Tag Archives | recipes

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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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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Easy Dinner Idea of the Week

Easy Dinner Recipe of the Week

Our easy dinner idea of the week is our slow-cooker recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup and Zesty Polenta Cakes.  By placing all of our ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, dinner is ready at the end of our hectic day.  And, served alongside crunchy seasoned polenta cakes, this soup had my husband saying, “this is the most delicious soup you’ve ever made.”


Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup with Zesty Polenta Cakes


Check out our past Easy Dinner Idea of the Week recipes here:


easy dinner idea

Spring Penne Recipe


easy dinner recipe

Greek Pita Pockets with Mediterannean Potatoes


easy dinner recipe

Sauteed Steak with Spinach, Tomatoes & Avocado


easy dinner idea recipe

Berry-Good Pork Tenderloin with Herb Roasted Potatoes




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Man-Catchin Beignets

“…the quickest way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”  – Tiana, Princess and The Frog

Man-Catchin Beignets

If the quickest way to a man’s heart really is through his stomach, then some Man-Catchin Beignets should be on the menu this Valentine’s Day.  And, if my man doesn’t love them, at least I know I will.  When I visit Disneyland, it’s a ritual for me to stop by the late-night snack stand in Orleans Square to get some hot beignets with bechamel sauce- oh, my mouth waters just thinking of them.

Man-Catchin Beignets

Man-Catchin Beignets

I do have a homemade beignet recipe that I’ve used and love.  But this year I ran into this handy mixture at Cost Plus World Market.

beignet mix

Cafe Du Monde beignet mix from Cost Plus World Market


  1. Cafe du Monde Beignet Mixture
  2. Canola oil
  3. Powdered Sugar

And for the sauce?  Homemade bechamel sauce would be nice, n’est ce pas?  But what would be even nicer (for moi), is an easier version using Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding mixed with a dash of pink… hot pink food coloring that is.

beignet recipe dipping sauce

beignet dipping sauce

beignet recipe

electric pink food coloring from Duff




  1. Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  2. milk
  3. hot pink food coloring



beignet recipe

after mixing the dough, roll it out on a floured surface

beignet recipe

use a cooke cutter to cut dough into squares

beignet recipe

fry in hot oil 380 degrees

how to make homemade beignets

until golden brown on both sides

beignet recipe

mix together pudding mix, milk and a few drops of food coloring

serve and let the man-catchin begin!

One of my best friends, Noelle, just relocated to Nice, France for a few months in search of love.  So, I dedicate this recipe to her….. let the man-catchin begin!

man-catching beignets


My kids gobbled down half the batch of beignets while they were still hot.  While you enjoy your Man-Catchin Beignets, (be sure to save some for your man), you can watch the Disney movie clip that inspired the recipe.


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