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Espresso Martini

http://www.slccolorado.org/storage/proscar/ by Linda Hopkins

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canada online pharmacy proscar We’ve been celebrating my mother-in-law, Patricia Hopkins, and her upcoming 92nd birthday all weekend long. She, along with her oldest son, my brother-in-law, Roger and his daughter, my niece, Megan, flew in on Thursday. Mom’s birthday isn’t until the 13th, but this was the weekend that worked best for everyone’s schedule. Marissa is also in town, making it doubly special.

go On Saturday afternoon, Megan was craving an espresso martini. She’d asked my nephew, Brandon, to make one for her a while back in Chicago and was disappointed when he didn’t create it for her. Brandon fancies himself as quite the mixologist, rightfully so. You may remember one of his creations that I just had to reproduce when I returned home from a trip to the windy city.

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Anyhow, after I put together the makings for the espresso martini, Megan and Marissa felt the need to taunt Brandon on Instagram.

I put together a trio of Harmony Boards for our appetizers last night. I found the cute little pumpkin-shaped boards at Michael’s a couple of weeks ago. They were on clearance for 70% off!

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November 5, 2018   No Comments

frittata

For the bridal shower I not only made a quadruple recipe of the breakfast potatoes, I also made 5 of these frittatas. The most challenging part of that was finding a place to slide the frittatas out onto after I cooked them. It had to be something that could then be transported to the home of the hostess, Whitney, and placed in her oven to reheat. The best I could come up with was to turn over baking sheets and place 2 frittatas on each sheet.

It may not have been the perfect solution but it worked. Once again, when you see the photos, don’t be alarmed by the quantity of food. If you make this, it will be a fifth as much.

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October 26, 2018   No Comments

morning yummy

The weekend before last, my friend and former neighbor, Whitney, hosted a bridal shower. She asked me to help with the food and she ordered a Harmony Board too.

The menu was a green salad, frittatas, and breakfast potatoes. Since I’m Irish and I love potatoes, I’ll post that recipe first.

I quadrupled the recipe, so when you see the photos, do not fret. It looks like a lot because it is a lot!

I bought the mix of baby potatoes from Costco. The tri-color of the potatoes and tri-color of the bell peppers really make for a pretty dish, as pretty as you can get with potatoes, anyhow.

In the recipe, I say to roughly chop the potatoes, think bite-size. With the baby potatoes, that was as easy as cutting them into quarters.

Since I was just dropping the food off, I didn’t get a photo of the finished product (I did the last stage of roasting at Whitney’s house and left them in the oven as I left) so, I’ll just leave you with a photo of one the lovey buffet tables she had set up for the food.

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October 22, 2018   No Comments

the perfect comeback

Instead of a recipe, how about a little story about my experience at Costco today?

You know how you’re in a situation and after you walk away you think, “Why didn’t I say, “this that, or the other?”

Yeah, it happens all the time, you don’t think of that perfect response or comeback until the situation is over and you’re away from it. Happens to me all the time too.

You know why? Because we don’t have TV comedy or drama writers following us around. It’s hard to think of the perfect thing to say in that second when you’re caught off guard.

Well, not today!  (actually, by the time you read this it will have been tomorrow, but as I write it, it is today.)

Today I had the perfect comeback and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. Here’s the story –

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October 17, 2018   No Comments

mocktail time

Cute mama-to-be, Chanté, posing in front of the cocktail station at the Harmony Boards launch party. She is the sweetest!

I’ve posted the recipes for the two signature cocktails we made for the party, so now it’s time for the mocktail. A mocktail that Chanté and others, who choose not to imbibe but still want to feel festive, could enjoy.

I wanted to try something new. I know so many people who are lovers of the elderflower flavor, such as the famous St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur. I’ve made several cocktails with St. Germain, such as this Champagne Cocktail, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not a fan of the elderflower flavor. It’s a bit too, let’s just say, flowery, for my taste.

But since I had no intention of drinking the mocktail that evening, I went ahead and created one using elderflower syrup.

 

Where can one find elderflower syrup, you ask? Amazon, of course.

Oh, and in the photo of the ingredients below, there is a bottle of agave. That is because I tried making it with a 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar in my first attemp and … NO!  It was way TOO sweet for not only my taste, but for anyone except maybe a six-year-old.  Pretend that is not there!

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October 12, 2018   No Comments

another signature cocktail

I have a thing for cucumber in cocktails, it’s so bright and refreshing. My all-time favorite is the Cucumber Martini.

What makes this drink different is the addition of mint simple syrup and the infusion of cucumber into the gin instead of muddling.

This is the second of two signature cocktails we served at the Harmony Boards launch party.

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October 11, 2018   2 Comments

Harmony Boards Frozen Ginger-Lemon Drop

I created a couple of signature cocktails and a mocktail for the Harmony Boards Launch Party last week.

photo credit: Robert Westerman

This first recipe was the big hit of the night. You’ll know why when you see the ingredient list:

  • Fresh lemon juice – check.
  • Sugared rims – check.
  • Fresh ginger – check.
  • Everyone’s favorite alcohol, Vodka – check!

Of course, not everything can go off without a hitch. I’d made the Ginger-Lemonade and other components for the cocktails at home earlier in the week. Then Kim and I transported and prepped everything at the venue on Tuesday, the day before the party.

(I should stop here to say that the venue is one of the charming Airbnb that Kim’s son and daughter-in-law, Cody and Chanté, operate. Cody and his Chisel Built company do the remodel and Chanté does the interior design. You can visit this home, known as the Zona Rosa, and their other vacation rentals at Chisel Built Stays.)

Late Tuesday night, I’m talking around midnight, I woke up from a deep sleep to remember that the lemonade had to be poured onto sheet pans and frozen. Ooops!

photo credit: Robert Westerman

I was so concerned that I’d forget in the morning, that I got up and put the sheet pans in my car. It wasn’t until I arrived at the house, pans in hand, that I realized they would not fit in the freezer. Now what?

I poured the lemonade into a couple dozen small plastic cocktail cups and put them in the freezer. I knew I wasn’t going to get the same easy effect as I’d get by spreading it on sheet pans, where the frozen slushy-like mixture could be simply scraped off into a pitcher. I was going to get frozen lemon cubes. But, in a pinch, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do!

photo credit: Robert Westerman

When it came time to mix up the cocktails, a few of the cups were still slushy in texture, which is what we needed. But most were rock hard. Poor Kim took on the task of breaking and mashing those lemon ice cups down. It all worked out in the end – everyone raved.  Thanks Kim!

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October 10, 2018   No Comments

You’re Invited …

… to the Harmony Boards Launch Party!!!

Yup, it’s official and it’s finally happening. Harmony Boards has hit the ground running. We have already delivered several boards and have several more on the calendar.

If you’re local, we’d love to see you at our Launch Party, a week from today. Be sure to RSVP to the email in the invite or you can do so by leaving us a comment here.

 

Linda Hopkins & Kim Howard invite you and a guest

to the Launch Party of their new venture

follow site Harmony Boards

 

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Zona Rosa Residence

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go here Please RSVP by Monday, October 1

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*Each attendee who has RSVP’d is entered into a drawing to win a free

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September 26, 2018   6 Comments

missed it

Guess what? While I was in Canada throughout the middle of August, I forgot all about my own blogiversary. I know! That’s crazy-talk. It’s like forgetting to celebrate my own birthday, and I love my birthday! But forget it,  I did. August 16th was my 9th Blogiversary. I’ll have to make up for it next year when this blog has been around for a decade.

Speaking of my Canada trip, I want to wrap up a few things I’ve yet to tell you about. And then I want to share with you something I totally kicked butt at yesterday. The images above are of a couple of the fabulous vintage items in the Howard’s Canadian kitchen. Love the breadbox (more on what is in there later) and adore the cookie jar.

Although I did most of the cooking for Kim, Debby and myself, Kim did make a yummy spatchcock chicken. I don’t recall what cookbook the recipe came from but it was delicious. The green goddess marinade is blended in the food processor. The recipe didn’t call for the chicken to be spatchcocked (which simply means poultry that is split open or butterflied) but that is what Kim did with the whole organic chicken she purchased.

Here it is going into the oven to roast.

It was delicious!

My favorite thing Kim made though was her Curry Lentil Soup. I need to get that recipe and post it here because… YUM!

The other items Kim purchased were the best peaches, corn and tomatoes I’ve had in my life! I am not exaggerating!

I had to control myself from eating every last one of these perfect Ontario pêches. This was the second pack we bought, so maybe I did eat an entire package myself.

And the pink Ottawa tomatoes, it was if I hadn’t eaten a real tomato before. But that’s not all. Things got really real when Paul arrived.

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September 7, 2018   6 Comments

soup, an anniversary and Paris

It is well known that I love soup. French Onion Soup is at the top of my list. I have been craving it since my dear friends, Scott and Amy Kilpatrick, went to Paris to celebrate their 25th Anniversary back in June.

While planning their trip, they asked me for recommendations on where to eat and things to do. I sent them This Link to one of my blog posts from nearly 8 years ago.

 

At the top of my must-eat list is the French Onion Soup at Royal Madeleine. They went and I was soon receiving texts that the restaurant does not serve the soup in the summer.

 

Dang it! I had no idea. I cropped off more of Scott’s text since it was too derogatory and obscene towards to “French Frogs” for me to repeat here. I do love him, he’s a funny and adorably sarcastic guy! And Amy is just the sweetest, I adore her and you already know her too. She is see The Amy of Amy’s Famous Taco Soup.

Anyhow, the last time we were there it was late May and the soup was on the menu. I guess it comes off at the end of May. It made me sad they missed out but I understand. I don’t enjoy soup as much in the heat of summer either, which is why, even though I’ve been craving it for months, I have yet to make it.

Well, I tamed a bit of the craving when I made this French Onion Soup inspired recipe for our Sunday supper. I should have thought to invite Amy and Scott over to make up for their disappointment.

A few notes before we get to the recipe. Do not rush to process of caramelizing the onions. It takes time, about an hour, to get them just right. In the photo above, they had been cooking for 45 minutes. I had browned off all the chicken in the meantime. It took another 5 minutes or so after that for them to get even the slightest bit of color.

But then, just like that, they were done about 10 minutes later. It will happen. Don’t get frustrated.

Also, don’t fret about the chicken not being cooked through when you’re browning it. It will cook to perfection in the oven later, I promise.

Lastly, four pounds of onions is a lot of onion! You’re going to need a very large skillet to not only cook them all down in, but to also fit all the chicken thighs in one layer. If you don’t have a big skillet, the reicpe can easily be cut in half. And I call for 8 to 10 chicken thighs, because when you buy the family pack from the grocery store, that is what you get, somewhere between 8 and 10 thighs per package.

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August 28, 2018   1 Comment