Friday, June 29, 2012

Jalapeno Fig Butter and more...

Jalapeno Fig Butter

Canned figs
2 jalapenos

Put everything in a food processor and pulse. The sugary syrup from the canned figs made for a beautiful, spreadable consistency. If you use fresh figs, cook them with sugar like you're making preserves, then put in the food processor.
 Goat Cheese, Fresh Fig and Fig Butter Grilled Sandwich

Sliced French Bread
Goat cheese 
Cream Cheese
Fig Butter
Sliced Figs

Spread bread with cream cheese and fig butter, top with sliced figs and goat cheese. Butter outside and grill til golden.
   I took a trip to the country to visit my uncle with the boys. He has quite a garden, more of an orchard. He grows over 200 persimmon trees, figs, tomatoes, apples, peppers and more. This year's figs were still green, but he gave me a few jars of figs from last season. I had a party to go to last night, so I decided to try making jalapeno fig preserves. The consistency was more like a butter and it was so good. I spread it over a block of cream cheese and served it with Ritz crackers!
We also picked tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes! My youngest just kept picking the green ones! My uncle is a sweet old man who just 'let him pick'.
Some of the reds were so ripe, they burst on the way home. Perfect for making salsa! I love the color of this salsa.
   Last weekend we had neighbors over for dinner...pulled pork tacos. I had tortillas and pulled pork left, so I made a pulled pork enchilada casserole.
I layered corn tortillas, pork, sour cream and fresh salsa, tomatoes and cheese (goat and's what I had!) 

 My tomatoes and my mom's seem to be orange, but not bursting bright red...see the difference in the color of the salsa? Still delish, just not the same as my uncle's!

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Happy 4th of July tablescape

 I don't even know if we'll be home next week for 4th of July, but I wanted to play around with the red, white, and blue possibilities.
I've used everything on this table before. Just showing you another way to change things up.
I used a French Country style runner and candlesticks for some red, along with goblets my brother gave me last Christmas.
I used Mexican margarita and wine stems for some blue, along with an old glass pitcher for a bouquet of herbs. 
I used JB Denmark Blue plates for some white, along with white linen napkins in my blue and white Russian napkin rings.
As usual, my rattan chargers from Walmart and stainless Wallace Antique Bead made their appearance again.

Here's a tip...if you can't get out to buy flowers and you don't have any growing, but you do have fresh herbs, use them! They're beautiful and make your house smell lovely!
I like the finished look, a subtle look of patriotism
 without having to go buy a thing!

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Enjoy and Happy Independence Day!!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Meeting the neighbors

We had two neighbor families over this weekend. One family was bringing salad and beer, the other wine and dessert. I've got great neighbors! So instead of setting each place with glasses, I set up a drink bar. I had mint lime water and basil lemonade in the two dispensers. I had mason jars for the kids and an eclectic mix of Mexican cobalt wine stems and glasses for the adults.
The parents sat at the table and the kids sat around the island. We ended up putting the chips and salsas at our table! Edible Centerpiece...yum!
 We had slow roasted pork tacos, cucumber salad, black bean salad, fresh and roasted salsas, watermelon, tossed salad and cake.
It was fun getting to know old and new friends!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dinner with friends

The table debate begins...
This weekend we're having dinner with two families that live in our neighborhood. I'm not sure if I'll set the table for the adults, because there will be 9 children also, if they all come; or set up a buffet line. These are some ideas I have in mind...
Stone Gable is launching a new linky party
My tip? Mix and Match
I love using the things I have and love. Blue and White china is classic, but you can mix your favorite colorful table runner, napkins or talavera serving bowl with it! It will look stunning!
   I know I'm making pulled pork tacos, black bean salad, homemade salsa and a  cucumber salad. (I'll take and post pictures on Sunday!)
I just collected a bowl full of tomatoes and peppers from my garden and my parents'. The black bean salad is so much better with homegrown tomatoes! 
While I debate how to prepare for dinner this weekend, here are a couple recipes I made last week.
Tomato Corn Enchilada Casserole
1 package Delimex Chicken Taquitos
Salsa (I used homemade)
Sour cream
Frozen Corn
Home grown tomatoes
Colby jack cheese
Salt & pepper
Garlic powder
Green onions chopped

Mix a small amount of salsa and sour cream in the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer the taquitos on top. Spread more sour cream and salsa on top. Sprinkle with corn, green onion, and sliced tomatoes. Add S&P and garlic powder. Add cheese and bake at 350' til done. 
I used a small casserole dish and 8 taquitos. If you need to feed a crowd, just adjust the amounts to cover the dish. 
 Best Chicken Salad

2 chicken breasts cooked and shredded
handful of red grapes cut in half
2 celery ribs, sliced thin, then chopped
2 green onions, sliced
Duke's Mayonnaise (about 1/3 cup or til you like the dressing consistency)
1 spoon of Whole Grain Mustard
a pinch of celery seed
salt &pepper
fresh cut parsley, thyme and chives

Mix everything together and chill before serving.

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Happy Father's Day...cookies!!!

 Dark Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies
I always follow the recipe of the back of the chip bag, and tweak it to my ingredient likes that week!


2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) HERSHEY'S SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Chips or HERSHEY'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. (I did 350*)
    2 Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.
    3 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 5 dozen cookies.
    I added a cup of sweetened coconut flakes, 1/2 cup of oatmeal (all I had), 1 cup of dried cranberries and used coconut oil in place of butter.
 I've made these before with half butter and half coconut oil and I like the consistency better the last time. Cookies need butter! 

Needless to say, these are still really, really good! They are heartier than just chocolate chips, but for gifts for the Daddy in our house and the Grand-Daddy across the way, heartier is perfect! 
 I guess we are in the fake or intensely forced smile stage!! Adrian helped me crack the eggs, put ingredients in the mixer and turn it on! 
He's a self proclaimed "good cooker like you, Mommy!"
 Yum, Yum, Yum
Happy Father's Day! 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Picnic Style Dinner

 It's so, so hot in it got up to 103 the other day, and has lingered around 98. ugh. So our Summer Picnic Dinner is taking place inside where it's a cool 74 degrees!
I used some Melamine plates I got years ago from World Market with a birthday coupon. I used mix and match Mexican Cobalt glasses and added the straws since my boys were eating this meal:)
A knife and fork to cut the grilled sausages and a tan floral napkin to compliment the colors in the runner. The napkins are one of my clearance Target purchases. 
I used my rattan chargers from Walmart and my Tested By Fire handmade pottery serving dishes. I love mixing things since I don't have the full set. 
The centerpiece is a beautiful bowl (World Market) of garden fresh vegetables.
We ate 
Grilled Sausages 
Summer Salad
Grilled Corn
Fresh Salsa & Chips 
 The Perfect Summer Salad
Since not everyone loves tomatoes and cucumbers and feta, 
I separate them.
Just squeeze a half a lime, salt and pepper and enjoy! 
 Fresh Garden Salsa
Serranos and Jalapenos
5 Garlic gloves
Juice of 4-5 limes

Put everything in your food processor and pulse. To make one large mason jar, I used about 8 Roma tomatoes and 4 peppers. Eat within a week. 

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