caipirinhas. satay. pool. happy 4th

my husband loves these drinks, made with a special liquor from brazil - they're especially good on a hot summer day - serve with lots of lime. we had the family over for a 4th of july bbq....... grilled beef satay, roasted vegetable orzo and a berry torta were on the menu. recipes are below.


1 lime
2 oz. cachaca
sugar to taste
ice cubes, crushed

Cut lime into pieces and put in glass. Sprinkle with sugar and crush with a pestle to release the juice. Add cachaca and stir - add ice and mix again.

Beef Satays

1 1/2 lb. ribeye steak
3 T brown sugar
2 T ground coriander
1T ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 T Asian fish sauce or soy sauce
3 T vegetable oil
bamboo skewers

Cut steak into 1/2 inch cubes and place in glass bowl. Stir in brown sugar, coriander, turmeric, cumin, pepper, fish sauce and oil. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight.

Drain cubes and discard marinade. Thread 3 -4 pieces beef onto bamboo skewers (which have been soaked in water for a 1/2 hour).  Spray grill with Pam and heat to high. Grill skewers until cooked to taste, 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare.  Serve with store bought peanut sauce for dipping. (Note: This recipe serves 4. Double or even triple recipe to feed a larger crowd.) Recipe adapted from Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbeque.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo

4 bell peppers of different colors
1 large red onion
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup fresh dill
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups orzo pasta

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut peppers and onion into chunks. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread into glass dish or roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes. Boil water in pasta pot and cook orzo 8 - 10 minutes. Drain orzo and put into large pasta dish. Add roasted vegetables, onions, chopped dill, pine nuts, feta, chopped olives. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Hot pasta will melt cheese. Serve at once or dish can sit for a while at room temperature before serving as well. Recipe adapted from the Barefoot Contessa.

Alberta's Summer Berry Torta

2 sticks butter
2 c flour
4 T sugar
dash salt
dash vinegar

1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 T flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Leave butter out in large mixing bowl until soft. Mix with flour, sugar, salt and vinegar. Dough will form into ball. Press into an 9 x 12 glass baking dish. Prick with fork.  Pre-cook 20 minutes, until light brown. Let cool. Wash berries and mix gently with sugar and flour. Pour into cooled shell and bake whole pie another 35-40 minutes. Let cool and cut into squares. Tastes best served with vanilla ice cream. Recipe courtesy of my mother in law.

so we swam. (swum?) never can figure that one out.

admired brother in law's tomatoes ------ (he's got me beat. started his in april!)

--------and ate. a lot.

only thing left to do was sedate our poor pup in time for the fireworks!

hope everyone had a great 4th~



  1. Your 4th of July looked great fun. I love the sandy beaches. We do not have many in Cyprus, mainly rocks and pebble. They are still lovely though.
    Thanks for visiting my blog, have a great week.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Oh my, lots of good food and recipes! Summer is in full swing here too.

  4. That looks and sounds heavenly. My sort of food and drink (if you add wine!) And I love swimming.

    P.S. "so we swam. (swum?) never can figure that one out." Your first thought was right. Irregular verbs are tricky, some more than others: go mad trying to get the two verbs lay and lie right for a start! But in this case swam is past simple and swum past participle. See, piece of cake!

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  6. I've deleted two comments to correct original, so to speak! Sorry for confusion.

  7. Wow, Amanda that looks like a heavenly day! How I wish I had a pool!!

    The satay and orzo dish are very interesting, and that berry extravaganza has me rushing off to the 24-hr supermarket.

    Do you pre-soak the orzo? In Italy that's barley, and if you don't for at least an hour, 10 minutes of boiling aren't enough.

    Clinking cachaça glasses...

  8. ...another thing, that adorable airdale reminds me so much of Shaw, my dad's amazing and self nerfball-hurling Irish Terrier. So sweet.

    Your profile does not include your email, so I can't include you in my newsletter mailing list. Why don't you subscribe to it and my feed reader by clicking on the "subscribe" option buttons in my sidebar? Email address will not be disclosed.

    Ciao and again congratulations on the lovely blog.

    Eleonora xx

  9. Amanda now this feast is what makes the 4th a perfect weekend!

  10. Oooh fun! I really missed our family get together this year. Yours sounded great, the food fantastic. You are such a sweetie sharing the recipes. I used to make the satay for my children when they were little, they thought they were so grown up with the skewers.
    Is that your puppy? poor baby, i don't like fireworks.

    xoxo, lori

  11. the weather is obviously much warmer there than here - where it snowed yesterday when we drove friends into the mountains. my tomatoes are frozen in time and all the rest are stunted in their growth.

    now i hear npr say the rest of the usa is having heat stroke temps. go figure - this is what climate change looks like.

    your photos are enticing Amanda central lately. live life by loving life! lots of reasons to celebrate. crikey and crium (my word verification)

    bring warm clothes.

  12. hello glynis!!! thanks for visiting my blog and signing up to follow!

    so cyprus has mainly rocky beaches? i was there so long ago i don't remember, but one thing i do recall is it's aphrodite's birthplace, right? since you live there, i wonder if that helps when it comes to writing inspiration?! ;-)

    and on that subject of writing inspiration,i look forward to many return visits to your blog!!

  13. rosaria - thanks!!

    i just hopped over to italian for beginners and saw this:

    Faremo arrosti al barbecues.

    which makes me wonder: did you get a chance to bbq?

    hope you had a great 4th♡

  14. dd - thanks for the grammar correction -- i had a suspicion that the former was correct, but covering all my bases, no?

    but past simple and past participle.........oh now you've lost me there! my eyes glaze over with that stuff and it just seeps thru my synapses......

    no worries on the deleted comments. it surely beats what i've heard is going around on other folks' blogs today - comments are being automatically deleted before they can post!!

  15. eleonora -- i'm so happy you stopped by! and mille grazie for signing up to follow - i am honored♡

    to answer your question - i don't pre-soak the orzo - here you can buy it ready to boil like any other pasta.

    i love irish terriers too - they are similar to airedales in coloration but about 1/2 the size. self-hurling nerfball?! haha - sounds like shaw (love that name btw) has a sense of humor like our mia!

    thanks again for visiting and for the info on how to subscribe - will do so post haste ~ i'm a big admirer of your blog and eagerly await your next recipe!


  16. hi naturegirl - thanks so much!!

    and i am wondering ---- that coral fungus on your latest post --- is that an edible species? i only ask as our neighbor used to come in our yard all the time to harvest mushrooms to cook with but i never can tell the difference between edible and non!

  17. lori dear,

    wow - you used to make satay for your kids? i've only discovered them recently to make at home and wished i had earlier as they are really easy!

    yes - that's mia our airedale....almost 13 years old but we still call her our puppy!! she's a dear, but hates the fireworks.

    so you do, too?!


  18. sister --

    huh, snow? you're kidding? i guess i'll pack a ski jacket along with the sundress and sandals ;-0


  19. YUM! I love the feasting aspect of every holiday.

    I, too, had to sedate my dog for the 4th. He HATED fireworks.

  20. I love a good salad, a feast for the eye as well as the belly ;)

  21. What fourth of July? Ha, of course I know, but here the day passes on like any other. Our Paco is terribly afraid of fireworks, too. On New Year`s Eve we can never go out and leave him alone.
    Our neighbours once had an Airdale called Gary, and when he died, what did they call the successor?
    Why, Cooper, of course! Lovely dogs!

  22. hi reya - i agree most heartily - eating is absolutely one of the BEST parts of any holiday!

    so sorry to hear you had to sedate your poor pup - our vet says to use benadryl.... sort of weird, but it works!!!


    annie - i just realized i didn't include the salad recipe, but it's actually easy - just heat the pine nuts and raisins in some extra virgin olive oil (the raisins pop when heated - watch out!) and pour over the sliced tomatoes and garnish with basil leaves ~


    hey japra - hows the move going?? since you're in jolly old england i imagine celebrating the 4th was not on the agenda!! ;-) hope all is well~


    geli - that is so funny - i will have to tell my husband about the airedale named gary - he will think that is priceless! and of course cooper is a great name... the owner must have liked certain movies, like high noon, yes?!

    paco is the best name!!! what kind of pooch is he?



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