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!!


  1. Stunning table! I love the burst of color. Happy 4th of July and good luck with your surgery!
    The House of Hampton

  2. Looks fabulous!! I'll come visit you at the lake, and you come visit me in Maine :) Have a wonderful 4th, Cindy. Take care and good luck with surgery. xoxo, Loi

  3. Beautiful dining space, table and decorations, Cindy. I love the photo of your pooch sitting comfortably on the chair. I hope all goes well with your surgery and your recovery is smooth and quick.

  4. Cindy how lovely!! I love how you styled the table with the colors purple in with your succulents!!
    What a beautiful setting!

    The Arts by Karena
    Gallery Opening!

  5. Oh my goodness... I have been craving steak fajitas today, and voila! You have a great recipe for them here! Thank you thank you. Love your porch and all the details you have there for entertaining. The purple looks great as an accent color in the flowers and linens. Best of luck with your surgery. I hope it goes smoothly.

  6. Cindy,
    This looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing the source for the napkins, what a bargain. I love the table with it's purple touches. The food looks delicious. I especially liked the lime chili fruit platter.
    Enjoy your weekend at the lake and Happy 4th of July.

  7. Hi Cindy...you have such FLAIR. Love the purple. You make it look easy. A little disclaimer about those sorbet sandwiches...when you bite into them, the sorbet does ooze out...messy but still delish. I want to make this whole menu while we are in SD. I will be praying for you.

  8. What a great table and tablescape! The purple is so perfect! Have a wonderful holiday weekend on the lower patio!
    xo Leslie

  9. Oh my goodness those cookies are mouth watering! Love your choice of purple napkins and your fur baby is SOoooo sweet. Are you sure he's comfortable enough? :)
    I'll be sending you all my positive prayers on Monday,

  10. Sending prayers for a very successful surgery and a speedy, uneventful recovery.

  11. Thinking of you sweet friend, hope all went well yesterday and you're up and around soon! A friend of mine had hers done a couple months ago and she feels so fabulous!

  12. What a lovely setting and the purple touches are perfect! So sorry you have to replace the hip.....ugh! I need a new knee....or two. Hope all goes well and you are good as new in no time! Thinking of you!


  13. Dear Cindy, this was a lovely post and brought back fond memories of our wonderful weekend spent there in May. Sending you good wishes for a successful surgery and a very speedy recovery. Thinking of you!

  14. How wonderful!! This party looks amazing and I pray that you have a speedy recovery! Definitely see if they are doing trials for stem cell injections to the surgery site I heard a few people in NYC did trail studies and it helped healing in replacements go much faster! xo Karolyn

  15. Cindy, I hope your hip operation went well and that you are recovering quickly! Your tablescape is lovely with those pops of purple. Your pup hopefully is being patient while you are recovering...he is adorable! xo Nancy

  16. Hey Cindy! I hope you're doing well and recuperating nicely from hip surgery! Ok....this table design is off the charts beautiful! I love me some purple and this does not disappoint! i'm afraid to entertain...it makes me nervous. if I lived closer I would take lessons from you :) and how cool is it that you scored the napkins and votives from amazon?!!!!! I would have never thought to look there but I am so adding that to my list in case I ever get the gumption to have a gathering. thanks for inspiring me :)


  17. HOW ARE YOU DOING?GIve us an update!!!!!!!
    BEAUTIFUL TABLE...........XX

  18. Beautiful beautiful spot and food!! And pupster! How is the new Hip? Hard stuff!!


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