Easy 4th Of July Celebration Ideas

In the spirit of letting freedom ring in the good old summertime, let’s look at a sampling of easy 4th of July celebration ideas for your star-spangled spectacular.

flag on barn canvas art print

Kirkland’s

The 4th of July is a special holiday celebration bedecked in patriotic red, white, and blue commerating the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of the United States of America.  

Women's American Flag Snip Toe Boots

red white bbq shirt

Summer sets an anything goes good with fun, food and family background, and goes perfect with the 4th of July. 

4th-cocktails

It’s never too late in the party planning process to throw an indoor and outdoor party with a festive “pop” of festive seasonal color.

american-flag-pillows-mcdowell

House Beautiful

Outdoor celebrations around our house involve the double D rule (no, there is nothing going on that wild).

Dollar and discount store disposables and the convenient and affordable  first line of defense against wasting money and valuable party time cleaning up.

4th party supplies

Paper or plastic tablecloths, plates, napkins, and plastic cutlery packages serve the party purpose, and the red Solo cup is diposable party royalty.

Red Solo Cup

Red Solo cup

I fill you up

Let’s have a party!

summer tableware

Intermingle items in red, white, and blue in with principal tableware favorites.  I find I get more use out of items in either red, white, or blue vs. red, white, and blue.  

smores-fixins

Finding cute and clever ways to serve your guests is not that hard.  All things summer is an easy theme to work with. 

Mini terra cotta flower pots easily become a pot of s’mores fixings gold. 

Terra Cotta Flower Pots

Terra Cotta Flower Pots – Hobby Lobby

Clear jars, containers, and cansiters aren’t just for food storage.  These versatile and affordable entertaining musts prove a clear winner to house and serve anything from utensils to candies to salads. 

July 4th candy treats

Better Homes & Gardens

Cracker-Jack-twizzlers

anchor-heritage-glass-jar-gallon

Heritage Hill 64 oz. Glass Jar with Lid

jar salad serving ideas

Mosquitoes are an outdoor entertaing nuisance, a pest of a pest. 

Add the following items to your 4th Of July celebration ideas shopping list, watch the DIY Citronella candle how to make video from P. Allen Smith, and let’s project.

8 ounce Mason jars 

floating votive candles 

lemons and limes

citronella oil

fresh sweet mint and rosemary 

Place the citronella candle jars around the table and surrounding party area.

outdoor-lighting-ideas-summer-entertaining

Martha Stewart

Clear apothecary bottles in varying sizes and heights filled with lamp oil and wicks is a clear and chic light the summer night option. 

casual-picnic-tablescape

Country Living – Photo by John Kernick

Clear jars filled with fresh flowers and/or greenery from the yard come in make a simple and lovely display. corn-centerpiece

Small groupings-stacks-bundles of fresh fruit or summer vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, peaches, cherries, blueberries, or grapes dressed up with ribbon or in their natural state serve a colorful bounty of fresh and sweet summer style.  

red-white-blue-fabric

Red, white, and/or blue fabric is my suggestion for a table runner.  This works for dinner napkins, too. 

I can’t sew a stitch, but I can work a hot iron and a roll of hem tape like nobody’s business.   

Determine the width and length (add one inch to both the width and length), cut your fabric to desired size, fold over each side (fold in the corners to create a 45 degree angle), and either sew sides or apply hem table with iron. 

summer-fourth-of-July-ribbon

Don’t forget your Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon

If you’re going with the dinner napkin option, pair them with a patriotic palette ribbon natural and either a nautical rope ball or decorative tassels. 

red white blue tassels

Jo-Ann Stores

The finished result is a festive theme napkin ring and stylish dinner napkin presentation.

free printable anthem banner

I love this printable from HMH Designs.

red-white-blue-printable-cupcake-topper

And this one from Today’s Creative Life. 

Click HERE and HERE for the free patriotic food picks and place card ready printables. 

Oh, say can you say that three times real fast. 

red-craft-bag

Dressed up craft bags or plastic popcorn buckets make festive party favor containers.

popcorn-bucket

4th wrap

Pack your 4th of July swag bags full of dollar and party store finds for beach, lake or backyard fun sure to go over real big with kids of all ages.

wood block game

Tumbling Tower Game

4th-July-fan

Fan

playing cards

Playing Cards

Tootsie Roll Scented Bubbles 4ct

Tootsie Roll Scented Bubbles 4ct

Popsicle ice pops firecracker

Popsicle Ice Pops Firecracker 18 ct

red white blue glow wheel

Patriotic Red, White & Blue Glow Stick Flying Disc

Safety is a big part of the summer fun equation. 

Good Housekeeping features an informative piece 15 Safety Mistakes to Avoid This 4th of July detailing smart tips for staying safe while you celebrate the 4th.

4th of July celebration ideas

Sparklers

That about wraps up my 4th of July celebration ideas show and tell. 

These ideas are easy, affordable, crowd pleasing and party perfect for a 4th of July or any summer soiree. 

Party fun, stylish, and safely and I’ll see you all next week.  

Love your style!

Bake, Chill, Sweet and Dill: Summer Food Recipes

With summer’s official arrival and the 4th of July coming up, happy summer times are here again, friends.  Like the summer temps, summer food recipes are a hot topic of conversation.

I really look forward to picking, preparing, and plating traditional summer fare.  I’ll put a new spin on an old favorite to spice the taste factor up a bit, but all in all I stay true to the original recipe.

Fresh is best for many summer food recipes.

Fresh tomatoes?

The official unofficial fruit of summer.

Yes, a tomato is a fruit.

fresh-tomatoes-summer

Fresh corn?

fresh corn

Flickr

Stir in chopped bell pepper, onion, Kosher salt, fine black pepper and you’ve got a sweet summer treat.

tomatoes-bell-pepper-green-onions

Fresh peaches?

fresh peaches

Peel ’em up and pass the sugar.

summer food recipes

When I can’t make it out to the local growers, it’s to the farm to market produce section at the local grocery store I go.  There’s plenty of summer food recipes out there with an ingredients list of seasonings ready to enhance the flavor quotient.

Today I’m shining the summer food recipes spotlight on traditional and new traditional favorites sure to please.

summer-macaroni-salad

Classic Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

1½ cup (12 ounces) dry elbow macaroni

½ cup mayonnaise (I use Duke’s)

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

¼ cup milk

2 teaspoons sugar

½ teaspoon Kosher salt (or more to taste)

black pepper to taste

1 medium tomato, chopped

1 medium bell pepper, diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1 whole green onion (green and white parts), sliced

1 cup whole kernel corn, drained

Directions

Cook the elbow macaroni in salted water according to directions on package. Drain cooked macaroni, rinse with cold water, and allow to completely cool.

Chop, slice, and dice the tomato, bell pepper, red onion, and green onion.

summer food recipes

To prepare the dressing grab a medium mixing bowl.  Add the mayonnaise, vinegar, milk,  sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir all together to incorporate and set aside.

Place macaroni in a large mixing bowl.  Add the bell pepper, green onion, red onion, tomatoes, and corn.

macaroni salad dressing

Pour dressing over top and toss to evenly coat.  Chill salad for at least 2 hours before serving.

Bread-and-butter-pickles

Bread and butter pickles recipe from Recipe Girl.  Click on over to the  delicious Recipe Girl blog for the recipe details.

Recipe Girl Blog Link HERE

pickled tomatoes

Marinated Tomatoes and Onions

Ingredients

1 medium red onion, sliced and separated

3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

½ cup vinegar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 cup water

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper

½  teaspoon allspice

Directions

Layer tomatoes and onions in jar.  Sprinkle the pepper and allspice into jar.

tomatoes-sliced-onions-Ball-Mason-jar

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, honey, sea salt, and water to combine.

Pour vinegar-sugar-honey-sea salt-water mixture into jar covering the tomatoes and onions.  Place lid on jar and seal tight.  Give the jar a vigorous shake to incorporate the flavors and to thoroughly coat the tomatoes and onions.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Firecrackers, chicken, and the summer soiree are part of the recipe for summer entertaining success.

baked-firecracker-chicken

Contrary to summer soiree belief, not everyone grills and barbecues.

Oppressive heat, inclement weather, building restrictions, personal taste preference- you get the idea.

If you’re not on board the grilling/barbecue train, this recipe for oven baked Firecracker Chicken from Jo Cooks has got your name written on it.

Click HERE to get the recipe.

And now for something sweet

Chocolate-chip-smores-bars

Dessert puts the cherry on the top of the summer spread cake, so to speak.

It’s always a good time for a good s’mores recipe, and this Chocolate Chip S’mores Bars recipe from Glorious Treats is, well, glorious.

Who remembers cranking out homemade ice cream on a hot summer afternoon?

Dave the Builder and I both have done our fair share of cranking over the years of childhood.  What complaints we had about having to crank were quickly diminished when the ice cream was ready.

When a good crop of peaches came in at the local orchard, my grandmother would peel and dice a bowl full of fresh peaches to add to the ice cream.

Talk about good!

In the spirit of summer, good memories, and great summer food recipes, this recipe for fresh peach ice cream from Southern Living is deliciously appropriate.

Fresh Peach Ice Cream

Ingredients

5 large egg yolks

½  cup sugar

2 cups whole milk

1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk

2 cups mashed peaches

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Whisk in the milks.  Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, 15 minutes or until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.  Stir in the peaches and vanilla.

Cool completely (about 30 minutes); cover and chill at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.

Pour the custard into the freezer container of a 2 ½ to 3-quart electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. (Instructions and times may vary.)  Transfer to a freezer-safe container; freeze 2 hours or until firm.

-Southern Living

enjoy

Summer Simple Suggestions In Chic Summer Style

Note to summer:  We’ve got a lot of irons in the summer campfire.  Summer simple suggestions in chic summer style for bedecking interior and exterior settings, entertaining, dishing up summer fare, and outdoor living it up easy peasy is greatly appreciated.

summer simple suggestions

Southern, Northern, Eastern or Western Living- regardless of geographical location, summer living and loving decoristas have got the memo, and it’s all about keeping it summer simple and summer simple suggestions.

best-of-summer-Southern-Living

It’s kinda sorta tough to kick back, relax and savor the season when you notice heavy equipment sitting on the sidewalk in front of your house and you, the homeowner, have no earthly idea what it is doing there.

heavy-equipment

Seems our city water department has a little curb appeal water line improvement of their own in mind.  This does not make my summer simple suggestions list.

dug-up-sidewalk

Progress isn’t always a pretty process, and the installation of a new water lines makes it difficult to achieve summer curb appeal style, but we forge on.

sago-palm

We trimmed the unattractive dead sago palm fronds and within a week new green growth emerged.  Here’s a trick in my simple summer suggestions repertoire for getting your Sago palm(s) summer curb appeal ready.

Sago Palm Care

Outdoor planted Sago palm care involves watering the plant regularly until it takes root.  I like the look and the drought tolerant aspect of the mature Sago palm.  Fertilize at least once a month beginning in spring to aid in active growth.  Covering the base of the plant with mulch will help to protect the roots from cold snaps.  In inclement winter weather or fall freeze, we cover the exposed Sago palm with a heavy duty extra large black trash bag to protect it.

shattered

If it’s not one thing, it’s this.

Cue The Rolling Stones, cause it’s shattered.

The lawn and garden guy’s super duper heavy duty weed eater took aim at a loose piece of exposed aggregate, obliterating the exterior glass panel of the patio French garden door.  One simply can’t patio pretty with ugly on parade.  Thank goodness for the friend who frequents our summer patio soirees that just so happens to own a local glass company.

edison-string-lights

CB2 Edison String Lights

Did someone mention summer soiree?

Why, yes, I did.

It’s time once again to get your summer soiree on, and the ideas for fun in the sun or evening tiki torch, lantern or string light are flowing.  We’re working with what we’ve got in the front of the house, and if you are like us, you’re getting your porch, patio and deck hangin’ game plan down pat.  Comfortable, fun, relaxing, refreshing, simple, tasty and stylish as chic- this is my number one summer simple suggestions formula for a festive summer gathering.

If Ina Uses It

I read with interest an article listing the pros and cons of a charcoal grill.  The pros outnumber the cons, and personal preference trumps all however, the one pro of the charcoal grill worth mentioning is worth mentioning.  Grilling on a charcoal grill ups the flavor quotient and gives great grilled flavor.

grill

Better Homes & Gardens

Brushing the grate with oil helps to prevent food from sticking.  Take three or four paper towels and wad them up in a bunch.  Pick up the paper towels with tongs and dip into a bowl of peanut, Canola or vegetable oil.  Lightly coat the grate and proceed to grill.

charcoal-chimney-starter

Country Living

Ina is a huge fan of the charcoal chimney starter.  Using a charcoal chimney starter is both easy and a safe way to get things cooking.  I hate the taste of lighter fluid, and am leery of it as well.  When you use a charcoal chimney starter there is no need for lighter fluid.  Simply fill the chimney starter about ¾  full with charcoal and light it over several sheets of scrunched up newspaper over the bottom grill grate.

chimney-starter

Weber® Rapidfire® Chimney Starter

Allow the fire to catch and then burn for about 10-20 minutes or until the fire comes out of the top and the coals are glowing orange.  Carefully spread out the charcoal in a single layer across the bottom cooking grate, place the oiled grate on top, and you’re ready to grill.

As Ina Garten would say, how fabulous is that?

Speaking of Simple Summer Suggestions, Ina Garten, Summer Fare and Grilling

ina-garten-sliders

Sliders

Ingredients

2 pounds premium ground beef (80 percent lean and 20 percent fat)

1 tablespoon good Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for brushing the grill

1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves

3 teaspoons chopped garlic

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 ounces grated Gruyere

12 small Brioche buns

4 ounces baby arugula

3 medium tomatoes, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

2 small red onions, sliced in 1/8-inch-thick rounds

Ketchup, for serving

Directions

Build a charcoal fire or heat a gas grill.

Place the ground beef in a large bowl and add the mustard, olive oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Mix gently with a fork to combine, taking care not to compress the ingredients.  Shape the meat into 12 (2-inch) patties of equal size and thickness.

When the grill is medium-hot, brush the grill grate with oil to keep the sliders from sticking.  Place the sliders on the grill and cook for 4 minutes. Turn the sliders over with a spatula and cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, until medium-rare, or cook longer if you prefer the sliders more well done. For the last 2 minutes of cooking time, place ½-ounce Gruyere on the top of each burger and close the grill lid.  Remove the sliders to a platter and cover with foil.

Slice the buns in half crosswise and toast the halves cut side down on the grill.

Divide the baby arugula among the 12 bottom buns, top each with a slider, and finish with a slice of tomato and red onion.  Cover with the top of the bun and serve hot with ketchup.

~ from Food Network

hot-dog-1

Culinary experiments put the taste and c’est si bon in the summer entertaining mix.  Summer menus require summer classics, new discoveries and improved additions.

fried-chicken

Fried chicken is practically required eating in the South and a mainstay of the summer dining and picnic table.  Once the Places In The Home gang discovered how good the fried chicken is from the deli at our local Kroger, frying chicken at home has become a thing of the past.

smores-fixins

Here’s my tip for simply summer impressive- it’s all in the presentation.  I go heavy on the presentation and simple with the preparation.  I picked up a pack of mini terra-cotta clay pots at the dollar store to use as individual s’mores supply pots.

Vintage Hershey's Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Metal Tray

Chippy, rusty, and charming- this vintage Hershey’s Milk Chocolate metal tray would make a great serving tray or decorative accent for the s’mores table.

plum smoothie pop

Vintage ironstone and in the style of vintage table linens set a summer chic table.   A quick trip to an antique shop, garage sale or Goodwill store usually results in an ironstone serving piece find or two.  Vintage picnic wares and baskets bring memories to the table, and can be used for the actual purpose of food and beverage and/or as decorative accents.

basket-hydrangea

Woven Wood Picnic Basket

Dave the Builder and I bought a vintage picnic table from a fellow antiques dealer with the express purpose of featuring it in a summer display at Hopefully Classic.  I used a vintage picnic basket filled with hydrangeas for  a super easy, super cute centerpiece.  You can make quite the keep it summer simple statement with a collection of glass jars or melamine vegetable bowl and whatever flowers, greenery or veggies are growing fresh in your yard or garden.  No garden or flowers on the homestead?   Check out the floral department and produce section of your favorite grocery store.

mini-watermelon

Mini watermelons on a natural table runner of Pittosporum and Lemon Lime Nandina is summer simple and summer chic.

corn-centerpiece

Ears of fresh corn with the husks slightly peeled back in order to expose the corn kernels grouped in threes and tied with woven ribbon of your color, pattern and texture choice or metallic twisted rope is another fresh centerpiece idea.

ironstone-tureen

Antique White Ironstone Tureen Cookson Chetwynd Small Serving Dish Bowl 

summer-serving-pieces

4pc Indoor Outdoor Gingham Napkins  ||  Lyndsay Stripes Cotton Table Runner  ||  Design Imports 18″ Square Farm Fresh Stripe Napkin (Set of 4)   ||  Striped Fete Buffet Napkins in White (Set of 4)  ||  Chambray Fringe Napkins, Set of 4  ||  Basics Watercolor Check Napkins in Navy (Set of 4)

Watercolor Black Plaid Dinnerware

Gingham Napkin 4ct - Black/White - Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Gingham Napkin 4ct – Black/White – Hearth & Hand™ with Magnolia

Summer Simple Suggestions for Refreshing Treats 

Summer is fun, but summer is hot.  Delicious and easy frozen treats of the leaded and unleaded type make a big splash with guests.

plums

Plums

Plum Smoothie Pops

Ingredients

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon corn syrup

1 lb. assorted plums

8 tsp. fresh lime juice

6 oz. plain yogurt

Directions

Bring the sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.  Puree the plums, cooled syrup, and lime juice in two batches, using a blender, until smooth.  Stir the plum puree and yogurt together in a large mixing bowl.

Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, leaving about ½ inch at the top, as the mixture will expand when it freezes.  Follow popsicle mold manufacturer’s instructions and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

~Country Living

popsicle-outdoor-throw-pillow

ENVOGUE Indoor/Outdoor Popsicle Pillow

Have you heard about these new scratch-and-sniff Frozen Treats stamps inspired by summer and the whimsical watercolor illustrations of Margaret Berg?   These will be great for those summer cookout-party-soiree snail mail invitations.

frozen-treats-postage-stamps

USPS

Pair your favorite frozen treat with a glass of sparkling wine for a little zing.  Dipping a frozen treat into a chilled glass of sparkling wine pops the flavor notes and takes summer treat to a whole new tasting dimension.  Prosecco grapes is another winner.  These frozen treats are super easy to make and quite refreshing.

prosecco-grapes

Prosecco Grapes

Ingredients

2 lb. green grapes

1 bottle prosecco

4 oz. vodka

½  cup granulated sugar

Directions

In a large bowl, pour prosecco and vodka over grapes.  Let them soak in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Drain in a colander and pat dry.  On a shallow plate, roll the grapes in sugar until fully coated, then serve.

~Delish

original-bomb-pop-frozen-treat

Inspiration is everywhere!

Huber+Popsicle+Throw+Pillow

Huber Popsicle Throw Pillow

I saw this VW Bus throw pillow and immediately my thoughts went to summers spent camping with my childhood friend and her family in their VW Bus.

VW-bus-summer-throw-pillow

Louisiana is a long way from the California coast, but the Gulf Coast is a fun place to sand, swim, sun and sing we’ve been having fun all summer long, Louisiana style.

The Beach Boys definitely make up the soundtrack of summer.

he-beach-boys-greatest-hitsThe Beach Boys – Greatest Hits (Capitol) (CD)

My final summer simple suggestions tip is as follows:

Don’t sweat the details.  The simplicity of summer is an easy theme to work with and makes a great backdrop for mixing and mingling with friends and family in the good old summertime.

love your style

 

 

 

I may earn a commission for purchases made through affiliate links

Two Peas In A Stylish Pod: Art and Interior Design

Art and interior design are like two peas in a stylish pod.

green-peas

Fresh starts, fresh vegetables, and fresh colors do the body, mind, soul, and home good.

Just ask Sasha Emerson.

The Los Angeles based interior designer is mastering the art of personal downsizing without sacrificing the creature comforts of home through art and interior design.

Del Monte Sweet Peas framed supermarket ad

As explained in “Sasha Emerson’s California Cottage -Funky Decor Ideas”  in Country Living magazine, scaling down from an expansive 4500 square feet home to half that in an English-style cottage signals it’s edit-yard sale-Craigslist-donate-giveaway time.

As they say, you can’t fit a square peg in a round hole.

I know.

I’ve tried.

It ain’t happening.

Ikea cabinets

Repurposing from within allowed Sasha’s decorative integrity to remain intact.  She discovered balance and comfort frame a pretty picture through art and interior design.

oil_painting_of_paint_brushes_in_an_english_pea_can

Paint Brushes in an English Pea Can by Elizabeth Blaylock

I’m forever reminding clients and fellow decoristas the importance of incorporating a sense of you into your design and decorating scheme.

The art of individuality is paramount to personal style, and what better place to express yours than house and home.

palette-canvas

Imagine your home as your canvas.

Dip your brush in a palette of personal style and paint a gorgeous scene of individuality throughout.

benjamin-moore-split-pea

Art is the manifestation of creative expression rooted in imagination, emotion, and inspiration.

Let me ask you something, what is not art?

Author Unknown

 

BM-split-pea-paint-color

Benjamin Moore Split Pea

Benjamin Moore’s Split Pea makes a made in Palm Beach style color match to the lush purple window coverings in the main room of  Designer Sam Allen’s Connecticut apartment.

IS Architecture

“Color is a creative element, not a trimming.”

– Piet Zwart 

green-breakfast-room-1

IS Architecture

Peter-Rogers-kitchen-new-orleans

Peter Rogers Historic Creole Cottage in New Orleans

art and interior design

“The artist’s world is limitless. It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.  It is always on his doorstep.”

– Paul Strand

wood-marquetry-dresser

AD France

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” 

 – Edgar Degas

give-peas-a-chance-garden-marker

Give Peas A Chance Garden Marker

The framed 1960’s supermarket ad for Del Monte Sweet Peas captures the essence of Sasha’s flea-market chic home decor, and fancifully pays homage to Pop Art Icon Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup I: Green Pea.

andy-warhol-campbell's--soup-green-pea

McGaw Graphics Campbell’s Soup I: Green Pea, 1968 by Andy Warhol 

When I first saw the pop of art, it immediately evoked thoughts of weekend grocery store excursions to our local  A & P- my mother’s idea of big fun.

mother-daughter-grocery-shopping

Looking back it was.

Thinking about split pea art and interior design brings back memories of shopping at A & P and the display feature for School Days Brand Early June Peas.

A&P-brands

Design and color are the cornerstones of visual merchandising.

I vividly remember brand labels rich in color, distinctive font and visual design.

The aforementioned School Days peas and the I remember it as if it were yesterday red tomato-green lettuce leaves- navy blue background Ann Page Mayonnaise label serves memory and a craving for a spring Easter comfort food classic.

Ann-Page-mayonnaise-Capetown-Lobster-Salad

This comfort food recipe for pea salad is uncomplicated, styled for a classic taste, and quick to please.

I liken it to the creature comforts of home through art and interior design and memories of the walks down the aisles of A & P hand in hand with my darling Mother.

I’ve learned so much from both.

pea salad recipe

English Pea Salad

Ingredients

2 large hard-boiled eggs

1 yellow bell pepper

2 oz. Cheddar cheese

½  c. mayonnaise

½  c. sour cream

3 tbsp. dried basil

2 tbsp. finely chopped red onion

2 tsp. chopped pimiento

1 tsp. Apple-Cider Vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. soul-food seasoning or seasoned salt

1 tsp. granulated garlic

½  tsp. Freshly ground pepper

2 dash Hot sauce

60 oz. early peas (such as Le Sueur)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the peas, mixing well. Stir in the peas.  Refrigerate the salad for at least 10 hours or up to overnight.  Serve at room temperature.

Country Living

sweet-pea-ricotta-tart

With spring and Easter right around the corner, I thought I would include this two peas in a pod recipe for Sweet Pea and Ricotta Tart from Good Housekeeping.

Sweet Pea and Ricotta Tart

Ingredients

Tart Crust

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

5  Tablespoons cold butter

3 Tablespoons trans-fat free vegetable shortening

ice water

Filling

2 teaspoons olive oil

1  medium leek, chopped

2  cups fresh or frozen (thawed) peas

1  Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

¾  cup ricotta

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

¼  cup grated Pecorino cheese

½  teaspoon grated lemon zest

½  cup microsprouts or microgreens

Directions

Make the Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor, blend flour and salt. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle in 3 to 5 tablespoons ice water, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until large, moist crumbs just begin to form.  Shape dough into disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight. (If chilled overnight, let dough stand 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll pie crust into a 12″ circle and fit into a 9″ pie plate.  Trim excess dough, leaving 1″ overhang; tuck overhang under and crimp edges.

Line dough with large sheet of parchment paper or foil; fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake 15 minutes or until dough is set. Remove parchment with weights and bake until crust is golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes more. Remove from oven; let cool completely on wire rack.

Make Filling:
In a 10″ skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add leek and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper.  Cook until leek is tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Add peas and cover; cook until tender, stirring once halfway through, 3 to 5 minutes.  Let mixture cool, then stir in lemon juice.

In a medium bowl, stir ricotta, cream cheese, pecorino, lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until well-combined.  Spread in cooled pie shell.  Top with cooled pea mixture and garnish with microsprouts.

~Good Housekeeping

enjoy

Thanksgiving Tastes, Tips, This, That, Observations, Recipes

In between Thanksgiving menu plans and the long holiday weekend Christmas is coming preparations, Thanksgiving tastes, tips, this, that, observations, recipes of need to know info have caught my eye and piqued my interest.

foyer-vignetteTraditional Home

In this holiday season, it seems many long time home decor bloggers are currently embracing the less is more quality over quantity aspect of holiday decorating, present company included.   The if one looks good then umpteen will look fantastic approach to decorating is one way to go, but without balance or cohesiveness present this is a difficult look to pull off.  Failure teaches a valuable lesson- one I learned rather quickly in my early interior decorating days.  Remember the 80s?  I don’t miss the decade of excess in any shape, form or what where we thinking fashion.   I much prefer understated with a twist- a visual curve ball of sorts.  The interior design and home decor choices displayed throughout the 1854 cottage of Joe and Evelyn Adams strike a stunning pose of color balance, period contrast and charming personal style.

Have you planned what you’re cooking for Thanksgiving yet?  Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker from Food52 can help you do just that.  Answer a few questions, select recipes from the collection, and make your personalized menu.  http://f52.co/2AuieQG

bacon-ranch-green-beans

Cooked in a ranch butter sauce and topped with crispy onions and bacon, this Bacon Ranch Green Beans recipe from Dinner at the Zoo puts a spin on the green bean casserole of holiday table tradition.  Full recipe details here: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/bacon-ranch-green-beans/

There’s appetizers and then there’s Baked Brie with Maple Caramelized Apples and Spiced Praline Bacon.  Full recipe from Allrecipes here: http://spr.ly/6004D6kT0

southern-living-savory-corn-pudding

Savory Corn Pudding is the side dish staple of the Southern holiday table.  Full recipe from Southern Living here: http://bit.ly/2AHihJW

corn-husks-napkin-ring

I don’t know why I love you but I do, Pewter Corn Napkin Ring from Vagabond House Harvest Collection.  Beautiful piece to add to the Thanksgiving tablescape.

And with that, there you have my Thanksgiving tastes, tips, this, that, observations, recipes of need to know info show and tell.

love your style

Rah! Rah! Rah! Times In Roaring Good Taste Tailgating Ideas and Recipes

The return of high school, college and NFL football signals it time for Rah! Rah! Rah! Times in Roaring Good Taste tailgating ideas and recipes.  The football nation is gearing up for another season of supporting the home team under Friday night lights, at stadiums filled to crowd capacity with all on eyes on the scoreboard Saturdays and NFL Sundays.

LSU-football-fanRah! Rah! Rah! Times In Roaring Good Taste 

Gathering with several thousand of your closest football fan friends for Rah! Rah! Rah! good times in roaring good taste to roast, toast, grill and gab before the game has become an event almost as exciting as the game itself.




LSU-cheerleaders-geaux-tigersLSU Sports ~ Pinterest

Strike up The Golden Band from Tigerland.  We’ve got the eye of the Tiger and the need for some pregame tailgating.

LSU-taking-field

The Golden Band From Tiger Land

Tailgating is a right of passage for students, alumni and scores of devoted fans.  Planning these ultimate pregame meet, greet and eat get togethers is part of the game day experience- a social event that counts as a prime style occasion for decoristas to seize the design and decorating opportunity to show’em what’cha got.  Tailgaters are known for bringing their A-game to the game day tailgating tablescape.

Grove-tailgating-centerpiece

The Grove at Ole Miss – Au Courant Floral Creation

Nothing says football like fall.  Build on the for the fall of it all theme by decorating with fall festive pine cones, pumpkins, vines, branches, gourds and flowers.

gray-blue-pumpkinsPinterest

Burlap continues to be an on-trend tailgating tablescape foundation favorite.  This almost indestructible makes great table runners, skirting and tablecloths.

burlap-fabricOnline Fabric Store

Seasonal flowers, natural or spray painted branches, magnolia leaves or seasonal stems paired with vintage or in the style of vintage trophy or champagne bucket vases make impressive centerpiece presentations.

magnolia-leaves-centerpieceWeston Farms

trophy-vase

County Fair Trophy- Beekman 1802 FarmHouse™

fall-mums

Southern Living

Bargain bins, dollar and thrift stores and end of season clearance sales can be tailgating tabletop treasure troves.

LSU-5-gallon-bucket

Give the attic or storage closet a once over for football themed oldies but goodies to put to decorating use.

tailgating ideas and recipes

Now let’s look at a few Rah! Rah! Rah! Times In Roaring Good Taste Tailgating Ideas and Recipes.

Show your football in the fall spirit with this in the spirit of fall spirit. Delish shows us this easy recipe and serving presentation idea for Apple Pie Vodka.  Rah! Rah! Rah! Times in Roaring Good Taste cheers to you!

glass-jar-shots-glass

Barbuzzo Mason Jar Shot Glasses, 4-Pack

Farmhouse style comes to Rah! Rah! Rah! times in roaring good taste tailgating cocktail time.

Royal Purple cocktail rimming sugarRoyal Purple Cocktail Rimming Sugar

Another spirited serving suggestion is the Royal Tiger Thermoform Cup from Alexa Pulitzer.

tiger-cup-alexa-pulitzer

This recipe for Cowboy Caviar from Culinary Hill is tailgating tasty and tailgating friendly.

cowboy-caviar-dip

Fellow tailgaters invited to join in the pregame ritual of gathering together over food and drink love to bring something to the tailgating table.

salami-chips-grainy-mustard-dipSalami Chips with Grainy Mustard Dip

When our Baton Rouge tailgating friends ask what can they bring my stock answer is fried chicken.  Pick up a basket, box or bucket of this tailgating food favorite and bring the delicious and the easy to the table.

fried-chicken

Did someone say chopped bacon?

Fresh garden tomato?

Diced red onion?

Chopped bell pepper and garlic?

Just add garden rotini cooked according to package and your favorite brand of ranch salad dressing.  Toss, chill and serve.

pasta-salad-bacon-tomato

I love the recipe for Pecan Pie Cupcakes with Pecan Pie Ermine Buttercream by The Tough Cookie look- perfect for a taste of fall.  For the recipe click on the link The Tough Cookie.

pecan-pie-cupcakes

Dessert and coffee go together like football and tailgating.

LSU-community-coffee

LSU-mug

Make mine a cup of LSU Blend Special Dark Roast from Community Coffee- a Louisiana tailgating tradition.

LSU-Golden-Band

I hope these Rah! Rah! Rah! Times In Roaring Good Taste Tailgating Ideas and Recipes make a touchdown with your tailgating good times.

Love your style!

Keep It Summer Simple: A Summer Entertaining Mantra

Memorial Day weekend welcomes keep it summer simple entertaining, outdoor living, backyard cookouts, and the summer entertaing-picnic packing times that go so well with summer.

Summer entertaining ideas o’plenty are filling up my notepad file marked hot style in the summertime.

summer entertaining

Who remembers when the crudite tray ruled the appetizer course?

The ultimate crudite crate is a super cute summer entertaining idea.

Farmhouse chic is for sure the trend with staying power and one tailored-made for summer entertaining.  Millennials, brides-to-be, kitchenistas, decoristas, outdoor living entertainingistas love, love, love the ease of entertaining farmhouse chic brings to the table.

Silos Magnolia Market

Our Millennial son aka the Canadian snowbird and his bride-to-be completed their trip with a quick trip to Waco and the uber popular Magnolia Market.

They give the market, bakery and the metropolis of Waco a glowing review.

Magnolia MarketOkay, let’s get back to the crudites crate ideas.

Hand Made Modern Small Wood Tray

Hand Made Modern Small Wood Tray

As far as appetizers go, especially in the heat of the summer, I practice the rule of less is more.  Small bites and nibbles make the perfect edible complement to a cold beverage.

With that in mind, I think the Modern Wood Shadow Box from Target will make a big summer entertaining statement.

Like a picnic basket- pack it tight with fresh veggies for summer snacking.

Modern Wood Shadow Box ~ Target

Potato salad is a picnic-pot luck staple.  I don’t know if I would go so far as to categorize it as a vintage side dish, but potato salad has graced the summer picnic table of my great grandmother, my grandmothers, my aunts, my mother and my mother-in-law.

You get the picture.

vintage picnic basketChairish

Recipes for potato salad vary in ingredients and styles, serving warm or cold is in the palate preference of the fork or spoon holder, and to add mustard or not add mustard is a whole nother potato salad issue.

I came across Doris Day’s recipe for German Potato Salad, and thought it would make a great addition to this post.

Doris Day

Doris Day’s German Potato Salad

Ingredients

6 medium-sized potatoes

1 large stalk of celery, chopped in small pieces

3-4 scallions (white part only), thinly sliced

4 slices lean bacon, cut in small strips

2/3 cup water

½ cup cider (or wine) vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Cook potatoes in their skins until tender.  Cool slightly, peel and slice into a large bowl.  Add celery and scallions.  Fry bacon in saucepan until crisp.  Add water and vinegar.  Pour over potato-celery-scallion mixture, toss lightly. Cover and marinate thoroughly (several hours or overnight) before serving. Serves 4.

Julia Child is deliciously correct.  To her words I add entertaining well doesn’t mean entertaining fancy.

Crosley-patio-glider-chairCrosley Veranda Metal Patio Glider Chair

I’m coming to realize the correlation between vintage and comfortable is undeniable.

metal armchair patio

I served this fruit salad at the bridal shower and the crowd went yum.

blueberries pineapples pears

Easy.

Delicious.

Pretty presentation, and that’s what counts.

tropical

Tropical Fruit Salad

Ingredients

2 cans tropical fruit, drained

1 can pear halves, drained

1 pint blueberries

juice of one(1) lemon

1 large ripe avocado, halved and cut into slices

1 small container plain Greek yogurt

2 Tablespoons honey

black pepper

Directions

In a mixing bowl, toss together canned fruit with juice of one lemon. Cover and chill 1 hour.  Add to a small container of Greek yogurt two Tablespoons of honey and you’ve got the dressing.  Garnish with avocado slices, yogurt dressing and black pepper.

fresh fruit salad

Dollar store wine goblets in the style of oatmeal glass make a lovely serving presentation.  I am snacking on this fruit salad as I write up this post.

Delicious, if I do say so myself.

textured pitcher

By now you’ve realized vintage style glassware is a favorite.  Inspiration is everywhere, especially at the movies.

Scarlett O'Hara

Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup of water

3 large peaches

6 cups sparkling water

1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1 ½ cup vodka

Directions

In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.

Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches, reserving the third.  Cut an “X” in the bottom of each one, and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath, and peel when cool enough to handle.  Slice each peeled peach in half and remove the pits. Cut peaches into cubes, place them in the blender or food processor, and puree until liquified.

In a large pitcher, combine the pureed peaches, the cooled simple syrup, the sparkling water, the lemon juice and the vodka.  Stir to combine.  Add ice and stir again.

Cut the remaining peach into thin slices.  Stir a few of the slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses.  Serves 4.

The Kitchn

Are you ready for summer entertaining?

Enjoy this Memorial Day weekend, practice the entertaining rule of KISS by keeping it summer simple, and bon appétit.

enjoy

 

Creating A Spring Scene

Picture perfect moments, colors, subjects and samplings worthy of creating a spring scene catch the eye, stir interest and offer seasonal inspiration.

blue-jay-bird-bath

Being in the right place at the right time had its advantages for a I got a Nikon camera, I love to take a photograph blogger and a spirited blue jay with a bird bath all to itself.

blue-jay-bathing

This creating a spring scene scenario went on for a good fifteen minutes.

Nature provided a magnificent matinee, and the star of this one bird show appeared ready for his or her close-up.

spring scene

While we are on the subject of blue, I am quite impressed with the pale blue green color palette selections of The Naturals by Barry Dixon from C2 Paint.

Barry-Dixon-paintThe Naturals by Barry Dixon from C2 Paint

Snow Sky  ||   Well Water ||  Fauquier Spring

That crazy blue jay has the right idea about spring activities.

A refreshing dip in the pool was just the ticket to recharge his battery, and a spring road trip will be just the ticket to recharge mine.

travel-pillow

“Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink”

– Lilly Pulitzer

hydrangea centerpiece

Hydrangea Centerpiece

Walking past the kitchen table on the way to afternoon coffee, I glanced down to see the April issue of Better Homes & Gardens opened to the feature In Praise of Violas.

in-praise-violas

I’m not a practicing member of the ladies that lunch club, but I love the idea of it, and the Southern Living feature The New Ladies Lunch is a delightful read on the subject.

Planning the Mother’s Day menu is soon to be the task at hand, and these Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits look to be a Southern scrumptious must make.

ladies-luncheon

Southern Living

Neiman Marcus Cheddar Cheese Biscuits

Ingredients

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup buttermilk

Parchment paper

Directions

Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles small peas and dough is crumbly; stir in cheese.  Add buttermilk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 3 to 4 times.  Place dough in a bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Pat or roll dough to 1-inch thickness; cut with a 1 1/2-inch round cutter, and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  Bake at 350° for 20 to 22 minutes or until golden brown.

Unbaked biscuits may be frozen up to 1 month. Bake frozen biscuits as directed for 26 to 28 minutes or until golden brown.

-Recipe from Southern Living – My Recipes

fern

Spring is all about the new, the fresh, the green.

There is something so classic, Southern chic, and spring front porch perfect about a Boston fern hanging basket.

My brand new, full to the spring green Boston fern basket is the curb appeal accent piece hanging around the front porch creating a spring scene.

signature-pink