Seersucker: Not Just for Suits

These Kim Seybert napkins would be perfect for your next outdoor gathering or simple summer wedding. 
The color combinations lend a bit of modern to a Southern summer staple. 


I was alerted this morning by Page Six that Martha Stewart is about to turn 70.  How is that possible?  She looks great.  Also, I thought only younger people could make you feel old.  Incidentally, she has the same birthday as both of our husbands.

Jersey Wedding

Hot Recipe for Hot Days

Not like anyone needs any more heat these days, but if you are interested, this lightened up version of stuffed jalapenos is great.  It's an easy, make ahead recipe, and a little bacon never hurt anyone.  Just throw them on the grill right before your company arrives!

**If you are going to make 20+ of these like I did, I would recommend wearing gloves while de-seeding the peppers.  Otherwise, when you attempt to put your contact lenses in a few hours later, you will be in for a serious surprise.

Antique Show

Last week I went to the Brimfield Antique Show near Sturbridge, MA.  It was an interesting experience, but we heard from others that it wasn't quite as good as in years past.  There were a few nice linen dealers, and I picked up this cool star made out of license plates:
The dealer is based out of South Carolina and he'll use plates he has or ones you supply.  There was a nice star with lobster decorated Maine plates, but it was gone by the time I went back to buy this one.  I like the idea, and it adds a little edge to a traditionally decorated space.

Cville City Market

I've posted about our local farmer's market before, but finally remembered to take some (phone-quality) photos this past weekend. 

Going to the market is one of our favorite summer Saturday morning pastimes when we are in town-- usually motivated by the want for something delicious for breakfast  (Mexican food at 8am, anyone?  Don't mind if I do!).  We like to head over there early - sans shower - before it gets too hot and too crowded.  I enjoy buying local produce when I can, although I am not fanatical about it (I won't lie and tell you I don't go to Sam's club for bulk TP or buy milk at my local grocery store), and the market makes that easy.

Enjoy some shots from around the market!
$10 for this large Mason jar of purple and blue hydrangeas.  6 days later, they still look great on my mantle!

Tequila peppers and Blanco peppers (google them).  We grilled up some Tequila peppers and put them on a grilled pizza Saturday night.  Delish!

Japanese eggplant
Jalapenos and tomatillos.  Jalapenos were transformed into grilled stuffed jalapenos for Sunday Porch Drinks.
Local peaches -- used in salads earlier this week.
The famous "Mexican Tacos" (insert inside joke).  Chicken quesadilla and chicken tamale featured here.
Pitty Pan Squash.  SO good on the grill.
Casual yoga in the middle of the market.  NBD.
Wildflowers, $6 a bunch.

Her Royal.....Hosiery?

As a rule, I don't do nude hosiery.  Honestly, it just doesn't seem to come in a shade that works for people of my color (read:  very, very fair), and I am not a fan of orange gams on a fair person.  This phobia may all stem back to the fact that the tights required for my high school dance team ensembles were "one color fits all" -- and that color was not for moi.  Although I am NO fashion expert, I've also cringed many times over the years when I spot any type of hose worn with open toed shoes (bonus points if they are reinforced toe!).

Enter my trepidation when I read this article yesterday about Princess Kate rocking sheer hose out and about.  Admittedly, the hosiery Kate is wearing is a far cry from those dance team tights circa 1997, and her legs look great, but....I don't know if I am sold on this trend for the general population.

What's next?  A comeback of slips (which Lauren and I both agree are way under-utilized)?
Thoughts from the crowd?

Too Hot to Cook

With temps reaching the triple digits this week, slaving over a hot stove or grill is not high on my list. 
Inspired by a salad a friend told me about last week, we whipped this together last night.
Perfect summery deliciousness, eaten on the porch.

Field greens, cucumbers from our garden, peaches and heirloom cherry tomatoes from the Farmer's Market, thinly sliced red onion, shredded faux rotisserie chicken, goat cheese crumbles, and homemade raspberry balsamic dressing.

Easy Summer App

Hosting a low-key summer get together (or porch drinks) and need an easy app?  Martha's Tomato Tartlets worked perfectly for me this afternoon.  Hers were a little prettier than mine, but they were delicious nonetheless and were quickly gobbled up on our back deck this afternoon. 

All-purpose flour, for rolling

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed

2 1/2 ounces grated sharp white cheddar (2/3 cup packed)

3 medium tomatoes, cut into ten 1/4-inch-thick slices (I used heirloom tomatoes from our local farmers' market)

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (I went with basil OO from Oil and Vinegar)

Ground pepper

1/3 cup small basil leaves, for serving


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with racks in upper and middle thirds. Lightly flour a rolling pin and work surface and roll out puff pastry to a 14-by-16-inch rectangle. With a 4-inch cookie cutter, cut out 10 rounds and transfer to two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets; with a fork, prick each round all over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cheese on each, leaving a 1/4-inch border, and top with 1 tomato slice. Brush with oil and season with pepper.

2.Bake until pastry is deep golden at edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let tartlets cool completely on a wire rack. To serve, top with basil.

Patriotic Partying

Some individuals in our household partied a little TOO much over the long weekend....

Dirty foods here and there, dirty foods everywhere...

It seems that I can't click anywhere on the internet without being inundated with information about the dirty dozen, salmonella, and the dangers of e. coli.  There is always a segment about the dangers of raw eggs.  This has made me think the last few times I've baked.  When I was little I always licked the spoon when my mother was making cookies, muffins, etc.  When we were in college we ate raw cookie dough at least once per week.  But now I think twice about doing this, even though I love it.  Do you?  When did we all get so scared of raw eggs?