July 2nd, 2009 |
Everyone loves a caprese salad! What’s not to like – a little tomato, fresh mozzarella, a few basil leaves, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar – perfect ingredients all stacked up into one salad. But what if you don’t want to stack them up?
Try freshening up your presentation with this idea:
Take a whole tomato and cut slices into it (about 1/4″ thick) without cutting all the way thru the other side. Insert a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese and a basil leaf in between each slice. Once the tomato is stuffed (it should “fan” out a bit) drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. Drizzle it with your favorite sea salt – and voila! An update to everyone’s favorite caprese salad!
Image via George Dolese
July 1st, 2009 |
2 envelopes (1/4 ounce each) unflavored gelatin
2 cups white grape juice
1/2 cup sugar
5 1/2 to 6 cups (about 2 pounds) mixed fresh berries, such as strawberries (hulled and halved), raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries
In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup grape juice; let soften 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, heat sugar with another 1/4 cup grape juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in softened gelatin until dissolved, then stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups grape juice.
Place berries in a 4-by-8-inch loaf pan; pour gelatin mixture over, pressing berries gently to submerge completely (remove a few berries if necessary). Refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours.
To unmold, dip bottom of pan in hotwater about 5 seconds. Invert onto a serving platter, and shake firmly to release. Slice to serve.
Recipe via Martha Stewart
June 28th, 2009 |
Okay….summer is hot!
And as much as we all love a good cocktail, glass of wine or cold beer during a summer BBQ….sometimes it’s just too hot!
Picture this scenario: You are hosting a BBQ on a hot, sunny day, and suddenly your guests are asking for a glass of water. Water?! Water is so boring, right? WRONG! Infuse your water with slices of lemons, limes, strawberries and bunches of mint. Not only will your guests be delighted by how delicious it tastes….they won’t stop talking about how pretty it looks!
June 28th, 2009 |
We baked mini flower cupcakes for dessert for the party….they turned out so cute, I just had to share them with you!
June 27th, 2009 |
Is your silver drink bucket a little too fancy for your summer picnic?! I love this idea…..cut off the top third of the watermelon (could be a straight cut, but I L-O-V-E the curved out version in the picture), and carve out the insides. Fill with ice, stick in your wine bottles and voila!
June 26th, 2009 |
My brother-in-law is visiting us this weekend – so it’s dinner for three tonight! Me and two boys?! Let’s just say they don’t appreciate the fuss I typically put into a dinner party! So this dinner is going to be low on design but high in flavor.
If there is one thing I know they both appreciate, it’s homemade pasta…..so I am going to make capellini with fresh tomatoes and basil. So simple to do:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. dried capellini
In a large nonreactive bowl, combine the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper, and stir until blended. Set aside.
Bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt and the pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente (tender but firm to the bite). Drain the pasta, add it to the tomato sauce and toss to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. Divide the pasta among individual bowls and serve immediately. Serves 4.
recipe via Williams-Sonoma
June 21st, 2009 |
• 1 bottle dry white wine
• ¾ cup watermelon schnapps
• ½ cup white cranberry juice
• 2 cups freshly scooped watermelon balls
• 2 limes, cut into half-wheels
Combine all of the ingredients in a large ceramic or glass container and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Serve over ice. Serves about 7.
Recipe via PointClickHome.com
June 20th, 2009 |
Make dessert your easiest course with this simple idea from Rachael Ray:
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- Grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 pound fresh cherries, halved, plus 10 whole for garnish
- 1 pint mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate
- 20 sugar cones
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and the lemon peel. Mix well and refrigerate.
- In a medium bowl, toss the halved cherries and mixed berries with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Refrigerate.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high, 20 to 30 seconds at a time, until the chocolate just starts to melt. Stir until smooth. Using a pastry brush, paint the inside of the cones with the melted chocolate. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.
- To serve, stand the sugar cones in narrow glasses. Place a dollop of the sour cream mixture in each cone, then fill with the mixed berries. Top with another dollop of sour cream and garnish with a whole cherry.
Try skinny shot glasses or Champagne flutes to help the sugar cones stand upright!
June 19th, 2009 |
Dinner at the beach….isn’t that what summer is all about?!
If you have a beach house, the “dinner at the beach” is easy enough! If you don’t live near water, invite some friends over for a casual summer dinner alfresco this weekend (with a beach theme, of course!). Create a casual, yet put-together outdoor space that will have your friends toasting your inner “Martha Stewart!” Set up a sitting area complete with the typical comforts of an indoor living room – pillows, lanterns with candles to create some mood lighting, a bowl of flowers or fruit on a table – make it an extension of your home.
Serve dinner on your patio table – no linens necessary, just a centerpiece of fresh flowers or pots of grass to give it that casual, beach feel. Add a special touch to your place setting by tying a personalized tag to a starfish, and slip it into your napkin. Make sure to add some votive candles or small lanterns to your centerpiece to give an additional glow.
I’m always looking for new dishes to try…..top of my list for this weekend?! Coconut shrimp with lime, served with Mojitos!
Images: starfish napkin (theknot.com), outdoor living room (potterybarn.com), table (coastalliving.com)
June 15th, 2009 |
Add a little fizz and some retro fun to your next party with a soda bar!
Whether you decide to use old-fashioned soda pop (available in a variety of flavors – all with fabulous vintage logos on the bottles) or the modern day versions – choose a variety of colors and flavors and prominently show them off. The colorful bottles can act as decorations for your party too!
Keep the bottles refrigerated until right before the party starts, and then arrange the bottles by color on a table. Add a bucket full of ice, a stack of cups, and for those wanting to drink right out of the bottle – brightly colored plastic straws!
I think this idea would be darling for a child’s birthday party, an outdoor BBQ, or even a casual, summer wedding.
Images via Project Wedding