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Archive for the ‘Spirits’ Category

When I travel  I love to pack my bag. I know most people dislike it, but I love the challenge of packing as light as possible. I love to carry on my bag and make my trip about the destination and not the hassles. I have it down to an art. Here is how I roll.

393Snacks are a must! So is a good hat and fun jewelry. I love my gopicnic boxes when I travel. 

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I also use small all in one compacts and make-up samples.

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I also always back Hot and Ice patches..Sitting to long on a flight always hurts my back so I always pack a few. Tunes and entertainment are a must. I love passing the time doing crosswords.

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Then I have to pack my Special stuff. Lysol, Emergen-C, my Gin-Gins ginger throat drops, alcohol wipes and any other go to item I usually travel with.

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I always pack sinus meds in small bags to save space. I also always pack tons of facial sample size moisturizer packets, my skin gets so dry when I travel.

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My Ultimate favorite items to pack are Shampoo/Conditioner bars from Lush and my bar beleza swivel stick which is a moisturizer and a makeup removal solid. TSA does not care about solid bars so I can carry them on and not have to buy hair care at my destination!

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Just a few of my favorite packing tips!

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Refreshing. Natural. Hydrating.

Just a few words to describe Cocozia.
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Details

  • COCOZIA® 100% Organic Coconut Water
  • Contains a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes.
  • USDA Organic
  • NON GMO Verified
  • KOSHER

Product Description:

COCOZIA® – Sounds like a kind of crazy drink, and it is! But, check out these not so crazy facts… HYDRATION Pure and simple, hydration is essential to life. COCOZIA® Coconut Water is exactly that: A pure, natural hydration source containing not only water from the green coconut, but essential electrolytes too. ELECTROLYTES COCOZIA® contains a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes. Electrolytes are directly involved with body hydration and muscle function. Better to get yours from a natural source like COCOZIA® than from a sugary, synthetic sports drink alternative. COCONUT WITH A STRAW That’s how they drink coconut water in the islands, but fortunately, COCOZIA® has made it a little easier for you here! All the natural elements and flavor, without the need to carry a coconut to your work-out!

 

COCOZIA 100% Organic Coconut Water

 

 

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Some-days you just need to replenish those electrolytes. Could be after a long day at the beach, a long walk on a hot and humid day, a big workout, or even the morning after a few glasses of wine. Whatever the reason Cocozia will hydrate you with a mellow coconut flavor that is 100% natural. Perfection.

Cocozia Comes with Easy Instructions:

  • Chill
  • Insert Straw
  • Sit Back, Relax, Enjoy, Hydrate

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COCOZIA® – Sounds like a kind of crazy drink, and it is! But, check out these not so crazy facts…

HYDRATION
Pure and simple, hydration is essential to life™. COCOZIA® Coconut Water is exactly that: A pure, natural hydration source containing not only water from the green coconut, but essential electrolytes too.

ELECTROLYTES
COCOZIA® contains a natural abundance of potassium and magnesium, as well as other electrolytes. Electrolytes are directly involved with body hydration and muscle function. Better to get yours from a natural source like COCOZIA® than from a sugary, synthetic sports drink alternative.

COCONUT WITH A STRAW
That’s how they drink coconut water in the islands, but fortunately, COCOZIA® has made it a little easier for you here! All the natural elements and flavor, without the need to carry a coconut to your work-out!

Cocozia is available at Amazon.com.

You can purchase a 12 pack of Cocozia off Amazon or Amazon Prime for $25, quick and easy. I would definitely recommend this drink to anyone, even kids. I personally loved the non-sweet natural flavor of this coconut water. I cannot wait to try it in a smoothie.

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Want more information on Cocozia? Check out their Facebook page.

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Always Remember to Hydrate.

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Just wanted to share a post about what I have been up to this summer. To start I am now at a new job! I left my place of employment of 5 years for a new adventure. I am working more hours and am further from home, but I am loving the new responsibilities and learning new skills.  Now on to the good stuff…Weddings, Florida, Food and Fun.

I did some traveling to Florida this summer..Two Trips, and both for weddings! I love weddings.

Our first trip was in May to Key West for our Close Friends daughters wedding.

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I love everything about traveling. The airport, the planes, the anticipation. It all makes me happy. Even when I’m on a flight and experience a delay or a cancellation, I just add it to the excitement of the travel experience. I really just go with the flow. As it so happens there were delays and more delays in both my trips to Florida. So I walked away with flight vouchers from both my flights for future travel! I really see it as a bonus.
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Jeff and I love Key West. We have been there three times now over the years and LOVE it.

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Here we are relaxing in our condo pool in Key West. This is our very own private pool. This is our second time renting this condo just for the private pool. To quote Kid Rock my theme of this  vacation was “Chillin’ the Most”.

pool

Relaxing.

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Enjoying the sun. Doing what is required on any good vacation.

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We enjoyed Amazing Food. I get so excited about vacations mostly for the fresh fish. Being from Michigan I do not get the quality that I do in Florida for obvious reasons!

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We enjoyed many Key West Sunsets. Utter Perfection.

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We ate Lots of Oysters….Lots and Lots of Oysters.

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We enjoyed lots of dinners out on the town.

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No trip to Key West would be complete with out a slice of Key Lime Pie. Yum.

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Favorite meal was this Delicious Scallops and Grits. Ridiculously good.

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Lots of cocktails.

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and the topper on the vacation cake was the Beach Wedding Celebration.

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With my Honey.

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Enjoying the Moments….that make up any good vacation.

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We acted like Silly Kids.

210  as often as possible. 171

My next trip was in June for my Best Friend Jody’s wedding. I went solo. My husband was already obligated to go to another wedding for a family member. On a side note, we had 5 weddings this summer.

Jody lives in Miami and her wedding was on Marco Island. So I flew into Miami and spent a day there, then we drove to Marco Island for some fun and activities.

One of my favorite things was paddle boarding. This was my first time doing it and I am hooked. This was so much fun and such an amazing workout. Must look into getting my own board one day.

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Here is the wedding party getting our pre-wedding cardio workout in.

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Did someone say cake! Look at this amazing cake Jody had made for her wedding. It was beautiful.

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Here is my Best Friend Jody…Well I like to call her my Forever Friend. We just had our hair done.

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Look at the great gift bag my bride gave me for standing up in her wedding. Loved it. She spoiled me.

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Pre-Wedding Cocktail.

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Jody got married on a sunset dinner cruise. The boat was called the Marco Island Princess. It was an amazing venue. Perfect weather, great atmosphere. It truly was a perfect evening. I was a Co-Matron of Honor with Jody’s sister Amy.

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Our friendship theme is “I got your back”. So naturally we had to have a picture back to back.

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After the ceremony I robo-gripped my Jody and gave her the biggest hug I could. I was just so trilled that she found an amazing man to spend her life with. Her husband Ira is the best. It was beyond a special day for me standing at her side as she said her vows. She is like a sister to me and my emotions were overflowing as I looked upon their love and appreciation of one another. It was such a gift to be apart of their special day.

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The happy couple listening to the wedding party speeches.

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Dinner, Cocktails, then Party Time.

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Fun fact….Back when Jody first moved to Miami from Michigan, I went to see her and during my visit she had her first date with Ira, well I actually went on the first date with them. So for me it was like I was apart of their love right from the start.

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Toasting the Happy Couple.

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I love weddings. It always bring me back to how I felt on my Cherished day with my husband Jeffrey 18 years ago. Cheers to Love.

Sure hope your summer has been full of celebration and good times.

Here are some links to previous posts about my Best Friend Jody.

I’m in Miami Trick.

Chicken Soup for your Soul

Have you hugged your Best Friend Lately?

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 Need some new recipes? The Sexy Vegan has done it again, with a collection of Vegan recipes under the book title of Happy Hour at Home. I adore the theme of this cookbook, Small plates, BIG FLAVORS & Potent Cocktails. He designed the book for an intimate menu serving 2 to 4 guests. It gives it a romantic and dreamy feeling. Plus the creativity and thought put into the dishes sure did make this girl an instant fan of Brian. 
Here’s the story on Brian.
When Brian Patton, a regular guy rather than a highfalutin chef, began posting videos on YouTube as his hilarious alter ego, “The Sexy Vegan,” celebrity status, including a book deal for his first book The Sexy Vegan Cookbook quickly ensued. Now, he’s done it again with his upcoming new book The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, and Potent Cocktails (New World Library, June 1, 2013).

When Brian began dating his soon-to-be wife, he offered to entertain her with Friday night Happy Hours at her apartment or his. After a long work week, she was ready to kick back and enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine, and it was the perfect way to enjoy summer evenings. After a couple of weeks, these evenings weren’t just for two because her friends begged for invitations after hearing rave reviews of Brian’s delicious tapas and appetizers.

Brian created so many recipes that he decided it was time to put them into a book.

The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home is divided into 20 Menus, each with 3 or 4 recipes, and libation suggestions. The dishes in each menu complement each other, using similar spices and overlapping ingredients, making the menus efficient. Designed around specific themes, each menu has a unique twist but can easily be combined with other finger foods to provide everything you need to entertain vegan and non-vegan friends and family alike.

Recipes include favorites with a twist, such as yamburger sliders, seven-second salsa, cucumber almond dates, and heart of palm ceviche. The book also has innovative delights such as rhubarb pancakes and rhubarb mimosas, because, as Brian writes, “it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.”

Brian has tested each menu and can make them in 60 minutes or less, and he offers ways for readers to increase their efficiency in the kitchen. Included with each recipe are shopping lists, making planning simple and QR codes with links to videos of Brian creating select dishes.

True to the Sexy Vegan’s signature style, The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home is efficient, lively, and funny. On every page, he proves that seriously good — and good for you — food can be easy, fun, and delectable.

Interested? Well here is how you can get your hands on this book. Go to New World Library link here.

I have so many pages marked with recipes I want to make from this book. I look forward to cooking and serving up some serious mouth-watering small plates and some tempting cocktails.

First on my list is this Libation.

The Punchy Pineapple

Makes 1 cocktail

  • ice cubes
  • 2 fluid ounces (1 1/2 shots) spiced rum
  • 3 fluid ounces coconut water
  • 2 fluid ounces pineapple juice
  • 3 fluid ounces ginger beer
  • splash of Amaretto

Fill a tumbler halfway with ice cubes. Add the rum, coconut water, pineapple juice, ginger beer, and Amaretto. Stir with a long spoon.

Want More Information on The Sexy Vegan?

Website: www.thesexyvegan.com

Twitter: @TheSexyVegan

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheSexyVegan

YouTube: The Sexy Vegan

The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour At Home Cookbook

 *A Special Thank you to Kim, Senior Publicist of The Sexy Vegan’s Happy Hour at Home, New World Library, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own. 

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Just wanted to post some random eats, but also wanted to include a few other foodie type things in it.

Had a great dinner with my family at a local brewery which featured a Michigan Cherry Margarita.

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Ordered an Escargot Appetizer! Yummy. I mean really yummy.

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Got the Sushi Platter.
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Had a craving for some nut butter so I ordered Sarah’s Nutty Butter……My word that is one Smart Lady.  Cannot choose between the Gingerbread or the Caramel Latte so I won’t and I’ll eat BOTH.

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My friend Brooke, made me this super cool Luna Bar Vase.

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Tore up an Edible Arrangement. It had banana, strawberry and green apple in the assortment. Foodie Fun.

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My BF Jody sent me this book on Popsicles and this 4 pc. Spring Garden Measuring Cup Set. I love foodies gifts.

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Drank some Famous Dave’s Adult Punch.

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Crushed this Famous Dave’s Catfish and Ribs Dinner.

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Had a Vodka and Cranberry with friends.


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Just wanted to Share! Foodie Sharing is the BEST.

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First off, last week was my 1 year blogging anniversary, and WordPress sent me this lovely message.
Happy Anniversary!

You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!

So now on to the Birthday Dinner.

I took my husband out to Celebrate his 47th Birthday last week! I still cannot believe that we are adults, let alone middle-aged. We started dating when I was 23 and he was 26. We dated for 2 years and then we were engaged for 1 year, and married going on 18 years. So here we are now 21 years later and we both still feel as young as we were when we met, but clearly were not. I mean how did this happen, were a middle-aged couple.  We laugh and laugh about that. Well anyway, here’s our celebration dinner. He still makes my heart go Pitter Patter.

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So as a middle-aged couple we ordered a libation to get the Birthday Celebration going. Cranberry Cosmo for me and a Two Hearted Ale for Birthday Boy Jeff.

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We love this beer, plus its Brewed in Michigan!

We started with the Calamari. This dish is so good its;

    • Steak cut strips flash fried & finished with a 

Lemon Caper Beurre Blanc sauce. 

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Jeff ordered the Pile of Perch.

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I had the White Fish with Shrimp.

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We both loved our meals, but we didn’t stop there we then each ordered dessert. I ordered the Sanders Hot Fudge and Ice Cream Creme Puff .

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Jeff ordered the Caramel Pecan Bread Pudding. Delicious meal with a perfect ending for the Best man I know. My Jeffrey.

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Love a birthday dinner! On his actual birthday, I surprised him with a Chocolate Bumpy Cake with White Chocolate Shavings…My word that cake was good.

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These next pictures have nothing to do with Jeff’s Birthday Dinner, it just made me laugh. Here’s my Ginger Girl on her 1st. car trip. She’s a very cautious driver. She ALWAYS looks both ways. Here she is Checking to her Left.  - Then -

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Checking to the Right.

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Ginger says Safety First while driving, and Don’t Drive Angry…..

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I have found a few new foods that I just have to share with you.

Can’t get enough of your love Baby.

So good.

Obsessed.

Fantastic.

Meals I’ve eaten, some are restaurants meals and some are homemade.

Enough Said!

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Chicken Soup for Your Soul

Seeing my Best Friend Jody is like Chicken Soup for the Soul.

My Best Friend came in from Miami recently. For me, there is nothing like spending time with my Best Friend she is such a huge part of my life.

So to celebrate Jody and Ira’s arrival, Jeff and I took them to dinner and had an amazing meal, drinks and happy conversation. Jody and Ira are newly engaged and are planning a June Wedding in the Florida area. I am so excited for the wedding and I had to ask them a million questions about their plans for the big day. I am also very honored to be standing up in their wedding.

Here’s our eats.

Oysters to start.

Along with a Spicy Crab Dip. Sometimes one appetizer is just not enough.

Then came our meals. Spicy tuna for me.

Pot Roast for Jody.

Jeff and Ira both ordered the Fillet.

So glad we had a nice day when they arrived. They are used to the Miami sun, so it was nice for them to arrive on a really nice Michigan day.

My Forever Friend.

 

Now I am counting down the days until I arrive in Florida and see my best friend again. I am so looking forward to their wedding.

Here’s a link to my visit earlier in the year to visit Jody in Miami.

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Welcome the Virtual Vegan Potluck Post. Today is a great day to find New Blogs and find some Amazing Vegan Recipes.

VVP Button

So a few weeks back on An Unrefined Vegan’s Blog she posted this amazing idea for hosting an Eight Course Virtual Vegan Potluck, as soon as I read it I knew I had to join in. I am not Vegan, but the Potluck was open to all bloggers as long as they followed the Vegan guidelines while preparing their recipe for the Potluck. I truly appreciate being included.

This sign-up list just kept getting bigger and bigger every day. I know I am really excited to read all the posts for the Potluck, I love to look at other people’s blogs and their style of writing posts and how they post recipes, I think it really helps me become a better blogger and a healthier eater.

My first thought was to contribute with a Cocktail. I love preparing a good cocktail and Vodka is my drink of choice. Plus I wanted to leave the Vegan Recipes to the Experts. I am so excited about all the new recipes that will be available through this potluck. Makes me hungry just thinking about all the Luscious Vegan Recipes.

I wanted to make a drink that was light fresh and tart so here’s what I came up with.

Please Enjoy My Cocktail

Vodka Ginger Cherry Zinger 

Grab your favorite Vodka. If you have a drink shaker grab that as well.

Grab your juices and some frozen blackberries.

Cheribundi is a fabulous juice, there are 50 cherries in each drink with an-abundance of antioxidants and nutrients.

In the shaker I added two ice cubes and all the ingredients.

Now shake, shake, shake.

Add the frozen blackberries into the glass and pour the drink from the shaker into the glass.

Realized I needed more blackberries as I started to pour, so I stopped and added a few more and then continued to pour the drink into the glass.

I just love the vibrant red from the cherry juice and the deep dark red from the blackberries. I am always attracted to foods by their color.

Salute! Here’s to a wonderful Virtual Vegan Potluck.

Vodka Ginger Cherry Zinger Recipe

Makes One Drink

  • 1 Shot Vegan Friendly Vodka such as Absolut
  • 2/3 Cup Ginger Cherry Juice
  • Frozen Blackberries
  • Splash of Lime
  • Ice Cubes

Directions: Place frozen blackberries in your glass, then add all ingredients into a shaker bottle along with the ice cubes, and shake, shake, shake. Pour into your garnished blackberry glass and enjoy this tart, refreshing cocktail.

So glad I participated in the Virtual Vegan Potluck, I had so much fun finding other bloggers and I look forward to trying some new Vegan Recipes.

Now to see the course that precedes me, please click on the Go Back button below, but please come back here so I can take you through the rest of the Potluck.  You have to read this bloggers journey. His name is Jason and he blogs over at  Watch Me Lose 150 Pounds. His story is inspiring.

Thanks for coming back, now to see the post that follows mine, please click on the Go Forward button below, and again please come back for my closing remarks on the Potluck. I think you will really enjoy Reading Rachel’s journey becoming vegan, I know I did, she blogs over at Former Fish Taco Fanatic. 

Hey there! So glad you came back. I know you want to see the entire Virtual Vegan Potluck so please follow this Link to see all the Amazing Bloggers and their contribution to the Potluck.

Also I would like to add one side note, I Always Drink Responsibly, I certainly hope that you do too.

Thank-you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed my portion of the Potluck.

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I am in the middle of preparing a three-part post right now of the Blend Retreat, so please check back for all the activities and eats from the Retreat. 

Since returning home from the Blend Retreat and being away from home for the past two weekends without my husband, I wanted to make him a special dinner.

Best Burger Ever, is what Jeff told me while we were eating this for dinner. I saw this recipe on Iowa Girl Eats and I knew I had to make it. I am so glad I did, it was so flavorful and filling.

I was really excited that it had lime in it, plus I have never cooked with ground chicken before.

So bright and loaded with fresh ingredients.

Found this amazing Ciabatta bread which was perfect for the four servings this recipe called for.  I have to give a big shout out to Jeff for his cutting skills in the kitchen, he was my vegetable chopper and bread slicer.

The topping for this called for fresh avocado guacamole. It was just mashed up avocado seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic nuggets.

Used my handy Cuisinart griddler to grill up the burgers.

They came out perfect, I can see me making this again and again.

It was a meal on its own, we just had a small side of chips with it.

Seeing how I still had a 1/2 of a lime, I decided to have a Vodka and Cranberry with lime with my meal. I have to say good call, it was so refreshing and paired well with the burger.

Vodka Cranberry Cocktail with Lime

  • Lime Wedge
  • 1 Shot of Vodka
  • Cranberry Juice or Sparkling Cocktail Juice

This was a really good meal, I enjoyed every bite of the burger and every sip of my drink.

So here’s the very yummy recipe…..

Chili Lime Chicken Burger

Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats and Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burgers

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1lb ground chicken
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 4 buns, toasted

For the guacamole:

  • 1 avocado
  • garlic powder
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Combine chicken, green onions, bell pepper, cilantro, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and juice of half a lime in a large bowl. Mix until thoroughly combined, then form into 4 patties and spray each side generously with non-stick spray.
  • Heat a large grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Grill burgers for 3-4 minutes a side, or until cooked all the way through. Place a slice of cheese on top of each burger,  place each burger on your choice of bread, then top with guacamole.
  • For the guacamole: Mash all ingredients together with a potato masher or fork.

Question of the Day: Do you ever step out of your cooking comfort zone and try a new recipe?

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