ENTERTAINING on the Brink of Summer

EntertainingTime Out


by Mary Canovas

Fantastic doables before summer comes blazing in with its vibrant-day colors and palpitating nights: Spiced Apple Cake, Teriyaki Sauce, Underwater Flowers with/out Floating Candle Centerpiece, Paper Feather Lampshade 



Spiced Apple Cake



Another very interesting and extremely popular cooking channel on YouTube is Nicko´s.  He has all kinds of recipes and presents them in an easygoing way which appeals to all age groups. This is his latest – a very easy and quick recipe for any time of the day.  (Hit the link to see the “how to” in English.)
Below are the ingredients.


  • 200 gr softened butter
  • 1 cup –  200 gr sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup – 200 ml milk
  • Rind from 1 orange
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups -250 gr. Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 apples, grated
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon



Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

Besides its basic use for fish, meat and poultry, teriyaki sauce adds a delicious and original twist to many everyday dishes – e.g.  vegetables, sauteed mushrooms, soups, stews,  sauces . . .

You can add a tablespoon of Teriyake to a mayonnaise sauce for fish or even to mashed potatoes. Once you start using it you´ll find just how versatile it is and how it can enhance the flavor of all kinds of recipes.

The classic recipe is made with Mirin wine, which is expensive and hard to find in most countries. So we made a Teriyaki sauce using ingredients you can readily find in your supermarket.  Watch the “how to” in my YouTube Channel, En Casa Contigo, above, in Spanish.

• 1/2 cup or 120 ml soy sauce Kikkoman or similar

  • 1/4 cup or 60 ml water
    • 2 tbsp white vinegar
    • 2 tbsp brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup or 50 g white sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
    • 1 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1-2 tbsp cold water

How To:
• Dissolve cornstarch in cold water. Set aside.
• Heat rest of ingredients over medium heat stirring until sugar has dissolved
• Add the prepared cornstarch stirring over medium heat until sauce has thickened.

(Save remaining sauce in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.)




Easy and Elegant Flower, Water and Candle Centerpieces

Create a unique centerpiece with lovely martini glasses or goblets.  These centerpieces can be combined in the center of the table or you can place an individual glass at each person´s table setting.  Use the same or different types and shapes of glasses.  Combine submerged flower goblets with dry flowers under glass.

The combination of lovely submerged flowers magnified by water and showcased by the reflection of floating candles alongside dry flowers under glass with candles can be intimate or spectacular. Just don´t forget the candles on water must be floating candles.  All others will not float.  There is also a link under the video to make your own floating candles at home.  All you need is some old candles and muffin molds.

You can use these as centerpieces for dining or on a night table or mantel.  By the way, ladies, there is absolutely nothing more flattering the candlelight anytime, anywhere.



Unique Paper Feather Lampshade

This lampshade looks perfect with almost any style of home decoration and in almost any room.  You can vary the color by using a colored Chinese paper globe beneath.   I can guarantee your friends will not be able to believe that you actually made it.  It takes time and patience to make but the result is well worth the effort.

Follow the whole process by clicking my link above to the tutorial in Spanish
• White office paper – Don´t use construction paper, you want paper that lets light through.
• Scissors
• Silicone Gun and glue
• Chinese lantern paper globe – available at most dollar stores  ***
*** If you want to make your own lampshade with a balloon: a large balloon, white toilet or kitchen paper in strips, and Modge Podge – half water and half glue
How To with Chinese paper globe:
• Cut sheet into rectangles 8 “x 4” – (If you are making the Chinese lantern 20 cm o 8 in. size then make larger rectangles – 10 “x 5”) – Cut 200-300 depending on how large your lampshade or how densely applied.
• Fold each rectangle lengthwise – work with 3 pieces at a time for the whole process
• Cut out the shape of a feather

Glue each individual feather to the globe with a drop of silicone.  Take care to keep all feathers right side up.


To Make Make Your Own Shade with a Balloon

  • See materials above
  • Follow above instructions to make the feathers and apply to your DIY shade.
  • Use only with low heat light bulbs and always cut out a hole on top for maximum ventilation.