Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Peach Salsa Recipe


Courtesy of Mick Telkamp
Photo by Mick Telkamp

Hi Friends,

Spanish for “sauce,” salsa comes in many forms. Pico de gallo, an uncooked salsa made with tomatoes, onion and peppers, comes to mind quickly, but salsa can be made with a wide range of fruits and vegetables, including corn, mangoes, beans or tomatillos. At the peak of summer, tomatoes are plentiful in our garden, but another summer favorite can be used to make a sweet and spicy salsa of a different color. Fresh peach salsa adds spectacular flavor when used as a condiment on chicken, seafood or vegetables, but this blend of peaches, tomatoes, pepper, onion, and fresh herbs may quickly become your favorite chip dip in a season that is all too brief.

Select peaches and tomatoes at their peak of ripeness with vibrant flavor and firm flesh. Blanch carefully to remove the skin of the fresh produce without cooking the flesh, which will impact the texture of this fresh, delicious salsa.

Here's the Peach salsa recipe.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds peaches
  • 1 pound tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 jalapeño seeded and chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Juice of 1 lime
Directions
In a large pot, blanch peaches and tomatoes for one minute and immediately transfer into a large bowl of ice water to cool.

Slough peels from tomatoes and peaches.

Dice peaches and tomatoes and place in a large bowl.

Add chopped bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, basil, salt and lime juice.

Toss to combine.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Serve with tortilla chips or use as a condiment for fish, chicken or vegetables.

Fresh favorites team up in this sweet and spicy seasonal salsa...

This Peach salsa can be used as a condiment for chicken or seafood, but is all that with a bag of tortilla chips.

Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

5 Custom Cocktails You Need This Summer


Courtesy of Liz Gray

Hi Friends,

There’s something about hot weather that makes an icy beverage seem not only nice but practically essential, don’t you think? For your next summer party, upgrade from plastic coolers and drink mixes to custom cocktails that are easy to make and even easier to enjoy. Here are 5 versatile options you’ll sip all summer long including our featured Coastal Citrus Punch.

Essential qualities: This summery take on sangria makes enough for a crowd, so you won’t be running up and down the hill playing bartender all day. Mix up the day before your party, chill and serve on ice. It’s easy to double if you anticipate extreme thirst…or more than 8-10 guests. Make it your own: The recipe calls for grapes, pineapple and strawberries, but try throwing in blueberries, peaches or honeydew melon.

Serve it with: Grilled fish, a summer clambake, tea sandwiches — this drink is incredibly versatile.

Here's the Coastal Citrus Punch Recipe, compliments of Matthew Mead.

Ingredients
  • 2 medium lemons, sliced thin
  • 3 oranges, sliced thin
  • 1 lime, sliced thin
  • 1 dozen green grapes cut in half
  • 3 750-ml bottles off-dry white Riesling wine, chilled
  • 2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup lemon juice, fresh squeezed and chilled, 4 to 5 lemons
  • 3 cups white grape juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice, chilled
  • 4 cups sparkling water, chilled
Instructions
Juice the lemons and oranges. Strain the juice.

At least 3 hours and up to 6 hours before serving, combine the syrup, lemon juice, grape juice, pineapple juice, wine and strawberries in a large bowl or pot. Chill in the refrigerator.

Just before serving, pour the punch into a large chilled punch bowl or glass bottle. Add the sparkling water and gently stir.

Serve punch over ice with additional cut fruit.

Frozen Mint Julep


Essential qualities: If you have ever tried to grow mint, you know the biggest dilemma isn’t keeping it alive, it’s keeping it from choking out the rest of your garden. Keep it at bay (and keep your guests cool) with this slushy take on a classic Southern cocktail.

Serve it with: Barbecue, grilled lamb or vegetables and pretty much any dish hailing from the South.

Here's the Frozen Mint Julep Cocktail Recipe, compliments of Stephen Phillips.

This is the perfect Southern way to celebrate and cool off this summer.

Ingredients:
  • 3 oz. Makers Mark, Heaven Hill or Knob Creek bourbon whiskey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. simple syrup
  • 1-1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 3/4 cup crushed ice
  • 1 sprig of mint for garnish
Preparation:
Place mint leaves, bourbon, simple syrup and lemon juice at the bottom of a glass. Muddle (mash) the mint with the liquids until blended together. Pour this mixture into the blender. Add 3/4 cup of crushed ice and blend until slushy.

Pour into a chilled, large old-fashioned glass or large goblet.

Mellow Melon Margarita

STEPHEN MURELLO, Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

Essential qualities: Margaritas can be delicious, but they usually aren’t. That’s because margarita mix is, well, just not very good. Fix that with this simple cocktail recipe: Just mix together high-quality silver tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and a seasonal twist — cubes of juicy watermelon. Repeat after me: I no longer need margarita mix. Putting it down. Now.

Serve it with: This summery drink pairs well with farm-fresh produce — think corn on the cob or roasted pepper and mozzarella bites.

Here's the Tom's Mellow Melon Margarita Recipe, compliments of Stephen Phillips.

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 ounces Patron Silver tequila
  • 1 ounces fresh lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 ounces orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 5 watermelon cubes
  • 1 small watermelon wedge
Preparation:
Muddle the watermelon cubes in the bottom of a shaker glass. Add ice, Patron, lime juice, orange juice and agave syrup. Give it a good shake for approximately 10 seconds. Strain and pour into large rocks glass. Garnish with a watermelon wedge.

The Michelada Cocktail


Essential qualities: This drink makes what’s already a quality beverage — beer — a little more refreshing for summer. Take your favorite Mexican beer (a light lager is best) and mix in a squeeze of lemon, hot sauce and salt and pepper. Pour it into a chilled glass rimmed with salt. It might sound a little weird, but trust me, it tastes delicious.

Serve it with: Big, bold, flavorful dishes, like spicy tacos or bacon cheeseburgers.

Here's the The Michelada Recipe, compliments of Stephen Phillips.

Ingredients:
  • 12 oz. Mexican beer
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 dash soy sauce or Maggi seasoning
  • 1 dash Tabasco or chile sauce
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • A dish of salt to rim the glass
Preparation:
Rim the lip of a tall serving cup with salt and fill with ice. Mix in all the ingredients except the beer. Pour in your beer slowly. Stir gently and serve generously.

Spicy Raspberry Lemonade


Essential qualities: Okay, so you have four delicious alcoholic cocktail options, above. Avoid being that person who offers margaritas and juleps but has only lukewarm tap water for non-drinking guests. The new plan: Serve this grown-up take on lemonade, spiked with spicy ginger beer and topped with fresh raspberries.

Serve it with: Ice. No, seriously…drink this all summer!

Here's the Spicy Raspberry Lemon Cooler Cocktail Recipe, compliments of Wes Martin.

A grown-up take on lemonade, this non-alcoholic drink combines the fruitiness of raspberries with spicy ginger beer.

Ginger beer, non-alcoholic despite its name, can be found in the beverage/soda section of your supermarket. It has a much stronger bite than plain ginger ale and is great for mixing mocktails; it adds a spicy punch to anything you mix it with.

Ingredients
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 bottles ginger beer
  • fresh raspberries or lemon wedges for garnish, optional
Directions
Put the raspberries, honey, lemon juice and water into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the fruit has completely broken down, about five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand until cool. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer set over a pitcher. Press the fruit solids with a rubber spatula to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the fruit pulp.

To serve, fill a Collins glass with ice and pour three tablespoons of the raspberry syrup into the glass. Fill with ginger beer, stir, garnish with raspberries or a lemon wedge and serve immediately.

Makes about six drinks.

Cheers...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

4 Fun Themes for Kids' Birthday Parties


Courtesy of Laura Fenton

Hi Friends,

Make your child's next birthday party a blast with one of these creative theme ideas. Totally Nautical; let your little one's imagination set sail with a nautical-themed birthday party. Start with a red, white and blue color scheme, add some seaworthy decor like flags and knots, and serve nautical-themed snacks like Goldfish crackers and Life Savers. Use some of your 4th of July decorations to really go big with Red, White and Blue...

Baseball Bonanza


If your child is a baseball lover, take the kids out to the ballpark for a game of baseball, softball or T-ball. Make the birthday boy or girl his or her very own baseball T-shirt with iron-on transfer paper. If you're ambitious, you can make shirts for every one of your guests in lieu of favors.

A Day at the Circus


Make your child's birthday the greatest show on earth with a circus-themed party. Serve popcorn, peanuts and other snacks from a tray as if you were a vendor at the circus. For activities, try face painting or classic games that fit the circus theme, like pin the tail on the donkey.

The Great Adventure


A scavenger-hunt birthday party, complete with a treasure at the end, will keep kids entertained for hours. Set the stage for an exciting escapade by printing invitations on parchment-like paper and mailing them in classic airmail envelopes. Don't forget to include a map to the party, marking its location with an X.

The kiddos will love these awesome birthday themes; have fun...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

15 Vegetables You Can Plant Now for Fall Harvest


Courtesy of Debbie and Mark Wolfe

Hi Friends,

Plant these hearty vegetables now for a bountiful harvest come fall. Beets are a great fall vegetable. Soak the seeds overnight for quicker germination.

Beans

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Green beans are fast producers. Choose from the full gamut of varieties for your favorite fall recipes.

Broccoli


Enjoy this vitamin-packed vegetable this autumn. Sow directly into the garden in late summer for a fall harvest.

Brussels Sprouts

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Brussels sprouts are not always the most popular vegetable at the dinner table, but they are a perfect addition to a fall garden. They will hold up well in an early frost.

Turnips


Turnips are easy to grow and delicious to eat.

Celeriac

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Not the most attractive root vegetable in the world, but it is tasty! Celeriac needs time to grow—get a head start for a fall harvest by planting in late summer.

Collards

Mary Beth Shaddix

Collards are packed full of vitamins and taste great in stir-fries. These hearty greens taste best after frost exposure.

Green Onions

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Green onions can be direct sown in late summer and will survive winter if not harvested.

Kohlrabi

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Kohlrabi is a fast grower for the cool season. It only takes six weeks to mature.

Lettuce

Blackberry Farm

Lettuce loves cool weather! Plant in late summer to early fall to enjoy in an autumn salad.

Parsnips

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Direct sow parsnips in the summer and plan on harvesting after frost when the flavor improves.

Cauliflower

Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cauliflower is a cold-tolerant member of the cabbage family. Plant them now to use in soups or mashed with potatoes this fall.

Peas


Peas grow well in cool weather. Choose a short season variety for an autumn harvest.

Pumpkins


What's a fall garden without pumpkins? Sow in mid summer for an autumn harvest.

Radishes


Radishes are one of the quickest maturing crops at 4 weeks from seed to harvest.

Have a bountiful fall...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!



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

Monday, July 3, 2017

Grilled Dessert


Courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Hi Friends,

If the grill is already warm, go ahead and make dessert there too. Pull out the skewers, the berries and the pound cake and serve everyone grilled strawberry shortcake. We added blackberries to ours for a festive touch, and you can add any and all of your favorite berries.

Happy 4th; enjoy it with the people that mean the most to you, family and good friends...

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Live well,
Yvonne

Friday, June 30, 2017

Ginger Mint Popsicle Recipe


Courtesy of Ruth Meharg

Hi Friends,

Boil 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup sliced fresh ginger until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in a packed half cup of fresh mint leaves. Let the syrup cool and strain out the leaves and ginger pieces. Add the juice of 6 medium limes and 1 quart of sparkling water. Fill popsicle molds with blueberries and strawberry slices and pour the ginger mint mixture over them. Freeze for 8 hours and enjoy.

The kiddos and adults alike will love this special treat; Bon Appétit...

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Live well,
Yvonne