Happy May Day!
We lived in Hawaii from when I was two until I was nine, and I can’t let May 1 pass without thinking of this day which celebrates the Hawaiian Lei and the Hawaiian culture. The day is filled with lei contests, maypoles, hula, and parades. While leis are made from many flowers, I remember stringing leis from the plumeria trees in our backyard, the sticky milk that would cover my hands and the plumeria leis’ enduring and unique scent the most.
I am just returned from 8 days in Franklin, TN, part a personal vacation visiting friends and part mastermind retreat with some blog friends. It was a great trip for many reasons; the chance to reconnect with friends we haven’t seen in too long and to learn from other women in this business called blogging. I’m a believer in the adage, “A rising tide lifts all boats,’ and this retreat of ours was the perfect example of that. We laughed, learned, and ate very well.
Quick PSA: If you are in the Franklin, Nashville, or Brentwood area, you must check out Sourdoughs on Somerset. This couple is baking the best sourdough and making delicious take-away meals to make your dinner easy and delicious. Check out their Facebook page to see what’s up this week.
new on the blog
I had fully intended to get a bit more published this week, but I do believe I entered a time vacuum, so…I only have one new post for you.
If you are getting your summer garden ready, you’ll be interested in reading about great companion plants for zucchini! This is the seventh post in this continuing series, which also includes:
- Companion Gardening 101 with a handy chart outlining good + bad companion plants for these first common home garden fruit and vegetables.
- Strawberry Companion Plants
- Tomato Companion Plants
- Cucumber Companion Plants
- Onion Companion Plants
- Potato Companion Plants
- Zucchini Companion Plants
from the kitchen
This Friday is Cinco de Mayo! While commonly believed to be Mexico’s Independence Day, it is, in fact the celebration of winning the Battle of Puebla over France in 1862. It is widely celebrated in Puebla but less so throughout the rest of the country. It seems it is more of an American celebration of Mexico’s culture and…FOOD!
If you’ve got plans to consume some great Mexican food this week, let me help you out!
- First, you MUST start with my dad’s truly delicious, hands-down-the-best margarita-you’ve-ever-had Margaritas!
I am all set. I never need another margarita recipe ever again! Thank you!!Michaela
- This fresh Shrimp Salsa is a delightful combination of avocado, tomatoes, limes, shrimp, onion, garlic, and cumin. It gets a little smokey flavor from the smoked paprika. Simply chop your ingredients and toss them together.
- This vibrant, sweet, and spicy Mango Habanero Salsa Recipe is easy and quick to make. Its fresh and bold flavors are a refreshing change from traditional tomato salsa. Fresh lime juice and ripe mangoes tossed with spicy habanero peppers, onions, and spice are the perfect combination and make a truly refreshing, but still spicy salsa.
- This Elote Dip is a lighter version of many Mexican Corn Dip recipes as it is heavier on the fresh corn and lighter on the binders (the cream cheese and sour cream). I don’t want an appetizer to fill everyone up before dinner. Instead, I want just to tempt those taste buds.
- A universally enjoyed and easily made appetizer, this Layered Taco Dip recipe can be prepared ahead of time for easy entertaining. Made with refried beans, canned chiles, cream cheese, taco seasoning, freshly grated cheese, salsa, and fresh vegetables, this is dip is always a crowd favorite. And this Mexican layer dip is easily made vegetarian by using vegetarian refried beans.
You could easily stop there…I’m all about a grazing appetizer dinner! But, if you do want to serve a main course in addition to some of your tempting appetizers, may I suggest…
- Beef Barbacoa Tacos with pickled onions.
- This recipe for these Short Rib Tacos begins with a brown sugar & spice rub, followed by a sear to get ‘that crust’ and then a slow braise in a chili broth for fall-apart tender meat.
Did you know that it helps others find our recipes, crafts, and content when you comment and rate (for recipes)? So, if you tried one of our recipes and loved it, let others know! Thank you!
from the knit studio
- I truly love this polka dot baby blanket with its crocheted bauble edge. If you’ve not crocheted before, do not be deterred! The illustrated pattern, showing step by step AND the video, will get you there! But, if those little baubles are a step too far, then just leave them off. There is a seed stitch border to the blanket already. And…it’s reversible! The polka dot pattern looks just as cute on both sides.
- While we are talking about crochet edges, just nab a piece of linen from the fabric store and add a crochet edge to it to make a light summer throw or a charming tablecloth!
- All the tips and tricks for substituting yarn in your knit and crochet patterns! This is a common question I get, so I’ve shared all the considerations to make when you want or need to substitute yarn.
from the arts + crafts studio
- This Oyster Shell Mirror has held a place of pride in our last two homes and is one of my most favorite projects ever! And while you can easily spend hundreds of dollars to buy one, you can make one for almost nothing! OK, it may take a bit of scrounging through oyster shell piles, but that’s hafl the fun!
- And safe some oyster shells for these little Oyster Shell Clusters that can be used anywhere!
- You could make one of these Monogram Pillows in a week of evening movies! Really pretty darn easy and doens’t require a whole lot of attention once you get started.
Yup, it’s a mere two weeks away!
from the garden
- Use a plant saucer to make a birdbath for the birds.
- What are great tomatoes for the patio and how to grow them.
in the home
Are you doing a little spring cleaning? Usually that comes with a bit of decluttering too.
- Ten questions to ask yourself when decluttering.
- Downsizing Tips. We recently went through this process with my parents. Here’s what we learned.
Food Storage Favorite
I’ve been using Freezer Storage Cubes and Freezer Pods for years! We use the 1 cup, the 1/2 cup, and the 2 tablespoon trays.
The 1 cup is perfect for lunch portions of soup and chili, as well as beans for meals.
The 1/2 cup size is great for freezing buttermilk and cream. We also portion out 1/2 cup portions of our seasoned meat for our weekly nachos.
The 2-tablespoon trays are a great size for tomato paste and chipotle in adobo.
Well friends, my to-do list is LOOOOONG! I hope to check quite a few items off of it today. Wish me luck.
And I wish for you a relaxing or a productive week…whichever your soul needs more!