Last week, I hosted book club in my home, and decided upon a summer theme. Let’s be honest, do we really discuss the book at book club? Maybe for 5 minutes… We’re much more concerned about the food and drinks.
Items on the menu were: Pork-filled Jalapeño Poppers, Charcuterie Skewers, Fruit Kabob Skewers and Sarasota Lemonade.
Ready to get started? Let’s do this!
Pork-Filled Jalapeño Poppers:
12 Jalapeños (halved and de-seeded)
1- 8 oz. package of Neufchatel Cheese
1 lb of ground breakfast pork, browned
Cheddar Cheese (to taste)
1.) Brown the ground pork over medium heat
2.) Drain and pat the excess fat
3.) Add in the Neufchatel and mix together thoroughly, and set aside.
***Note: WEAR GLOVES WHEN CUTTING AND CLEANING THE JALAPEÑOS!!! I made the dumb mistake of not wearing gloves, and my hands were burning days later, so… don’t be me, and learn from my mistake.
4.) Wash the jalapeños, cut in half, and scoop out the seeds (I use a tomato scooper)
5.) Scoop the pork mixture into the jalapeño boats. Optional: Sprinkle with cheese
6.) Cook the jalapeños at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, and enjoy!
12 slices of each, Italian Meat Variety Pack (Salami, prosciutto, capocollo)
24 Mozzarella balls
24 Black and Green Olives
24 Cherry Tomatoes
12 Wooden skewers
1.) Pick your favorite combination of the items above.
2.) Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve!
12 wooden skewers
A variety of your favorite summer fruits
Sarasota Lemonade Recipe
2 bottles of sweet white wine (I recommend a Riesling over a Moscato)
1 can of frozen pink lemonade from concentrate
~3 cups of Sprite (more or less depending on how much you like Sprite)
Raspberries (for added tartness and to make a beautiful drink)
Mix the ingredients together in a glass pitcher, and enjoy!
I am all about keeping your home staples the same throughout the year, but bringing pieces from the outside in, in order to bring the seasons to life.
I stopped at one of my secret weapon home decor stores for accessories: Ikea. (sshhhhhhhhhh… don’t tell anyone, but I love their accessories department).
It’s unbelievable what small changes can do to your space.
Here are some of the items I purchase that transformed my space for less than $100.
Smycka (Dried Greenery), $5.99
Faux Eucalyptus Branch $3.99
Soccer plant pot, $0.99
Aloe Planter, $3.99
This wreath has been used several times throughout my blog, but I keep changing the accessories I place in the wreath. For the summer and spring, I LOVE adding eucalyptus everywhere! I put sprigs of eucalyptus in the wreath as well as dogwood twigs to add more texture.
I also purchased a eucalyptus garland from Hobby Lobby, wrapped it around fallen birch branches, and placed candles in intermittenly to add a little bit of romance to the space.
I hope these simple ideas inspire you to bring the outside, in your home.
Long time, no read… I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but… I’m Baaaaaack!
I’m going to be very transparent… I needed to take a hiatus from blogging because the blog lost the fun aspect of sharing ideas I’m living out with my followers. This will be different. This time it’s going to be on my own terms. I’m not going to create content when there is none. I’m not going to make myself post when I’m not feeling like I have anything to contribute. I’m only going to post when I sincerely believe you can use this for your life.
Enough of that! I want to share with you how to create an awesome breakfast dish, without the effort of cooking several dishes.
Embarque’s Brunch Bake
1 yellow medium onion (diced)
1 red and 1 green bell pepper diced (diced)
1 dozen eggs
1 bag of thawed shredded hash browns (20 ounces)
1 package of your favorite bacon (cooked and diced)
1 cup of skim milk
1-8 ounce package of cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1.) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
2.) Cook your bacon to how you seem fit (I like to cook for 25 minutes in the oven). Turn down the oven to 350 degrees
2.) Drizzle your frying pan with olive oil, and sauté the peppers and onions until golden brown (set aside)
3.) Grab a large bowl, crack the dozen eggs in the bowl, add the milk, and wisk together
4.) Take the bacon out of the oven, and cut into small strips (the short way).
5.) In a very large bowl, throw the sautéed vegetables, bacon, cheese and potatoes together, season with salt and pepper, and mix together
6.) In a 9″x12″ pan, spray with a non-stick spray, and pour in the veggie/cheese/bacon mixture and spread out until even
7.) Pour the beaten eggs in the pan (make sure it’s evenly drizzled over the veggies)
I don’t know about you, but I feel like these past few weeks have been a whirlwind! I recently closed on my home, and wanted to make sure the entire interior of home was freshly painted to give a clean and fresh feel.
A decision that can be difficult to make is a paint color. I understand that paint can be one of the least expensive decisions when it comes to making a major design difference in your home; however, painting is time-consuming, and laborious. I want to take the guessing out of paint, and make this a much easier decision to make.
Ready? Let’s get to it!
1.) Look at the Colors in each Color (sounds silly, I know)
When you’re at your local paint store, ask for the recipe to create the paint. On each paint able, there is a receipt how x-parts yellow, y-parts blue, and z-parts red. This shows you what colors are of higher concentration in the paint color of your choice
2.) Ask the Professionals About Undertone
This is a huge proponent to gray hues. Gray has been an extremely popular color in homes over the past few years, and gray has many different undertones. If you’re looking for a true gray, look for a gray with a black undertone. Whatever the undertone is in the color your looking at, it’ll be highly accentuated.
An example of this is two years ago, I chose a gray that had a slight blue undertone… as soon as I put it up on the walls, my room became baby blue. This has happened time and time again, so I am learning from my past mistakes to help my readers now.
3.) Know the Type of Paint/Finish You Like
Let’s go through these finishes from the most matte-like to shiny
Flat (Less reflective of light, Less scrubbable)
Eggshell (my personal favorite for any living space (minus the bathroom)
Semi-Gloss (highly recommended for bathrooms)
Gloss (Very reflective of light, Highly scrubbable)
4.) Look at the Room’s Lighting
This is based on the natural light of the room.
I know this seems like common sense, but time and time again, there are so many rooms that are painted the wrong colors based on the natural lighting of the room
5.) Look at Your Room’s Furniture and Decor Colors
It may seem like common sense, but make sure your rooms aren’t monochromatic by having white walls, white furniture, white rugs, white pillows, etc…
I hope this relieves a little bit of anxiety during the paint picking process and helped you feel more informed before you go to you local paint store.
This season only seems to be only be about pumpkin (which, don’t get me wrong- I love it!); however, apples don’t get enough credit!
One of my favorite things to do on the weekend in the fall is to go to apple orchards. There are few things more beautiful than listening to the crunch on the fallen leaves beneath your boots, and feeling the cool, fresh, crisp fall air fill your lungs.
After a lovely afternoon, I came home with two large bags of Zestar and Honeycrisp apples and knew I had to put them to good use, so I consulted my mother on her favorite apple pie recipe, and we came up with this little gem. Hope you enjoy!
Dawn’s Swedish Apple Pie
1- 9″ pie pan
4 medium Zestar apples, peeled and sliced (enough to fill the pan 2/3 full)
2 Tbs Sugar, 1 tsp Cinnamon combined in a separate bowl
3/4 C melted butter
1 C Sugar
1 C Flour
1/2 C Walnuts, chopped (optional)
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Grease pie pan with butter
3.) Clean, peel, chop your apples, and fill your pie pan with your apples
4.) Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples and set aside
5.) Beat the egg in a small bowl until fluffy
6.) In another bowl, combine the cup of sugar and melted butter. Add in the egg and mix
7.) Pour in the flour and nuts (optional), and mix thoroughly
8.) Take the dough mixture, place on top of the apples, and spread evenly with the back of your spoon to cover the apples.
9.) Sprinkle with cinnamon, and bake for 50-60 minutes… or until golden brown.
Even though it may be September and people can barely keep calm about Pumpkin Spice Lattes, I am someone that likes to keep summer going as long as I can (since it’s so short in Minnesota). Here are some of my favorite adult beverages for warm weather
Let’s get to it!
Embarque & Co’s Pink Lake
Small Blender (I used a Nutribullet)
Ice (~5 cubes per glass)
Your Favorite Vodka (a shot or two, depending on how rough your day is going 😉 )
Minute Made 15 Calorie Pink Lemonade (1 Cup per serving)
Fresh Mint (~6 leaves per cocktail)
1.) Grab your cocktail glass, your mint leaves and pestle. Throw your leaves in the glass, muddle the leaves with the pestle until thoroughly crushed
2.) Grab your blender, Toss in the strawberries and fill with lemonade and vodka, and blend until liquified
3.) Take your cocktail glass, place your cubes and muddled mint in the glass. Place the colander over your cocktail glass, and strain the blended mixture (so the chunks from your drink stay in the colander and not in the finished drink).
4.) Garnish and enjoy!
Embarque’s Summertime Wine
White Wine (pick your favorite, I love a good sauvignon blanc from New Zealand)
Your favorite fruit (I suggest peaches, raspberries or strawberries)
Custard cup (or small bowl)
Wine glass (of course)
1.) Grab a handful of your fruit of choice, clean it, and toss it in the colander, and rest your colander on your custard cup
2.) Muddle your fruit and make sure the juices from your fruit land in your cup
3.) Take your wine glass, fill your wine glass, pour the fruit juice into the wine glass and garnish with the same fruit and enjoy!
-2 bottles of sweet white wine (I personally like a Sauvignon Blanc-to take out a little bit of the super sweet taste- but the recipe calls for a Riesling)
-1 can of frozen pink lemonade from concentrate
-~3 cups of Sprite (more or less depending on how much you like Sprite)
-Raspberries (for added tartness and to make a beautiful drink) Directions:
1.) Mix the ingredients together in a glass pitcher. I put this in a large drink container (purchased at T.J. Maxx for $20) for a larger get together.
I hope you try out one (or all) of these cocktails while you unwind this weekend!
I was at Costco the other day (big surprise), and saw their selection of salmon, and my mouth started to salivate… Salmon is not only delicious, but incredibly healthy for you. It has 40g of protein per serving, no carbs, healthy fats, 100% of your daily B-12 vitamins, the list goes on…
I went out to my garden, picked 5 sprigs of rosemary, grabbed some lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper and get to work.
Let’s do this!
Lemon Rosemary Salmon
2 lbs of salmon
1 lemon (sliced) plus lemon juice to taste
5 sprigs of rosemary (de-stemmed)
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
Olive Oil (to taste)
Olive oil spray
1.) Set your oven at 400 degree F
2.) Spray the cookie sheet, line sheet with foil (over spray), and spray the sheet again (to assist in the cleanup process)
3.) Drizzle the bottom of the sheet with lemon juice, sprinkle two de-stemmed sprigs of rosemary on the tray, lay the salmon on the sheet
4.) Salt and pepper the salmon, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle the remaining rosemary on top, and lay the lemon slices on the salmon
The weekend is here! I was thinking that since there’s only so much time left in the summer, it would be fun to create a list of fun things to do with the rest of the days left. These are not only fun date ideas but also great ideas to do with your friends as well.
Let’s get to it!
1.) Paddle Boarding/Kayaking on a Local Lake
Who doesn’t enjoy spending the day with friends on the lake with some ice cold refreshments? 😉
2.) Go on a Segway Tour of your City
I know this may sound a little silly, but let me tell you, I don’t remember laughing so hard as I did doing a Segway tour in Austin. Believe me when I say you should forget about looking dorky for a day, and just get out there and do it!
3.) Go to a Local Brewery on a Steamy Night
I don’t know whether there’s anything better tasting than an ice-cold beer on a hot and humid night.
4.) Tube down the Nearest River
Last weekend, I went tubing down the Cannon River with my family, and it was such a memorable afternoon filled with so many laughs. This is a great way to spend a hot afternoon with a group of close friends.
5.) Make your Own Homemade Ice Cream
Ice cream and summertime go together like PB&J, so why not put the extra effort in and make it from scratch. Click HERE for some awesome recipes from Real Simple.
6.) Enjoy a Free Local Concert
7.) Throw an End-of-Summer BBQ
Gather a group of friends, have everyone bring their favorite summer dish, make a big ‘ol batch of sangria, and let the fun begin!
It’s time to make the most of what’s left of summer, and live it up to the fullest! Enjoy!