Flavors of Summer Virtual Picnic Kick Off plus Giveaway!

Virtual picnic logo

Summertime is in full swing!  I love this time of year and enjoy spending as much time outside as possible.  I look forward to every Saturday heading to the Farmer’s Market for a bouquet of fresh flowers and local produce.  For many of us the weekends are spent enjoying cookouts with friends, catching up with relatives at family reunions and holiday celebrations like the 4th of July which is next week.

I have teamed up with other food bloggers to kick off the Flavors of Summer Virtual Picnic.   We look forward to sharing with you delicious summer picnic recipes, perfect for all your summertime entertaining.

Let me introduce these incredible food bloggers that will be sharing their mouthwatering recipes this week.

Cook the Story
It’s Yummilicious
White Lights on Wednesday
{i love} my disorganized life
Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Sweet Remedy
Big Bear’s Wife
Cravings of a Lunatic
Kokocooks
Katie’s Cucina
The Tasty Fork
Scarletta Bakes

To get the party started, I will be co-hosting a Twitter party today at 4:30pm EDT with author and Southern Living contributing editor Rebecca Lang where will be chatting about 4th of July recipes and entertaining ideas.  Join in the conversation using hashtag #FlavorsofSummer, or you can register ahead of time HERE.  There will be some great prizes too, so don’t miss out.

I have some of my favorite picnic recipes that I can’t wait to share with you starting tomorrow. 

Let’s kick off this picnic with a GIVEAWAY! 

prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Info about the prizes:   Start celebrating the Flavors of Summer and enter below for a chance  to win 1 of 7 prize packages.  Each prize package includes a $50 Visa gift card,  an “I Love Avocados” t-shirt, the newly released cookbook “Summer Thyme” from  blogger Jennifer Dempsey, fresh Vidalia onions, and squeezable herbs from  Gourmet Garden.   The prize winners will be announced during our Virtual Picnic PinChatLive on Wednesday July 3rd, 4:30-5:30pm Eastern on The Flavors of Summer Virtual Picnic Pinterest Board. Come to the board for an hour of PinChat Fun and find out if you won. You’ll also see questions pinned to the board. Every time you answer a question found on a pin, you’re entered to win yet another amazing prize. See you on Pinterest! (Note: we will also contact winners by email).

Please join me, the other amazing food bloggers and our amazing sponsors as we go on a week long virtual picnic! 

Info about the sponsors:
 
Celebrate Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer with the great tastes of fresh Vidalia Onions, Avocados from Mexico, Gourmet Garden Herbs, Johnsonville Italian Sausage, mangos, watermelon and Stemilt Cherries. Great food and good friends make everyday a party to remember so start entertaining and visit www.flavors-of-summer.com for recipes, coupons and entertaining tips.

   

Summer Thyme is here plus a weekend of GIVEAWAYS!

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Remember when you were a kid and it was the last day of school before summer vacation.  As the bell rang and school let out, summer begun.

That is how I feel about today.  I’m super duper excited and I have butterflies in my stomach because it is the first day of summer, Summer Thyme that is.

My latest cookbook, Summer Thyme is officially available!

Key Lime Angel Food Cake

What is Summer Thyme?  Summer Thyme is filled with over 50 ALL NEW seasonal recipes perfect for your summer barbecue, family reunions or just a quick dinner with the family.  There are 8 sections including Appetizers, Breakfast and Brunch, Salads and Sides, Fresh from the Farmers Market, Main Course, Just for Kids (even though the recipes are for the kid in all of us), Drinks and Desserts.

What are some of the recipe? All the recipes are easy to prepare, that stick with my concept of homemade made easy, combining fresh ingredients with common ingredients on hand. Some of the recipes include my favorite Southwestern Corn Dip. Start your morning with Lemon Chia Seed Waffles topped with a Honey Lemon Syrup. At your next cookout, try my Warm Dijon and Herb Potato Salad or Maple Chipotle Glazed Corn on the Cob which is always a crowd pleaser. Keep dinner simple with Slow Cooker Rotisserie-Style Chicken Breasts which is fall off the bone delicious, or try the Coconut Chicken Tenders with a Coconut Mango Dipping Sauce in the Just for Kids section. Cool off by the pool with a refreshing Cantaloupe Cooler. End the day with a slice of Key Lime Angel Food Cake topped with a Key Lime Glaze and served with a dollop of creamy lime whipped cream.

Maple Chipotle Glazed Corn on the Cob

Why did you write a cookbook? I have always had a passion for writing and really wanted to take some special recipes and showcase them in a cookbook. I honestly thought I would do this in a few years after the twins were in school but my dear friend Jennifer Ford Berry who is an accomplished writer, author and organizing guru inspired me. It all started with Holiday Thyme which came out last fall, that is filled with NEW recipes perfect for the holiday season. The only recipe that was ever featured from that book was my Rum Cake with Butter Rum Glaze which you will want to bookmark and try. I had a blast doing that one, that after that book was done I jumped right into Summer Thyme and for the past seven months have been completely this book.

I couldn’t have done this without my readers.  I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful group of people that enjoy visiting my blog.  The kind emails, comments really means a lot.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on this journey with me. 

Who is the book for? Anyone that loves to cook and wants simple and easy, family friendly meals. Whether you are hosting a dinner party with friends, or a barbecue with neighbors, this cookbook is filled with recipes perfect for all your summer gatherings.

Lemon Chia Seed Waffles with Honey Lemon Syrup

Where can it be purchased?  As much as I love tablets for reading, I am a true believer that cookbooks are best in print. There is just something about holding a cookbook in your hand and flipping through the pages. My shelves are lined with my favorite cookbooks that I love to sit and look at on a rainy day, always looking for new recipes to try.

Summer Thyme is 128 pages and print books can be purchased exclusively on Amazon. Click HERE to order. You can also peak inside the pages of the book on Amazon, so it is definitely worth checking out.
If you prefer reading on your tablet, Ebooks are available for Kindle. 
To purchase the Ebook for your Kindle on Amazon, click HERE

To celebrate the release of Summer Thyme, I am celebrating with a weekend of fabulous GIVEAWAYS! 

In Summer Thyme, I share two of my slow cooker recipes.  What I love about my slow cooker is no matter how hot it gets outside, I can turn on the slow cooker to make dinner and it doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does.  I also love using my slow cooker in the summer because I can be out and about for the day with the kids and come home and dinner is ready. 

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For one lucky reader, I am giving away a Crock Pot 6-Quart Programmable Cook and Carry Slow Cooker plus a copy of Summer Thyme!

To enter for your chance to win, fill out the entry below.  Giveaway open to U.S. residents only (sorry!)

Stay tuned for 2 more giveaways for your chance to win!

GOOD LUCK! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweet Vidalia Onion Pasta Salad

Sweet Vidalia Onion Pasta Salad

Today is such an exciting day!  Not only is my cookbook Summer Thyme now available, but I am thrilled to share the Flavors of Summer  presented by Vidalia Onions with you!

Flavors of Summer - Presented by Vidalia Onions
Vidalia Onions are one of my favorites.  This seasonal onion harvested from Spring through Summer is Georgia grown.  Many people, including myself wait patiently for when Vidalia Onions become available.  Vidalia Onions has teamed up with some amazing brands to bring you the Flavors of Summer.  From recipes, cooking tips, and special savings can be found on the Flavors of Summer website by clicking HERE

Are you bored with the same old pasta salad?  This Sweet Vidalia Onion Pasta Salad will quickly become your favorite for all your summer cookouts.  Use your favorite short pasta noodles, like elbows, wagon wheels or even rotini.  Combine with corn, celery, crisipy bacon and the star of the show, Vidalia onions.  Toss with an easy homemade Vidalia onion dressing that you will not only love on this salad but on your favorite lettuce salads too.

This pasta salad travels great, so take it to a picnic in the park, a family reunion or whip it up for a backyard barbecue.  Wherever you enjoy it, everyone will be wanting more!

Sweet Vidalia Onion Pasta Salad

For this delicious recipe you will want to serve at your next cookout,  click HERE to head over to the Flavors of Summer for this recipe along with other tasty summer recipes! 

I am excited that the Flavors of Summer will be giving away a copy of Summer Thyme to one lucky winner!  Head to the Flavors of Summer for your chance to enter!

In case you missed it, be sure to check out Summer Thyme and some amazing giveaways happening this weekend! 

 

Valentine’s Day Printables

Valentine's Day Printables | www.motherthyme.com Growing up I loved Valentine’s Day.  Not just because I would hope to get a little love letter from my boyfriend, but it was a holiday that included chocolate.  At home, we used to do boom boom Valentine’s at the door where you were greeted with a box of chocolate or a fun treat from a mystery cupid. 

Through my twenties and early thirties it was a day I enjoyed with flowers from my husband and a romantic dinner at home.  Now having kids, I enjoy creating a little more of a festive environment for them to enjoy Valentine’s as I did when I was growing up.

I needed to replace my Christmas chalkboard printables I created for the holidays.  I designed this trio of Valentine’s Day printables that are fresh and festive.  I know many of you have enjoyed my printables I have created previously so I thought I would share these with you as well.  They print perfectly for an 8×10 frame.  You just need to click on the prints you like to download them to your computer.  You can print these from your home computer or I send them to CVS and have them printed to save on the ink.  For a few dollars and a frame that I just rotate the pictures out of depending on the season or holiday it is an inexpensive way to add a little fun to any wall. 

Valentine's Day Printables | www.motherthyme.com

If you love printables as much as I do, follow me on Pinterest where I am constantly inspired with printables I come across and pin.  I also did a post back in the fall on decorating with printables on Mothertime Marketplace where I share ideas on on decorating with printables and incorporating some printables that I came across via Pinterest. 

If you use these I would love to see.  You can post a picture on my Facebook wall or email a picture.  I hope these add a little pop to your walls for Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day Printables | www.motherthyme.com

Click here for free printable. (8×10)

Valentine's Day Printables | www.motherthyme.com

Click here for free printable. (8×10)

Valentine's Day Printables | www.motherthyme.com

Click here for free printable.  (8×10)

Lemon and Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

Lemon and Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

Have you ever gone to a spa and when you walk in the smell calms you.  You shoulders relax and the soothing music puts you at ease.  The last time I was at the spa was about a month ago, not for me but to pick up a gift certificate during the holidays.  I wish I was there for some me time.  I could use a day at the spa.  A little mommy time with a mani, pedi and a facial could do me some good.  Maybe I’ll throw in a massage while I’m at it.  The time couldn’t come soon enough to have some much needed relaxation and pampering. 

Until I get a chance to go to the spa, I’ll bring the spa, well the scent of the spa that is into my home.  My Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri was popular during the holidays.  Now that the holidays are over, I still enjoy a nice smelling home.  The other day I happen to have a candle burning that I found in the basement.  When Mr. Mother Thyme came home from work he said the smell was overpowering.  So much for burning that.  To still have a calming scent lingering throughout the home without the perfume smell of a candle, I enjoy making natural scents.  This is one of my favorites.  It truly smells like the spas that I have gone to before.  It combines a sliced lemon, a large sprig of rosemary, a few cinnamon sticks and a dash of vanilla.  The smell will transport you to the spa in no time. 

Lemon and Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

Lemon and Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Lemon and Rosemary Simmering Potpourri

A calming scent of lemon, rosemary and vanilla that simmers right on your stove top.

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-2 cups water

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan add lemon, rosemary, cinnamon sticks and vanilla extract. Fill with water so there is about 1-2 inches of water.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue to simmer on low and adding water if necessary.

You should be able to get a few days of use out of this before you will need to replace it. Don't forget to turn off the stove if you are not around to attend to it.

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Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

orange and balsam simmering potpourri

It should come as no surprise when I mention I love the smell of the holidays.  I say it often, and recently mentioned that my house has the aroma of fresh citrus and balsam.  Unfortunately, we have artificial trees.  Yes trees, we have two in our home.  This year, I had to come to terms with leaving the silver and gold ornaments off the trees or they would have become toys for the twins.  So this year thanks to my daughter I now how a tree filled with her stuffed animals.  I cherish these moments.  I had my years of having the perfect tree with the perfect decorations.  What is more important now is keeping Christmas magical for my kids.  If that means Dora and Elmo on my tree instead, so be it. 

Since we don’t have real trees, I like to capture the smell of fresh balsam in other ways.  I don’t like to use a lot of candles, again because of my kids.  Plus I love the smell of natural scents.  The way I get my home to smell so lovely is making an orange and balsam simmering potpourri filled with fresh oranges, sprigs of balsam and rosemary.  I just love this combination it is so inviting and perfect for the holidays.  It perfumes the house so nicely, and naturally.

Obtaining this scent so easy to do and there really isn’t any method or amount, just your preference.  The water and pot will look pretty at first, but it will quickly get dark and the needles will fall off the stems.  That’s fine.  You can keep adding more.  And just keep enough water in the pot to keep it simmering on low to medium low. 

Simple, easy and smells amazing! 

orange and balsam simmering potpourri

Orange and Balsam Simmering Potpourri

The combination of fresh orange slices, balsam, rosemary, cinnamon and cloves create a beautiful natural aroma for the holidays.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1 large orange
  • 6-7 sprigs of fresh balsam
  • 1-2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with 4-5 cups of water.
  2. Cut 6 slices (about half) and put in water along with sprigs of balsam, rosemary, cinnamon sticks, cloves and vanilla. Take the other half the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot then place in saucpan.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to simmer. And continue to simmer, adding water if necessary.

You can also add in orange slices and sprigs as the day goes on. By the end of the day my pot usually has almost 2 oranges simmering and 10 sprigs of balsam. I let the water level go down so the balsam sits on top the oranges that are emerged in the water. You should be able to get a few days of use out of this before you will need to replace it.

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Free Christmas Chalkboard Printables

Free Christmas Chalkboard Printables

I have a confession to make.  I am addicted to printables.  You know those printables you can find floating around Pinterest. I had printed a bunch of them thanks to Pinterest for the fall and they looked fabulous in my house. You can see a glimpse of them in a Fall Printables post I did at Mothertime Marketplace.

I needed to add some holiday prints to the fall ones that I took down.  I was inpsired after seeing free christmas chalkboard printables.  My kitchen is cream and black and love to to accent it with green and white for the holidays.  I knew these chalkboard printables would be a great addition to my empty frames.  I couldn’t find any printables that were my style so I decided to create some of my own.  They look fabulous and I am so happy how they turned out that I had to share my little DIY printables with you.

If you love printables like I do,  I hope you enjoy these 8 holiday chalkboard printables that I created.  You can print these as 4×6, 5×7 or 8×10 then pop them in a frame and hang on a wall or tuck in an empty bookshelf.

You can easily download them in my recent post I did for Mothertime Marketplace by clicking HERE.

Spring Cleaning & Printable Checklist



Can you believe spring is right around the corner?  Like many areas, we experienced a rather mild winter.  I am hoping (knock on wood) that we won’t get a surprise from Mother Nature with a late winter.  


This weekend we Spring ahead with the clocks.  I love that extra hour of daylight in the evenings.  Already it is staying lighter later and is so nice to be making dinner and looking outside and it not being pitch black.  

Now is the time of year I like to begin tackling my Spring Cleaning projects.  With that comes a good clean on the inside and checking safety equipment such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  A good clean in the Spring and Fall getting in the corners, behind the bookshelves and appliances not only ensures everything is in good working order but keeps the house clean and tidy.

If you would like to see all my tips for a Spring clean plus a organized printable Spring Clean checklist I am sharing all my tips and the checklist at Mothertime Marketplace.  

Click HERE to Spring Clean.