Monday, April 23, 2012

Blogging Break

My baby sister's husband has passed away, after a long & difficult battle with liver cancer.

I'm going to take a break from blogging for awhile to deal with the sadness & grief. I just don't feel very upbeat & talkative right now.

My two brothers & three other sisters all feel so devastated for her loss & want to be there for her in any way we can, since they never had any children.
If you're so inclined, would you mind sending up a *knee-mail* for my little sister...Thanks!

Ruth E....

Friday, April 20, 2012

So Sue Me Grilled Garlic Shrimp

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In celebration of the launch of
Michael Lee West's 9th book,

"A Teeny Bit of Trouble"
I've made
*So Sue Me Grilled Garlic Shrimp*

Teeny Templeton, star of the series,
and owner of the eatery
'The Picky Palate'
gets into more trouble!

She cooks up imaginary lethal foods
with hilariously funny names to
exact some mental
revenge on those who have wronged her.
I promise you, this is one of the BEST grilled shrimp
recipes I have EVER tasted!
They're so good, they should be
(thus the name "So Sue Me...)

I hope you try them because every time I've served it,
guests request the recipe.

The original version
(from Williams-Sonoma Grilling Book)
calls for 12-16 WHOLE cloves of garlic
to be put between the shrimp on the skewers!!

I never bother with doing it like that
because it would be a waste...
Nobody here wants to eat the whole cloves of garlic!

I just make the marinade with lots of
the minced garlic in it &
put only the shrimp on the skewers to cook.
Sometimes, I'll add red onion &/or tomatoes in betw
You need to use items that will cook quickly,
as the shrimp take only about 6-8 minutes.

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I will give you the original recipe as it is written,

just in case you're brave, like Teeny &

want to try it with ALL

the whole garlic cloves on the skewers.

Grilled Garlic Shrimp
12-16 large whole cloves garlic, (for the skewers) plus 3 large cloves of garlic, minced for the marinade 2# large or jumbo shrimp (prawns if you can find them) 1/8 cup olive oil 1/4 cup tomato sauce (pureed tomatoes) 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp. dried basil (or fresh, if you have it) 1/2 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (don't over do this unless you like them very spicy!)

If you are going to grill the whole cloves of garlic along with the shrimp, first drop them into a saucepan of rapidly boiling water & blanch them for 3 minutes. Set aside. Peel & devein the shrimp. In a large zip lock bag, stir together the oil, tomato sauce
, vinegar, basil, minced garlic, salt & cayenne pepper.
Add the shrimp 1/2 hour before you are ready to cook them & toss to coat evenly.

I made the marinade ahead of time in a gallon size zip lock bag. The shrimp then goes into the bag just prior to grill time & is easy to turn while you refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
You can leave it for a little longer without a problem but not TOO long, as the vinegar will start to break down the tender shrimp, like ceviche.

Prepare your grill by oiling the racks. Remove shrimp from the marinade. Reserve the little bit of marinade. Thread the shrimp & garlic cloves (if you're going to be using them) onto the skewers. Bend each shrimp almost in half, so that the large end nearly touches the smaller tail end. Insert the skewer just above the tail so that is passes through the body twice.

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Arrange the skewers on the rack.
I hope you can see from the photo above
that these skewers are FLAT
on each side.
It prevents the foods from spinning &
makes turning the skewers easier.
Grill, turning them frequently &
brushing two or three times
with the reserved marinade until the
shrimp become pink, 6-8 minutes.
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Any raw meat or fish can contaminate a
marinade with bacteria & you don't want
to apply it at the last minute without
allowing time for it to cook thoroughly.

Be sure to
cook the shrimp for a few more minutes
after the last application of marinade!
Discard any leftover marinade.

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Serve warm as an entree
or chilled as appetizers

(your preference)
with or without cocktail sauce.
It is delicious either way.

Print recipe HERE.

Peaches also play a big role in Teeny's adventures.

"A few months ago, on a balmy June night, I walked into a
Charleston pub & ordered a peach martini"
"You had me at peaches" she tells her former boyfriend, Coop.
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Since we had children at the table,
(go HERE to see the entire tablescape)
I made Virgin PEACH Bellinis instead
using Crystal Light's ® newest flavor.

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Congratulations to Michael Lee on her
9th book!

It's a mystery series, which include
last year's “Gone With a Handsomer Man”

for which I made Teeny's Vanilla Peach Coffee Cake

The books adventures are set around Charleston, South Carolina, in the fictional town of Bonaventure, Georgia (a little Savannah).
They involve bulldogs, comic situations, mysteries, romance, food galore, Rainbow Row & lots of red velvet cake.
I was fortunate enough to get an audio copy of the first book
so I have Teeny's lovely Southern drawl still in my head!

Be sure to *pop over* (pun intended)
to Foodie Friday to see
what others are making in celebration of
Teeny's newest adventures!

I'm also joining The Tablescaper for
Seasonal Sundays
Yvonne at StoneGable for
On The Menu Monday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

*Good Earth* Tablescape

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Today is Cuisine Kathleen's

*Let's Dish* Party

and this month’s special theme is

*Good Earth*

My table represents all the wonderful bounty

that comes from the *Good Earth*.

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Starting with the centerpiece of


that comes from the *Good Earth*

behind the garden gate.


That cute little gate container was a gift from

my older sister, Fritzie…Thanks Sis!

It contained these gorgeous ROSES

grown in her own garden,

in the *Good Earth*

I ♥♥♥ that CORAL COLOR!

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My salt & pepper shakers are replicas of


grown in the *Good Earth*.

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The pitcher & matching glasses

are from Turkey & are hand painted


that grow in the *Good Earth*.

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I thought they echoed the FLORAL motif

(from the *Good Earth*)

of my new placemats that

I found at Old Time Pottery

for $1 each!

I ♥♥♥ those scalloped edges!

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Each place setting has either a PINK or GREEN

FLOWER (from the *Good Earth*!) pot with

a candle, as a take-home favor,

along with a pair of gardening gloves.

(which I tied with PINK ribbons AFTER these pictures)

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The FLORAL (from the *Good Earth*)

napkins are by April Cornell®,

which I've used before and I

was thrilled to see how well

they matched the new

FLORAL placemats.

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My dinner plates & matching

napkin rings are the Mikasa pattern,

"Silk Flowers" (from the *Good Earth*)

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The CABBAGE (from the *Good Earth*)

shaped salad plates are by Bordallo Pinheiro

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The coordinating pretty PINK CABBAGE bowls

(from the *Good Earth*)

are also by Bordallo Pinheiro.


I served homemade

Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

(recipe HERE)

with ingredients of garlic, tomatoes & basil

(all from the *Good Earth*)

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I used two of these large CABBAGE

(grown in the *Good Earth*)

shaped serving bowls,

one to hold a salad & one for the

side dish of four cheese RICE.

(also grown in the *Good Earth*)

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My stemware markers all represent

items either grown in or used to dig & play in the

*Good Earth*

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Dessert was pistachio muffins,

chosen to looked like GREEN GRASS

from the *Good Earth*.

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Topped with DumDum sucker FLOWERS

(from the *Good Earth*)

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You just fold a cupcake paper liner

into fourths & then cut a

curve into the top edge.

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Poke the sucker stick into the middle &

it turns out looking like FLOWER PETALS!

(from the *Good Earth*)

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If you recall, I have

of cupcake liners

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I thought the small nut cup sizes

looked the cutest.

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I served ice cold Crystal Light®

Peach (from the *Good Earth*) Bellinis.

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It is one of Crystal Light's® two newest flavors,

the other being "Margarita".

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We liked the Peach Bellini much better

than the Margarita flavor!

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There is still some left over...wish you could

stop by for a cool glass.

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Our garden gate is always unlatched for YOU!

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

Along with Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish,

I'm joining

Susan's Between Naps on the Porch for

Tablescape Thursday as well as

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays.

Oh & be sure to stop by on Friday

to celebrate the launch of

Michael Lee West's new book

"A Teeny Bit of Trouble"

where I'll share the recipe for

the entree I made...

*So Sue Me Grilled Garlic Shrimp*

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They are so good, they should be illegal!!

April’s Post Card Party

crocus 005 notecard

There is a new party meme on the block!

Vee, from the blog

A Haven for Vee,

has started a monthly "Note Card Party".

Christmas cactus, April notecard

We are to choose 4 photographs

that have already appeared on our blog.

St Patricks Day 2012 001, April notecard

Ones that we think would make

good notecards to send in the mail.

Garden Party 024, Aprils notecard

Why am I not surprised that the 4 I've chosen

for April are all FLOWERS??!!

After a long, cold dark & sometimes

VERY WHITE winter,

I look forward to seeing all the

beautiful colors of Spring!

Thanks Vee, for hosting this fun gathering!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Soup


One of my very favorite foodie bloggers is

Cathy from Wives With Knives.

She shares some of the most flavorful & interesting recipes

and she takes FABULOUS photos of the finished dish, too.

She has inspired me so many times to try new recipes.


Because every year, my sweet hubby grows TONS of

tomato plants from SEED...


We have LOTS of Fresh TOMATOES to eat!

The above photo was just


from last year!!!

Needless to say, I am always looking for

ways to use up tomatoes.

Cathy shared her wonderful recipe for

Slow Roasted Tomato Basil Soup


I have adapted her recipe to

accommodate our health issues here at

The Gazebo House

by lowering the salt as well as the fat content.

The flavor is still WONDERFUL!!

You'll never again enjoy canned tomato soup

once you try this homemade version.

Every time I serve it to friends & family

it gets rave reviews!

Stop back on Wednesday to see

the table settings at which it was served last week.

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HERE for my version of the recipe

I'm joining Yvonne at StoneGable for

On The Menu Monday

as well as

Michael Lee at Rattlebridge Farm for

Foodie Friday

and The Tablescaper for

Seasonal Sunday

Thank you to all the bloggers who host these

fun memes for us to share in!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Belated Easter Stuff

St Patricks Day 2012

I'm a little late in sharing some of my Easter decorations...real life just got in the way!

I hope you're not too sick of seeing eggs & bunnies & colored faux grass.

The bunny INSIDE the jar came from Tuesday Morning, this year.

The other one is an oldie but goodie from years ago.

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I have found several cheese boards with glass domes over the past few weeks & decided to spray paint them for both Easter & for a Delta Zeta party later in the summer.

My DD & her half sisters are all Delta Zeta gals.

PINK & GREEN are DZ colors!

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I also painted that metal cookie tin on the left & I found the PINK & GREEN doilies at Michael's last month.

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The purple & white ceramic baskets were from last year. I'm pretty sure they were FTD floral containers.

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While I had the spray paint out, I did a cardboard egg carton, too, just for the fun of it!

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I also discovered that a 3rd glass cheese dome fits on top of my Longaberger egg plate PERFECTLY!

Next year, I'm going to serve deviled eggs & put a container of beet horseradish beneath the doom for those who like 'em HOT.

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My Celtic cross made an appropriate centerpiece on the dining room table & that vase of gorgeous yellow tulips made the rounds from room to room.

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Finally, one of the many treats I took over to the grandkidlet's home for them to enjoy.

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I'm joining Susan at

Between Naps on the Porch for

Metamorphosis Monday

(just because I PAINTED SOMETHING!)

as well as Marty's 111'th

Table Top Tuesday at her blog,

A Stroll Thru Life as well as

Cuisine Kathleen's Let's Dish on Wednesday &

The Tablescaper's Seasonal Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by The Gazebo House today.

I appreciate the visit & your comments & will get

around to responding to everyone soon.