"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Melon with Honey Drizzled Vanilla Ice Cream: Turkish Delight! #Foodie Friday

Melon with Honey Drizzled Vanilla Ice Cream: Simple Living and Eating

For my 30th birthday I went to Istambul with a group of Belly Dancers... yes, my oldest sister had been a professional dancer and decided to study Middle Eastern Dance. She hooked up with a group of Belly Dancers from New York City to go over to Turkey to study their traditional dance and she asked me to tag along... being one to never say know to an opportunity to travel I ended up in Istambul.

When we would go out to dinner some how the owner of almost every restaurant would find out we were a group of belly dancers. Tables would be cleared and the troop would climb up on the tables and demonstrate to the patrons how well New Yorker's can belly dance.

They would always be given a free dessert which usually consisted of a small super tasty ripe melon (that I've never seen in the United States) filled with ice cream, usually vanilla and topped with the most amazing fresh honey. 

The owner would take pitty on the me, the one nondancer of the group, and give me a dessert too... it was always wonderful.

So while the melons are ripe grab one, split it in half, fill it up with the best ice cream you can find and drizzle some local honey on it.

Enjoy... I am in and out to the woods and back this week so I may be late in replying to your comments.

Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 

Foodie Friday Features:

From: Bakewell Junction

Asiago Soft Pretzel Buns
Asiago Soft Pretzel Buns

Asiago has such a marvelous distinctive taste and the texture of these buns looks amazing.

From: Blissful Bites

Mexican Zucchini & Corn w/ Chorizo
Mexican Zucchini & Corn w/ Chorizo

August in a dish.... all of the most seasonal vegetables together in one fantastic meal.

From: A Bright and Beautiful Life

Fresh Peach Pie
Fresh Peach Pie

What can I say it's iconic... and so in season. Wonderful.

Remember Sept 10th link up your Spanish Dish!

This post is shared on the following food/craft parties. Check them out:

Tuesday Food:

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Friday Food:


Vinegar...my Fascination with it's Many Uses #Healthy Eating #Weekly Menu Plan


vinegar: simple living and eating

I have to admit, I love vinegar. I love vinegar dressings, I love pickled foods, and I even love the idea of vinegar. Fermentation fascinate me. I find our symbiotic relationship with beneficial bacteria intriguing. I've read (several) entire books on vinegar. I make my own homemade vinegar by the gallon and always have a jar of red wine and apple cider fermenting.

In addition to it's appeal to the palette, vinegar has many other uses around the home. I find using simple, non-toxic solutions very appealing to the minimalist in me. Vinegar is definitely more environmentally friendly than the 17,000 or more petro-based chemicals available for personal use and I feel that I'm one step removed from the television-driven, consumerist society which suggests a commercial chemical solution to all of our needs. I would never use my beloved homemade vinegars for the chores listed below. Cheap white vinegar works fine. Listed below are some of the more beneficial, household uses:

  • As a window cleaner. Do you really want toxic ammonia based window cleaner around the house? Use 1/4 cup vinegar, a drop or two of liquid dish detergent, and two cups of water in a spray bottle. 
  • To clean tarnished metals, pots, and pans.  Experiment with the strength. Different strengths are required based upon the metal and the amount of tarnish.
  • As a disinfectant. Acetic acid is effective against Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and E. coli. Vinegar is great for treating wooden cutting boards and you don't have to worry about harmful health effects as you would for bleach.
  • To clean and deodorize drains. Combined with baking soda, vinegar will unclog minor blockages and kill odors in your plumbing.  It is much less scary than commercial drain cleaners.
  • To clean and kill mildew. Most mildew cleaners have health warnings and require ample ventilation. Vinegar can be used without any additional ventilation.
  • As a spot remover on carpets and fabrics.  For tough stains try adding 1 tablespoon of borax to 1/4 cup of vinegar. Treat the stain, let it dry, and then vacuum up the residue.
  • As a degreaser, Use a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to wipe kitchen counters and the stove.
  • To remove sticky residue. Anywhere a sticker has left a residue, saturate the residue with pure vinegar and let it sit for 5 minutes. Use a plastic scraper or old credit card to scrape off the loosened residue.
  • To clean your coffeemaker. Run a solution of 2 parts vinegar to one part water through a full brew cycle.  You'll want to run pure water through for a couple of cycles to remove any lingering vinegar from the device. As much as I like vinegar, it doesn't sound appealing in coffee.
  • To trap fruit flies. Did you bring home fruit flies from the market? If so, fill an empty jelly jar about half full of vinegar, punch holes in the lid and leave it out on the counter. After a few days you'll see that the fruit flies have collected in the vinegar.
  • As a vegetable and fruit rinse. Before eating raw fruits or vegetables, give them a quick rinse in a solution of 1 part vinegar to 10 parts cold water.
  • As an anti fungal medication. I'm not real fond of spraying chemicals that I can't pronounce onto my skin. Soaking your feet (or other affected areas) in a solution of 1 part vinegar to one part water for 10-15 minutes, several times a week, has proven an effective treatment for me. I've read it is even effective for dreaded toenail fungus.

Using vinegar is just one step you can take to live a less toxic and greener lifestyle.  Read the labels of everything that you bring into your home, particularly your food.  If you can't pronounce it or explain what it is, do you really feel safe using it?

This is a guest post from: 

Dan Garner writes about simple living, minimalism, and mindful living at ZenPresence.com.

And at his new blog about Healthy Eating: http://healthyfoodmatters.org

Weekly Menu Plan:

Sunday: Potato and Onion Frittata with Rustic Bread and Tomato Salad

Meatless Monday: Escarole and Beans over Pasta

Wednesday: Mahi Mahi Burgers from Trader Joes

Saturday: Simple Lentils with Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans

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menu plan monday


Champagne Sangria: Let's Visit Spain!! #Foodie Friday

Champagne Sangria: Simple Living and Eating

I am so excited to travel the world with you and cook dishes from countries all over the globe on my new linky party: Food of the World that will be starting Sept 10th. Every second Tuesday of the month you get to link up the recipe you've chosen from the country that was selected the previous month. This way we get to explore different cuisines together!

I will take your suggestions for countries to visit, so please put them in the comment section of this post. I will try to select cuisines by season and produce availablity, but of course, we won't be able to do this every time.

Because it will still be warm in Sept. I'd like to being our voyage in sunny Spain. A country that is famous for it's tapas bars and of course, Sangria like I am sharing with you today. This Sangria was made with the Spainish equalivent to Champagne called Cava. It is delicious and refreshing... and a heck of lot cheaper than French Champagne.

Because it can be very warm during the day people tend to eat dinner fairly late in Spain. They may start their evening drinking and nibbling at Tapas bars and then settled down for a proper dinner of dishes like Paella, Spanish Omelettes, pork, seafood, and chicken mostly made with tomato and olive oil based sauces. The Spanish use a lot of peppers, olives, and other fresh fruits and vegetables in their cooking...
So enjoy researching Spainish cuisine and I will look forward to checking out what you cook come Sept. In the mean time check out one of these Sangria recipes. Mine came out a little pink because I decided to use Maraschino cherries in mine and I think I put too many. The original recipe is not quite as sweet.

This giveaway ends on Saturday so make sure you enter it today:

giveaway: simple living and eating

Remember to visit and follow my co-host Adelina at Home Maid Simple she has different features and a wealth of information about family and home care. 

Foodie Friday Features:

From: Cooking on the Front Burner

Fresh Corn Chowder
Fresh Corn Chowder

We have started to have a few cool nights and some rainy days. This soup is a perfect transtion into Fall because it uses seasonal corn with just a little bit of bacon to really make a flavorful soup.

From: My Carolina Kitchen

Corn & Peppers with Sea Scallops
Corn & Peppers with Sea Scallops

A recipe that uses fresh seasonal corn and peppers to create a visually pleasing and bright with flavor late summer dish. 

From: Will Cook for Smiles

Chewy Key Lime Coconut Cookies
Chewy Key Lime Coconut Cookies

I hope you are in area that you can get a hold of key limes. We get them every once in a while and their flavor is amazing. You can tell from the picture that the texture of these cookies is amazing.

This post is shared on the following food/craft parties. Please be sure to check them out.

Tuesday Food:

Wednesday Food:

Thursday Food:

Friday Food:

Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

This is a food party please link up only 3 food related posts. Thank you. 

Click on at least 3 other recipes.



SPREAD THE WORD: PIN, FB, TWEET ETC... this party. It is good for you and me.

1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.

2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar.   Please link back.
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Roasted Corn: Boulevard Raspail Corn on the Cob #French Fridays with Dorie

Roasted Corn: Boulevard Raspail Corn on the Cob: Simple Living and Eating

My first mistake was inviting my new French boyfriend to the movie: The Natural. Do you remember this charming baseball movie? Well, Nicolas was sitting next to me in the theater with a glazed look on his face.

What's the matter? Don't you like the movie?

I don't know anything about baseball...it's an American game.

Oh, well have some popcorn.

Being a polite Parisian Nicolas gently refused my offer. Being an Italian-American I insisted he try some popcorn.

It's really good... not too salty just the right amount of butter.

I guess I pushed the limits of Nicola's politeness and he snapped at me, "I don't eat corn. Corn is for animals."

Don't eat corn how could this be? We feed corn to livestock too, but we enjoy it... especially on the cob in the summer.

When we first made corn cakes in this cooking group I was surprised that French people ate corn after my experience with Nicolas... maybe it's just Parisians? They, just like New Yorkers, are very different from the rest of their countrymen.

Well, I loved how simple this recipe was... just toss the corn, husks and all, in a 400 degree oven, turning it after 20 minutes for a total of 40 minutes. I wasn't expecting to be impressed... but my the corn was so succulent. Each bite just burst in my mouth... it really was perfectly cooked.

My family has asked me to forgo my microwave cooking of corn on the cob in favor of this technique and I will oblige... as for Nicolas (wherever he is now).. he just doesn't know what he is missing out on.

Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review. 

Click here to see how the other Dorista's did.

This post is being shared on the following food/craft parties. Please check them out: 

Tuesday Food:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop @ Premeditated Leftovers
Totally Tasty Tuesday @ Mandy's Recipe Box
Show Me What You Got @ Our Delightful Home
In & Out of the Kitchen @ Feeding Big & More
Tuesday's Table @ Love in the Kitchen
Tuesday Talent Show @ Chef in Training
Tasty Tuesday # Lori's Culinary Creations

Wednesday Food:

Cast Party Wednesday @ Lady Behind the Curtain 
 Wednesday Whatsit @White Lights on Wednesday 
Fresh Foods Wednesdays @ Gastronomical Sovereignty
Show and Share @ Semi Homemade Mom
Wonderful Food Wednesdays at @ All She Cooks
Wednesday Extravaganza @ Hunger Little Girl
Wonderful Wednesdays @Ducks 'n a Row

Thursday Food:

Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Link it Up Thursday @ Seven Alive
Fantastic Thursday @ Three Little Chiefs
Thriving on Thursdays @ Domesblissity
Tasty Thursdays @ The Mandatory Mooch

Friday Food:

Foodie Friday @ Home Maid Simple
Freedom Friday @ My Turn
Friday Favorite (DYI too) @ Simple Sweet Home
Foodie Friday @ Rattlebridge Farm 
Weekend Wonders @ The Thriftiness Miss
Friday Food Frenzy @ Mostly Food and Crafts 
Weekend Potluck @ Sunflower Supper Club
Friday Linky Party @ The Pin Junkie 

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