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What a beautiful Mother’s Day.  The sun was shining, calm breeze blowing and birds chirping in the trees.  A perfect setting for an al fresco style meal.  My brother and sister-in-law, Jeff and Lindsay, so graciously let me and my sous chef (husband Klint), invade their kitchen and backyard yesterday.

My talented assistant and husband, stylish oven mitts and all

For all you foodies out there the menu was:

  • a wedge salad with creamy parmesan dressing, turkey bacon & cherry tomatoes
  • balsamic marinated sirloin steak
  • 3-cheese rosemary potato gratin (mixture of Yukon gold and sweet potato slices)
  • skillet vegetables with fresh basil
  • garlic herb bread
  • cherry-vanilla cupcakes for dessert
  • refreshing apple lime cooler to drink

Delicious, beautiful and most importantly, tasty!

Why not a few more dessert pictures….. they were too cute not to get the most camera time.

We laughed, ate and Lindsay (obvious skilled photographer) took all these amazing pictures.  Man, do I wish I had that girl around all the time snapping photos.  Enjoy them, and the Skillet Vegetables with Fresh Basil recipe at the end.  Hope all moms had a great day – you deserve to be celebrated for all your love and hard work!

Table decor – simple soup cans cleaned and covered in scrapbook paper, 2 tied with twine and all filled with gorgeous coral and white flowers I picked up at the local Saturday farmer’s market.  A plastic white table-cloth, piece of natural burlap and a floral napkin from world market cover the picnic table along with one, centered piece of mint green scrap-book paper and two vintage lime green votives from the $1 bin at Michael’s craft store as a centerpiece.  Pretty blue and green stripped napkins from Target, and my sister-in-law’s stunning green and white Pottery Barn plates.

By the way, if any viewers know what the coral cone-shaped flowers are called, please let me know by posting a comment. Thanks!

And yes, the kitchen looked like some  kind of natural disaster had gone through it.  The reality of what I love doing….. thanks to all who helped clean up the aftermath.  Pictures would have given nightmares, so the event was not documented.


easy, fresh & colorful summer picnic or barbecue side!

serves 10

  • 16 oz CORN, FROZEN (1 bag)
  • 1 medium RED ONION, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups FRESH GREEN BEANS, trimmed & halved
  • 12 cherry TOMATOES, halved
  • 1 large RED or GREEN BELL PEPPER, cut into strips
  • 15 BABY CARROTS, quartered lengthwise and halved
  • 2 cloves GARLIC, minced
  • 3 tbsp OLIVE OIL, EXTRA VIRGIN, 100% first cold pressed unrefined
  • 1/3 cup FRESH BASIL, chiffonade or sliced

1. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet, over medium heat and cook onions 2-3 minutes.

2. Add green beans, carrots and pepper to onion. Saute 7-8 minutes until slightly softened. Stir in thawed (cooked in microwave) corn to the skillet with 1 more Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook a few more minutes.

3. Stir in garlic, and cook 1-2 additional minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add fresh basil. Toss cooked vegetables with fresh, halved tomatoes, last 1 Tbsp olive oil and additional salt, pepper and basil, to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serving size about 3/4 cup.

VARIATIONS: Use as a topping over romaine, spinach or arugula for a new salad.

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: 90 calories, 4.5g fat, 12g carb, 3g fiber, 5g sugar, 2g protein