Thursday, January 29, 2009

I finally found the perfect Clam Chowder !

I must admit, I crossed my fingers as everyone dived into their soup......hoping it would be "The One"...The Clam Chowder I have been searching for...and it was ! Since I live by the beach, I tend to order Clam Chowder often when we go out. I have been determined to find a recipe that I love, but haven't been able to get it quite right...Until now !! This fantastic soup was posted by Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe . My entire family went back for seconds and thirds ! After dinner, I ran to my 'binder' full of recipes, and ripped out the current "clam chowder recipe"...and replaced it with this one.
If you like clam chowder, give this a whirl ! (recipe posted at My Kitchen Cafe)
I found Clam Juice in the Soda section of my grocery store. It was by the grenadine, augusta bitters, giant olives for martinis, margarita salt, etc. I guess you must use it in cocktails.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What's in that blue drink anyways ??

Blue Hawaiian

3 oz ( 1/4 C. plus 2 TBS) light rum
2 oz ( 1/4 C) blue Curacao
1/2 C. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 C. well stirred canned cream of coconut such as Coco Lopez
( NOT coconut milk )
3 C. ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in blender til smooth !
Makes 2 drinks

Hop on a table and dance !!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My famous Crab Dip

What is your signature dish...'THE' dish that made you famous at some party and everyone requested the recipe ? I'd love for you to leave a comment, the name of your recipe and if there is a link, include that ! Those are my all time favorite recipes !!
I'm making my famous CRAB DIP recipe for a cocktail party tonight. I bring this dip to every event I go to !! I don't care if people call me the crab lady !
Tonight I'm using fresh Blue Crab meat !! It will be amazing !

Crab Dip

2 - 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened & whipped
1/2 C. Mayo
2 - 7oz. cans crab meat, drained and shredded
1 T. powdered sugar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 T. dry onion flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
white pepper to taste
Parm cheese

1. Beat cream cheese
2. Add Mayo
3. Add crab, powdered sugar, dry mustard, onion flakes, salt, garlic powder, white pepper.
4. Stir in crab.
5. Pour in 6 x 10 dish, top with freshly grated parm. cheese.
Bake til bubbly - usually 350 for 20 min.
I serve Carr's Cracked Pepper crackers with this dip !

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Way I See It

Do you ever take the time to read "The Way I See It" on the side of Starbucks cups ?
This is my favorite !! Waaaaaaaaaaa !!

“Do not kiss your children so they will kiss you back but so they will kiss their children, and their children’s children.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork, Root beer style !

** reposted for Crock Pot Wednesday thanks to Debbie from Dining with Debbie who hosted this event.

{ I found this recipe on}

 I rarely cook in a crock pot, but this is a necessity during soccer season ! I hate coming in late with the kids in tow, and then have to put dinner together. It's so nice to open the door with exhausted kids, and know that a giant pulled pork sandwich is just seconds away ! By the time they are done washing up, their dinner is waiting for them !

The reason I like this recipe better, is I really like the texture of the pork. It really has that 'pulled pork' thing going on, unlike my other recipe which seems kind of mushy now that I think about it ! I noticed that it is also cooked on LOW instead of high, like my other one.

The root beer really gives it an interesting 'zing' that's so subtle. The kids went back for seconds, so that's why this is my new BBQ pork for 09.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

"Using root beer to season slow cooked pork tenderloin makes a novel, yet tasty preparation method guaranteed to win applause."

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin ( I used the whole package, they come with two )
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer ( I used IBC Root Beer )
1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce ( I like KC Masterpiece )
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted ( I didn't toast mine and they were fine )

1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

I still top mine with BONE SUCKIN' SAUCE !!!! YUMMA LUMMA !!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Wine Exchange gets Happy

Over the Holidays, I tried something new ! A friend gave me Yellow Tail's new Sparkling White Wine. Don't ask me why, but it didn't occur to me that 'sparkling' meant "bubbly" as in I opened the bottle an ordinary Tuesday night, and then said...."OOOhh No ! It's champagne-ish...I should have saved it...but oh's opened so guess we're stuck drinking it." Well,well, well folks, let me tell you....this is a 'happy' let's draw a giant bath and sink into deep bubbles kinda sparkling wine. It's so light and fruity and well, it just made me so 'happy' I wanted to sing !! A definite possibility if any of you drink something fun on Valentine's Day...which is right around the corner !
And it's around $8.00 !! Go ahead, buy two ! You'll find an excuse to drink the other one, and I bet it's before New Years !!

"86 Points, Wine Spectator - Soft, a bit sweet, but spicy and floral, reminiscent of a sweeter style of Prosecco. Pear and hazelnut flavors linger"

Monday, January 12, 2009


I must be feeling nostalgic these days. I find that when I'm in need of 'comfort', I make things that remind me of 'home'. I swear I feel like a kid again when my kitchen smells like it did when I would come home from school. To be perfectly honest, it makes me feel 'safe' and 'secure' my mom is just in the other room and for just a few moments, all is well with my world.

Cheese Enchiladas ready for the oven !

My dad is from Mexico and married an American girl from a very small town. Food has always been highly important to my Dad, so mom learned to cook Mexican food from Lita.... (abuelita, which means grandmother in Spanish ). Every meal I ate growing up included rice and corn tortillas on the side. Most the meals mom made were Mexican, and so today, I'm making her cheese enchiladas. She made all kinds of enchiladas, but my favorite were always just plain cheese. And since I want to really feel like a kid today, well, then Cheese Enchiladas it is !!
Last night I made mom's Beans & Rice. I will make refried beans from the leftovers to serve on the side. Perfect. Dinner is served. My all time favorite use of leftover refried beans is to fry an egg, and place it right on top of a mound of beans... Oh my about COMFORT !! HELLO !!

Making enchiladas is soooo easy ! Not to mention cost effective ! They make great leftovers, so I love making more than I need !

-Stack of corn tortillas

- can of enchilada sauce - depends on how many you are making. I use a large can for 2 casserole pans

- Cheese - cheddar or Jack or pepper jack or combo of any... depending on what I have on hand determines which I use ! I tend to use 2 cheeses and alternate enchiladas...I like wondering what I'm going to bite into !

Pour enchilada sauce in sauce pan and heat on low.
Pour just a little sauce to cover the casserole dish you are using... so they won't stick. ( I use about one ladle)

Pour oil in skillet. Fry corn tortilla until it begins to 'bubble'... then dip in sauce, place on work surface and fill with cheese. Roll and place seam side down in casserole dish.

Repeat until you have a full tray. Top with remaining enchilada sauce, and more cheese.

Bake at 350 for 25 min. or until cheese melts.
Serve with rice, tossed salad, and don't forget the sour cream !

Seriously, how easy is that ? Delicioso !!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More than Sea Glass

I've been spending time getting the "beach" back into my Cozy Beach Cottage.. I love decorating for Christmas, but I love putting my house back together after Christmas even more. Nothing soothes my soul more than the colors of Sea Glass. These are not just jars of sea glass, they are jars of everlasting memories! We used to live in Hawaii. My children and I plucked these up right off the beaches... each and every piece here... and when I look at my sea glass, I don't see blue and green and white. I see sandy toes and waves and little legs running down the beach and I hear squeals of laughter as the waves rush in to try and keep what is rightfully hers and I smell that gorgeous salty air ... That's what happens to me when I see these jars. I love them more than anything in my home because they are not just sea glass. They are more than sea glass. They are bits and pieces of their childhood that I was able to capture and hold onto. Even as they grow, I can look at these and remember and smile and be thankful and feel blessed.


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