Memorial Day was originally called Remembrance Day. First established to honor and remember soldier's who had lost their lives in the Civil War.Their graves were decorated with flags and flowers to remember them and their ultimate sacrifice.
Remembrance Day was later changed to Memorial Day and remains a day to honor American men and women who have given their lives so we can be a free nation!
This week I am revisiting some StoneGable standby recipes. They are easy, delicious and one's that are tried and true family favorites! A recent favorite is a wonderful pizza from Faithfulness Farm. My family thinks this pizza is the best! Thanks Mrs. P!
It would not be a good cooking week however, if I didn't have a couple of new things on the menu. I love to peruse all the great dishes posted on Foodie Friday. This week I just couldn't resist the sound of Orzo Asparagus Salad and Kickin' Pasta Sauce. Both are from very talented cooks in bloggland.
Monday: Shrimp Scampi with Bowtie Pasta Ceaser Salad
Recipe: Shrimp Scampi with Bowtie Pasta
This is a wonderfu and tasty recipe from the Barefoot Contessa. I find her recipes consistently delicious and
quite do-able. Click HERE for recipe. I am making it with bowtie pasta instead of linguini.
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken in StoneGable Marinade Orzo Asparagus Salad
Recipe: Grilled Chicken in StoneGable Marinade
My go-to marinade will work wonders on chicken breasts or tenders. Click HERE and find this fabulous and my very favorite marinade recipe under Tuesday's menu.
Put chicken in a zip lock bag with marinade. Marinade for 30 minutes to 8 hours. Remove chicken from the bag and discard marinade. Grill chicken.
Recipe: Orzo Asparagus Salad
This recipe comes from Red Couch Recipes, a blog I am smitten with. I think this dish sounds so delicious and I can't wait to give it a try. Click HERE for this spring inspired recipe.
Wednesday: Ravioli with Kickin' Pasta Sauce Greek Salad
Recipe: Ravioli with Kickin" Pasta Sauce
I really excited to try this yummy sounding pasta sauce that comes from Delightful Country Cookin'! This is not a delicate or whimpy sauce, but one that has meat and full flavors. Oh, this sounds perfect! I am putting it over store bought cheese ravioli. Click HERE to get this soon to be favorite recipe.
Recipe: Greek Salad
I could make this salad with my eyes closed. Very rich and satisfying and full of great and vibrant flavors! I love this for lunch and have it often. But my family craves it for dinner too. Click HERE for a salad you are sure to love too!
Bachlorette Party. Boys you have to fend for yourselves. You know the take-out numbers! There may even be leftovers (that is a bad word to Bobby).
Friday: Homemade Pizza Field Greens with Bleu, Dried Cherries and Pistachio Nuts in a Raspberry Viniagrette
Recipe: Homemade Pizza
Mrs. P from Faithfulness farm makes the best pizza. And even better than her pizza is her amazing blog. She is a great blog buddy of mine. For this adictive pizza click HERE for the recipe. Saturday:
Wedding- Congrats to our two young friends!
Sunday: Kids Are All Home- YEA!!!!! Grilled Flank Steak On Skewers Corn On The Cob Caprese Salad Store bought Philadelphia Style Potato Salad
Recipe: Grilled Flank Steak On Skewers
This is a family favorite. Using the same recipe for the marinad as on Tuesday, this steak is marinaded, tender and delicious. Click HERE and look for it under Tuesday's menu.
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field which a man found and hid; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field. (Parable of the worth of the kingdom) Matt 13:44
Don't you love having creative friends? At a recent bridal shower at StoneGable the mother-of-the-bride brought a plate of fabulous pansy cookies to share. Of course I thought they were the prettiest cookies I had ever seen! Everyone ooooohhhed and aaaaaaahhhhed over them. And not only were they beautiful to look at... they were wonderfully delicious too!
I just had to try to make them myself. Shortbread cookies are quite easy to make and fixing the pansy on top was and fun. Very impressive for the little work they take. They taste buttery and sweet, and the pansies have no taste to interfere with the lovely shortbread flavor. I would have to call this a WOW factor dessert.
Tea time on the porch is one of my favorite things to do at StoneGable. And tea with friends on the porch is an event! Tea time for me is reminiscent of my childhood years in Scotland and England where tea time was a cherished and time honored part of the day!
The inspiration for this table came from my antique yellow porcelain tea set. I waited around at an auction, years and years ago, to bid on and finally get this pretty prize. I love yellow and dishes so I just knew I had to take it home.
This set, a lustreware china made in Japan, is probably of very little value but it is my very favorite tea set. The tea pot has a jolly, sunny look. I think it has a little bit of an up-turned attitude!
The simple yellow and white pattern is highlighted with a thin black band. This is a striking combination, but not too loud or over done. The little tea pot sits on a small wrought iron stand.
The form and design of the creamer and sugar bowl mirrors the teapot.
Each place is set with a square plate with softened corners. It has a bold scrolled design. It is the perfect backdrop for the delicate yellow dessert plate that is part of the tea set.
Topping each place setting is a double napkin gathered up in a white whrought iron napkin ring. The black and white check brings a relaxed feel to the table. The white formal napkin with a monogrammed P dresses it back up a little.
Thin yellow porcelain cups await the tea. Their reflective finish is captivating.
A tea cup is also called into an unorthodox use. It becomes a little bowl for lemons.
A white footed planter aquired at a flea market is planted with begonias and greens. The yellow flowers of the begonias almost matches the yellow in the china.
Sitting and sipping tea... laughing and bearing our hearts and souls... finding joy in just being together and being out of doors... these are simple pleasures that cannot be underestimated!
Will you join us?
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday at Between Naps On The Porch. This is the 91st Tablescape Thursday our lovely Susan has hosted. Thanks, Susan! Click HERE to join in!
I am participating in Rainbow Summer School~ Yellow at On a Tangent. Click HERE to see all the sunniest!
Burlap is a very trendy fabric right now! This lowly workhorse of a material has been elevate above some of the most historically sought after textiles- silks, satins, brocades- to take center stage in many decor circles. This astounds me! Burlap is not a friendly fabric to live with. It is scratchy and it sheds. It looses it's shape and does not wash well. Burlap smells funny, too!
At first I bucked the burlap trend. But burlap used it's natural wiles on me and has somewhat broken me! Although I don't want to decorate my windows with it or cover my furniture in it, I do now love the look of burlap as an accent. And I sing it's economical praises- so when this trend is bygone it won't have made a dent in my decorating budget. It is a winner when texture is needed and it's natural fiber weave is fresh and breezy.
The blogs and etsy shops are filled with burlap- especially pillows and runners. But the runners caught me eye. Runners come in so many options! Long, short, embellished, natural and colored. I was so intrigued with them all. Now this is a burlap piece I could love. It doesn't mean I am stuck with this funny fabric for the long haul. I can enjoy it for a season or two and then toss it- sorta like a decorating fling as opposed to a committed relationship.
This season a short flirty runner will grace my kitchen farmhouse table. Easy to make, albeit quite messy (good tip, keep the dustbuster at hand). I am pleased with the final result. It says summer to me.
I decided to make this runner short to show off the ruffle and ric rac trim. But it certainly could be made long.
StoneGable Ruffled Burlap Table Runner:
denim needle for sewing machine
Most table runners are 14-18 inches in width. Decide the witdth that would look best for your table. I wanted the ruffle of the runner to show, so I decided to make the body of my runner 36 inches and the ruffle 3 inches. My tablerunner's final proportions were 14" x 42".
Purchase burlap. For this project I bought 1 1/2 yards @ $2.99 a yard, but got 40% off with a coupon. I had a little fabric left over and will use it on another project. Hand wash and line dry burlap. Press.
This runner is reversable. Both sides are finished. This is becasue I doubled my fabric.
I will be giving instructions for a 14 x 42 inch runner. Adjust the measurements to fit your table and size of runner you want. All seam allowance were 1/2".
Start by cutting 2 pieces of burlap 15 x 37.
14 " (width of runner) + 1/2" (seam allowance) + 1/2" (seam allowance) x 36 " (length of runner) + 1/2 "
(seam allowance) + 1/2" (seam allowance)
Pin lengths together.
Sew length sides together using 1/2" seam allowances.
Turn to right side and press.
Turn width ends under 1/2".
Using leftover burlap, cut 2 lengths - 4" x 21" for the ruffle.
3" + 1/2" (seam allowance) + 1/2" (seam allowance) x 21" (1 and 1/2 widths of the 14 inch side opening).
I wanted a gently gathered ruffle- nothing too dramatic.
Fold fabric lengthwise and press. Open and press 1/2" under each width side.
Fold length on press line and sew the sides together.
Using a needle and thread, sew a basting stitch (big stitches) along the top of the raw edge length making sure to catch both thicknesses together.
Gather fabric by pulling fabric along thread to fit the runner end opening.
Pin each end into the runner first.
Pin the middle of the ruffle intoto the middle of the runner.
Pin the rest of the ruffle into the runner. Distrubute the ruffle evenly. Sew ruffle to runner.
Press runner. Make ruffle for the other end. Add ric rac if desired by sewing it near the edge of the body of the runner, but not on the seam as it will look bulky.
Press ric rac and you are done! Easy peasy!
I am joining Marla at Always Nesting for Woo Hoo Wednesday! Wonderful things to Woo Hoo about!
"How do you go about menu planning"? This is a question I hear quite often from StoneGable readers. And, "You are so organized" or "I could never do that".
I have been menu planning for years and now it is just second nature to me. I menu plan because I am NOT organized by nature and if I waited till the last minute to decide on dinner, we would be eating take out...every night!
Menu planning is not rocket science. Do what works for you. I'm not perfect at it, and sometimes I fall off the menu planning wagon. Oh well! I just get back on track.
Menu planning take time. And thought. And a little effort. But in the long run I think it saves time and you are not trying to think up a dinner at the last minute and the effort is so worth it!
Here's BASICALLY how I do it. There are so many methods. Just make one your own!
Pick a day to plan your menu: Put it on the calendar. Make a date with yourself to menu plan. Pick a time that is right for you. I spend time in the early morning to menu plan. If you can't do this in 1 sitting, break it up into a couple of sessions. Let's say, plan Monday through Wednesday one day and Thursday through Sunday another.
Have resorces handy: Know what is in your freezer, refrigerator and pantry. I have a list of what is in my freezer. Have cookbooks out, recipe cards in front of you and your favorite internet food haunts pulled up. If you like to shop the sales have your grocery store circulars out in front of you too. Take advantage of sales, menu planning is a great money saver!
Get comfortable: Have on some motivating music, get a drink and a little healthy snack while you plan. Planning always makes me hungry so I eat an apple with peanut butter while I plan.
No distractions: I don't take phone callsor watch TV when I am menu planning. I give it my full attention and get it done!
Write It Down: Before I started blogging I wrote what I would have for dinner in my planner/calendar right on the date. Now I write my weekly menu as a post. When I first started menu planning I wote it on a piece of loose leaf notebook paper. I wrote each day of the week down the left side of my paper, leaving space to fill in the menu.
Make a skeleton menu: I look at my schedule for the week coming up and if I know that I am going to be out of the house all day on Tuesday, then I plan a slow cooker meal. I start by writing slow cooker next to Tuesday. If I know that on Saturday we are having company I know to plan a meal that is company worthy, and write company's coming next to Saturday. I try not to serve the same protien several days in a row. I will write Monday-fish, Tuesday-Chicken, Wednesday- beef, Thursday-chicken, Friday-out, Saturday-pork, Sunday-soup.
Fill in your menu: Once I know the protien or main dish I am making I look for recipes in those categories. I love to cook so I like to make new recipes. Many menu planners get a repetoire of 20-30 menus and rotate them. Once you have found a recipe you would like to make, be sure to write down where it came from so you don't forget and spend way too much time looking through all of your cookbooks to find it. That defeats the purpose..and you. Ialso like to use those tiny post-it flags on the cookbook page. Write down every course you will be making and eating.
Make a grocery list: While you have the recipe right in front of you, make a grocery list.
Stick To It: A menu plan is only as good as you are at using it! Make what is on your menu plan. Look at your menu plan the day before and take out any frozen foods that need to be thawed. If you have extra time, some prep work can be done the night before. Now that being said, don't be a slave to your plan. It is not a contest and you don't get a grade- it is a tool to help you. If you get invited to a marvelous last minute dinner in your honor, don't decline because you must make that coc a vin! Go and have fun! Eat the fancy chicken in wine another night.
Recycle Menus: Most of us have about 20 recipes we make often. Use them as the base of your menus and expand from there. Add 1 new recipe every week or two. Try a recipe from a blogger (how about me!). Eat what you love!
Have fun and be adventurous: You can make cooking fun- Learning something new is always fun. Try something you would normally never make. If it flops there is always plan B- take out pizza!
Give yourself grace: This is not something you need to do "right" or "perfect". Just do it, and let it evolve. You will find your way! Laugh at your mistakes and give yourself a little pat on the back for your victories!
Start this week: Starting is sometimes the hardest thing! You CAN do it! Just do it!
What are your best menu planning tips? Leave a comment with some advice for all of us!
StoneGable Weekly Menu:
Monday: I'm out to dinner , but my boys are home Grilled Turkey Sausages Oven Fries Peas and Carrots ( I only cook peas when I don't have to eat them)
Tuesday: Fettuccine With Creamy Spinach Sauce Caprese Salad
Recipe: Fettucine With Creamy Spinach Sauce
12 oz fettucine
1 TBS olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 cups fresh cleaned spinach
2 cans crushed tomatoes, italian if prefered
1 cup ricotta cheese, pureed in the blender
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Cook feffucine according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid, keep warm.
Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add spinach, tomatoes, and salt. Cook stirring frequently until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Add fettuccine and 1/4 - 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid and ricotta cheese. Cook tossing fettucine until heated through. Add extra liquid if necessary to make the sauce creamy. Sprinkle with nutmeg. I also add shaved parmesan cheese.
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Day Southwest Steak Tacos Refried Beans Shredded Iceburg Lettuce with Chunky tomatoes and onions
Recipe: Southwest Steak Tacos
1 lb flank steak
1 cup pale ale ( I have a stout beer)
Juice from 1/2 orange
Juice from a lime
salt and pepper
8 (6 inch) flour tortilla
Combine steak, ale, orange juice, salt and pepper, in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or 4-5 on high.
At the end of cooking time, transfer steak to cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Discard all but 4 TBS cooking liquid. Add shredded steak and mix.
Soften tortillas and top each with steak. Roll up and top with salsa and sour cream.
Thursday: Provolone and Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts Sauteed Rice Roasted Asparagus with Cheddar Cheese
Recipe: Provolove and Olive Stuffed Chicken Breasts
I was looking for a chicken dish that would be healthy and easy. This recipe looked so very good to me!
Click HERE for this yummy recipe.
Friday: Tilapia with Citrus Bagna Cauda Steamed Artichokes with Lemon Aioli Orzo
Recipe :Tilapia with Citrus Bagna Cauda
This recipe is from Giada De Laurentil and is packed with flavors I love! I will serve it over a small bed or orzo. Click HERE to see this recipe.
Out to dinner- Family Gathering
Sunday: Soup Day Beef Barley Soup Homemade Bread
Recipe: Beef Barley Soup
1 large soup bone with meat
1 1/2 lbs stew beef
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
3/4 cup barley
1 bay leaf
6 cups good beef broth
salt and pepper
Put all ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
~ A very special thank you to Gypsy Purple for featuring me in a post this weekend! Gypsy Purple is a beautiful blog and I am so honored to be among some stunning and creative blogs she highlighted. Please go visit GYPSY PURPLE for a delightful visit full of inspiration!
Look for these upcoming posts and have a blessed week!