This week, week 7 of the StoneGable Farmhouse Kitchen Face Lift will be the last one!!!!! Is that light I see at the end of the construction tunnel? YEA! The stone backsplash goes in this week and just a few last odds and ends left to do!  I'll post a couple of pictures tomorrow. I still have to find window treatments, a rug, a lamp and some new accessories. The biggest thing I need to find is a new home for some of my kitchen things. I lost an appliance garage but gained counter space. Lost a microwave over the oven but gained a new vent and hood. Lost a drawer for pans under my stove but gained a built-in oven. Lost a desk where my toaster oven sat but gained a place for my microwave and some drawers. You get the picture.

Bobby hates change. I told him not to get too used to where I put everything for awhile... I just need to make sure everything is in it's new and proper kitchen "home"... me included!

Mexican Pizza

Recipe: Mexican Pizza
Doesn't that sound like a fiesta in your mouth?  I found this delightful recipe at Ten June, a blog I just recently happened across. So young and chic! I'm adding extra broken tortilla chips to the pizza. Can we all say OLE'!

Marinaded Flank Steak On The Grill
Asparagus On The Grill
Spinach and Strawberry Spring Salad

Recipe: Marinaded Flank Steak On The Grill
1 large flank steak
1 StoneGable marinade recipe, follows

Put flank steak and marinade in a zip lock bag.  Marinade 1 hour or overnight. Grill flank steak to medium/ medium rare. Rest for 10 minutes tented with foil. Slice thin against the grain.

Recipe: StoneGable Balsamic Marinade
I use this for every meat. It is wonderful. Tastes great on roasted veggies,too.
2/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped finely
2 tsp mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1 TBS Worcestershire sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup basil chiffonades

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Use as marinade, vinaigrette, or refrigerate.
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Recipe: Spinach and Strawberry Spring Salad
1 bag baby spinach
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
3-4 TBS bleu cheese crumbles
Poppyseed dressings, recipe follows

Put spinach, strawberries, almonds and bleu cheese crumbles in a salad bowl. Add poppyseed dressing. Toss and serve.

Recipe: Poppyseed Dressing
1 egg yolk
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 TBS honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
dash of paprika
salt and pepper
1 cup oil
1 1/2 TBS poppy seeds

Put all ingredients in a food processor, except oil and poppy seeds, and blend well. While processor is running slowly add oil until thickened. Stir in poppyseeds and refrigerate.
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Wednesday: Soup Day
Leek And Potato Soup
Parmesan Cheese Straws

Recipe: Leek And Potato Soup
8 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 2 inch pieces
5 medium leeks; washed and slice~ use the white part, discard green
2 TBS butter
1 TBS bacon drippings
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
1 quart of chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk
salt and pepper
chives, chopped for garnish

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon until crisp and brown. Reserve bacon. Pour off all but 1 TBS bacon drippings. Add butter and melt over medium heat. Add leeks. Salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 6 minutes until leeks are limp. Decrease heat to medium low and cook for 20 minutes until leeks are tender.

Increase heat to medium high and add chicken stock and potatoes. Cook until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove from heat,. Using an immersion blender (or put in a blender in batches), blend soup until smooth. Add heavy cream and buttermilk. Reheat. Taste to add salt and pepper. Serve garnished with crumbled bacon and chives.
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Recipe: Parmesan Straws
This recipe is so yummy to serve with soup or to eat as an appetizer! And if Ina Garten makes it, you know it has to be delicious! Click HERE for this flavor intense recipe.

Thursday: Slow Cooker Day
Orange Hoisin Chicken
White Sticky Rice
Citrus Salad

Recipe: Orange Hoisin Chicken
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook is one of my favorite cookbook! And that is just where this recipe is adapted from.
Juice of 1 large juice orange
Zest of an orange
1/4 cup honey
2 TBS soy sauce
3 TBS hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 TBS sesame oil
8 skinless chicken thighs
2 tsp cornstarch
3 tsp chicken stock
1 TBS sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet

Put orange juice, zest, honey, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil in a large bowl. Mix. Add chicken and coat with marinade. Pour into a  slow cooker and cook on LOW for about 6-8 hours, until chicken is done.

Transfer chicken to a plate. Strain liquids and pour into a saucepan. Heat on medium heat.

In a small bowl combine cornstarch and chicken stock, making a slurry. Bring liquids to a boil and whisk in the slurry. Cook for 2 minutes until sauce is thickened. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve over rice.
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Recipe: Citrus Salad
1 grapefruit sectioned, peeled and pith removed
2 large oranges sectioned, peeled and pith removed
1 green onions, white and green finely chopped
2 TBS bleu cheese crumbles
1 head buttercrunch lettuce (or Boston), cleaned and torn into bite size pieces
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp honey
1 TBS white balsamic vinegar

Cut citrus sections into bite size pieces.  Put salad greens, citrurs, onion and bleu cheese into a salad bowl.

In a small bowl or clean jar with  a lid, add orange juice, oil, honey and balsamic vinegar. Mix well. Pour over salad.
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Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs

Recipe: Lemon Garlic Chicken Kabobs
Mary at One Perfect Bite has the best cooking instinct of anyone I know! I admire her greatly... she is the real culinary deal! I just fell in love with her post on Kabobs. Great food history and yummy recipe. Click HERE  for a springtime grilling delight!

Saturday: Family Dinner
I love when my out of town family comes in for a family celebration! We are celebrating my niece Courtney's graduation from Temple University... with honors! Kudos to you, Courtney Beth! And everyone brings food... and presents!

Shrimp Cocktail
Barbecue Chicken
Baked Beans
StoneGable Potato Salad
Ceasar Salad
Fruit Platter With Dip
Ice Cream Cake

Recipe: StoneGable Potato Salad
This is my grandmother's recipe. The secret ingredient is pickle juice!And please use baking potatoes. Regular new potatoes are too full of water content and get mushy. I don't have amounts and measures, however these are close estimates. I just learned by watching and make this from memory. Start with these amounts and see how they are. You may need to tweek the mayo to potato ratio. It is well worth the try. This seems like a pretty basic recipe, but don't pass it up. This recipe is my most requested picnic food. People love it!

5 lbs russet or BAKING potatoes, boiled whole in jackets, cooled
1 large jar garlic dill pickles (I use Claussen's)
1 large onion, diced finely
3-4 ribs celery, diced finely
1/2 cup shredded carrots
6 hard boiled eggs, diced finely
3 cups mayo
2 TBS mustard
salt and pepper

Remove skins from baking potatoes and dice into large bowl. As you dice the potatoes, splash them with the pickle juice to keep them from browning. Toss the potatoes as you dice. Keep splashing them with pickle juice. Use about 1/4- 1/3 cup.

Put mayo in a bowl ( I use a large wide mouthed ball jar and shake). Add 1/3 cup pickle juice and mustard. This is just a guesstimate. You might need more pickle juice. Mix or shake well. It should be the consistency of thick cream.

Add mayo to potatoes and coat.Don't be stingy with the mayo. If it doesn't coat it and some to spare~ make more. Add onions, celery and eggs and mix. Salt and pepper to taste.

This is better if made the day in advance for all the flavors to marry. When you make this invite me over!
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Sunday Lunch
Chicken Salad On Croissants
Tortellini  Salad
Potato Chips
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Recipe: StoneGable Tortellini Salad
2 large bag frozen tortellini
4 green onions, thinly sliced, use white part only
1 carrot, grated
4 slices of roasted red pepper, chopped
1/8 lb. sliced pepperoni, cut in thin strips
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 jar marinaded artichoke hearts, rough chopped
1/2 cup sliced Greek olives, pitted
1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
2 TBS chiffonade fresh basil
Greek dressing, Gazebo House
salt and pepper to taste

Cook tortellini according to directions, drain and cool. Add all ingredients, except Greek dressing and salt and pepper. Once all ingredients are mixed, add dressing to taste. DON'T OVER DO IT! Salt and pepper to taste.
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