Well Hello! I hope everyone had an awesome holiday weekend. We had a LOT of rain, so no beach time, but it was still a really fun trip. The doggies did pretty well for their first out-of-state car ride in our new minivan. It was so nice to put down the seats and have all that room for them!
Stella even learned how to swim!
Saturday afternoon, we hung out and watched the World Cup.....while playing some beer pong of course. I was in the kitchen, prepping the food, but I'm pretty sure Rodd, Jeff, Sarah, and Lindsay had a blast.
Speaking of prepping food in the kitchen, Mom got new countertops! I am so jealous...
I need to save up for granite....someday. They make all the difference! That night, we went out to Thirsty Marlin in Palm Harbor for my favorite meal- Sesame Crusted Seared Ahi Tuna!
I was just as good as I remembered it :)
On Sunday, we had some people over for the 4th.
We had what every party needs....Red, White and Blue Jello Shots :)
The rain stopped for a few hours during the party, so we had time to play some cornhole and beer pong outside...
The appetizers were courtesy of Linday and Sarah, and they were amazing! Stuffed Mushrooms...
And brown sugar/pecan baked brie....
I made a bunch of stuff for dinner, but didn't take pictures of any of it. How did that happen? On the menu: Gorgonzola-stuffed turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, grilled corn and potato salad, asparagus and tomato salad, grilled chicken with pineapple salsa, and baked beans. Whew. Quite the mouthful!
All in all, we had a great time. The night ended (as it usually does) in the hot tub with a night cap. It was perfect :)
I promised you the recipe for Quick Pickles last week, so I wanted to feature that today. It is so simple, you'll wonder why you haven't made more pickles in your life! I actually bought 2 more cucumbers last night (yes, I went to the grocery store at 9pm after an 8 hour car ride), so I can make another batch this week!
First, I combined some vinegar, mustard seed, sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, crushed red pepper, dill and a bay leaf in a small saucepan.
You should use fresh dill, but I had so much dried dill that I needed to use up, and it worked out fine. Once the mixture comes to a boil, you are ready to pour it on your cucumbers.
Next, pop this into the firdge for a few hours or overnight, then you are ready to serve you pickles!
These pickles are to die for! You can omit the peppercorns and crushed red pepper of course, we just like things spicy around our house!
Adapted from Rachael Ray
- 1/2 cup white vinegar, eyeball it
- 2 rounded teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A pinch of crushed red pepper
- A pinch of peppercorns
- 1 clove cracked garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried dill or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped or snipped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cucumbers, cut into 1-inch half moon slices on an angle
(I doubled all of these measurements to cover the 2 cucumubers)
Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic to the pan and cook until it begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Toss the dill, bay leaf, and sliced cucumbers together in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the simmering liquid over the cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Allow to cool to room temperature or chill before serving.