Nili Stevens Inspired Living bio picture
  • Welcome To My Blog,

    A place to share my passion for food, travel, entertaining and interesting people.

    I am a mother, wife, devoted friend, collector of people and professional woman. I have worked in the special events industry for over 30 years and have had the good fortune to work with countless creative and talented floral designers, lighting specialists, photographers, entertainers, culinary artists and others that remind me through our collaboration that the possibilities are endless !

    I have traveled to 22 countries and I am still forever dreaming of where I will go next, and more importantly what I will discover.

    Here's to "Inspired Living " and sharing my passions with you...ENJOY ! Nili

 

Hatch

 

 I’VE GOT THE FEVER

***

It’s Hatch Chile Season!!!

I was first introduced to these magnificent flavor packed beauties by my girlfriend Karen (born in New Mexico, raised in Texas). She was kind enough share her stash and her obsession with me. The flavor and fever was contagious! I have been hooked ever since.

Every year since, they have been a staple at our table added to some dish to create something really memorable.

Hatch Green Chiles  were born in Hatch, New Mexico. They resemble an Anaheim Chile, are bright green in color and found in mild or hot varieties. They are available from August to early September. You can buy them fresh and roast them yourself or purchase them already roasted. I buy them freshly roasted , then split them up into several packages and pop them in the freezer to enjoy throughout the year.

This sauce is made with really simple ingredients. It’s creamy and flavorful and can pretty much go on everything!

***

It goes something like this:

***

It

LATHER IT ON EVERYTHING

***

Here’s what you need:

2 medium sized Hatch Chiles roasted, peeled and stems removed (mild or hot depending on your preference)

1/2 cup packed cilantro

1/2 cup packed flat leaf Italian parsley, with stems removed

2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup of good olive oil (a little more if sauce is too thick)

1 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper

***

Put it together:

Put everything in a food processor, Blendtec or Vitamix (I use my Blendtec)

Blend quickly until it’s smooth and creamy. Do not over blend.

Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

Serve this room temp on everything.

***

Note: This is fantastic on grilled meats and vegetables.

It’s also excellent as a pasta sauce (it’s resembles a cream sauce) or served as a dip with chips or chilled vegetables.

***

Check Melissa’s Produce for Hatch Chile roasting dates and location. You don’t miss out on this once a year opportunity!

Enjoy!! xo Nili

  • Kathy RhoadsOctober 29, 2016 - 3:31 pm

    Thanks for the tip on this blog LoriReplyCancel

    • adminOctober 29, 2016 - 3:53 pm

      You are so welcome Kathy. Thanks for stopping by. Warmly, NiliReplyCancel

 

red white and blue

***

Fourth of July weekend always reminds me that summer is officially here! The abundance of fresh peaches,makes it the perfect time to whip up a peach cobbler. I have added walnuts to this recipe because I love the crunch factor. It’s easy, quick and delicious!

***

It goes something like this:

***

PEACHES

A PILE OF FRESH PEACHES

PEACHES CUT

SLICE THEM UP

PEACH MIX

PREPARE THE MIXTURE FOR THE FRUIT

MIX IT UP

POUR ON TOP & MIX IT TOGETHER & BAKE 10MIN

TOPPING

NOW MAKE THE TOPPING

COMBINE

MIX IT TOGETHER * I USE MY FINGERS

TOPPING NUTS

ADD HOT WATER & WALNUTS TOO

LITTLE BLOBS

DROP LITTLE BLOBS ON TOP & INTO THE OVEN IT GOES

out of the oven

TRY AND RESIST IT

done

ADD  ICE CREAM & HEAD STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN

***

Here’s what you need:

Prep the peaches:

7 large peaches

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon corn starch

The crunchy biscuit topping:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup boiling water

a sprinkle of cinnamon

***

Put it together:

Preheat oven to 425

Cook peaches:

Toss peaches with sugar, lemon juice and corn starch. Pour into a 9×9 or 2 quart glass baking dish.

Bake in the middle of oven for 10 minutes.

Now make the topping:

Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Blend in butter and walnuts with your fingers or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Stir in hot water.

Drop even spoonfuls of biscuit mix on cooked peaches.

Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Bake for 25 minutes until crust is golden brown. The topping with spread as it bakes.

Top with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6

(if you are lucky)

***

Note: Feel free to toss in fresh blueberries or mix peaches and nectarines together. Either way you can’t go wrong.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY !

xo Nili

  • PhilipJune 30, 2016 - 10:10 pm

    That looks delicious… wonder if I could use Oregon Marionberries….ReplyCancel

    • adminJune 30, 2016 - 10:30 pm

      Absolutely!!! I think Marion berries would be wonderful with peaches or nectarines!! Yummy!!ReplyCancel

 

Mothers

 

THE MOTHERS IN MY FAMILY

***

A year ago I hosted a baby shower at my home with my craft group for one of our daughters Megan. Since we are all mothers and have raised twenty seven children collectively, I thought it would be fun to have each mother bring some words of wisdom to share with the new mother to be.

Each mother provided photographs (that I made into a mobile that hung above the table) and words of wisdom that we read aloud at a sit down dinner. Needless to say, it was a very personal and touching evening. These were my words of wisdom.

***

From One Mother To Another

No one can prepare you for the deep love that you will  feel as you hold your precious child in your arms. It is truly a defining moment and one that will change you for the rest of your life.

When a child comes in to the world, they are like sponges. What you do, the words you say and the gestures you make will be the template for how they move through life.

When I look back on my life at many of the things my mother taught me, they were the things I taught my son.

Live by example.

Treat your spouse with love and respect. Remember that a happy marriage makes for a happy family.

Trust your gut and if it turns out you are wrong don’t be afraid to fess up. You children will respect you for it.

Teach your child to live honestly and truthfully.

Be open to answering questions about love, sex and life without making your child feel uncomfortable.

Teach your child the value of money and the art of shopping.

Teach your child the value of friendship.

Teach your child to be generous, loving and kind. My mother always encouraged this. She said it would always come back to me. She was right.

Encourage your child to be complimentary of others even perfect strangers.

Encourage your child to make their own choices and be responsible for the choices they make. This is a tough one to stick to since it is hard to see your child struggle.

Teach your child the importance of forgiveness. No one’s perfect and everyone deserves a second chance.

Encourage your child to see the world and to be open and respectful of other cultures and traditions.

The world is a big place, explore it together as a family.

Break bread and eventually share wine together. Beautiful things happen at the dinner table.

There are so many more things I have learned over the years (I still consider myself a mother in training) I wish there had been a manual to help me along the way because nothing can truly prepare you for the ultimate joys and heartaches associated with motherhood. I do know that it is the hardest job I have ever had, but continues to be the greatest gift of my life.

Nili Stevens- Mother of one.

2013 Summer 157

  • Roslyn BashoreMay 6, 2016 - 5:28 pm

    I really enjoy your blog and this is an especially beautiful post! I’m not sure if you remember me from high school. My maiden name was Beachner. I’ve been married to Rick Bashore for almost 33 years. We have 3 amazing children and have raised them with these same values. I’m sure your son is a wonderful man with such a beautiful mama! You look as gorgeous as in high school! Happy Mothers Day to you!!ReplyCancel

    • adminMay 10, 2016 - 7:19 pm

      Dearest Roslyn, Thank you for your kind words. I appreciate your reading and sharing your sentiments. Mother’s Day was extra special this year. I hope yours was too.
      Come back and visit Inspired Living again.
      Warmly, NiliReplyCancel

 

 

citrus

FARMERS MARKET INSPIRATION

***

Bon Dimanche, the French phrase for wishing someone a Good Sunday, is something we still say at our house on Sundays.

It was a term that I came to love and appreciate many years ago when we moved our family to Paris to live for a year.

The French consider Sunday a day of rest and a day to spend peacefully with family and friends. Unlike the US, most any business is closed on a Sunday including supermarkets. You must plan your Sunday meal on Saturday and join the hustle and bustle of the farmers markets, local butchers, bakers, cheese shops, etc., gathering provisions for your Sunday meal.

That was twenty years ago and somehow the Sunday tradition has stayed with us, through my son’s crazy high school sports schedule, when he returned home from college during summers months and even now when he comes home to visit. We always try and save Sundays for a family supper.

Recently, I realized I missed that weekly tradition and have decided to make Sunday dinners a night to gather not only with family, but with friends. It gives me the opportunity to try new dishes and to bring some familiar and new faces to my table. It also seems to be a night that most people don’t have many conflicts and welcome the idea of a Sunday night supper.

Last Sunday I was inspired by all the beautiful citrus at the farmers market so I made a beautiful Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon and presented it on a big white platter. It was beyond easy to prepare and made a beautiful presentation.

Here is the menu:

Slow Roasted Citrus Salmon with a Kick

Roasted Red Potato Sticks

Campari Tomatoes drizzled with Green Goddess

Market Greens and Beet Salad

Garlic Bread

Mango Sorbet & Lemon Cookies

It was such a simple evening to pull together.  My friends brought the beet salad, bread and dessert. We gathered early and finished early. Perfection!

***

salmon dinner

IT GOES INTO THE OVEN GORGEOUS & COMES OUT OF THE OVEN GORGEOUS

***

SLOW ROASTED SALMON WITH A KICK

Here’s what you need:

1 large or 2 small fennel bulbs thinly sliced

1 1/2 large navel orange thinly sliced (save the other half to juice)

juice from 1/2 orange

2 lemons thinly sliced with seeds removed

1 large jalapeno with seeds thinly sliced *

1 bunch or small package of dill

3 1/2 to 4 pounds wild salmon filet (I used two large filets for 8 people)

3/4 cup olive oil

Sea salt * Maldon  is my favorite

Fresh ground pepper

***

Put it together:

Preheat oven to 275.

Rinse and pat dry your salmon filets. Line your jelly roll pan with parchment paper  or spray your pan.

Season your filet with sea salt and pepper.

Artfully arrange your fennel, orange slices, lemon slices and chiles over the salmon.

Squeeze the juice from the half orange over the filets.

Tuck in sprigs of dill

Pour the olive oil over the salmon filets

One more sprinkle of salt and into the oven it goes for 30-40 minutes

The tip of the knife should slide through easily & color should be slightly opaque

Transfer directly to a large platter. Garnish with additional dill as needed.

Serves 8

***

Bon Dimanche

Thanks for dropping by xox Nili

 

 

 

 soaks with spoons

THE PERFECT TO GO BREAKFAST

***

Every year, for the last several years, I have spent three glorious days in late fall with nine of my best girlfriends drinking wine, crafting, cooking exchanging ideas (we all keep note pads handy), sharing stories and mostly laughing a lot.

We came together as a group twenty one years ago to watch the first episode of Friends and well, the rest is history.

We call ourselves The Craft Girls. These days we don’t spend much time making crafts, instead we gather to celebrate birthdays, holidays and whatever reason we can think of, to just have fun and enjoy each other.

At our last retreat we were each assigned one meal to prepare. There was one dish in particular that I ate for breakfast that I loved, Linda’s Oatmeal Soaks. I knew right then and there that you would love these too!

Here are four reasons I love these so much:

1. They are easy as heck to make.

2. They can be made in advance and last a few days in the fridge.

3. They are healthy and delicious.

4. The look really adorable in my fridge.

It goes something like this:

***

OS

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED * CHIA SEEDS NOT PICTURED

OS1

LITTLE PILES OF GOODNESS

OS2

A LITTLE ALMOND MILK * STORE BOUGHT OR HOMEMADE

OS 3

STIR IT UP

2015 Misc 206

INTO A JAR OVERNIGHT TO SOAK

2015 Misc 207

NOW THE BERRIES & AWAY YOU GO

***

Here’s what you need:

1/4 cup of oats

1/4 cup Greek yogurt or plain or vanilla whole milk yogurt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of Chia seeds or flax seeds

1 tablespoon of unsweetened shredded coconut (I used sweetened cause I’m bad)

1 tablespoon of sliced almonds or any other nut that tickles your fancy (optional)

Note: Get creative, throw in a pile of pomegranate seeds, chopped dates, mango bites or whatever is fresh.

1/3 cup almond milk * my friend Rachelle makes her own, here’s the recipe.

1/4 cup of fresh berries

a spoon to scoop it all up

Note: All these ingredients can be purchased at your local Trader Joe’s

***

Put it together:

Stir together all six ingredients.

Stir in almond milk and pour into jars

Soak overnight and top with fruit in the morning.

***

Serves one so adjust as needed.

***

If you are looking for a quick easy breakfast to go, this ones a winner !

Thanks for stopping by. xo Nili

***

Better Homes 4

CGFL  * CRAFT GIRLS FOR LIFE

  • Rachelle {Wiley Valentine}January 16, 2015 - 5:27 pm

    Thanks for the mention sweet Nili. These are my favorite things to make too!! So handy to grab and go in the morning and oh so delicious! Thanks for sharing! xoxoReplyCancel

    • adminJanuary 16, 2015 - 6:28 pm

      You are so welcome! So glad you approve my pretty !ReplyCancel

 

 

Pancakes

YOU ARE GOING TO FLIP OUT

***

Hello at last! I survived the Christmas craziness and boogied through the holidays in a state of utter bliss. It has been an absolute joy to have my family under one roof but I can’t lie, I am pooped!

I originally planned to roll out this recipe for you to try on Christmas morning but that didn’t happen, so I thought perhaps I could get it to you in time for New Years Day! In my opinion these pancakes are good any time of the year, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I had my first bite of these fabulous pancakes two summers ago when we vacationed in Hanalei with my son’s girlfriend Cezanne and her family. These pancakes are a family tradition and Cezanne’s favorite! Guess what?

They are officially my favorite too!

They are so simple to make that I am going to skip the step by step and just get down to business.

***

Here’s what you need:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking power

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg beaten

1 cup orange juice (I use fresh squeezed)

1 tablespoon orange zest (optional but it’s makes it better)

2 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

quality maple syrup

***

Put it together:

Combine the first five dry ingredients into a medium bowl.

Combine beaten egg, OJ, orange zest, canola oil and nuts in a separate bowl. Mix together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just blended.

Get your griddle or pan hot and lightly greased.

Pour your pancake mixture out and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Top with warm maple syrup.

Prepare to fall over !

Makes 8-10 standard pancakes

***

I am certain this will be a household favorite. Let me know how it goes !

HAPPY NEW YEAR !

 

happy new year

                                                                                                      xox Nili 

 

 

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***

 

 

PUT ON YOUR HOLIDAY SPIRIT * IT’S TIME TO DECORATE

***

I love nothing more than unpacking my Christmas treasures and puttering about my house making things pretty for the holiday season. At our house it’s always pretty simple. Since I have a small space it doesn’t take much to make things sparkle and come alive.

We all have our traditions, but it’s always fun to try a little something new from time to time. I hope these festive images will get your creative juices flowing.

Let the decorating begin!

***

xmas 7

ACCENT PIECES YOU HAVE WITH A LITTLE SOMETHING THAT SAYS CHRISTMAS

Silver copy

NATURAL AND SPARKLY

Alice Lane Home

TAKE AN ORDINARY VASE AND PAPER MACHE WITH GOLD TISSUE

DecoraTE copy

RED WHITE AND GREEN

Decor 3 copy

Unconventional copy`

UNCONVENTIONAL HOLIDAY DECOR IS JUST AS FESTIVE

Jelanie

lovely copy

SMALL LITTLE TOUCHES

Touches copy

A LITTLE CRAFTY A LITTLE COUNTRY

4ea5aec3c6e67418b557943e743d3907

EVERYONE HAS THEIR OWN SIGNATURE STYLE

an-magritt

***

I hope I have been able to provide you with a touch of inspiration. Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Decorating !

xo Nili

Images Via : Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, An-Magritt, Jelane, Tyrifryd, House and Home, Hwittblog, Pinterest, and Tumbler

`

 

thankful

 

***

With Thanksgiving just a few days away I realized I have been putting off writing my holiday post. I am not sure if it’s because my brain is on overload or if it’s that this year I will celebrate my favorite holiday without my husband and my son.

Regardless, I need to prepare, to settle my thoughts and focus on what is in my heart every day. Gratitude.

This year was a year of many changes for our family. Professional and personal choices have us living in three different parts of the world. Every few months we come together to as a family. We see each other with fresh eyes of appreciation. Our time together is focused, meaningful and precious. When we leave one another we are grateful for the times we have shared and the memories we have made as a family.

This year has taught me to treasure what I once took for granted and to be present in the moment.

I remind myself that Thanksgiving comes once a year, it’s just one day. But gratitude and appreciation for life’s precious gifts should be part of everyday.

***

Thanksgiving post 1

SICILY 2014

***

This  Thanksgiving day take a moment to quiet your mind, savor the moment and be grateful for the blessings in your life.

 Happy Thanksgiving from my precious family to yours !

xo Nili

  • Christine.November 24, 2014 - 5:27 am

    Truth girlie. XoReplyCancel

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