Monday, July 30, 2018

A Refreshing and Delicious Summertime Treat

The strawberries at my local grocery have been particularly nice lately,
and I could not pass these beauties up.  I rinsed them in this cute little
berry strainer.  Then I cut off the tops, sliced them into a bowl, sprinkled
a bit of sugar on top and put them in the fridge until after supper.

The sugar draws some of the juices out of the berries, leaving just
enough to make a little sauce.  I layered vanilla ice cream and then 
berries into my Mama's vintage parfait glasses.  This was one of
Mama's favorite summer desserts.  If you don't have parfait glasses,
you could do this in large goblets too, or just add the berries on top
of a couple of scoops of ice cream.  However you serve it, you will 
love it!

Later this week, I will be sharing my old fashioned carrot and raisin
salad.  It's a vintage way to get out of a salad rut.  Stay cool y'all!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Who Else Is Sick of Summer???

This is how my secret garden, next to my she shed looked back in
early June.  Yes, it was hot then, but I was enthusiastic.  I was buying
plants at every garden center, spreading pea gravel and mulch.  When
I worked outside for too long, and got overheated, I would spray myself
down with the garden hose.  I was not yet delirious.

The heat was building.  Day after day of 90 plus degrees became the
norm.  My unbridled enthusiasm began to wane.  

The bloom is off the rose.  As we are now approaching August,
another impossibly hot month, there is not much on the horizon to
be cheerful about.  I have lived though two hurricanes in Texas,
both arriving in August.  I am praying that we are not hit by one
again this year.  We have not completely recovered from Harvey,
and blue tarps can still be seen on the roofs of some houses.

I am aching for the arrival of Fall!  Glorious Fall, when the air is 
fresher and crisp in the morning.  When garden centers are full of mums,
and the pumpkins begin to appear.  When I can walk outside during the
day and not feel like I am about to spontaneously combust at any

When I was a child, I loved Summer.  Days at the beach.  Riding
my bike with my friends from sun up until sundown.  Of course, I
didn't live in Texas back then.  Sorry Texans, but Summer here is
like a mean joke.  

Fall temps won't arrive here until the end of October.  That's a long
time to endure more blistering heat.  I don't mind saying ....


Bentley and I are staying inside where it is cool.  There is a
Hallmark Christmas movie playing, thanks to TiVo.  We
just might make it until Halloween ;-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Easing Back to Reality After a Vacation

It's hard to get one's feet back down on the ground after a wonderful
and very glamorous weekend in the big city also known as Houston.
David and I celebrated our birthdays last week.  Wasn't it so smart of
us to schedule our birthdays just two days apart?  Because our special
days fell on a Monday and a Wednesday this year, we decided to celebrate
afterwards to extend the fun.  

We tossed around several ideas of where to go.  Because Bentley is 
blind, we always need a place to go that isn't too far away and someplace
that we know will be comfortable and welcoming to him too.  After
some deliberation, we decided upon the Hotel ZaZa in Houston's
Museum District.  If the name makes it sound glam, it is all that.
It's more than that too, it's glam and fun.  Ritzy and comfy.  Most 
importantly, it's dog friendly!!!

We booked ourselves into the Fantastico Suite, which was indeed
fantastic.  A beautiful suite with a large living and dining room
(complete with glam chandelier), a super comfy bedroom and
two large screen televisions.  This was especially crucial to us because
the British Open Golf Tournament was airing all weekend.  Y'all
know that David is Mr. Golf!  Our suite also overlooked the
stylish pool, and the lovely fountains on Main Street.

If you want a glimpse of what this fabulous hotel has to offer,
link up HERE.

The hotel was full of stylish and trend setting people and their pets.
A man even checked in with his Great Dane!  Now that's what I call
dog friendly!   We even saw Elvis in the hotel lobby, lol.  Now
how cool is that???

We had delicious meals.  Houston is known for it's exceptional 
restaurants, and never disappoints.  David did some research and discovered
this spot for cocktails before dinner one evening.  I had a delicious Manhattan.
This place is in the trendy and artsy Montrose area.   So many fun places.
The Anvil Bar and Refuge, is the place to go for a vintage cocktail and
expert mixologists who train for two full months before they are
allowed to pour you an adult beverage.  It's also a great place for
people watching.  We were there prior to dinner, so we were able to
sit down to enjoy our drinks.  We were told it gets really swamped
later in the evening.  

Check out the link to this fun spot HERE.  I believe there is one in
Dallas too, if you live up north from the coast.

After all that fun, glitz and glam, I am rather reluctantly getting back to
daily life in our small town.  Life is a bit slower here, but that's okay too
because Houston is only a couple of hours away :-)

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

PS:  Bentley had a great time too!

Monday, July 16, 2018

New Addition to the She Shed

I ordered a cute vintage looking postal box for the she shed.  David 
hung it for me.  I love this shed and garden.  I want to be out here all
of the time, but honestly, it is so very hot that being out here for more
than a few minutes to water is just unbearable.  The birds love this
area because I have four feeders and try to keep them full.  When I 
come out to fill them, the birds sit up in the trees and watch me.

Today is David's birthday.  It's Monday,  not many restaurants are 
open, so we are eating at home.  We are having filet mignon, stuffed
baked potatoes and a salad.  No veggies because he's not wild about
them, so I don't want to make him eat something he doesn't like on his
big day. 

Other than that, I am just trying to stay cool.  It is so very miserable
outside.  Hope it's better weather where you live.

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Project For Our Cocktail Bar

Here is the bar in our kitchen butler's pantry area.  When friends stop by,
they know where to go to pour themselves a cocktail.  I try to keep it
fully stocked for them, and for ourselves.  My hubby and I enjoy a
cocktail, sometimes it's wine for me, while I am cooking dinner, and
we discuss our day.  

There is something new here ....

I ordered this vintage sherry decanter from Nancy's wonderful
transferware shop.  If you have never been there, and you love
transfer ware as much as I do, it's a place you need to visit.
Here is the link.

My plan is to make a lamp using this decanter.  I am ordering the 
parts, and when it's finished, I will show it to you.

That's it for now.  Our AC guy was here this morning because the
unit that runs the master wing was out last night.  He will be back
later to fix it.  Thankfully, we have a three part system, so if the
air breaks down in one part of the house, it's surely on somewhere 
else.  Trust me, in this heat, we really need the AC to be working
day and night for months.  On Friday, the plumber is coming again.
The washing machine is backing up into the guest room bath tub.
Yuck!  Thankfully, there are different clean outs and I am 
guessing some tree roots are the culprit once again.  The plumbers
know this house so well and have been here many times since
we have lived here, and while the previous owners were here.
Such is life in a 70 year old house.  

Have a great day!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Retro Summer Cucumber Salad Recipe

One of my readers asked me if I had a cucumber salad recipe,  
Well, yes I do, and this time it's a bit of a twist on my Mama's old

I can remember lots of dinners on the screened porch in the summer.
One that was served quite frequently was marinated and grilled Teriyaki
flank steak, fresh corn on the cob and cucumber salad.  Cucumbers are
so abundant and so refreshing in the summer, and I sure did love this 

My Mama's cucumber salad was very straight forward.  Thinly sliced
and peeled cucumber, thinly sliced onion, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper,
and a touch of sugar.  Mine is much the same with a couple of

In Mama's original recipe, she used either a white wine vinegar, or 
perhaps an apple cider one.  That was prior to her discovery of 
rice vinegar.  The rice vinegar is slightly sweeter and light, not at
all overpowering.  I also add a bit of dill weed which I think really
compliments the flavor of the cucumbers.

Don't forget a pinch of sugar!

Whisk it all together in a cute bowl, and ....

serve!  This salad is a great accompaniment to any grilled meat or
chicken, or just on it's own.  

Who wants to see my Teriyaki Flank Steak recipe???

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Friday, July 6, 2018

It's My Mama's Three Bean Salad Recipe

I miss my Mama and Daddy every day.  One of the ways I bring them
closer is to do things, and cook things from my childhood.  One of 
those dishes is Mama's Three Bean Salad.  She loved it, in fact, she
loved to marinate cooked veggies of all kinds.  While this particular
salad is old fashioned, and I would probably put a new twist on it,
I am sticking to her style today.  It could not be any easier!

1 can Wax Beans, drained
1 can Green Beans, drained
1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 thinly sliced sweet onion
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch of sugar
Salt to taste

Mama was not a big fan of pepper, so she rarely used it.
Toss all the ingredients together in a pyrex or stainless bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours.

I transferred the salad to one of Mama's crystal bowls.  Toss the
salad before serving, and plate on some pretty salad dishes.
I feel closer to Mama already!

What favorite salads do you remember from your childhood?

I have a new post up on my dollhouse miniatures blog today.
I have not posted there for ages, but for those of you who
love minis, you can visit it here.  Happy Friday everyone!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Bentley's 4th of July Pool Party Cancelled

I had planned a little backyard pool party for Bentley, but it looks like
rain, and we can hear thunder.  No worries, we will reschedule for 
another day.  In the meantime, here are some blast from the past
4th of July day pics.

Wishing y'all a safe and happy 4th!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

Monday, July 2, 2018

Super Simple Side Dish Recipe

During the oppressive summer heat of South Texas, we don't want 
heavy meals.  I try to keep things light and simple, but I still try to
keep things full of flavor.  When I find something that will appeal to
David's taste, and my own, I am thrilled.  

Here is a quick and easy side dish that will work well with grilled
chicken, beef, or fish.  It's base is one of David's favorites .... corn.  
Remember, this recipe is for two of us, but you can easily double up
the ingredients to serve more.  Here we go ....

1 & 1/2 cups of frozen corn
1 scallion, sliced
5 cherry tomatoes, sliced
3 fresh basil leaves, rolled up, then sliced
olive oil to taste
red wine vinegar to taste
salt and pepper to taste
crumbled feta cheese

I just rinse the frozen corn under some hot water and drain well.  I want
crisp, not mushy corn.  Place in serving dish, add tomatoes, scallions,
basil, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well, and
place in fridge until dinner time.  Toss well and add the feta cheese,
toss again and serve.

It's both pretty and full of flavor.  David will pick out the tomatoes,
but that's okay because there will be more for me!  Later this week, I will
be sharing a jazzed up three bean salad.  Stay tuned.

We are also planning a little pool party for Bentley on the 4th.  Every
year we go to Barton Creek Resort in Austin for the 4th, but they are
in major remodel mode until November, so we won't be up there 
until the remodel is complete.  I have promised Bentley his own 
pool day, so y'all are invited!

Big Texas Hugs and Stay Cool,
Susan and Bentley


Related Posts with Thumbnails


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...