Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Free Printable Summer Party Invitations


Courtesy of Manvi Drona-Hidalgo

Hi Friends,

Get friends in the mood for outdoorsy fun with creative glamping party invitations shaped like popsicles.

Click here to download the Free Printable Popsicle Summer Party Invitations

Have fun...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Outdoor Entertaining Tips for Summer


Courtesy of Chris Casson Madden

Hi Friends,

Summer is the time for outdoor entertaining. It wasn't so long ago that outdoor entertaining meant a picnic in the park with a drink cooler, paper plates and plastic forks. If entertaining at home, it meant throwing hamburgers on the backyard grill.

Thanks to today's growing trend of outdoor kitchens and rooms with all the comfort of interior spaces, backyard parties have become much more sophisticated. There are high-end grills that allow you to prepare food on a stovetop and exterior kitchen islands that create space for food prep and storage. Refrigerators, wet bars and sinks also are available for outdoor installation.

The secret is to bring your favorite indoor decor items outdoors and to have fun decorating with them. Think about how you want your space to look when planning an outdoor get-together:

Lay out the basic space:
Planning the space before the party is key. First, decide if guests will be seated at tables or will be eating while standing or seated in the nearest lawn chair. When I had my family over recently for a Sunday afternoon get-together, I pulled out some of my favorite Oriental rugs in smaller sizes that I had rolled up for the summer and created seating areas under shady trees for relaxed dining.



Dress the tables:
Use paper for cocktail napkins only; for dining, use cloth napkins. Arrange silverware in inviting "take-one" containers like planters or cachepots. To add color to the table, invest in mix-and-match china pieces in colorful hues.

Centerpieces can be as simple as small containers of Gerbera daisies or impatiens, along with greenery, or even bowls of summer fruit or veggies. I like to use a row of glass canning jars to hold cut flowers from my garden.

Choose food suitable for outdoors:
Place buffet tables in shady areas because direct sunlight will cause even the freshest salad to wilt and dairy-based dishes to curdle. Foods that contain lots of oil or gelatin also don't do well in direct heat; be sure to cover them with waxed paper or old-fashioned netting baskets. A good choice for buffet fare is dishes that serve well at room temperature, like vinegar-based salads, grilled kebabs, beans and noodle dishes.

Light up the night:
If your gathering will last into the evening, add a little romance with lighting. Strands of small, clear lights look wonderful woven through trees, shrubs and fences and they are available in lots of different shapes and styles.

Candles are my favorite source of party lighting; they can be placed as groupings on tabletops in small jars or holders. Consider the citronella variety if insects are a concern. Hurricane lanterns, another lighting option, will stay lit even if it becomes breezy and they can double as centerpieces.

You may also opt for gas- or oil-filled tiki torches in either rattan or metal styles that can be placed in different spots in the outdoor space, creating "rooms" and separate areas or walkways.

Make children feel welcome:
If young ones will be a part of the festivities, plan creative ways to keep them entertained. A table just for the kids is a good idea; cover it with white butcher paper and have crayons available so they can draw to their hearts' content.

Plan ahead, and keep it simple, so you can enjoy your summer gathering as much as your guests will.

TGIS (Thank Goodness It's Summer)...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy 4th of July!



Happy 4th Friends,

I live a wonderful, prosperous life here in America. Unfortunately, there were times my mind was closed but fortunately, enlightened, as well. I have felt the pain of loss, and the exuberance of winning. I have had relationships go bad, and have started up wonderful new ones. I am an American, and thankful every day that I was born into the abundance that is America.

How fortunate am I to have the medium available to me to be able to express this to you, as well as, receive messages from friends and loved ones, in the peace and tranquility that America is today. We are truly blessed.

Happy Birthday America. I for one, am proud to say I Am An American.

Enjoy this Independence Day in the warmth of home, the love of family and the company of good friends...

Have a good one from your friends at Interior Desgin!

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, July 3, 2018


Courtesy of Robin Bashinsky
Recipe by Cooking Light
Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Lindsey Lower

Happy 4th Friends,

Here's a fast, efficient way to cook green beans (and other vegetables), eliminating the fuss of bringing a large pot of water to a boil or draining the veggies. (Cost for 4: $1.12)

Ingredients
  • 12 ounces trimmed green beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  • Step 1: Place green beans in a large skillet; pour in 1/4 cup water.

  • Step 2: Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as water comes to a boil, cover pan and cook 3 minutes.

  • Step 3: Uncover pan, and stir in butter. Cook 1 minute or until water evaporates and beans are crisp-tender.

  • Step 4: Sprinkle beans with salt and pepper.

  • Step 5: 3 Ways to Riff: • Try this technique with cut asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower florets, thinly sliced zucchini or yellow squash, or quartered radishes. • You can also try with carrot chunks, butternut squash cubes, or halved Brussels sprouts; just double the cook time and add more water if the pan dries out. • Cook tender leafy greens (spinach, baby kale, Swiss chard, or mustard greens) this way; just use a Dutch oven or other large pot with a lid.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Monday, July 2, 2018

Baked Macaroni and Cheese Recipe


Courtesy of thecountrycontessa.com
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ballard

Happy 4th Friends,

Baked macaroni and cheese doesn’t have to be complicated with layers of ingredients to be the soul-warming food you crave. This version has pleased crowds, small families, kids and picky eaters alike–give it a try and you’ll see why.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 335 kcal

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni shells or cavatappi
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk not skim
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese I like sharp cheddar and Swiss

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add a generous sprinkling of salt the pasta.

  3. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a skillet or pot large enough to hold the pasta when it's done.

  4. Add the flour and stir over medium heat until the mixture is lightly browned; 1-2 minutes.

  5. Add the milk and whisk to remove any lumps and add the salt and pepper.

  6. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens and starts to bubble. About 6 minutes.

  7. Stir in the cheese and whisk until smooth and melted. Turn off the heat.

  8. When the pasta is almost done but still firm, drain it and add to the sauce.

  9. Stir the pasta into the sauce and bake in a greased 2 quart dish (or an 8x8 pan works pretty well) 20-25 minutes until browned and bubbly. You can also skip baking it if you want it super creamy and just put it under the broiler to brown the top (keep an eye on it) and then serve.

Recipe Notes

The thinner the dish, the less the bake time. I used a cast iron skillet and mine was done in 25 minutes. A thicker dish like a 2 quart casserole will take 40 minutes.

A traditional mac and cheese you can bake with your favorite cheeses, veggies or meats for a one-dish wonder.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Chive and Garlic Mashed Potatoes


Courtesy of cookingchanneltv.com
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence

Happy 4th Friends,

4th of July would not be the 4th without mashed potatoes. Here's a recipe that will definitely get raves and celebrate independence day your way.

Total: 50 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Level: Easy

Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives

Directions

Put the cut potatoes into a large pot, cover them with cold water, and add a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, in a small pot heat the cream, butter, garlic, and thyme. While the potatoes are still warm, press them through a potato ricer or food mill into a bowl. Stir in the warm cream a bit at a time, straining out the solids, until the potatoes are fluffy. Season with salt and pepper and gently fold in the chives.

Serve immediately.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Friday, June 29, 2018

Bacon, Cheddar and Chive Biscuits


Courtesy of cookingchanneltv.com
Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon

Happy 4th Friends,

Try these mouth-watering biscuits, they will compliment your 4th of July meal and beyond.

Total: 40 min
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 18 biscuits
Level: Easy

Ingredients
  • 7 slices bacon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces or grated
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp and brown. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Chop and set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.

Using a food processor, pastry cutter, or fingertips incorporate the chilled butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

Add the Cheddar cheese, fresh chives, and cooked bacon. Mix to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the buttermilk and stir just until moistened.

Using 1/2 cup dough for each biscuit and using a cup measure or an ice cream scoop, drop the biscuits onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the mounds about 2-inches apart.

Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 to 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Serve the biscuits warm with melted butter.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne