Friday, July 31, 2020

Goodbye July - Hello August !

Goodbye July - Hello August!

Wow!  So hard to believe that July is ending and August starts tomorrow.  Rabbit Rabbit to those who love the magic of the last day/first day of the month.  During this pandemic the days have all blended into each other and I find myself surprised that the summer is slipping away.  Today's post is a hodgepodge of recipes, decor for the summer, things I bought on Amazon, and books I loved. 
 So glad you stopped by for a visit. 

Healthy Eating
Since my husband's heart attack we have been eating very healthy.  We always ate healthy, but we have ramped it soda, chips, lots of salads and fish.  We try to eat salmon twice a week and one of my favorite ways to prepare salmon is packet cooking. Place salmon on a 12x18 sheet of  heavy duty foil.  I don't use heavy duty...just double up on the regular foil. ( Some of my friends mentioned that it is not good to cook with foil, but in checking out this article from healthline  it seems not to be an issue) 
I spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray to make sure that the fish does not stick to the foil.

You can use any variety of vegetables...This time I used sliced sweet potatoes....

and asparagus.
Place the veggies on either side of the fish, drizzle with olive oil and this time I added a little white wine, too.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Fold the packet up and seal the edges.  Bake in a 450 oven ( put the packets on a baking sheet) for 18-20 minutes - or, in these hot summer months - put the foil on a med high grill and cook covered for 16-18 minutes.  When cooking is finished open the foil carefully...there will be steam.

Just plate the meal and enjoy!  Clean up is easy as you just throw away the foil.
You can mix up the veggies for different meals.   Here I used on piece of salmon and sliced it in two pieces since I was using a lot of veggies...zucchini and new potatoes.  I substituted Smart Balance margarine for the olive oil to give his dish a buttery taste...and used Italian seasoning on the zucchini.  Have fun, experiment, and enjoy and easy yet healthy meal!

Summer Decor

Once the July 4th holiday has passed I usually swap out my flag/patriotic decor for something with summer flowers.  And sunflowers are always beautiful for August...
This wreath is one of my favorites and I love the way the yellow and green colors look against the navy blue door.

This simple coffee table decor is just a mix of items I had in the beads from Dollar Tree add a light touch.
While I love apartment living here at Our New Vista, and don't mind the gardening work of weeding, watering, etc. - I do miss picking flowers from my garden for our table.  Luckily I found these beautiful silk flowers at JoAnn 75% off!  I cut them up and put them in the white pitcher I had used for the hydrangeas in July and added the silver tray with the shell edge.  I bought this years ago at Ross.  I keep all these items in my spare room closet/sewing room/junk room and find I can often "shop" my house for items to use. 

Fruit and lemons always say summer to me and I rarely swap out my Turtle Run wine bottle lamp because I love the colors on it.

 A welcome in the foyer with a print out from Ann at On Sutton Place says it all with the quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder - "Home is the nicest place there is."
Usually you will see masks hanging on the door handle so we are ready whenever someone comes to the door.

Van Gogh's  Starry Night is one of our favorites...and I added a small print of Sunflowers for the summer.

A sunflower pillow brightens up the navy chair.

Is everyone else finding they are shopping online more than ever...seems a package arrives every day.  I really liked having an Echo in the bedroom - use it for our alarm, to turn on the night stand lights, listen to music...but I did not like the dark color and the amazon name on it.  Traded it in on an Amazon deal and upgraded to the Echo Dot in a lighter color with the time read out. 
I like that it shows not only the time, but the temperature if I ask what the weather is like, and it also shows a countdown when I use it as a timer.

I am very happy with how it looks on the nightstand.

We have been watching lots of movies during this pandemic...and I have been reading more than I ever have in my life - and that is saying a lot for a librarian. Here are some of my favorite books that I read this month...
The Light Over London
I love historical fiction and this took me to London during WWII.

The Language of Flowers
Great story about flowers, foster care, life, and LOVE!
The Stationery Shop
This was my favorite July read...Iran in 1953, present day USA, and all the love and life in between.

Thank you so much for stopping by Our New Vista today.  I would love to hear what you are reading, cooking, and how you are decorating.  Have you stopped decorating because "nobody" will see it?  I thought of that, but I love for our home to look good so I will continue to decorate for the two of us!  Please leave a comment below - I would be thrilled.  And be well, stay healthy and be safe!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Pasta Salads and Patriotic Decor

 Pasta Salads and Patriotic Decor

Though sometimes I have to remind myself what day it is during this Covid-19 time, I just need to look around our home to know it is SUMMER!  I usually pull out all my red/white/blue patriotic decor in time for Memorial Day...and keep it up until a little after the 4th of July.  Even though we will have no guests this year due to the virus, I am still enjoying decorating and having our home look presentable.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I love a wreath on our door.  This one is a few years old - it used to have a flag themed birdhouse attached, but that got old looking and fell off.  I quickly put on this patriotic top hat from Dollar Tree.  I picked up some great decorations at JoAnn's Fabrics last week at 75% off and plan to do a total re-do on the wreath for next year!

Nothing like Summer to enjoy our screened in patio and lighter meals.  I am trying not to purchase any prepared salads from the deli department at the grocery store this year.   Since John's heart attack we are both eating much more healthy than ever ( and we were pretty darn good before that attack ) I pulled out this recipe from years ago...and I do mean YEARS.  I pulled it out of a Parent's Magazine back in the early 1980's when I was working in the Childrens Department of a public library.  It is really good, refreshing, and  we enjoyed it with a burger.

8 oz. large bow tie noodles
1 cup mayo ( I used light)
2 Tablespoons milk ( I used skim)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cans - 11 oz. each - of mandarin orange segments, drained
1 large red apple, cored and diced
1 cup thinly sliced celery ( 2 or 3 stalks)
Lettuce leaves
Toasted sliced almonds, for garnish

Cook bow ties in lightly salted water as package directs.  Drain in colander and rinse with cold water and drain again.
In bottom of a large bowl, mix mayo, milk, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.  Stir in bow ties, oranges, apple, and celery.  Cover and refrigerate for at least one or two hours.   Serve bow tie mixture on lettuce leaves and garnish with toasted almonds.
Yields 4 servings and can be doubled, tripled, etc. for a large crowd!
I used whole wheat bow ties this time...
They do not look as nice as regular, but we are trying to be better eaters!

This was great with our burgers, but would be a nice side for chicken, fish, or any other meat.
Yum !  Love eating outside on our screened patio!

Some other patriotic decor inside and out....
I found these hydrangea stems at JoAnn's and used them to make a centerpiece for the dining room and patio table...

 Added some candles, some light up stars from the Target Dollar section, and of course, a flag..

 The foyer displays my last remaining Boyd's Bear.  Remember how popular they were ?  When we downsized and moved I could not sell them at our yard sales...I ended up giving them away to kids who came by the sale.  I kept this patriotic bear to use each summer. The red lantern was a gift from a dear friend one Christmas...I use it then and in this patriotic time, too.
 Easy coffee table decor...stars from Pier One.
God Bless America pillow is old, but still comes out each year.
 Out on the patio a smaller centerpiece...

And pillows to punch up the porch for the summer.  This is my favorite place to read, nap, and watch the clouds go past!
Thanks for stopping by Our New Vista today.  Do you decorate for the summer?  With patriotic theme, or something else ?  I am so glad you stopped by - please leave a comment below.  It is easy...and I would love to hear from you.  Just click on the pencil below and tell me what you think.   Happy Summer to all !

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Scampi Supper with Friends!

Scampi Supper With Friends!

Totally forgot about taking these photos...this dinner party with friends was the night before my sweet husband's heart attack.   Since then he is recovered, but Covid 19 has kept us from entertaining people in our home.  That is one of the things I miss during this quarantine time...but hopefully those days will come again.
This scampi dish is so simple ( find the entire recipe at the end of the post) and perfect for company because you can make it ahead of time and pop it in the oven when you are ready.

I make this in a 13x9 pan...and I love my Temptations cookware that I purchased at the QVC outlet.  I like this pan because it comes with a lid and a trivet to place it on when you take the pan out of the oven.  Just place the shrimp ( peeled and deveined) in the bottom of a pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

The original recipe I found on All Recipes did not call for cherry tomatoes, but I love it in this dish.  Just put any amount you would like - I put them in whole, but you could slice them if you wish.

In a saucepan mix together butter ( I use Smart Balance for cooking), mustard, lemon juice, garlic ( I use the jarred garlic), and parsley.
Heat in pan until melted and pour over shrimp and tomatoes...
Another ingredient that was not in the original recipe but I love is to sprinkle panko breadcrumbs over the entire mixture.
Pop in a 450 degree oven and bake for 15-18 minutes until the shrimp are pink and opaque.  So...I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish...and I also serve this over whole wheat spaghetti or linguine...with a salad and whole wheat bread.  
I did remember to take photos of the table setting - 
While I usually use cloth napkins, I found these napkins years ago in a kitchen store and thought they would be perfect for this meal.
My centerpiece was a cute, early Spring arrangement I found while shopping with my friends in nearby Lititz, PA.

It was a simple setting with my plain white dishes, monogrammed water glasses that were a wedding gift, and wine glasses I found at a thrift sale.
It was a great dinner and a lovely evening !  Here is the complete recipe:
Shrimp Scamp Bake
2/3 cup of butter ( I use Smart Balance )
1 heaping tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons of chopped garlic
2 teaspoons of chopped parsley...fresh if you have it
1 1/4 pounds of medium raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined.
Tomatoes and Panko bread crumbs, optional

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2.  In a small saucepan, over medium heat, combine butter, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and parsley.  When butter has melted, remove from heat.
3.  Arrange shrimp in a shallow baking dish.  Top with tomatoes if desired.  Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp. Top with Panko crumbs if desired.
4.  Bake in pre-heated oven for 15-18 minutes until shrimp are pink and opaque.   
Serve over pasta and enjoy !

Thanks so much for stopping by Our New Vista!  Please leave a comment below and let me know if you have any easy but special recipes for company.  Stay safe, be healthy - and thanks for checking in!

Goodbye July - Hello August !

Goodbye July - Hello August! Wow!  So hard to believe that July is ending and August starts tomorrow.  Rabbit Rabbit to those who lo...