April was an unusually rough month for me. Some personal things came up that were pretty hard to deal with, followed closely by the bombings at the Boston marathon, and then a shootout and a manhunt for the bombing suspect in my normally very quiet neighborhood. It was all a lot to take in and I had been desperate to get out of town for a little bit and get some much needed R&R.
The opportunity finally came when my wonderful aunt and uncle offered up their beautiful house on the pond while they were visiting my cousin in Texas. Joseph and I spent the weekend taking it easy, sipping Champagne and eating cheese, reading, napping, and watching the birds on the pond.
A favorite part of the weekend was when the lighting hit the house just right and suddenly became an amateur photographer’s dream come true. I got so lost in the excitement of taking photos that nothing else mattered. All in all, it was a perfect weekend where the toughest decision faced was whether to sip on beer or wine while sitting on the porch with my feet up.
The other big highlight of the weekend was without a doubt this salad. Joseph and I both concluded that it was the most amazing salad that we had ever had. With the creamy avocado, luscious broiled pineapple, peppery watercress, and a hint of cumin in the tangy dressing, this salad has it all. While each component brings so much to the recipe, the sweet and tangy pineapple is particularly outstanding.
I honestly didn’t even know exactly what a moscow mule even was, but that didn’t stop me from making a variation of it last weekend. It all started when I saw an email in my inbox a couple weeks ago from Eat Boutique titled Blackberry Moscow Mule and I couldn’t wait to try it for myself. The photos of the cocktail were gorgeous and inspiring, and frankly, just about everything that comes from Eat Boutique is kind of amazing so I had to give it a try.
Now, thanks to Google, I know what a moscow mule is. In case you are as unfamiliar with it as I was, it’s a cocktail of vodka or gin, mint, and ginger beer. It’s traditionally served in a copper cup, but, if you’re like me and don’t happen to have any lying around, any glass will do. But this special variation has the wonderful addition of blackberries and lime which makes for a lively and refreshing drink in a beautiful, deep purple hue. Blackberry and lime go together perfectly, making this the perfect drink for the spring that has finally come to Boston, while the ginger beer makes it more interesting and complex. The vodka makes the drink a little more fun, but is added only in moderation so you can easily sip on a couple of these throughout the afternoon.
Spring has finally come to Boston. With a snow storm just a week and a half ago, I can’t even begin to express my relief to have a weekend full of sun and warmth. Everyone is whispering cautionary reminders of the April 1st blizzard a few years ago, but I am holding on to hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow. I’m ready for flowers, asparagus, fresh strawberries, and – at long last – the warmth of sun on my skin.
I first found out about limoncello from my sister who essentially described it as a liquid lemon drop that was alcoholic. I was pretty much sold on it right then and there based purely on that description. And then she brought me a bottle from Italy and it sat on a shelf for months. Literally months. You’d think I wasn’t interested, but the problem was really that I was terrified to open it because I didn’t want to finish it. I kept waiting for the perfect excuse to open it… and waited…and waited. When I finally opened it, I sipped slowly, enjoying every drop.
And then several months ago I came across a recipe for limoncello. What? I had no idea I could make it! I had to make some, and stat. My sister’s birthday was coming up and thought it would be the perfect gift for her (plus there would be plenty left for me!). Limoncello takes a a little over a month to make, so I had to get going. I got my bottles, my vodka, a recipe from the fabulous Eat Boutique, and got started.