Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lake Powell Eating Like Kings


             We eat like kings at Lake Powell, with
              everyone couple making a lunch and dinner
            and everyone trying out fun new recipes.

             As we gather at night around the table on the upper
             deck, we have a gorgeous outdoor dining room.

            Definitely a room with a view.

The cooks for the evening can choose how to
set the table, as we have a few options - even
paper if they want - in many styles.

My meal featured an Italian theme with a creamy
Artichoke Dip starter, followed by a stacked Caprese
Tomato salad, with a Mushroom and Arugula Gnocchi.

The bottom right picture was a Pina Colada salad
made by my friend for lunch.  It featured coconut
crusted chicken.

These fabulous lunch pizzas were made on Naan bread
and topped with the most fabulous fresh ingredients.

The one on the top left was the one I created with all
three flavors in one.  They featured clockwise goat cheese
topped with arugula micro greens, strawberries, pecans and balsamic
glaze, then mascarpone cheese, smoked mozzarella, arugula, bacon, 
and drizzled with honey.  The bottom left one is avocados, Orange
infused olive oil, arugula, pistachios and feta cheese.

I think this was the best lunch I have had at
Lake Powell.  It was so fresh and delicious.

Another Italian night featured a copycat version
of Carrabba's Chicken Bryan with a fabulous
sauce of sundried tomatoes over goat cheese.

I just melted over these fun mozzarella stuffed
pesto rolls.  She put a cube of mozzarella inside
half of a Pillsbury biscuit, and then smothered
it in pesto sauce.  Ooey, gooey, cheesy heaven!

Another night was a pulled pork taco bar.

Our final night featured an Asian twist on
grilled Tri Tip with Asian appetizers,
followed by a rich chocolate cake
from Sweden.  This trip was to honor
our good friends, twins, who just returned
from their LDS missions - one from Taiwan
and one from Sweden, so they both let us
have a taste of their mission foods.

Of course, you know we had lots of
treats and desserts featuring Chocolate Chip S'mores Pizookies,
Virgin Mango Lava Flows, a Very Berry Gallette, and a
Pan full of Sugar Cookies.

Everyone is hungry after a fun
day of play, watersports, 

hiking through narrows,
swimming, etc.

Our special cave where we cliff jump 
            and have a picnic
            on the speed boat with music echoing off the cave.

           We always finish our days on top of the third
            deck under the stars, listening to playlists hubby
            has created - "Star Gazing Music".  Our favorite
            album is Ray Lynch's Deep Breakfast, Celestial Soda Pop!
            Check that one out on You Tube.

            There are no city lights so the Milky Way looks
            like a cloud stretched across the sky, and I never
              want to go to bed until I have seen 
a shooting star!!

I will be posting this with

Monday, August 1, 2016

Virgin Mango Strawberry Lava Flows

This kid friendly drink is one of favorites modeled
after a lava flow.  Lava flows are always what the
kids want when we are vacation at a nice resort,
so we are making this at home, with the added touch
of a scoop of ice cream.  Boy does that scoop of ice
cream take the drink up into the stratosphere.

Mango Strawberry Lava Flow Recipe

Fill the blender two thirds full with ice, then
cover it with pina colada mix.  Blend until the 
ice is finely ground.  Pour an ounce of
Mango or Strawberry Colada mix in the bottom of
a glass.  This is actually Strawberry Watermelon
colada mix and it was fantastic.  Pour in the frozen
pina colada from the blender.  Top with a scoop 
of good vanilla ice cream.  We LOVE Costco's
Kirkland brand - so creamy and delicious.  Drizzle
a little of the other mix on, so this one had a little
mango mix drizzled on, while the ones in back
had mango in the bottom and strawberry watermelon
drizzled on.  Put in a straw and enjoy!

Fill the bottom with the mango or the watermelon strawberry.
I have to say the mango was my favorite.  I found these
at my local grocery store with the drink mixes.

These were perfect at Lake Powell.  I will have to
post our menu from this last week!!  We had a lot
of delicious new recipes.

Thanks for stopping by 
Purple Chocolat Home.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Garden Wedding and Party

My garden has been a busy place this summer
with a wedding reception and a few days later,
a Mother Daughter Garden party.

Since the Mother Daughter party was just four days
after the wedding reception, I used a lot of the
same decor and ideas.

It all started with this ugly green hutch that was a leftover
from one of our condo project models.  I didn't pick it -
our partner's wife did, and it had been relegated to the basement
to hold plates and things.  

The wedding reception was for my oldest daughter's niece,
and my daughter said we should paint it for the wedding 
reception, and use it for our sign in station.

I decided to paint the interior of the two glass
cabinets a pale aqua.  I used Rustoleum's
chalk paint.

It was our first foray into chalk paint, and I decided to
add a little bling with the crystal knobs that I
ordered online.

Once we finished that, I asked her what she planned
on using for the candy station, so we had to paint
another piece.

 This piece was in my dining room, also holding
plates and things.  It was a brown on brown.
I was looking for something with a lot of
detail and this one was perfect.  It went from
being the ugly duckling to the beautiful swan.

It got a little lavender bling in the crystal knobs!

After the transformations, I said these pieces
were going to take center place in my dining room.
No more basement for the ugly green hutch.

The hutch was placed on the side yard entrance
for guests to sign in. 

 Lavender was one of the bride's colors, and I
had driven into my daughter's driveway and saw
this great lavender bicycle.  I said I had to borrow
it for the wedding and they said the friend was
selling it.  I bought it that day and brought it

 The wedding was gorgeous and a much bigger
turn out than the bride's mom had guessed, but
the yard handled it well.

I had hung netting panels from IKEA in the gazebo
for the backdrop for the bride and groom.  She
had rose gold runners on the tables, so I purchased
a rose gold tablecloth and took a small seam
on one end so I could hang it too.

The wedding reception was a big success!

The bride has lots of big strapping cousins, so right
after the reception ended, I had them move the
hutch down to the gazebo.  The bride and groom had
stood here for the wedding.  Now I wanted the hutch
to be used for the Mother Daughter party as our buffet.

I was able to reuse lots of my flowers
from the wedding for the Mother Daughter
party, filling the drawers with plants and
little vases of flowers.

The cupboards were opened up to accomodate
all of the food.

We had heart shaped peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches for the little ones and chicken
croissant sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches
with a salad for the moms.

The girls had fun decorating cupcakes as flowers
using marshmallows and sugar sprinkles.

Of course I knew they would love the candy
station as much as the wedding guests, so
I repeated that where the wedding cake
had been stationed.

Both parties were made magical by my painted
garden furniture, but they are too nice to leave
outside.  Watch for my dining room remodel.  
These two pieces will be featured!

I will be sharing these parties with

Monday, July 18, 2016

Lemon Raspberry Wow Cake

Birthday time for one of the Crafty Girls -
that I featured on my last post,
and I volunteered to make the cake.

I decided to make my 
but I wanted to jazz it up a bit.

I played around with some white chocolate
coating, cutting it into triangles, and
making swoops with the back of a spoon,
and then dusting it with pink praline powder
that I got in Paris.

I dolled up some lemon and raspberry macarons
that I found at Costco ($15 for 36) with a little

Some pearls and fresh raspberries finished off
the top of the cake.

I love the look of these wing-like swoops.
Just dip your spoon in the white chocolate
and smear it onto parchment paper.  Make
extras in case the thin chocolate at the edge
breaks when you remove it.

The frosting is a lemon whip cream, so we took
a quick picture and then put it back in the
fridge until we served it after dinner.  

Jann's birthday cake was lit off with these amazing

I had seen them years ago in a fancy restaurant in
town, and tried to contact the company to purchase them,
but no luck!  Now you can buy them online!  

They are the perfect topping for this showstopper cake.

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