Feels like Fall…

What a lovely weekend! The air had a hint of coolness and the clouds looked like cotton candy.  I know it's sad for most people when summer is over. I must admit, I am really looking forward to Fall.

We went to dinner with friends by boat Saturday night. What a glorious evening it was! With the compliment of a full moon, it could not have been more perfect. Our excursion took us to Oxford. A little town, with a lot of history, and off the beaten path. Boaters and vacationers alike descend on this little town to enjoy it's charm and hospitality.

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Once called Schooners, now the new Capsize restaurant. It has been redecorated inside but has the same feel. It boasts, white leather sofas inside for intimate dining. It also has a large dining room, also decorated in white. We chose to dine outside so we could enjoy the evening air. There is something special about dining on the water in the moonlight.

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We shared an appetizer called the Sushi un-roll. What a fantastic appetizer. Fresh tuna, on a bed of rice, with avocado, cucumber, and a special sauce. I enjoyed the Korean barbeque shrimp tacos. Absolutely fantastic! Someone else got the mussels and raved about them. While I didn't try them I can tell you they were fragrant and I noticed she didn't leave even one. It was a huge bowl with a large loaf of bread on the side for dipping. What can I say, the food was to die for. I will definitely go back.

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By boat or by car, Oxford, Maryland is a great place to visit. Many people visit and never leave after they fall in love with it's quaint charm. It comes equipped with it's own working Ferry that can transport you to St. Michaels, Maryland. Did I say quaint??  There are many other dining options. I do highly recommend trying Capsize, you won't be dissapointed.

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Come visit Oxford, Maryland. You may fall in love and never leave!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

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Zucchini Bread

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Given the fact that everybodys gardens should be flourishing with ripe fruit, I thought this one was appropriate. By the way, did I mention how hot it’s been. It’s brutal here!

I met with an old friend that I haven’t seen in many years. She arrived with zucchini from her garden. “Would you like to have some?” she said. Of course, the answer was yes. Especially since we didn’t plant any. I took a few and immediately came home and went to work.

One of the zucchini was extremely large. The only think I like to do with those is grate them. They make excellent zucchini patties. They also work well with my zucchini bread recipe. I’ve been making this bread for years and I don’t quite remember where this recipe originated from. I can say it’s a wonderful recipe. If you find yourself with an abundance of zucchini, give it a try.

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ZUCCHINI BREAD

(Makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 C brown sugar
  • 1 C oil
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 2 C grated zucchini
  • 1 C chopped nuts *optional (you can use your favorite or leave them out)

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Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 2 loaf pans and line with parchment greasing parchment .
  3. Beat eggs, brown sugar, and oil together.
  4. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg together.
  5. Add sifted ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until well blended.
  6. Add vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  7. Add zucchini and chopped nuts, if using. Stir into the batter with a wooden spoon.
  8. Divide the batter into the two prepared loaf pans.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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I have a ton of tomatoes coming on the vine. Stay tuned……..I am going to do some canning this year. I might even try my hand at salsa.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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It’s the Fourth of July weekend. There are a lot of celebrations all around. People are hustling to the beaches and beginning long awaited vacations. I always think about barbeques, fireworks, boating, and get togethers on this holiday. Today I wanted to take just a minute to reflect and say Thank You!

We are very priviledged to live in this country. We should be thankful for the fact that we have freedom. Freedom of speech, choice, and equal rights. We are truly blessed and I feel that often times we take these rights for granted.

Anything worth having is worth fighting and standing up for. If it weren’t for the brave men and women that fight for us every day, we would no longer have these rights. To them, I would like to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. All of our law enforcement people need a shout out as well. All of you put you lives on the line every day for me and countless others. I applaud and am thankful for your services.

As a nation, we could be great. Yet we stand divided. We hurt our fellow man just because we don’t like his opinions. People are shot and killed every day for their beliefs or possessions. We watch people burn our flag and stomp all over it. This is not okay! What message does this send to our enemies? Believe me, they are watching and waiting. It’s time for us to get together and treat our fellow man with kindness, love, and respect.

Whether you like it or not, Donald Trump is President of the United States. As a nation it’s time to get on board and support this nation again. It’s a bit pathetic listening to all the whining and complaining at this point. It’s not accomplishing anything! If you want to be part of this country, figure a way to get your point across and try to help! If you don’t like this country……..then leave!!!!!

So, when your out this weekend, enjoying your parties, or watching fireworks take a moment. Think about why you are able to do these things! Be thankful for the people that put their lives on the line every day to give you this privilege. Do something nice for your fellow man. Be kind and smile at a stranger. It can be contagious!

Have a wonderful 4th of July and let freedom ring.  Stand up for truth, liberty, and justice, for all. Enjoy your loved ones and stay safe out there. I wish you all a happy holiday.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

PHILADELPIA, SHAKESPEARE, and GOAT CHEESE PIZZAS

Our son Cameron, the consumate actor, lives in Philadelphia PA. We traveled there yesterday to see his play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. All I have to say is WOW!! We were blown away. If you are in the area stop by, cop a squat, and enjoy. They are perfoming in Liberty Lands Park and it’s free.

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Philadelphia, known as the birthplace of American democracy. It was named by William Penn. Philadephia is Greek for “brotherly love”. The first capitol of our nation, home of the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the signing of the  Declaration  of Independence, the Eagles football team, the Flyers, and Boyz II Men. Philly is rich in history and the arts. A walk through the city is a breathtaking view of architecture at it’s finest.

It is also a haven for foodies with some of the best retaurants and chefs in the world. Did you know that Philly is famous for it’s cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, peeps, and Philadelphia cream cheese? It’s also home of the wing bowl, an eating competition that draws nearly 20,000 people. Who doesn’t love wings?

We had a fantastic meal at El Camino Real. Tacos and Margueritas all around for everybody. Very close to where our son lives and plays; in a very hip, up and coming neighborhood. Wahlburgers was directly across the street, sadly no sightings of Mark. I was hopeful!!!

You always look at your children and wonder if they are eating right and taking care of themselves. In an effort to ensure that, I told him I would start sending him some recipes that were easy. One of Cameron’s favorite meals has always been my goat cheese pizzas. Simple to make, light, few ingredients, and very tasty and filling. I figure that a starving actor can afford to make them too. I am posting this recipe in honor of him and his play. I hope you enjoy it too! By the way, Cameron is center stage in the red scarf!

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GOAT CHEESE PIZZAS

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil, 1/4 to 1/2 C
  • Garlic cloves, peeled, lightly smashed
  • Fresh tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Goat cheese, 1 log
  • Naan or flatbreads, amount depends on number you want to make
  • Fresh Basil, coarsley chopped
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red peppers, to taste

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees, place rack to 2nd lowest position in your oven.
  2. Brush the naan or flatbreads with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on the crust to taste. Put on the rack in the oven and pre-bake for about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Remove crust from the oven and with the smashed garlic clove, rub it all over the crust while still warm.
  4. Layer the tomatoes in a single layer all over the crust.
  5. Top with goat cheese, the amount depends on how much you would like.
  6. Put back in the oven and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes until the crust is crisp and browned, less if you don’t like it crunchy.
  7. Remove and top with the chopped basil.
  8. Salt and pepper to your taste and add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.
  9. Drizzle lightly with additional olive oil.
  10. Cut into servings and eat immediately.

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It’s just that easy. It makes a great, light, summer meal or quick appetizer for guests. It also helps with those bounty of tomatoes that are soon to come.

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

Harriet Tubman Museum & Shrimp Cobb Salad

Recently a new museum was opened in honor of Harriet Tubman and her endeavors to aid slaves in pursuing their freedom. It’s a beautiful facility, located in Church Creek, Maryland. It is also close to another landmark known as Blackwater Refuge. Well worth the visit for young and old.

Harriet Tubman was born in Dorchester County, Maryland in 1822. She was named “Minty” by her mother and also known as “Moses” to those she helped escape through the underground railroad.  “Tubman was beaten and whipped by her various masters as a child. Early in life, she suffered a traumatic head wound when an irate slave owner threw a heavy metal weight intending to hit another slave and hit her instead. The injury caused dizziness, pain, and spells of hypersomnia, which occurred throughout her life. She was a devout Christian and experienced strange visions and vivid dreams, which she ascribed to premonitions from God.”

(Excerpt taken from: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman)

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“I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Harriet Tubman

My brother Kirk, who now lives in Pennsylvania decided to bring his friend, Abby, and pay a visit to the museum. Since I live about 15 minutes away, I invited them to lunch when they were done. I myself am anxious to visit and will in the near future. Dorchester county is brimming with history and famous people. All stories for another time!

I love salads for lunch! My brother is watching his weight and Abby is basically a vegetarian. She does like seafood. How can you go wrong with shrimp and vegies?

I made a  shrimp cobb salad and a lemon basil salad dressing. Voiles’, lunch for four. There was plenty for all of us with some leftovers. It is quite a display when placed on a large platter. It would be just as pretty layered in a clear glass trifle bowl. Either way, it was delicious. Any seafood would work, pick your favorite and pile it up.

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SHRIMP COBB SALAD W/LEMON BASIL DRESSING

INGREDIENTS:

Lemon Basil Dressing (also known as Green Goddess)

  • 1/2 C light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions
  • 1/2 C chopped fresh basil, packed
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1 t. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 inches of anchovy paste (do not skip this part, it gives it depth of flavor and does not taste fishy)
  • 1/2 C light sour cream

Oven Roasted Shrimp

  • 1 1/2 lbs small shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 t crushed red peppers

Cobb Salad (no eggs)

  • 6 C romaine lettuce, shredded
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, grilled and removed from the cob
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 C tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • juice of half a lemon
  • handful of fresh chopped parsley

Directions for the dressing:

  1. Put the mayonnaise, green onions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and anchovy paste in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the sour cream and blend until just incorporated.
  3. Place in the fridge to chill. Can be stored up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Directions for roasted shrimp:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Rinse the shrimp under cold water and pat dry.
  3. Place on a large sheet pan with the garlic, crushed peppers, salt, and pepper. (I like to line mine with non-stick foil)
  4. Drizzle the olive oil on top and using your hands, toss to combine all.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 6-8 minutes. (small shrimp cook very quickly)
  6. Remove and allow to cool.

Directions for the salad:

Layer ingredients in the following order:

  • Lettuce
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Red onion
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Shrimp
  1. Drizzle the 1/2 of lemon over the top of the salad, making sure to hit the shrimp and avocado, (it will prevent it from becoming discolored).
  2. Sprinkle the fresh parsley over the top.
  3. Use the salad dressing on the side and let everybody use the amount they want.

As you can see I used a large platter to layer mine. (Thanks Terry F.). It was quite the stunner. It requires a bit of prep work but a nice light summer meal. If you like eggs, by all means add them. One of my guests was not an egg fan. I think I will try it with crab meat next time. How about you???

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo

 

 

 

HAPPY FATHERS DAY

On this Fathers Day I would like to honor all the Dads, Grandfathers, Stepfathers and father figures. It’s not an easy job! As they say, somebody’s got to do it! Here are a few of my favorites.

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I actually live with one that is pretty awesome. He is a fantastic father, stepfather, and grandfather. He has at times been a father figure when there has been a need. I have often wondered where he gets his calm and reserve from. He somehow manages to make it look effortless. I thank God every day that he is the father of our family.

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Some days you have to put the cape on and be Super Man. Every day you have to be a role model and set the example. After all, how would future fathers and mothers know how to step into their roles?

You guys are awesome! There is no way we could do it without you. You have the ability to make us feel safe, loved, and taken care of. Your footsteps are hard to fit into, but somehow you always show the way. It’s an endless job with a major responsibilty that is never ending. It has to be exhausting!

So……on this Fathers Day, know how much you are loved and admired. I hope all of you have a wonderful day and are shown just how much you are appreciated. Put your cape on today and soar high. Take a nap, drink a beer, be with the ones you love, but above all, continue being Super Dads.

We Love You to the moon and back!

Til next time,

Ciao xoxo