Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?

This month has been a bit crazy for me, thus … my blog has suffered some.  However, I have been able to keep up with my Facebook page, so if you haven’t signed up for that, please do!  That way, no matter what, you’ll have access to all of my freebies, updates, and info.  I have actually posted quite a few Freebie Fridays there, but you can find all of them on my Pinterest page, so I urge you to follow me on Pinterest so you can look back through all the Freebies I’ve given over the past months.

This month we are learning from Katharine Hepburn.  I have had a wonderful time getting to know her.  She was something else, and an inspiration regarding the strength of women.  Her mother was a Suffragette and her father a physician (urologist) who tried to promote awareness of sexual disease and health.  With this type of liberal and strong background, it’s no wonder that she led such an influential and extraordinary life, filled with fortitude and lack of concern for what “normal” women were supposed to do or not do.  She had no idea that there were boundaries that couldn’t be crossed, or barriers that couldn’t be broken.  And because she believed in herself, she became the number one top screen legend of all time by the American Film Institute in 1999 … quite a tribute!!

So, in honor of Katharine, here is your Freebie Friday (click for the full size, and then right-click to save to your computer … personal use only), I hope you enjoy!!

One of Katharine’s four Oscars (out of 12 nominations) was for the movie “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” – and it is easily one of my favorites, hands down.  So, without further ado, and with Memorial Day (for my American friends) in mind, I thought I’d share a recipe with you that is one of my favorites for summer and cookouts.  I’ll be sharing several recipes over the next several days.  What do you usually have for your Memorial Day or Outdoor gatherings?  Here’s one of our family favorites:
TOMATO BASIL FETA SALAD,
courtesy of Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa:
Ingredients
4 pints grape tomatoes, red or mixed colors
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 med. onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese

Directions

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature.

*In a pinch, because, let’s face it, sometimes we just don’t have time, or are lacking some ingredients, I have done the following with the same spectacular results:
  1. Parsley is not imperative, but you will want to add a little more basil if you don’t use any.  It will have a stronger flavor, but in my opinion, you can never have too much basil (personal preference)
  2. I have used a vidalia onion or green onions in place of the red.  I do not recommend a white or non-sweet onion.  It will be too strong in relation to the other flavors.
  3. I have used Paul Newman’s Balsamic Vinaigrette when I realized I didn’t have enough white wine vinegar from the last time I had made the recipe.  It was still heaven!!
  4. I have used flavored feta with great results.  My favorite:  feta with sun-dried tomatoes in it.
  5. I have tried not cutting the tomatoes when I was in a hurry … wasn’t nearly as good, I promise it’s worth the time, otherwise the flavors of the dressing just don’t do their “thing well enough.”
  6. It is CRUCIAL that you let the salad sit at room temperature for least 30 minutes, if not 45 to an hour.  When serving this for a barbeque, I make this salad first, cover, and just let it sit on the counter until we are ready to eat.
Bon Appetit!!
**For more recipes by Ina, please feel free to go to www.foodnetwork.com

Happy Pre-Easter

Well, it has been a little bit since I posted. In the meantime I drove to Albuquerque and back to help my son and his lovely new wife move here to live in the town where my husband and I reside. They will be starting school again in the fall, and so decided to get a head start on finding employment before the rest of the college crowd try to compete for summer jobs.

AND … yesterday was my birthday, and I will admit that I turned 49 … my last year of my 40’s. So I plan to enjoy this year as much as possible before I roll into my 50’s. And, while aging might be a problem for some women, it truly doesn’t bother me at all … at least not yet. Now while that’s being said … I still color my hair, so I guess the correct response would be that aging without gray hair doesn’t bother me! The most wonderful part of my birthday was realizing that ALL of my children were here to celebrate it with me. That hasn’t happened in years, and it truly was the best present I could have asked for (besides the homemade lemon cake that my husband made me!).

So … here are my juicy updates that I have waited with bated breath to share with you!! Many of you (my lovely and much loved facebook followers) have asked for tutorials on how to use some of the graphics that I create. Well … they’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming!!! I’m so excited. I have been working on the evolution of my blog for several months, and spent hours upon hours working on what I wanted to share with you. All of the effort is finally paying off. So, I’m going to give you a little teaser … you will definitely want to check in the beginning of April (and this is no joke, mes amies) as it will be the beginning of all of my plans coming together. I can’t wait to share them with you.

So … here are some teasers:

  • Coco Chanel
  • Life’s Lessons for Women
  • A Craft Tutorial for Beginners (or those who think that they can’t make anything …)
  • A Craft Tutorial for Crafters (something to tempt even those who think they’ve done everything)
  • Give Aways
  • Contests
  • Reviews about things that we all want, know, or love!
  • A continuation of Freebie Fridays, but most of all …
  • Motivation that you ARE beautiful. You ARE special. You HAVE value. You ARE WORTH IT!!!

I hope you know that I care for each of you who reads my blog. I want you to feel what has taken me so many years to discover for myself: life is too short to spend any more time feeling doubts about your own unique beauty or self-worth. So, if you’ll stick with me … we’re going to make sure that you do!

In the meantime, I created a graphic for my Brag Monday. For those who are new, I create something each Monday using one of the Graphic Fairy’s beautiful vintage images. You’ll find her link to left. I wanted (SO BADLY) to jump the gun and share next week’s graphic, but I restrained myself and focused on Easter so I wouldn’t fudge and ruin my surprises.

I hope you enjoy this graphic. Please feel free to use it in a non-commercial way. You are more than welcome to click on the picture and then right-click to save to your computer. You might use it as a desktop wallpaper, print it out to frame and decorate for Easter, or even create cards or crafts with it. I only ask that you not mass produce it. You may, however, send anyone my way to get their own copy.

And while we’re talking about sharing … if you haven’t signed up for my facebook page, please do so. That is where you’ll find past Freebie Fridays, some that weren’t shared here, although you can always click on the Freebie Friday button to the right for the ones that were posted here. I try to switch things up between my followers. So, to make sure that you don’t miss anything, you’ll want to follow me in both places. I promise, some are truly treasures (at least that’s what I think, as well as many of my followers). Last Friday’s … well … does the name Audrey Hepburn mean anything to you? I don’t think I need to say more! LOL!

Mes Amies … have a very lovely week. I hope it is filled with beautiful thoughts and wonderful happenings for you and your life.

Warm Regards,

Lorraine

Image

La La La La La … But …

So, today’s post is a rant. Not a political rant. Not a rant about here, or a rant about there, nor a rant about anywhere (for you Dr. Suess fans out there). I promise, it won’t be too big of a Debbie Downer, but still I need to rant.

Why is it that we, as women, find it necessary to tear each other down in order to feel better about ourselves? I, for the life of me, do not understand this cultural anomaly. We, as women, have a hard road to trod. One would think that we would be as supportive of each other as possible. But, sadly, that isn’t so.

This past week I’ve had to “let go” of some comments that an extended family member directed toward me. Is this new behavior? No. Is it an unusual dynamic in our relationship? No. However, it still cuts like a knife, no matter how much I try to “let it go.” Maybe it’s because I’m an oldest child, but I really expect people to like me. I don’t expect everyone to think I’m the “cat’s meow.” However, I have sufficient evidence to support that for the most part, I’m a very nice person, and people, in general think I’m a nice person. So, how come I get dumped on by someone who should be part of my support system?

Well … I happen to know that the truth is … [insert drum roll here] … she is intimidated by me and the small amount of success that I’ve had in my life. The sad part is, I would be the first person jumping up and down cheerleading for her if she were to allow herself to have the same types of experiences.

Long ago I read the book by Stephen Covey entitled “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.” He talked about the Zero Sum game. “If you are winning then I am losing. If I am winning, then you must lose.” HOW COME WE CAN’T ALL WIN? I’d like to know. As far as I’m concerned you are all winners. I don’t always win, but I’m moving forward, none the same, and for me, that is winning. I would bet that you could say the same thing as well.

So … girls (I still like to think of myself as a girl, even though I’m in my late 40’s) … let’s be a little more supportive and help everyone around us to feel like winners. You know … it doesn’t really take a whole lot of effort, either to do that. A small compliment, a smile at the store to someone who looks like they are having a bad day, a “congratulations” when someone gets a promotion or a raise, or a job, or, or, or, etc.

In the meantime, I’ve created a Freebie Friday for you that is definitely “Tongue in Cheek.” I saw this vintage painting of 1840’s fashion and the sarcasm of the moment just sprung out of my brain and onto the page. You’ll see what I mean when you click on it and read the commentary. I promise … it will either get a chuckle out of you, or it may sting a little. Because, you see, many times we as women do our best “Catty” impersonations under the “guise” of being supportive or “helpful.” Well sisters … that doesn’t cut it either. And, don’t you find it always seems to be that this “helpfulness” is usually couched by starting out as a positive statement, followed by the word “BUT” and then the knife comes out!

Okay … thank you for letting me get my rant out. I feel so much better and I hope you will too when you think about how much of a “winner” you are (and please, please, please, do not think about Charlie Sheen’s rant about “winning” – I promise you shouldn’t go there either!).

So, sweet amies … here is your free printable. As always, feel free to click on the picture and save to your computer or print out. It might just help you accept my challenge to be more supportive of the women in your life this week. Let me know how you do, and I will too.

Bonsoir, and have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

Lorraine