Celebrating the Fourth

Did the Fourth of July sneak up on you like it did me?  Where has the month gone? Can you believe June is O-V-E-R? If you’re like me, busy with countless other things, and suddenly you check the calendar and June is gone……Here are some last minute plans for Celebrating the Fourth of July ….Begin with your front door…this Easy-Peasy Patriotic Wreath is a great place to start.  Nothing says “Fourth of July” better than stars and stripes. This little wreath goes together pretty quickly and you can do it in an evening,  watching TV….;)

Yarn wreath closeup

There are two fruit that scream Summertime: Peaches and Watermelon. What better way to begin a celebration than with a bowl of Watermelon Gazpacho.  It takes time to put it together, but Oh.My.Goodness….YUM!

watermelon gazpacho2

But, if you’d prefer a quick dish to include at your cookout try Marinated Cucumber and Tomato Salad. It’s easy and refreshingly delicious!

marinated cucumber and tomato salad

If  hotdogs and hamburgers  sound a little boring this year…..try  Grilled Sriracha Chicken and you can throw a little pineapple on the grill, while you’re at it. 🙂

grilled sriracha chicken

No matter what kind of meat you decide to grill, Southern Baked Beans with Bourbon are a must! I mean, come on…a cookout without baked beans? and bourbon………..

southern baked beans with bourbon2

There’s no other way to end a Fourth of July celebration than with Homemade Churned Peach Ice-cream. Perfect ending to a perfect cookout. Now, on to the fireworks!

churned peach ice cream3

Even if time has slipped up on you….try one or all of these tried and true recipes for a memorable way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

And everyone ~ Be Safe and Happy Fourth!

 

Easy Summertime Dinner Party

easy summertime dinner party

My husband’s birthday in August is something I look forward to every year. I love planning the meal. Last year’s Italian Dinner Party  has been one of the most viewed posts on my blog!  I love inviting our friends, decorating my table, planning the menu and most importantly deciding on the perfect dessert. An Easy Summertime Dinner Party is my annual time to bless my husband and our friends. I get to spoil them all.

Summer tablescape

Simplicity is the secret to a successful dinner party menu. I want everyone to feel great and not miserable after the meal. Food shouldn’t be so heavy everyone wants to go home and go to bed as soon as dessert is served. And most importantly, it shouldn’t be so time consuming you can’t enjoy it yourself! I’ve certainly been guilty of that.

Over the many years of hosting dinner parties, I’ve learned that the best parties are the ones that have one delicious entree with a delightful salad, rustic bread and an amazing dessert. Then instead of slaving over a hot stove all evening, I get to enjoy my friends’ company.

summer tablescape zinniass

So, for this dinner party I decided on a Roasted Vegetable Frittata. It’s light and delicious. Combined with an arugula salad with strawberries and mozzarella and a French baguette made the perfect dinner. Roasted vegetable Frittata

My friend brought me two buckets of her beautiful zinnias. They matched my meal! I used my white tea caddies for vases. A new piece of fabric (I’m planning on making curtains) was folded and used for the table runner and lots of blue and silver candle holders made a happy looking table for a Happy Birthday celebration.

summer tablescape zinnia

The salad was made with baby arugula,  strawberries, red grapes, yellow sweet peppers, mozzarella, and cherry tomatoes. Tossed with a fruity dressing. A perfect Summer Salad. Strawberry Arugula Salad…yum.

Strawberry arugula salad

The baguettes are Sister Schueber rolls found in the frozen food section.

summer tablescape zinnias

And for dessert, (of course we had birthday cake,too)….but the ‘dessert’ is a blackberry mousse.

blackberry mousse2

Perfection in a parfait, I say.

Before Summer wanes into Fall, plan yourself an Easy Summer Dinner Party to bless your loved ones and friends.  It’s such a delightful way to say ‘I love you’ ……..and to say goodbye to Summer.

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 large red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 3-4 cups raw spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup half N half
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups swiss cheese, divided
  • 2 Tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425* Toss onion, bell pepper, mushrooms with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and add minced garlic. Bake 15 more minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 350*.
  2. Add butter to a 10" skillet and melt. (I use my cast iron skillet) Add roasted vegetables.
  3. Stir spinach and 1 cup swiss cheese into egg mixture.
  4. Pour egg mixture over roasted vegetables in skillet. Do not stir.
  5. Cook for 2 minutes on stove top over low heat without stirring.
  6. Place skillet in oven and bake 20 minutes until frittata is risen in the middle and a knife comes out clean.
  7. ***Sprinkle with 1/2 cup additional cheese on top during last 5 minutes of baking.
  8. Slice into 8 wedges and serve immediately.
http://joytomyheart.com/perfect-summertime-dinner-party/

 

Stella’s Birthday Party

Stella's birthday 2014

It’s hard to believe it’s been 7 years since this little lady made her debut into our lives. I spent most of a day (or two) running errands for her mom so she could have her party this evening. [Read more…]

Italian Dinner Party Made Easy

Italian Dinner Party

This past weekend was my husband’s birthday and we partied Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Friday and Sunday’s celebrations included grandchildren, but the Saturday night was the real dinner party and it was, for the most part, a surprise!  After being asked for the umpteenth time “How do  you do it?” I decide a post was in order. So with this, Italian Dinner Party Made Easy, I’ll share my little secrets on ‘how’, so you can too~   It only looks like it’s a lot of trouble….trust me, I cut corners whenever I need to to make it work. [Read more…]

Valentine’s Day Dinner Party

valentines day dnner party

Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite days of the year….yes,  I have lots of favorites…but my favorite in February is…well…besides my anniversary, (which is my all time,  most favorite day, ever)….is Valentine’s Day.  And the reason is,  I get to invite some of my favorite people for a dinner party. [Read more…]

Fairy Pumpkin Village

Fairy Pumpkin Village

Don’t you just love making memories for children?  My husband is always telling me stories of the things he and his cousins did as children. I’m in awe of their innocence and the fun little adventures they had.  Huck Finn and  Tom Sawyer had nothing on those boys!  I want to make the little memories of our children, just as magical.  One of my most favorite traditions in the Fall, is our Fairy Pumpkin Village.  The children are always enthralled with it. [Read more…]

Pumpkin Paintings

Stellaartist

Pumpkin patch fever is in the air round my house….I’ve been trying out new pumpkin dishes. My family has sampled them, happily.  I posted a few weeks ago that my daughter moved into the house directly behind my house…That has more advantages than disadvantages. I love having my grandchildren come by after school and having them spend time with me. The best part is I don’t have to leave home at all! [Read more…]

Pumpkin Patch Party Invitations

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It’s almost time  to send out Pumpkin Patch Party invitations this year. We’ve set date for November 2nd. And I ‘m so excited! I’ve never held the party after Halloween before but I think it’s going to be great.  In the past, the party begins at 6PM and ends around 8PM. It’s always daylight at the beginning but before it’s the party’s over it grows dark and the lanterns begin to glow and it’s soooooo pretty! [Read more…]

Games for the Pumpkin Patch Party

Games for the Pumpkin Patch Party are next on our list…a little organizing and planning is required.  I usually plan on setting up  the games  the day of the party…the earlier the better. But last year we set them up the day before and it was so much easier….  the decision making of where to actually set the games had already been taken care of and that left my brain-power free to be spent on other pressing issues the actual day of the party… I usually position the games around the outside of my yard. That leaves all the room in the middle for moving around and it kinda forms a corral for the little ones…. [Read more…]

Face Painting for Pumpkin Patch Party

the girls help

Face painting has become a big part of our Pumpkin Patch Party.   With so many children attending the party it’s important to have enough games and activities to keep them all busy.  And that also helps to keep the lines down. One of most surprising things to me was how much the kids loved face painting. I mentioned in the first Pumpkin Patch Party post to recruit a teenager to paint faces. Teens love being a part of the party and do a great job. My daughter, in the beginning, always called on her babysitters to help with the games. [Read more…]