Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sailing By To Say Hi

One of the many things my Mom does is to help Meals on Wheels on a monthly basis. My Dad hasn't been feeling well lately and my Mom has been taking care of him. So I took over one of her one of her responsibilities for Meals on Wheels.

Every month she makes a special little handmade card and the lady in charge of Meals on Wheels told my Mom that many of the recipients save the little cards and have them displayed on their mantle or a side table.

While watching Wimbledon I made 50 little sailboat cards. Side note: I was sad when Maria lost today. But brokenhearted when Roger lost. Then all the commentators are like when will Roger retire? Ease up on Roger!

I folded 50 index cards - then using some wavy scissors - cut out the blue ocean. Then I made the little navy blue boat. Then I had to stop and watch Maria play. Then I started cutting out the yellow sails.

I used a glue stick to adhere everything to the index cards. Then I had to stop and focus on Roger's match.

Then I put a small amount of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in a little bag.

On the inside of each card I wrote "Sailing by to say hi!"

Once the Wimbledon matches were over - I quickly taped the little Goldfish bags to the back of each card.

Although I made these for Meals on Wheels - I think these would make cute Invitations for a Summer BBQ or Pool Party.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tommy Bahama Coconut Shrimp and Asian Slaw

 Using a recipe from a Tommy Bahama website I made the Coconut Shrimp. I know. I really need to stop with the Tommy Bahama recipes. I promise this will be my last Tommy Bahama recipe this week. But I can't make any promises about next week.


1 1/4 cups beer

1 2/3 cups flour

2 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

7 ounce package of shredded coconut

1 1lb. peeled and deveined raw medium shrimp

canola oil for deep frying


Pour beer, 1 cup flour, eggs, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well to form a batter, Pour the batter into a shallow bowl.

Place remaining flour in another shallow bowl.

Place the shredded coconut in a third shallow bowl.

Put the bowls in this order - Flour, Batter and Coconut.

Set out a large cookie sheet. Dip the shrimp in the flour, then into the batter and finally into the coconut. Set the shrimp onto the large cookie sheet.

Once all of the shrimp are coated - heat the oil in a deep pan. Cook the shrimp in small batches. These cook very quickly. About a minutes or two on each side. Remove the shrimp from the oil and place on a fresh cookie sheet covered with paper towels.

I made a different Asian Slaw to serve with the Coconut Shrimp.


4 ounces green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 ounces red onion, finely sliced and sliced into half moons

2 ounces of jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 ounce cilantro, finely chopped

House Salt and Pepper -

3 tablespoons kosher salt

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Lime Vinaigrette -

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1  teaspoon  house salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon canola oil


In a large bowl combine the cabbage, red onion, jicama and cilantro.

In a small bowl combine the lime juice and house salt and pepper. Whisk them together. Slowly add the oils whisking it in very slowly.

Combine the Vinaigrette to the cabbage mixture. Toss gently and cover in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

Arrange the coconut shrimp around the Asian Slaw Live the Island Lifestyle and Enjoy!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tommy Bahama Asian Slaw

My husband loves the Tommy Bahama Asian Slaw! But when I started to research the recipe online - there were at least five different variations. All of the recipes had shredded green cabbage, red onions and jicama.

But some had more or less of each ingredient. Some recipes called for flat leaf parsley and some had cilantro.

Why am I telling you this? Probably because I will be making the other four recipes!


4 ounces green cabbage, shredded thin

2 ounces red onion, sliced thin, into half moons

2 ounces jicama, peeled and julienned

1 teaspoon flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste


Toss all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl. Chill for 1/2 hour or longer.

I served this Asian Slaw inside some Pulled Pork Sliders. It was fantastic!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tommy Bahama's Key Lime Pie

My husband loves Tommy Bahama - the clothes, decor and restaurant. I always buy him Tommy Bahama candles to light in his office. They "relax" him - and he is often really stressed out! Right now he is living the island lifestyle with  the "Maui Mango" candle. His two favorite desserts from the Tommy Bahama restaurant are the Key Lime Pie and Butterscotch Pudding.


1 10" graham cracker pie crust

1 egg white

2 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup egg yolks

1 cup freshly squeezed key lime juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly brush the graham cracker crust with the egg white. Place the pie shell in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. The crust should be golden brown. Let the crust cool at room temperature.

Reduce oven heat to 250 degrees. Mix egg yolks and condensed milk using a whisk. Pour the key lime juice into the mixture. Mix slowly until everything is well incorporated. Pour the mixture into the crust. Bake at 250 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

The finished pie resembles a "Jell-o" like consistency. Let the pie cool for 1/2 hour at room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

The Tommy Bahama website has a white chocolate mousse whipped cream recipe to top the pie.  But I couldn't find one of the ingredients - an instant white chocolate mousse.

So I made my own whipped cream recipe - using a pint of whipping cream I added two tablespoons of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla. Then I mixed everything for a few minutes with an immersion blender.

I was feeling lazy so I just filled a zipper bag with the homemade whipped cream and sniped off a small corner to pie around the pie and a little in the center.

My family loved the pie - it was delicious!  I think it tasted just like the Key Lime Pie they serve at Tommy Bahama.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 Year Blogoversary Giveaway!

Yes, on June 30th it will be my three year Blogoversary! I love blogging about my recipes, craft ideas and little decorating projects.  And I thank you for stopping by and reading!

This year my Blogoversary giveaway is the book "Sweet Celebrations." It is from the DC Cupcake girls - they are on the TLC show "DC Cupcakes." The book is full of stories, recipes, and step-by-step decorating instructions. "DC Cupcakes" is one of my favorite shows!

Now you are probably asking yourself How can  I enter this awesome  Blogoversary contest? It is very simple - just leave me a simple comment below and if you want you could comment on a recipe or craft idea that you enjoyed and you will be entered in the contest. The contest ends on June 30th.

I will notify the winner on July 1st.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lemonade Cake with Lemon Butter Frosting

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

Ingredients For Lemonade Cake:

1/3 cup butter

3 eggs

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/3 cups sugar

1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

yellow food coloring (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Allow the butter and eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan. I used the butter wrappers.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt - set aside.

With a stand mixer beat the butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Gradually add sugar 1/4 cup at a time beating on medium to high speed until well combined.

Add eggs one at a time. Beating well after each egg.

Beat in lemonade concentrate and vanilla.

Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk. Beat well after each addition until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

I added a few drops of yellow food coloring and the batter turned a lovely shade of yellow. Spread the lovely yellow batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool cake for 1 hour on a wire rack.

Ingredients for Lemon Butter Frosting:

1/3 cup softened unsalted butter

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate. thawed

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 cups powdered sugar

1 -2 teaspoons frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

12 - 15 thin lemon slices

Why is my frosting picture so dark?


In a stand mixer add the softened butter and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar - beat on medium speed until completely combined.

Beat in the 1/3 cup frozen lemonade and vanilla.

Gradually beat in the additional powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time.

Check the frosting consistency. If the frosting is too thick add a teaspoon or two of lemonade concentrate. Beat on high. The frosting should now be spreadable.

Thinly slice a few lemons - remoce seeds and use to decorate the cake. Remove the lemon slices before you eat the cake. 

I like to serve lemon cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it can also be garnished with a mint sprig.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Strawberry Muffins

Today I made some muffins with fresh strawberries. Yum! I love fresh strawberries. I had to do something different with the strawberries I bought this week. I have been making Strawberry Spinach salad every other day for about two weeks!

Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa


3 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

 1 1/4 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten\

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted2 cups diced fresh strawberries

1 1/4 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners - this recipe makes 18 muffins.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk to make sure that all of the dry ingredients are combined.

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup combine the milk, eggs, and melted butter.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredient bowl - pour the wet ingredients into the well and mix until the ingredients are just combined.

Gently fold in the strawberries and granulated sugar. The batter will be a little lumpy.

Fill each of the muffin cups with batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool the muffins on a wire rack. Then I displayed them on a wire cake plate.

These would be perfect to serve to serve to overnight guests. The house smelled fantastic while they were baking.

I can't wait to have one of these muffins tomorrow morning.

I will be making a few more strawberry recipes when Wimbledon starts in a few weeks. I was sad that Maria lost to Serena this morning.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Flowers for Joy's Birthday Dinner

I made some pretty little jars filled with white flowers for Joy's birthday dinner.  I save my pasta sauce jars. I rinse them out - remove the label with hot soapy water and then pop them in the dishwasher.

Once the jars are clean - I take some ribbon and hot glue a thick piece of ribbon around the middle of the jar. I also added three little adhesive pearls to further decorate the jar.

Almost all of the flowers were purchased from Trader Joe's. A few sprigs of Rosemary and some large leaves are from my backyard garden.

These flowers have a light floral smell. They would make a perfect cologne for Jo Malone!

I made eight of these jars of all white flowers with a little greenery - they will be used to decorate the center of the table and then whoever wants to can take a jar home. These jars fit perfectly into the cup holder in almost everyones car! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Because Friendship is Sweet Party Favors

Today I made some party favors for my friend Joy's birthday party - I have been friends with her for over 25 years.

Her favorite sweet treat is chocolate covered almonds. And the party is at an Italian restaurant so I used all of my red and green papers, ribbons and little flowers to decorate the chocolate covered almonds packages.

Because the almonds are so large I used a 4 x 6 inch bag and stapled a piece of scrapbook paper over each almond filled plastic bag.

Because Joy has so many special friends - I decided to write "Because friendship is Sweet" on a sticker label.

I had a lot of red and green scrapbook paper but in a pinch you could use pieces of wrapping paper. 

I must agree with Joy - chocolate covered almonds are delicious. I ate quite a few while I was making these! And my husband will be happy because I ended up buying about 1/2 pound extra of the chocolate covered almonds.

 Once I was finished with the chocolate covered almond bags - I found a basket to display them!

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Joy - every day is a gift! I am looking forward to your party!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Spinach Strawberry Salad

I have made this twice and it is so fresh and delicious. And I love making fresh salad dressing. I found this recipe on a blog that I follow called What Megan's Making. She has a lot of wonderful recipes - check out her blog if you have a minute.


1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

pinch of salt

pinch of fresh ground pepper

3/4 cup canola oil

6 cups baby spinach leaves

2 cups of strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 cups pecans - toasted and coarsely chopped


In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Whisking constantly slowly add the canola oil and continue to whisk until the vinaigrette is well combined. Then transfer the vinaigrette to a mason jar with a lid.

In a large salad bowl add the spinach, strawberries, red onion and pecans. Give the mason jar a good shake and add 1/2 of the vinaigrette  to the salad and gently toss. Put the other half of the vinaigrette in the refrigerator. Serve the salad immediately.

The next time we have  a BBQ - I think that I am going to double this recipe.