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Spring Break with a Side of Fries

Today was enlightening. My first day of vacation and not only did I wear my usual two piece bathing suit, skirted and high waisted, of course, but I noticed a distinctive sign that I needed to lose weight. The sign wasn’t as blatant as you might think. The scale this morning didn’t yell, “GET OFF OF ME!” ….no one tried to harpoon me on the beach……but the sign was there. You see, every chaise lounge at the pool is equipped with a numbered flag that you raise in order to let the server know that you would like to order food. Yep! You guessed it, mine had no flag.

So, my daughter, Jodi and I decided to have a late lunch of blackened mahi tacos with a mango salsa; healthy, and flavorful. It was happy hour, and we were happy,  so we enjoyed a skinny margarita. Suddenly, our server delivered these amazing french fries to the next table. Jodi and I shot each other a glance and beckoned the server to bring us an order. This little diet destructor was well worth the calories; …….thick cut french fries served with a fresh raspberry mayo on the side. We IMG_7567quickly justified consuming these fat fried bursts of flavor by reminding ourselves that we did water jog🙃.  So, essentially, the moral of this story is “calories in and calories out.” There are, however, good calories and not so good calories, but an occasional splurge isn’t a bad thing. Unfortunately, I often justify these binges by thinking, “If this were my last meal, it would totally be worth it.” It was.

This trip, I decided to create healthy and delicious meals using all of the fresh fish Florida has to offer. At the local fish market, grouper was recommended as a hearty fish that could easily be made into a piccata dish. Wikipedia explains piccata as “meat or fish sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter and spices”.  Often prepared with veal or chicken, this recipe proved to be a keeper. Enjoy!

GROUPER PICCATA

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  • 4 grouper filets about 4 oz. each,  blotted dry and seasoned with 1/2 tsp. each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, drained
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • thinly sliced lemon slices

Dredge fillets in flour.
Heat 2 tsp. oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high until it shimmers. Add half the fillets and cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to a platter; tent with foil. Repeat heating and cooking with remaining oil and fillets.
Add wine, lemon juice, and capers to skillet; cook 30 seconds. Off heat, swirl in butter until it melts; season with 1/2 tsp. pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt, add lemon slices until softened.  Serve fillets with sauce over rice or angel hair pasta.

Dear Friends,

On the plane ride home from vacation, we hit a bit of turbulence. The kids on the plane clearly coming home from spring break, squealed with excitement at the sudden dips and turns. The parents, on the other hand looked horrified. Looking for a diversion, I noticed the cloud formations outside of my window and admired the unusual landscape the sunlight created as the rays bounced off of the sloping hills and valleys of the thick clouds.

Snapping a photo of this unusual scenery, placing it in the archives of vacation memories, it occurred to me the way in which this is a reminder of our need to “take time and smell the flowers” as we get older.  For so many years, we simply hurried to our next destination either not knowing or not realizing that life itself is a journey filled with moments worth pausing for celebration.

As always, thanks for stopping by and cheers to enjoying the journey. 

🍹 Laura

P.S. Check out my new store FOLIO TRENDS where you find great styles and incredible prices! Sign up for email alerts to get great savings!

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IT’S THE PLAYOFFS! Game on! All in! Menu… Cavalier’s Cocktail, Mini Chicken Pot Pies, Bourbon BBQ Sliders with Spicy Slaw

CAVS VS WARRIORS

At our house, if there is a ball involved, we will either be at the game, or it will be on our television…our 75 inch television. So, “Why, ” you ask, “do you need to be at the game with a television that large and in HD???” I have once answer: my husband Steve. So tonight, the Cavs are playing against the Warriors, and this is an important game. Steve decided to watch the game at home tonight with a few friends, so I thought I would throw a few appetizers and a …Cleveland Cavaliers Cocktail!

Here are a few do ahead appetizers that won’t keep you from center court! GO CAVS! (I guess I get a little excited about it too :))

CLEVELAND CAVALIER COCKTAIL aka my favorite:

THE SUNSET 

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  1. 1/2 ounce Coconut Rum
  2. 1/2 ounce vodka
  3. 1/2 ounce crushed fresh watermelon or tiny melon balls.
  4. 1/2 ounce Pineapple Juice
  5. Scoop watermelon into a blender and blend till smooth.
  6. Chill ingredients prior to use.
  7. Place small scoop of watermelon  or small melon ball in the bottom of a small glass.
  8. Combine rum, vodka and juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into a shot glass. 

MINI CHICKEN POT PIE BITES

MINI CHICKEN POT PIES

Ingredients

2 cups Green Giant™ frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ refrigerated biscuits

Steps

1 Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, combine vegetables, chicken and soup; mix well.
2 Press each biscuit into 5 1/2-inch round. Place 1 round in each of 8 greased regular-size muffin cups. Firmly press in bottom and up side, forming 3/4-inch rim. Spoon a generous 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each. Pull edges of dough over filling toward center; pleat and pinch dough gently to hold in place.
3Bake at 375°F 20 to 22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.

BOURBON BBQ MEATBALL SLIDERS with HORSERADISH COLESLAW

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FOR THE SLIDERS

  • 1 lb. each ground turkey & ground beef
    Salt And Pepper
    3 Tablespoons Butter
    1 whole Large Onion, Diced
    1/2 cup Whiskey
    ½ cups Ketchup (Heaping)
    ½ cups Brown Sugar, Packed
    ¼ cups Bourbon Whiskey
    1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
    1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce12 whole Slider Buns Or Dinner Rolls, Split
  • Form the meat into 12-2″ meatballs and flatten into small patties.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook  about 3-4 min. per side.
  •  Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside.
  • Drain off grease, leaving about 2 T.
  • Salute onions 2-3 min.
  • Add ketchup, brown sugar, whiskey, lemon juice & Worcestershire.
  • Cook 2-3 min.
  • Place patties in sauce, turning to coat, and simmer till hot.
  • Place the patties on buns spooning sauce over top.
  • Top with spicy slaw & top of bun. Serve!!

FOR THE SLAW

WHISK TOGETHER:

  • 2 T. prepared horseradish
  • 2 T. olive oil mayo, & cider vinegar (may use play yogurt)
  • 1/2 t. each black pepper & kosher salt
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Add 4 C. coleslaw mix & refridgerate.

FUN SERVING IDEAS!

CAVS GLASSES

NBA Rocks Glass & Square Shot Glass Set -…