Summer Feed

Vibrant Veggie Salad

This colorful salad caught my eye when I was searching for a new side to serve with our BBQ this weekend.  I think we have a winner!  Yum.

Corn, Tomato & Avocado Salad

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Makes 8 servings

For the dressing:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

  • 4 ears corn, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 pounds grape tomatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 2 medium avocados, diced

Directions

Combine the dressing ingredients in a blender, using 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste; process until smooth. Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with the dressing. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.

(photo and recipe from foodnetwork.com)


TGIF

Well I'm busy putting the finishing touches on the Green Apple Wedding Shower for tomorrow so I leave you with this very refreshing cocktail to enjoy this weekend. 

Spiked Lemonade

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Makes 3 1/4 cups

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  lemon-flavored sparkling water or club soda, chilled
  • 1/2  cup  citrus-flavored vodka, chilled
  • 1/2  cup  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4  cup  sugar
  • 1/4  cup  orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • Garnish: lemon slices

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large pitcher. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish each serving with a lemon slice, if desired.

Be sure to check back next week for pics from the shower!  Have a great weekend!


(photo and recipe from myrecipes.com)


Patriotic Lighting

Memorial Day is just around the corner, can you believe it?  I can't.  Here is an easy way to make your plain candle holders look more patriotic for the occasion.  Also great for the 4th of July.

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Tools and Materials
Assorted cylindrical clear-glass containers
Glassine sheets in red, white, and blue
Tape measure
Rotary cutter or edgers
Double-sided tape
Glue stick

Patriotic Votive How-To
1. Measure the height and circumference of the container, adding 1/2 inch to the circumference. Cut a piece of glassine to these measurements. Wrap the glassine around the container, and adhere using the double-sided tape.

2. Use the remaining colors to create patterns and decorations on the votive, such as stripes of colored glassine. Cut the stripes with the edgers or rotary cutter to give them an added visual appeal. Affix the decorations to the votive using the double-sided tape or glue stick.

Watch a how to video here.

For even more patriotic flare check out Hostess Jo's Patriotic Section!  Get 15% off with coupon code "memorial" now through Memorial Day!

(photo from marthastewart.com)


Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Here is a last minute easy tabletop idea for your fiesta tonight! 

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I know you've got some colored vases lying around.  Place them on a brightly colored tablecloth with a festive flower in each and voila!  Grab some brightnapkins and glassware and you're all set.  That's the beauty of a fiesta-it doesn't have to be all matchy matchy and anything bright goes.

Check out our other Cinco de Mayo ideas here !

(photo from southernliving.com)


Margaritas Three Ways

With Summer and Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I have margaritas on the brain!  I'm a "on the rocks" gal but these are irresistible.  Serve these unique versions at your next fiesta.

Beer 'Garitas

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I keep saying I'm going to try these and haven't yet...have you?

Prep: 5 min. For a bolder flavor, use a dark beer. Serve in 16-oz. mason jars for fun.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1  cup  frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 1  cup  tequila
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • Crushed ice
  • 1/2  to 1 cup cold beer

1. Stir together first 3 ingredients until well blended. Fill 4 medium glasses with crushed ice. Pour limeade mixture evenly into glasses. Add beer to taste.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Minute Maid Frozen Concentrate for Limeade, José Cuervo Especial tequila, and Triple Sec for orange liqueur

Scarlet Margaritas

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This is the prettiest color!

Prep: 10 min. If pomegranates are not available, no problem. This drink is just as delicious without the fresh seeds.

Makes 6 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

  • 4  cups  crushed ice
  • 1  cup  pomegranate juice
  • 1/2  cup  orange liqueur
  • 1/2  cup  tequila
  • 1  tablespoon  lime juice
  • 4  tablespoons  pomegranate seeds (1/2 fresh pomegranate) (optional)
  • Lime wedges
  • Coarse salt
  • Garnish: lime slices

1. Process first 5 ingredients, and, if desired, pomegranate seeds in a blender 30 seconds or until frothy.

2. Rub rims of 6 glasses with lime wedges; dip in salt to coat. Pour margarita evenly into prepared glasses. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pom Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice

Blue Margaritas

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Look at that frosty pitcher-ice cold!

For an even coating around the rim of each glass, dip first in lime juice and then salt.

Makes 5 cups     

1  (10-ounce) can frozen margarita mix

  • 3/4  cup  tequila
  • 1/4  cup  blue curaçao liqueur
  • 2  tablespoons  lime juice
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender. Fill with ice to 5-cup level, and process until smooth. Serve immediately

    Come back soon for our Cinco de Mayo/Fiesta menu ideas!  I guess it can't be all about the cocktails ;)

    (images from southernliving.com)


    Who Wants Ice Cream?

    I do! I do!  Especially when it is these adorable SOAPSICLES!  Yes that's right-they are soap.  What a terrific gift idea for mom, friends and children.  They would also make great party favors. 

    Here are a few of my favorites, there are many more over at Soapy Love!

    Nilla Sammie

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    Peachy Keen

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    Lemonade

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    All Soapsicles are the same size as a real popsicle and only $8!


    Surprising Mojitos

    Here is another treat to serve at your Cinco de Mayo or fiesta celebrations!  It sounds so refreshing. I can't wait to try it!

    Jello Mojito Granita

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    Prep Time:
    20 min
    Total Time:
    3 hr 20 min
    Makes:
    6 servings
     
    Ingredients:
     
    1 cup boiling water
    1 pkg.  (3 oz.) JELL-O Lime Flavor Gelatin
    3/4 cup carbonated lemon-lime beverage
    1/4 cup  rum or water
    2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh mint
    2 Tbsp.  lime juice
     
    STIR boiling water into gelatin mix in medium bowl 2 min. until completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.

    POUR into 9-inch square pan. Freeze 3 hours or until firm.

    SPOON frozen gelatin mixture into large bowl. Beat with mixer on high speed until smooth. Store leftovers in airtight container in freezer.

    (photo from kraftfoods.com)


    Under the Sea

    Are you daydreaming of days on the beach, hearing the crashing waves with a fruity concoction in your hand like I am?  Ahhhhhhh...   Then you will like these pictures.

    I'm loving the new more natural look of beach/sea life decor.  The creams and tans are just so clean and fresh.  Plus you don't have to live at the beach to incorporate them into your existing decor!  These new neutrals go with everything.  Not only is it great for homes but also looks amazing at parties and weddings.

    These are a few of my favorite sea things:

    Sea Life Pillows

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    Japanese Float Table Lamp

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    Natural Starfish

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    Shells on Strings

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    Mini Recycled Glass Tealight Holders

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    And my favorite of all!  Seascape Table Setting

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