Thursday, June 30, 2016

Just Curious...What are Your Favorite 4th of July Memories

This Monday if the 4th of July, where did the time go? Summer already seems to be flying by so I am hoping to slow it down and enjoy all of my favorite things about the season.

The 4th of July is one of the holidays that I have the fondest memories of. For many reasons but mainly because it was always about family. From the time I was little wherever we lived we would decorate our bikes or wagons, take in the local parade, go to a bbq with my aunts and uncles or go to our lake house and swim, waterski and just enjoy one anthers company. 

A small sampling of people waiting for the fireworks

When we were visiting Milwaukee and then later when we actually moved there we always went to the 3rd of July fireworks, yes, the 3rd of July. The city of Milwaukee decided long ago to have their show on the 3rd and then let the surrounding cities have their displays on the 4th.

My grandparents lived in Milwaukee and every year we would pack up our blankets, picnic baskets and chairs and we would walk to the fireworks. We picnicked , visited, and ate tasty treats along with hundred of thousands of other people and then at 9 or something around that time the show would begin.

We would sit transfixed oohing and ahing and shouting out our favorites and then when it was over pack up and head home for a little sleep before the festivities the next day. 

My grandmother and my mother are very creative and we always had beautiful bikes and wagons and costumes to attend the local park festivities, and the parade. My sister often won prizes for best bike, so that made the morning all the more special. That and the copious amount of ice cream we consumed before lunch.

Trader Joes Cookie Ice Cream

Later in the day we either had bbq's or we went to family parties to swim, frolic with the cousins and eat more food. When you come from a family of 9 aunts and uncles there is always lots of cousins to play with and oodles of scrumptious food, especially sweets. 

Bacon Brats Beter Homes and Gardens

I miss those holidays now that I live across the country but every 4th when we are not together I make sure to take a minute to reflect back on the blessings of my family and all of the funs we had together. Its funny because any holiday that I am not with the family my husband claims puts me in a melancholy mood.

Whisky Barrel Burgers

This year I will not be celebrating the holiday with my family in the Midwest but I will be counting the days until our family reunion late in the summer! 

Do you have any 4th of July memories that are special to you and your family? Are there activities or certain foods that transport you back to those special times? I would love to hear about them and thank you for letting me reminisce about mine. 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cilantro Honey Lime Chicken Salad

Good morning! How was your weekend? Mine was r-e-l-a-x-i-n-g and just what I needed. I slept in late, read two books and spent time at the beach. 

I didn't bake one thing, but that is only because I have a bunch of stuff to make this week for a party. I did make this scrumptious Cilantro honey lime chicken which I paired with avocado, beans, corn and diced tomatoes over lettuce for dinner. You could also make extra chicken and take this for lunch during the week. 

This chicken is light and so full of flavor I think you will love it. 

Cilantro Honey Lime Chicken
Recipe from The Recipe Critic

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place chicken in a zip-lock bag. In a small bowl mix all ingredients then pour over the chicken and marinate for 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat grill to medium-high. Cook chicken 3-4 minutes on each side or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink. 

Do you have any interesting or favorite marinades or salad recipes to share? If so I would love to hear about them as I am always looking for new meals to try!

Have a great week!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Silent Sunday 6-26-2016

Have a great day!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Friday Favorites from Elements of Style, NPR, You May Be Wandering, Savor Home, Between Naps on The Porch, and More

Good morning! How was your week? Mine was great but I am exhausted. So no surprise here I will be relaxing and doing nothing this weekend except sitting on the beach with another good book.

Image Savor Home

Have you found some time to sit, relax and read this summer? What are you reading? If you are looking for something to read check out these suggestions from Savor Home.

Image from Business Insider via Pinterest

This week many schools in my area celebrated graduation, and it made me wonder what words of wisdom were presented to them in them in the commencement speeches that were given. If you would like to see and read more than 350 of the Best Commencement Speeches Ever, check out NPR. This one by Sheryl Sanberg is one of my favorites. 

Are you a fan of Cristo the artist? If so check out this post by Sandy of You May Be Wandering of his latest installation in Italy. You can also see the project from initial drawing to installation on Cristo and Jeanne Claude.

I love bing cherries in the summer and I can eat pounds and pounds of them, rarely do I tire of them but on the off chance that I do I make this coffeecake.

Or these Roasted Vanilla Bean Cherries over No-Bake Cheesecake. This by the way is scrumptious and easy.

Image from Elements of Style via Architectural Digest

I love looking at other people houses in person, in magazines, and on blogs, this week, this cute home featured by Between Naps on the Porch caught my eye. As did this Maine home from Architectural Digest featured on Elements of Style.

What did you read, make, watch or do this week that we might find interesting? We would love to hear about it.

I hope that you have a great weekend! Safe summer travels.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Summer on Pinterest

Good morning! Now that it is officially sumer my mind is spinning with the possibilities of adventure, long weekends at the beach, grilled dinners, and lots of lazy afternoons reading.

Image via Pinterest from Canoe Bay

I have so many Summer thoughts and ideas I even made a Pinterest board to keep them organized. 

Image from Inside Out

Summer takes me back to my childhood where I went to "sleep away camp", spent long weekends at the family cabin swimming and boating and water skiing.   

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream image Pinterest via Give Recipe

There were many days spent reading, playing tennis, camping and biking and making s'mores over the bonfire. 

Image from Pinterest via Design Chic

Summer to me is also about food, popsicles, homemade ice cream, tomato tarts, burgers, potato salad, my grandmothers angle food cake and berries and picnics at the beach. 

Summer Adirondack from the Yellow Cape

Image Here

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

We spent many weekend as children picking blueberries and peaches and playing games in the yard.

Taking long walks on the beach and frolicking in the ocean.

Image Pine Cones and Acorns

What are your favorite summer activities, food, adventures or even memories? Do share, I would love to hear them.

If you would like a few recipe ideas check out my Summer Pinterest board.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

White Cupcakes with Whipped Buttercream Frosting

Good morning! Happy 1st day of Summer! Did you have a nice weekend? And did you enjoy Father's Day? I hesitate to ask that because I know that many of you have lost your dad's, if that is the case I hope that you were able to enjoy your memories of him. My dad is in Wisconsin so I will not be celebrating him until I see him in August, but we did have a nice long talk and shared a lot of laughs.

The weather was fabulous here, sunny, and mild temperatures, perfect for time on the paddle board and a little road trip around the area. 

I did manage to whip up a batch of these delicious cupcakes. Are you a chocolate or a white cake lover? I actually prefer white cake to chocolate, and I really enjoy it with Whipped Buttercream, the more the better!

White Cupcakes
Recipe from Add a Pinch

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare cupcake pans with cooking spray or cupcake liners and set aside. 

Cream together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Slowly add the 3 cups of sugar, one cup at a time making sure to incorporate the sugar fully before adding the other. Then add the eggs one at a time, be sure to incorporate each egg before adding another. 

In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Then in another bowl whisk together the milks, vanilla and almost extracts. Add to the butter/shortening mixture, alternating between the milk and the flour mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. 

Pour mixture into the cupcake liners, about 2/3 filled, do not overfill. Bake for 15-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and place cupcakes onto cooling rack. Wait until cooled to frost. 

Frost and then enjoy!

Whipped Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks of softened butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
2-3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter until light and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar a little at a time on low speed. Then add the extracts and the whipping cream and whip the mixture until light, airy and fluffy. You can add more cream to make the frosting the spreading consistency you like. 

I hope that you have a great week!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Fathers Day dad, I love you! And I cannot wait to see you!

Have a great day !

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Friday Favorites from Madleif, The Little Green Notebook, From The House of Edward, Sprinkles and Sprouts and More

Good morning! Happy Friday, happy weekend and an early happy Father's day! Do you have big plans or just a nice relaxing weekend planned? We have lots of plans but hopefully we will be able to squeeze in a little relaxing at the ocean.

I love food and so does my dad so when we are together, aside from just enjoying our time, we like to try new recipes or restaurants with one another. If I were able to be with my dad this Sunday I think I would probable make him something with meat, potatoes and chocolate for dessert. 

Image Saveur

I have heard that steak is one of the most favorite meals of dads so I think many of them would enjoy this Steak with Herb Sauce from Saveur

Grilled Ribs from Food and Wine

My dad and my husband both love ribs and these Grilled Beef Ribs with Smokey Sweet Barbecue Sauce look like something they would enjoy. 

Image from Sprinkles and Sprouts

I personally LOVE potatoes and would rather have them than meat, so I think these Cheesy Garlic Potatoes from Sprinkles and Sprouts would be perfect to accompany any meal you are making for your dad. 

Dessert must always include a little chocolate, and these incredibly easy No Bake Turtle Tarts would be perfect!  

Image HERE

Or if you have a dad that is not fond of chocolate perhaps these Lemon Rasperry Cheesecake bars would be a better choice?

Summer reading is the best sort of reading, it brings back memories of the library contest each summer. Pamela of From the House of Edward always has a great list in the summer and this one is no exception. So if you are looking for a book or two to add to your list visit her HERE

Are you a fan or Woodsworth and Beatrix Potter? If so and you have never visited their stomping grounds in the Lake District than heat over to Madleif where you can transport yourself there with her beautify photos.

One of the first blogs I ever followed was The Little Green Notebook and it is still a favorite years later. Jenny is great decorator and her bathroom redesign is stunning. You can check it out HERE.

What about you, did you find any interesting books, recipes or adventures out in the world this week to share? If so please let us know!

I hope that you have a fabulous weekend with your dad! I will be celebrating with mine in August and I cannot wait!

Have a safe and wonderful weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

There Are No Words...The Orlando Shooting

There are no words to describe my anger, at a man that killed 49 people and injured 53 more. Or to express my dismay at the politicians that will not acknowledge the real problems of todays world, such as mental illness, terrorism, and more but push their own agendas, even in a time of tragedy. Their are no words to describe my sadness and sorrow for an 18 year old girl celebrating her graduation who's life was snuffed out, or for a mom who jumped in front of the gunman to save her son, or for so many other young men and women who were killed in their prime. What would these beautiful men and women have accomplished in their life? We will never know because they are gone.

I did not know any of these people but each time I see their smiling faces on the TV news a tear comes to my eye and I want to weep. 

I cannot let these 49 people go without acknowledging them. You were the sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mom's, dads, friends and family of many. You are remembered and you will be missed. 

Stanley Almodovar III, 23
Amanda Alvear, 25
Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, 26
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33
Antonio Davon Brown, 29
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29
Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25
Luis Daniel Conde, 39
Cory James Connell, 21
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22
Paul Terrell Henry, 41
Frank Hernandez, 27
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21
Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25
Kimberly Morris, 37
Akyra Monet Murray, 18
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25
Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27
Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35
Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34
Yilmary Rodriguez Sulivan, 24
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33
Martin Benitez Torres, 33
Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37
Luis S. Vielma, 22
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31

 Rest in Peace. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bolognese Pasta Sauce

Good morning! How was your weekend? We had a beautiful and hot weekend here and it finally felt like summer. It was so nice to walk by the ocean and feel the sand between my toes, to meet with friends and to just relax.

I am a very lazy cook in the summer so if I can use my crock pot at anytime to make life and dinner easier, I do. This bolognese sauce is hearty, delicious and easy to make in the crock pot but it can also be made on the stove-top. What I like to do is make a double batch and then freeze half for sometime later.

Bolognese Sauce
Recipe from Williams Sonoma

2 Tbs, olive oil
11/4 lb EACH of ground beef and pork
kosher salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. pancetta, cut into 1/2 dice
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup milk
2 cans whole(28 oz.) tomatoes, passed through a food mill
2 bay leaves
1 parmigiano-reggiano cheese rind
1 lb. Tagliatelle, cooked

In the stove-top insert of a slow cooker, over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. oil. Cook beef and pork, salt and perter for 12 minutes. Drain the meat on paper towels. Cook pancetta for 7 minutes, then drain on paper towels. 

Reduce heat to medium, warm 1 Tbs. oil. Cook onion, carrots, and celery 8 minutes. Then add garlic, cook 1 minutes. Add tomato paste, then cook 2 minutes. Add wine, simmer 5 minutes. Then add the meats back to the pot, the mil, and the tomatoes, bay leaves, cheese rind, and salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Then place the insert into the slow cooker and cover and cook on high for 3/12 hrs. Discard the bay leaves and the rind. Toss pasta with 3 cups sauce, reserve remaining sauce.

What did you make this weekend? Did you bake or grill, try something new or make a family favorite? Share with us if you did, I love learning about new foods. 

Have a fabulous week. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Friday Favorites from Ritz Paris, Half Baked Harvest, Milk Street Kitchen, Privet and Holly,Closet Cooking and More

Good morning! How was your week? Mine was great for the most part because the sun was out everyday and I was able to get out and enjoy it either walking or sitting at the waters edge at the beach. sometime the little things in life are what it is all about, don't you think?

I wanted to thank you for the interesting discussion about the post I wrote about The Standford Swimmer Assault Impact Statement. Although I love food, decor and travel it is always nice to be able to engage in a discussion on current affairs or things that are at times considered controversial.

Jameson Whisky Burger with Blue Cheese and Crispy Onions from Half-Baked Harvest

Father's Day is coming up soon and I love to give gifts that are from the heart, like a favorite dessert, home cooked meal or something with meaning like a photo of a special time or maybe something created by you. This Jameson Whisky Blue Cheese Burger with Crispy Onions might be a great recipe to make for dad if you are staying home for lunch.

Or maybe this Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich from Closet Cooking instead?

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

If my dad and I were going to be together I would be making him either Blueberry Cheesecake Bars or

Chocolate Chip Cookies

perhaps a large batch of Fabulous Everyday Chocolate Chip Cookies both of which are his favorites. 

Summer is upon us and Paris is on the top of many lists for summer vacation. This week the Ritz Paris, an icon, has reopened after a four year renovation.  If you would like to see the new and improved Paris Ritz click HERE.

Speaking of Paris, if you would like to see what the Paris Floods Really Looks Like this week check out Messy Nessy Chic for some photos taken this week as well as a comparison of the flood in 1910. 

While you are checking off your TO DO list for summer holidays, vacations etc make sure to write and check off things from The Other List

Are you a fan of Christopher Kimball formerly of Cook's Illustrated?  Were you wondering what he was up to when he left there? The good news is that he is still cooking, writing and filming a TV show and is the founder of The Milk Street Kitchen. I am looking forward to his new recipes and TV shows.

I hope that you found some interesting things in the world this week, if so please share! Have a safe and happy weekend.