Inspire: Red, White & Blue!!

Happy 4th of July! We know we are a few days early, but this gives you plenty of time to get inspired by this fun holiday!

With that sad US soccer loss yesterday, we think everyone could use some good cheer from the good ol’ red, white and blue! Check out some of more recent decor inspirations for the big day!

Mason jars are an all-American classic and so easy to paint!

Photo Courtesy of Addicted2DIY.com

Photo Courtesy of Addicted2DIY.com

Wood pallets have been all the rage lately!

Photo and project by BobVila.com

Photo and project by BobVila.com

Remember our cool wine bottle tutorial? Why not paint them blue and add beautiful red flowers?

Image courtesy of Instyle.com

Image courtesy of Instyle.com

You know we love our chalkboards 🙂

Photo from thegoldensycamore.com

Photo from thegoldensycamore.com

Easy garland tutorial!

Image courtesy of Spoonful.com

Image courtesy of Spoonful.com

As mentioned last Friday, pop some festive bubbly!

Image courtesy of Chandon.com

Image courtesy of Chandon.com

Need that perfect outfit for fireworks?

Styling and photo from Instyle.com

Styling and photo from Instyle.com

Decorative nails can easily go a bit over-the-top, but these are simple and classy.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Can you get more all American than Martha Stewart’s Apple Pie?

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Image courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Fantastic idea for paper lanterns, just add red stars and streamers!

Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

Image Courtesy of MarthaStewart.com

We hope everyone has a fun, safe and festive fourth!!

 

Indulge: Summer is Coming…

While the “official” start of summer is still a month away, we all know that Memorial Day Weekend is where the summer parties get started! Temperatures are starting to climb all over the country, meaning this is the time to fire up the BBQ, fill that cooler with ice and goodies, and to start celebrating the summer season.

Today at CLD we are whipping up a tasty dessert that is a fantastic ending to any type of food fiesta. It features nectarines, although any stone-fruit will work! Stone fruits (plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, or any new hybrid of those), are starting to pop up at local farmers markets. They have a fairly limited season, so grab them up while you can! This dish is perfect for those that may be not 100% ripe yet, as they get to soak up some butter and sugar to soften up 🙂

Nectarine Up-Side-Down Cake

IMG_3478Adapted from recipe from damndelicious.net

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 4 nectarines, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick wedges

Procedure:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl combine flour, sugar, soda, salt. Gently stir to combine.
  • In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, half of the melted butter, and eggs.
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir with a rubber spatula. Don’t over mix, just stir until ingredients are just combined.
  • In either a cast-iron skillet or 9-inch cake pan, add the remaining melted butter to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Scatter the brown sugar over the pan, followed by the slices of nectarines–in an artful manner, of course!
  • Pour the cake mixture over the top of the nectarines and smooth the top.
  • Bake approximately 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Let cool for about 10-15 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan.
  • Place a plate/cutting board large enough to cover the pan on top of it, then flip the whole thing over, and remove the pan.  Viola!

IMG_3452

This recipe is also easy to divide in half for smaller parties. No matter where you are this weekend or what/if you are celebrating, please be safe and responsible! Hoping everyone has a fantastic long weekend!!

Indulge: Cinco Para Dos!

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner… on a Monday (sad face).

So why not get the party started a little early this weekend? We have a few recipes here that are just the right size for two so you can perfect them for the crowd you might have on Monday!

Pitcher

Chunky Guacamole

Guac afficionados unite! Avocados have finally become readily available almost everywhere, so this tasty treat is easy to always have ready.

1 ripe avocado

1/4 cup diced white onion

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

Salt and Pepper

Your favorite hot sauce

Dice or cube the avocado (here’s a great tutorial) and put into a bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the avocado, then top with onion, cilantro, a good sprinkle of salt, 2 big grinds of pepper and as many dashes of hot sauces as your heart can handle!

Want your guac chunky? Run a small knife across the ingredients to slightly break up the avocado more, then stir ingredients together. Want it nice and smooth? Mash everything with the back of a spoon, a potato masher, or puree in a blender.

And another fun tip: if you don’t want to have that dreaded feeling of, “I went through the whole bag of chips again!” pick up a bag of baby bell peppers. Slice them in half and you have the perfect little dippers!

Guac

Citrus Margaritas for 2

I have this adorably small pitcher that holds just the right amount of liquid for about foursmall margaritas–once again perfect for 2!

Variety of citrus: lemon, orange,, grapefruit

6 ounces Tequila (a gold tequila works best for this, like a reposado or anejo)

2 ounces Triple Sec

2 ounces Agave Syrup

4 ounces fresh lime juice (about 4-6 limes)

Kosher salt

Slice up your citrus (about half of each type of fruit and put slices in a pitcher. Add all remaining liquid ingredients and gently stir with a spoon. You can slightly bruise or press into the citrus slices to release their flavor.  Fill the pitcher with ice and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, grab your favorite (small) glasses and run a slice of lime around the rim of the glass. Put the glass in a small layer of salt to coat and garnish your glass with a slice of citrus. Half pint mason jars work great for this!

Pitcher 2

Enjoy everything responsibly and have a great Cinco de Mayo!!

 

 

Indulge: A Classy St. Patty’s Day

Everyone likes to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little differently (if they celebrate it at all!). We’ve seen all out revelry and bar-hopping, big Irish family potlucks, downing that glass of Guinness, or just simply adding that hint of green to an outfit to avoid getting pinched.

At CLD, we like to keep things on the classy side, so here are two fun St. Patrick’s inspired  indulgences to get the evening of the 17th started:

Britannia

So this is not 100% Irish, but it features and celebrates the best of everything: Whiskey from Ireland, Scotch from Scotland, and Pimm’s from England. Combined with some lime juice, agave and shaken vigorously, this cocktail is surprisingly smooth… but it could still easily leave you with the “Irish Flu” in the morning You have been warned!

DSC_0176

1.5 oz Irish Whiskey

0.5 oz Single Malt Scotch

0.5 oz Pimm’s Liqueur

0.75 oz freshly squeezed lime juice

1 oz agave syrup

Orange peel for garnish

Chill a martini glass or coupe in the freezer. Add all liquid ingredients to a shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously, for at least 15 seconds. Pour into chilled glass and garnish with twisted orange peel.

Banana Kicker Milkshake

DSC_0189

Think milkshakes are just for kids? Of course not! Especially when whiskey is in the mix!

2.5 oz Irish Whiskey

1 oz milk

2 big scoops vanilla ice cream

1 banana (chopped and frozen if possible)

Green food coloring (totally optionally, but makes it festive!)

Add all liquid ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, but still thick. Enjoy!

We hope all of our readers have a fun (and safe!) St. Patrick’s Day wherever, and however, you like to celebrate!