Saturday, July 11, 2009

Belated Independence Day Post

Phew...what a week. How's a girl supposed to keep up with her blogging between work, friends, an energetic dog, and this heat? I don't know how you people with kids do it, but I'm convinced you are all superhuman.

The good news is, I ate at three new restaurants this week, so there's a lot to blog about. But first, I need to rave about the fun 4th of July party last Saturday thrown by our good friends Laura & Shane.

Laura and Shane subscribe to the CSA at Tecolote Farms, so fresh, fresh vegetables was the theme of this party. In addition to delicious mesquite-grilled jerk chicken, there was some absolutely wonderful grilled okra, salsa using the freshest home-grown tomatoes, and gorgeous grilled eggplant:

Fresh off the grill.

There is nothing better than homegrown tomatoes.

Tender, smoky and wonderful.

Laura and Shane also concocted their own special cocktail for the occasion - fresh cucumbers run whole through the juicer and mixed with lime juice, garden mint, Tito's vodka, Cointreau, and a tiny bit of sugar. Dangerously refreshing. But so healthy, so why stop at one?

Far too easy to down...and I loved the verging-on-day-glo color.

Laura had requested cupcakes, so at the risk of seeming like a one-trick pony, I whipped up a batch using this now-well-worn recipe. In an attempt to stay on the Independence Day theme, I used red velvet cake and filled with white chocolate. Then I iced them with this white chocolate cream cheese frosting and topped them with blue sprinkles. While I loved their patriotic look, I still think the original chocolate mint version I made of these cupcakes tasted the best.

Fun to look at, though.

After we ate, we each grabbed an ice cold bottle of Topo Chico and walked to the school near Laura and Shane's house to watch the fireworks.


What a perfect way to celebrate the holiday...fresh, well-prepared food in the company of great friends. Hope everyone had a delightful 4th.


  1. That cocktail sounds so cool and refreshing - love the color too!

    I'm inspired to give it a try, but I'm thinking I'll add Topo Chico for fizz.

  2. cocktails also included Cointreau and a tiny bit of sugar .

    I like the idea of adding Topo Chico .. i should try that.

  3. Thanks, SC! Post has been updated with this info.

    Mmmmm...cuke cocktails...I could use one of those right about now!

  4. The cucumber cocktail was inspired by a recipe in Edible Austin by David Alan, aka Tipsy Texan, whose blog is at

    He had a slightly different recipe... there was also a cucumber cocktail featured in Texas Monthly in June or July.


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