Monthly Archives: May 2014

05/29/14

Summer Alfresco Entertaining + Salami Chips recipe

There is nothing better than entertaining in the great outdoors.

A space that you don’t have to worry about cleaning, is always fully decorated, and has enough room for all your guests to stretch out and enjoy themselves.

It’s simply perfect!

During these few weeks and months between the budding & epic ollen explosion of spring and the hot & humid summer months still to come, my family and I have always loved to take the opportunity to have family and friends over for a little alfresco dining experience. Anything from a great, big grill-out in the backyard to an intimate, simple and understated coffee and dessert out on the porch.

The key to alfresco & other forms of outdoor entertaining is to make things that are simple, can be made in advance, and are absolutely delicious when served at room temperature.

Here are a few of my favorites ideas:

Barefoot Contessa - Recipes - Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. Hands down one of the best appetizers I have ever served at a party or social gathering.

This recipe is a go-to around the holidays for our family. The roasted shrimp are so much more flavorful than boiled and they can easily be enjoyed warm or at room temperature. Plus, it’s ready in under 10 minutes!

  • Melon Prosciutto & Mozzarella skewers – little skewers threaded with sweet cantaloupe, thinly sliced sections of prosciutto, and small mozzarella balls or cubes. Just assemble and serve!

melon, prosciutto, and mozzarella skewers... A quick, no cook appetizer perfect for hot summer nights entertaining.

*picture from www.runningtothekitchen.com.

A tiny drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar would be great too!

  • Chips n Salsa – because there is no one who doesn’t love it! The crispy, salty chips paired with spicy, tangy salsa keeps me coming back for more, and more, and more.

Restaurant Style Salsa Recipe from addapinch.com

*picture from Add a Pinch, follow this link to her website for Restaurant style salsa recipe

I go crazy for restaurant-style chips n salsa, and so will you!

Rosemary roasted and salted cashews... The ultimate nibble!

An absolute hit at any gathering!

Chocolate Dipped Clementines with Sea Salt. An easy, no-cook dessert or nibble.

*picture from www.thecomfortofcooking.com.

A very sophisticated and unexpected sweet treat.

But, one of my favorite make-ahead nibbles is salami chips with mustard dipping sauce. It couldn’t be simpler and everyone goes crazy for it!

Trust me!

Directions:

1. Place your thinly sliced salami on a sheet tray and bake for 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees.

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2. Remove from the oven onto a plate lined with paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Allow to cook completely. They will continue to crisp as they cool.

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3. Serve at room temperature with homemade mustard dipping sauce. I make mine with 3 parts whole grain mustard, to 2 parts mayonnaise, and 1 part honey. And a dash of cayenne pepper if you are feeling so inclined… I was!

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It’s the perfect spicy, sweet, and tangy mustard dip for these salami chips, but is also great spread on sandwiches or served on a cheese board with toast points and sharp cheddar cheese.

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Your guests will gobble them up, so be sure to make a lot of them!

Have a great summer full of easy entertaining!

xoxo

 

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05/26/14

Enough.

What is it that you don’t have enough of?

Enough time?

Enough energy?

Enough patience?

Enough money?

Enough intelligence?

Why do we feel we don’t have enough? That we don’t have all of what we need?

Hasn’t He already proven to us that we have all we need? That we have enough? That we are enough?

We should be able to trust Him by now. So, why don’t we?

This is the promise He makes.

Psalms 84:11- “For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” 

No good thing does He withhold.

In the Message translation it reads, All sunshine and sovereign is God,generous in gifts and glory. He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions. It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.” 

I love that! He is generous is His gifts & glory. He doesn’t scrimp… no, no. He is good and we must trust that what He gives us is good. Good enough.

I can think of so many examples from Scripture. The Lord recalls them to my mind when I look at what I am holding and wonder, ‘is it enough?’

Moses left the high and worry-free life as a Prince of Egypt, fled to the countryside, and tended sheep. One day, God spoke to Him from a burning bush and commanded Him to set the Israelites free from bondage.

Didn’t the Lord know Moses had a speech impediment?

Yes, but Moses was enough. He had enough. He had all he needed to do God’s bidding….

Gideon’s army was outnumbered and out-manned 4 to 1. And still the Lord told Him he had too many and therefore, the enemy would not be handed over to Him. So, Gideon cut the thousands to a mere 300 soldiers, and it was at that point God said,”Now, you are ready!”

300? Really God? The enemy of Midian was said to have been so vast that they could not even be counted. You expect me to believe that 300 men defeated an enemy that vast?

Yes. And He will do the same with the 300 of your life. That pittance you feel is not enough, or isn’t worth it….

Abraham and Sarah were promised to be the father and mother of a great nation! A whole tribe of people. And yet, they were barren and their age was fighting against them. And still, miraculously, Sarah gave birth to Isaac at the age of 90.

The Lord’s promise was fulfilled.

She had all she needed. And despite her disbelief, the Lord saw fit to bless her and Isaac’s seed became a great nation. Their faith and hope in the Lord’s provision was enough….

You know, as a child, I never questioned my parent’s provision for me. I knew if I had a party at school, Mom had cookies in hand ready to be delivered. I knew if tuition was due, Dad had already cut the check providing for my education. I knew if I was hungry, Mom would feed me. If I had a meet or event, I knew they were looking on from the gallery or bleachers, supporting me.

All my needs, and indeed most of my wants, were fulfilled.

You know why? Because they were good parents.

And He, He is the ultimate Daddy. The ultimate parent. And He provides the ultimate provision. NEVER withholding good things.

So, what do you hold? What do you have?

It’s enough because He gave it to you, and His plans are for good, and not for harm. His plans give us hope, a bright future. He has given it because He deems it enough to carry out His will for your life.

Dedicate or rededicate your “enough” to Him today. It will be multiplied and put to good work.


“The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” — Psalms 85:12 

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