Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Girls' Day In . . . What Fun!

Today was spent with my dear friend Patty and what a good time we had . . . relaxing and catching up!  Actually we had a celebration!  We finally got to celebrate our birthdays....mine having been in February and Patty's was in May!  Time just gets away from us during the year.  Everything is so hectic, our schedules never seemed to mesh, something just always seemed to get in the way . . . so we decided to wait until school was out to have our celebration and today was the perfect day!

Patty wanted me to come to her house for lunch and upon arriving our first order of business was a nice cool glass of Chardonnay....first order of relaxing that is!  Oh, did I mention Patty has a beautiful house on the lake with gorgeous view?  You'll see that in a minute...right now let me tell you about the delicious lunch she had prepared...Chilled Blueberry Soup that could have been a dessert...so cool and refreshing...and my favorite, Curried Chicken Salad and croissants!  It was all so delicious!! After the Chardonnay and that delicious lunch I was prepared for a nap, but no....Patty said, "Let do a peppermint foot soak!!"  Sounds good to me...first I'm relaxed with the wine...got a full tummy from lunch... and now we're going to soak our feet in a something that smelled so good I wanted to drink it!!!  I will definitely be purchasing some of Dr. Teal's Peppermint Foot Soak tomorrow!  This stuff smells sooo good and makes your feet feel wonderful!  So, here we were, sitting on her screened porch, soaking our feet, overlooking her gorgeous pool and lake view and then...here she comes with one more thing for relaxing...like I'm not already on the verge of snoring....an Apricot Brandy Slush....sssslllllluuurrrrppp!  So delish, I wanted to just gulp that thing down but knew better!  You have got to make up a batch of these to keep in your freezer.  The perfect frozen drink for a hot summer day, especially here in South Carolina where it topped 100 today!  I'll share the recipe at the end of this post, but I just have to say my day was perfect.  Just what the doctor ordered...I was totally relaxed enjoying the time I got to spend with my special friend, catching up on our families, our lives, and just girl talk!  You know Patty and I can go for months without seeing one another and we live really close.  We'll shoot each other an  email here and there...maybe a quick phone call...but we are always connected in our hearts.  We were trying to figure out when we saw each other last and figured out .it was when we exchanged our Christmas presents sometime in January!  We had sooo much to catch up on, it was nice relaxing on her porch, soaking my feet, sipping an Apricot Brandy Slushy, chatting with my dear, dear friend.....thank you Patty, it was a perfect day!  xxoo
These Apricot Brandy Slushes are so good and refreshing!
A little southern watermelon to munch on!  Perfect for a hot summer day!
Aaaahhhhhh...not only does it feel good...it smells heavenly too!

What a gorgeous view!
Will definitely be purchasing this tomorrow...Patty said they have it at Walmart....of course Walmart has everything!

Here is the recipe for the Apricot Brandy Slush, and a note about preparing . . . it may take several days for it to freeze so plan ahead and make sure you've got it mixed up and in the freezer well in advance of consumption!

Apricot Brandy Slush

Stir until dissolved:
1 cup sugar
9 cups water

1 - 12 oz. can orange juice concentrate
1 - 12 oz. can lemonade concentrate
2 cups Apricot Brandy

Mix and freeze.  Stir a few times during the freezing process.  Stir first time after the mixture has been in the freezer for 6 hours.  This may take several days to freeze.

To prepare drinks
Scoop slush into glass (you may need to scrape your spoon over the top to get mixture broken up).  Next, add enough seltzer to liquify while keeping the "slushy" consistency.  If you like your drink a little sweeter use Sprite instead of the seltzer.  This makes 4 quarts of the slush mix.  You can easily half the recipe and freeze in a 2 quart pitcher to keep in the freezer


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Today was a good day!

Today was a good day!  Not because anything special happened, but because I got to do things that I love and I wasn't worried about the time.  My life seems to revolve around a calender and a clock.  There's always a deadline for something I'm working on, whether it's something for me or someone else, and the clock just seems to tick way too fast! Before you know it, my day has ended and I still have more to do.  Today was one of those days that I didn't have a deadline on anything!  Yay for me!  I got up early and enjoyed coffee on my  porch and believe it or not, I was cutting grass by 9:00!  You have to get an early start in South Carolina because summer days get hot really quick.  I love to cut grass so it wasn't a chore for me. My husband wanted to do it but I said no, I need the exercise!  I worked in my yard, weeding, trimming, planting more flowers and suddenly I realized I was about to die from a heat stroke.  No problem...I went straight to the pool with all my clothes on and just jumped in!  I'm sure my neighbors thought I was crazy but it cooled me off pretty quick...although I did check the water temperature while I was paddling around and it was 90 degrees!!!  Can you believe that?!  After I finished my yard work I decided a proper dip in the pool with a bathing suit was in order so with sweet tea in hand I floated and relaxed for a couple hours.  It was so nice knowing I could stay in there as long as I wanted to...no deadlines remember?  I finished off the afternoon reading and taking a quick nap....aaahhh...that was so nice!   Tonight my Gamecocks were playing the first game of the Super Regionals and as tradition has it...my dear husband made his famous smoked chicken wings.  He makes the best chicken wings in the world and of course...we had homemade blue cheese dressing to top it off.  I just have to share this recipe with ya'll!  Most people eat celery with their wings and dip the celery in the blue cheese...not us...we dip the wings in the blue cheese!

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise (or Hellman's if you live up north, bless your heart!)
1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
garlic powder to taste
1 - 4 oz. pkg. crumbled blue cheese

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for a couple hours before eating.  This is my favorite salad dressing too!

After munching on wings and cheering my Gamecocks to victory I decided to make up a batch of pesto.  Tomorrow I am going to Charleston to visit my daughter, Brooke, and she LOVES pesto!  Mama had given me a ton of her basil and I harvested my first crop today as well.  I made Brooke's batch tonight and will make mine tomorrow.  I love basil!  Of course my favorite way to eat it is on pasta but since I'm trying to be a little more health conscience it's delicious to mix a little with halved cherry tomatoes and cubed fresh mozzarella!  Light and refreshing!


1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pignolis (pine nuts)
6 cloves of garlic
5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup good olive oil
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Note:  If you don't have walnuts you can just use pignolis.  Most pesto recipes only call for pignolis anyway.

Place nuts and garlic in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process for 30 seconds.  Add the basil and salt.  With the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is finely pureed.  Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute.  Serve, or store the pesto in the refrigerator with a thin film of olive oil on top.  This will keep the pesto from turning dark.  This freezes well too.  

I grow several pots of basil during the summer and freeze small cartons of pesto to have during the winter!  It's great on pasta, mixed with mayonnaise for a nice sandwich spread, or thin with a little more olive oil and use as a salad dressing!

Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I have enjoyed my day....getting to do just what I wanted to do...and not watching the clock!  Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

And the Winner of My Faith Giveaway is . . .


I am so excited that Patticake is the winner of my Faith Giveaway!  She has been a faithful
follower of my blog since I first started it back in the fall.  She is such a sweet person and deserves
to win this!  We have emailed each other over the past several months and found out 
we have so much in common...she has become not only one of my sweet followers
but also a great e-friend!  CONGRATULATIONS Patti!

Look for a package in the mail soon!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Happy Summer To Me!

Monday was my official first day of summer vacation!  I've been waiting on this for a long time and I couldn't wait to start my day with my first official get-back-in-shape 2.5 mile trek through my neighborhood...only this summer I have an added little toy that I am so excited about!  Last week I decided to buy myself a little "Happy Summer" present, something that will be fun and at the same time get me in shape!  I bought this cute little Beach Cruiser from Walmart!!  I think it's pretty sporty looking myself and I have had so much fun riding it.  I get up quite early and after I do my 2.5 mile walk I saddle up for about a 2 mile ride through the neighborhood!  I get lots of waves from neighbors and several have stopped me to find out where I got it!  Maybe we'll start a bike club!  I do have a few more accessories to add...like a cute little Nantucket basket for the front...hopefully Miss Sophie Annabella will go for a ride with me, and  I'd also like to change the seat...it's not real comfortable right now and that's probably attributed to the size of my derriere, but hopefully after a couple weeks that problem will be taken care of too!  I can't wait to take it to Charleston next week so Brooke and I can have some fun riding on the beach....I have never done that before!  Enjoy your summer days in the sun! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help! Problems with Blogger?

I need your help.  I've been informed that many people have not been able to comment on my latest post to enter my giveaway.  If you've experienced this problem please email me at sweetteaandpearlsblog@gmail.com and tell me what your problem has been...i.e. no comment box, missing "Comment" button, etc.  I am trying to get this straight with Blogger.  Apparently several people have had this problem and Blogger was suppose to have fixed it.  I'd appreciate any help you can offer.  Thanks!