Frenchie Cocktail

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I am holding onto summer as long as I can. It feels like it just began and now it is almost over. But it is not over, till it’s over and I am not letting go. We had our first real warm summer in a long time since moving to Oakland from SF and I am loving it. The weather doesn’t change too much here in the fall, but it is those long warm summer days that I am going to miss. Do you know what else happens on long warm summer days? Long delicious summer cocktails on our deck, like this Frenchie cocktail which is oh so delicious.
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Big Sky Montana

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So I took a little hiatus from the blog this week. I didn’t mean to but it kinda just happened. Sometimes words come pouring out of me and sometimes I got nothing. There is no rhyme or reason as to why it happens. Sometimes it is easy to sit down and write for hours and sometimes nothing comes. All of that is to say, maybe a little break is good – gets the creativity back in check. Right? Well these pictures from our time in Big Sky, Montana last weekend certainly gets my creative juices flowing.  We were there for my sister-in-law’s wedding and it was a beautiful weekend. Luke’s family grew up going to Big Sky and I have been fortunate enough to have gone a couple times over the last couple of years and it is quickly becoming of my favorite spots. Fresh mountain air and big wide open skies, it is an amazing place. Here are some pictures from our trip.
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Big Sky, Montana

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I am off to Big Sky country for a few days to celebrate my sister-in-law getting married! It is going to be an amazing couple of days filled with outdoor adventures like fishing, hiking and zip lining – and of course a beautiful wedding. Make sure to follow along on Instagram. See you next week!

Tomato Watermelon Salad

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I know I have been posting nothing but salads recently, but that is all I seem to want to eat. Nice crisp, cold salads. This one is no exception. You wouldn’t think it, but the combination of tomatoes and watermelon together is pretty amazing. Sweet, tangy perfection. One of these days I will start posting other recipes like pies and hearty fall food, but until then I am getting my fill on fruits and vegetables because this tomato watermelon salad is what I am going to be dreaming about come cold, dreary January.
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Brandied Cherries

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I have a confession – I love those neon pink, corn syrup soaked maraschino cherries. Love them. We used to have them in our Shirley Temples growing up (remember those!!) which is where my love began. Not sure I should admit this but I may have been known to eat them straight from the little containers on a bar. Gross on a lot of levels I know.  I also have a habit of stealing them from Luke’s drinks when he is not looking. Classy. So when I first discovered brandied cherries last summer – I was in heaven. Sweet cherries that have been soaked in all sorts of boozy goodness with lots of spices.  These brandied cherries have replaced my addiction to fake maraschino cherries – I am not sure I can say they are better for you but lets say they are a little more natural and a lot more delicious. Come over to my house any night of the week and you might find me eating these suckers straight from their jar.
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Wine Country Weekend

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Happy Monday – how was your weekend? Do you still wish it was the weekend? I sure do. Luke surprised me with a trip to Sonoma which was amazing. It was quick – only one night – but packed with lots of good food, delicious wine and of course beautiful wine country.   Here are some pics from our wine country weekend – I am already ready to go back next weekend.
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Summer Panzanella Salad

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All I want to do these days is eat salads. I know that is kind of boring but there are a couple reasons behind it. The first is obviously that is the best time of year to go crazy with vegetables and fruit – between the tomatoes and the stone fruit, I am in heaven. The other is our stove. I have a love hate relationship with it. It is an old Wedgewood from the 1960s. This stove is over 50 years old!?! Which again is both good and bad – it is so sturdy I think it could survive the end of the world,  but that comes with a price. It is huge and is always hot. Like almost too hot to touch even when it is off. Since are finally getting summertime weather here in Oakland our house gets hot and every time you are near that stove, things get a bit hotter. So with a hot house and an even hotter stove, salads seem to be the only thing I am willing to make so I don’t sweat my face off. But even if our stove didn’t run so hot, I would still make this summer panzanella salad – with hearty bread cubes, sweet tomatoes and fragrant basil, it is the best of summer in a bowl.
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Strawberry Basil Gin Fizz

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I started to get a complex about my love of whiskey,  mostly because it is a manly drink and it is also a hearty, smokey, dead of winter drink. I had been curious about trying other types of fancy cocktails but it is just so easy to order what you know and love – which is whiskey these days. But I recently discovered this amazing “bottle” shop here in Oakland called Alchemy Bottle Shop that is everything a liquor store should be – curated, well designed and best of all friendly and helpful. I thought this is the perfect place to explore. First up gin –  and I am hooked. Consider me a gin drinker if I can always have gin in the form of a strawberry basil gin fizz. It is the perfect cocktail for summer.
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