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Shopgirl: Banjo-B-Que, pastels and Martha Stewart's recipes

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Bluegrass band Chatham County Line performed during the 2011 Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que Bluegrass Festival and Barbecue Cook-Off. This year's event will be next weekend at Evans Towne Center Park. There will be carnival rides for children.    MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/FILE
Bluegrass band Chatham County Line performed during the 2011 Papa Joe's Banjo-B-Que Bluegrass Festival and Barbecue Cook-Off. This year's event will be next weekend at Evans Towne Center Park. There will be carnival rides for children.

I wrote a few weeks ago about how to work neons into your summer wardrobe, but another color family that has recently arrived on the scene is the pastels. From a faint apricot to a sharp mint, pastels work well with just about anything.

The biggest no-no with pastels is easy to avoid with some moderation: Whatever you do, make sure you don’t look like a character out of Candy Land. Pastels’ sweet, fresh ambience lends a softening touch to neutrals and even neons, but pair too many pastel shades together and you’ll look like a human cupcake.

Think of pastels the same way you think of other accent colors, just as a way to add some interest to an otherwise simple look. Avoid pastels that come in overtly feminine textures such as lace or ruffles unless you’re pairing it with a neutral or something with some edge.

As always, if you aren’t sure about a trend, ease into it gently with an accessory. Mint, beige, apricot or even lemon-colored sunglasses could be a great way to implement this summer trend into your personal look.

WHAT’S TRENDY

In just its third year, Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Bluegrass Festival and Barbecue Cook-Off will be at the Evans Towne Center Park next weekend with a long line-up of barbecue masters and bluegrass acts.

The festival brings together two Southern standbys, bluegrass-Americana music and tasty barbecue. With 13 acts ranging from The Whiskey Gentry to newcomers The Ramblin’ Fevers, it’s quite a feat to get that much bluegrass together outside of Nashville, Tenn.

Barbecue experts will converge for the Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned cook-off, with winners in four categories taking home a combined $40,000 in prize money.

Pig races, carnival rides and a petting zoo will keep the kids happy and vendors from all over will have arts and crafts for sale in addition to official Banjo-B-Que gear. Tickets are $35, available at TicketAlternative.com, AB Beverage in Evans and Aiken, CommuniGraphics and Fireside Outdoor Kitchens & Grills. Check out their Web site, BanjoBQue.com, for more information.

WHAT’S AFFORDABLE

Summer’s fresh produce and beautiful evenings make me want to cook more, but finding easy yet elegant recipes can be difficult. I’ve found Martha Stewart’s Web site to be an excellent source of food ideas, and her iPhone app is no different.

The Martha Stewart Everyday Food app is available for only $1 on iTunes and offers Martha’s entire recipe collection right at your fingertips. The database is updated frequently, adding the new recipes found in her magazine each month or featured on her television show.

In addition to the scores of recipes, the app has videos of her food editors demonstrating culinary techniques from simple grilling to braising. The search engine is modifiable by main ingredient, course, meal, preparation time and more, and a Dinner Tonight suggestion by the Everyday food editors is available for seven days at a time.


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