Summer Gazpacho

Gazpacho

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Gazpacho is an ideal summertime soup to make and enjoy on a hot day. With a little bit of prep time, this classic tomato-base Spanish soup comes together quickly.  There are many wonderful variations of the recipe to try.  My personal favorite uses fresh vegetables chopped into small pieces combined with other ingredients to bring out the right balance of chunky-crunchy texture and tangy-spicy flavor in every spoonful.  This recipe is versatile, feel free to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste.  A simple and delicious soup to serve as an appetizer, as a part of the main course, or as a healthy snack.

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Gazpacho

Gazpacho

· print recipe ·
serves 6-8

Gazpacho

Ingredients

1  pound ripe tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1  English cucumber, seeded and finely chopped
1  red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1  yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1  medium size red onion, finely chopped
1  garlic clove, minced
1  tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil {more for serving}
1  tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1  teaspoon hot sauce {Tabasco sauce}
1  teaspoon cumin
3  cups vegetable broth
3 cups tomato juice, 2 additional cups may be needed-depending on the desired thickness
1  cup French bread, 1″ cubed
salt and ground black pepper

Garnish

2  tablespoons each, chopped fresh cilantro and mint
zest of one lemon

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Gazpacho

1.  In a small bowl, combine the bread cubes and one cup of the tomato juice,  set aside for 10-15 minutes to soften.

 

Gazpacho

{cucumber, seeded and finely chopped}

 

Gazpacho

2.  Prepare the vegetables as instructed and make sure all the chopped vegetables are similar in size.

 

Gazpacho

3.  In a large, nonreactive bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients and 2 cups of tomato juice.

 

Gazpacho

4.  Place the soft bread pieces with its liquid in the blender, add 2 cups of tomato mixture and puree until almost smooth with a little texture left.  Repeat the process in the blender with two more cups.  Transfer all the puree mixture back and stir to mx.

 

Gazpacho

5.  Add the remaining 2 cups of tomato juice as needed to adjust the thickness of the soup.  Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Cover and refrigerate until chilled, 4 hours or up to 24 hours.

 

Gazpacho

6.  Serve Gazpacho with fresh herbs and lemon zest mixture.

 

Gazpacho

7.  Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with herb-lemon zest mixture, and drizzle with a little olive oil.

 

Gazpacho

Simple and casual afternoon lunch.

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Gazpacho

Serve Gazpacho in Individual glass mugs with toasted French bread sticks.

 

Gazpacho

Enjoy!

· print recipe ·

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Posted by Kay

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My Basic Makeup Kit Favorites

Makeup

 

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I’m sharing my current go-to favorites to use for eyes, lips, and all-over face coverage.  When it comes to makeup I like to keep it simple for my everyday look.  For most days, it takes me about 10 to 15 minutes to apply my makeup and I’m done.  They are basic pieces from well known brands that I’ve come to rely on for other products such as blush and lipstick to complete the look.  To have good quality beauty products to build on will help to make adding other specific pieces to your collection a little easier.

Makeup - bareMinerals

1.  bareMinerals
Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream $29.50
smoothing face brush $28 {at Amazon $24.95}

Complexion Rescue by bareMinerals is a fairly new product that was introduced spring 2015. This is a light to medium coverage foundation to even out the skin tone.  It’s easy to apply, feels nice against the skin, and it comes with spf 30 sunscreen protection.  A small pea-size amount of the gel cream will be enough to cover the entire face and I recommend using the brush to give a smooth even coverage.

Makeup Basics

I purchased a lighter shade of the foundation for my daughter, Grace, to try.  She has been using it and likes it a lot.  It blends in well to bring out a natural  clean look.  Right after applying, you will notice a slight sheen to the face that will settle to a softer finish after a few minutes. The gel cream is made without oil and formulated to hydrate the skin {good things for teenage sensitive skin}.

Makeup - Bobbi Brown

2.  Bobbi Brown
Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner $26
Ultra Fine Eye Liner Brush $28
Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick $29

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is easy to apply with a brush and the color will last throughout the day.  The Long-Wear Cream  Shadow Stick is creamy and glides smoothly on the eye lid.  Use the the tip of your finger to gently blend and soften the color.

Makeup - Mally

3.  Mally
Volumizing Mascara $20

Mally Volumizing Mascara coats my lashes without clumps even after two coats.  It wears well all day without smearing or irritating my eyes.
Makeup - Philosophy

4.  Philosophy
Lip Shine $5 – $10

Philosophy Lip Shine is a nice light scented lipgloss with a little bit of tackiness when applied to the lips.  To give my lips a splash of color, I will layer it with lipstick.

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Makeup

My simple, basic, go to, makeup kit.

 

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Basic Makeup kit

 

My everyday look with minimal amount of makeup.  This is a selfie I took in my truck late in the afternoon after having been out and about all day. The only touchup I did to my makeup was to reapply the lipgloss… and maybe I should have used hair spray on my uncontrolled hair.

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Posted by Kay

1 comments

Strawberry Jam and Blueberry Jam Crumble Bars

Crumble bars- strawberry and blueberry jam

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From the moment I saw these Strawberry Jam Crumble Bars on the front cover of the latest issue of Bake From Scratch magazine, it was going to be something new to try.  The recipe was simple to assemble and bake. The original recipe uses the Quick Strawberry Jam {recipe at the end of the blog post} as the filling, but I decided to substitute it with my homemade strawberry jam.  The result turned out great.  I think a good store bought jam will work just as well in the recipe if you don’t have time make it.  To accompany the jam filling, a sprinkling of fresh strawberries gave it another depth of flavor.  Because the recipe was quick and easy, I decided to make an extra batch and used my homemade blueberry jam. These bars are great as snacks, treats, or desserts.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry blueberry jam

 

Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam
Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam Title

Crumble bars- strawberry and blueberry jam

Makes 16

· print recipe ·

Ingredients:

1½   cups all-purpose flour
1¼   cups old-fashion oats
¾     cup unsalted butter, melted
¾     cup granulated sugar
⅓      cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2       teaspoons kosher salt
1¾   cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1½   cups Quick Strawberry Jam (recipe precedes) or homemade/store bought jam

Note:  I substituted homemade strawberry jam / blueberry jam that I had available instead of the Quick Jams. 

To make Blueberry Jam Crumble Bars, follow the recipe above and  replace strawberries and jam with blueberry jam and fresh blueberries.

Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with cooking spray and dust with flour or use baking spray with flour.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, melted butter, sugars, and salt with a wooden spoon until crumbly.  Press half of mixture into bottom of prepared pan.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam

{I used homemade strawberry jam}

3.  Cover  with Quick Strawberry Jam or homemade/store bought jam, and sprinkle with strawberries.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry jam

4.  Sprinkle remaining crumble on top.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry jam 1411

5.  Bake until golden brown and bubbly, 55 minutes to 1 hour.  Let cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry jam

6.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.

Crumble bars - strawberry jam

Serve each bar on parchment paper.

Crumble bars - strawberry jam

 

Crumble bars- blueberry jam

Blueberry Jam Crumble Bars

 

Crumble bars strawberry and blueberry jam

Individual packaged bars are ideal to take on picnics or to a group gathering such as a pot luck or simply for easy grab-and-go snacks.  Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to wrap around each crumble bar then tie it with a piece of twine.

 

Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam

 

Crumble bars - strawberry and blueberry jam 1585

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Quick Strawberry Jam

1      pound fresh strawberries, chopped
1¼  cups sugar
Juice of 1 lemon

In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring frequently for 5-minutes.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently and mashing berries with a potato masher, until mixture thickens, 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove from heat, and let cool for 30 minutes before transferring to a clear jar.  Jam will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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Quick Blueberry Jam

1   pound fresh blueberries
2   cups sugar
juice of 1 lemon

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients.  Stir with a wooden spoon, and let stand for 2 hours.

Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently and mashing berries with a potato masher, until mixture thickens, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Remove from heat, and let cool for 1 hour before transferring to a clean jar.  Jam will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

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· print recipe ·


Posted by Kay

1 comments

Barbecued Shrimp (my quick and simple version)

Barbecued Shrimp

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Bring the taste of New Orleans to your summer barbecuing or any other occasion with this recipe for Barbecued Shrimp.  Despite the name, there’s no barbecuing/grilling involved. Traditionally, this classic dish is made with whole shrimp cooked in a rich buttery, tangy, and spicy sauce.  This version of the recipe is simple, quick, and rich with flavor.  To make it less messy to eat, I often use shrimp with just the tail on {deveined and without the head}.  I also reduce the amount of butter, and add Newman’s Own Caesar salad dressing to the recipe.

Barbecued Shrimp

Arrange cooked shrimp on a platter and drizzle the rich sauce all over the top.

 creole barbecue shrimp

Garnish the dish with fresh herbs and lemon wedges.   Slice up some crusty french bread and it’s ready to be served.

Shrimp, creole barbecue

 

creole barbecue shrimp

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Barbecued Shrimp

BARBECUED SHRIMP

Serve 5-6

· print recipe ·

Ingredients:

½   cup Newman’s Own Creamy Caesar or Caesar dressing
¼   cup Worcestershire sauce
2     tablespoons butter
1      tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh or dried rosemary
1      teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
1      teaspoon finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
1      teaspoon paprika
1      teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1      teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
3-4  bay leaves
2-3  garlic cloves, minced
¼    cup white wine
2     pounds medium or large shrimp peeled and tails on (optional: deveined)
salt to taste
lemon wedges and baguette for serving

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Barbecued Shrimp

1.  Heat a large stainless steel skillet (12-inch) over medium/high heat, add the first twelve ingredients, and bring to a boil.

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Barbecued Shrimp

2.  Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp until pink and firm to the touch.  Season with salt to taste and serve with lemon wedges and baguette.  Enjoy.

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Barbecued Shrimp · print recipe ·


Posted by Kay

1 comments

Postfly Box and Fly Box for Father’s Day Gifts

 

Postfly Father's Day gift- 1 white gunpowder

Fly fishing flies

A gift for a fly fisherman Dad that doesn’t have to end after Father’s Day.  Once a month a package from Postfly will be delivered to the mailbox with essential flies or fly tying kit to get him ready to go out and spend time fishing.  Postfly started their business in 2013 by putting together fly fishing kits of high quality to make it convenient and to help their customers be successful fishermen out on the water.

The Postfly has a variety of flies to fit your needs  for Trout, Bass, Saltwater, and Steelhead.  Subscription offers are available from 1 month, 3-months, 6-months, or 1 year.  After selecting the choices given, once a month you will receive in the mail a box of approximately six to twelve flies to use during the season. Their most popular is the Trout Flybox.

Instead of getting a set of flies once a month, Bill decided to go with the fresh water fly tying kit. He wanted to improve his fly tying skills and the box set will have all the supplies needed without having to go out and buy it in bulk. Here are some of the latest packages of supplies that Bill received.

Postfly, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

Box #1

Postfly Box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

Box #2

Postfly Box, Father's Day gift -1white gunpowder

Box #3

Postfly Box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

Box #4

Postfly Box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

Postfly Box, Fly tying, Father's Day gifts - white gunpowder

It takes Bill about 10-15 minutes to tie a fly. He could probably do it faster, but he enjoys the quiet time and seeing the pieces of feather, fur, and fibers come together around the hook and emerge as a fly.

Postfly Box, Fly Box, Father's Day gifts -white gunpowder

In addition to flies, a storage box to keep them organized and protected will be a great gift.  This classic Richard Wheatley fly box was a gift I gave Bill 23 years ago.  The box design hasn’t change since it was introduced in 1910.  Wheatley Signature Fly Boxes are available at Ashland Fly Shop and Amazon.

Postfly Box, Fly box, Father's Day gift - white gunpowder

The aluminum fly box is 6 inches by 3½ inches with compartments and clips to store dry flies.

Postfly Box, Fly box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

The compartments are spring loaded for easy opening.

Postfly Box, Fly box, Father's Day gifts -white gunpowder

Bill’s collection of flies and fly boxes,  You can never have too many.

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Postfly Box, Fly Box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

Postfly Box, Father's Day gift -white gunpowder

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Posted by Kay

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