June 26, 2009

This just in...

Summer is here! The weather is finally with us. Horray horray! And talk about good timing: Our darling U.P.S. man is always eagerly awaited at Clever Girl, and today he delivered the most wonderful book. The Summer House Cookbook is full of inspired recipes to kick off this great season. The book is full of beautiful photos (after all, we want to see what it should look like) and packed with tasty, goof-proof dishes. So stop in for your copy and get cooking Summer style!

As any Foodie knows, chilled soups are quite the rage now, and this sounds especially promising...

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea Soup
Serves 8
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
1 ½ pounds sugar snap peas, strings removed
6 cups chicken stock, or low-sodium canned chicken broth
2 teaspoons sea salt
6 generous grindings of black pepper
20 fresh mint leaves
In an 8 quart soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, celery, and carrot and sauté until they are tender, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and the stock, bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the peas are just tender, about 3 min. Add the salt and pepper and set aside to cool a bit.
Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender along with the mint leaves, until smooth. Stir and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Before serving, recheck the seasoning and adjust if necessary.

With all the great strawberries in season this is a perfect, simple way to use them...

Get-Up-and-Go Yogurt Shake
Serves 3 to 4

1 cup strawberries (about 5 medium to large), hulled and quartered
1 large mango, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 1 cup)
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 cup ice

Place all of the ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth. Serve icy cold.

Of course, a Clever Girl loves to experiment with other fruits and berries such as bananas, blueberries, and pineapple too...so make what ever sounds good to you!!!
Recipes from: The Summer House Cookbook

June 19, 2009

In search of Summer

OK. I give up. Where is summer? I know where the clouds are. I've located the rain, thunder and lightning. The mosquitoes and I are now very well acquainted. The weeds are having a massive party without permission. What I'm seeking, however, is summer. You've heard of it I'm sure. Things like sunny days, warm breezes, walking the dog, kids riding bikes and flying kites. A lemonade stands pops up on the corner, and the ice cream man whizzes around in his funny little van. Summer stuff. So where it it?

We've done our part. The screens are up, the grill is clean and ready, fresh sunscreen (extra SPF) has been procured and beach books are waiting to be read. So where is it?!? This is like waiting for Santa into January, and the Easter bunny is a total no-show. In other words: VERY DISAPPOINTING! Cute outfits are waiting to be worn. New shoes want out of their box. Summer scarves are growing slightly desperate for exposure. What's a girl to do? Sadly, I don't have the answer except to say,"Don't give up. It has to get here sometime. Summer 2009 will happen."
Until then Clever Girls, download some Beach Boys tunes and perfect your Mojito recipes. Summer is just around the corner...right?

June 8, 2009

Rain or Shine Rugs

Clever Girls all have their favorite things, and at the top of our list are the oh-so-incredible Rain or Shine rugs from Dash & Albert Rug Company. These are the rugs you've been searching for all your life. Need something cute but functional by the back door? What about a rug for the screened in porch? The cottage in Wisconsin? Every woman has wanted one of these magic carpets for in front of the kitchen sink. Something with style, soft underfoot, that looks like it belongs in a room-it's almost too good to be true.
Made of superheroic polypropylene, these indoor/outdoor area rugs are terrific for high-traffic areas and muddy messes. Scrubbable, bleachable and UV-treated for outdoor use, this collection of woven rugs can stand up to all that you dish out, and we have personally put them to the test. Three dogs, a boatload of houseguests and a muddy spring were no match for our rugs. They have performed perfectly. Regular vacuuming and the occasional gentle shake will keep your rug in shipshape condition. That's it.
Available in 35 patterns and a wide range of sizes from 2 x 3 minis all the way up to 8.5 x 11 room size rugs. Many in stock, all easily orderable. Lightweight, reversible and affordable. Striped for your delight. A rug for all seasons. Rug problem solved. Pretty clever, huh?

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