.

Lunch

Mid-day is the perfect time to try one of Hatteras Island’s local restaurants or sandwich shops or picnic at the beach. If you had an early start it might also be a great excuse to take a break from the beach to make a sandwich and a cool drink. Try this recipe for Best Gazpacho from the New York Times. You can make a large batch ahead of time so that when lunch time hits, you have something that will cool you down, quench your thirst, and satisfy your hunger all at once.

Ingredients

  • About 2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 Italian frying (cubanelle) pepper or another long, light green pepper, such as Anaheim, cored, seeded and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 cucumber, about 8 inches long, peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 small mild onion (white or red), peeled and roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, more to taste
  • Salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste, plus more for drizzling

Combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, onion and garlic in a blender (If necessary, work in batches.) Blend at high speed until very smooth, at least 2 minutes, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add the vinegar and 2 teaspoons salt. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil. The mixture will turn bright orange or dark pink and become smooth and emulsified, like a salad dressing. If it still seems watery, drizzle in more olive oil until texture is creamy.

Strain the mixture and discard the solids. Transfer to a large pitcher or bowl and chill until very cold, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Before serving, adjust the seasonings with salt and vinegar. If soup is very thick, stir in a few tablespoons ice water. Serve in bowls or glasses, over ice. A few drops of olive oil on top are a nice touch.

Dinner

Laughing with family you see just a few times a year over a glass of wine while you prepare the evening meal is an experience unto itself.  Dinner in a Hatteras Island vacation rental home has so many options. Many guests choose to divide cooking duties among the larger group with each person or small family in charge of a different week night. Some families have theme nights, a Polynesian Luau by the pool or a Mediterranean tapas night. Some folks even bring a folding table and a grill down to the beach and dine oceanside. It’s hard to beat the sound of the crashing waves as a dinner soundtrack and younger kids can continue to expend energy running on the beach.

Tapas Night

Tami Vogel is lucky to have chefs in the family – Pictured is their version of tapas night.

Try this lowcountry boil for a fun, no-fuss meal that will have everyone satisfied.

Here are even more top tips from our experienced guests!

The first day we make a shopping list and go get groceries for the week. – Brittany M.

Anytime someone goes to the store we always ask if we need anything and they pick it up. We used to keep track of what we would buy and divide the expenses at the end of vacation…but it’s so much nicer to just pick up whatever is needed and don’t worry about it. We are all family. – Carlene O.

The ladies in our family get together several months before vacation and plan the menu for the week. Then, each family chooses a night to cook. We also divide up set-up and clean-up. If you cook, you don’t do clean-up or set-up. We put money in a “grocery pot” for the week, and take money out of it to purchase groceries. It works well for us. – Sharon W.

Each family signs up for a dinner (we’re parents plus three married children with their own kids for 4 dinners). Then we have an eat-out night, an “everyone pitches in” night, plus a left-over night on the last night. The first night is often brought from home–lasagna (frozen homemade) or tacos or something with little prep time needed. Probably our favorite beach (dinner) meal is a mixed seafood dish in seafood stock (often clams, crab legs and crabmeat, fish, shrimp and mussels) with linguini or fettucini. Everyone brings items to share for lunches, breakfasts, snacks and desserts. If a family wants to do a big breakfast like sausage gravy and biscuits, they usually do it for everyone. And of course there has to be an “Apple Ugly” morning! And in our family it is ‘traditional’ that we finish the ice cream on the last morning. As to chores, those not cooking usually clean the kitchen after a meal (voluntary basis) – Carol M.

Thanksgiving turkey dinner! The family is scattered now, so we take advantage of the ones we get to see for vacation. Plus the frozen turkey works as a great ice pack on the trip down!! – Sherri M.

One year I did a surprise Hawaiian Luau and brought outfits for everyone, had great food and we even had a scavenger hunt. It was fun! – Carlene O.

(On nights the family isn’t cooking)… we have pizza nite, everyone chips in night, on your own night, usually each family goes out, and then leftover nite or clean the fridge out nite usually the last day – Ranae F.

Fish tacos or take a folding table down on the beach about 4pm, make lots of fun appetizers, dinner for the kiddies and hang out all together until bedtime for kids. The best. – Ellen H.


02/18/13

Your 2013 vacation is right around the corner!

It never fails that towards the end of February, most everyone starts to get a little antsy in anticipation of warmer days ahead. We get tired of the short, chilly days of winter and look forward to longer days spent under the sun. This could be most anyone’s request at this late winter date, but if you’re like many people across the US, you’re more than ready to book your vacation getaway and it can’t get here soon enough!

Where will you go? When can you get there? Who will you bring along? What style of vacation rental home will best suit your needs? These are all questions that are sure to follow once you take the plunge and say “yes” to an annual family vacation!

If you’re having trouble deciding exactly where to go, your options include Hatteras Island, Hatteras Island, and Hatteras Island or you can view your choices as Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, or Hatteras. Either way you look at it, you’re sure to find a village and vacation rental home that welcomes you with open arms to your well-deserved beach vacation! Each village is spectacularly unique and offers it own special attractions and feel…

If you’ve ever talked to someone who has ventured to Hatteras Island on vacation, more than likely their first response will be, “Only __ more days until we return,” which is then followed by, “It was amazing,” and “I want to move there!” You get the picture…Hatteras Island is the perfect vacation destination! Miles of uncrowded beaches surrounded by natural beauty, many historical attractions, and endless opportunities to get out in the water in some of the most favorable conditions on the East Coast!

Take a minute to browse our website and see why Hatteras Island is THE place to VACATION! Along with an efficient and smooth booking process, we’re able to offer flexible payment options which allow you to budget as needed. You have the option of dividing your payments into 3 or 4 installments, as well as our Traditional 2-Day or Pay in Full terms. Click here for more info.

Request one of our 2013 Vacation Planners here.

We look forward to seeing you at the beach in 2013!


05/27/11

Cape Hatteras Named #5 Best Beach in America!

Once again, Cape Hatteras has been declared one of THE BEST beaches in the country by famous Dr. Beach! Each year Dr. Beach travels the nation’s coastlines, searching for beaches that meet his strict criteria for “best beach.” The 2011 list has just been released and Cape Hatteras came in at an impressive #5! Those of us that live and vacation here think it is #1!

Dr. Beach uses a list containing 50 criteria, rating sand softness to scenery to the amount of jellyfish in the water! Here is what Dr. Beach said about Hatteras Island:

“Bulging far offshore of the mainland coast as a barrier island, Cape Hatteras was the first National Seashore. Providing some of the best board surfing along the East Coast, as well as the most famous lighthouse in the United States, Cape Hatteras attracts beachgoers to its historic fishing villages. Nature lovers adore the excellent beachcombing and superb fishing.”

Those are just a few reasons so many people choose Cape Hatteras as their vacation destination. It is the perfect place to relax with your toes in the sand OR participate in an adventure on the water. There is no other place in the country like Hatteras Island. It truly is a unique area with gorgeous, clean beaches, breathtaking scenery and bountiful history.

Every day is like a vacation and all of us here at Surf or Sound Realty are proud to work on one of THE BEST beaches in the country and happy to share it with our vacation guests who love it, too!


05/5/11

Create Lasting Memories On Hatteras Island With Mom!

Hatteras Island is a wonderful place to make memories while on vacation. It’s an even better place to spend your Mother’s Day! There are plenty of sights to see and activities to take part in. If you’re going to be on Hatteras Island on Mother’s Day, we’ve come up with some fun ideas for mom that are sure to create lasting and cherished memories!

Fun Activities:

1. Paint your Own Pottery at Pottery in Avon http://www.studio12hatteras.com/ (252) 995-7899. A great way to spend time with mom while creating a keepsake!

2. We’re sure mom could use some relaxation and tranquility and nothing beats the spa and a massage at “In Touch Massage” in Frisco, next to Indian Town Gallery www.intouchmassageandwellness.com, (252) 995-4067. Massage on-site at the wellness center or ask about the mobile services that bring the massage directly to you at your vacation home!

3. A unique and treasuring activity on Hatteras Island is searching for sea glass! What’s even better is sea glass jewelry, which you and mom can make together! Take her to the Sea Glass wrapping jewelry class at “Indian Town Gallery” in Frisco. Call for appointment! http://www.indiantowngallery.com/ (252)995-5181.

4. Not into sea glass, but still want to make jewelry with mom? That’s covered, too! Make your own Jewelry at “The Glass Bead” – with two locations: Avon (252) 995-7020 and Rodanthe (252) 987-2005 -thousands of beads and all the jewelry-making supplies you’ll need to create your own jewelry.

5. If mom is the adventurous type, rent some gear from REAL Watersports in the village of Waves, or grab some food at Mojos’s Sunset Cafe’ and watch the views of the sound from their deck.

Specialty Shopping:

1. “Buxton Village Books” in Buxton – books, cards and gifts http://www.buxtonvillagebooks.com/ (252) 995-4240.

2. “Island Spice and Wine” in Avon – gourmet wine, food and gifts! Specialty gift baskets available! (252) 995-7750.

3. “The Elegant Attic” in Buxton – (252) 995-4468 -Antiques shop featuring a spectacular selection of antique stained-glass windows and doors imported from England.

There are also plenty of simple and inexpensive things to do with mom on Hatteras Island as well!

1. Go for a stroll on the beach.

2. Take mom out for ice cream. Village Conery is a great place to get ice cream!

3. Climb the lighthouse together.

4. Hunt for seashells then paint them together using watercolor paints or make a simple seashell wind-chime together or save them in a decorative bowl that you find together at local shops like Lee Robinson.

5. Go for a bicycle ride through old Kinnakeet.

Another idea is a family photo! Two great photographers on Hatteras Island are:

Bryan Elkus – http://www.bryanelkus.com/

Daniel Pullen – http://www.danielpullenphotography.com/

If mom can’t be with you on vacation, bring the beach to her! Find a pretty jar from one of the local shops and fill it with sand and sea shells you find on the beach!

The possibilities to create cherished memories with mom are endless on Hatteras Island. From everyone here at Surf or Sound Realty, we wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!