Monday, August 30, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade - A recipe!

For your Labor Day barbecue or just for a sweet, refreshing drink - strawberry lemonade.  Now I love recipes with few ingredients, so just buy some delicious lemonade and strawberries and you can make this!

I recommend using both fresh and frozen strawberries.  The fresh berries look much better and have a more pleasant texture, but the frozen strawberries add a lot more flavor!

Start by cutting the fresh strawberries in halves, thirds, or quarters depending on the sizes of the berries.  (The riper the strawberries the better the flavor.)  Put them in your pitcher along with any frozen berries you will be using.

Add the lemonade.  Refrigerate for at least an hour.  The longer the strawberries are in the lemonade, the more their flavor will mix with the lemonade.  If you let it sit long enough, the lemonade will be pink when you pour it into a glass. 

You can use a spoon to scoop out some strawberries to add to the glasses or just place a few slices in each glass before pouring the lemonade.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The End of Summer

A blog post I am not excited to write, but is necessary...  Summer is coming to an end and as sad as it is, I em enjoying reflecting and remembering all of the fun times we had!  With family and sometimes friends, we enjoyed so many fun activities.  Perhaps this is why it's so sad to see it end.

I will remember the fun activities with the kids.

They visited children's museums.

They went to a fun park and played miniature golf for the first time.

I will remember ALL of the baseball games...

...and my daughter's obsession with the team mascott.

My son was more interested in collecting balls, bats, and autographs from the players.

We also had a lot of projects...many of which are still not complete.  The kids finally got their dad to build that fort they've been talking about for years. 

It just needs paint now. Thank goodness we still have a couple more weeks!

I will also miss the simplicity of summer: barbecuing, picnics, trips to the park, flowers, bugs, fresh fruits and vegetables...  I hope you enjoyed your summer too!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Day of Oregon Beauty

We spent an afternoon at Silvercreek Falls earlier this week. It was the coolest day of the week and overcast, but it did not detract from the beauty.

There are waterfalls and miles of trails through the forest.

The last time I visited this State Park, we saw a baby bear - exciting and a little scary.  We didn't see any wildlife this time, but we enjoyed all of the views!

There is also a stream that is full of people cooling off on hot days...not this day.

 We enjoyed a picnic and played soccer and frisbee.  A fun time for everyone and a beautiful trip if you are ever in Oregon!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Before and After

I love before and after pictures of projects and post as many of mine as I can.  I don't always remember to take the before shot and sometimes get too excited to get to work that I miss the before picture.  Well here are a few that I did get...

I found this shelf at a thrift shop for $15.  It is wood and is exactly the size I was looking for for my daughter's room.  So I cleaned it up (a lot), primed it and painted it a fresh coat of white and it looks brand new.  It is now full of her toys and she is very proud that her "Mommy did it".

An item that is now in my shop is this pretty vintage tissue holder that I painted white and distressed.  It was tempting to leave it, but it was a bit rough.  A good amount of the gold was damaged and there was this old tape that I had to remove from all 4 corners of the top - that took awhile!

Tissue Holder at ShabbyNChic

Finally, a shelf that was unfinished and just needed some paint.  I decided on a creamy white as it goes with almost any decor style and any color palette.  Amazing what a couple of coats of paint will do!  This is also currently in my shop.

Creamy White Shelf at ShabbyNChic

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Dominican Rice Recipe

This is an exciting post for me. It is my first recipe!  This summer, a houseguest and friend of ours from the Dominican Republic cooked a delicious rice recipe he had told me about.  It has coconut milk in it.  That was all I needed to hear. I had to try it!  I am vegetarian, so I have slightly altered his recipe.  This recipe is also vegan, so we can all enjoy this one! 

[Warning: I measure nothing. I cook by texture, but there are notes along the way to help.]

Here's what you need first:
- long-grain white rice
- 1 can of coconut milk
- vegetable broth (or vegetable bullion mixed with water)
- cooking oil (I use olive oil.)
- cilantro
- small amount of veggies (I use peas, green bell pepper, and celery...or any combination of these.)

1.  Brown the rice by putting in on medium heat with a small amount of oil.  The rice should be shiny with oil, but there should not be excess oil in the pot.  Stir often so that the rice does not burn.  I usually use 2-3 cups of rice.

2.  Add a "good amount" of vegetable broth and the can of coconut milk.  (Your quantity of broth will vary, depending on how much rice you use.)  Bring to a boil, stirring and then lower heat to Low and put on lid.)

3.  The rice will take 30-45 min. to cook, depending on actual cooking temperature, quantity of rice, and how often you take off the lid.  Why would you take of the lid?  Because you don't know exactly how much liquid to add, so you will need to check periodically.  *My rule: If in doubt check. If in doubt about adding more broth, add more a little at a time.*  If the rice sticks to the bottom of the pan, you didn't add enough - just add more broth and let the person in your family who likes slightly burnt food eat what's at the bottom.

4.  While the rice is cooking, chop your cilantro and vegetables (except for the peas because that would be silly).  I put in 2/3 cup or so of chopped veggies.  Add the cilantro first (It adds a lot of flavor! Oh, I put in a palm-full. That's metric.).

5.  Add your veggies when you think the rice is at least halfway done cooking.  You will know the rice is completely done cooking when it looks fluffy and when you bite it, it's soft.  (If it hurts your teeth to bite it, it's not done cooking yet. Put that lid back on!)  Doesn't it look good?!

6.  Eat it, of course!!  I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.  (I had to go make some after writing this post.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

ShabbyNChic Free Giveaway Winner Announced!

The winner has been selected in my most recent giveaway: One-of-a-Kind ShabbyNChic Wall Hook.

And the winner is...

Janet of Birdland Treasures! Congratulations!