Saturday, June 25, 2011

Do You Brine?

Now I'm not a big fan of roasting chickens in the hot summertime, but if you do, you must brine!  Brining makes the chicken moist and delicious, and it's quite simple...

All you need is a large pot, 2 quarts of water, and 1/2 cup of kosher salt.  Mix the water and salt together and stick your chicken(s) in the pot for 5-6 hours in the refrigerator.  Be careful, as the pot can become very heavy to lift in and out of the refrigerator! 

Another trick that I use to make the chicken more moist and flavorful is to place butter under the skin.   Mixing a few herbs with the butter would be great, but the diners here at Love and Life at Leadora are simple folks, and no herbs are allowed!  In fact, one of them refers to parsley as "the devil's herb", but shall remain nameless...

Here are my little lovelies, all prepped for the hot oven....

Roast at 425 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, and they are done!...

Last night was roasted chicken with salad.  Tonight will be chicken enchiladas!  What do you like to cook with leftover chicken?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Sewing Continues!

Yes, that's me...and I have to say that this will probably be one of the few times I post a photo of myself.  You see, I absolutely hate having my picture taken.  I prefer just to live in my little dream world where I am ten pounds lighter and twenty years younger!  But I took the photo plunge since I wanted to share with you my newest dress that I just finished, McCall's 6074. 

I don't usually give my clothes names, but if I did, this would be called my "Green Lantern" dress.  Not only is it made out of a green jersey knit, but while in the midst of sewing this dress, the kids and I went to see the movie "The Green Lantern".   Somewhere along the way, I completely forgot what movie we were going to, so when we walked up to the ticket counter, I blurted out the first thing that came into my mind, "Three tickets for The Green Hornet".    The movie employee started laughing and then my  14 year old son said, "Mom, it's the Green Lantern, not hornet!!"   There's nothing like hanging out with teenagers to make you feel twice as old as you already are! 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Summer Sewing

When I was a little girl, my mother sewed all my clothes.  Then, as I got older, she taught me how to sew.  Nowadays, I  just go to Old Navy and TJ Maxx. But if I need a dress or a skirt, I sew my own.  At 5'1", it is almost impossible to find a dress or skirt the right fit and length!

Using Butterick 5454, I sewed this wrap dress to wear to  my daughter's high school graduation.  Wrap dresses are supposed to be figure flattering, and this one definitely is.  Also, there is no need to wear a cami underneath this wrap dress, because coverage is adequate.  This would also be a great dress to travel with, as the light knit folds into almost nothing, so I'm hoping to wear it in NYC!

I also just finished sewing a pair of  cropped drawstring seersucker pants.  I have to admit, these aren't a real thrill, but I have a feeling I am going to end up wearing them a lot during the warm summer months.  Plus, I only spent about $7 on the seersucker and I used an old pattern from my stash, McCall's 2586.    

It gets super hot here at Love and Life at Leadora, but air conditioning can be chilly, so  along with a black tank top, I thought I could also wear this red knit cardigan from Forever 21...

Finally,  I thought I could "pep up" these  old lady crop pants with some cute shoes, and luckily I came upon these adorable red espadrilles from Target...

Hopefully, these new espadrilles add a little "zip" to my new summer outfit!  In the meantime, hope that you're enjoying your summer!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Iced Coffee

This summer, I've been trying to drink less of this...

And more of this...

But then I discovered this...

The summer months here at Love and Life at Leadora are hot, and even in the morning a cup of hot coffee isn't too appetizing.  So when  I saw this recipe for iced coffee on the Pioneer Woman's blog, I knew I wanted to give it a try!  

A recipe for iced coffee?... I thought iced coffee was leftover coffee with ice in it, but, boy, was I wrong.   There is quite a method to it, which is easy but takes awhile.  Also, don't be daunted by the amount of coffee and water used in the recipe.  I made only a quarter of the recipe, and my iced coffee turned out delicious! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Summer of Me!

George Costanza Picture
                                                           George Costanza

Recently, my friend and I were talking about how we wanted to have fun this summer.  We both agreed that we couldn't wait for fun to come to us, but instead we had to create our own!  It reminded me of one of my favorite Seinfeld episodes.   For those Seinfeld fans out there, do you remember when George Costanza announces that "it's going to  be the summer of George"?  Well, I've decided that it's "The Summer of Me"!

Truthfully, my mom and oldest daughter have left for France, and I miss them terribly.  However, I came to the conclusion that the lazy days of summer are just too short,  and I couldn't waste time moping.  So I started to make a list of some of the fun things I want to do during "The Summer of Me"...
  • sew a fashionable summer wardrobe
  • get organized
  • try new recipes and cook with the kids
  • exercise everyday
  • go to the movies
  • blog and journal frequently
  • celebrate my 20th wedding anniversary in New York!
  • read some great books
  • and much, much more!!
"The Summer of Me" might sound a bit self centered, since I also have a husband and three children that probably should be considered!  As I've gotten older, I realize that life is very short, and we need to take advantage of every minute!  For me, summer has always been a time to relax and have fun without any schedule restrictions whatsover! So, I hope that I've inspired you to think of your summer as "The Summer of You"!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A Graduation Luncheon

I went a little crazy with red, black and white this week!  In celebration of my daughter's high school graduation, we hosted a luncheon for her closest friends.  Of course, we decorated with the school colors and the school mascot, which happens to be the very cute scottie dog!   

Using my Martha Stewart scoring board, we made black cardstock favor boxes filled with candy and tied with a red ribbon....

We hung  red, black, and white  tissue paper pompoms....

We even baked red velvet and devil's food color coordinated cupcakes....

Finally, we sewed fabric bunting  and sprinkled a few scottie dogs on the cabinets and wrapping paper table runner...

And whew!...that's me breathing a sigh of relief as this crazy month of activities is finally done!  I am truly ready for summer to begin so that I can return full time to blogging again!  Sometimes real life just gets in the way, doesn't it?