Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cooking Day

By Lisa VanWilliams

24 dinners, 16 sides, and 1 dessert. Sounds like a new Foodie song - right? That's what I made for one of my clients yesterday. If you have ever considered getting a Personal Chef, The Salted Chef is a great company to work with and they will find you a Chef no matter what State you live in. It's affordable (no more than you would pay going out for food/dinner) and you can customize your menu to your preferences. They do all the shopping for you and cook it right in YOUR kitchen. Vegan, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Paleo, or Traditional, they can handle all your families meal needs.

You can request a weeks worth of meals or a few weeks and freeze some if you'd like. Make life a little easier for yourself, eat the things you enjoy, and maybe find a new dish or two along the way by trying some new recipes.

Yesterday we made Honey Glazed Carrots, Scalloped Potato Gratin, Jerk Chicken with Mango Salsa, Marinated London Broil, Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, and a Spanish Flan.

For more info about the company, you can view their website here:

Honey Glazed Carrots

Mango Avocado Salsa

Marinated Grilled London Broil

Marinated Grilled Jerk Chicken

Enchilada Stuffing - black beans, roasted chicken

Spanish Flan

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hang Ten In Your Den

By Lisa VanWilliams

Surfboards are a great way to bring the ocean vibe into your home, and you can totally do it in a subtle way or you can make it the main focus. Sites like Etsy are filled with homemade artisan crafts like tables, wall art, and towel racks. There are soooo many great ideas out there on what you can do what these, but here are just a few.

If your lucky you  might be able to find one on Craigslist or at a tagsale for a cheap price.

(chalk board - how cool?!)

Some Artisan picks, cost, and where you can get them:

$28.58 Surfboard Rack

$79.99 4 Foot Wood Hawaiian Surfboard Wall art

$94.00 Towel Hook Shark Bite

$115 Coffee Table

$129 Surfboard Shelf

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Planters - 10 Ways To Beautify Your Outdoor Space

By Lisa VanWilliams

A little pop of color or life in an outdoor space can really make a bland spot feel more cozy and comfortable. Your eyes will be drawn to this instead of a dark corner, empty table top or a blank spot on the corner of the porch. We picked out some flower planters that can turn an ok chill spot into an incredibly Zen relaxing space you won't want to leave. Here are ten different ideas at ten different prices (and where you can buy them), only thing needed is to add your favorite flower or plant and enjoy!

$25.00 Small Buddha

$39.98 Cedar Half Whisky Barrel

$41.66 Antique Revival French Square Planter

$72.99 Timbergirl Reclaimed Wood - Set of 2

$73.08 Tin Flower Planters - Set of 4

$79.99 Wine Crate Vertical Planter

$90.59 3 Metal Galvanized Planters

$99 Acanthus Urn Planter

$149.95 Metal Boat

$149-$299 Tuscan Planters

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Appies - Chicken Salad or Strawberry Bruschetta

By Lisa VanWilliams

Here are two great appies to make if your having company over. The Chicken Salad is always a hit and it's a great way to incorporate some fresh herbs into the mix.  The Strawberry Bruschetta is like a strawberry jam but then there's more to it, little flavor bursts from the balsamic vinegar to the smooth creamy goat cheese make this a great anytime of day snack.  My Cousin made the Strawberry Bruschetta over a family weekend getaway and they were a big hit. Either one screams SUMMERTIME, and you will definitely be back for seconds on these tidbits.


Baguette sliced into thin pieces

Chicken Salad
1 leftover whole chicken broken down into bite size pieces
salt & pepper
2 sticks of celery
¼ of onion diced tiny
½ cup Craisins
½ cup lightly salted cashew pieces/halves
½ cup mayonnaise (or more if you prefer)

For Bread: Olive oil, cracked pepper, fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh sage

Strawberry Bruschetta
6 large strawberries diced
3 medium sized basil leaves sliced or cut
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
balsamic vinegar (reduced)

Slice the Baguette into this slices. Half with have herbs and half just be olive oil drizzled over. I used a mix of oregano, basil, sage, and fresh cracked pepper for the chicken salad slices. Leave the strawberry bread with just olive oil. Bake these in oven on 350 for ten minutes. Remove to cool.  

To make reduced vinegar I poured 1/2 cup in a sauce pan and reduced it on medium heat, stirring occasionally until half of it disappeared and it was thick. It will smell terrible while it's reducing but somehow it tastes incredible at the end.   

Put your strawberry mixture over the oiled bread and then drizzle it with the balsamic reduction.

Put your chicken mixture over the herbed oil bread, and I topped with some fresh cut chives. 


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Cape Cod Style

By Lisa VanWilliams

Grey faded shingled Capes one after the other on some of the best landscaped lawns you will ever see. Fog rolling in from Martha's Vineyard with the faint murmur of the fog horn in the background and the smell of the ocean mist surrounds you.  This Caribbean of the North has it's own unique style and taste and you will be thinking about it long after you visit this magical place. These old sea towns take pride in their history and if you blink too fast, you will miss all the little things that make it so special.

If you have toddlers and babies, this a great place to visit because it's not that long of a drive from the New York area and it's kid friendly from the restaurants to the beaches. Quaint shops, Outlet Malls, sailing, paddle boarding, boat rides, whale watching, craft fairs, light houses, mini-golf galore (regular golf too!) and scenic drives are just a few things you can pack into a weekend or week long vacation adventure.

Here are a few of our favorite things....

Flower gardens and overstuffed flower boxes

 Nautical Nonsense

Lots of boats!

and the food...