Summer Feed

Not Just for the Birds

Check out this cool idea for displaying your drinks in the Summer heat!

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Most of us already have a bird bath.  Just clean it out and cover the inside with plastic wrap.  Fill with ice and insert your punch, soft drinks, wine and water.  They also decorated this one with blooms.  This would be lovely for an outdoor reception or bridal shower.


(photo from bhg.com)


Crudite Centerpiece

I just love this centerpiece idea from Martha!  BONUS-it doubles as your appetizer server.  So easy to do and looks great too.

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How-To:

Buy a large deep galvanized metal planter at your local hardware store.  Fill the bottom with sprouts (alfalfa maybe) and pour in enough water just to moisten them.  Arrange your favorite veggies and serve with a light dip.  Voila!

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Cool and Spicy Salad

There's nothing better to have on a hot summer evening than a cool salad.  This salad looks delicious with its spicy seasonings and its cool sour cream dressing.  YUM.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

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Yield

4 servings (serving size: 2 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

  • Dressing:
  • 1/3  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3  cup  light sour cream
  • 1  tablespoon  minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 4  teaspoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt

  • Salad:
  • 4  cups  shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2  cups  chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
  • 1  cup  cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2  cup  diced peeled avocado
  • 1/3  cup  thinly vertically sliced red onion
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1  (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained

Preparation

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)


Pina Colada Pops

I am loving all things frozen at the moment-how about you?  What a great twist on the traditional Pina Colada!

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Prep Time:
25 min
Total Time:
4 hr 25 min
Makes 6 servings.
 
Ingredients
 
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Pineapple Flavor Gelatin
1/4 cup coconut-flavored rum or coconut milk
  ice cubes
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained, liquid reserved
 
Directions:

ADD boiling water to gelatin mix in medium bowl; stir 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in rum. Add enough ice to reserved pineapple liquid to measure 3/4 cup. Add to gelatin; stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.

REFRIGERATE 15 min. or until gelatin is thickened. Stir in pineapple. Pour into 6 paper or plastic cups. Freeze 1 hour.

INSERT wooden pop stick or plastic spoon in center of each cup. Freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove pops from cups before serving.

Variation
Freeze in frozen pop molds instead of the cups.
For a Nonalcoholic Version
Substitute cold water for the rum.
Note
Remove frozen pops from freezer about 5 min. before serving; let stand at room temperature to soften slightly.
 

Deck Decor

While looking for ideas to spice up our back deck I found this picture of a deck very similar to ours.

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Most everything is the same except we don't have benches.  I would love a rug like this!  It makes it so cozy along with the floor cushions.  The web is full of inspiration!  Hope this inspires you to spruce up your outdoor spaces.


(photo from myhomeideas.com)


Simple Setting

I just love the simplicity of this outdoor table setting.  Bamboo plates are topped with patterned plastic ones.  And that's right-those are dishtowels underneath!  So easy to recreate this look.  Throw in some blue accents and you've got a festive 4th of July table. 

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Now I've got some good news and bad news.  The bad news is I'm going to have to put off the White Wine Tasting for awhile.  The good news is I got my first job decorating for a baby shower!  Scary news is it's only a few weeks away!  The mom-to-be has requested a Pea in a Pod theme which I think is going to be fun.  I've got several ideas floating around so stay tuned to see everything come together and feel free to share any ideas you have!

I hope everyone has a fantastic 4th of July!

(photo from southernliving.com)


More Wine Tasting Details

I found these lovely jars over at Celebrations at Home.  They are perfect for my white wine tasting coming up!  We just bought some mason jars for canning our vegetables.  All I need is moss and butterflies.  Like Chris said, they remind me of catching fireflies in the summertime!  I will probably set them on the tables with white votives scattered around them. 

Amorology2

Amorology3

Thanks for the great inspiration, Chris! 

(images from Celebrations at Home


Cocktail Time

This looks so good!  About 5:00 today I will be in need of one of these.  Great low-cal version too, using Crystal Light.

Pink Lemonade Margarita

Pink_Lemonade_Margarita 

Prep Time:
5 min
Total Time:
5 min
Makes:
5 servings, 1 cup each
 
Ingredients:
 
1 tub CRYSTAL LIGHT Pink Lemonade Flavor Drink Mix
1-1/2 cups  cold water
1/2 cup cold orange juice
2 Tbsp.  tequila
1 Tbsp. lime juice
5 cups  crushed ice

PLACE drink mix, water, orange juice, tequila and lime juice in blender container; cover.

BLEND on high speed until drink mix is dissolved.

ADD ice; cover. Blend on high speed until thickened and smooth. Serve immediately.


Cool Treat

Here's a cute and fun popsicle idea for you and the kids to try this summer.  These would be great for a birthday party, shower or backyard bbq.

Confetti Pops

Confetti-pops-de 

Ingredients:

8 piece(s) (1 1/2-inch) soft-centered candy bars, (like Milky Way or Snickers)
1 pint(s) vanilla custard-style ice cream, slightly softened
3/4 cup(s) assorted-color candy confetti or sprinkles

DIRECTIONS

  1. Insert a wooden Popsicle stick into one end of each candy bar and set aside. Place 1 tablespoon of ice cream in the bottom of a 3-ounce paper cup. Place candy in center of the cup, surround with 3 tablespoons ice cream, and smooth over the top.
  2. Transfer cup to a baking sheet, repeat with remaining cups, and freeze until solid. Pour confetti or sprinkles into a shallow bowl and set aside. Peel the cup from each ice cream pop and roll in the decorations to cover completely. Store in freezer for up to 3 days

(photo from countryliving.com)


To Paint or Not to Paint...

THAT is the question.  I've been looking for another project and I think I've found it!  The inside of the house is pretty much done for now so I'm moving to the outside.  In the front of the house I always do monochromatic colors of flowers, chairs, etc.  In the back I decorate with all kinds of colors.  Multicolored tablecloth, chairs and flowers.  I love color. 

My chairs have seen better days because they are totally exposed to the elements.  I've thought about buying cushions to spice them up, but then the cushion would just get dirty. 

Then I found these ideas from BHG for painting patio furniture!  They are so colorful and bright.

Love love the polka dots and daisies below!

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I have a beverage tub like this.  I think this would be a lot of fun to paint.

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The cool blue stripes below go great with the pool.

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So I've painted designs on wooden furniture for indoors.  My question is would this sort of thing work on chairs like this??:

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According to BHG you use acrylic paint then seal with a varnish.  I've heard of plastic paint too.  Anyone ever painted outdoor furniture before?  Mine would be in the sun and rain so I'm wondering if the designs would fade and/or come off.  The chairs are not expensive so I'm thinking it will be fun to try it and if they get messed up it won't be a huge loss!  Any tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!