Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Simple Summer Barbeque at the Lake

We have the best neighbors at the lake.  They keep an eye on our house when we are away and we love to spend time with them when we are there. We usually keep entertaining simple  but I like to make it a little more special becausethey do so many nice things for us. This time of year we entertain on the lower patio which is shaded and has a lovely fountain


The table  was made by our wonderful friend Jim, who recently passed, comfortably seats 10.  Every time we dine here we think of him.


I kept the decorations simple utilizing the succulent arrangement that always resides on the table, but adding a few bottles with flowers and herbs.


The  the deer eat everything at the lake; so I have no flowers, only a few herbs. Save your bottles of  various sizes and you always will have a simple option for a tablescape. I picked up one bunch of these purple flowers from Trader Joes for $4.99.


I bought these plastic plates at Target when we bought the house and I forget to use them.  They are great looking and unbreakable.


I made this simple pocket napkin, and added a sprig of rosemary  to stow the flatware because the stuff we have at the lake is not all that pretty.


The purple napkins I bought at Amazon 12 for $14.99 definitely did not break the bank.

Nor did these purple votive holders 12 for $11.99
Set of 12 Eastland® Purple Votive Holders

On the menu Skirt Steak Fajitas (an adaptation from the Pioneer Woman)

Beef Fajitas! good recipe from Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond-but when I make this recipe again I am definately cooking steak on the outdoor grill.  My house filled up with smoke from cooking them indoors and smelled like beef fajitas for a whole week!-good or bad depending on who you are. : )

Skirt Steak Fajitas
  • 1 whole Beef Skirt Steak
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 2 whole Medium Onions, Halved And Sliced
  • 1  Red Bell Pepper, halved
  • 1  Orange Bell Pepper, halved
  • 1  Green Bell Pepper, Halved
  • 1  Yellow Bell Pepper, halved
  • Olive Oil
  • Flour Tortillas, Warmed
  • Cheese ( Crumbled Queso Fresco or Cotija)
  • Salsas (store bought)
  • Sour Cream
  • Cilantro Leaves
Preparation Instructions
In a dish, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. In one dish, place the flank steak, turning it over to coat. In the second dish, place all the veggies, turning to coat. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.
Spray veggies with some spray olive oil and grill. Remove to a platter and keep warm in warming drawer if you have one while the meat is grilling. Grill meet until medium rare. Remove and allow to rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.
Slice the meat right before serving and serve with all the sides.

Grilled Corn Salad from the Girli Chef

Grilled Corn Salad w/ Honey-Lime Dressing {#SundaySupper: Labor Day} | www.girlichef.com
Ingredients (serves 6)

Grilled Corn Salad
  • 5 ears fresh corn, in the husk
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, seeded & finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • I add the zest of the lime as well
Grill your corn on a hot grill (when the coals have just turned gray or medium-high on a gas grill), in the husks, until husks are charred all over, ~15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel back the husks, taking the silk with them. Stand the corn cobs upright on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut straight down, slicing the kernels from the cob. Set aside.
Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, honey, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until fully combined. Add the corn, onion, cucumber, bell pepper, and mint; toss gently until everything is coated.
Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
I served this with a mixture of salsas and my  homemade spicy guacamole. 

Spicy Guacamole
  1. o4 ripe  avocads coarsley chopped
  2. 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  3. Zest of 1 Lime
  4. 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  5. 1 large garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  7. 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  8. 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  9. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  10. Seeded and chopped jalapeno (or less)
Simple but refreshing Chile Lime Fruit Platter from the Florafoodie


Mexican Fruit Platter
1 small watermelon, cut into thin triangle slices
1 small papaya, halved, seeded, cut into thin wedges
1 large pineapple, peeled, cut into 1‑inch thick spears
2 medium mangos, stone removed, peeled and cut into chunks or slices
Chili lime salt to taste
Chile Salt
zest of 1 lime
1/2 t ancho chile powder
1/8 t ground cayenne
3/4 t kosher salt
My talented neighbors brought the appetizers and desserts.  If I were doing it again which I might this weekend I would add Maryann’s simple mango sorbet sandwiches

And guess who made himself comfortable waiting for the guests to arrive?


I hope you all have a wonderful 4th ! My posts may be a bit sporadic the next couple of weeks.  I am having my hip replaced next Monday.  I may be so bored that I post too much who knows!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fun, Fabulous Clothes for those over 50 and Under!

Carolyn Vaile
Maybe it is because I reached the dreaded 60, or that I let my hair go gray, or that I am about ready to have a hip replacement ! I am determined  to not look like I am trying to relive my twenties or even more (maam can I help you?) not look like a granny.   I love shopping my favorite local boutiques like Tancredi & Morgen and Warmth Company, but I find now that I am a gimp I am searching more and more for online sources.  Enter Details Direct. I stumbled upon them because they had so many of the brands I have come to love.  For some reason my order wouldn’t go through.  I called them and I ended up speaking to the darling owner Mickey Judkins. We began discussing fashion and I thought to myself. I want to do a post on her! She is my kinda woman!

Planet Boxy Polka Dot Tee
Planet Polka Tee
Mickey opened  her first clothing store the same day she registered for her junior year of college. She planned to go to law school but after interning in a law office  changed her mind. Her storefront Details has  been serving the community of Eau Claire Wisconsin for thirty years.  Her business grew by leaps and bounds and in 1995  she launched detailsdirect.com.
Mickey’s mission is to meet the wardrobe needs of the modern woman with a minimum investment of her time.  She believes every woman has her own sense of style and encourages her customers to express that.
I loved this Zoe Shirt from Tulip and couldn’t find it anywhere else. It is really lightweight which is great for this time of year.
Tulip Zoe Shirt
I wanted to buy this Tulip Claudine Top as well but I was worried that it wasn’t long enough in the front (to cover the bum)
Tulip Claudine Top
While talking to Mickey she commented “don’t you have the Sympli miniskirt”? The word miniskirt alone made me shudder.  She said “you wear it over the Sympli leggings if the top is too short”….clever…huh?  So you buy one of these….

Sympli Mini Skirt
And layer it over these

Sympli Classic Legging in Navy
Do you see where I am going?  Think Spanx over leggings…Genius!!  I decided to order the tunic and I was debating over the miniskirt/leggings duo.  Guess what I received in the mail?  The miniskirt…now I have to order those darn leggings!! Thanks Mickey!
I was really tempted to buy  these Cydwoq Tomkat Sandals  

CYDWOQ Tomcat Sandal in Black
and this Planet Jumper
Planet Honeycomb Jumper in Pearl Grey
If you have chilly evenings on occasion like we do here this clever two way pima cotton number from Planet would be great.  How clever is this?
Planet Two Way Cardigan in WhitePlanet Two Way Cardigan in White

Eileen Fisher always has great essentials for work.  I love this jacket.

Eileen Fisher Notched Long Jacket in Bone

or this little black dress that could also be paired over leggings

Eileen Fisher Classic Bateau Neck Dress

Stop by the details direct website. I think you will get into all kinds of trouble. If you have to call you might even run into the darling Mickey.  I think she is my new fashion guru.

Do you have a go to boutique or online source that you would like to share?  We would love to hear about it.  Happy Weekend and Happy Shopping!