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If you’re itching for a cocktail a little more fun than the standards on this holiday, look no further. This blue (yes, there’s curacao) concoction should do the trick.

1½ oz. white rum
1 oz. blue curacao
3 oz. Lemonade Sparkling ICE
Garnish: blueberries

Combine all ingredients with ice in a blender. Blend on high until it becomes slushy. Pour into a glass and garnish with blueberries.

 

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Callaloo topped with eggs and bacon

Callaloo topped with eggs and bacon

In Negril Jamaica, my traveling companions and I ate breakfast most days at Citronella, where we each had a house and the resort to ourselves.

The first day, I ordered the mixed greens plate, which is callaloo topped with two eggs, a side of bacon and toast (all for a mere $8 US).

I found this to be a great way to start the day. We never ate lunch our whole week there except for the one time we missed breakfast.

Being on the water all day, I found that the callaloo breakfast was the perfect meal for energy that lasts from 8am-8pm.

When I got back to the states, I wanted to re-create it. While we don’t have callaloo in my local markets, spinach has a very similar flavor. I added garlic for a kick. My egg-poaching skills are not the best, but see below for my take on this recipe for an awesome energy-producing breakfast.

spinach eggs bacon

My attempt on mixed greens topped with eggs and bacon. Not as pretty, but tasted just as good!

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I go through phases where I like to cook or bake, but I always take shortcuts in the kitchen. Cooking or baking to me is like painting or playing dress-up. It is supposed to be fun and totally inspired by the whim of the moment. Who cares if it comes out terribly? (Unless, of course, you are serving guests and they have no other options.)

I felt like making something the other day for no real occasion, although I later realized I had a party I could bring this to, so it worked out: My work was not for naught. This recipe involves no actual baking (unless you make your own crust) and takes 10-15 minutes to prepare. I think it looks kind of pretty and have yet to find out what it tastes like. Hopefully good? Like I said, kitchen experiments are fun, are projects, and are not to be taken too seriously.

Click below for recipe…

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This is the perfect dessert or morning meal complement: Sweet, citrus, and charcoal all wrapped into one. (Serves 4; only 2 servings pictured.)

Ingredients:
2 large ruby red grapefruit
2 T apricot preserves
1 T cinnamon/sugar mix (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat broiler oven to high.

2. Slice each grapefruit in half and slice a bit off the bottom so it can stand upright. Place on an aluminum-covered broiling pan.
3. Divide the sections of the grapefruit halves and the outer-perimeter using a knife.
4. Gently ease the apricot preserves into the pockets using a teaspoon, dividing evenly amongst each half.
5. Broil for 8 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mix and let cool a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy!
♥Gigi

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This little gem was something I made up when I really wanted some portabella mushrooms. It’s simple and involves few ingredients, per my usual style. Serves 4.

Ingredients:
1 pound sliced baby portabella mushrooms
8 oz. balsamic vinaigrette
1 pound linguini
4 oz. parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Marinate the shrooms in the balsamic vinaigrette (I use a standard plastic freezer bag) in the refrigerator for 1 hour to two days.

2. Cook pasta according to pasta instructions. Meanwhile, saute mushrooms in a skillet until almost cooked through.
3. Add cooked, drained pasta to skillet and cook for 3-5 minutes; create some charcoal if desired.
4. Top with freshly shaved parmesan and serve.

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A few weeks ago, I hosted my very first “adult” dinner party for my family. Guests were my mother, two of my brothers, my sister-in-law (who is a phenomenal chef and foodie), my “adopted” sister Katie and my boyfriend. I wanted to make as many of my specialties as possible and serve them tapas-style in a casual environment. While I did overdo it (you never want anyone to be hungry), everyone benefited from leftovers and not having to worry about cooking for a few days. Links are included for the recipes of all things made by me below. For my entire arsenal of recipes, click here.

My menu:

Cheese plate: Brie, Goat, Comte, Pont-l’Évêque
Roasted red peppers
Seeded flatbreads & French bread
Assorted olives
Prosciutto-wrapped figs
Cranberry walnut salad (made by Piers)
Magnificent Meatballs
Mushroom Parmesan pizzetta; Tomato Gruyere pizzetta
Seafood & Sausage Jambalaya
Garlic-Parmesan Asparagus
Peach-Apricot Chicken
Homemade chocolate chip cookies (Rindy brought these)

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Football Season is upon us! Here’s a compilation of my favorite football-watching recipes:

Baked BBQ Chicken Wings

Nasty! Nachos

Pizzetta: 10 versions

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Meaty Stuffed Peppers

Magnificent Meatballs

Fall Sausage

Go GIAnts!!!


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