Friday
Jun052015

Father's Day Grill Gift Guide

 

 

Soooooo we have thus far avoided the Big Green Egg. I always figured hey, if I want to slow cook meat, I have a very fancy oven for that. What changed, you ask? 

 

BGE cooked pizza. Let me set the scene: we have a dearth of good pizza in our town. Like it is pizza no-man's land. Like, we have the discussion like once a month why don't we just open our own shop and solve the entire town's problems? But after eating a pizza produced off one of these green dandies I knew pizza production and consumption in our house would never be the same. So happy Father's Day hubs! Your surprise was already spoiled because they won't deliver this ceramic behemoth to the house. Wish us luck with that one.

 

I can't gift a smoker/grill/bbq of this nature with out the proper accessories, obviously. We're still sorting through just what we need to re-create magical pizza, but I am off to a great start with the Fiero BBQ set, which came courtesy of Dadgifts.com. Hubs can't wait to try this sleek kit out (kind of like, if James Bond had a grill, this is what he would use). And I can't wait to put him to work cooking!!

 



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Thursday
Jun042015

Banana Chia Breakfast Bowl Recipe

 

Trendy breakfast item du jour, also delicious and a bonafide super food, it’s time to welcome chia into your pantry ASAP.

I was wary of this seed based dish, texture being a top concern, but I needn’t have feared. I love it, my husband loves it, and perhaps most important of all, my toddler loves it, family taste tested and overwhelmingly approved.

Making your own almond milk may be a bit much, but it is worth every ounce of effort once you taste the home grown variety. That being said, I’m often strapped for time and just use store bought. Should you want to make almond milk, I’ve included a link to a recipe below.

Bon appétit!

 

Ingredients

2 cups fresh almond milk * See recipe here

½ cup chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp honey

1 mashed banana

cut fruit & chopped nuts for topping

 

Directions

Pour milk over ½ cup chia seeds. Add vanilla extract and honey. Stir and allow to sit in a covered container overnight in the refrigerator.

The chia seeds will soak up all the almond milk and form a pudding-like consistency. Sprinkle cinnamon in and add mashed banana. Place in a bowl and top with fresh cut fruit.

 

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Monday
Jun012015

Mediterranean Blues Backyard Before & After with Pier 1 Imports

 

This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports.


The sad "Before"

 

Back to those "After" shots

 

Post winter patio life [pictured above], exhibit A: a drab, sad, blank canvas ripe for some color and decorating. Akin to the long, gray winter of our discontent suffered here in New England, our garden and outdoor space were in need of much sprucing up.

Pier 1 Imports came to the rescue again this season, my outdoor decor saviours, who pulled through this summer season with Mediterranean themed house ware and outdoor gear I could not resist. Think cool, crisp blues, geometric tile and Greek-key patterns that call to mind the islands Mykonos and Santorini. Why not build my own backyard Taverna, complete with high back settees, arm chairs, strung lights, and moody bouzouki tunes drifting on the summer air? My husband and I were so inspired by the gorgeous goods at Pier 1 Imports, that we are hosting a party next weekend, bringing some of the Mediterranean island life straight to our backyard.

Taverna & patio prep began with some major landscaping and garden planning- you need lots of herbs for all these Mediterranean dishes my friends. Flowers in the planters, lights twinkling overhead, and a gorgeous new lounge set, which I made feel like an extension of the living room by rolling out a bar cart, a vintage Moroccan tea table, and some chic side tables, piled with flowers, flowers, flowers. Another great idea for all your vases? Some of those fresh herbs from the garden, there is nothing quite like sitting next to a vase of rosemary to scent the eve, am I right?

Which leads me back to the menu....I'll be serving trays of ouzo when guests first arrive (a bitter Greek aperitif, served in petite glasses with cubes of ice), red and white sangria, and platters of herbed grilled shrimp, chicken, and veggies, called souvlaki. Is there anything more perfect than meat on a stick? I'm eager to try my hand at grilled halloumi too, a firm cheese that is mild and delicious. I'll be serving mine drizzled with honey and grapes. And don't forget the delicious Greek pastry baklava for dessert, honey and nuts wrapped in layers of buttery filo dough, bite sized bits-o-heaven. My mother-in law makes THE BEST baklava, so I hope to out source to her capable hands, or finally commit her secret recipe to writing (if I snag that, I'll definitely share!). Want some specific recipe ideas? Check out my pinboard devoted to all things Mediterranean cooking, a constant source of culinary inspiration for me and my weeknight meals. 

My go-to management tool for beautiful invites? Paperless Post. They have online based tracking, send reminders, and the prettiest invites I have seen- a perennial fave of mine is the floral Unikko Marimekko print, in a host of blue hues, naturally. 

Last but most certainly, not least, is music. I'm keeping things simple with a Greek inspired playlist, ripped from some of my husband's favorites and a host of the classics. No need to do any heavy lifting here, I've already rounded them all up with Spotify. Stream, enjoy, and stay tuned for some pics from the party next weekend! 

 

 

Find what speaks to you. See our Outdoor Living collection in stores or at pier1.com/outdoorliving

 


 

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