Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Decorating Ideas

 I found this on Pinterest and thought I might pass it on...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Today's Mood

My lovely guests (family) have now been here a week, and we still have a few more weeks to go...this quote sums up how I am feeling right now....


Friday, May 27, 2011

What is for dinner?

Here is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Spicy grilled shrimp with veggie kebabs

Monday - Memorial Day BBQ

Tuesday - Sushi

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Chickpea pattie salad - See Below for the Recipe
Friday - Pizza on the grill

Saturday - Artichoke, cherry tomato salad and feta salad with artichoke-pesto crostini

Chickpea Patties with Tomato and Halumi Salad
Chickpea Patties – Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 48

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 green onions, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup olive oil, extra, for shallow frying

1.    Place chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley, lemon rind, flour, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and olive oil in the bowl of a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture forms a thick paste. 
2.   Add the sesame seeds and mix to combine.  Shape 1 Tbsp of the mixture at a time into patties.
3.   To cook, heat the extra olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  Cook the patties for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and crisp.  Drain on absorbent paper.  Makes 24

(To freeze uncooked patties, divide into 4 portions and place in zip-lock bags or airtight containers.  Freeze up to 3 months.  Before cooking, place the patties in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight and allow to defrost completely.)

For Salad:

6 cups of your favorite salad greens
Parsley leaves, chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
halumi cheese – this is generally sold in a block, make sure you have enough for 2-3 full
            slices for each salad
Fresh lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.  Assemble the salad greens, parsley, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and cucumber on each plate.
2.  Thinly slice the halumi cheese and fry in a sauté pan for a few minutes on each side until lightly browned.  Add to the salad.
3.  Add the cooked chickpea patties to the salad
4.  Sprinkle the salad with the fresh lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekend Prep

Monday in the U.S. is Memorial Day.  Typically friends and family get together to celebrate and have a BBQ.  It is generally the kick-off to the summer season.  Below are some great ideas for your picnic this weekend, here is hoping you have wonderful weather!

The hot dog bar is a great idea at Hostess With The Mostess and I love the baskets used as plates. 
Celebrations at Home have a terrific red, white, and blue picnic theme (wonderful for the Fourth of July as well!)


Check out Martha Stewart for the BEST burger recipes (as well as grilled chicken and potato salads).  Her team has also provided sample grilling menus as well:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One Last Show

"For everyone of us that succeeds, it's because there's somebody there to show you the way out."    {Oprah Winfrey}


Today, we'll be glued to the tv watching Oprah's last program of her talk show.  She has taught us all so much and we may never truly understand how much she has changed the world.  What an amazing role model she is for everyone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Reading Nook

I was just reading the latest House Beautiful and loved this reading nook.  The books displayed behind the seating area and that the seat is large enough to fit both parents and kiddos!  I love the fabric for the curtains, so fun and playful, yet they fit well with an adult. 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Write it out loud!

 "Letter writing is one of our most charming forms of social etiquette, but it is the generosity of time that makes it so special."    {Hanna Brooks Nation}

I love this quote from the May 2011 issue of Matchbook Magazine.  This is such a true statement.  I love to send friends notes - either hello, thank you, or good luck!  And I know how wonderful it feels to receive a letter in the mail.  Last year we hosted a dinner for my husband's office at our home.  We received two personal thank you letters from executives who attended.  It made me feel so good that someone so busy would take the time to write a thank you letter. 

I try to make sure I send thank you notes as promptly as possible.  This is something that my mother instilled in me and my sister and it is something I intend to teach my children.  A thank you note is a lovely gesture.


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ms. O

"Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more.  If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough."   {Oprah Winfrey}


Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

House Guests

We are about to host house guests for an extended period of time.  Here are some of my tips to being as prepared as possible for visitors (no matter how long they stay!)


1.  Ask your guests in advance if they have any food allergies or "issues"

2.  Prepare the daily meals in advance and prep those grocery lists so you don't miss anything.

3.  Double check that you have a working clock in the guest room. 

4.  Stockpile the guest room with extra hangers, towels, blankets and pillows so your guest can help themselves.

5.  Make sure to have extra toilet paper, toothpaste, unused toothbrushes, razors, aspirin, antacids, band aids in the bathroom. 

6.  Put a few magazines and books in the guestroom.   

7.  Let your guests know if they need to ready for any activities at a certain time or if they are expected to help with anything.

8.  Arrange morning drink items on a tray in the kitchen.  They way if your guest wakes before you, they can help themselves to some coffee or tea without waking you.

9.  Make sure to have extra games on hand for all ages. 


10.  To add a special touch I like to turn down my guest's bed adding a spritz of lavender spray, and to place a little chocolate along with the next day's weather forecast on their pillow.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Clip It!

In reading this month's Martha Stewart Living magazine I noticed that more and more of the clip art used in their crafts are being posted online.  I am so excited about this, I have always loved their designs and am so happy that I can now print them out at home for myself!  They have all kinds of clipart including:  Father's Day, July 4th, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties, animals, etc.

I love taking homemade items as hostess gifts so having the clip art will be such a nice addition in the presentation.  Happy crafting!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Homemade Mayo

I have never had homemade mayonnaise.  This is something I have tried making in the past and it hasn't worked out for me.  So this summer I am going to attempt a couple of recipes to see what works.  I can't wait to have a BLT sandwich with some homemade mayo!

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  1. In a food processor, place egg yolks. (To avoid using raw eggs, substitute yolks from pasteurized eggs.)
  2. Add mustard and lemon juice. Pulse ingredients until well combined.
  3. With motor running, add oil in a slow, steady stream (mixture should become thick and emulsified). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, up to 1 week
I have also seen Martha Stewart make mayonnaise on tv using an emulsion blender.  That might also be a good technique as well.  She makes it look so easy!

From Paula Deen via the Food Network

  • 2 egg yolks*
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • Dash salt and pepper
  • Squirt of lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups oil

Put ingredients in blender, and blend slowly, adding oil until you have desired consistency.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Home Love

We had a nice rainy weekend which was perfect for watching movies.  I love It's Complicated by Nancy Meyers and the house is just incredible.  The open floor plan is wonderful and the pops of orange and blue are so terrific.   Here are a few of my favorite pics:

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What is for dinner?

Sorry I didn't post this yesterday, Blogger was down for most of the day.

Here is what we are having for dinner next week...

Sunday - Roast Salmon with Sweet Chipotle Glaze and Hominy Puree

Monday - Last Minute Lasagna

Tuesday - Spicy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Wednesday - Onion Frittata

Thursday - Chicken, Mango, and Avocado Salad

Friday - Dinner Out

Saturday - Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs with Pistachios and Spicy Salad Wrap

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I love starting my day with a good workout.  I usually go to an early morning boot camp a couple of days a week.  If I am working out at home I like using kettlebells.  You can get a good strength and cardio session using these.  A couple of workouts I have done are from Jillian Michaels and another from Whole Living magazine.  Jillian gives you great tips, like the power to raise the kettlebell comes from your legs and core, more than your arms. 

I found a couple more good workouts from Self and Fitness magazines. 

Grab a bell and get swinging!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


How do you like to greet people?  Handshake, hug, kiss on one or two cheeks? I grew up giving hugs, and they seemed fine.  After living abroad for a number of years where everyone kissed hello and goodbye I found that I really liked giving kisses on the cheeks.  It seemed less intrusive, bodies don't touch as much, but still very familiar and not as formal as a handshake.  After moving back to the US I am in an environment where hugs are the norm again.  So I suck it up and give a big ol' hug, however secretly I am trying to convert some friends...

What is your preference?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tie One On!

I have always aspired to be one of those women who can wear a scarf so effortlessly.  I have collected a few, but I never end up wearing them (unless it is the middle of winter) because I don't know how to fold it correctly. 

I found these websites that take the worry out of wearing scarves.  I love the Scarf Tying Guide from Texere Silk.  For each type of tie, you get step by step pictorial instructions.  Zia Moda also has a great guide for scarf tying. 

Happy Tying!

Monday, May 9, 2011

What is for dinner...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mothers Day weekend!  I am back from our trip and ready to start cooking again.  Here is what we are having this week...

Monday - Leftovers from the weekend (Dad is out of town, so I am taking one more night off)

Tuesday - Asparagus Gruyere Tart

Wednesday - Pizza on the grill

Thursday - Cold Tomato Dill Soup

Friday - Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Mustard Seeds  (I am going to add grilled chicken to this to make it a meal)

Saturday - Spanish Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce
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