Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Reading List

It’s that time of year when a good book, a cold drink and the cool breeze from a fan can get you through the hottest day.  Or if you prefer, a book at the pool or beach is one of the best ways to spend a summer afternoon.  It seems some of the most anticipated books are published in the summer, when even the most casual readers are looking for a beach read.

My list has some favorite authors and series I love (Paul Doiron and Linda Castillo), a new novel by Elizabeth Gilbert (who’s books I have a love/hate feeling for) and to round out the list, ones I thought sounded interesting and had good reviews.

I’m especially excited to read Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, because it sounds similar to The Joy Luck Club, an all time favorite of mine. And, The Comfort Food Diaries is a memoir about life relating to food and family recipes, always a favorite read.  I would love if you could comment on a book you want to read this summer as an addition to my list :-)

Happy Reading! (all books available on Amazon with a summary and review)


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Old Bay Shrimp

Do you ever wonder why you thought it would be too much work to make something and then when you give it a try, you wonder why you thought that?  Whenever we go to our favorite beach bars, (and the list is long) we usually order peel and eat shrimp to enjoy with our first drink.  We know which places have the best, which for us means fresh as possible and spicy, rather than bland.

I went to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and was able to get some freshly caught gulf shrimp, so I decided to give this method a try and prepared a simple, but delicious meal of veggies and peel and eat shrimp.  This recipe is so easy, so quick and has that perfectly spicy kick we love.  The only change I would make, to kick up the flavor even more, is instead of vinegar for the boil, I would use beer.  No more bland shrimp cocktail for us - this will be the only kind of shrimp I serve from now on.

Happy Wednesday!

Old Bay Shrimp 

1/2 cup apple Cider Vinegar (or beer)
4 cups water
1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning
4 cloves garlic
1 T cracked black pepper
1 lb fresh large shrimp (in shells)
2 T Old Bay Seasoning for tossing

Combine vinegar (beer), water, Old Bay Seasoning, garlic and pepper in a large soup pot.  Bring to boil over medium heat.  When water is boiling, add shrimp, cover and cook 5-6 minutes (until just pink).  Drain shrimp and toss with remaining Old Bay.  Place uncovered in a bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve. (We like it at room temperature, so just refrigerate until it cools slightly). Serve with cocktail sauce.  Enjoy!

Friday, June 7, 2019


One of the last pieces of a new life in Florida, was finding a volunteer opportunity.  As it turns out, I found two.  Volunteering has always been a part of my life and part of my last job was recruting and scheduling volunteers for a city wide event,  so I knew it was something I wanted to pursue here.  It's also a great way to meet new people and at the same time, give something back.

For the past few months, I have been a part of the HOA Landscaping committee in my new development.  We are in the process of taking control of the HOA from our builder, as they complete construction of the final homes.  I knew that this committe was something I would enjoy and we have already received really good feedback on some of the things we have completed.  We have been counting trees, as well as planting flowers in lovely planters at all our entrances, which for some reason the builder never completed.  Our next project is updating some plantings in the pool area and I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt.

Just yesterday, I started a volunteer opportunity outside my neighborhood and in the community I have grown to love.  In Venice, there are small parks everywhere, all with tropical, Florida style plantings.  Also, the downtown area is beautiful and filled with palm trees and flowers.  I joined a group called Keep Venice Beautiful and in conjunction with the garden club, we volunteer to do just that.  It was hot, sweaty work, but I loved every minute of it.  As a bonus, I'll learn a lot about Florida landscaping and plants and this Midwest girl is looking forward to that.

Just another couple of important pieces of my new life falling into place.  I would love to hear how you volunteer in your community, church, school, etc.

Have a wonderful weekend!
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Michigan ➡️ Florida
family, books, gardening, palm trees, the beach, golf, up north, msu football, detroit tigers, walking with my dog, trying new recipes, musicals, BBC, pedicures with my daughters, martinis, yoga, lilly

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