Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint you can on it. - Danny Kaye

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Something I never do…

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Nothing too special, just really doing something that doesn’t seem to fit into my daily routine of work, gym, dinner, laundry, Bravo TV, shower & bed…reading.  Not just reading, actually finishing a book (oops, is that really something you want to divulge?), but sitting down after work on the porch with the last 20 pages of a book (generally I tend to start books and get half-way through them before putting them back on the shelf for good).  As I neared the ending of “Water for Elephants” (a book I’ve wanted to get through since hearing it was coming out on the big screen), I sat on the front porch in our rocking chair with my puppy love in my lap and read about animals.  I read about animals, had my pup snuggled up to me and we occasionally stopped to look up and see and listen to the bird who was bathing in our bird bath several times and the squirrels that were running up the pine trees and chasing each other through the yard.  That’s something I never do and the moment felt a little priceless, so I thought I had to capture it.  Now onto the next read…

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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Summertime Ceviche & Celebrating Sunshine

This weekend has been all about enjoying the sunshine and beautiful summer weather…especially after losing power in the midst of hosting friends for a birthday party at our home on Thursday night. Yep, that’s right, 45 minutes after our guests arrived and in the heat of the storms, wind and hail coming down during their arrival, our power went out for the remainder of the night. And yet everyone had such a good outlook on it…and luckily we had a few extra candles lying around the house. Nonetheless we all had a good laugh about the ‘Party in the Dark’ and continued to enjoy the evening.

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So now that we’ve had a few nice days in a row since the big downpour Thursday evening, it was time to get outside and enjoy a beautiful weekend in the sun. Our friends Ellen and Jack invited us over to enjoy some of their fresh fish they caught while at the beach last weekend and so we decided to contribute on the same theme and provide an appetizer…but wanted to make it fresh and reflective of summertime. We went with a recipe we found on www.allrecipes.com (Jose’s Shrimp Ceviche) and enjoyed splitting up the prep work together on Saturday afternoon. This was a very simple-ingredient & easy-making recipe that could be good for an appetizer or even a meal. The most surprising aspect of the prep work (aka “cooking”) was that to cook the shrimp it merely required around 10—15 minutes of soaking in a bowl of freshly-squeezed lime juice…that’s it! The acid in the lime juice cooks the shrimp in a matter of minutes…a concept new to us but very cool to see! I decided to dress up the way we served this appetizer like the way we were served Ceviche in St. Lucia last year on our honeymoon…in martini glasses!

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The other ‘surprise’ of the night when we arrived at the Dietrichs’ was a summer cocktail with American Harvest Vodka, Lemonade & fresh Basil…yep, almost a take-off of a Mojito, but even more subtle and very refreshing. The pictures might not do it justice since green Basil mixed in clear liquids isn’t gorgeous, but you get the picture…definitely a hit and very smooth!

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And for the main course we had grilled Mahi with a homemade mango salsa, coconut jasmine rice, grilled pineapple to add more ongoing flavor and baby spinach. As if we weren’t already full from all the food thus far we were handed a ‘sampling’ of three desserts to finish off the night!

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It was a delicious summertime meal with lots of fresh food, a new light cocktail and some pleasant time spent outdoors with good friends.

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Happy Summertime Cooking, Friends!