Summer Goodness

Every once in a while, you, my dear lovelies, are in need of some good leads.  And I take that responsibility seriously.  This post is about all things summer.  Ready?

I’ll divide this up by subject.  Enjoy!

Tried-and-true recipes:

Smitten Kitchen’s Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad.  The best I’ve found.  In fact, I just made it last week.  For, like, the fourth time this summer.

Best Marinade EVER.  You’re grilling this summer, right?  This is from my mom.

½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 T. minced onion
½ tsp. dry mustard
¼ tsp. ginger
½ tsp. crumbled dry rosemary
1 tsp. pepper
¼ c. lemon juice
½ c. salad oil
1 clove minced garlic
¼ c. soy sauce
3 T. honey
2 tsp. vinegar

Throw everything into a Ziploc bag and mix.  Then throw in the steaks and let marinate in the fridge an hour or more.  Delicious!

Women’s Health Magazine Pomegranate Swirl popsicles.  Recipe below.

Pomegranate Swirl Popsicles

8 oz. pomegranate juice
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (I use FiberOne vanilla yogurt, since it has less sugar)

Fill two-thirds of each ice-pop mold with pomegranate juice.  Add enough yogurt to fill the molds to the top, about 2 T per mold.  Slide a knife or chopstick into each mold and swirl until a pattern forms.  Insert sticks and freeze for about 8 hours.  Per serving: 50 calories.  3 g protein.  [How can you beat that?]

Best Sangria EVER.  Not sure where I found this, but every time I serve it, it’s a hit!

Best Sangria EVER


  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 (750 milliliter) bottle dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup triple sec
  • 1 lemon, sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, sliced into rounds
  • 1/4 cup white sugar (optional)
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • 2 cups carbonated water (optional)


  1. In a large pitcher or bowl, mix together the brandy, lemon juice, lemonade concentrate, orange juice, red wine, triple sec, and sugar. Float slices of lemon, orange and lime, and maraschino cherries in the mixture. Refrigerate overnight for best flavor. For a fizzy sangria, add club soda just before serving.
  2. Fruit that works: cantaloupe, honeydew, apple, peaches, strawberries (anything that can “absorb” the juices).

Makes 6 cups.

DIY projects:

Design*Sponge’s Farmer Market Bags.  So lovely.

Molly’s Citrus Coasters on Purl Bee.  I could lick these.

Summer thoughts:

Bee Bosnak’s “Spin Your Story: Turn the Bad Into the Good.”

Allison Tyler’s “You Are Beautiful.”

Things you can do on your stay-cation:

Drool over the various world locales on City of Love.

Peruse The Designer Observer Group’s “Accidental Mysteries.” How amazing is that heart?

Read Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  A woman makes sense of her sister’s disappearance.  Lovely.  Chilling.

Apps for kids:

Mr. Wolf and the Ginger Cupcakes by Blue Quoll.  Free.  For iPad and iPhone.  A funny retelling of the Red Riding Hood story.

PopOut! The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Loud Crow Interactive. Right now: $1.99.  For iPad and iPhone.  Such a darling, interactive picture book.  Tap on most anything on the screen and it’s animated in picture and sound.  So sweet.

3 Little Pigs by Nosy Crow.  Right now: $3.99.  For iPad.  Animated.  The pigs talk, the wolf talks.  Using your built-in microphone, you can help the wolf blow down the houses.  Move your iPad, and the picture changes perspective.


Adele 21. This girl’s got some pipes on her.  An amazing collection of songs.  A sampling, “Don’t You Remember?”

Bon Iver’s latest. I could listen to him all day.

The Civil Wars.  Of course.

Do you have any suggestions?  Recipes?  Music recommendations?

[Post image: Lemon by przybysz on stock.xchng]


  1. Sylvia
    Jul 14, 2011

    Thanks Elissa. I think I will try the potato salad and the marinade. Have a good week.

    • Elissa
      Jul 14, 2011

      You, too, Sylvia! Hope you enjoy the recipes…xo

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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