Archive | June, 2014

Fourth Fireworks, Family, Fun, Friends & Food

It’s not a 4th of July celebration without……

What makes the 4th of July a celebration? For me, it’s all about my favorite “F’s”: Family, Fun, Friends and Food. Oh, and let’s not forget the Fireworks.

As I prepare for our 4th of July celebration this year, I enlist the details that make it a celebration.

To start off, I select just the perfect way to let my friends and family know they’re invited with this fun invitation. By creating an image for my invitation, I can Facebook, text message or email it. I can even do things the old-fashion way and print it.

4th of July Party Invitation

1. Food

Some of my favorite 4th of July recipes can be found here, like my Herb-Marinated Flank Steak and Red, White & Blue Potato Salad:


4th July Steak

Herb Marinated Flank Steak Recipe


Potato Salad Recipe

Red, White & Blue Potato Salad Recipe


2. Fun

I always have something fun for the kids to do. This year we’re making our Lemonade Stand again so the kids can entertain themselves and guests.

Kids Lemonade Stand

“A Family Tradition”- Kids Lemonade Stand, read more here


3. Fancy

It’s time to decorate! With a few special touches, it’s simple to create a celebration your guests will not soon forget in my “4th of July Fun in Retro Blue & Red”.

4th July Decor

4th of July Decorating, read more here



4. Fireworks

We’re fortunate to have a jaw-dropping aerial fireworks show each year (thanks to some awesome neighbors), but I it’s not the 4th of July without sparklers. Here’s last year’s celebration redone in 1960’s Picasa:

2012 4th of July Celebration in 1960’s Picasa



 5. reFreshments

For a party, I love to make my Homemade Summer Sangria. Some non-alcoholic favorites, I make a simple punch with fresh blueberries and strawberrries.

Homemade Sangria

Summer Sangria Recipe


Pomegranate Crystal Light with fresh blueberries and strawberries

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Flag Pizza

Flag Pizza

Flag Pizza


  • 6 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese slices
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter or Country Crock® Spread
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 frozen pizza dough, thawed
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce or Ragu® Pizza Quick Sauce
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into slices or 1 sliced red bell pepper or a mixture of the two
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Take two slices of mozzarella cheese and stack together.
  2. Use kitchen scissors or small knife to cut a few star shapes out of the cheese. Slice remaining cheese slices into 1-inch strips.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°.
  4. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Stretch pizza dough to fit a rectangular pan. Spread sauce evenly over dough.
  6. Sprinkle spinach over top left corner of dough. Place stars on the spinach. Lay tomatoes (or peppers) and cheese strips in alternating strips on rest of the pizza.
  7. Bake 10 to 20 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to turn golden and crust is starting to brown. Remove from oven and serve with crushed red pepper flakes (if using).


star cookie cutters

miniature star cookie cutters from Pampered Chef $5.99


Saute Spinach

Saute spinach in butter


Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach- so delicious


Flag Pizza Recipe

time to assemble flag pizza


Flag Pizza Recipe

It almost looks too delicious to eat


For more great Fourth of July recipes, check out:

Fourth of July Barbeque Menu

Serve Up Simple This Fourth of July




For a photo tutorial, visit my sponsored post from Country Crock here.


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Herb-Marinated Flank Steak

Flank Steak Recipe

Herb-Marinated Flank Steak

Herb-Marinated Flank Steak


  • Flank Steak 3-4 lbs, cut into 2-inch strips against the grain
  • Dijon Mustard - 1 cup (no need to measure exactly- it's more than half of a 12oz. bottle)
  • Red Wine Vinegar- 1/3 cup
  • Soy Sauce- 1/4 cup
  • Dried Oregano & Basil- 1 tablespoon each


  1. Marinate steak a day or two in advance
  2. Make Marinade:
  3. Combine mustard, vinegar, soy sauce and herbs; mix well
  4. Place sliced steak into large zip-top baggie or shallow container
  5. Cover with marinade and coat steak evenly
  6. Seal and place in refrigerator to marinate
  7. Time To Grill:
  8. Remove steak from marinade directly to hot grill
  9. Cook until brown on both sides and desired wellness


Grilled Flank Steak is paired perfectly with these side dishes:

pasta salad recipe

Cavatappi Pasta Salad


Summer Sangria

Summer Sangria


Or, for a complete barbeque menu:

Barbeque menu

Barbeque Menu & Recipes

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We’re Composting!

That’s right, the Spilsbury family has taken the not-so-giant leap to composting.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to trade in my BCBG pumps for a pair of Birkenstocks just yet. The fact of the matter is that I just couldn’t not compost anymore.

For an entire year I’ve felt guilty each time I tossed out wilted lettuce, eggs shells, banana peels or tomato tops. I would look out onto my struggling garden that seemed to be begging for nutrients. It was like throwing food out in front of starving children.

Las Vegas isn’t exactly the ideal place for growing fruits and vegetables, with nutrient-deficient soil being one of the main problems. I started to feel like I was throwing out gold.

It didn’t require a lot of work to begin composting. I simply purchased a compost container for the backyard from and assembled it (okay, I had someone else assemble it), but you get the picture. Most of the work in composting comes from training your family to not throw away compost material.

Home Composting

egg shells are awesome for compost

I keep a small bucket on the kitchen counter while we accumulate scraps throughout the day. While I’m cleaning the kitchen that evening I have the kids run the bucket out and toss the contents into the compost container. Once a week I have the gardener throw in a bag of grass clippings and then I toss in any brown paper bags (like the ones from Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods) that I acquired from forgetting my reusable shopping bags.

It’s actually pretty simple. Of course, I never use any animal fats, pet waste or other non-organic materials in our compost. For a great beginners guide to composting, visit Whole Foods Home Composting: The Basics.

I’m thinking that by this time next year my garden will be as fertile as a Montana prairie.

Banana Split French Toast by The Organized Cook

don’t toss these babies in the trash!


Why Do I Garden?

Recently I wrote about 7 Reasons To Grow A Home Garden here:

Home Gardening

read “7 Reasons To Grow A Home Garden” here


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