Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sparkling 4th of July Tablescape

God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her and guide her
Through the night with the light from above.
From the mountains
To the prairies
To the oceans,
White with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.

Red White and Blue
Celebrate Freedom
Celebrate our Nation

What have I done with my freedom?
John Adams wrote, "Oh posterity, you will never know how much
it cost us to preserve your freedom.  I hope you make good use
of it.  If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half
the pains to preserve it."

I am so thankful for that freedom.
I am thankful for what the colors red, white and blue stand for.
I am thankful for a father that fought in and survived WWII.
I am thankful for the abundant life I can live here in America.
I am thankful for God's wondrous creations throughout the
whole world.
I am thankful to be able to remember.
I am thankful for my wonderful family.

I am thankful for the opportunity to celebrate.
And for loved ones I can celebrate with.
May you enjoy your 4th of July celebrations
May freedom always shine.
May our freedoms be a light to the world.
Happy July 4th!
I will be posting the recipe for the Corn Salsa or Cowboy Caviar pictured with
the red, white and blue corn chips tomorrow.
The drink is Cherry Pomegranate Crystal Light
The sherbet dish contains Vanilla Dreyer's Ice Cream,
Haagen Daaz Raspberry Sorbet and Vanilla Dreyer's Ice Cream rolled
in Wilton's Patriotic Nonpareils.

This tablescape will be posted on Between Naps On The Porch's

Red plates are from Home Goods, red goblets, blue sherbet dishes and red placemats
from Wal Mart, drink dispenser from Costco, red candleholders from Pier 1,
flatware from World Mart.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Roasted Balsamic Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Pecans

So this was the fabulous roasted aspargus we had in Cabo.
We decided to make it.
So simple and so delicous.

Recipe for Roasted Balsamic Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Pecans

1 large bunch fresh asparagus (this is the one from Costco)
olive oil
Montreal Steak Seasoning
4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 C. roasted pecans
balsamic vinegar

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean and trim asparagus.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus.
Sprinkle Montreal Steak Seasoning over the top of the asparagus.
Roll the asparagus around a little to coat all sides of it.
(This is a photo I took of Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, but you
can see the olive oil and Montreal Steak Seasoning on it.)

Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.  Do not overbake.
Remove from oven and place on serving dish.
Break the goat cheese up and sprinkle on top of asparagus.
Top with toasted pecans.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar on top.

This is so amazing and really easy.
The one at the restaurant had grilled portabella mushrooms
underneath the asparagus, which was great but we didn't
have any that day and so we went without.
Try this any time of year.  Vegetarians would love this.
I am posting this with Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Strawberry Fried Chicken Salad

Summer at our home means main dish salads.

Two quintessential parts of summer
Fresh Strawberries
Fried Chicken

But together?

Strawberry Fried Chicken Salad

That's what I thought when I first heard of this salad.
When summer rolls around - we begin having main dish salads.
My wonderful son-in-law is the youngest of ten children.
We have come to know and love all of them and
have vacationed together.  One of them served
this up for us at our cabin for the first time.
My first bite was "WOW".  I couldn't stop eating.
The combination of the sweet berries with
the salty and crunchy fried chicken was incredible.
Hope you enjoy it too.
Use berries from your garden or from the store.
We have also made this substituting raspberries for
the strawberries and pears for the grapes.
Most grocery stores in their deli have tasty fried chicken strips.
Taste test your store's.  Make sure they are moist and not
over-cooked.  Kentucky Fried Chicken also has great strips.
These came from our local grocery deli.
These sugared pecans are so easy to make.  The recipe follows.
This is a photo of lettuce that came up in my garden spontaneously.
I just let a few heads of lettuce go to seed.  In the spring
I have lettuce in abundance and really early.  These landed
in a pot that I plant flowers in.  They were so beautiful
that I left them and planted flowers on the other side.
I used this lettuce for this salad.
Slice or chop and assemble all of the beautiful ingredients.
Dress the salad just before serving or it will wilt.

Sugared Nuts

1/2 C. white sugar
2 T. water
1 1/2  C. toasted pecans (toast in 350 degree oven for 7-10 min.)
In a medium sized frying pan, place the sugar and water.  When the sugar has melted
and the mix begins to boil, add the nuts.
Continue to stir the nuts over medium heat, stirring
constantly just until the water boils away and the nuts begin
to look like they are coated with sand.
Quickly remove them from the heat and pout out
onto a greased sheet of tin foil.  Separate the nuts
with a fork if desired.  Let cool, then chop


3/8 C. white wine vinegar
3/8 C. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 C. sugar
2 T. chopped onion, red or white
1 T. poppy seed
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 C. light olive oil

Mix everything in the blender besides the oil.  With the blender
running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing.

Mix together an assortment of mixed lettuces, washed, drained and chilled,
halved grapes, chopped green onion (if desired), strawberries, sugared pecans
and pre-cooked boneless fried chicken strips, cut into bite sized
pieces.  Toss with dressing and serve right away.
I will be posting this summer recipe on

Simple Sassy Summer Skirt

I'm loving the ruffles!  So cute and feminine and so summery.
If you love ruffles too, check out my ruffled summer bag by clicking here.

Several people have asked for directions for this
simple and sassy summer skirt-SSSS.
I have shown 3 variations.  Following the basic directions you can make
any number of variations.
All of these are Moda fabrics designed by my good friend Lila Tueller.
You can catch her blog by clicking here.  She has some great patterns too.

My friend Barb who has sewn skirts from Lila's fabrics call her skirts
her "happy skirts" because the fabrics are so fun.


1.  Measure your hips and add 4 inches.  This will make it so the skirt
is wide enough to get on and to sit down in.
2.  Measure from your waist to where you want the body of the skirt to end.
I made mine 20 inches long. 
3.  Add 1 1/2 inches to this last measurement to allow for the
casing for the elastic and any trimming of the serger.
You should now have a length of 21 1/2 (longer or shorter if desired )
and a width of your hips plus 4 inches.
4.  Cut a piece of fabric measuring this, i.e. 21 1/2 x 39
5.  Sew up one side seam.  Press and turn right sides out.
6.  Serge the top and bottom to finish the raw edges.
7.  Turn down the casing for the elastic on the top edge - I used
1 inch elastic, so I made the casing 1 1/4 inches wide.

8. Sew the casing, leaving room to insert the elastic.
9.  Measure the elastic.  Most people are wearing it down a little
on their hips.  You can always adjust the elastic.
10.  Insert the elastic using a large bobby pin or safety pin.
11.  Sew the ends of the elastic together.
12. Try the skirt on before closing the hole so that you can adjust
the elastic if needed.
13.  Sew the casing closed.
14.  I usually stitch across the elastic at the seam and half way
around the skirt now so the elastic won't roll.
15.  Decide how many ruffles you want on your skirt and how deep they will be.
I chose 4 inch ruffles. 
16.  Measure your ruffles and cut.  You will want them to be twice
what the width of the skirt is, i.e. 39 inches times 2 is 78 inches, by the 4
inches in width. So cut one or two ruffles 78 inches x 4 inches.

17.  Serge the top and bottom of the ruffles and sew the ends together, right
sides together.
18.  Sew a gathering stitch around the top of each ruffle.  Mark it in fourths. 
Mark your skirt in fourths.
Pull up the gathering stitch and pin it on top of the skirt, matching the pins
that mark it into fourths.

19.  Sew the ruffle onto your skirt.
20.  Add a flower pin if you want.

You have a fun new summer skirt.  These took me about an hour to make.

This skirt had a 6 inch panel of coordinating fabric added,
so I cut the skirt 15 1/2 x 39 inches.  I used one ruffle on this skirt.
If you want to learn how to make this cute flower click here.
On this skirt I made two ruffles, adding the top one 3 1/2 inches above
the bottom one, so they slightly overlap to cover the seam.
I mark that with a pen and draw a line which gets covered up
by the stitching.  That way your top ruffle goes on straight.

On this skirt I made two ruffles like the previous skirt, each 4 inches.
When I finished, I added a 1 1/2 inch ruffle that the edge is left
unfinished on and is sewn on down the middle.  This one is about 4 times
the fullness rather than the normal 2 times the fullness.  I just start at the seam
and keep overlapping the ends until the you come back around to the seam.

Have fun, let me know what you design.

Yes, that is a purple iron, every girl should have one!
Lovin' Purple
I will be posting this on Just Something I Whipped Up

Monday, June 21, 2010

Waffle Ice Cream Cones

What better way to snack on  ice cream than to make some waffle cones and dip them in chocolate.  I know it looks like all I eat is sweets, but it isn't true. 

I love my (or should I say my husband's since I bought it for him for Christmas one year), Chef's Choice Waffle Ice Cream Cone Maker.  Click here for their website.  It now comes with the cone holder.  I had to search all over to find one.

The waffle batter bakes up so quickly.  Then you lift the waffle with a fork and quickly transfer it to a solid surface and roll it around the cone shaper that comes with it.  Try to roll it so that there is little to no hole at the bottom.  If there is, you can fill it will a half teaspoon of chocolate.  Let it cool in the cone holder, I like to leave the cone shaper inside while it cools a minute while your next one is baking.

When the cone is cool, you can dip the edge in melted chocolate and then roll it in chopped, toasted nuts, sprinkles or jimmies.

Waffle Ice Cream Cones

Preheat waffle cone maker.
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. sugar
1 1/3 C. flour
1/4 C. melted butter, cooled

Beat the eggs and whites and 1/2 tsp. salt until well blended.  Beat in 1 C. sugar until the sugar is incorporated and the egg has lightened in color - about 1 minute.  Add the 1 1/3 C. flour and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the cooled, melted butter. 

Spoon 3 T. batter in the center of iron.  Close and latch lid (BE SURE TO LATCH THE LID).
Bake until the light goes green.  (You can adjust the color of the finished cone by changing the knob on the side.)
Remove and place on clean cloth or surface and roll into cone shape.  Let cool in the cone holder or inside a glass. 
Makes 10-12 cones

Grab a bite !

I will be posting this on Foodie Friday.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Girl's Camp With A Little Style

Welcome to my back patio.  It is time to have a little backyard fun.

As President of The Young Women's Organization in our church
I am off to Girl'sCamp this week.
We go high into the mountains and when we have to go in June
it can rain and snow every day.
So I found these stylin' rain boots with a western/animal/girlie flair
and knew I had to have them.
Then I knew they had to be the centerpiece for my camping tablescape.
If you can believe it, I found them at the airport!

The Simplicity hedge roses are on their last leg, but they look
perfect placed in boots with matching roses.  I just
placed a tall glass in each boot to hold the water.
I wish Girl's Camp was this civilized!
We do a lot of crafts at Girl's Camp.
That's probably what inspired the napkins and napkin rings.
I had pale pink fabric and animal print fabric already, so I cut
it into 18 1/2 inch squares and used my serger to give them
rolled edges.  The animal print fabric was from a valance that I was
going to throw away.  I decided to hang onto it and have made one
into a table topper and now these darling napkins.
(No greasy fingers-pleeeease!)
I knew I needed some napkin rings to match, but couldn't
find anything.  Then while perusing Wally Mart I saw
these curtain rings and thought, maybe, if I can't find anything else.
Also at Wal Mart I saw these cute jewel buttons, and then
I knew what the napkin rings would be - girlie and bling bling.
I layered black Pfalzgraff with pink ceramics I bought at a local store, Tai Pan.
The heavy braided place mats are from Wal Mart.  The utensils are from
World Market.
If you didn't catch it before, these boots are kickin'.

Don't I wish we had s'mores served up like this!

And if you can find marshmallows in matching pink, why not?
I found these at Wal Mart too.
Mmmmmmmmm Good!
And if it is going to be girlie, we have to have pink lemonade.
These glasses are made by Libbey.
You can get these at a steal on line.  Click here.
At this source they are a couple of dollars apiece.  Other
sources wanted about $15 apiece.

When I get back the Simplicity roses will be done until Fall.

One last look from above. 

The gas fire pit was my Mother's Day gift last year.  It came from Costco.

Before you go, let's toast up some of them  pink girlie mallows.

For now, I am just kickin' back and relaxin'.
Soon I have to leave this ideal world and go pack for the
real world of Girl's Camp - dust and dirt and no showers, but
we do have cabins, and it is spectacularly beautiful.
Of course, the girls make it all worth it

And I do have my boots!

Oh no!

"Mom, would you forget about blogging!  You burned my marshmallows!"

My husband says I have to do some more "manly" things.  One of our
former neighbors and great friend played in the NFL and he told me
he's one of my followers.  Ok, maybe after camp.

I will be sharing this on Rhondi's Rose Colored Glasses for her Porch Party

It will also be my pleasure to share my dream of Girl's Camp
on Tablescape Thursdays and Pink Saturday (if I can get my sister Joni to link me up while I'm gone.)

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