Sunday, July 24, 2016

Fabulous Do Ahead Al Fresco Dinner Menu


Hope you had an awesome weekend and are savoring these summer days.
One of my favorite things about summer is having friends over
 to dine Al fresco on our deck. A simple do ahead menu is a must! Don't get me
wrong, I love a simple juicy burger on the grill, but I wanted to serve something
 more unique. It's no fun having to slave in the kitchen once your guests arrive so I
 always look for recipes that can be prepped ahead of time, I think these are winners!
 I'm sharing a yummy summer menu I served recently, along with my tips and
 timeline for having it all together ahead of time, so you're free to enjoy your guests.
I've noted where I deviated from the recipes, and how I prepped everything prior to
our get-together for a smooth stress-free dinner.  

~ menu ~    


Mexican Shrimp Cocktail w/ Tortilla Chips

Chili Lime Chicken

Mandarin Orange Salad w/Sugared Almonds

Grilled Corn with Spicy Cilantro Lime Butter

Key Lime Pie


Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Recipe from Elise @ Simply Recipes

Served as an appetizer with drinks before dinner. 
I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned and pre-cooked, peeled and deveined shrimp. 
I didn't chop the shrimp, but instead put a few on top of each individual serving.


Chili Lime Chicken
Recipe from Bee @ Rasa Malaysia

I grill the chicken a couple hours before our guests arrived, let sit for 15 min before slicing,
pile on large platter and serve at room temp.
I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs.


Mandarin Orange Salad with Sugared Almonds
Recipe from Food.com

I use organic mixed greens from Costco.


Grilled Corn with Spicy Cilantro Lime Butter
Recipe from Megan @ Pip & Ebby

I use 1/4 cup butter in place of the mayo. 
I like to serve smaller pieces of corn, so I cut the cobs in half. 
Boil corn for 2 minutes then transfer to hot grill for a short time to get char marks,
 turning once or twice. 
Pile on large platter and serve with lime wedges.   


Key Lime Pie
Recipe from Leigh Anne @ Your Home Based Mom

Use homemade graham cracker crust! 
Delete sour cream, decrease Nellie & Joe's Key Lime Juice to 1/2 cup.
Add whipped cream (I used Reddi Wip) to individual slices at time of serving. 

EARLIER IN WEEK

Salad - Prepare Sugared Almonds, store in plastic container.
Corn - Prepare Cilantro Lime Butter, refrigerate in plastic container.
Pie - Crush graham crackers and mix in sugar, store in plastic container. 

FRIDAY AFTERNOON/EVENING
Salad - chop celery, slice onion & prepare dressing - refrigerate. 
Husk corn & cut in half - refrigerate.
Make Key Lime Pie & refrigerate.
Shrimp Cocktail - Thaw shrimp in refrigerator if frozen.

SATURDAY MORNING

Chicken - Prepare Marinade
Mexican Shrimp Cocktail - Prepare and refrigerate (Do not add shrimp or avocado)
Salad - drain mandarin oranges and refreigerate.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Grill chicken
Put salad together, except dressing
Chop avocado and add to shrimp cocktail.
Cut Pie

AFTER GUESTS ARRIVE 
Dish Mexican Shrimp Cocktail into individual ramekins and top with a few shrimp,
serve on plates with forks and tortilla chips.

When you're ready for dinner:
Grill corn over high heat just till charred, heat prepared lime butter in microwave,
transfer corn to platter and slather with butter.

Dress salad and sprinkle with sugared almonds.

That's it friends, it really is a fresh, easy to put together menu that appears much
more time consuming. I always a happy hostess if our guests ask for recipes,
and they did! :)

Here's to Al fresco dining with friends!


Friday, July 22, 2016

TGIF - The Gems I Found


Happy Friday, friends!
Hope you have a wonderful summer weekend!

Massucco Warner Miller Interior Design - Photography, Aaron Leitz 

Love the soft, fresh palette in this Seattle home.



Affordable World Market Channel Back Dining Chair


Emily's great overview of this discount flooring/tile store I've used several times.


Thanks to this cute fashionista's review, I have a new peacoat in Oxblood on the way
 from the Nordstrom Early Acess Sale.

Mona Nerenberg & Lisa Bynon Home - Interior Design Collaboration, Mark Cunningham - Photos, Bjorn Wallander

This Hamptons' Home Tour for July Elle Decor oozes charm!





Monday, July 18, 2016

Super Size it to Make a Statement


An easy way to add drama to a room is to choose an overscale element
 that stands out among the rest.
Don't get carried away - too many big impact items means nothing stands out as
a striking statement.
It would be easy for me to go overboard, I love the unexpected flair and
unique style it adds to a room.

OVERSCALE Lighting


Roeser Home Remodeling

Design, Meridy King - Photography, Erica George Dines

OVERSCALE Florals

Flora Soames Interior Design - Photography, Mel Gates for House & Garden 

Design & Photography, Sarah Sherman Samuel  

OVERSCALE Ottomans

Ginnifer Goodwin - Photography, Hillary Walsh for Elle 

Allen Kirsch & Associates

OVERSCALE Artwork

Design, Little Dwellings - Photography, Jacqui Turk - Little Peanut Mag


Vogue Living - Design, Jane Charlwood - Photography, Mikkel Vang

OVERSCALE Pattern

Instagram - Thibaut_1886 

Design, Katie Rosenfeld - Home Bunch 

OVERSCALE Mirror

Design, Amber Interiors - Photography, Tessa Neustadt 

Jillian Harris' Home Tour - Photography, Janis Nicolay for Style at Home

This mirror I scored on Craigslist is definitely my favorite statement piece.


Do you have one?



Wednesday, July 6, 2016

My Five Favorite DIY Projects


Hey friends, this month for our My Five Favorite series we're sharing our 
Favorite DIY Projects. I got caught up going back and reminiscing over old projects, 
some of those early posts were good for a laugh. Be sure to check out what my blogging
 pals and our guest found to share, too.     

Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

Our guest this month is one of the sweetest you'll meet in our blogging community,
She's a DIY pro, how charming are these framed calendar prints she did for her
 daughter's room? And, when it comes to paint colors she's a wealth of
knowledge, don't miss this informative post of her 'Go To' Paint Colors.


Here are my Five Favorites: 

#1
 Weathered Gray Dresser

A pricey Anthropologie dresser inspired this makeover of an unfinished dresser
my client's dad had made for them. Anthro sells the exact pulls that were on their
dresser, allowing us to come very close to the real deal.      


BEFORE

#2
Painted Stone Tile

I still love the fresh look of my painted tile! It went from Tuscan style to bright and
 updated in my Kitchen Makeover almost two years ago, and it's held up perfectly!  


BEFORE

#3
Garden Spheres

This super easy DIY adds a sophisticated element to your garden and was a fraction of the
 cost of the Restoration Hardware spheres. 


#4
Weathered Pedestal Table

My client had this great quality pedestal table in a timeless style, but the golden oak finish
 wasn't the look we wanted for her updated kitchen. The Arhaus Luca table was our inspiration
 for this pretty makeover.  

BEFORE

#5
Tanzania Wallpaper Knock Off

I tweaked a stencil pattern to mimic the similar Tanzania wallpaper pattern I loved.
It's the perfect dose of something unexpected for our entry.     


Stop by and check out these talented friends' favorites:



You might like these previous Five Favorites, too:




Thursday, June 30, 2016

TGIF ~ The Gems I Found


Happy 4th of July friends ~ have a wonderful weekend!


Timeless large scale affordable posters


Young House Love Metallic Rimmed Glass Pendant


Clever use for wine bottle rack. 


Gorgeous Ideas for Gardens 


Strawberry Dream Cake perfect 4th of July Dessert


Simple favorite ideas for the fourth.



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