Archive | Recipes

Fresh and Fruity Summertime Watermelon Salsa

I’m back today with more watermelon fun!  This week is all about celebrating the end of the summer with the iconic summertime fruit, watermelon!  Earlier this week I shared a really easy watermelon drink recipe and today I’m going to share a delicious watermelon salsa recipe.  It’s so yummy!

watermelon recipes, watermelon salsa, summer watermelon ideas, salsa recipeI got the idea for this recipe from Reluctant Entertainer.  I just tweaked a few things to make it my own.

Watermelon Salsa Recipe

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • zest from one lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • a handful of cilantro, finely chopped

watermelon recipes, watermelon salsa, summer watermelon ideas, salsa recipeTo make the salsa just dice everything up and mix it together for a refreshing and delicious watermelon salsa.

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Watermelon Salsa Recipe Notes

A couple recipe notes, the original recipe calls for basil, but I think every salsa needs cilantro, and lots of it!  I also think the recipe is sweet enough.  So I didn’t add any sugar or honey like the original recipe calls for.  Trust me you won’t need it with watermelon and mango.

watermelon recipes, watermelon salsa, summer watermelon ideas, salsa recipeAfter serving this with a big bowl of chips I realized it would be perfect over a piece of grilled fish.  One of the very first meals I made my husband before we were even really dating was a similar fruit salsa over grilled fish and rice.  So this salsa brings back some sweet memories for me.

I would also recommend using those hint of lime chips to serve with this salsa.  The lime will give the salsa a little extra zip!

watermelon recipes, watermelon salsa, summer watermelon ideas, salsa recipeThis is definitely a dish that needs to be eaten right away, the longer it sits the more the watermelon will release water and make the salsa turn into soup.  It shouldn’t be a problem though because it’s so yummy you won’t have any leftovers.

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watermelon recipes, watermelon salsa, summer watermelon ideas, salsa recipeI love the idea of bringing this to a neighborhood watermelon party.  Or just sit on your front porch and enjoy snacking on this salsa.  We tend to want a snack while watching our kids play in the street in the evening.  Thankfully we live in a cul-de-sac and all the neighborhood kids come out to ride bikes and play. Then the parents get to chat and now, snack!

Be sure to come back later this week to see the last thing you’ll need to host your own watermelon party.  Armed with these two recipes and what I’m giving you on Friday you’ll be hosting your party in no time!

 

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Summertime Watermelon Cooler Recipe

As promised (several weeks ago) I have a great end of summer watermelon recipe for you.  In fact this entire week is going to be all about watermelons!

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktailI’ve taken a good chunk of time off from blogging to enjoy the end of summer because August is full of work trips, back to school, and getting back into our routine.  When is the end of summer for you?  I feel like it came way to early this year!

There’s no better way to celebrate one last hurrah than with having a fun watermelon party!  I’ll be sharing several recipes with you this week and a fun invitation to share with neighbors and friends for one last porch sitting party of the summer!

Watermelon is a quintessential summer fruit so it’s only fitting!  First up this week is a super easy recipe.  I actually got the idea from the cutest little girl that wants to have her own cooking show.

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktailYou can check out Zoe sharing this recipe on In Zoe’s Kitchen here. I found this recipe a few summers ago when I was pregnant and it was so refreshing, so I’ve been making them ever since.  Her mom blogs over at The Miller Five and is an amazing photographer!

Refreshing Watermelon Cooler Recipe

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktailHere are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • cubed watermelon
  • limes or lime juice
  • club soda

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktailTo make this refreshing drink:

  1. Combine watermelon and lime juice in a blender or food processor, I use an immersion blender.
  2. Once it turns to liquid, pour into a glass or pitcher
  3. Add club soda for a refreshing bubbly drink
  4. Add a lime or more watermelon to garnish
  5. Enjoy!

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktailIt’s a super easy recipe, but it’s very refreshing!  Perfect for one of those last hot days of summer.  Or to serve to friends at one more bar-b-que before everyone is back to school and in their routines.

watermelon recipes, watermelon smoothie, summer watermelon ideas, watermelon cocktail I will say that this recipe is almost smoothie like and you can’t let the drink sit too long or all of the watermelon settles to the bottom, but I doubt that will happen because it’s too good not to drink right away!

And if you have any leftover they make easy popsicles when you pour it into a popsicle mold.  Yet another way to stay cool on those dog days of summer.

Do you think you’ll give this recipe a try?  If so, be sure to tag me on Facebook or Instagram!

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Tablescape Tuesday: Cinco de Mayo

You guys!  Doesn’t it feel like summer is right around the corner?!  It all starts with the warm spring days and then the holidays, like Cinco de Mayo, start happening.  Before you know it you’re next to the pool all day!  I’m getting so excited.

Today, I wanted to share a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  It’s this weekend and the perfect opportunity to have a party.  Plus, it’s also the Kentucky Derby the same day, so you’ll get two for the price of one parties!  Some friends of ours are actually hosting a Cinco de Derby party, and I think it’s the best mash up in a long time.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyIt’s no surprise to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with tacos and margaritas, but doing it with fun decorations and a full tablescape takes it up a notch.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI love that Cinco de Mayo lets you have so much fun with color.  Color in the tablecloth and color in the fresh food.  Welcome to my Cinco de Mayo fish taco party!

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI set my table up using a Mexican themed blanket as a tablecloth.  The perks of living in San Diego for so long was getting some authentic Mexican gear!  Plus all the tacos.  With that as the base I then added our taco bar and decorated with small, faux cactus around the platters and dishes.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyFor the menu I mixed it up a bit by doing fish tacos.  I still dream about the Taco Tuesday shrimp tacos at Cafe Coyote in Old Town San Diego.  They have this white sauce on them that is so delicious!  I tried to replicate that but with a cabbage slaw to add some freshness.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyHere is a similar Mexican slaw recipe to the one that I used.  It adds a nice crunch and freshness to your tacos.  I made my food prep easier by just using store bought frozen fish.  This kind is great because they have a fairly crunchy outside once they are baked.

Try putting your food out on a big board or platter.  It gives everyone access to everything they need to build their taco.  All it takes to dress up your platter is by adding all the things you are using anyway.  I added extra cilantro and avocados around the platter.

To top off the tacos I made a sriracha mayo by mixing about equal parts and then just drizzling on top of the tacos.

Taco party, cinco de mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyI also made a Mexican corn salsa to put alongside the tacos.  Here is a recipe that I used.  I didn’t use cotija, and I roasted the corn for a few minutes before making the salsa. It added a delicious deeper flavor then just having used plain corn.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyThe table turned out so cute and on theme.  Plus adding a few extra little things like the tablecloth and cacti made the evening so fun.

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyTaco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner party

Cinco de Mayo Cucumber Margaritas

To help wash down those fish tacos, I made a yummy batch of margaritas.  I used this recipe to make a cucumber infused margarita that is so refreshing.

I will say that these are somewhat labor intensive because you have to juice the cucumbers.  But they are so worth it!

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner party

Taco party, Cinco de Mayo party ideas, fish taco dinner party, mexican dinner partyCheck out that other Mexican blanket decorating our bar area.  Thanks to my makeshift Christmas card holder, I was able to just put the blanket over the twig and bring the look of the table throughout the whole party.

Do you plan on celebrating Cinco de Mayo this year?  Try doing it with some fish tacos and little cacti!

 

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Tablescape Tuesday: Blue and White Spring Tablescape with Ginger Jars

It’s time again for one of my favorite series here on the blog, tablescape Tuesday.  In this series, I give you inspiration and tips on setting up and designing all kinds of tables around your home.  Dining tables for dinner parties, like today’s post, or coffee tables, end tables, and party tables.

If you were around a month or so ago, you saw that for Lent I tried to have a different family over for dinner every week.  This tablescape was for one of those dinner parties.  I got so much pleasure out of putting these dinner parties together.  Some of the tablescapes, this one included, are some of my favorite I’ve ever done.

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blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyblue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyI used my super clearanced ginger jars as vases for a spring mix of flowers.  I loved how the blue and white ginger jars tied into my new blue cloth napkins. The napkins are from Homegoods.  It’s a great place to find quality cloth napkins at reasonable prices.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyblue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyPlace cards don’t have to be anything fancy.  A simple tag with some nice handwriting is all I used for this dinner party.

I definitely think when having people over for dinner that haven’t been to your house before it’s a really good idea to use place cards.  Place cards help alleviate that awkward dance around the table where people are trying to figure out where to sit.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyI always like setting out serving dishes on the table before any food is done. This helps me to make sure I know how all of them will fit on the table.  It’s a great way to plan out your tablescape.

One of my best tips is to do this and add post-its to the platters.  Labeling the platters like this lets anyone know where to place food or dishes as they are brought to the table or eating area.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyI was inspired by the menu to make the tablescape my version of what I thought a Tuscan table would look like in spring.  Blues, whites, and texture with wicker.

For dinner I made a beef ragu that cooked in the crockpot all day.  It was so tender and delicious.  I put it atop papparadelle pasta, which is so pretty I’m shocked I haven’t used it before.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyblue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyYou can find the recipe for the beef ragu here. It was pretty easy to put together too, plus it looks so pretty on a platter.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyI added a super simple arugula salad and some crusty bread to round out the menu. I love how the green of the salad and the green in the florals make the blue and white ginger jars pop even more.

blue and white spring tablescape, ginger jar centerpiece, spring table ideas, gold flatware, spring dinner partyMy goal with a lot of these posts is to inspire you to take something from what I’ve done and have your own celebration.  One easy thing you can take from this post to use at home is to serve dinner from a platter with your family gathered around.

Wouldn’t it be nice to take your typical spaghetti dinner and serve it from a platter around your dining room table?  If you want to add in a nice place setting, centerpiece, and place cards that’s even better.  I hope you feel inspired to do just that the next time you have spaghetti!

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5 Ways to make Serving Water Pretty

Howdy, did you enjoy the fun color combos I talked about earlier this week?  Today’s post however was brought on by something that happened at our Easter brunch.  Keep reading for the full story below.

5 Ways to Make Serving Water Pretty

how to serve water at a party, water serving ideas, party ideas for serving water, how to make water look pretty, infused water ideasAt brunch on Easter we were running a bit behind getting all the food ready and set up, thanks to a late night at church the night before.  I didn’t have time to add any tasty or pretty things to our water dispenser and it just looked so bland.  I quickly cut up a lemon and threw it in because that’s all I had on hand.  Mostly though I couldn’t handle having an empty looking water container.

So today I wanted to share a few ideas on how to dress up serving water at a party.  It’s a basic necessity to have at any party, but making it pretty might encourage guests to stay even more hydrated.

1. Use Dispensers

This is the main way I serve water at any of my own parties.  I have a great glass dispenser and stand that I got several years ago that still works wonderfully.  However, I don’t just fill it with water and call it good.  I like to add things to the dispenser to flavor the water or make it look prettier.

There are a ton of water additions that taste great and look pretty.  Any of these work great:

  • lemon and cucumber
  • strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
  • cucumber and mint
  • orange and lemon
  • lemon and lime
  • mint and lime

It’s also really easy to dress up your water dispenser with fun signs, ribbon, or party decor.  Love the bandana on the dispenser below at a cowgirl party.

2. Pre-mixed Mason Jars

Serving individual glasses of water is great, but pre-mixing them in individual mason jars is even better.  They look so cute with the lids, plus they’re spill proof.  That makes them great for kids parties, especially these plastic mason jars.

3. Pitchers or Carafes

I recently used my collection of carafes to serve water and thought “why hadn’t I done this before?”  I mean I use them for mimosa bars all the time, just not to serve water.  It was such an easy way to keep a reserve of water on the table to refill glasses when needed.

I have open top carafes, but getting some of these would be a great way to serve water at the table.

4. Dressed Up Water Bottles

Water bottles are an easy way to keep party guests hydrated, but they aren’t that pretty to look at.  There are a ton of places to make custom labels for your water bottles, but that seems like a waste of time in my opinion.

I’d rather set up or display the bottles in a prettier way.  Grouping a large amount of like items together is always an impressive way to display something and that’s no different for water bottles.

I love the idea of grouping water bottles together in interesting containers like buckets, crates, suitcases, or troughs.

5. Water Glasses

Serving water in traditional glasses isn’t totally out of style, but there are fun ways to do it.  I love using a collection of party coordinated colored water glasses instead of clear glass.  They can make a big impact and help bring in the color scheme of your party.

Try renting glasses from a party rental company instead of having to buy and store a bunch of glasses you may not use regularly.  But if you want to buy some, I love these, these, and these.

With any of these pretty water alternatives it’s a great idea to dress up the ice too.  You can never go wrong with adding fruit or flowers to ice cubes, or even glitter.  Just be sure to not put ice cubes in drinks with things that aren’t edible.  Love this ice mold I made for the holidays with a bundt pan, fruit and herbs.  It looked beautiful in our punch bowl.

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I hope some of these ideas give you inspiration to use at your next party.  Like I said before serving water is necessary, but making it look pretty is almost as important.  Here’s to no more bland water containers!

 

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Celebrating everyday!