Archive for May, 2011

A few weeks ago, Jeff and I made a trip to Roger’s Gardens (in Newport Beach).  It is a gardeners’ paradise!  They have an incredible selection of plants, very helpful employees and even beautiful things for the home.  It’s worth a trip if you’re in the area!

Aren’t  the colors breathtaking?  Does it inspire you to get to work on your garden?

LOVED the foxglove and hydrangeas!  I could have a yard full of both.

While I didn’t find these particularly attractive, they were certainly the most unusual plant life we saw.

Happy Gardening!


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In the ongoing quest to find healthier recipes — while not compromising flavor — I found this great South Beach recipe.  Our kids love flank steak.  And, it’s one of the lower fat and less expensive beef options — which I appreciate.

I also like the fact that I can serve this Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak with Sweet Onion Relish a number of ways.  It’s great with rice, served as soft tacos, or as part of a green salad.  And, the left overs are great in sandwiches, quesadillas or salads!

Chili-Rubbed Flank Steak

with Sweet Onion Relish

4 servings  (unless you have teenagers)

1 1/2 lbs. Flank Steak

7 tsp. fresh Lime Juice

2 1/2 tsp. Chili Powder


1 medium Sweet Onion, minced (Vidalia is a great choice)

1/3 c. chopped fresh Cilantro


1.  You can broil or grill the steak.  So make the necessary preparations by lighting the grill or heating the broiler.

2.  Place flank steak in large glass pyrex dish.  Rub the top side of the steak with 2 tsp. of lime juice.  I “spoon & rub” the lime juice on the steak.  Then sprinkle 2 tsp. of chili powder on the steak and rub it in using the back of the spoon.  Season lightly with salt.  Flip the steak over and do the same with 2 tsp. lime juice, 2 tsp. chili powder and salt.  Let the steak marinate as you make the onion relish.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine the minced onion, cilantro, remaining 5 tsp. of lime juice, and remaining 1/2 tsp. chili powder.  (You can add more chili powder if you like.  I usually add 1 tsp.)

4.  Broil the steak 6 inches from the heat for about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Or you can throw the steak on the grill and grill accordingly.

5.  Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let sit for 5 minutes before thinly slicing at an angle against the grain.  Serve with onion relish.  Sour cream is a nice condiment with the steak.


  • I buy flank steak at Costco.  It comes 2 steaks to a pack averaging 3 to 4 pounds total.  I grill both steaks at once (our teenagers eat a lot).   I add 3-4 more teaspoons of lime juice and 2 more teaspoons of chili powder for the marinade/rub.  The recipe above makes enough relish to serve with 3 to 4 lbs of flank steak, so I don’t adjust the relish recipe.
  • This is a great recipe for those trying to eliminate or reduce added oil and fats in recipes.

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I’m having a love affair with stripes.  Actually, I have always loved stripes … especially black and white or navy and white stripes.  There is something so timeless and classic with the look.

I love just about everything Anne Hathaway wears.  So cute in stripes!

Isn’t this black and white photo just stunning?

Whether it’s stripes in clothing fashion (such a cute preppy family!)

Or blue and white striped espadrilles (Bloomies)…  Stripes add such a great classic look for spring and summer.

And of course, I love stripes in home decor (Country Living) …

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Last year, I received a lemon tree for Mother’s Day.  I thought it was one of the best gifts ever!  Jeff planted it in a big pot next to my herb pots.

And exactly one year later, we have twelve large, beautiful lemons!

Well … make that nine lemons.

On the eve of Mother’s Day, Natalie and I made Lemon Pudding Cake (using our own lemons).  I had planned to use a couple more lemons for Grilled Artichokes, but we ran out of time.

For all of the moms, grandmothers, aunts, stepmoms, sisters and other wonderful women that help raise, nurture and influence our children …

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Well … I wasn’t really ready to be thinking about the 4th of July this past weekend.  But, when you see great stuff in the $1 Bins at Target — you must act quickly!

Can you believe that all the things in the picture above cost a $1 each?   We’ll be in town this 4th of July, so we’ll be having our annual BBQ and Swim Party.  I’m not sure how I’ll use all of the items from Target, but here are just a few ideas ….

The nylon pinwheels will be adorable marking the walkway to our front door.  They would also be cute stuck in flower and herb pots in the backyard.

The red, white & blue tin pails would be adorable:

  • holding utensils (forks, spoons & knives)
  • as containers for potted plants, herbs or flowers
  • as serving bowls for nuts, M&Ms (red, white & blue), pretzel rods and other goodies
  • holding straws or napkins
  • with votive candles

The galvanized tin buckets can be used in the same manner as the red, white and blue tins.  However, I think I will use these all summer long.  They would be adorable filled with some sand and votive candles — lighting the walkway at night.

The red, blue and silver beads can be used throughout the house and patio to add festive touches.  Here are just a few specific ideas:

  • As part of the centerpieces on the tables — draped on a table runner, wrapped around flower vases
  • As fillers in apothecary jars
  • In silver bowls — to add festive color

Now the floral and botanical plastic plates and serving pieces were not in the Dollar Bins (I wish!)  They are the Home brand at Target, and were very reasonable.  They remind me of the John Derian decoupage plates that I bought 15 or 20 years ago.

How fun to use them all summer long?!?  I bought the appetizer plates and some serving pieces — very fun for a party or family gathering.  I may end up going back and getting some dinner plates — mix and match.

This summer I’ll be sure to post some pictures of how I use these fun items.

Thinking of summer parties … FUN!

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