Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Chicken Tortellini Salad Supreme

Chicken Tortellini Salad Supreme

That's a snazzy name.
I had to come up with something worthy of this salad.

We had a picnic dinner on the beach Saturday night with friends
and I made this salad.
It's a perfect picnic salad.
You can make it ahead and it's very portable.

Here's the recipe:

1 package Buitoni (or your favorite) tortellini, cooked al dente
1 cup (or to taste) of Cardini's Aged Parmesan Ranch Dressing 
(or your favorite Ranch Dressing)
1 can large olives, drained and cut in half
1 small bag or 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (5 minutes at 325*)
1 bag frozen broccoli florets, cooked (microwave covered on a plate for 5 minutes)
1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half
3 whole chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
(I grill marinated breasts and chill before chopping up)

Toss all ingredients in a large serving bowl and chill for several hours.

I like to cook the tortellini and the chicken and broccoli ahead 
and I chill all of the ingredients before tossing it together. 

I served it with slices of fresh watermelon. 
And some wine...

Savor Summer 

Linking to:
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Cottage Garden Glory

Our cottage garden is truly in it's glory this summer.

There's an old saying about perennial garden plants - 
The first year they sleep, the second year they creep and the third year they leap.  
Well, this must be Leap year, because our garden is absolutely glorious.  

It's so much fun to have a garden that gets such abundant sunshine!

I love our house on Grand, but as you can see, we have deep, deep shade
and we can't seem to grow anything but green!

We have lost several large shade trees near our cottage and the result is a very sunny garden.
You may remember from past posts what this little old cottage used to look like...
Here's a reminder.

Really, really bad.  
Fast forward a few years. 
We have remodeled everything.  
Yopu can read this post about the replacement of the sidewalk 
that has allowed us to plant a garden in front of the cottage.

Here's the before view of the row of cottages.

Here's what it looks like now!

Another view, before

And after!

I can't really take credit for the garden design.
I just looked around at the wonderful gardens in our neighborhood 
and selected plants that I knew were doing well in our climate. 

We should continue to have flowers through the fall 
as the Hydrangeas open and the Rose of Sharon plants bloom.
And we have a Hibiscus that has blooms the size of dinner plates! 
 I'll share that in August.  They are fantastic flowers.

We just added this hydrangea - A gift from a friend.
Just wow.

I couldnt resist a little playing around on Waterlogue...

Hope your summer is beautiful too!

Linking to 
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grand Kitchen At Last!

Well, it's been worth the wait.  
Worth all the dust and the noise and the $$$ and the worries 
that come with a kitchen remodel.
And it turned out pretty darn nice.  
It's not completely finished, but it's 95% done.  
I just can't wait any longer to share it with you/show it off.

The painters were here yesterday and it's looking much spiffier!

The hardware has not all arrived yet... 
The back ordered pieces should come any day now.

I haven't found the perfect counter stools yet, either.  
Just trying this one from Pier One on for size. (Too low)

But there's still lots to see.

Here's a before shot to show you what we've done.
The wall on the right was removed and the soffits 
and the header across the kitchen are also gone.
That's part of what took sooo long.  
Major structural work has to be done right.
You can see the green tape on the floor showing where the island will be placed.

Here's the same angle today!
The wall is gone, the header was raised up into the ceiling, 
the floors have been stained and refinished and much more has happened.

I love the new cabinets.  I think they're beautiful and the quality is wonderful.
The color is (closest to) Sherwin Williams Roman Column.
Cabinets have come a long way since we last remodelled our kitchen!
New is very, very nice.
Smooth, quiet drawers and self closing everything.

It took a mix of old and new, though, to fit in our house.
After a lot of fooling around with various pendant lights,
I ended up using my vintage chandeliers again! 

I just couldn't find anything that I liked better. 
And I like the mix of metals.
I know pendants are the thing right now, but just not for me.  
This post at Cote de Texas helped me arrive at that conclusion. 
And this one cemented the deal.

I just did not want the obligatory three pendants hanging down in my face 
and even more so, blocking my view of my star mullions!
If you read this post, you may remember my fixation with my star mullions.
And I love them as much as I hoped I would!
They are truly the "star" of the show.
Sorry, couldn't help it.

I added lots of trim and details for a vintage look.
Our house is an 80 year old colonial. 
I hope the kitchen looks appropriate for that.

Inset doors, lots of brackets and V-groove paneling 
and soft white paint seem like they might have been used way back then, too.

Forgive the missing knobs...
I had to spread the ones I have around so I can get each cabinet open!

A side view of the "Hutch"


I put bin pulls on this cabinet, for a vintage, hutch look.

And bun feet, also salvaged from my old kitchen 
and given a fresh coat of white paint.

Here's the refrigerator, behind those panels.  I love how it turned out.
The kitchen is very open to our family room 
and I didn't want a giant mass of stainless steel staring at me.
This is a Sub-Zero and while it may seem like a splurge, 
our last one was over 28 years old when we finally replaced it!
I think it's a good long term investment.

I found the refrigerator handles at Atlas Homewares 
and decide to use them on all of the large drawers too. 

I put the pulls on the drawers below the cooktop that hold pots and pans.

And on this one that holds baking sheets and muffin tins and broiler pans.  
Love these little luxuries!

Here's another before shot of the wall we removed.

And After...

By taking the wall out, we gained room for an island.
A big island.  
There's room for everyone now.

And after eight weeks of construction and entertaining gentlemen (workers) daily,
it's party time!

Just Grand.

Linking to:
Inspire Me Tuesdays at A Stroll Through Life
Wow Us Wednesdays at Savvy Southern Style
Home Sweet Home at The Charm of Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Fabulously Creative Friday at Jennifer Rizzo

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