Friday, June 18, 2010

What's a good side?

I'm going to my friend Jen's annual July 4th pool party.
She makes homemade pulled pork, and Carolina-style chili dogs with slaw (da bomb).
She also makes this to-die-for Red Velvet Cake with Berries.

Guests bring sides.
Last year I brought Watermelon Pops.

This year, I think I will bring a salad.

Should I bring
a red-white-and-blue green salad?

or a more grown-up salad?

or a simple fruit salad?
(or is fruit overkill since there is fruit in the cake she's making?)

This is a fun presentation!

or maybe just some simple strawberries?
or filled

and/or Patriotic Pretzels?

Hmm...and/or I could bring edible shots
(and virgin ones for the kids)

What do you think?
Or do you have any other fun red-white-and-blue recipe to share?

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

DIY inspiration

If I could go back in time...if I could have known myself better...I would have become an architect.
Buildings fascinate me.
I actually at one time studied interior design, and it still interests me, especially if recycling is involved.

A recent issue of Readymade Magazine featured this kitchen DIY--with a patchwork of wooden wine crates used for cabinet veneers!
I absolutely adore this idea.
It looks fun and exciting, versus chintzy.

The book Re-Creative: 50 projects for turning found objects into contemporary design, by Steve Dodds, has this entry table idea, also using wine crates (note Costco always has these available. You might ask liquor stores or BevMo if they have the boxes also)
click on images to enlarge
Wine Crate Table

It's not wine crates, but another fun recycling idea from the Re-Creative book utilizes an old window sash.
Ideas like this just completely inspire me!
Window Sash Bookcase

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Playing with the boys

Dylan's new toy
Dylan's new toy

Reese is foam boy at the beach, wind in his ears
Foam boy

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Chai Tea

I stopped at the Cuban bakery after work today for a coconut cupcake.
I also bought a mojito cookie, and a guava pastry for my friend Deb.
And a couple homemade dog biscuits for her dogs.

I stopped at her house to see her new Lab puppy
(about the cutest little girl on the planet), and we ate our goodies with Deb's homemade Chai tea.
This tea is so fragrant, so yummy...even fancy coffees can't compare.

Here's the recipe:

Note, Deb makes hers in a little tea pot with a strainer at the top to hold the spices.
She uses only organic.
If you don't have a similar tea pot, just tie up the spices in a bouquet (or sachet...whatever the word is. Meaning put them in cheesecloth and tie them with a string. After steeping, you can remove the spice bundle, but you can actually get a couple more batches out of it if you'd like)

2 Black Tea bags
1 whole cinnamon stick
6 cardamom pods
several slices (use a vegetable peeler) fresh ginger
6 to 8 whole cloves
In three cups of water, boil spices for several minutes.
Remove bouquet, and pour tea into mugs
Serve hot with added milk or cream,
and sweeten with agave syrup or honey

This tastes even better the next day, when the flavors meld.

Out of curiosity, I looked up other recipes.
Some recipes add pepper, fennel, and/or anise.
Several here
and here
This one uses Darjeeling
Several more variations are available online--try different spices to see what you like best

It's interesting that "cardamon" and "cardamom" are both considered correct spellings.