July 25, 2013

Hero Hostess Summer Picnic Blog Hop!

What's more fun than a Summer picnic?  How about a Blog Hop with a Summer picnic theme!  Welcome to day four of this super fun hop!  I hope you've been following along this week because lots of fun things are going on.....check it out!

You should have arrived here from the fabulously talented Sally Sherfield's Created by Sally blog.  If you want to return to the beginning of the hop, HERE is where it's all happening!  Please report any broken links to blog@heroarts.com.

When I think of a Summer picnic, it evokes memories of my childhood spending Summers on the Connecticut shoreline at the beaches of Long Island Sound.  We would have clams, chowders, corn on the cob, lobster, and always fresh-caught fish by my uncle.  Living in New England my whole life has always afforded me the luxury of fresh seafood/shellfish whenever I had a craving!

And so, for my card, I chose to invite you all to my clambake, to celebrate these gems of the sea!
I knew I had the sea shells from the Hero Arts set Antique Engravings, so I stamped three of them on white cardstock in clear embossing ink and then used golden sand embossing powder.  I fussy cut them out and added a touch of Wink of Stella.  I can almost hear the ocean!

For the tag, I used the Hero Arts Tag Collage Set, stamped in Navy mid-tone shadow ink and bordered it with a teeny, tiny red gingham washi tape and then mounted it on kraft cardstock.

For the sentiment, I used an oldie but goody favorite set, Hip Hip Hurray, stamped in the same Navy ink and filled it in with a marker.  To give it some depth, I went over it in the Wink of Stella.

Hero Arts will be awarding prizes from randomly drawn comments. For a chance to win, simply comment on ANY of the stops along the hop on ANY day, including each day's starting post at the Hero Club Blog.  The more comments you leave, the better your chance of winning!

Next up on the hop is the sweet and creative Arlene McClung and her blog A Bit of This and That. Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you're enjoying all the eye candy my sister Hosti have created for you!

Finally, I have a recipe I adapted from Cooking Light back in the Summer of 2009, that I think you will find quite delicious.  It's a Summer chowder I serve  quite often as a meal with some fresh bread and a cool drink.  Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Corn, Pepper, and Tomato Chowder

Serves 6

3               red bell peppers -- halved and seeded
3               ears  corn -- shucked
1 1/2         pounds  tomatoes -- halved, seeded, and peeled (about 4)
2               tablespoons  extra-virgin olive oil
4               cups  onion -- chopped (2 medium)
3               cans  fat-free chicken broth -- (14-ounce) less-sodium
1/4            teaspoon  salt
1/4            teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4            cup  crumbled blue cheese -- (1 ounce)
2               tablespoons  chopped fresh chives

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Arrange bell peppers, skin side down, and corn in a single layer on a grill rack; grill 5 minutes, turning corn occasionally. Add tomatoes; grill an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly charred. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Coarsely chop tomatoes and bell peppers; place in a medium bowl. Cut kernels from ears of corn; add to tomato mixture.

Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomato mixture; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Increase heat to high, and stir in broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Cool 20 minutes.

In batches, place tomato mixture in a blender; process until smooth. Place pureed mixture in a large bowl. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Strain tomato mixture into pan; discard solids. Place pan over medium heat; cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in salt and black pepper. Ladle into bowls; garnish with cheese and chives.

  "adapted from Cooking Light JUNE 2009"
NOTES : Grilling the vegetables heightens their sweetness, and blue cheese provides a pungent counterpoint in this soup. Substitute crumbled goat cheese or feta, if you prefer.  You may also use canned, peeled tomatoes if you don't have fresh.

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