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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Alcohol-Free Pina Coladas

Summertime makes me so happy.
 What's not to love?
 Sitting on my deck, surrounded by flowers.
 Love. It.
 Even the window boxes that I put up this year are filling in nicely.

We spent the past weekend in Vermont, Erin had a softball tournament there.  It was wonderful to spend some time with our favorite softball families.

 We spent a lot of time hanging out on the hotel balconies, enjoying the view and the cool breeze coming from the river.
 We spent more time at the ball field, though..........three games on Saturday and Erin's team was seeded #1. That led to more games on Sunday.

Have you ever seen a more spectacular view at a ball field?

On Friday night, we were all sort of exhausted from traveling.  We went out for dinner and then called it a night, as we had to be at the ball field by 7 a.m.
 Look at the size of this bug on the window!  (For those of you who are wondering, the bug was on the outside.)  It was HUGE.  Probably about 3 or 4 inches long.  I couldn't help but snap a picture.

The table by the bug was not occupied while we were eating dinner, but as our group of twelve was leaving there were people being seated by the bug.  The woman that was sitting at that window was oblivious to the creepy-crawley bug on the window, but I think at some point she would have noticed and I like to imagine that she let out a nice shriek.
I admit it, I smiled (okay, I smirked) as we walked past the Inferno with its promises of "music, temptation and booze."  

This pina colada recipe that I'm about to give you is family-friendly so there is no alcohol in it........but if you're tempted to booze it up, add a splash of rum!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Raspberry Lemonade

 Ahhhhhhh......summer.    Maybe it's not officially summer yet, but my kids are through with school and the weather is warm-- the lazy days of summer are in full swing around here.  This recipe for raspberry lemonade is the perfect refreshment on a hot day!

But first.......I need to give a shout-out to my baseball team, the Cardinals.  We won our semi-final game tonight and are headed to the league championship game on Friday.  What a great group of kids they are, so much fun to be around.  Go Cardinals!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Favorite Kitchen Tools, Part IV....and Roasted Sliced Potatoes

It's been awhile since I've blogged about a favorite kitchen tool!

Today's favorite gadget is my mandoline slicer.  It slices, juliennes or waffle-cuts huge amounts of vegetables in the blink of an eye.

I used it twice last week.  First, to julienne vegetables.
Four carrots,

two zucchini and a yellow squash, sliced in no time.

I needed to julienne the vegetables to make a special dinner that I was craving.

 Sauteed chicken topped with the julienned vegetables and shrimp, drizzled with a yummy cheese & wine sauce.

This used to be my favorite menu item (actually, the real recipe uses lobster instead of shrimp, but I didn't have any lobster on hand) at my favorite restaurant.  Until the restaurant closed, that is.  Now if I want to eat    
"Chicken Genevieve" (which is what the restaurant called it), I have to attempt to make it myself.

I will not give you the recipe because it's kinda labor-intense and I don't want you to hate me when you have to clean up all the pots and pans that you use to prepare the chicken, veggies, shrimp and sauce.  Not to mention all the juggling while you're trying to stir all those pots at the same time.

But when I was julienning (sheesh, is that even a word?) the veggies I was thinking that it's about time I blogged about another favorite kitchen tool!  So here's a potato recipe that uses the mandoline slicer, and it's easy-peasy to make.