Friday, April 29, 2011

It's Friday ! Wine Cocktails!

Often potent, always smooth and definitely fun wine cocktails are a great way to liven up a party in a jiffy.

Here are some great recipes for you and your friends!


About 3 oz crisp white wine ( try Vernaccia, a white wine made in the area around San Gimignano, in Tuscany)
1 oz St Germain liqueur
1/2 oz limoncello
Soda water to taste
Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Fill a Collins glass with ice. Add the white wine, St Germain and limoncello. Top with the soda water and stir. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Tropical Sangria

1 ripe mango
1 lime
1 lemon
1/2 pineapple
3 kiwis
1 starfruit
8 oz Grand Marnier
1 bottle dry white wine
3 cups ice

Slice the fruit, cutting around the large mango pit, and place in a glass pitcher. Pour Grad Marnier over fruit and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Pour wine over the fruit, add ice ad serve in white wine glasses.

Harvest Punch

8 oz Port Wine
4 oz Grand Marnier
4 oz Amaretto de Saranno
2 cups ice
2 small oranges, thinly sliced.

Pour all liquid ingredients into a pitcher filled with ice and mix well. Secure one orange slice on the rim or each of the 4 red wine goblets for garnish. Add the remaining slices to the pitcher. Pour into glasses and serve.

Girly Girl

8 oz Savignon Blanc
4 oz Hennessy XO cognac
1 cup ice
Champagne to top
4 sugar cubes
Dash of Angostura bitters

In a cocktail shaker, pour wine and cognac. Add ice and let chill. Place one sugar cube each in bottom of 4 champagne flutes and add a few drops of bitters to each. Strain mixture into flutes, then top with Champagne.

The Ginger

2 cups ice
4 oz Absolut Citron vodka
4 oz Grand Marnier
4 oz peach or apricot nectar
1 bottle Prosecco, chilled

I a glass pitcher filled with ice, mix the vodka. Grand Marnier and nectar. Let the mixture chill and allow the flavors to marry for 3 minutes. Strain ice. Add chilled Prosecco. Pour into white wine glasses and serve.

Sherry Girl

8 oz dry sherry
2 oz apricot nectar
2 triple sec
2 ox freshly squeezed lemon juice
 1 cup ice

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and mix well. Pour cocktails into rocks glass and serve.


1 bottle cabernet
8 oz cremem de cassis
8 oz lemon flavored seltzer
4 berry flavored swizzle sticks

In a glass pitcher, pour wine and creme de cassis. Top off with seltzer, then pour into a red wine goblets. Garnish with berry flavored swizzle sticks and serve.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Please remember to drink responsibly!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Perfect Gingham Check Shirt, Land's End Canvas vs JCrew

Land's End shirt

I love J Crew, we all know that,  everyone loves J Crew, but it takes me a long time to save to buy something from them. I stopped being a regular J Crew customer a long time ago, the prices are too high for my budget,  but I still love everything they do...until now. This spring button down shirts in wonderful prints and gingham checks  are the  "It' items of the moment for women everywhere. Pass on the basic tee this year and snag a button down and a lively color and change your look. It looks fresh, new and peps up your look !
You can choose your price range, I know my price range,  J Crew is $72.00 JCrew Gingham   and Land's End Canvas......$44.50 Lands End shirt
They look the same, they both have a bit of stretch and they are both available in almost the same colors, actually Land"s Ends has sold out of their brights, more are coming I hope!
Why would I pay $72.00 vs $44.50?
 I will be the only one who knows I am wearing Land's End over J Crew because they also fit almost the same.

A bit of history,  Land's End Canvas is the trendy sister of Land's End the venerable company founded in 1963 in Chicago.  The look is very J Crew or to be more precise,  J Crew is very Land's End this year.
I think that it is ridiculous to pay 30 plus more dollars for a shirt that looks the same and fits quite well by both companies.
J Crew has some lovely Neon colors J Crew neon check    but not to be outdone Land's End has some great colors too, I love the Willow Green Check Willow Green Check

Perfect shirt in neon gingham

J Crew Shirt.

There is a wonderful shirt made by J Crew that comes in some fantastic prints,  the "Perfect Shirt"in Casbah Paisley( see below) but I really cannot afford it at the $88.00 price tag, yes $88.00. It may be a one of a kind print and I am one of those who will think of that in order to justify paying $88.00 for a cotton shirt. It is a classic print, another reason to justify paying $88.00 but then I go back to Land's End Canvas and I can buy two of those wonderful plaids for the price of one shirt!

Perfect shirt in Casbah paisley
The Perfect Shirt, love this but I was just a tad cheaper. ....
Land's End Shirt just $24.99
Perfect shirt in solid
The perfect shirt in solid from J Crew.
Find a wonderful Land's End Canvas shop at your local Sears
link Canvas Locators( they are not many but you must visit one) and J Crew shops are located in select malls I suggest you try them on to ensure the right fit, I went up a size in the Land's End shirt but the size was the same in the J Crew.
Happy Shopping All!

Monday, April 25, 2011

FashionMom: Donna Hay - Fresh, Simple Food. Her amazing Trifl...

FashionMom: Donna Hay - Fresh, Simple Food. Her amazing Trifl...: "'Fast, Fresh Simple' is her motto and that is something women strive for every day. My obsession with chefs and cookbooks contin..."

Donna Hay - Fresh, Simple Food. Her amazing Trifle recipes

"Fast, Fresh Simple" is her motto and that is something  women strive for every day.

My obsession with chefs and cookbooks continues unabated, the recipes may take more than a year to try but right now, my friend AL and Donna Hay Donna Link     are my favorites.  AL is vegetarian and has been creating these great recipes that look so delicious, I am pressing for a cookbook. 
Donna Hay is an Australian food editor, stylist and best selling cookbook author. I love Nigella Lawson and Donna Hay reminds me of Nigella, the food seems simple, fresh and utterly delicious.  

Her presentation aesthetic is where I would like to be, no ...dream to be, the clean, white slightly rustic aesthetic always dream of mine but never a reality. I can dream through Donna. Her color scheme is brown and blue with white,  a color combination I love. I became a true fan when I read her  Holiday magazine edition and there was a section dedicated to Trifles. Anyone who devotes a section to Trifles, one of my favorite desserts is a best friend in my head, for life. Her recipes are global and  I love her mix of ingredients from all over the world with a dash of her Australian culture thrown in for good measure.

Donna Hay magazines (seasonal)  are available in fine book stockists everywhere and there is a page on devoted to her.   Donna Hay Page on Amazon.

The Instant Cook

Her website has her easy to make recipes, lifestyle and entertaining tips and much more.

Her television show is available for viewing only in Australia, on Lifestyle channel and this past Tuesday she did a recipe for Thai Fish Cakes, yummy.  There are several episodes on YouTube.
Donna Hay
She was recently featured on the Oprah Show, The Australia  Edition.

Please find below a few of my trifle favorites that should be yours too... from Donna Hay.

Strawberry and Vanilla Macaroon Trifle.

300  store bought vanilla macarons
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups cream , whipped
250 g strawberries, halved
strawberry jelly
21/2 teaspoons gelatine powder
3 cups cranberry juice
1/2 caster ( superfine ) sugar
500 g of strawberries, halved.

To make the strawberry jelly place the gelatine and and 1/2 cup cranberry juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed. Place the remaining cranberry juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Arrange the strawberries in the base of a 4 litre capacity bowl and put over the jelly mixture. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until set.
To assenblem arrange the macarons on the jelly. Fold the vanilla extract through the cream and layer over the macarons.
Top with strawberries to serve. Serves 6-8.

Carmelised Peaches and cream trifle.

1 cup(250 ml) single (pouring) cream.
1 tablespoon finely grated oragne rind.
1 tablespoon icing(confectioner's sugar)
20 g butter
4 peaches halved
1 tablespoon caster( superfine ) sugar.
4 slices panettone( supermarkets and fine stores World Market etc)
1/4 cup ( 60 ml) orange flavored liqueur
orange syrup recipe
1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice
1/4 cup 9 60 ml) water
1/4 cup ( 55g) caster sutperfine sugar, extra
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

To make the orange syrup, place the orange juice, water, sugar and liqeur in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool completely.
Place the cream, rind and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Melt the butter in a large non stick frying pan over medium heat. Press the peach halves into the caster sugar and cook, sugar side down, for 2 -3 minutes or until carmelised. Cut the panettone slices to fit in the base of the 4 glasses. Pour over the orange liqueur and top with the cream mixture and peach halves. Drizzle with the orange syrup to serve. Serves 4.

I love Mascarpone....yummy

Raspberry and Mascarpone Trifle
1 cup ( 250ml) each lemon flavored liqueur and water.
2 tablespoons caster ( superfine ) sugar
250 g mascarpone
600 g sour cream
1/2 cup ( 80g) icing (confectioner's sugar), sifted, plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind
34 sponge finger biscuits
500 g raspberries.

Place the liqueur, water and caster sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and stir until smooth. Add the sour cream, icing sugar and lemon rind and whisk until smooth. Dip the spong fingers into the liqueur mixture and use to line the sides and base of a 3 litre capacity glas bowl. Top the spong fingers with half the raspberries and spoon over the mascarpone mixture. Top with remaining raspberries and dust with the extra icing sugar to serve. Serves 12.

Tiramisu Trifle

450 g store bought sponge, halved lengthways
11/2 cups (376 ml) espresso coffee
11/2 cups( 375 ml) singel ( pouring) cream, whipped coffee panna cotta
1 tablespoon gelatine powder
1/2 cup ( 125 ml) coffee flavored liqueur
 2 cups ( 500 ml) each single ( pouring) cream and milk
2/3 cup ( 110 g) icing ( confectioner's) sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
chocolate ganache recipe
250 g chocolate( dark, chopped)
3/4 cup ( 180 ml) single pouring cream

To make the coffee panna cotta, place the gelatine and liqueur in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed. Place the cream, milk, icing sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the gelatine mixture and stir until dissolved. Divide half the panna cotta between 4x4 cup capacity ( 1 ltire glasses) and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool. Cut the sponge to fit the glasses and place on top of the panna cotta. Spoon the cofee over the sponges and spoon over the ganache. Refrigerate until set.
Top ganache with the remaining panna cotta mixtures and refrigerate for a  further 1 hour or until set. Top with the whittped cream to serve.
Serves 4.


Photos courtesy of istockphotos.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's Friday! IL Est Vendredi ! St-Germain Cocktails! Delicieux! How French!

We have heard of the famous Abbey of Saint Germain the oldest church in Paris dating back to the 6th century.  We have heard of the famous district of Saint Germain and Boulevard Saint Germain home to some of the chicest boutiques  in the world
and then there is the St-Germain Liqueur.

We dedicate this Friday edition to a wonderful French liqueur named St Germain.

St-Germain is made from the blossoms of the elderflower tree. It was the first liqueur created in the artisanal manner from freshly handpicked elderflower blossoms.
The elderflower is a delicate flower which quickly loses it fragrance and flavor.
 Only for a few days in late spring in the foothills of the Alps are the manufacturers able to harvest the flowers for this exceptional liqueur. The harvest time is 2 to 3 weeks and French farmers (paysans) handpick and deliver the blossoms to local depots. Some use a specially rigged bicycle to take the blossoms to a local depot. Upon arrival the story of how the one of a kind flavor of the elderflower is harvested is a family secret. The resulting liquid is then mixed with grape spirit and cane sugar. The final flavor hints of citrus, peach and pear.

St-Germain is the main ingredient in some of the more delicious cocktails in the world.  You can find it at fine liquor stores everywhere.

Please note: St-Germain is heavier than wine and will settle unless stirred completely in some cocktails.

The Signature drink is the

St-Germain Cocktail

2 parts Brut Champagne or sparkling wine
11/2 parts St-Germain
2 parts sparkling water or club soda
Fill a tall Collins Glass with ice. Add the Champagne first, then St-Germain, then Club Soda. Stir completely and garnish with a lemon twist.

St Germain and Champagne

1/2 part St Germain
Top with Champagne in a or dry sparkling wine.
Pour the ingredients into a flute and stir lightly. Float half a strawberry as a garnish.

Sangria Flora

 1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc or Dry white wine
1 cup St-Germain
2 fresh peaches
5 - 6 fresh strawberries
6 fresh raspberries
1 bunch fresh grapes

Stir all ingredients in a pitcher or carafe
Soak for about 15 minutes
Serve in an ice filled glass.

St Germain Shandy

5 parts Pilsner Beer
11/2 parts St-Germain
2 lemon wedges
Stir all the ingredients together in a pint glass filled all half way with glass.
Squueze the two wedges and submerge in the glass.

Pretty Ricky

2 parts Tequila Blanco
1 part St-Germain
1/2 part fresh squeezed lime juice
3-4 sour cherries
Top with Club Soda
Muddle the cherries in a shaker and add remaining ingredients and ice. Shake and strain into an ice filled Collins glass.
Top with soda and garnish with a sour cherry

Winter Cup

1 part St-Germain
2 parts Spiced Rum
1 part freshly squeezed lime juice
1 slice each, strawberry, lemon, lime and orange
1 pinch mint
2 dashes angostura bitters
In a shaker gently muddle fruit and mint. Add the remaining ingredients and shake lightly. Pour mixture into a rocks glass, and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Rob Collins

2 parts Gin and Vodka
1 part St-Germain
3/4 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
Top with Club Soda
Shake the first three ingredients in a shaker and strain the mixture into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda. garnish with lemon or lime twist and a sour cherry.

Summer Rye

11/ 2parts Sazerac Rye Whiskey
3/4 part St-Germain
1/4 part Simple syrup
3/4 part freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 part freshly pressed apple part juice (cloudy)
3/4 part Champagne
Shake ingredients with ice, except for Champagne , and strain into a ice filled Collins glass. Top with Champagne and garnish with cubed apples.

St-Germain Chocolat Epice

11/4 Partido blanco
1/4 Saint Germain
3 parts Mexican Hot Chocolate
Garnish with St-Germain Marshmallow
Heat chocolate until hot. Add tequila and St-Germain, and stir well. Pour into espresso cups , and garnish with a homemade marshmallow.

Cuzco Fizz

5-6 green grapes
2 parts Pisco
1 part St Germain
3/4 part fresh squeezed lime juice
Top with Club Soda
Muddle grapes in the base of a shaker. Add pisco, lime juice, St-Germain and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into an ice filled Colllins glass. Top with soda.

Please remember to drink responsibly!

Have a St-Germain Weekend!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Scrub Away! The Best Scrubs for Face and Body!

Salt Rub®

I am not a big proponent of using facial scrubs, I have not had the best experience using them, but I do love scrubs for  my body.  I tried different scrubs during my teenage years in an effort to make my self into one of the supermodels in magazines. Ha!
As a teenager  my skin would become oily after a scrub and in my twenties I stopped using them because I would experience horrible breakouts post scrub. St Ives was one of my favorite brands and still is today, but the best factial scrub I used was from  Laura Mercier ( no longer available, I use the Olay cloths now). It was light, gentle on the skin and gave a glow post scrub but no breakouts. For body, my favorite is Origins Salt Rub It delivers a wonderful spa like experience in the privacy of your home.

 The Real Simple Magazine team recently tested a slew of scrubs and came up with their favorites.

Oily Skin
L'Oreal Paris Go 360 Deep Exfoliating Scrub- Contains salicylic acid which helps to penetrate the pores for a deep clean.

Dry Skin
St Ives Moisturing Olive Scrub- creamy fomula helps with hydration.

St. Ives Fresh Skin Moisturizing Olive Scrub 5 oz (141 g)

CND( Creative Nail Design) SpaPedicure Marine Salt Scrub
Vitamin E and Dead Sea Salt helped to keep heels crack free.

Best for Mature Skin
Clarins Bright Plus HP Gently Brightening Exfoliator. Fruit extracts and mineral microbeads fight dullness.

large image

Fresh Sugar Lip Polish
Sugar and Shea butter brushes away flakes.

Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish 0.6 oz

Best Scent
Lather Foaming Body Scrub. Bamboo and Lemongrass fragance.

LATHER Bamboo Lemongrass Foaming Body Scrub, 8-Ounce Jar

Best Sensitive Skin
Laboratoire Remede Sweep.  Tiny granules will not hurt or redden skin.

Best Hands
Yes to Carrots Pampering Hand and Nail Spa. Sea Salts and Vitamin E get rid of rough spots.

Yes To Carrots Pampering Hand & Nail Spa, 8.45-Ounce Tub

Best Natural
Mama Mio O Mega Body Buff. No colorants, preservatives and detergents.

Mama Mio Body Buff (6.76 oz.)

Best All Over
Revive Cleaning Body Scrub. Deep cleans skin on your face or body.

ReVive Cleansing Body Scrub 6.7 Oz

Friday, April 15, 2011

FashionMom: It's Friday! Pure is the way to go! Virgin Cockt...

FashionMom: It's Friday! Pure is the way to go! Virgin Cockt...: "This is our first Friday posting cocktails without any alcohol. Not everyone likes alcohol and some people do not drink for health or ..."

It's Friday! Pure is the way to go! Virgin Cocktails! Mocktails!

This is our first Friday posting cocktails without any alcohol. Not everyone likes alcohol and some people do not drink for health or religious reasons.

These are some classic Virgin Cocktails, they are all delicious and that means you can be the designated driver and you can drink as many as you like.  You still have to be aware of your caloric intake!

Enjoy these delicious recipes.

Let's start with .......

Virgin Lea

4 oz tomato juice
2 oz passion fruit juice
1/2 yellow pepper sliced
1 tsp honey
1-2 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Place the pepper slices in a blender and add the juices. Blend at low speed then add the honey, Worcestershire sauce and ice cubes. Blend at high speed. Pour through a strainer into a ice filled highball glass.


The first virgin cocktail or mocktail was  named after the 1930's child star.

Shirley Temple

Ice Cubes
2 Dashes Grenadine
3/4 -1 cup ( 6-8 fl oz) ginger ale
Lemon Wedges to serve

Fill a highball glass with ice. Add a couple of dashes of Grenadine and top off with the ginger ale. Squeeze a couple lemon wedges over the top before dropping them in the drink. Stir and serve

Pina Moclada

1/2 banana , peeled and chopped
7 fl oz pineapple juice
3 fl oz coconut milk
Put the banana, pineapple juice, and coconut milk in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a tall filled glass half filled with ice and serve with a straw.


A Virgin cocktail dating from the 1920's and the years of Prohibition.

1 fl oz orange juice
1 fl oz lime juice
1 fl oz lemon juice
Dash of Grenadine
1 fresh egg yolk
Ice cubes
Twist of lime zest to serve

Pour the orange juice, lime juice juice, lemon juice Grenadine, and egg yolk into  a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice cubes. Shake hard. Strain into a wine glass and serve with a twist of lime zest.

Lime, Mint and Lemongrass Sparkler

4 springs of fresh mint
1/2 lemongrass stalk, tough outer leaves removed, finely chopped.
1 tbsp Rose's Lime Juice (local supermarkets ) or mix equal quantities sugar syrup and fresh lime juice.
Ice cubes
Sparkling apple juice
Apple slices and lime wedge, to serve.

Put the mint and lemongrass into a tall glass with the lime juice and muddle together to release their flavors. Half fill the glass with ice and top off with sparkling apple juice. Serve decorated with apple slices and a lime wedge.

Red Berry Soda

1 tsp raspberry syrup or plain sugar syrup
2/3 cup sliced strawberries
2 fl oz raspberry juice
Ice Cubes
1/2 cup ( 4 fl oz) soda water
Raspberries and extra strawberries, to serve.

Put the raspberry syrup, strawberries and raspberry juice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a highball glass half filled with ice cubes and top off with the soda water. Serve decorated with raspberries and extra strawberries.

Orange Flamingo

6 oz Orange Soda
1 oz Grenadine
Whipped Cream

Put a little ice into a highball glass and pour in the orange soda. Slowly add the grenadine to the soda and float the whipped cream on top.

Mango Masher

1/2 ripe mango
1 orange, freshly squeezed
1 lime, freshly squeezed
handful fresh raspberries
ice cubes

Take the seeds out of mango and scoop out the fresh. Halve the orange and lime and juice them. Put everything in a blender with ice cubes and blend until smooth. Pour into a large tumbler.


2 pints Tomato Juice
1 pint freshly squeezed orange juice
5 tsp honey
3 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch salt and black pepper
1 chilli, freshly chopped
1.4 oz white onion, finely chopped
10-20 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Pour all the ingredients into a bowl and stir well. Place the bowl in a refrigerator to chill for two hours. Take out, then strain into a large glass pitcher. Serve in a wine glass.

Pink Awakening

2 large handful raspberries
1 ripe banana
1 pink grapefruit, freshly squeezed

Rinse the raspberries and place in a blender. Add peeled banana and grapefruit juice then blend.


Have a fantastic weekend!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

FashionMom: Light Summer Fare! Impromptu Entertaining in the H...

FashionMom: Light Summer Fare! Impromptu Entertaining in the H...: "We love to have friends at our home for impromptu visits, we are an 'open house' type of couple, something I at..."

Light Summer Fare! Impromptu Entertaining in the Hot Summer Months( nothing from the grill)

We love to have friends at our home for impromptu visits,  we are an "open house"  type of couple, something I attribute to our South American background. No formal invitations needed,  if you are in the neighborhood, please stop by, and if the kids ready for  a playdate on the weekend?  We welcome you!

But what do we serve ? Not always something off of the grill...  the temperature is hitting 90 degrees, you want to stick to the family grocery budget, no last minute dash to the supermarket, so what do you do?  use what you have at home first!

These are the things I keep in the fridge and pantry, these are items that will help get us through the summer months on budget.  These are the items we had in the house this past Sunday and this is how I used them.
I listed some other essentials for the pantry and the fridge.

I utilize a local company and  they deliver a box of vegetables and fruit to our door for one price (depending on size) every two weeks. That keeps my fruit bowl on the table filled for all occasions, for the family or entertaining. We have guests I use whatever is in the bowl on the table, the oranges are sliced and added to the beverage dispenser with lemons, limes, mint leaves(muddled), cucumber slices, ice and  Bitter Lemon( I like Canada Dry Bitter Lemon)  and water ( regular and sparkling to refill all day).  You can add some vodka or even rum to make that something even more special.
The delivered apples will go into a
salad.  To the apples I would add lettuce, tomatoes, chick peas( canned from Goya they are the best brand), snap peas and broccoli. Add Goat Cheese or whatever you have the fridge for options.  I have not spent an extra cent yet!
In the past, I spent too much money at the supermarket buying fruit and other items which were never used, the impulse buying had to be curbed. These are things that the kids will enjoy too. They will not eat much since they will be running around playing or  in the pool, you will just need snacks to keep them happy. If they get really hungry ? then order pizza.

 If you have people visiting almost every weekend then this my Summer Staples " must have at home" ( at all times) list !

Carrots along with a carrot dip
Olives (jar)
Tomatoes (tinned and fresh)
Snap Peas
Chick Peas
Snap Peas
Red or Orange peppers
Whole Corn
Fresh Mint
Havarti Cheese
Goat Cheese
Salad Dressing
Pita Bread
Drink Dispensers( 2)
White Wine always cold and sparkling
Clear white rum( 10 Cane, Goslings of XM Rum)
Naan Bread for dips
Ice Cream
Ice Pops
Gogurt or yogurt for the kids
Terra Root Chips( delicious) or Doritos and salsa for kids.

For fast grill options

I always have a bag of seasoned frozen chicken pieces in Ziploc bags. Remove skins, wash and season pre freezing. Just take them out a few hours before and put them on the grill.
The same option would work for fish. I like whole small red snapper or trout. Clean, season and freeze.
Corn and peppers grilled of course.

 Olives, Hummus and Pita bread- Always have hummus, regular hummus

Mint leaves- Muddle and add to your beverage dispenser.  Add ice cubes or a mega block of ice.

Lemons, limes and oranges for the beverage dispenser.  Put a huge block of ice in the dispenser which adds enough water to the mix. Do not add any sugar. This is the best drink for a hot summer day. Make a second set for another dispenser and add vodka or rum for a grown up alcoholic option.

Decorator's Drink Dispenser I love their drink dispensers, you can also find nice ones at Target but PB has the best options! They are simply georgeous.

Pottery Barn Decanters and Dispensers

Crate and Barrell has some nice options for Dispensers and Jars too along with...

Ice Pop Molds Set of Six

Crate and Barrell Ice Pop Molds

and ....

and so elegant from Z Gallerie.....

Click here to view larger image

Click here to view larger image

Click here to view larger image

These are very "hot" options for presenting your summer beverages this year!

Cucumbers for the beverages and salad. Carrots for the hummus dip, tomatoes and lettuce for the salad.

Cheeses- Havarti with Dill is always a good option, an excellent semi hard cheese, one of my best friends EB in New Jersey introduced it to me years ago. It has a great flavor and  is loved by all.

Ice Cream and Ice Pops for the kids to keep them cool.  The kids also love my special mix drink from the beverage dispenser, it keeps them hydrated and tastes delicious and not sweet!

Summer is here, let's enjoy it and it does not always have to be in front of the grill.

We would love to hear from you.  Do you have a must have summer list? Plesae send us your tips!
All images courtesy istockphotos.

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