Monday, August 24, 2020

DECOR AT THE LAKE & RECIPES GALORE AS SUMMER WINDS DOWN





It's good to be back, friends.  I'm trying to navigate the new Legacy blogger.  It's hard to find answers, but if you fiddle around with it long enough, sometimes you find that the whole blogger thing has indeed improved.  My most latest problem is with changing the size of photos once loaded.  Any answers out there?

Jumping in here, this is my new baby(not the cabinet), an elephant bush, or known as Portulacaria afra.  I love that I'm finding so many "new to me" plants at the nursery in Michigan.  I need to find the right pot, but it looks pretty on my Hoosier cabinet.  All of my plants will be coming home with me in late fall, they need my love...☺️, and some H20. The monster jade plant will stay.  The Husband and I took it outdoors--and yes, it took both of us, for an overnight stay.  I overflowed it with water and sprayed all the leaves. I think I heard it sigh.  




I like this view from the great room at the harvest table where we share so many family and company meals.  I also fold the clothes here, use it as a desk and major clutter center, a flat and safe surface to change baby diapers, and a spot to keep Layla's basket where she can sleep peacefully away from Poppy.  Getting back to the plants, I have a topiary olive plant on the left, and a foxtail fern in the center.  I'm missing my babies.  I have a neighbor giving them love...and water, while I'm away.


 

The kids were up two weeks ago.  I should say kids and kidlets.  Always a good time.  My daughter Emily loves to fuss with everyone's decor, but seriously, she grew up in this house on the lake so as I watched TV in the loft one night, I could hear her moving things around.  And--she takes such beautiful photos, these and the following picture are hers.  Above, the foyer.  More about my favorite designer follows later.  




My shelving in the kitchen, which she rearranged gave a more minimalist feel.  I've often said that my shelves are not there to display pieces (except for perhaps that top shelf I can't reach). They take up space where cabinets could be so I have our everyday dishes and such here.  A nice thing about this is that everything gets washed frequently and I really only have to do a good cleaning a few times a year.  



The main floor powder room may not be anything I've shared before.  In a room so small it's hard to get a good shot.  But this is it!  I keep it simple, I don't like to clean bathrooms and this gets the major amount of use in a given day.


I tried to get more photos of our little guest house.  The sun wasn't cooperating. 🙄. So I have a peek of one corner.  This is the way I used to style so many spaces, sort of rustic and simple, letting the pieces speak for themselves.  I'll get more shots soon.  You have to love the screened windows, seven in all!




When we had company at the lake a few weeks ago, I really tried to stay on top of my game.  That means having delicious, easy, and casual food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  No--I never pull all of this off.  Nev-ahh!!  The best I can do is make what I can ahead of time, and keep everything fresh and ready to assemble (as in chop up those onions or the lettuce.  Do Not think it's simple and you can do it later).  Take the shortcuts.  

So this is my pulled pork for sandwiches.  I make it in the slow cooker in about 4 hours.  I refrigerate it and remove it to come to room temp about a half hour before serving.  Then it just needs to be heated up in the microwave or in a pot on the stove.  




So this is how simple it is to make.  You probably have your own recipe but this has won rave reviews.  I also make extra so I can save it in a jelly jar in the fridge for other uses. Please note my measurements are approximate.  Add or subtract and keep rating.  I find these ingredients perfect for making a sweet and spicy compliment to your pork.

Jane's Pulled Pork

2 lb. pork shoulder, trimmed of fat
1 bottle barbecue sauce of your choice
1 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
Optional:  Pinch of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste

Place pork shoulder in slow cooker and set for 4-8 hours.  An hour before it's done, mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour over the meat.  Begin to spread the pork with 2 large forks.  Mix the sauce in as you go along.  Let cook until all of the flavors meld.  Adjust seasonings.  I like to load the meat on Italian rolls, preferably toasted in the oven.  Serves 8




I wanted something different this summer as a side dish other than the usual potato salad.  But it's a classic and the family wouldn't hear of it.  I came up with this after tasting the great combo of sour cream and dried ranch dressing mix.  The beauty of my recipe is that you don't have to peel the potatoes, which is half the work of making potato salad.  Feel free to use fingerling potatoes, super creamy and colorful.  Also, you may want to double the recipe for a larger group.

Creamy Ranch Potato Salad

3 lbs. red potatoes 
8 oz. sour cream
2 T ranch dressing mix*
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
1 red pepper, diced

Fill and large pot with water and add a good tablespoon of salt.  Add the potatoes, whole and unpeeled.  Boil until just tender and you can insert a sharp knife through to the center.  Strain and let cool.

In a medium bowl stir the ranch dressing mix together with the sour cream.  Fold in the onions and celery, and peppers.  

Cut the cooled potatoes into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl.  Gently mix in the sour cream mixture to coat.  Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate at minimum 1 hour, but this salad deserves to have the flavors meld together for a few hours or overnight.  Serves 4-6
*You can use the reaming packet of ranch dressing mix to jazz up salads and soups, use in place of garlic on toasted bread, so, so many ways.  Seal the packet and keep it in your fridge.  



This is probably a little ridiculous to even share, but I love to invent my own pizzas.  Doesn't this look great?  It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to bake.  I have learned to simplify by taking the hard work out of making dough, stretching it and flipping out over holes.  It takes a lot of experience to toss that dough and stretch it out to perfection.  Maybe one day I'll check out a few You Tube videos.  So--I buy pizzas on sale from the grocery store, thin crust with just cheese.  Contrary to popular belief, Chicagoan's love the thin crust and although deep dish is great, not so much traditional, at least on the Southside. 🥳. 

So get yourself a thin crust frozen pizza.  Take out every veggie you have leftover in your fridge, or an over abundance of, and start chopping.  If you have any fresh herbs, chop those up.  In a small bowl mix up some delicious dried spices like garlic, onion, cayenne pepper and Italian herbs (and mix all dried ingredients together before topping the pizza so it's all an even deal).  Next, choose some meats if you like, I don't always find it necessary, but you can add leftovers, luncheon meats like ham, salami, turkey, pepperoni, prosciutto, pancetta, or bacon crumbles.  Then add cheeses, whatever you have on hand.  I like to use up the remainder of the shredded cheeses I have in my fridge drawers.  Or grate your own. Fun and unlikely additions are feta, fresh mozzarella, and cream cheese just to name a few.  You need to only plop down tablespoon sizes of these cheeses on the pizza as they really don't melt and spread.  Finally, bake at 425 degrees until the crust is super crispy, I actually like to see the edges a little burnt!!!

Oh, jeez, this was longer than a regular ol recipe!  Do try and let me know how everything turns out.  



I'm always trying to keep you up to par with my little grandkids.  I hope you don't get tired of this!  Daughter Emily is such the picture taker and she also has family albums done quite a bit by a professional photographer friend.  So here is Madelyn, as you all know very well, and little Lucy, now 9 months old.  They are so adorably good together.  They really bring me such joy!




And in ending, I wanted to share this one of Madelyn, just doing her own thing and being captured by the camera.  Please believe that one day we will all feel this way once again.  Looking out on the horizon I really feel changes are coming.  Dancing in the leaves as the sun goes down has to be God given.  Let's trust.

As a very last side note, Emily is full force back into Interior Design which makes me a happy Mama.  Those 4 years of college amounted to a lot of talent and drive.  She has started her own business and although it's Chicago based. a good part of her work is visual and online.  If you need evidence of her creative and hard work, just take a look at my home!  She has been a huge part of what I've done.  Her website is Curate Design Studio She's also on Instagram and Facebook.  Please stop by!  She's been having some giveaways for new followers.  Tell her that her mother sent you!!❤️

Stay safe and healthy.  Wash your hands and pray a lot.  

Jane x











34 comments:

Theresa said...

Beauty all around you. Love your rooms, so welcoming and the kitchen shelves are perfect! Those babies sure put a smile on my face and the food makes my mouth water:) I will most certainly keep those recipes. Enjoy your day dear friend, HUGS!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Your lakehouse is lovely and I love the clean white look of it. What a wonderful, tranquil place to spend your days.

When I entertain ( seems like such a long time ago) , I have always done as much as I can before hand. It makes everything easier and gives me more time with my guests. I wonder if I will ever be able to do that again. Right now, we see family at a distance and share no food unless it is packaged. I cried for months but now I have just become used to it - accepting - and mad as hell (in many ways).

Kit said...

Always lovely to see your posts!! And I never get tired of seeing your happy grandchildren. They are lovely!! Your pics look great as do your recipes. I wish I had you to do all my cooking...lol I hate to cook! You take care and enjoy the end of summer. Kit

Nancy's Notes said...

OH Sweet Jane, another wonderful post! I tell you, your grandchildren are just adorable! Do they get down to see you all often? I love all of your recipes, truly are special ones! All of your photographs are fantastic! Are you still writing for that magazine? Great post, Jane!
Hugs dear friend,
Nancy

Lorrie said...

A lovely post with good food, classy decor, and sweet little ones. What could be better! How relaxing to go upstairs and come down to a new arrangement of your house. Best wishes to Emily as she begins her business!Take care, Jane.

Vee said...

What beautiful photos of the granddaughters. They are truly adorable. The little dancer makes me smile.

Well I'd certainly enjoy these yummy foods and time spent at the lake. Glad that I can participate virtually.

(I think the former format was the Legacy format. I don't know what they call the new one.) Glad that you're navigating well.

Doreen@foxdenrd said...

You need to use Emily for your shots all the time. Lovely, but I see what you mean about the changes and the challenges. On my screen the pics are spilling over into your sidebar. Tech stuff just hurts my 🧠 , and is one thing I don’t miss about blogging.

xxx

Rev. Fr. Kevin Doran said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dennis Yannakos said...

I love your home decor...it looks so cozy, neat, and clean.
I am also curious about the taste of the beautiful dishes that you made!
And your granddaughters are so cute!

Bluebird49 said...

Maddie and Lucy look adorable and matching! They're always so clean, too, just like the lake house! The picture of Maddie dancing in the leaves with her clean hair and dress both swinging is so precious.I
If that bowl of potato salad were here, it would not be safe; I'd have some for breakfast along with that pulled pork.
I buy the small Red Baron thin crust pizza and sometimes Ed will let me add a little something, but it comes out crisp and thin, just how I like it. He likes peparoni. Our son gave us a convection toaster oven that has a timer and cuts itself off when the time you set is gone. it has several built in times for pizza and other things.He really thought maybe his dad would use it, 'cause it is idiot proof. Well, his dad is not about to change and start cooking now! But I enjoy having it anyway.I
I always love to see your beautiful homes. Hope you are well!
xx Trudy

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Your lake cottage decor is lovely. The recipes all sound wonderful.

Sonia said...

Love all your lakehouse decor! How wonderful that your daughter is a designer and tweaks your spaces for you. The recipes look so good. I make the ranch dressing potato salad a lot in the summer. It's a favorite. What beautiful granddaughters!!

La Contessa said...

GRANDDAUGHTERS are adorable!
Food LOOKS GOOD but I am Gluten Free so NO RANCH DRESSING OR BARbque for ME!!!
Wonderful your daughter has found her passion as so many young people today are just FLOATING!
Enjoy your last few weeks at the LAKE..........
We here in CALIFORNIA are surrounded by SMOKE!
FIRES BE GONE!
I will be HAPPY to see 2020 come to a close............what do we have 5 more months?
I seem to be counting EVERYTHING these days!!
XX

Jeanie said...

What a cozy, cheery, happy post! Oh, Jane, it all looks beautiful, from the little girls to the bathroom. And tasty, too! I'm saving your pulled pork for future reference.

I can't remember if you weighed in on my "new blogger issues" survey. There are some answers in the comments but I will be doing a wrap of it hopefully later this week -- there's a lot to synthesize! It's probably about three posts down on my blog roll or in the archive in August. Feel free to weigh in -- we'll pull the whole deal together if it kills us!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I really enjoyed your post Jane and the photos are wonderful. As was already mentioned, one of the photos did spill over into your sidebar. The other thing I thought you might want to know is that the link to Emily's site doesn't work...at least it didn't when I tried to click on. Enjoy the rest of summer with your wonderful family.

Latrisha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Helen said...


Where to begin? Will definitely check out Emily's website, her photos are exquisite. The girls beyond adorable, I know how you cherish them. Pulled pork sandwiches are my go-to as well as potato salad. My homemade pizzas nowhere as great looking as yours. I felt like I had traveled to another world reading this post, a world of peace and calm. No fights, no ugliness. Thank you. And thank you for reading my poem! Stay healthy .......

Dewena said...

Jane, I love the pictures of your lake home! And how marvelous to have your own interior designer to play around with your already beautiful things. I wasn't able to get the link to work or find her when I googled the name but maybe in your next post you will try another link so we can follow her. Madelyn and Lucy are of course adorable! The slow motion picture of big sister is so pretty.

I've written down your pork recipe, don't have a slow cooker but will try in a Dutch oven on low. And I just remembered that I never got you the M.F.K. Fisher tomato aspic recipe you asked for. I'll find it and email you on Sunday as things are so busy around here for a few days. Best to you and yours!

Mereknits said...

Good luck to Emily on her new business, she will do great. Your home should be in a magazine, it is perfect. Those girls are so adorable, have a wonderful weekend.

handmade by amalia said...

That photo of your little grandkids is an absolute darling, Jane. And thanks for inviting us into your home, your kitchen and bathroom look so tidy and welcoming, I'm (almost) inspired to get up from the computer and do so work. I may grab a snack instead, your yummy recipes have made me a little hungry.
Amalia
xo

It's me said...

Oh Jane....I love seeing your beautiful grandchildren.....like your yammie recipes...love to come here....happy Sunday...I have also trouble with the pictures in new blogger...the lines among my pictures is not there on the right site ...I am using old blogger yet....love Ria 🍀💕🍀

Edi said...
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Michele said...

Hi Jane! Just finally catching up to dear friends blog posts.

This one was awesome - filled with beauty, great advice, happy moments, helpful recipes - and hope. It just resonates HOPE.

Going over to see your daughter's design site now. Wishing her the best success. Tough time to get anything going with these dire weird uncertain times.

Stay well. Big hugs. Have a happy holiday weekend.



Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

To change the size of a picture in new blogger, chick on the photo, and you will seen two pencil icons. Click on the one on the top line; choose your size and click Update. I always resize my pictures in Picmonkey, so I select "Original" for my photo size.
Tired of pics of your grandkids? Never!!! Keep them coming - they make me smile every time. Love the last picture of Madelyn! I pray that you are right that change is coming, and that one day soon, we can feel pure joy! I'm following your daughter on Instagram! Wishing her much success!

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Red Rose Alley said...

Your home looks lovely and getting ready for Fall. It is the nicest season of all for me. I like your farm table, and it looks sturdy. And I noticed your blue cups and dishes. Blue tea cups have always been the prettiest to me. That pulled pork looks delicious, along with the Yummy creamy ranch potato salad. The photo of your granddaughters is precious. What a joy it is to have them in our lives. I love that one of Madelyn running through the grass. That is a treasured photo.

I hope you have wonderful September days, and stay well and safe, Jane.

~Sheri

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Billie Jo said...

Hello!
Visiting from another blog, and am so happy I stopped by.
Your blog is lovely!
I love the shot of your powder room.
Mine is very similar, and I never thought about adding a little bench!
Beaufyfol grandbabies too.
As of now, I only have a grandpup!
Nice to meet you!

deb said...

such a lovely blog post Jane ~ your lake house is absolutely gorgeous!
Pizza for supper here tonight & now I think I will make potato salad after seeing yours :-)
And your granddaughters are adorable.
Hope you are having a wonderful weekend
xx

A Joyful Cottage said...

Hi Jane! Once your image is inserted into your blog post you can click on it and a little screen will pop up. The 4th icon from the left is the image sizer. Click on that and you can choose what size you want for your photo. Now I’m going to read the rest of your post. Hugs.

A Joyful Cottage said...

I’m back. The food looks delish. Thanks for sharing the recipes. The girls are adorable. Congratulations to Emily and her new business. I have no doubt she will be successful. Hugs, Nancy

Vee said...

Oh that my daughter would rearrange my kitchen! What yours did looks so nice. The grandbabies are darling. Of course, they bring you great joy. Looks as if you took excellent care of your guests. You wondered about a Big Mac Salad...the recipe is available online all over the place. My daughter is doing a Keto sort of diet so she found it on one of those sites.

Little Wandering Wren said...

Oh, how beautiful Jane - everything from your pulled pork to your pizza from your granddaughters together to Maddy spinning around!
Have a lovely weekend
Wren x

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