JULY

JULY

July 6, 2020

CELEBRATING AMERICA and TWO OF OUR FAVORITE SUMMER SALADS


A look back at July in Maine...
one of the many historical beauties....


July 4th was very quiet here in Texas.......


we of course touched base with all the kiddos who
were staying home and smoking ribs and brisket...
everyone is trying to social distance and stay safe...
it's been A LONG TIME in doing this.....


The puzzle master at the beginning....


I entertained myself by searching cupboards to see what
fall treasures I had...and it was like finding old friends.
I want to lay it all out in front of me so that I can begin
to design vignettes 
(in my mind) in various places around the house....
I mean with our new normal.....I can certainly find
ways to entertain myself!
I now can enjoy looking at some of my collections for
the next month or so before I begin the transformation
into fall....with somewhat anxious apprehension......
what will it look like...school, football, Halloween,
Thanksgiving and even Christmas....it's such an unknown......

FOOD FARE


We enjoyed a lunch of BBQ pulled chicken sandwiches
topped with a tangy coleslaw and a side of stuffed celery, dill pickles
and Blue Cheese stuffed celery!


This is a delicious and light Pasta Salad which is
an all time favorite for hot Summer months......

TUSCAN TORTELLINI SPINACH SALAD

1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1/2 tbsp. honey

 Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 c. chopped prosciutto

1/2 c. baby spinach

1/2 c. fresh grape tomatoes

1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan

 

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook tortellini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large serving bowl.

Make dressing: Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and season with salt and pepper.

To bowl, add prosciutto, spinach, tomatoes and dressing and toss until well combined. Garnish with Parmesan.



This recipe is a jello salad but it can easily be served
for a light Summer dessert.....it's pretty addicting.....really darn good!


CREAMSICLE JELLO SALAD

1 3-ounce box orange jello
1 3-ounce box cook and serve vanilla pudding
1 3-ounce box cook and serve Tapioca pudding
3 cups cold water
1 tub of Cool Whip
1 large can Mandarin Oranges, drained
Mini Marshmallows

Combine all three boxes of dry mix in a saucepan.
Add  cups of cold water and stir constantly while bringing to a boil.
Boil for 1 minute until mixture has thickened. 
Allow to cool completely.
Add cool whip to cool jello/pudding mixture.
Fold in mandarin oranges and mini marshmallows.
Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve!


Fresh Blueberry Lemonade Margarita's...oh my, my!!!!


The Summer Strawberries....


paired beautifully with 
Milk and Cookies Ice Cream


We have three family birthdays this month...
and not one party shall be had!


July 1, 2020

OO-DE-LALLY, OO-DE-LALLY, GOLLY WHAT A MONTH!

“Independence Day: freedom has its life in the hearts, 
the actions, the spirit of men and
 so it must be daily earned and refreshed – 
else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots,
 it will wither and die.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


May you celebrate July 4th with a grateful AMERICAN SPIRIT....
May the Good LORD bless and keep us.....



Well....it's been a rough month my friends...
There are days when I wonder what country we live in...
I long to return to peaceful times and for people
to be kind and compassionate once again....
or at least for the national news to stop being
so ugly and volatile ...okay, enough of that!
I love looking out my front windows and seeing
how beautiful the crepe myrtles are right now..
we have three of them and I just adore them!

So, here is how we are spending our days...


Puzzles....this one was a gift
from Miss M to the darling...it's precious!


You know over the course of time,
 I have quite the collection of pumpkins....so......
More decoupaging.....
this time was a white faux pumpkin
I have had forever......


I am turning my thoughts to fall.....
I added a vintage Halloween book
to my collection...adore this book!


Oh October decorating,,yes....
Fall cannot come soon enough....

FOOD FARE


I use what I have on hand for baking....
time for pumpkin muffins...
this time was using a German Chocolate cake mix
with chocolate chips....YUM-O!!!!!
Mix the cake mix, one can of pumpkin, 1/2 cup water
and throw in some chocolate chips...Bake at 350 degrees
for twenty minutes!
I also added a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of 
Pumpkin Pie Spice!!!!


Oh, these were yummy....
AND these are my chosen napkins for fall!

There is no better season for Strawberries, than SUMMER....
Y'all....this is sooooo good and sooooo easy to make!
It is a taste of summer that you can use with so many
different recipes....


STRAWBERRY JAM
One sixteen ounce carton fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
2 T. cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1/2 T. unsalted butter
2 t. vanilla


Process the strawberries and cornstarch in a food processor
until smooth.
Press the puree through a fine sieve into a small saucepan.
Discard seeds and pulp.
Add the sugar and the butter.
Cook puree until thickened, about fifteen minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Transfer the jam into a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature.


Our July 4th menu is all set.....
it's going to look something similar to this and
I am making a pasta salad and a mandarin orange creamsicle salad!


Ah...the days of summer are passing quickly...
I hope you are well and finding things that
interest you to occupy your days.....
It does help to stay connected....I love reading about
your life and the ordinary things you are enjoying....


LOVE Y'ALL TO BITS!

June 25, 2020

DECOUPAGE CRAFTING.....A FUN DIY FOR SUMMER


Hello loves....
how in the world is everyone doing out there?
The times....they are a changin''......
Can you believe we are almost saying good-bye
to June and welcoming in the July 4th holiday?
I continue to hope and pray things take a turn
for the better....very, very soon!


I always look for new projects and new crafting materials
to try and this one turned out to be such fun....
I haven't decoupaged anything since high school days......


I decided to order a little watering can and decoupage
using idea-Ology collage papers....
I love the botanical , Avery and floral papers from this collection~


Add some Mod Podge and a good brush and you are set to go......


I truly love the finished look......


I wanted to show both front, sides and back
of this adorable little water can....


What a cute little kitchen accent piece!


I was on a roll...so I looked around and wanted to try
my hand at an old TV tray we had......which has seen better days.....


A work of art.....
If you are looking for a fun DIY which can
put your hands to work for an afternoon....
try decoupage!!!

Stay healthy and safe....see y'all in July!!!


June 22, 2020

FATHER'S DAY 2020



In memory of my Daddy....
This was Thanksgiving Day 1974....with baby M


In memory of my Father-in-law, known as Honey....
with our son Nick at his high school graduation


Honoring our son-in-law, Jay
with his little Luke the Duke


Maine days when we sailed on Casco Bay


Nick and the babies


Nick and his grown-up babies.....Abbie and Noah....
one of our family beach trips


Honoring my own Mr. Wonderful..
probably the best Dad in the entire world


My husband, their dad and all our kiddos


We had a marvelous family weekend...finally...
swam in the pool, grilled delicious Steaks and I made
this amazing fresh Strawberry Cheesecake!!!!!


Sunday Father's Day BBQ

It was the best of times...
how wonderful it is to mark the occasion
and make beautiful memories....





June 17, 2020

CHERRY COBBLER.......EVERYONE'S FAVORITE!



Everyone seems to love a warm fruit cobbler
no matter what season it is!
This is one of my go-to favorites
that can be prepared with any fruit pie filling..
today.....it's all about the cherries!


My favorite buttermilk biscuit mix happens to be Pioneer Brand
but of course,  Bisquick can be used also!
This makes a divine cobbler so you can count on this
to be a beautiful sweet ending to serve your company!

CHERRY COBBLER
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup Pioneer Buttermilk Biscuit Mix
1/4 cup cold butter
1/2 cup Half and Half
1/4 t. vanilla
21 ounce can fruit pie filling
1/4 cup melted butter

Heat oven to 375 degrees. 
Mix sugar and baking mix.
Cut in cold butter until mix is crumbly.
Mix in cream and vanilla.
Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap
and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Pour pie filling into a 8x8- inch baking dish.
Roll chilled dough onto floured surface.
Place over fruit filling.
POUR 1/4 cup of melted butter over all
and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden.


Now, if you have vanilla ice cream....
by all means, top each serving with a scoop!!!


Y'all enjoy....this is a keeper!!!!

June 15, 2020

BIRTHDAY BOY AND SUMMER RECIPES THAT WILL BECOME FAMILY FAVORITES



Good Morning from the great state of Texas!

Our Luke the Duke is turning twelve!
They hosted a very small party last weekend
with a giant slip and slide and a cookout!


Oh if I could slow time down....
the youngest grandbaby will be a teenager next year....
and I am longing to fly out to see him....
I pray for better days ahead!


Birthday gifts were a new bike and scooter..
along with a 50 foot slip and slide!


It's a very slow time of life due to the Covid-19 pandemic...
not much going on.....
I look back to New Year's Day and the months have
become a blur....
I have not been in a store since the second week of March
and don't see that changing anytime soon....
So, I just am hoping you all are cautious and staying safe..
the world seems to have gone mad lately....

I always look forward to ideas in decorating for fall
and have ordered a few new fun items....
that's always fun to think about isn't it?


I want to see my children...all of them...
I want to have a big family dinner, hug them....laugh with them....
cook with them....and kiss them goodnight....



NEW RECIPES FOR SUMMER


Most of us enjoy a good pound cake to serve when the family gathers
and this recipe sounded pretty good for the hot summer months!
It has a light citrusy orange flavor using fresh orange juice,
along with orange zest!


It's delightful served with fresh summer berries!
Here is the link to the recipe!



Perfect with a cold glass of Southern Iced Tea


Boston Market has been a true favorite of mine for some years now
and I was craving my favorite lunch one day last week....we drove
over to pick up lunch only to discover they have closed that location!
There is another location listed on their door, but it was a bit too far
to drive that distance on this particular afternoon....so I thought,
you know, I'll just make my own for the weekend....
Roast chicken, creamed spinach and Janey's squash casserole!
Janey writes a delightful blog sharing her handsome family,
their life adventures and sweet, sweet grandchildren...along with
some gorgeous looking food!
Be sure to check her out and say HI!

http://constantchatter-jmac.blogspot.com/

The squash casserole was over the moon good made with
homemade jalapeno cornbread....divine I tell you!
I have also searched for a copycat creamed spinach recipe
and lo and behold, I think this one comes pretty darn close
to the original at Boston Market!


Come along with us on a short Sunday afternoon drive......