Play with your food!

Even a serious foodie likes to bring out his or her inner-child... I just love these plates. I think Santa will be bringing them for Christmas!





And I would hate to leave Rebecca out, so now there is one for girls!





I think these placemats are nothing less than brilliant. I mean VanGogh, would have seriously cut off part of his ear for one of these!






Instead of discouraging, next time, you might very well encourage your child to go pick their nose!




Nose-picking isn't just for kids anymore!




Your daughter wants Pinkalicious Birthday party. These darling tea cup cupcake wrappers will be sure to be crowd-pleasers!





King of the World? Perhaps serve your guests a Gin & Titonic!



We all know a few people who could use one of these...




Just hate when this happens to me...




Because sometimes you want to have your cake and eat it too!



All of these wonderful products, and so many more, can be found at Fred & Friends.

Note: I was not endorsed by anyone over at Fred & Friends... but if anyone over at Fred & Friends sees this and would like to offer up an item for a give-away, you can contact me through my profile! ;)

A Canadian Visits Maine:A Gastronomic Journey by Lily Lemontree

The Lovely Lilly Lemontree has graciously offered to be a guest today. She thought it fitting to write a post about an idyllic Maine vacation seeing as that is where I am with my children. (I like her version much better. Chasing after after three kids all day long is neither idyllic nor a vacation!)  Come along her wonderful journey which is sure to titillate all of your senses! And because you won't have had enough, you must absolutely stop by her blog after this wonderful New England feast!

Thank you so much my dear friend!
XOXO, Jessica

***
Everyone’s favourite hostess, Entertaining Mom, is off to Maine for a couple of weeks, that lucky girl! She always posts such great pictures of her excursions, makes you feel like you are there with her. Which got me thinking about what it would be like to actually spend the weekend in Maine with her as her guest, and in particular, what culinary delights would the hostess with the mostest entertain us with??

We’ve all been on her foodie blog, The Entertaining Kitchen and had our eyes and mouths water with all the deliciousness she has going on there, so I figure we would be in for a treat. Of course, when speaking of Maine, lobster (or should I say ‘lobstah’) is the first thing that pops into my mind. (The honest truth is lobster pops into my mind all the time, no prodding needed, it is one of my absolute favourites!)




So let’s pack our bags and jump in the car! I think our visit would go something like this.


Lunch of course would be a casual affair, maybe a picnic in a great spot she’s familiar with. Her picnic basket would be packed full of these delicious sandwiches, the recipe courtesy of the doyenne of New England living herself, Martha Stewart.



Mini Lobster Rolls
(courtesy of Martha Stewart)

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups cooked lobster meat (from 4 boiled 1-pound lobsters), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) salted butter
8 top-split hot dog buns (1 package), halved crosswise

Directions
Combine lobster, mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, salt, and Old Bay, and cayenne if desired, in a small bowl.
Heat butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, toast buns until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side, transferring to a plate lined with paper towel, as you work. Fill each bun with 1/4 cup lobster salad.


After a fun, rigorous day spent outdoors enjoying all that Maine has to offer, our evening would be spent releasing the day’s “stresses.” For some of us, stress release usually involves a little alcohol (can I hear  Entertaining Mom giggling a little bit??) and in this case the alcohol of choice is beer.




Lobster Tails Steamed in Beer
(courtesy of allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
2 whole lobster tails
1/2 (12 fluid ounce) can beer

Directions
In a medium saucepan, over medium to high heat, bring the beer to a boil.
If lobster tails are still in the shell, split the shell lengthwise first.
Place a steamer basket on top of the saucepan. Place thawed lobster tails in basket and cover. Reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes.


What kind of a send-off would it be if  Entertaining Mom didn’t host a traditional clam bake party on our last night with her? Nothing says summer in New England like this!



Firehouse Clam Bake New England Style
(courtesy of allrecipes.com)

Ingredients
20 small (1 pound) lobsters
20 pounds clams in shell, scrubbed
10 pounds mussels, cleaned and de-bearded
10 pounds cod
20 white potatoes
20 sweet potatoes
20 ears fresh corn
5 pounds bratwurst
5 pounds hot dogs
5 pounds pork sausage
3 pounds sweet onions

Directions
At the beach dig a hole in the sand with the approximate proportions: width = 2 feet, length = 4 feet, depth = 1-1/2 feet. Line the hole with stones from the beach. Build a fire inside of the hole and cover with rocks from the beach. Heat the stones for 2 to 3 hours.
Remove coals and/or embers from the hole. Arrange hot stones evenly across the bottom of the hole. Place fresh 1/2 bushel seaweed (wet) on top of the hot stones.
Working quickly layer the food on top of the seaweed, the food should be layered evenly on top of each other in the following order: clams, mussels, fish, sausage, hot dogs (wrapped in cheesecloth), onions, potatoes (white and sweet), corn, and finally lobsters.
Cover food with a clean, wet cloth. Place remaining seaweed on top of cloth.
Cover entire hole of food with a wet tarpaulin, sealing the steam created by the hot stones and seaweed in. Allow a very small amount of steam to escape to relieve pressure. Let bake cook for 1 or more hours. The bake is completed when the potatoes are soft. Serve bake with melted butter to dip the seafood in and lobster crackers. Don't forget napkins -- you'll need 'em!

A very special thank you to Entertaining Mom for having me guest post while she is away and of course, for virtually hosting us!

Have a great trip!!



Happy Memorial Day!






















All images courtesy, Martha Stewart. For her ideas and recipes visit her website.


I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend. Whether you are spending it quietly at home with family, or away with friends, while you eat and drink and relax and celebrate this wonderful country, let's please take a moment to remember all those brave men and women who have fought valiantly, and are still, for our freedom and our wonderful country.


Grace, Elegance and Rustic Simplicity... DIY Quickie!


Capture summer or your favorite summer memories forever! Many of you are about to embark on your final summer vacation. My kids always get a little bit sad as this time of year comes to an end. As much as they love everything about getting ready to go back to school, (the new clothes, school supplies, etc.) they are not ready to leave the long, lazy, hazy days of summer behind. Whether school has already started and you are in the South, or you are headed to the shore one more time before Labor Day, bring a Ziplock bag or two and fill it with all your beach finds! When you get back home your children can help make these wonderful luminaries.

I used Mason jars, recycled pickle jars and small bud vases for these. Rebecca helped me with this project. Simply have your child pour desired amount of sand into the jars and then add the shells (rocks are lovely too). When your child is done firmly place a tea light in the middle of the jar. Your child will delight in what they have done!

This can also be done with large hurricane vases and larger shells. Is your child having a Birthday party this summer? This might make for a great and inexpensive craft!

I love having them outside on the deck all lit up at night!




I was cleaning out my car a while back and found some twine! (I have no idea what it was doing there!) I thought it would be fun to use... might look nice if I wrapped it around some jars to create small, rustic and yet elegant vases. So I gave it a try. As many of you know I cannot sew. But I am fabulously talented with a hot glue gun!

This was the easiest project ever and I love the results it yielded! I simply wrapped the twine around the jars (I used one large pickle jar and 2 Orangina bottles -- love their shape!) and as I wrapped it around the glass I would apply a bit of hot glue to keep the twine in place. (Truth be told I chose small objects because I am lazy and wanted instant gratification! But I love the look, I may try this on a larger jar!)

This is a bit messy so where ever you work, please cover your space well and carefully. And be prepared for some very sticky fingers! Since the glue is waterproof I have no problems rinsing the bottles out. (I would not place them in the dishwasher though!) Should a strand get loose, simply glue it back into place.

These look wonderful on a small side table, on a bathroom countertop or console, or even in the middle of your kitchen table with homegrown hydrangea and really lovely with your Lilly Jubilee Juice or cocktail ;) Click here for recipe!


Must have a party!

Because I think these make the cutest little cake/hors d'oeuvre stands! Perfect for a Bridal or Baby Shower! I love them so much I felt the need to share!

oh... these cuties came from Rachel Ray's website!

And... keep your eyes posted for My Big Birthday Giveaway!