Indiana Yellow Summer Salad



Yeaaah! I think this is my first official original recipe. Inspired by local roadside produce stands and Chef Daniel Orr who emphasizes Indiana produce, I present to you Indiana Yellow Summer Salad. All the produce came from roadside stands and grown in Indiana. I noticed the produce included  colors other than the norm, mainly yellow. I’ve never had the yellow version of these veggies, so I bought them all and created this dish. The “green” beans tasted the same, but the yellow tomatoes were the best ones I’ve ever had in my whole life. The herbs came from my (and my mother’s) backyard. We shared the dish at a lake party on Saturday. Yummo!

Recipe for Indiana Yellow Summer Salad  

– 4 ears fresh sweet corn
– 1 quart yellow wax beans, ends snapped
– 1 quart yellow tomatoes (use slightly less than whole quart), halved
– 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
– 1/2 yellow-green chile pepper, thinly sliced

– 1/3C fresh basil, chopped

– 1/4C fresh oregano, chopped

– 1/2 TBS fresh dill, chopped

– 2 TBS red wine vinegar

– 2 TBS white balsamic vinegar
– 1 TSP agave nectar
– 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

– Pinch of sea salt & fresh-cracked pepper

  1. Heat up grill. Peel back husks of corn but don’t tear off. Remove silk, rub with EVOO and salt & pepper to season. Tightly re-wrap husks, and wrap whole ear in aluminum foil. Repeat with all four husks.
  2. Grill ears of corn for about 20 minutes total, rotating every 5 minutes or until there’s slight grill marks on all sides of the corn.
  3. Let corn cool, then slice off kernels with a knife. I like to leave in chunky pieces so that you can tell it was fresh off the cob. Place in large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, cook snapped yellow green beans in boiling water for 3 minutes. Move to ice bath to stop cooking.
  5. Place chilled yellow green beans in bowl with corn. Add tomatoes, onion, pepper, and herbs.
  6. In a separate dish, mix salt & pepper, red wine vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, and agave nectar. Whisk together ingredients while pouring in EVOO.
  7. Pour mixture on top of veggies and toss. Serve at room temperature. To save time, grill corn the night before with your dinner.

There it is, an original by Jenny Erb–Backyard Chef.


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Backyard Bouquet That’d Make Grandma Proud


One of my most favorite parts of home-owning is going into the backyard and handpicking flowers. A past owner of our home poured a lot of time and sweat in packing our yard full with lilies, bee balm, phlox, roses, and more. Each week has been a delight to see what surprises were left behind by past owners for our enjoyment. I gathered this bouquet today, inspired by the first blooms of phlox. I have a patch of unruly sage growing and often throw it into my arrangements. I also clipped some evergreen from our cypress bushes. My grandmother has always put together the most beautiful flower arrangements from the multitude of plants she tends. I can only hope this one makes her proud.


Cheapo Tiki Torches Get Custom Makeover



Outdoor entertaining has hit new levels–and not just in the decorating sense, but also on the wallet. My mission was to find one-of-a-kind lighting for around our back patio without breaking the bank. Solution? Buy the cheapest Tiki torches and upgrade with a can of spray paint!

RustOleum has a line of multi-purpose satin sprays that feature hot colors. I used the Green Apple, but it was a tough choice between the grass-like shade of green, Aqua and Seaside Green. We scored a 15-set of resin chairs on Craigslist for $100. Slowly, the back patio is coming together. I loved how the torches turned out!



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New Home, Awesome Realtor

Finally…we’re moved into our new home!!! And I finally got our internet working. I’m bummed that I didn’t have much time to post this past month, but believe me – I have so many projects to share that I’m sure I’ll make up for it!!!


Jane Mellinger, Century 21

But first, I must give kudos to our awesome real estate agent, Jane Mellinger. Any buyers debating if they need professional help shouldn’t think twice about it – Jane made the process a piece of cake for us. She explained every single detail to us first timers and provided an answer to every crazy question I asked. Jane is so respectful of the buyer’s wishes, especially when it comes to tastes and budget. She didn’t once force any opinions on us but respected every single one of ours and always stayed within our buying budget. Jane comes highly recommended in our book!

We’ve already started so many projects on the new home, but none are finished yet. I made sure to take “before” photos to post with any “afters”! Now back to work.