Tuesday, July 24, 2018

More Raccoon Fun Today!

Mama and her babies have me trained! 

Mama and Her Babies Feasting Today

This Little Gal is my Favorite.  Climbing up to get my attention from the Living Room window.

Are they CUTE, or what?  I'm like Pavlov's Dog when they appear!

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 29th is National Lasagna Day!

Explore Cuisine should be on your radar as a healthy addition to the classic comfort food. Explore Cuisine's Organic, Non GMO, Gluten Free Green Lentil Lasagna features 11g of protein per serving.

Dom and I LOVE Explore Cuisine.  I'll be making this on the 29th...  looks delicious!

Spinach Mushroom Lasagne


16 oz cottage cheese
1/2 c fresh basil, sliced into ribbons
1/2 c fresh parsley
1 t garlic salt
1 t Italian Seasoning
1 egg
1 T oil
2 c fresh mushrooms, quartered
2 c fresh spinach
8 oz of uncooked lasagna from Explore Cuisine
32 oz of spaghetti sauce
2 cups (or more) of shredded mozzarella cheese
Garnish: additional basil cut into ribbons


In a medium bowl combine cottage mix, basil, parsley, garlic salt, Italian Seasoning and egg. Mix together and set aside.

In a skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Saute the mushrooms until they soften and they are starting to shrink. Add in spinach to wilt.

Combine mushroom and cottage cheese mixture.

Using a 9X13 baking dish pour 1/3 of the sauce into the bottom.

Add half the uncooked noodles, top that with 1/2 the mixture and 2/3 c of cheese. Repeat. You will end with a third layer of sauce.

Cover casserole dish with foil. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Remove the foil after 35 minutes.

Garnish with remaining/additional cheese and basil.
Let sit and rest for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.


Explore Cuisine is known for its protein-packed plant pastas that are high in fiber, naturally gluten free, simple to prepare, organic, and delicious.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 24th is National Tequila Day (and conveniently also Taco Tuesday!)

Hi gang!  Thought I'd share some of these fun drink ideas from Sparkling Ice.

Sparkling Paloma:

½ oz Tequila
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
½ oz Fresh Lime Juice
½ oz Agave Nectar
Splash of Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit
Grapefruit Peel for garnish

Combine tequila, fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass over ice. Add a splash of Sparkling Ice Pink Grapefruit. Garnish with grapefruit peel and serve.

Spicy Sparkling Margarita:

2 parts Blanco Tequila
½ part Cointreau
3 slices of JalapeƱo pepper
Juice of 1/8 lime
1 ½ parts Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime

Shake Tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and peppers with ice. Pour into rocks glass with salted rim and lime wedge. Top with Sparkling Ice Lemon Lime.

Sparkling Tequila Sunrise:

2 oz. orange juice
2 oz. tequila
½ oz. grenadine
2 oz. Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, then the orange juice, and tequila. Top with Sparkling Ice Classic Lemonade and grenadine, then garnish with a maraschino cherry and orange slice and serve.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

12 Days on the Beach- and my New Raccoon Family

Hi, gang!  As Dom is getting along so well, I felt comfortable enough to head to PCB for 12 days. 

I was joined by a Tennessee girlfriend, Patricia for about a week.  She and I lived it up with gift cards given to me for Carrabba's and Seafood Grill.  She took me to Dee's Hangout twice.  We had big fun-  hadn't seen each other for more than a year.  It goes without saying that we did Happy Hour at the LIQ across the street daily.

After she left, I spent my solitude on the beach, at the pool, and on my balcony.  Didn't even leave the condo property.

The water was AMAZING!  Some of the nicest that I've seen over the years!

Rain Shower in the Distance

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mama Raccoon brings her 4 babies every day for a meal.  When I'm home, I'm constantly looking out the window for them.  "Good Racoon Mommy".

When I'm not here, Dom feeds them when he thinks about it.  "Bad Raccoon Daddy".

The female normally knocks on the door to alert me that they're hungry.  Apparently, she was knocking and not getting a response.  So, Dom is sitting across the room watching tv.  Our of the corner of his eye, doesn't he see feet, then finally a head climbing up the screen window in the living room!

The adorable little shit knocked out the screen!

Dom proceeded to find a squirt gun, crack the window and blast her in the face. 
"Mean Raccoon Daddy".  (Kind of amusing, though)

Mama with 1 baby a few weeks ago

All 4 babies yesterday.  Growing fast!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

750 Best Appetizers: From Dips and Salsas to Spreads and Shooters

I was tickled to receive this cookbook from the publisher the other day!  It's a large 576 pages.  Loaded with recipes and full-color photos.

As Dom and I entertain often, I'll be using this publication for my party menus. I've always been one to make our food prior to our guests arriving, thus being able to join in the fun.

This book is PERFECT for our lifestyle!

The quintessential book of appetizers for any occasion.

There are more than 750 recipes to choose from because we’ve tried to make sure you have a selection to suit every possible occasion — from a dress-down backyard barbecue to the most elegant sit-down dinner. We’ve also considered the need to satisfy a variety of dietary preferences, from strictest vegans to wide-ranging omnivores. And since we know you’re probably doing lots of things at once, many recipes can be prepared ahead of time or made in your slow cooker while you’re busy with something else.

The book is structured to cover a broad range of options. There are 16 chapters built around specific types of dishes, such as Dips and Spreads, or specific ingredients, such as Fish and Seafood or Cheese. We’ve also categorized by presentation, since it’s an integral component to appetizers, so you’ll find chapters like Wraps and Rolls.

A tray of appetizers always seems celebratory, and there is nothing like home-cooked food to make people feel welcome. Use this book to create hors-d'oeuvres that will delight your family and friends — then relax and enjoy the party yourself.

With so many recipes to choose from, home cooks have got the basis to get any gathering off to a lively start:

*Easy tahini dip, tuna tapenade, roasted beet and goat cheese spread
*Feta-spiked watermelon salsa with chili, apple salsa, Bloody Mary salsa
*Watercress gazpacho, broccoli pesto shooter, shrimp bisque, cumin mint cooler
*Pepper-wrapped chorizo, duck confit quesadilla, cannoli, beef sushi
*Pancetta and potato bundles, buckwheat blini, spinach and artichoke tarts
*Uptown croque monsieur, pinwheel party sandwiches, salmon sliders
*Spicy sizzling shrimp, smoked salmon and avocado tartare, beer-battered oysters.

You can pick up this beauty here: