Happy Thanksgiving!

I realize my last post was some time ago. Glad to be back! Let’s just say I’m thankful to have been really busy this year! I’m also thankful for Heather’s gluten free cinnamon rolls which we had as an intro to today’s festivities.

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She wanted to bring back the cinnamon rolls of her youth in a gluten free way, so that we could all enjoy them. It’s straight out of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Well sort of; just substitute Cup4Cup flour and butter for the shortening.

Stay tuned for turkey leftovers coming soon!! Enjoy your time with family and friends!

Cool Bob deserves a tiki drink!

One of our days in NOLA we took the Ferry over to Algiers. I highly recommend this if you have a couple hours to spend. It’s a beautiful little residential area with lots of character. It was nice to walk around and check out all of the architectural styles. Plus, you may get to meet Cool Bob (from Buffalo of all places) at the Old Point Bar! We chatted with him for a while before we had to head back out into the heat, and across the river.

After the ferry ride back, we meandered our way over to Latitude 29, again. We weren’t aware that famed rum collector Professor Remsberg was going to be in the bar for a meeting. I wish we could have said hello, but didn’t want to interrupt.

Professor’s Remsberg’s Punch is the inspiration for my version of Planter’s Punch. Most versions of this punch are different, so feel free to make it your own!

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2eat2drink Punch

  • 3 oz El Dorado 12 year demerara rum
  • 1 1/2 oz demerara simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 dashes Fee Brother’s Cherry bitters

Shake with ice and serve in a well garnished glass. Or you can always mix up a pitcher and stir!

The Lapu Lapu I created is based on the Disney version from The Tambu Lounge at the Polynesian Resort. I altered the recipe slightly from what I found only because I wanted to use a better rum for the float than 151. Plus, I can’t bring myself to use sour mix.

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The Lapu Lapu

  • 2 oz Myers’s Dark Rum
  • 3 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
  • float 1 1/2 oz Clément V.S.O.P. Rhum Agricole Vieux on top before serving

Mix all ingredients except float and stir well. Pour into a hollowed out a fresh pineapple filled with ice. Gently pour additional rhum to float on top. Garnish with orchids and mint and serve with a straw.

What is your favorite tiki drink? I’d love to know so I can do another series. Cheers!

A Guinness pint and a wee bit o’ Disney.

First off, happy St. Patrick’s Day! May the luck of the Irish be on your side today! Ya may be askin’ what Disney has to do with a nice, tall, shamrock-laden pint. Considering I had it in Epcot at the Rose and Crown pub…a lot!

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Along with the beer, I had a Scotch egg. Between the pint, the egg and the pub, all 3 British Isles were covered.

The rest of this post is coming from all the way back in 2013. Yes, I have been that busy. No excuses, it’s just that the studio has been busier than ever. A big thank you to all who have made that happen.

Let’s hit the parks!

On to a couple resorts and Epcot!

Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom!

Make sure to get your pint! Sláinte!

A book-inspired cocktail

My lovely bride has published another book with her brother, the third installment in the José Picada series entitled Act of Abduction. During my private reading (yes, I am privileged), I learned that this book has a pivotal scene featuring the José Picada Margarita. Heather asked if I could come up with a recipe that would be appropriate for Chef Al. I did my best. I hope you enjoy the José Picada Margarita as much as I know you’ll enjoy the book. Salud!

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The José Picada Margarita

  • 2 oz. Casamigos reposado tequila
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz. Ancho Reyes liqueur
  • 1/2 oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1/2 oz. agave nectar

Shake and pour over crushed ice. Garnish with jalapeño and lime.

You can find the José Picada, P.I. series on MuseItUp Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Mirbeau in the snow

It snowed today. In April. Not that that is unusual for us here in Rochester, it’s just a little frustrating given the long winter. But…it was also very pretty, and had the nice effect of reminding us of a recent trip to Mirbeau Inn and Spa. One of our fondest memories from Mirbeau is sitting together in the spa with large fluffy snowflakes falling through the open timbers overhead. I hope you get the chance to visit Mirbeau in the snow, but not until next winter.

Merry Christmas!

Just a quick post to wish you all a Merry Christmas! And/or a joyous happy holiday of your choosing. Here are a few photos of our recent trip to a Dicken’s Christmas in Skaneateles. I didn’t take many photos as I was too busy hugging Heather to keep warm, but it was a splendid display of cheer with caroling, horse and wagon rides, and even a sighting of Scrooge. Looking forward to next year’s event! Enjoy the time with family. Cheers!

Mirbeau = Indulgence

This week marks the anniversary of our first date! Last year, we commemorated the occasion with a quick getaway to Mirbeau Inn and Spa in Skaneateles. With the French countryside and the works of Monet as its inspiration, Mirbeau provides gorgeous accommodations and excellent cuisine in a soothing, romantic environment. When making a reservation, be sure to mention whether you would like to stay in a cottage, allowing you to stroll through the lovely gardens on your way to the main building, or in the main building itself. We prefer the cottages, but have stayed in the main building during the winter to avoid walking outside for the spa and dining options.

The lovely grounds of Mirbeau.

The lovely grounds of Mirbeau.

As we entered our cottage, classical music was playing softly. We felt any lingering tension start to slip away as we took in the French country décor, complete with a fireplace. The bathroom was like a gorgeous mini-spa with its oversized soaking tub, large walk-in shower, and Mirbeau’s “Essentials” body and hair products.

After settling in, we took a short walk to Spa Mirbeau. Rather than booking a spa treatment, we opted to simply change into our swimsuits, wrap ourselves in thick, soft white robes, and visit the Aqua Terrace. This remarkable outdoor space boasts a large, naturally-shaped Jacuzzi (complete with waterfall and landscaping), a huge stone fireplace, and a small bar. We ordered a lunch of finger sandwiches and wine from the barman, then perched beside the fire to eat. It was a fabulous meal with which to begin our twenty-four hours of indulgence! The sandwiches were delectable, the wine delicious. We lingered by the fire a bit more, then spent a lovely afternoon relaxing in the water.

It was then time to get ready for dinner. Formal attire isn’t required, but I just love any excuse to dress for dinner! We freshened up, changed, and strolled to the Wine Bar. Although we love the Dining Room at Mirbeau, we’d never dined at the Wine Bar, and thought this was an excellent opportunity to do so. The cozy space has its own large fireplace and comfortable seating. You can use the automatic wine machines to sample a variety of vinos, or simply order off the menu. We tried a couple of wines and several small-plate-style appetizers. Everything was delicious, and the atmosphere was enhanced by chatting with our fellow diners at the Wine Bar – Sean and Dee from Buffalo, locals Peggy and Jimmy, and Bill the car guy. Add in the excellent bartenders, Ed and Tim, and it was a lively, fun evening!

The comfortable bed provided for a very good night’s sleep, which was followed by the complimentary European Continental Breakfast. This was so much more than the typical freebie breakfast, both in variety and quality. We particularly loved the almond pastries, so much so that our server obligingly wrapped some up for us for the ride home!

We made the short drive into the charming town of Skaneateles, walking through its downtown area and checking out shops and galleries. Our original thought was to have lunch in town, but we just couldn’t resist one last meal at Mirbeau. So off we went, back to the Dining Room, for a famous Mirbeau Hamburger. This decadent burger is served on a brioche roll with Portobello mushrooms, balsamic red onions, gruyere and spinach, with bistro fries, béarnaise sauce, and bordelaise sauce on the side. It is well deserving of its accolades.

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Behold…the Mirbeau Hamburger.

The Dining Room.

The Dining Room.

We’d put it off as long as we could; it was time to leave our little sanctuary. With one last longing look at the lovely garden, we tore ourselves away and headed back to reality!