We’ve all been there, staring at the refrigerator trying to see what to whip up for dinner. Sometimes there’s a plan, and sometimes there isn’t and today was that day!
It was Monday evening and we had chicken. We did not have any fresh veggies so I opened the freezer and saw some zucchini wedges I had frozen from the height of the pandemic.
Soy Lime Grilled Chicken is always easy and yummy so I decided on that! I make this marinade all the time so I usually don’t measure.
Here’s my guesstimate!
3/4 cup of soy sauce
1 spoonful of minced garlic
1 spoonful of honey
juice of one lime
a few shakes of red pepper flakes
Just dump the chicken in and let it sit at least 20 minutes before grilling.
Then I found an inspiration for hibachi style veggies. I was a little worried about the zucchini being frozen but it was the only veggie I had to work with. I heated up a skillet, drizzled some sesame oil in the pan and dumped the frozen zucchini in.
The zucchini started to release a ton of water so I just let them cook until the water started to dry up. After several minutes, the zucchini started to brown. This process took a while so I browned some sesame seeds while I was waiting for the water to cook down.
I tried to resist the urge to stir the veggies so they wouldn’t turn to mush. I mixed together a little soy sauce and squeezable ginger and drizzled it over the zucchini and then sprinkled them with the sesame seeds.
Pulling it all together
Finally, I used some leftover jasmine rice, put about 2 tbs of butter in it and squeezed a half a lime into the rice after I zested the peel into the rice and microwaved it for 3 minutes.
We took the chicken off the grill, the sides were ready and dinner turned out better than expected! I have a lot of friends who have a lot of zucchini coming out of their gardens so YES, you can indeed cut it up and freeze it and still enjoy it months later just like this!
I know we are basically home all summer and we have time to water the plants every single day, but it gets tiresome sometimes. Every day you have to pull out the hose or a pitcher and water, water, water….
My mom used to say, necessity is the mother of invention, so when we went out of town to a friends shore house for the weekend, I didn’t feel like asking someone to water the plants, so I got to Googling… is that a word?
Here’s where I got creative…
Remember those little watering globes for houseplants? I wondered if a wine bottle would work the same way.
I summoned empty wine bottles from my neighbors and I stuck a bottle, filled with water, in heavily watered soil upside down and let it go! Luckily for me, I had a friend come by and check on them. Some plants needed a extra drink or two but generally, the method worked. The bottles drained too fast for the hot weather, so I went to Amazon. I found terra-cotta watering spikes and I quickly ordered them. Here’s the link! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=watering+spikes+for+outdoor+plants&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
The Amazon reviews said they were fragile but they arrived in tact! Whew!
I watered all my plants super thoroughly to soften the soil, I then soaked the spikes in water to get them ready to insert and I carefully inserted them into the soil so that they were right above or at soil level.
So here’s the bottom line! IT WORKS! The plants definitely drink at their own pace, some faster and some slower due to sun, heat etc. On super hot days your thirstiest plants, which for me is a potted tomato plant and basil plant, will require additional watering because they get so hot they can’t get the water fast enough… but it truly works at keeping your plants hydrated and allows me to not have to monitor them so closely! I’m a fan of my new watering system… even if it looks like my plants have a drinking problem!
I hope this helps you as well! Share this tip with all your plant loving friends! Stay hydrated!
With all the uncertainty in the world, we are not going on any vacations this summer. We love to travel but it’s just not possible this year. No one wants to get on a plane this summer for good reason.
New Jersey is blessed and cursed at the moment….. one of the most locked down states in the country but also one of the most delightful places in the summer. Did you know there are lovely mountains in NJ? I didn’t either…. before I moved here…. and it’s delightful out here in the Garden State!
Growing up in the South, I never knew how fabulous Jersey Corn and Tomatoes were…. or how delightful the Jersey Shore could be so at least we have a gorgeous summer to look forward to!
We have decided to make lemonade out of lemons and are doing things to make our outdoor living space even more enjoyable like many others around the country.
Now is a perfect time to refresh the pillows, umbrellas and flower pots or whatever you can to enjoy your outdoor space even more. Let’s face it, you’re going to see it a lot this summer. We took on a low voltage lighting project this past week that really added value to our deck! I say “we” lightly because I had input but my husband did all the work. Thank goodness he is handy because he just knows how to do things like this and is willing!
We added lighting to our deck steps so that we can confidently walk out from the house and see the step down. All of a sudden, we find ourselves in our 50’s and it’s not bright enough to see the step down. LOL…. we are indeed turning into our parents.
I’ve also pulled out an old decorative piece I hadn’t used in a while… this gorgeous planter that goes around my umbrella to create a 360 degree centerpiece! ! It really makes me happy to see it and makes my outdoor living space more inviting! Even if you don’t have this pretty planter, you can easily just put a few small flower pots out with some annuals to spruce it up! I am going to be home more than not this summer so I certainly have time to water it. That’s always been the challenge when we travel.
I wasn’t up to planting a full on garden this summer but I do love to plant a few herbs and tomatoes for a quick Capresse salad (tomatoes, buffalo mozzerella and some basil) or a nice little refreshing Mojito with some fresh mint and lime! This simple pleasure adds to our outdoor dining experience and gives me a little something to tend to! We simply potted these in pots on the deck so I can water everything easily! SO much joy out of these simple things!
Finally… since we want to entertain but we have to do it carefully and responsibly, we moved an outdoor table into our gazebo for covered outdoor dining! Honestly, it felt like a special event or a vacation… sitting outside and being protected from the drizzle that sometimes comes with summer storms. We enjoyed a poolside dining experience and once the rain stopped, we enjoyed the beautiful sunset!
Joy and happiness doesn’t have to come from traveling the world, or having things… sometimes just cherishing your home, and your friends and family and all the blessings that we have right at our fingertips, is all you need. The pandemic has unveiled a lot of emotions in people ranging from fear to annoyance, panic, anxiety, care, love and gratefulness…. and sometimes we can succumb to all of these emotions even in one day.
I want to choose to be happy and hopeful rather than being fearful and desperate. Don’t get me wrong, I’m being careful and am taking this pandemic seriously. I’m following guidelines and not being around a lot of people because I do want to protect the people I love… but I am choosing to be grateful everyday for what I have. People I love, friendships and health… I do feel blessed! I pray that everyone reading this can focus on the good in this situation… I know it’s not possible for all but I hope that focusing on the good brings you more good in your life! Remember… your thoughts, become your words, become your actions, become your habits which become your destiny…. so choose happy!! God bless!
This winter… I decided to cut out the crap and eat nothing but REAL food… Yep… basically protein, veggies and fruit. That is it. No Gluten… no Sugar… no dairy. I had to get creative with my eating….. so I wouldn’t get bored! SOOOO I bought a Spiralizer! How fun is this? This made eating veggies so much more interesting! Here you see my spiralized Zucchini that I could saute in onions and garlic OR…. use as a zucchini noodle for my tomato sauce! Yum!
I discovered how fun it was to spiral things… like onions (thinly sliced,) potatoes, cucumbers, and squash!
Think about it… thinly sliced red onion for salads, burgers or sandwiches…. thinly sliced yellow onion for french onion soup, spiraled cucumber for an interesting cucumber salad with rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds or apple cider vinegar, dill and pepper…. OR Zucchini “pasta” to satiate even the worst pasta craving! It worked! Potatoes also work great in the spiralizer…. for great home fries! Oh my goodness! So yummy!
So if you are looking for a fun kitchen tool this summer that inspires healthy eating…. Enjoy getting your Spiralizer! I’m not even sure if that is a word… but… I’m sticking with it!
New York City is so diverse! You really do need to spend a week there to get the full flavor of it! You’ve got Central Park… such a haven in the middle of all the concrete… there are always tons of people… running, walking and biking! It’s vibrant!
And then there’s SoHo… which was named Soho because it is South of Houston Street… (Prounounced House-ton not Houston like in Texas) … There’s great shopping… and FYI most of the restaurants are one block away on the side streets. We tried this quaint little spot off Prince Street called Back Forty West. It was super nice… had a large upstairs so don’t be fooled by lack of seating when you walk in! It was lovely and most of my party had delicious grain fed burgers which got high marks!
If you walk toward Columbus Circle off Broadway, you’ll find the Metropolitan Opera… and lots of shopping.. and of course there’s midtown.. near Time’s Square which is always a hub of activity! Madison Avenue is a lovely walk Uptown with high end shopping…. and then there’s lower Manhattan with South Street Seaport and Freedom Tower… Truly a lot to cover to REALLY capture all the different neighborhoods in the city!
There are restaurants galore…. and it’s all expensive.. but there are ways to make it more affordable if you bring in a few items for breakfast and snacks… bottled water is a must so you don’t have to pay $3 a bottle or more! Don’t be embarrassed to bring in some supplies! Everyone does it!
Enjoy the sights.. the culture… the food and the shopping! I love NYC! Share your favorite restaurants, sights etc…. for all my friends who always ask me for restaurant or hotel recommendations…. this will be a great diary!
I love Summer! I love summer vegetables and cooking on the grill! There’s something about summer that makes it more fun to cook! I think because it feels more relaxed … Eating outside and not having as many activities to go to with kids.
What are some of your lighter fare dishes you love to whip up when the weather is hot? Grilled shrimp, grilled chicken, chopped salads and corn on the cob and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers are some of mine! I love a chilled gazpacho soup too! Let’s share some favorites!
I don’t have a lot of time for garage sales and cutting coupons BUT….. I do pay attention to good deals and DO try to save money whenever I can!
I just thought I would share a few of my favorite ways to save extra money this summer that COULD turn into some vacation money…. some extra spending money… or just to save!
We travel all year round with dance competitions for my daughter.. so I’m always making hotel reservastions. If your kid does any travel sport, you are doing the same! Follow the link below… and JOIN eBates.
It’s ALMOST summer… and if your legs are as white as mine… you may be a little concerned with wearing skirts and NOT looking “glow in the dark”. I don’t have a lot of time to “sunbathe” nor do I want to ruin my skin anymore… I will sometimes use self tanner if I think about it in time…. but most of the time, I’m in my closet deciding what to wear and I may avoid the skirt if my legs look like the one on the right! 🙂
I just found the BEST product that can instantly give color to your legs or other body parts! My arms and chest seem to get color from walking or gardening outside but my legs are another story! 🙂
Found this product at Sephora and I will definitely buy it again! Look what it did to my legs in just 5 minutes! So much better!!! I guess I better buy some before you guys sell it out! 🙂 ENJOY!
I love summer! Love the thought of Summer Travel too! Whether you are doing day trips to the beach…. drivable or flyable weekend trips….. or week long vacations! YOU need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice!
Here are my TOP 10 Travel Tips!
1. Keep all your cosmetics in a travel bag all the time! Saves time when on the go!
2. Keep a travel size shampoo, conditioner, and razor in your travel bag (not good to forget that razor and sometimes hotel shampoo is not the best)
3. Don’t forget that sweater or wrap for chilly nights!
4. Work around a color scheme that you can wear the same shoes with. Summer is easier than winter…. I love neutral sandals, wedges and heels!
5. Pack a small drawstring bag for carrying water or necessities on walks and hikes or for throwing your bathing suit in for going to the spa!
6. Jewelry storage a MUST! Love my organizer from Pursen! Lots of pockets… lots of options!
6. Always keep a protein bar or two in your handbag for traveling to stave off hunger in a pinch to keep you from eating something unhealthy!
7. Don’t forget your exercise clothes! You may not get to it but you want to have options! And… it’s summer…. we want to look good by the pool!
8. Since it’s summer… don’t forget that hat and sunscreen! There are some GREAT packable sun hats or just use a cute ball cap!
9. Bring a small handbag! I know you may need your large one for stuffing everything in the sun into… but I love bringing one small handbag for going to dinner and not feeling like I’m carrying a suitcase 🙂 There’s lots of cute ones.. happen to LOVE my new Tory Burch Robinson chain Wallet I got for Christmas! It can function like a wallet, something to put your phone into, it can become a clutch and a shoulder bag. Pieces like this are functional… they can BE your wallet and your purse.. so tuck this baby in your large handbag and GO!
10. That’s it! Felt like I needed to have a top 10 …. so here’s 10! Go plan some summer trips!