A colorful bite

Every once in a while, I’m faced with a culinary challenge:

  1. It was hot, and we were all going to be in the pool
  2. We were in need of a snack to hold us over to the BBQ
  3. There was a pescatarian in the pool
  4. Our actual meal was to be rather filling
  5. I was trying (unsuccessfully, I might add) not to eat carbs, and the pescatarian was successfully not eating carbs.
  6. I had some beets from the garden swap in need of a recipe.

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Obsessions

One of my neighbors has an unusual obsession with Bacon. I mean let’s face it, we all do on some level (or most of us do… or maybe I like to think it’s not just me and her). She owns an enormous number of bacon related T-shirts, which get displayed with regular frequency. Should you get the opportunity to scroll through her Instagram or Facebook feed, you’re likely to find 1) her dog, or 2) bacon topped burgers. Continue reading

Martini Night

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It was April.  I’m a CPA and each year, I go into a work induced “hibernation” called “busy season.” While the rest of the world enjoys winter and gets excited over the first signs of spring, I work. Alex, on the other hand, has a bit more freedom at this time of year to be outdoors, which he loves. One of the ways he passes the “alone time” is to walk Wiley. Wayne and Merle are avid dog walkers. Their dogs, Elzaer and Akiki, are a unique breed- Basenji’s- and are well known throughout the neighborhood. The fact that Wayne refers to them as “Devil Dogs” should not imply that they are mean, but I will admit they do have a mischievous side. Wiley, Elzaer and Akiki began to see each other a lot at this time of year, and Wayne and Merle would constantly invite Alex and I to Martini Night, which apparently happened every Friday that the local Baseball team was at an away game (Wayne & Merle are season ticket holders). I would always be working, or tired, or you name it… Well, eventually Alex, proclaimed, “Summer, they are going to stop inviting us if we don’t go at least once. We have to do this.” So, one April evening, we took on Martini Night. That night, Wayne’s mother Virge was visiting from Canada, and two of their friends Jerry and Kelly were visiting from another neighborhood. We chatted all night, first about the history of the home (of course) and then about each other. We found out that Wayne and Merle were going to get married that summer. Maybe it was the Martini’s, maybe it was the hope of friendship, but after one night of getting to know each other, Wayne had invited us to the wedding.

How to be Neighborly: Being neighborly opens new doors.

A bit about Wayne & Merle: They know everyone. They help with everything. They form the fabric of our community. They are the definition of great neighbors. If you need anything, they will be there for you. Their home is beautiful (also French style) and they love sharing it with others.

As a former wedding coordinator, I’m a sucker for a good wedding. There was no way I could possibly say no to that invitation. It was that wedding that would introduce us to a new family. This is the martini that started it all, or at least my version of it.

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W&M’s Jalapeno Martini

  • 1 inch slice cucumber, plus more for garnish
  • 1 inch slice jalapeno
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1/3 oz olive juice (or pickled Jalapeno Juice if you like it very spicy)

Place cucumber and jalapeno in cocktail shaker with ice and muddle until cucumber and jalapeno are mashed.  Add vodka and olive juice (or jalapeno juice if using).  Shake until cold.  Serve in martini glass.  Garnish with cucumber and/or jalapeno.