In planning for our weekend getaway at Rayong beach, we were concerned primarily with one thing – what we were going to eat. We (correctly) assumed that we would spend our days lounging by the pool or beach, drinking frosty cool drinks, and relaxing. The food needed to be good, but not time-consuming. After much emailing, we divided everything up, planned to cook proteins on the grill, and threw our names in for all sorts of sides and snacks.
As is always the case with our crew of Bangkok friends, there was way more food and drink than we ever could have dreamed of consuming in the time we were there. We certainly gave it our best effort, though.
For my part, since I would be leaving straight from work, I did everything in advance and packed it all in plastic bags in our adorable red cooler.
Here’s what is tucked in that bag:
- This pesto with extra roasted tomatoes thrown in, boiled pasta, grated parmesan, and roasted tomatoes for pasta salad
- A double batch of the master dough recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day for sandwich rolls
- A double batch of Olive Oil Dough from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day (for foccacia and an impromptu pizza the first night we arrived)
- Peeled, deveined shrimp, strung on skewers (and frozen to be sure they didn’t defrost on the drive down)
- This Sesame Ginger Marinade (for the shrimp)
- Chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, black olives and feta for a Greek Salad
- Frozen brioche dough balls, already tossed in cinnamon sugar for this Monkey Bread (I also had a small plastic bag of pre-made cream cheese glaze, using Smitten Kitchen’s recipe)
It took a couple hours before we left to get all of that ready, and virtually no time at all to finish it once we got down to the beach house. I just had to throw everything together when we were ready for it. Very little fuss. Very few dishes.
When we got to the beach house, I tossed the pasta, roasted tomatoes, and a bit of feta in pesto. We had it for lunches all weekend.
And then I had a cocktail.
Friday morning we all wandered around the kitchen, rubbing our eyes, and munching. The stars of breakfast were Anne’s granola and Natalie’s pumpkin cream cheese muffins (okay maybe they were technically cupcakes, but sounded like breakfast to me).
The boys had an adventure that morning of going out to find fish to cook on the grill. They were gone for a couple hours and returned without fish. Maybe all the seafood is sent inland (?), as there’s no shortage here in Bangkok.
In the meantime, bread was rising.
We piled the table high for lunch with sandwich fixins’, pasta salad, and Natalie’s ridiculously artful veggies with dip.
And then we proceeded to toast ourselves alternatively by the pool and beach until well into dinner time.
That night, about an hour before dinner, I poured Sesame Ginger Marinade right into the bag of shrimp on skewers. While they grilled, we devoured the best cheese platter I’ve seen since moving to Southeast Asia.
Saturday we followed a similar, and equally delicious, routine. We had grilled sausages and peppers for lunch. Which, incidentally, are about the most delicious thing I’ve ever had in the midst of a day of playing in the hot sun.
On our last night at the house, we were reluctant to leave the beach. We lingered outside, taking pictures and enjoying the sunset. Although there was hardly anyone on the beach all day, lots of people showed up right around sunset time and jumped in the water. That banana boat you can see in the picture below, pulled by a rickety-looking speedboat, ran 100 lengths of the beach with kids screeching on the back.
Before our epic bonfire, we had an epic beach house dinner. The centerpiece was grilled chicken slathered in spicy sweet barbecue sauce.
I tossed the tomatoes, cucumbers, black olives, and feta in Greek dressing and voila – Greek salad in 5 minutes.
Just before dinner, I spread olive oil dough out on a pan, dimpled it with my fingers, sprinkled it with salt and rosemary, and baked it at 400 degrees. (Well….something like 400 degrees…beach house ovens are not the most user-friendly.) We ate it straight-up, hot from the oven.
Sunday was Easter, of course, so before we left the beach house, we planned a festive brunch. Natalie made a strata. There wasn’t a bite left. I think I had two (or three) servings.
And because Easter Sunday was also Natalie’s birthday, I made a sweet treat – individual monkey bread’s. These were great for a brunch-time birthday celebration, but I’ll have to get the recipe just right before sharing. They were tasty but still needed a little something.
It was a truly fun brunch, and great end to an all-around fantastic weekend.
It’s safe to say that when we piled in the cars to head back to Bangkok, we were full and happy – as everyone should be on Easter Sunday.
If you made it all the way to the end of this lengthy post on beach eats, I’ve got one more great link to share. My friend Natalie, of Thai Noodle Remy fame, also has a great post up about our trip.