Lemon Lime Margarita

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Ingredients

*Makes 2 Margaritas

4 ounces of 1800 Silver Tequila

Juice of 1/2 Lime

6 ounces of Limeade (I used Santa Cruz Organic Limeade)

Ice

San Pellegrino Limonata Sparkling Lemon

Shaker

Kosher Salt

Sugar

True Lime Crystallized Lime

Mix a few Tablespoons of kosher salt, sugar, and the crystallized lime together on a plate. Run the lime around the edges of your glasses and dip in the mixture. 

Add the tequila, lime juice, limeade, and about 1 cup of ice to your shaker. Shake vigorously. Fill each glass 3/4 full. Finish with the San Pellegrino Limonata.

Garnish with sliced lime and serve with pico de gallo, guacamole, and blue chips.

A few days ago I posted a gluten-free, dairy free, Cherry Braid and for some reason it didn’t go out to any of my email followers. Here’s a picture and a link in case you missed it!

( p.s.   …they were SO good! )

Cherry Braids

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Grilled Peach Cocktails

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I turned 45 years old today.

I don’t feel a day past 35, maybe even younger.

Age is such a strange thing. I see the gray coming in and the crow’s feet beginning, yet, I welcome the calm in this stage of life (most of the time!) and the wisdom that if I’m lucky, comes with aging. I have a fantastic life and I am blessed beyond what I could have ever hoped for. I have a loving and healthy family and sweet friends with open hearts and open arms.

Life is good.

Grilled Peach Cocktails

2 Fresh Ripe Organic Peaches, peeled and sliced. plus 1 more for garnish

1 1/2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar

Juice of 2 Limes

1/2 Cup of White Rum

1 1/4 ounces Maraschino Liquor 

6 ounces of Cold Peppermint Herbal Tea

2 Cups Ice

Toss the peaches gently in the brown sugar.

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Grill the peaches on a very hot grill. Not too long, just long enough to slightly caramelize the sugar and leave a few grill marks.

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Remove from grill.

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Place the peaches with juice and sugars, and all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 4 eight ounce cocktails.

Brazilian Iced Coffee

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It’s 86 degrees and balmy in beautiful New Hampshire today.

A perfect day for a Brazilian pick me up.

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Brazilian Iced Coffee

Makes 3 Cocktails

1 Cup Strong Coffee or Espresso, chilled

2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

6 Tablespoons of Canned Coconut Milk

2 Ounces of Dark Rum

1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Cinnamon Sticks for Garnish

Open canned coconut and whisk the liquids and solids together in a bowl, set aside. Pour the coffee and sugar in a measuring cup and stir until sugar is dissolved. 

Fill three rocks glasses with ice.

Fill a cocktail shaker 1/2 full with ice. Add the coffee and sugar mixture, coconut milk, rum, and cinnamon. Shake until shaker is cold and frosty. Pour into tumblers and garnish with cinnamon sticks.

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Hot & Spicy Pickle Juice Bloody Mary

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Our son is here visiting for an entire month! We are so happy to have the opportunity to spend some extended time with him. The week long Christmas visit went by much too quickly. Having someone here means my routine is out the window and life seems busier than usual, but not too busy that I can’t share my delicious Bloody Mary cocktail recipe with you.

Enjoy!

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I cannot even remember the last time I had a Bloody Mary. I stopped drinking beer and hard alcohol drinks when I realized I was allergic to gluten. As those of you with food allergies know, when you’re out in a restaurant you never know exactly what you’re being fed regardless of what the menu says.

I was thrilled when I found a vodka that was made from grapes! Supposedly, the distilling process of any grain alcohol removes the gluten so it should be safe, but I am still sensitive to it. I can feel it within 5 minutes in my joints. So I’m perfectly happy to make a cocktail every now and then at home with rum, grape vodka, or agave tequila…all of which are delicious.

Hot & Spicy Pickle Juice Bloody Mary

*makes one Bloody Mary

Fill glass half full with ice

2 ounces Ciroc Vodka

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1.5 ounces Spicy Bread & Butter Pickle Juice

Dash of Worcestershire Sauce

Dash of Tabasco

Dash of Kosher Salt

Few Grinds of Fresh Pepper

Fill to top with 100% Tomato Juice

Garnish with slice of lemon, celery, pickled beans, & hot chili peppers.

Cheers!

Homemade Electrolyte Drink

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Spring has finally sprung in beautiful New Hampshire! 

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All the leaves are in and wildflowers are beginning to bloom. Everything is lush and green. We went on a beautiful walk over the weekend on an old rail trail. Then ventured off into the woods for a look-see.

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I thought New Hampshire was gorgeous in the winter, but spring…wow! I can only imagine what fall will bring with all of the reds, yellows, and oranges. Mother Nature is making up for the dry spell we had for a while. It was so windy and rained so much a few days ago, I had to pot my front porch plants on the kitchen counter.

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Worked out just fine!

One day last week we had an 85 degree day with an equal amount of humidity. Since I’m not quite sure how to work our new tractor I decided I would fertilize our (very large) lawn with a push fertilizer. In the heat and humidity, it was a major workout. I was shocked at how hot I felt, how much sweat was pouring off of me, and by how flushed I was when I came in the house. I realized that I was going to have to hydrate a little differently in New Hampshire than I did in Washington if I plan on working outside in the heat and humidity.

I ran across this website post on Facebook and thought it was such a good idea to make my own “Gatorade”! It’s so easy to make and I can use organic ingredients, leave the corn syrup out and who knows what else goes into those commercial sports drinks.

You can use the recipe I created below, or you can go to FitDay.com and try out some of their recipes.

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Homemade Electrolyte Drink

8 Cups Spring Water

12 oz. Can of Frozen Organic 100% Orange Juice

Juice of 2 Organic Limes

Juice of 2 Organic Lemons

1 teaspoon Iodized Salt

Place all ingredients in a container that is easy to pour, stir until combined. Refrigerate or pour into water bottles and refrigerate or freeze.

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Happy spring from Us to You!

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Vodka for lunch anyone?

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I believe I’ve finally figured out how to make it through the remainder of winter.

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Tangerine Cocktails

3 Tangerines, zest one and then juice all three

1 More Tangerine For Garnish

About 1 1/2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar

1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Ciroc Vodka, made from fine French grapes

Simple Syrup, one part sugar one part water

Squeeze of Fresh Lemon, about 1 Tablespoon

Spoon sugar, cinnamon, and zest onto a small plate, reserving about 1 teaspoon of zest. (Make sure the plate is large enough to fit the rim of your glass.)

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Mix gently with a fork until it comes together.

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Run a wedge of lemon or tangerine around the rim of the glass and dip the glass in the sugar mixture, twirling it around to cover the rim evenly.

Next, in a cocktail shaker, add 2 ounces of tangerine juice, 2 ounces of vodka, 1 ounce of simple syrup, and a little pinch of the zest and about 1 tablespoon or so of fresh lemon juice. Add a few ice cubes, place the lid on tightly, and shake until there’s a frosty sweat on the outside of the shaker.

Pour into sugar rimmed glass, garnish with a slice of tangerine

…and watch winter fly right by.

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A Mish Mash of Life

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Roasting a chicken at 9:30 AM in 90 degree weather…why not?

I’ve been addicted to these three seasonings lately.

We do have central air conditioning, but with several days in a row of very hot weather, even the air conditioner let’s out a sigh of relief when I am able to shut it down and open the windows after dark. I can’t complain about the weather, other than I don’t like having the house closed up during the day. I love the sun and love the heat. The dogs have been rather lazy though and I’ve had to coax them outside to get some sun and fresh air. Seems they’ve become a little spoiled in the cool house.

The reason I’m roasting a chicken at breakfast is because upon returning home from our camping trip, I realized that we have a freezer full of organic meat. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, if our house sells quickly (God willing!) we won’t be able to take it with us because only a minimal amount will fit in our trailer freezer as we trek across the country from Washington to New Hampshire. And as I’m sure you know, organic meat is not cheap. My poor husband is only home for two dinners a week lately if that, so if the house sells “quickly” the math doesn’t add up if I keep making myself toast for dinner while he’s gone. So I decided yesterday that I would roast a chicken so I could have roast chicken and vegetables for lunch and then use the remainder of the chicken for “other” dishes throughout the week while he’s gone. And of course, maybe a little special snack or two for the pups. Then I’ll have to force myself to make a proper dinner instead of toast or crackers and goat cheese at least a few times a week so I can whittle down our freezer meats and fish .

So as I mentioned, we are selling our house…we haven’t had any bites yet. A lot of people have looked at it on various websites, but no offers have come in and no one has been by to look at it! The Realtor assures us it’s because of the wonky weekends around the 4th of July holiday with people traveling and such. He assured us that because we priced it reasonably it will sell within 60 days. It’s only been 13 days, so maybe I’m being a little hyper… I’d like to believe him but my inner, anxiety ridden, worrier mechanism that I try to beat down and keep at a low murmur, thinks differently. We’ll see. I would really rather not move across the country in the middle of the winter.

I’m trying of course to see this entire thing as the huge blessing that it is. The move is exciting, buying a new home is exciting, seeing and experiencing new things is very exciting. But the details and keeping the house spotless at all times, and the thinking, thinking, thinking, and not knowing…that part is highly annoying! So this morning, I’m throwing caution to the wind. I sit here still in my pajamas with raccoon circles under my eyes because I was too lazy to remove my mascara last night after a Home Owner’s Association meeting from hell, my feet are up on the stool next to me while I type, and my house is not spotless. See how rebellious I am? (ha) If I have to clean at the speed of lightning and rush out of here like my hair is on fire with dogs and cat in tow so someone can look at our house, then so be it. Today, I’m doing what I want to do. Which so far hasn’t amounted to a whole heck of a lot!

I mentioned up above that we recently returned from a camping trip. It was amazingly relaxing. My husband and I both knew we needed it, but I don’t think we knew how much we really needed it. We were in bed by 10:00 every night, slept in until 7:00 every morning. I usually hop out of bed around 4:30 or 5:00 each morning, so I guess I needed those extra few hours! The sleep was blissful. The rest was blissful. The scenery was gorgeous, the bird and the water sounds were like salve to my soul. I only made it home with one mosquito bite. Life is good.

And the sun and heat. Oh. My. Goodness. We’ve endured a long, wet, winter and spring and waited a long time for the sun to finally show itself.

We were able to sit in the evenings in front of our trailer and watch Osprey hunt in the water, watch swarms of birds fly around feasting on the evening bugs, and were even able on a couple of occasions to get a good look at a Bald Eagle. On our last morning, just up from the end of our trailer a mama deer trusted us enough to allow us a look at her new fawn. It was adorable. Bouncing around and enjoying the morning. My camera had broken the day before…so no pictures of mama and baby. More about that later.

Of course for us, food is a big part of camping. I didn’t take pictures of everything and didn’t write down recipes for my food or my mother in law’s, but this will give you an idea of what we were enjoying.

These are Cecelia’s pickled onions from thekitchensgarden. I used rice vinegar, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, and garlic cloves to season mine. And by the way, I love her blog. I look forward to it every morning and it’s the first one I look for out of about 30 that I follow. Take a look through some of her posts and read her About Me section, and you’ll soon understand why I look forward to it every day.

This is a typical macaroni salad, except mine is made with gluten-free pasta and olive oil mayo. Make sure you make extra dressing if you’re not going to serve it immediately. Then, stir in the reserved dressing right before serving.

These are organic, gluten-free and dairy free, handmade sausages from one of our local specialty stores. I was not impressed. But then again, when the butcher assured me they were gluten-free and dairy free and I asked for two of the chicken and jalapeno sausages he said, “Now those have jalapeno, is that gluten?” Yikes. I wanted to snort and roll my eyes, but I didn’t. I asked kindly if I could look at their ingredient list.

This is a cherry pie, of course. I wasn’t extremely impressed with it either. I haven’t made a pie in a very long time and it seems I’ve gotten a bit rusty. Looks like I will have to bake a nice pie once a week until I can get it right and get my mojo back. I didn’t hear anyone argue with that logic.

This is a Namaste brownie. It’s by far the best allergen free brownie mix I’ve tried. And I have tried a few! You can freeze them and they are just as delicious as when they are fresh.

This is one of my favorite summer cocktails. Meyer’s Dark Rum, Knudsen’s all natural Tangerine Spritzer, the juice of 1/2 Clementine, and the juice of 1/2 Lemon. I call it the Yummy Rummy.

This is my homemade creamy sheep’s milk cheese salad dressing. When you can’t eat dairy, a creamy salad dressing on your greens is heavenly every once in a while. It’s just sheep’s milk cheese, olive oil mayo, rice vinegar, ground pepper, and any seasoning you like. This time I used the Bragg’s seasoning I pictured above and dill.

I also made another dressing/spread that I called creamy pesto. It was just a few spoonfuls of homemade pesto, olive oil mayo, and lemon juice. It was incredible both as a salad dressing and a spread. Unfortunately I was so intent on eating it, I didn’t get a photo.

This is my mother in law’s meat spaghetti sauce on top of gluten-free noodles. Her sauce is wonderful. Rich and flavorful and making me wish I had some right now! I wasn’t lying when I said I hadn’t accomplished much today. It’s now 6:30 PM and I am just adding photos to the post. I did manage to get out of my jammies and remove the raccoon look though. I also did some laundry, and squeezed in a little nap. It was a heavenly day…

This is just one of many delicious lunches we enjoyed. A BLT with avocado, red onion, and creamy pesto spread.  The salad has a mixture of the creamy dressing and homemade thousand island dressing I made. You can Google the thousand island, it’s so easy! That’s my favorite gluten-free beer.

We took Chloe camping with us for the first time. It will be a good precursor for the trip back east. It wasn’t as weird or as difficult as I thought it was going to be.

Evidently, this particular cigar has received the highest rating ever for a cigar. I know absolutely nothing about cigars, but my husband assures me this is true information. And no, that is not my hairy arm! This is just one of many cigars my husband was able to enjoy on his much-needed vacation.

Here he is, kicked back and enjoying an evening of chatting with his parents. I can’t quite believe we will be married 21 years on the 25th of July. Time goes by so quickly! I am truly blessed and thankful that he is mine.

Every morning I woke up to this out of our bedroom door, which we left open every night so we could hear nature and see the moon and stars. Wonder what the view is like from up there?

The only bummer of our trip was that my camera broke right when we headed into Lake Chelan (about 60 miles from where we were camping in Winthrop, WA) on our third day. I’m sure you’ve noticed that some of my pictures above are not exactly up to par. Something was wrong with my shutter and as I was getting my camera ready and experimenting, I was only able to get these two shots right as we got out of the car. And then it wouldn’t work. (Enter sad violin music here…)

After this last photo, the camera completely seized up. Certainly makes you appreciate the finer things in life. The little pocket Kodak is not quite the same experience.

Lake Chelan is absolutely gorgeous. The water is deep blue and you can see right through it to the light-colored sand below. It’s a 50 mile long, glacier fed lake. Just gorgeous. I could have taken so many wonderful pictures for you! But such is life. I guess it’s a good reminder that we probably depend on these gadgets instead of memory far too much. So for now, I will have to live with our little pocket Kodak until my camera is repaired.

We toured around the town for a bit, ate lunch, and then went wine tasting at a few of the local wineries. If I couldn’t take pictures…then my next agenda was to sample a lot of wine and do some stocking up of west coast wines before we make the big move. And stock up, I did. From Tsillan Winery, Lake Chelan Winery, and one of my all time favorites, Lost River Winery. I hope I make friends quickly in our new home, my husband doesn’t drink. If not, my posts might take on a new look if I have to drink all this on my own!

Well, the day has sped by and it is now 6:41 PM. I think I’ll head out into the yard and mill around. It has dropped from 94 to 93 so it doesn’t look like we are going to get much of a reprieve from the heat until later tonight. I’m tired of the house being shut up tight, so I’ll open it up and just be thankful that summer is finally here.

I hope you all had a lovely and relaxing Independence Day!