June 24, 2011

Catching Fireflies!

Darling and I have been discussing that age old question..."Where should we move for our retirement years?" I don't think there is any question on this from either of us. We are in must be near the water...lakefront property is calling our names!

A Maine House Mosaic

Lakefront living offers the best of both worlds ... gorgeous vistas and water views -- in beautiful communities -- where neighbors are friends, and peace and tranquility reign supreme ... combined with easy access to swimming, fishing, boating, and other fun activities you can dive into right from your lake house shore or dock. Living in a lake house would feel like being on vacation every day of the year. My Daddy's cousin, Louise and her dentist husband, Bill Mellor, had gorgeous lake property in Ohio. We would often visit them in the summer and stay at their cabin-like home. It was cozy, beautifully, yet comfortably furnished and you felt instantly at home when you walked through the front door. I remember that they had a twig rocker with a big red cushion in the seat....I used to love sitting in that rocker, looking out at the lake. Anytime you felt like it, you could go down through their yard, to the dock, jump in their boat and head out across the lake to a little homestyle community restaurant. We would spend cool evenings on their front porch, catching fireflies and listening to the adults talk about the "good ole' days!" Those were magical summer memories. Who knows where we will move next, but isn't it worth the dream?

Grilled Shrimp Gumbo Summer Salad with Fresh Corn Vinaigrette
6 (12-inch) wooden skewers
1 pound unpeeled, large raw shrimp (36/40 count)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided
1 pound fresh okra
6 (1/2-inch-thick) sweet onion slices
1 green bell pepper, quartered
2 (16-oz.) packages baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half

Soak wooden skewers in water 30 minutes. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Drizzle shrimp with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. Cajun seasoning. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Drizzle okra, onion, and bell pepper with remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil; sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning. Grill okra, covered with grill lid, 4 minutes on each side or until tender. Grill onion slices and bell pepper, covered with grill lid, 6 minutes on each side or until tender. Grill shrimp, covered with grill lid, 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink.
 Cut okra in half lengthwise. Coarsely chop bell pepper. Toss together okra, bell pepper, and onion in a large bowl. Remove shrimp from skewers, and toss with okra mixture, tomatoes, and Fresh Corn Vinaigrette.

Corn Vinaigrette
1 cup fresh corn kernels
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together fresh corn kernels, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic clove, balsamic vinegar, Creole mustard, and chopped fresh thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Estelle's Frozen Lemonade Pie
Graham Cracker Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, melted

Lemonade filling:
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1 (12 ounce) container whip topping, thawed
1 (6 fluid ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate, keep frozen
1 teaspoon fresh lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl, combine cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the melted butter. Press firmly on bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 7 minutes and let cool completely.
In a medium bowl, add chilled sweetened condensed milk and cool whip and fold gently. Add frozen lemonade and continue to gently fold. Do not let the mixture become soupy. Pour mixture into the pie crust and freeze overnight. Garnish with fresh lemon peel.

"When I was a little kid, of course, I was brown all summer.
That's because I was free as a bird- nothing to do but catch bugs all day."
-- Roy Blount Jr.

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