Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tomato and Basil Salad

This is easy! This is quick! This is excellent! I recently took this salad to a potluck: It disappeared very quickly

Tomato and Basil Salad:

8 medium tomatoes, ripe and quartered
24 pitted, whole black olives, drained and blotted dry
1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped (see Note)
2-to-3 tsp. granulated sugar
At least 1-1/4 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper, or to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
Feta cheese crumbles, as needed

About 30 min. before serving, combine tomatoes, olives, basil, sugar, and pepper, tossing gently. Cover lightly and let stand at room temperature until ready to serve. Sprinkle with olive oil; add feta. Serves 8.

Note: Measurement should be slightly compacted.

Chop fresh basil ...

Combine fresh tomatoes, basil, olives, sugar, pepper ... 

Ready in minutes ... Your finished salad!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Long Island Iced Tea

Heres everyone’s perennial favorite for warm summer days! We’re still on the road - but would never take this drink along for the ride.

Long Island Iced Tea:

1 jigger vodka
1 jigger tequila
1 jigger dark rum
1 jigger gin
1 jigger orange-flavored liqueur such as Triple Sec, Cointreau, or Grand Marnier
1-½ jiggers sweet-and-sour bar mix
1 quick splash Coca Cola (as in “Things go better with …”)

Combine ingredients in a pitcher, stirring in crushed ice. Pour into tall glasses, garnishing with a lemon twist. Serves one idiot or three normal people.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I cannot imagine a more heartwarming way to celebrate the Fourth! I present this without comment, and with a smile on my face. Thank you to the gentleman who expressed himself so well in this YouTube video. 

And, in an equally stirring song, this from Beyoncé:

Heres to a memorable and happy Fourth!  xox  Nicole

PS: If your browser won’t allow you to see that first, wonderful YouTube video, click on To see Beyoncé’s YouTube song, click on

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cherries Jubilee

To what better use to put fresh summer cherries than in this decadent dessert? 

Cherries Jubilee:

1 c. fresh cherries, rinsed and pitted
1/4 c. warmed brandy
2 tbsp. Kirsch (also called kirschwasser)
2 c. slightly softened vanilla ice cream, ready in serving dishes

Have all ingredients measured and arrayed before starting. Warm brandy 40 sec. in heat-proof  2 c. measuring cup in microwave oven. Remove. Warm cherries 1 min. on heat-proof dish in microwave oven. Ignite brandy in measuring cup, pouring over cherries. When flame dies, stir in Kirsch. Pour over ice cream, serving immediately. Yields 2.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Can you believe were still traveling? Nah ... you probably cant. We remain on the road, and neither the rain, snow, sleet, nor hail of a Canadian summer will keep us from celebrating this countrys national holiday: Canada Day!

Each year, happy, simple Canadians crowd around wood-fired television sets to chew pemmican, crack open brewskis, and respectfully remove their toques to honor Canadas greatest hero. It is not the beaver Canadians revere (not polite Canadians, at least). Instead, it is the man known simply and forever as 99.” Take it away, Wayne! 
As the sun sinks slowly into the west, we bid fond farewell to Canada, shedding our mukluks and mittens as we pass the 49th Parallel. Next: Independence Day! See you July 4th!

PS: I’m still celebrating my independence from cooking! We’ll be back in September for that!

PPS: If you can’t see this video, go to