While the east coast is experiencing heavy snow storms and below-freezing temperatures, we are relaxing in our family room at ten o’clock in the evening, cooling down our house with the windows open, listening to the calming sounds of an owl hoo’ing in a nearby tree. It reached ninety degrees today here in Eagle Rock, California. Apparently Mother Nature had no interest in Spring this year, as she’s already in flip-flops and sunglasses, sipping passion coladas on a private beach in the south of France. How do we know that? We emailed to remind her that some of us enjoy all four seasons, but we got an automated out-of-the-office response to contact her partner, Flora. But since this is her busiest time of year, we were left on our own, trying to figure out ways to stay cool. It was much too hot for hiking today, so we pumped up the A/C, turned on some summer tunes, and consumed the clock, creating a cure that could cool our cores. For national pi day, we took our favorite girl scout cookie and turned it into a dreamy pie—ultra-rich and mint-chocolatey delicious. You can almost feel the chilly breeze as we introduce her to you: please meet the lusciously invigorating thin mints pie.
Sweets or not to sweets, that was the question. As we sat there finishing those brownie-like chocolate sugar cookies, we thought we’d try switching things up and post something on the healthier side. Well… clearly from the photo above, that’s not happening today. Maaaybe next time—although we can’t promise anything because this is a special time of year when eating apple-cider cookies for breakfast with your gingerbread hot chocolate is totally acceptable. So have a salad for lunch and save room for these cups of heaven for dessert: triple chocolate peppermint parfaits—here to make your holidays merry and oh so bright.
Two summers ago we visited a floating bar in the middle of the British Virgin Islands that served the best Bloody Marys we have ever tasted. Only accessible by small boats, the steel ship—converted into a two-story restaurant and bar—is regularly filled with smiling customers wearing bathing suits, flip flops, and sunglasses. Once people get a few cocktails to build their confidence, the fun begins and you can watch them jump from the second story balcony into the crystal clear ocean twenty-five feet below. Our brave niece, Stella, who was nine at the time, lost all inhibitions after downing a few Shirley Temples, and decided to jump with the adults.
Once upon a time, long long ago, on New Years Eve in the small town of Calabasas, California, one of us Husbands had a liiittle too much to drink. And by “too much,” we mean polishing off a half a bottle of whiskey in just a few seconds. Adam was fifteen years old, and it was one of his first times drinking alcohol. After ringing in the New Year and watching Dick Clark’s annual celebration in Times Square on TV, his parents went to bed, while he and a friend began to raid their liquor cabinet. They started by pouring an entire bottle of whiskey into two large glasses filled with ice, plugging their noses, and chugging the contents as quickly as possible. While his friend disappeared to the restroom, he continued to consume more alcohol, gulping Kahlua straight from the bottle. As you can imagine, this unfortunate combination of liquids obviously didn’t agree with his skinny teenage body. Things got a little foggy after that, and the next thing he remembers is a man from the fire department asking him, “What did you drink, son?” “Whi-key,” he weakly mumbled, lacking the strength to pronounce the S. Apparently, he had been calling out to his mother, helplessly and hopelessly intoxicated, and she found him lying on the floor in the den—the details of which we will spare you since this is a cooking blog after all. Long story short, the paramedics determined that he would be okay and there was no need to take him to the hospital. Ever since that delightful day, “Whi-key” has not been a part of Adam’s life… until last December when he tried a double chocolate bourbon milkshake which changed everything.
Summer vacation. You are on a quiet beach under a cloudless sky, laying on a soft towel, the sun drying you off after a quick dip in the warm ocean water. Behind you is a rugged mountain, lush with tropical plants and towering trees bursting with life, bright neon green from the frequent rains. The only sounds are the gentle surf and native birds singing in the distance as you rest your eyes. Your trip has just begun and your only plans for the rest of the day are to relax on the sand and get ready for tonight’s sunset dinner. You take a deep breath, opening your eyes to find yourself sitting in a plastic lounge chair at your neighbor’s backyard barbecue party. No one is staring at you, and it appears as if just seconds have passed. What just happened? What is in this magical icy beverage you are holding in your hand, glowing a deep amethyst and infusing the air with fresh citrus and mint? How did it transport you to paradise and where can you find more of these? There are lots of unknowns in this world, but thankfully we have the answers to your curious questions.