July 25, 2011

Panzanella - A Delicious Summer Salad

Well, I think I have found my new favorite summer salad!  I've had my eye on the Panzanella recipe from my Our Best Bites cookbook for several months.  I made it tonight for our 'Meatless Monday' meal {my husband loves Mondays - ha!}.

I cut the original recipe in half and it made more than enough for the two of us.

Here's what I used:

1/2 of a Cucumber
1/2 of a Red Bell Pepper
3 Tomatoes
1/2 of a Red Onion
3/4 c. Fresh Mozzarella
Handful of Basil, chopped
1/2 loaf French Bread
Olive Oil

Chop veggies to desired size and toss together in bowl with mozzarella and basil.

For the dressing, mix together:

1/4 c. Olive Oil
1 T Balsamic Vinegar
1 T Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
Kosher Salt

Combine everything and whisk until blended.  Set aside.

Cut french bread into 1 inch cubes.  The original recipe said to bake the bread but I heated olive oil and garlic in a pan until hot and added the bread.  Sprinkle with a little salt and stir until pieces are crispy.

Combine the veggies and bread and top with dressing.  Toss together and serve.

I knew the recipe would be good but it turned out amazing!!  I will definitely be making it again soon.

July 22, 2011

Happy Friday!

Our guest bedroom is ready for our weekend visitors!
I like to place a little vase of fresh flowers on the nightstand whenever we have company.
I gathered up some hosta leaves, a hydrangea and a few sprigs of greenery from our bushes.
I love all the green!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Try to stay cool :)

July 19, 2011

A Super Exciting Day and Yummy Caramelized Onion Flatbread

Last Friday was an exciting day around here.  Trader Joe's opened its doors in Kansas City!!!  I have been dreaming of this day for years.  I did a lot of shopping at Trader Joe's when we lived in Phoenix and I've been going through withdrawal the 3+ years of living in KC.  My hubby and I braved the craziness and shopped at our favorite spot Friday evening.  We couldn't believe how packed it was!  It was nearly impossible to shop and the checkout lines went to the back of the store.  We didn't buy a whole lot since the aisles were jam packed, but we did pick up some of our favorite items.

pic from my phone

For dinner tonight I made THIS recipe for Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Flatbread Pizzas using our goodies from Trader Joe's.  I made a few slight adjustments.

Here's what I used:

Trader Joe's Tandoori Naan
Olive Oil (instead of alfredo sauce)
Caramelized onions
Rotisserie chicken
Feta cheese
Smoked Gouda cheese

I layered all the ingredients and baked @ 400° for about 10 minutes.

What an easy, yummy dinner!!

July 11, 2011

Helloooo Tomatoes!

I was out of town last week and came back to a garden full of ripe tomatoes!!  
Thanks to my hubby for taking such good care of my garden and flowers while I was gone. :)  
I ate several of the cherry tomatoes last night and they were so tasty.
Summer is here and I'm loving it – triple digit heat index and all!!

Linked to: It's Bloomin' Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

July 1, 2011

My New Wicker Vase

It seems a little crazy to me that most of the stores around here are marking down all the summer stuff and sending it to the clearance aisle.  Didn't summer officially start just last week?!  There are some stores I refuse to walk into this time of year (ahem, Hobby Lobby) because I am not ready to be greeted by Christmas and Thanksgiving decor.  

I guess I can't complain too much because I've found some great deals lately — like this cute wicker vase.  It makes the perfect centerpiece for our kitchen table and I love how it looks filled with hosta leaves.

Linked to: Show & Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

June 27, 2011

Flower and Herb Pots

It seems like all of a sudden my flowers and garden are growing like crazy.  I love it!  I planted my pots similar to last year with the exception of a little herb pot on the patio.  So when I'm feeling lazy I can walk a few steps from my kitchen and grab a handful of fresh rosemary and basil instead of walking out to the garden.  I just love all the different flowers and colors that are right outside my window...  

Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am!

Linked to: Bloomin' Tuesday, Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

June 17, 2011

Our Trip to Colorado

We spent 7 lovely days in Colorado last week.  It had been too long since I've been to Colorado this time of year.  The weather was perfect and everything was beautiful!  We stayed in Frisco and ventured to Vail and Breckenridge for some exploring.  It was a great week full of gorgeous scenery, relaxing outdoors, and great food.  The perfect vacation!

Frisco, CO

Arapahoe Basin was still open for skiing!

Vail, CO

We stopped for a delicious crepe while in Breckenridge

We ate breakfast at Butterhorn Bakery & Cafe in Frisco a couple times.
Their 'Eggy Bread' topped with fruit was amazing!

We had a great time!

June 1, 2011

Tomato Update

I snapped a few pictures of my tomatoes last night.  
They have grown so much just in the last three weeks!  
There are lots of buds and blossoms and I even spotted a little green tomato.  So exciting! 

Here's my garden 3 weeks ago:

And today:

Linked to Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style

May 23, 2011

My Birthday Flowers {aka - Peonies}

Every year on my birthday (which is today!) my peonies are always in full bloom and look absolutely gorgeous.  
What a great birthday present!

Hope you have a wonderful week!

May 18, 2011

My Homemade Patio Fountain

The last couple of years I've been on the lookout for a fountain for our patio.  My top priority was to find something that created a soothing, bubbling brook sound.  I found several fountains that were pretty but they were as quiet as could be and others that sounded great but were way overpriced.  So last year I decided to make my own.  It's not the fanciest fountain out there, but it makes the best fountain sound!  Perfect for summer evenings on the patio.  I meant to blog about it last year but never got around to it.  I snapped some pictures yesterday while I was reassembling it for this year.

Here's what you need:

Large pot
Fountain Kit (got mine at Lowe's)
Hardware Cloth
River Rocks

1. Drill holes in the bottom of the large pot.  
This will allow rain water to drain out.

Stanley is such a camera hog!  He tried to weasel his way into every picture.
2. While wearing leather gloves (super important!!), measure and cut a square piece of 
hardware cloth to fit on top of the large pot.

3. Place bucket in large pot, then bend the hardware cloth until it fits properly (again, wearing gloves is a must!).  
Now cut a square opening in the middle of the wire mesh for the fountain head.

4. Place fountain in the bucket and adjust height to desired level.

5.  The fountain kit should come with several different nozzles.
Pick your favorite and securely attach it to the extension tube.

6. Fill the bucket with water and place mesh on top.  
The water level affects the sound of the fountain.  I usually keep mine about 2/3 full.

7. Wash the rocks off and place them on top of the wire mesh.

Then plug in your fountain, close your eyes and pretend you're sitting next to a bubbling creek in Colorado.
That's what I do anyway ;)

Here are some pictures from last year.

Linked to: Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions, Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Outdoor Ideas @ Centsational Girl, Show & Tell Friday, Finding Fabulous, Think Pink Sundays @ Flamingo Toes,Wow Us Wednesday @ Savvy Southern Style