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!

Friday, May 31, 2019

All About Book Clubs (and Our Latest Picks)

All book clubs are different. Including whether you meet in someone's home or a public space, serve dinner, snacks or dessert and coffee or even if wine is part of the evening.  I have been in three different book clubs, in three different states (New Jersey, Michigan and now Florida) and none have been the same.  But, each has built wonderful friendships and connections based around my love of books.

Perhaps the biggest difference, is how books are chosen.  Some groups rely on best seller lists, some have the hostess pick and some pretty much wing it from month to month, with no set plan.  In my experience, it is better to have a plan in advance or the most well read of the group will end up having more of a say in the picks.  I prefer more diversity, because then I read books I either didn't know about, or more importantly, would have never given a try.

My current book club chooses our books ahead of time and our reading year begins when the snow birds return to Florida in October.  We all submit up to six choices, then vote for our top five on the list of submissions.  A lot of the members like this because they can read in advance, if they choose.  We also can volunteer to lead a discussion for a book that we are the most interested in. ( I'm leading for The Last Romantics)  We meet on the first Thursday of every month, in our clubhouse and bring wine and snacks to share.  In January, we go out to dinner as a group and do not hold a book discussion.

You can see our list for next season is quite eclectic and I am looking forward to reading every one of them.  I thought perhaps you might be interested in reading them as well.

Happy Reading! 

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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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