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

Never, Never, Never Give Up! (Winston Churchill)

Have you ever had one of those weeks where NOTHING went right?

Well, this has been one of mine.  I literally wanted to crawl in to bed and not wake up until next month, with all of my problems solved for me in the meantime!
So, as I looked for inspiration for today’s Freebie Friday, I realized that I needed to motivate myself and I, hopefully, will motivate you as well.

Because, while I did have a really bad week (fridge water hose sprayed all over the kitchen, ruining 20 tiles drying on my table (as well as the drywall behind) … 20 tiles having to be redone … again because the weather didn’t cooperate, 20 tiles still not drying because of the weather … yada yada yada), I can report that I can find some good in all of this.

I refuse to give up! I truly do. So, while nothing seems to have worked well, I can say that I have persisted, and I will keep persisting til I get everything worked out. So, today’s Freebie Friday is a little pep talk for me, and for you if you need it!

*Personal use only, no mass production, but please feel free to direct anyone to my blog to download their own copy.

So, I’m gonna put “my big girl pants” on (as my daughter says) and get back on the saddle, and get those tiles done!! Whoo … I feel better already, and am smiling again.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend mes amies, and that it is better than my last few yesterdays!

J’adore my followers!
Au Revoir,

Lorraine

Brag Monday Entry

It’s a rainy, cloudy, Monday morning (whoops it may actually be after noon now) and I’m still in my jammies, trying to be “inspired” for the day. But, it’s not really working. I got enough rest, I should be raring to go, but it’s just one of those days when you want to stay in bed, eat chocolate and watch “Sleepless in Seattle” or something else where you get to cry!

But, a promise is a promise, and I’ve made a commitment to myself that I would get my Brag Monday entry in every single week to the Graphics Fairy, so here I am … following through (but still in my jammies – isn’t the internet wonderful!!).

So, here is a picture of my entry:

I chose a graphic from the Graphics Fairy (thank you Karen) that is from an old birthday card, probably from the Victorian era. During that time, giving flowers meant more than just a flower, each flower had a meaning. I almost wish we lived in that time, where a bouquet not only meant that we were loved or admired, but that each flower in the bouquet had a hidden message for us.

Well, the Iris is the national flower of France, and is, in fact what the Fleur de Lys was taken from. I feel silly that as much as I love all things French, I didn’t know that the Fleur de Lys was an Iris!! Hopefully I’m not the only one out there my age that didn’t know that. The Fleur de Lys was traditionally named after King Louis, because as royalty he represented perfection, light, or life. Joan of Arc carried a flag showing a Fleur de Lys being blessed by God to inspire troups as they marched to victory.

So, that is why I’ve chosen the word “Inspire” to put on this graphic. I hope that it inspires you to learn a little more about flowers. I had a wonderful time learning about their names, the history behind them, etc.

I love flowers, particularly since I was able to live in Holland for a year when I took a year break from college. It is traditional there, that if you go to anyone’s house that you bring a bouquet of flowers. Everyone has flowers in their home, and it is amazing what that one little touch can do to brighten and beautify a home.

Later, I read one of Alexandra Stoddard’s books about decorating (she is an amazing author if you haven’t read her works yet, you should) and one of the suggestions she had to beautify your space, was to have real flowers in your house. I have never forgotten that, because I knew exactly what she meant after having lived in Holland. So, my challenge to you this week is to go out and get some flowers (even if it means getting them out of your yard (not your neighbor’s, unless you ask) and bring some into your home. I promise you, your spirits will lift from that one little touch in your home.

Which reminds me … I think I’m going to go out and pick some of my hydrangeas and take some of my own medicine!

Bonjour mes amies,

Go out and inspire!!