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merry christmas

chandelier1

Merry Christmas, and here’s a simple way to dress up your chandeliers for the holiday season. It’s never too early to start pinning your favorite ideas for next year’s celebration. You can keep it simple with a few tree branches and your favorite ornament or go crafty with spray paint, pine cones, ribbon, and a handy hot glue gun!

Happy New Year!

last day of summer…

keylimeiceboxpie

Labor Day may signal the end of summer for many of us, but today is technically the last day of summer. Wow, I find it a little tricky to be gung-ho about fall when the temperature still hits the 94-degree mark.

Sure the days are getting shorter, and the mornings aren’t as unbearably muggy. Football season is well underway. And everyone is giddy to embrace the prospect of fall pleasures: boot wearing weather, pumpkin spice lattes, football, and better hair days. It all sounds great in theory, but I’m still wearing my hair in a top-knot and gulping down iced coffee. Plus, I don’t even know where I hid my boots–hopefully, somewhere golden retriever proof.

As a farewell to summer, I’m sharing a lighter version than the typical key lime pie. Icebox pies were invented for those trying to beat the summer heat. So if you want to cling on to summer a bit longer and aren’t obsessed with everything that’s pumpkin spice, this key lime icebox pie is for you. Did you know there’s actually a brand of pumpkin spice flavored peanut butter? Blech!

Bye-bye summer, you will be missed. Fall, please show us what you’re made of by October. Call me crazy, but carving pumpkins while sweating bullets isn’t exactly at the top of my fall favorites list.

national dog day

scoutgoldenretriever

My mom put me in this questionable bow tie for National Dog Day. And I made her work like a dog (no pun intended) for this photo. The poor girl was swatting off gnats, fighting the muggy humidity, and distracting me with several Newman’s peanut butter biscuits. A full belly and a spiffy new look equals not a bad Wednesday.

homemade salsa – the only way to go!

salsa

Remember those Pace salsa commercials where the indignant cowboy shouts, “This salsa’s made in New York City?” Somehow it wasn’t really legitimate salsa unless it hailed from Texas. I’ve got one better: how about your own kitchen? The best salsa will always be homemade salsa, and it’s super simple to make. If you’ve got a food processor, it’s a quick and easy road to fresh salsa. Even if you don’t, pulling out your trusty knife and cutting board will produce great results.

Here’s a wonderful recipe from a family friend, Ginny Dowling, who used to run her own catering company and is one of the best cooks around!

Ginny’s Salsa

4-5 large tomatoes

1/2 red onion

2 garlic cloves

Handful of cilantro

1/2 Jalapeno pepper (no seeds for mild salsa–a few seeds for a hotter version)

Juice of two limes

Kosher salt to taste

Optional: Adding a dash of olive oil

Cut up the first five ingredients and add to your food processor. Once you’ve pulsed the ingredients then add lime juice and finish with kosher salt to taste. Voila, you’ve got amazing salsa. Nothing beats the fresh taste. Regarding jalapeno peppers, please be very careful to not touch the seeds! If you do, wash your hands immediately!

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