Stop and take a peak at this pretty rose I have growing up the arbor..it's new and I hope next year it will make a better show.
The butterflies are flying all about..mainly because of this butterfly magnet!
I have plenty of daylilies blooming right now including this pretty soft pinkish apricot one.
The tall phlox is just starting to bloom. White 'David is the first..the brighter colored ones will soon follow.
The wedding arbor, under which we got married, is heavy in bloom right now, covered by a climbing form of "The Fairy".
The blooms are so tiny and sweet
The hydrangeas are blooming now too. I love this one that holds its reddish pink color.
Mostly the soil turns them blue..which I'm not complaining about! I adore them!
Can you stand another look at a rose? This time it's Abraham Darby
Here's one of my favorites at this time of the year...Cosmos.
So that's the little tour of the flower garden. This weekend a happy coincidence happened that has made my little Garden Party even more exciting. Our neighbors are moving and we had the opportunity to acquire their gazebo. As luck would have it, we were able to get it in place yesterday..just in time! I wasn't sure how it would look on our patio, but it seems to just fit. I hope that today will be just the first of many meals that I enjoy in the spot.
So come on in and see what I have set on the table for us!
After my ice cream extravaganza last weekend (and all this week as you might have imagined!) I felt the need to go "light" for the garden party. So I did an assortment of salads, all including ingredients either from my yard, the local farmer's market or my bi-weekly organic veggie/fruit delivery.
My table is kind of a mish mash of various dishes. You may recall my dragonflies and cabbages from last years party, but I've added the Desert Rose. I think they go together pretty good!
First up is what I would think of as an appetizer, Molded Gazpacho (no..that does not say Moldy). I think next time I might ramp this up with some jalapenos, but it was very cool and refreshing.
Molded Gazpacho Salad
From Salads: Food Writers' Favorites
3 cups tomato juice
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp hot pepper sauce
3 tomatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup finely chopped cucumbers
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup mayonnaise
Pour tomato juice into a saucepan; stir in gelatin. Let stand 2 minutes. Bring tomato juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce; mix well. Refrigerate until mixture begins to thicken slightly. Add tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and celery to tomato juice mixture. Pour into a lightly oiled 1 1/2 quart ring mold. Refrigerate until firm. Meanwhile combine sour cream and mayonnaise; refrigerate until time to serve salad. Unmold salad onto a plate. Serve sour cream dressing in the center of salad ring or on the side.
You could do individual servings like this as well.
Next up is a salad which I've tried a similar combination of and fell in love with (watermelon,basil, lime juice, feta). I think this one is just as good. Don't be scared about the unusual ingredients. If you like sweet and savory together you will enjoy this.
Awesome Summer Watermelon SaladFound on Allrecipes
Mix the vinegar and Dijon mustard in a bowl. Stir the garlic, salt, and pepper into the mixture. Slowly stream the olive oil into the dressing while whisking vigorously. Place the dressing in the refrigerator until ready to use. Combine the watermelon, feta cheese, and red onion in a large bowl; toss lightly to mix. Season with the coarsely ground black pepper. Pour about half the dressing over the salad; gently toss to coat. Refrigerate the salad at least 30 minutes. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salad just before serving.
It's not the prettiest of salads, but it has a great flavor. If you love watermelon give it a try!
You won't be sorry!!!
The next dish is a remake of one that my mother has made for years. She would often bring it to work when they had little potlucks. If I was lucky there would be leftovers. It tastes better the 2nd day so make it ahead.
12 Layer Salad
This is more of an outline than a recipe. You can really do any combination you want. These were my layers starting at the bottom:
Yellow bell peppers
Green Onions (from my garden!)
Sliced boiled eggs
Mayonnaise, sprinkle lightly with 1/2 tsp sugar (make sure to seal the bottom with the mayonnaise..like icing)
Shredded cheddar blend
The next dish is really light tasting and garden fresh! The herbs and peas are from my garden.
Dilled Peas and Potatoes Vinaigrette
From Southern Living Magazine May 2000
8 small red potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound sugar snap peas (frozen can be used)
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
6 green onions, chopped
Cook potatoes in a Dutch oven in boiling water to cover 25 to 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Thinly slice.
Cook snap peas in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Plunge peas into ice water to stop cooking process; drain.
Whisk together oil and next four ingredients in a large bowl. Add sliced potato, snap peas and onions, tossing gently to coat. Chill 2 hours, or serve immediately.
Herbed Butter Spread
Once Upon a Table, cookbook for the Women's Auxilary of the American Cancer Society
2 sticks butter, softened
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dill weed
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp paprika
Combine all ingredients and blend well. Will keep refrigerated for weeks.
It was a great compliment to the meal!
Keeping with the "light" theme, dessert was simple and straight from my raspberry bush!
Berries & Brown Sugar Sour cream
Any kind of berries
1/2 cup sour cream
brown sugar to taste
Stir sour cream and brown sugar. Serve on top of prepared berries.
It made a very nice ending to a wonderful meal..not too filling!
My little dinner guest thought so too!
Hope you enjoyed the spread!
Now we can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful day. Its a great spot to watch the birds feeding.
And to listen to the sound of the bubbling rock
Don't forget to go look at all of the other beautiful posts linked at Susan's Savoring Time in the Kitchen.