Author: brenda-hill

Guacamole Contest Winner

Our team loves guacamole. I was sorry to miss this tasty recipe contest at the Avocado Festival this year. Carpinteria, California is a captivating place to visit any time. Cherisse Kirkendall, from Carpinteria, who won last  year, was the winner again this year. She used perfect Hass avocados with classic natural flavors. Others tried olives, chili peppers, olives and bacon. Here is Cherisse’s Guacamole winning recipe. Ingredients: 7 Hass avocados (medium) 4 diced and seeded Roma tomatoes 1 cup fine diced red onion 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime 1 1/2 tablespoons Lawry’s garlic salt Dash pepper Method: Mash avocados in bowl to desired texture and add red onion and seasonings to taste. Slice tomatoes and remove seeds. Cut into medium size squares. Fold in tomatoes, keeping it chunky. Serve cold. Cherisse’s Tips: Keep it simple. Chunky is good. Avoid overripe avocados. Use potato masher to mash avocados. video Our tip is to serve with homemade tortilla chips or crunchy vegetables. The Tandem Tasters favorite guacamole is still the healthful one  made fresh from the garden and farm at Rancho La Puerto in Tecate, Mexico, near San Diego. They add peas, but you would never guess. Simply delicious. The recipe is in our archives. Brenda C. Hill International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Books By Hills Success With Writing Where And What in the...

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Cheers – The Tiki

This drink is inspired by my son Matt who is having the same rum drink today at our favorite spot in the Bahamas. His alumni group is enjoying the warm sun at Blue Bar on Pink Sands Beach on Harbor Island. This is the island where the real  and original “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was discovered by Jimmy Buffet. Jimmy flew his own plane in the last time I was there. My son, Matt, built this tiny replica of the original Blue Bar for me in Florida. The drinks are just as big. My favorite is called The Tiki. Ingredients: 1 1/2 oz. spiced rum. 2  oz. cranberry juice 2  oz. pineapple juice 1 oz. orange Curaçao 1 splash sour mix A cherry, orange or lime slice  or pineapple spear for desired garnish Method: Mix all I ingredients except Curaçao with ice and shake well. Pour into a tall glass and float Curaçao on top. Garnish and serve cold. Tips Paper umbrellas are fun if you have them. I like Sailor Jerry rum because it is strong, 92 proof, and has a hint of cherry. This recipe was inspired by Sailor Jerry. If you skip the splash of sour mix it still tastes great. If no Curaçao, or orange liquor, top with spiced or dark rum, such as Meyers. I am served these tiki drinks at baby blue bar, with spiced...

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Warm One Pot Winter Meals – Short Ribs And Root Veggies

The inspiration for this frosty New England favorite is from Ming Tsai (Simply Ming One-Pot Meals).What’s not to love about aromatic short ribs and root vegetables just picked from the  autumn harvest? Best of all, this is so easy, once you gather the ingredients. Everything is hot in one pot so you can chill with your guests or a good book. Planned overs are encouraged as, like many such stew type braising dishes, the next day is even more flavorful. Ingredients for 4 (or 2 in my home) 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tbs chili powder 6 large and meaty short ribs 3  (or 4) tablespoons grape seed or canola oil 2 onions cut in one inch dice 2 (or more) tbs minced garlic 1-pound bag carrot nubs 6 celery stalks, split and halved  1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1-inch dice 1 large parsnip, cut into i-inch pieces 2 tablespoons natural soy sauce Method In a large shallow plate, combine flour and chili powder. Season the ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour mix. Heat a stockpot over medium heat. Add the 2 tbs oil and swirl to coat bottom of the pot. When oil is hot, shake off excess flour. add ribs to pot. cook, turning once, about 8 minutes. Set ribs aside. Add remaining oil and swirl again. When the oil...

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Original Edible Art Centerpieces

The lovely roses and lilies you may see in some of my photos all came from LuLu’s Florals at the Phillipi Farmhouse Market in Sarasota, Florida. I could not resist this original masterpiece created by LuLu owners, Cindy and John Snyder. You could probably create somethingsimilar by placing roses, mums and hydrangeas with colorful fruits and veggies. I like red, and orange peppers with yellow corn, artichokes or Brussels   sprouts. What a creative and delicious hostess gift for the holidays. For more information visit or call (941) 861-5000. . . . Brenda C. Hill International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Books By Hills Success With Writing Where And What in the...

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Lucky Hank’s, Lucky Edgartown

This review of a new cafe in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard is by one of our guest contributors, and our friend, Marguerite Jill Dye. I once lived on the Vineyard and cannot wait to return to Lucky Hanks. I have been enjoying Chef Danny’s creative cuisine for years. ~Brenda C. Hill . . To discover one’s passion in life is a gift.  To live it is a blessing. The stars have aligned for Restauranteur/Owner Doug Smith and Chef Daniel Finger to follow their life-long passion for the culinary arts  in opening Lucky Hank’s Restaurant and Cafe on Main Street. . . This cozy and charming gathering place for gourmet comfort food and good company is already becoming a destination for Islanders seeking a comfortable, welcoming home away from home.   Tasty dishes are prepared on the spot using the freshest local ingredients. . . Between the pre-opening and first night’s dinner (right before Hurricane Sandy), we sampled a variety of dishes that tickled our taste buds.   We found the crispy cod cakes crowned with lobster sauce to be heavenly, and the nutty, crunchy/creamy chicken salad (wrapped in mustard greens at the opening) to be delectable.  Mini lobster rolls sent “oohs” and “aahs” throughout the restaurant, and a lovely cheese plate was served with crusty baguette slices, sugar-roasted cashews and the Chef’s own fig jam and black currant compote with reduced red wine...

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