Father's Day Favorites

First things first, Happy Father's Day to this guy!  He loves us well and we are so very thankful to have a wonderful, godly man as the head of our household!!  We love you!! 

Father's Day is just around the corner so I've enlisted my husband to help me choose some of his favorite things.

But first let me show you what I got him.
Our home is 20 years old this year and the sprinkler control panel has been dying a slow death.  Have you seen the appliance commercials where the husband and wife embrace because their cooktop went out?  Well, this was me when I discovered the sprinkler panel was fried.  I did a little dance then purchased 
(on recommendation from our trusted Sprinkler Repair Man) 
and arranged for our sprinkler man to install it.  It took him less than an hour; I probably could have done it myself.  I programmed everything and when my husband and I were in the backyard, I turned on the sprinklers remotely.  He was shocked, amazed, and so surprised.  I've noticed the garden sprinklers come on while he is at work and I am home.  Someone is enjoying watering from his app while at work!  No more calling me to run out and figure out what zone I need to turn on so the hydrangeas don't wither away.

Okay, now for the hubby's picks!

He is an avid runner and admittedly becomes very damp while running.  THESE headphones are his favorite.

Got flies? THIS Fly gun has become the house favorite.  No more squashed fly residue.  I can't believe how much we all enjoy killing flies now.

Aches and Pains? My husband lets the kids operate 
THIS Massager on his back.  

THIS Battery Blower is something we use DAILY!  From a quick patio clean-up, to a full yard clean-up!  It's one of our favorites...even the kids can operate it.

While doing yard work or just hanging on the back porch, you will often see THIS Wireless Speaker nearby.

Another MUST is THESE Garden Shoes!  They stay on the back porch and are quick to put on/take off... much easier than garden boots.

Okay, I think that's all for today, but if he thinks of some more 
must haves, I will update this post!
Thank you, dear husband, for sharing your favorite gift ideas with us!

I hope he has inspired you to find something special for the dad in your life!  

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Summer Strawberry Frosé (Frozen Rosé)

Do you love a slushy, cold drink
 on a hot summer evening as much as I do?  I concocted this delicious beverage and snapped a few photos along the way.  It is so easy.  You need to make this.

Here is what you need:

1 bottle rosé
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
8-10 ounces strawberries, hulled, quartered


Pour Rosé into a 9" x 13" glass dish and put in the freezer

After 2 hours, use a fork and rake it across the top

Freeze another 2 hours

After 4 hours, the rosé should be perfectly frozen to resemble this.

While the rosé is freezing, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir constantly until all the sugar dissolves (about 3 minutes).  Add the strawberries, put the lid on the saucepan and let cool.  Strain the sugar water and reserve the strawberries.  Place Strawberries in the freezer while the rosé is freezing.

Now it's time to prepare!

Scrape the frozen rosé into a blender, add the strawberry infused sugar water, and frozen strawberries.  Purée until smooth.  Put entire blender jar into the freezer and keep until guests arrive or you are ready to enjoy.  Place on the blender and blend for a milkshake consistency.  Enjoy!!!

Happy National FROSÉ Day!

Here is another yummy goodie I whipped up for some friends:
(I originally posted this on Instagram!)

xx,  Emily
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Menus with Meredith, week 4

It's the final week for our Spring/Summer Menus!
Now, just print them off and put them on rotation.
A big THANK YOU to Meredith Lewis for contributing her family's tried and true menus  to our Eleven Gables community. 
Make sure you are following Meredith on Instagram HERE.
She is a doll and a dear friend.

Have you enjoyed these menus? Is this something you would like to see again in the fall?  Let us know in the comments!

Spring/Summer 2018 Menu
Week 4

Monday- Fish (or other meat), potatoes, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, (or any green vegetable…you can mix things up based on what is in season, or use your family’s favorite potato recipe… but the formula is the same.
Tuesday- Swan Salad  
Wednesday- Presto Pasta
Thursday- BBQ Pork tenderloin (in the crock pot), Cole slaw, Corn bread
Friday- Nachos for family movie night
Saturday- Go out or take out
Sunday- Easy dinner- cheese plate, or fondue, or grill out… fun dinner!
Breakfasts- eggs and bacon, fruit/yogurt/granola, cereal, boiled eggs and muffins


2 Large Tomatoes (fish night and nachos)
1 Cucumber (fish)
Baby Potatoes (corn would also be good instead of potatoes)
Bag of chopped Romaine lettuce (salad)
1 bunch Green Onions (salad)
1 Granny Smith Apple (salad)
1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1 Red Bell Pepper (pasta)
1 Bag Shredded Cabbage (cole slaw)
Avocado (nachos)
Cilantro (nachos)
Celery (cheese plate or fondue night)
Carrots (cheese plate or fondue night)
Apples (cheese plate or fondue night)
Sugar peas (cheese plate or fondue night)
Fruit for breakfasts and snacks

French or Italian bread (fish night and salad night)

Fish (we get salmon mostly, but any fish will do, or if you have a baked chicken recipe you love, you could substitute that here)
1 Rotisserie chicken (or chicken breasts that you cook at home)
1 package Chicken and Apple Sausage 
1 Large or 2 Small Pork Tenderloin
Bacon (breakfast)

Olive oil, coconut oil, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, oregano, garlic salt, garlic, salmon seasoning, taco seasoning 
Dried Cranberries (salad)
Roasted sliced almonds (roasted sunflower seeds would work just as well) (salad)
Penne Pasta (Presto Pasta)
Kalamata Olives (Presto Pasta)
Mayonnaise (BBQ and cole slaw)
Corn Bread Muffin mix or Cornmeal for homemade cornbread (BBQ pork tenderloin)
Muffin mix (or ingredients for homemade muffins)
Scoops Tortilla Chips

1 container Crumbled Blue Cheese (salad)
1 container Crumbled Feta (Pasta)
1 bag Shredded Sharp Cheddar (nachos)
Sour Cream (squeeze container) (nachos)
Assorted Cheeses for cheese board or fondue cheese for Sunday 
Yogurt (breakfast)

Salmon, Roasted Potatoes, and Tomatoes and Cucumbers

Fish- if making salmon, rinse and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salmon seasoning. Bake with potatoes for 25-30. 

Potatoes- Wash and quarter potatoes. Put in large ziplock with olive oil and garlic salt. Seal and squish until all potatoes are coated. Bake at 400 with fish for 45 minutes.

Tomatoes and Cucumbers- Slice and drizzle with Balsamic vinegar. Serve dinner with french bread.

Swan Salad
(If you have been to our house for a luncheon, I can almost guarantee you have had this salad! It is my absolute favorite and I have been serving it for over 15 years.)

Chop cooked chicken, Granny Smith apple and green onions, (or you could pick a rotisserie chicken.) Put Romaine lettuce in a salad bowl. Layer on the chicken, apple, green onions, package of blue cheese, 1/2 package of dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of almonds or sunflower seeds. For the vinaigrette, in a small mason jar, mix together 1/2 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. balsamic oil, 1 t. sugar, 1 T. lemon juice, salt and pepper. Shake and pour over the salad when ready to serve. Toss and serve with bread. 

Presto Pasta
1 box penne pasta
2 t. coconut oil
1 green, 1 yellow, and 1 red bell peppers, chopped into medium sized pieces
1 package chicken apple sausage, sliced
2 t. dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small container of crumbled feta
1 jar pitted Kalamata olives
salt and pepper

Cook 1 package of penne pasta. While that’s cooking, slice peppers and sausage. Sauté peppers in the coconut oil for 2 minutes, and then add sausage, oregano, salt and pepper, and garlic. Drain pasta and add peppers and sausage, olives, feta and a little more salt and pepper and mix all together. Enjoy! 

BBQ Pork, Cole Slaw and Cornbread
Put 2 unseasoned pork tenderloins in the crockpot with about 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on High for 4. It will easily shred once cooked, and mix well with sauce. Mix bag of chopped cabbage (or Cole slaw mix) with about 1/4 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. That’s it. Make cornbread either from scratch or from a box mix. This is a perfect dinner for a busy night! 

Nachos for Family Movie Night

Line 2 cookie sheets with Scoops chips and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Warm in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. While they’re warming, cook 2 cans black beans with about 2 T. taco seasoning in a pot. Remove chips from oven, and sprinkle with black beans (use a slotted spoon so they don’t drip too much), chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, black olives and sour cream. Enjoy with a movie and have a great weekend! 
*Sometimes, the chips just have too much salt for me (ie, my rings don’t fit the next day!) so I’ll put these toppings on chopped lettuce for my dinner.

Sunday Night

Sunday nights in the summer are so much more relaxed than during the school year. We’ve usually spent the day outside at the beach or on the boat, so a quick, fun dinner is a great way to end the weekend. We might grill out burgers, let the children roast hotdogs, have cheese and crackers with hummus and veggies or fondue. Sunday nights are fun dinners! 

This is Meredith's gorgeous kitchen where she prepares lovely meals for family and friends.

Thank you, Meredith, for sharing your menus with us!  If you aren't already following along with her on Instagram, click HERE!

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Menus with Meredith Spring/Summer, Week 3

Hello, sweet friends!  

Meredith Lewis is back with week 3 of her delicious menus! 
Are these helping your family??  I'd love to hear your feedback in the comments!  Make sure you print them off, Pin them to your Recipe Folder on Pinterest, and share this with your friends! 

(so sorry for posting this late!  My family and I were rear ended in a car accident and out of commission the past few days.  We are doing okay.  Definitely sore!!  Watching my little ones closely and resting our heads a bit).  These menus will definitely come in handy this week... no thinking involved.  Meredith has taken the guess work out of it! 
Thank you, sweet Meredith!

Spring/Summer 2018 Menu 
Week 3

Monday- fish, roasted potatoes, artichoke (or any other green vegetable), French bread
Tuesday- Taco Casserole
Wednesday- Tomato, Ham and Basil Pasta
Thursday- Lasagna (in the crock pot)
Friday- Nachos for Family movie Night
Saturday- Go Out or Take Out
Sunday- easy, fun dinner… Cheese Plate (hummus and veggies, cheese and crackers, olives and apple slices), or Cheese Fondue (fondue cheese is sometimes sold in the deli section, along with bread, vegetables and apples). This would also be a fun night for burgers on the grill or to roast hot dogs over the fire.
Breakfasts- Boiled eggs, English Muffins (or homemade muffins or bread) and fruit; Yogurt, fruit, granola;  Eggs and Bacon

Baby Red Potatoes (fish and veggies)
Artichokes (or any other green vegetable that looks good)
8 Roma tomatoes (3 for taco casserole, 3 for Pasta, 2 for Nachos)
Cilantro (optional for taco casserole and nachos- half my family loves it and the other half can’t stand it)
1 yellow onion
1 green bell pepper
1 pkg Baby Spinach (Pasta)
Fresh Basil (Pasta)
Fresh Parsley (Pasta)
1 Bagged Salad (Lasagna)
Avocado (Nachos)
Broccoli, Carrots, Apples, Pears (fondue or cheese plate)
1 Lemon (Vinaigrette for Pasta)

French Bread (fish and another loaf if making fondue)
English muffins (breakfasts)

Fish (Salmon is always a favorite but get whatever looks good to you. If you’d prefer something besides fish, this would be a good time to substitute a pork tenderloin or your favorite baked chicken recipe.)
4 oz. Country Ham or Prosciutto (pasta)
3 lb. Ground Beef (taco casserole and lasagna)
Bacon (breakfasts)

2 cans black beans (taco casserole)
1 can of corn (taco casserole)
2 T. or 1 package of Taco Seasoning (taco casserole)
2 cans sliced Black Olives (taco casserole and nachos)
1 bag of Tortilla Chips (taco casserole)
1 bag Scoops Tortilla Chips (nachos)
1 box Spiral Pasta (Pasta)
1 box Lasagna Noodles (lasagna)
1 jar Spaghetti Sauce (lasagna)
1 jar Crushed Red Pepper (pasta)
1 box Granola (breakfast)
1 jar Mayonnaise (optional for artichokes)

Butter (optional for artichokes)
2 bags shredded mozzarella cheese (taco casserole)
8 oz. crumbled goat cheese (pasta)
1 16 oz. container ricotta cheese
5 c. shredded Italian-blend cheese
1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese (nachos)
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan 
Variety of Cheeses for a cheese plate or for Fondue
Yogurt (breakfasts)
2 dozen eggs (1 dozen to boil and 1 to use however for breakfasts)

Salmon, roasted potatoes and steamed artichokes

Salmon- rinse and place on foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and Salmon Seasoning. Bake with potatoes at 400 for 25-30 minutes. (You could substitute salmon for any easy to cook fish or meat.)

Wash and quarter potatoes. Put in large ziplock bag with olive oil and garlic salt. Seal and squish until all potatoes are coated. Bake at 400 for approximately 35 minutes with salmon. 

My family loves artichokes for a treat, but feel free to use any other green vegetable your family prefers. If cooking artichokes, put a strainer in the bottom of a large pot, fill pot with water until you cover the strainer and bring water to a boil. While water is heating, cut off the artichokes’ bottom stems so that they can sit flat. Snip sharp points off of the leaves. Place artichokes into large pot of boiling/steaming water and cook for 25-30 minutes… until you can easily pull off one of the leaves. Serve with a small dish of melted butter or mayonnaise, whichever you prefer.

Taco Casserole
2 lbs. ground beef
1 diced yellow onion
1 diced green pepper
3 chopped tomatoes 
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 package or 2 T. taco seasoning
1 can sliced olives
1 package crushed tortilla chips
1 package shredded cheddar

Preheat oven to 350. Brown ground beef and add diced onions and peppers and cook until soft. Then add diced tomaotes, black beans, corn and taco seasoning. Mix together and simmer for 5 minutes while you crush tortilla chips and sprinkle on the bottom of a greased or foil lined casserole dish (9x13). Then spoon half meat/bean mixture evenly on top of chips and then sprinkle with cheese. Then repeat… crushed chips, meat mixture, cheese. Sprinkle olives on top and bake for 30 minutes at 350. Serve with whatever toppings your family likes… sour cream, guacamole, cilantro. 

Tomato, Basil and Ham Pasta

Spiral Pasta
Olive Oil
Cooked country ham, chopped (prosciutto or crispy bacon would work as well) 
3 chopped Roma tomatoes
1/2 package spinach
1 c. goat cheese
15 basil leaves, chopped
3 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 t. crushed red pepper

While pasta is boiling, make vinaigrette (you could always purchase a bottle of herb vinaigrette if pressed for time.) In a food processor, blend together 2 T. red wine vinegar, 1 T. lemon juice, 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 c. Canola oil, 12 basil leaves, 1/2 c. fresh parsley, 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Blend together. 

Drain and rinse pasta, and mix all ingredients into the pasta, including vinaigrette. So good!

Lasagna (in the crock pot)
Sounds strange but it works.

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar favorite spaghetti sauce
1 box lasagna pasta
1 16 oz ricotta cheese
5 c. shredded Italian blend cheese (or mozzarella)
1/2 package spinach (chopped)

Brown ground beef and then add sauce, spinach and simmer. Layer ingredients just like you would in a regular casserole dish… put 1/2 c. meat sauce in bottom of crock pot and spread around. Then layer pasta (break to fit), ricotta, meat sauce, mozzarella. Repeat until you’ve used all the ingredients. Fill the empty sauce jar with 1/4 c. of water and pour over entire dish. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Check on it before serving and make sure all of the noodles are pressed down into the liquid and are getting cooked. Serve with a salad and enjoy!

Nachos for Family Movie Night

Line 2 cookie sheets with Scoops chips and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Warm in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. While they’re warming, cook 2 cans black beans with about 2 T. taco seasoning in a pot. Remove chips from oven, and sprinkle with black beans (use a slotted spoon so they don’t drip too much), chopped tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, black olives and sour cream. Enjoy with a movie and have a great weekend!

Sunday Night

Sunday nights are usually very low key and we’ll have a fun, easy dinner. Sundays would be a great time to put some burgers on the grill or let the family roast their own hot dogs over the grill or an outdoor fire. S’mores would be a great dessert! We also will sometimes make a cheese plate with our favorite cheeses (Manchego, Gruyere, Brie), along with crackers and hummus and vegetables. Sometimes, I’ll make fondue, with bread, broccoli, carrots and apples. We’ve also been known to have “Brinner” on Sunday nights, which is just breakfast for dinner… pancakes and bacon, or eggs and toast. I try to keep Sundays as relaxed as possible, which is much easier to do in the summer!

Thank you, Meredith, for sharing your menus with us!  If you aren't already following along with her on Instagram, click HERE!

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