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Blog — "summer"

Design a Day Challenge: Day 1

Heidi Shenk "cards" "design a day" "design" "invitations" "save the dates" "stationery" "summer" "wedding"

My challenge is underway and going well so far! But that is to be expected for the first day! :) In reality, I've designed more than one thing a day, knowing that there will probably be a day here or there in which I'll be out of town or time slips by quickly enough without me being able to get something done.

The first design is one that was inspired by my browsing on Pinterest. So many creative things happening out there and they all collide on Pinterest! I decided to make these cute popsicle save the dates in lots of bright colors. I used white font to keep them light and summery, attached a popsicle stick to the back to give them the full effect, and finally converted them into magnets using some magnet tape. The end product is this fresh design, perfect for a summer outdoor wedding!

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Punch List

Heidi Shenk "design" "projects" "punch list" "stationery" "summer"

1. By now I am sure you can tell that I'm ecstatic that summer vacay has arrived! I think teachers enjoy it more than any student ever could!

2. My goal this week is to try three new recipes. So far I've made one, with the next coming today. Monday night I cooked up these fantastic taco stuffed shells that were ridiculously tasty!

3. Two summers ago, a few co-workers and I had a photography challenge called The Daily Dose Picture Post. The four of us decided that in order to keep our photography skills fresh we would use our summer vacation to post one photo a day until the beginning of school. This challenge inspired me to do the same sort of thing, but this time with design. Today marks the first day of my Design a Day Challenge I wrote about yesterday, so stay tuned later today for the first design I've got in store to share!

4. With the arrival of our first time homebuyer's tax credit, we have looked to our trusty list of items to purchase or save for. Aside for saving money for travel and other various things, the first item was a new set of cookware. Say hello to my new set of Le Creuset pots and pans (and I splurged and got bakeware too!) in Caribbean blue!

5. There is nothing more refreshing and tasty on a summer morning than iced coffee! I've been enjoying quite a few of those over the past few days.

6. I've started my summer reading and the first book I will be reading is Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson. One of my students read this YA book and was in love with it so I'm taking his recommendation! What are you reading this summer?

7. I call this little list "Punch List" because I'm constantly making punch lists of my own. Summer is a great time for all of those catch up projects. Next in store-- rehabbing a couple sets of plantation shutters I found at the architectural salvage yard.

8. Speaking of projects, our cedar fence is coming along quite nicely!

9. I'm trying to get back into my yoga routine. This summer is all about relaxing, but not getting too lazy!

10. The latest thing I've been trying to convince Andrew on for our back yard is to take out the lower deck and install Moroccan cement tiles in its place for a beautiful outdoor courtyard feel. We'll see how that goes over with architect Andrew.

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Summer Design Challenge & a Sneak Peak

Heidi Shenk "cards" "challenge" "design a day" "design" "invitations" "stationery" "summer"

Day two of summer vacation is under way and I've already been productive in the design department. So far, I've come up with two unique summer designs-- one a day. And quite frankly, they may be some of my best to date. So, motivated by a previous summer challenge of a photo a day for the entire summer, I am going to embark on a similar mission. Ideally, I'd love to have a new design every day for the summer, but I realize that I may be a bit over ambitious. So I will start with a design a day for the next 30 days. I will post the results on this lovely blog so keep me motivated and encouraged! I am envisioning wonderful summer designs with lots of color to come! I'll start with my first post tomorrow so I'll leave you with a quick sneak peak!

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Grilled Jerk Chicken Focaccia Sandwiches

Heidi Shenk "cuisine" "food" "recipe" "summer"

As you've probably figured out by now, I love summer food! So much fun to make all sorts of refreshing meals from the fresh fruits and veggies that summer has to offer. Not to mention all of the amazing options for grilling. Once beautiful weather has shown its face in my neighborhood, the grill gets used about three times a week. One of my favorite items for the summer is a Jerk Chicken Focaccia sandwich, something I've based upon the same fabulous sandwich my mom serves at her bakery.

This is the perfect summer sandwich! Last weekend, with such warm weather, I just had to make it again! This is a sandwich that has been shared with friends, has made its way to Wolf Trap with a bottle of wine during a Crowded House concert, and makes me reminiscent of enjoying food and good company during lunch at my mother's bakery. The flavors are absolutely amazing. While I only will leave you with the recipe for the focaccia and the chicken today, I often serve this sandwich with a fresh mango and pineapple salsa-- perfect complimentary flavors! Perhaps that will be for next time. For now, enjoy the recipes!

Focaccia with Red Onion and Rosemary

1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons dry yeast
2/3 cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
half of a red onion
several sprigs of fresh rosemary

1) Dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water in a large bowl and let stand for several minutes until the yeast begins to bubble.

2) Add 1 3/4 cups of flour, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir until fulling combined. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Add remaining flour as needed. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

3) Cut dough into two equal pieces and shape each piece into flat circles. Place the shaped dough on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 minutes.

4) Preheat oven to 475 degrees.

5) Poke indentations in the shaped dough with your fingertips. Brush remaining olive oil on the dough, placed sliced red onion rings evenly over the dough, and sprinkle with rosemary and kosher salt. Bake at 475 for 12 minutes or until golden.

Jerk Chicken Marinade

Combine the following ingredients and let 3-4 chicken breasts marinade. I usually start the marinade in the morning or the night before.

1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon sage
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 cup onion, finely chopped

 Bake or grill the chicken, basting frequently with the remaining marinade. When the chicken has been cooked through, slice the chicken into small pieces. Slice the focaccia to prepare for sandwiches. I usually lay the sliced chicken on a bed of mixed baby greens for the final sandwich. Enjoy!

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