Don’t Sweat the Summer: Transitioning Your Home For Entertaining

The heat is picking up outside, which means outdoor dining can sometimes take a back seat (at least here in Mississippi). While summer is great for barbecues and hanging poolside, we can only take beaming sun and steamy pavement for so long. The beauty of outdoor entertaining isn’t quite as lovely when we’re sweaty and mosquitoes are rampant. Plus, we all know Southern women don’t like to sweat. So, while we love summer and all its glory, let’s take a moment to appreciate it, then be wise and prepare for bringing that summer entertaining indoors.

 
Summer Centerpiece
 

We’ve discovered a few key ways you can make everything inside your home seem as enjoyable as those cool spring and fall evenings we love so much. Transitioning your home for outdoor living can be easy following a few inexpensive tips. Let’s face it, everyone usually ends up in the kitchen anyway, right? So, rather than spinning your wheels and emptying our pocketbooks, invest a little to spice up the summer. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for summer entertaining.

1.     Use your Outdoor Furniture Inside
Outdoor furniture is basic and typically neutral, so it can be a great to mix with your indoor furniture. Take that bench, outdoor chair or accent table and bring it inside! Rattan and wicker are making a comeback, too, so if you have any of that in storage, grab some paint and bring it to life.

2.     Keep Fresh Flowers in Your Home
Take that old terracotta pot or a vase with a fun summer pattern and make it a masterpiece, exchanging flowers every so often to keep something bright at the center of your table.

3. Accessorize
Pick out a few bright throw pillows, pillow covers or blanket with summer pattern for your living room couch.

4. Summer Dishes
Grab some inexpensive melamine dishes with a fun pattern, and use them all summer long. Keep them on your dining room table to add some color during the summer.

 
Throw Pillows for Summer
 

To help you get in the summer spirit, we are offering dining tables, linens, bar stools – all you need for your summer entertaining - at 25% off this weekend only. Don’t stress about summer! Get a jump start by heading over to Rubies, and let us help you make your home a place to relax and enjoy the longer days and great memories that come along with this season.

 

 

 

A Letter to Moms: Thank you for Making Home a Happy Place

 
See below for classic Southern pound cake recipe from Southern Living.

See below for classic Southern pound cake recipe from Southern Living.

 

We want to take the time today to honor all of the mothers in advance of the Mother’s Day weekend. We know that mothers are who make home hard to leave and the place we miss when we’ve had a bad day. Home truly is the best place in the world, all because of mom.

Today, we recognize the ones who keep us all together, who remember to wash the soccer uniform for tomorrow’s game (even if it’s buried deep in the bottom of the laundry basket) and the one who always brings extra snacks for when car rides are long. And even more so than kissing our boo boos or comforting us when we are sick, mom always has her way of making home a place that always feels (and smells) good. Whether intentional or not, moms protect the joy and peace of home – cooking our favorite meals and making it the place we go to for laughter, fun and relaxation. We praise the moms who wear strength and dignity as clothing (Proverbs 31:25) on a daily basis, and who serve in ways we may never know. Home wouldn’t be home without mom.

 
 

When we think of the smell of home, we think of mom’s best pound cake baking in the oven. If your looking to make something to celebrate mom this weekend, surprise her by making one from scratch using this tried and true recipe from Southern Living Magazine.

Classic Southern Pound Cake by Southern Living

3 Cups superfine or granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1/4 cup half-and-half

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt


Step 1

Preheat oven to 300ºF with oven rack in center of oven. Grease and flour a 10-inch (14-cup) Bundt pan.

Step 2

Beat sugar, butter, and cream cheese with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on medium-high speed until very fluffy and pale in color, 5 to 7 minutes. Add eggs,1 at a time, beating on low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add egg yolks, half-and-half, and vanilla, and beat on low speed just until blended.

Step 3

Stir together flour and salt in medium bowl; gradually add to butter mixture in 3 batches, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Remove bowl from stand, and scrape batter from paddle. Using a spatula, stir batter once by hand, scraping sides and bottom to incorporate any unmixed batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and gently tap pan on counter to release any large air bubbles.

Step 4

Bake in preheated oven until cake is golden and a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes; remove cake from pan, and cool completely on wire rack before slicing and serving, about 2 hours.

Chef's Notes

Leave the eggs, butter, and cream cheese out at room temperature for about an hour before mixing. This is important, because adding cold eggs to softened butter and cream cheese will create a lumpy batter.

Creaming the butter, sugar, and cream cheese is key, because it will give the batter its volume. Using an electric stand mixer, beat the ingredients for 5 to 7 minutes on medium-high speed until mixture is light, fluffy, and almost white in color. Gradually add in the flour, and avoid over-mixing, which will deflate the batter and make the cake dense and tough