Guinness Glazed halibut
Halibut is a tough fish to mess up so this is a good choice for your first attempt at a beer glaze! Combine Guinness, Honey, Lemon Juice and a splash of Tabasco (and salt to taste!) to create a delicious dark beer glaze for your fish this summer! You can use the glaze on whatever your side veggies are as well! (works great with broccoli or zucchini!). This glaze will help add some body to any white fish and you can use any dark stout beer you like!
Beer Battered Fried Chicken
Add your favorite golden ale to the egg mixture before you batter your chicken in your frying pan! This will add a lot of flavor and increase your hipster factor with your guests! For extra points, you can serve the same beer along with your chicken or whip up some waffles to create the flavor explosion of beer, waffles, and fried chicken! Yes, please!
The secret ingredient to delicious fish tacos are these: Cilantro for garnishing, corn tortillas instead of flour, and beer in your batter for your white fish (I recommend Cod!). Frying this light and fluffy fish in beer will add a fun crunch to the soft subtle flavor of cod, cilantro will work to create a distinctive summer flavor and corn tortillas will help you stay authentic to the most traditional of tacos!
RUM: Grab a mason jar from your collection (the larger the better!) and fill it about two thirds of the way with fresh pineapple slices (not canned, I repeat: not canned!). Then whisk about a half a cup of clear rum with two or three tablespoons of honey! Pour the honey/rum mixture over the pineapple. Add more rum to the mason jar leaving about a half an inch at the top. Seal the lid tightly and shake, shake shake, shake! Leave the mason jar in your cupboard or pantry for one to two weeks and then enjoy a homemade pineapple-infused rum that will wow your guests!!
COCONUT: Your guests need something delicious to snack on while the meat sizzles on your grill! First, pick up a pound or two of shrimp at your local market. Then you will proceed to fry your shrimp as you usually would with two important changes: Add beer to your egg (which you will dip your shrimp in after you cover it in flour) and roll the shrimp in shredded coconut before you fry it! These two simple changes will give your fried shrimp a delicious island flavor!
PORK SLIDERS: Smoke your pork shoulder in your dutch oven or in your traditional oven using wood chips. Then, place a tray of tiny burger buns open in your broiler! Once they are nice and toasty, remove them, add some juicy smoked pork and a generous helping of Hawaiian BBQ sauce! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…ahhh.
WATER: It is pretty easy to forget to hydrate during a fun outdoor summer party! The last thing you want is cranky guests who are too hot to realize they are dehydrated! Place a few large pitchers of ice water with a few slices of lemons strategically throughout your yard to encourage your guests to stay happy and headache-free!
Spanish Tiles: Add a bit of southern European flair to your kitchen or your outdoor space by picking out a few brightly colored tiles! These will give new life to a dumpy backsplash or bring more charm to a boring outdoor coffee table. Be sure to pick a color theme so that your mosaic tile pieces fit together well without clashing or competing for attention!
Moroccan shag: For a cozy chic look in your living room, consider a Moroccan shag rug with a fun geometric pattern! The bright spots in the shag will brighten up your room and the long soft wool creates a nice hangout spot that you can liven up with poufs and pillows for the full Arabian lounge area!
African baskets: It doesn’t take a lot to bring the African heat right into your kitchen or your dining nook! Find a few brightly colored woven baskets or wicker trays to help you organize and dress up your space. These powerful accent pieces will work best if they are next to monochrome furniture or hardwood floors. Remember that they will bring a strong earthy and natural vibe with them so feel free to contrast with glass or metal furniture near them!
Vietnamese light: Consider a change of pace in your lighting this summer! Swap out your traditional pendants for a fun, whimsical Vietnamese lantern. These lanterns will add a whole new design storyline to your dining room and provide plenty of conversation!
DIY Storage: Nobody likes a messy mudroom, but most of us have one! Your mudroom might only be the space directly inside your front door, but that doesn’t mean it can be a catastrophe! For a fun DIY project, pick up a few crates from Michaels or your local craft store and paint them a fun bright color, glue them together and you’ve got a bright shoe rack or summer swim gear storage!
DIY Storage #2: For a storage option that can double as a bench, pick up two or three sturdy plastic crates, throw them on their side and wire them together for a quick spot to sit while you put your shoes on and an easy spot to store your shoes when you’re not wearing them!
Wipe those feet off! Nothing compares to a strong durable door mat. If you’d like, you can choose one with a sweet message or use long-lasting spray paint and a stencil to create a personalized design. However, this is a case where the design matters far less than the function! One bristly, sturdy doormat = no more dirty floors or tracks of mud!
Umbrella Box! What to do when a summer squall catches us by surprise? Be relaxed because you invested in a functional draining umbrella stand and a few cute umbrellas to use and lend to your guests! Keep your umbrella stand well stocked and well-drained and you will avoid a wet entryway and dripping guests!
Arctic Entryway Logic! Let’s take a page from the book of our northerly neighbors in Alaska! Keep one section of your home (between the front door and the rest of the house) that is easy to clean and easy to maintain! Try not to put your best rug in the entryway that gets the most traffic! Function as if you have a buffer zone between the outside world and the depths of home nest!
Seating: Choose a corner of your home that is begging for an accent color and dive headfirst into the joys of blue! Whether you go with a strong teal leather chair or a soft periwinkle upholstered swivel chair, you can’t go wrong with blue this summer!
Window Love: Let the sunshine in! Also, let the sunshine give your room a soft blue vibe with sheer or belgian linen blue curtains. The hazy blue light will lend your space an exotic and relaxing atmosphere that is sure to help you find your zen during the hot months!
Music to my eyes: Even if you are not a concert pianist, having a piano in your home to help to ground the space and provide a powerful anchor to rooms that need some help! For a real twist, take on the color of the season, and paint that piano blue! This will look especially divine if you have a primarily monochromatic space. If you already have a lot of color going on, this might cause too much color confusion!
Put on your dancing shoes! Don’t forget that your wardrobe is part of your decor. Whether your shoes are peaking out from under your dresser, sitting adorably on your shoe rack in the entryway or being proudly worn on your feet, they live in your home and can play a big part in your color scheme. Go big, go bold, go blue this summer in your footwear!
Develop your blue thumb! Pick up some chalk paint or a can of blue spray paint and give a few of your outdoor terra cotta planters a new lease on life. Vibrant blue pots will help to add some variety to the colors of your yard and will assist a newbie gardener in creating a more curated look!
-Mix’n’Match: For a fun look this summer, don’t worry about matching your outdoor furniture exactly! Let the wooden pieces sit next to the lacquer plastic chairs, let the glass table hang out between the hammock chairs! The more eclectic the look, the more relaxed the vibe. The only thing to remember is that a color theme will be helpful if all of the elements are varied, and will keep your outdoor from descending into chaos!
-Compare’n’Contrast: To give new life to your old picnic table or outdoor coffee table, take a quick trip to your local hardware store and pick out a nice dark stain. Once you have sanded down the previous stain on your table (and put on your work clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty!), give your table a nice layer of stain. This new dark look will look exceptionally good next to bright powerful primary colors (choose red, yellow or blue, not all three!).
-Reclaimed’n’Blue: Instead of going super dark, you can always sand your wooden outdoor pieces down for a fully reclaimed look. I would recommend at least adding a layer of sealant so the wood doesn’t get too damaged or rotten outside! This lighter reclaimed wood will look wonderful next to most blue hues, teal or deeper blues especially. As long as you stay away from a neon blue, you will create a relaxing rustic outdoor vibe that is hard to beat!
Flowers’n’Booze: Nothing says “summer fun” like an outdoor area in your yard that serves as a bar for your entertaining! Find a piece of wooden furniture that is about bar height and can fit nicely in a corner of your yard. This will now become the focal point for your evening gatherings and allow you to relax as hostess since you’ve given the job of bartender back to the people! Extra points if you can find a vine you love and coax it genly to grow around the bar to fill the summer nights with the intoxicating smells of jasmine or passion fruit flowers!
Storage’n’Loungin: If you are working with a tight outdoor space, consider a storage bench to pull double duty as a catch-all for your gardening gear and a cozy outdoor loveseat for you and your loved one! To aid in the camouflage, throw a few outdoor pillows on your storage box and no one will be the wiser!
No need to go shopping for that perfect frame when you have a nice clean wall right in front of you! Measure out the size of the piece you would like to frame, find a can of paint in a subtle accent color, grab a roll of blue painter’s tape, get started on your 2-dimensional picture frame!
The time has come to upcycle that old picture frame that you have been meaning to find a photo for and yet have left to dust in a drawer or under a bed! Armed with your bowl filled with corks that you are saving (for some craft project in the very distant future!) and your handy dandy glue gun, lay out a pattern on the frame that you are happy with and then glue-away! Be sure to let the glue set for a full 24 hours before you use this lovely piece. Cheers!
Not feeling the cork option? No problem. Pick up a can of Rustoleum Mirror Spray (available on amazon or at your local Ace Hardware! Remove the glass from your old unused or slightly dated picture frame. Clean the glass. Let me repeat that: clean the glass! Use rubbing alochol to make sure your glass is spick and span before you apply your mirror spray. Let the spray dry and voila: you have yourself an antique finish mirror where once you had but a dumpy old frame!
Take a wander through your local flea markets, Goodwill stores, and vintage consignment shops. Do your best to find a picture frame (with glass!) that’s about the size of a kitchen tray (~11×18 inches). Use the glass to measure out cardstock or the paper of your choice to create a unique background for your tray! (nb: you will be able to change out the background as often as you’d like so let yourself get creative with color and pattern!). Pick up a pair of cabinet handles from your local hardware store. Use a drill to attach the handles to the side of your picture frame to create a funky new tray!
When in doubt, chalk paint can solve most boring picture frame problems. If you have been staring at your large boring wooden picture frame for weeks, trying to figure out what you can do to give it new life and add a little bit of oomph back to your space…chalk paint time! The most important thing to remember with chalk paint is to keep a rag handy to wipe off the excess paint in order to create that warm rustic look! Have fun!