Appetizers and Snacks · Bacon · Chocolate · Cocktails · Dessert · Main Dish · Recipes · Salad

Pig Fest

Pig Fest 2011.  That’s right.  Sorry my vegetarian friends, this is not for you.  We had pig cocktails, pig appetizers, pig wrapped in pig and pig for dessert.  Laura even made bacon vodka.  It was quite a glorious feast.  We kind of felt like, well, pigs at the end of the night.

This is our Candied Bacon martini.  The candied bacon made a great stir stick.  We forgot the apple slice called for in the recipe, but it was still good.     We found this recipe in the Los Angeles Times.

Candied Bacon Martini

Candied Bacon:

  • 8 slices smoked bacon
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Candied Bacon Martinis:

  • 6 ounces premium vodka
  • 4 ounces Applejack brandy
  • 2 ounces amaretto liqueur
  • 2 ounces maple syrup
  • 4 thin slices tart apple
  • 2 slices candied bacon, halved crosswise

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Dredge the bacon on both sides in the brown sugar and arrange slices so they do not touch on the baking sheet.  Bake until bacon is richly caramelized, 15 to 25 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool and allow excess fat to drain.  In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, brandy, amaretto and maple syrup with ice.  Shake until combined and chilled.  Strain into 4 martini glasses and garnish with apple slice and candied bacon.

Laura made her bacon jam.  It was awesome with a little crumbled blue cheese as a bruschetta.

Donna made the most amazing prosciutto wrapped salmon and scallops.   Oh man were they good.  We couldn’t take a picture fast enough to get the whole platter.  Sunshine said they were the best scallops ever.  The salmon was really good too!  Here is her recipe:

Salmon Kebabs with Parsley Vinaigrette

  • 5 tablespoons good-quality extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality red wine vinegar, such as Kimberley
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinned King or Coho salmon fillet (1″ thick), cut into 1 1/2″ chunks (or sea scallops!)
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta (Donna used prosciutto)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.  Set aside.
Heat grill to high (450° to 550°).
In a large bowl, combine remaining oil with 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Toss with salmon or scallops to coat.
Set out 3 rows of salmon chunks on a work surface.  Unroll pancetta slices into strips and wrap strips once or twice around salmon, weaving long pieces between chunks.  Skewer each row of salmon with chunks slightly separated.
Oil grate using tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels.  Set kebabs on grate and grill, covered, turning once until fish is barely cooked through, about 4 minutes.
Remove salmon and scallops from skewers and arrange on a platter.  Stir parsley into the dressing, spoon on top of the salmon and scallops.  Serve warm with crusty bread for dunking.

Pig wrapped pig.  We served it with a refreshing arugula salad.  This recipe is courtesy of Giada De Laurentis.  I’ve adjusted the cooking time according to the new chart on the National Pork Board website.

Honey-Mustard Pork Roast with Bacon


  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 1/2 pound center cut boneless pork loin roast
  • 12 slices (1 pound) bacon


  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cups (5 ounces)  baby arugula
Place an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350°.
In a small bowl, mix the mustards, honey, garlic and rosemary until smooth.  Spread the mustard mixture evenly over the pork.
Starting at one end, wrap a piece of bacon around the pork roast.  Wrap slice of bacon around the roast, making sure to slightly overlap the first piece.  Continue with the remaining bacon until the roast is fully wrapped.  Using 6 to 8 pieces of kitchen twine, tied at regular intervals around the roast, secure the bacon in place.
Place the pork in a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and roast for 1 hour.  Cover the pan loosely with foil and roast for another 5 to 10 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the pork registers 145°.  Remove from the oven.  Cover and allow to rest for 20 minutes.  Remove twine and slice into 1/4″ thick slices.
For the salad:  While the pork is resting, in a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the arugula on a large platter and drizzle with dressing.  Lay pork slices on top and serve.

Chocolate covered bacon.  Okay, this was not for me.  But Laura liked it.  She’s kind of like Mikey.  Remember him?  The Life cereal kid?  Give it to Laura, she’ll eat anything.

Now this was good.  Really good.  INSANELY good.  It’s the maple-pecan sundaes with candied bacon.  I made the vanilla ice cream with the last of the Tahitian vanilla.

What’s so funny, Stephanie?

Donna!  You look like you’re up to something.

Manly men tending the fire and talking about manly things, like fire.

Classic Laura.

Paige barks a lot.  The only way to get her to shut up is to pick her up.  So we bought this contraption.  God bless Steven for wearing it.  Of course it didn’t work, so we gave her some Benadryl.  Of course that didn’t work, so we’ve resorted to on-line training with the Dog Whisperer.  And I have some shocking news.  Mom, you might want to sit down for this one.  Paige is an ANIMAL.  And then she’s a DOG.  She is not our child in a furry coat.

What’s next?  I think maybe a retirement party.  Not what you think though.  I’ve got a Mexican dress that I’ve had for way too long.  It’s been my go to dress for every party.  So, one last hurrah for my mexi-party dress, and then I’ll retire it.  Anyone who has something they’ve worn to death and need to retire is welcome.  Send Sunshine your pictures dressed in your oldies but not so goodies and he’ll make us a slide show for the party:)

Cocktails · Recipes

Buddha’s hand

Check out what Veronica grew.  It’s Buddha’s hand, also known as fingered citron.  How rad is that?

The fruit…She said it’s basically all peel, no juice or meat inside.  It’s like a bitter orange, or lemon.  I get it, orange….only bitter.  Well, maybe I don’t really get it.

Veronica candied the peel in a simple syrup.  Then she separated the candied fruit and the syrup.  She will probably use it in a fruit cake.  But the syrup….that’s a cocktail in the making.  Vodka, Buddha’s hand syrup, maybe a splash of pomegranate juice (cuz it’s the new cranberry juice, like red is the new black or something).  Shake it, serve it.  Now you’ve got my interest.

Buddha's Hand on FoodistaBuddha’s Hand

Cocktails · Recipes

Mele Kalikimaka

Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say, on a bright Hawaiian Christmas day.  And this cocktail will make you feel like you really are in the land where the palm trees sway.  Stephanie and I had this fabulous Hawaiian martini at Roy’s in Newport Beach.  The bartender was kind enough to give me the recipe.  It’s easy to make, but it takes a few days.   I’ll meet you at Roy’s if you want one today.  Stephanie and Sibley, I know you’re game:)  Mele Kalikimaka!

Roy’s Original Hawaiian Martini

  • SKYY Vodka (1.75 LTR)
  • Stoli Vanilla Vodka (1.75 LTR)
  • Malibu Coconut Rum (1.75 LTR)
  • 3 Maui Pineapples, skin removed and cut into spears

Combine all ingredients and let the flavors combine for 3 days.

Sibley's Hawaiian Martinis!

Shake with ice and serve in a SMALL martini glass.  It’s all booze, even if it doesn’t taste that strong.  Trust me on the small martini glass thing.  We learned the hard way.

We picked our Christmas tree!

We love it:)

We really love it!!!!!

Fits on the smart just fine.

Cocktails · Recipes · Travel

Tequila Martini at Edith’s

I love margaritas, but the tequila martini at Edith’s in Cabo San Lucas is genius.  I ordered the tequila and lime martini,  and Sunshine got the grapefruit and tequila martini.  Mine was better, sorry Sunshine.  You still look pretty happy.

Tequila and Lime Martini

  • 1 jigger of your favorite tequila (every last one of mine at Edith’s was made with Clase Azul Reposado)
  • 1/4 jigger lime juice
  • 1/4 jigger agave nectar

Fill a martini shaker with ice, add the tequila, lime and agave nectar, and shake it!  I’m telling you, it’s really good!

Edith is one cool chick.  She started out at the restaurant previously known as Esthela’s by the Sea at the age of 15 as a waitress.  She now owns the restaurant and named it Edith’s in 1994.  We had a nice chat with her.

We’ve arrived to Edith’s!

Tequila case at Edith’s.  Sunshine was pretty excited about the endless supply and variety.

We love the table side service at Edith’s.  That’s my Mexican coffee with ice cream!  I love fire.  Fire, tequila, kahlua and ice cream.  Come on.

Cocktails · Recipes

Heather’s Basil Martini

Heather made her fabulous basil martinis at Silvia’s birthday party last night. Her basil martini is a beautiful thing, bright and refreshing, with just the right amount of sweetness.

Heather’s Basil Martini


  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of agave nectar or count to 12 fast while pouring
  • 3 shots of Grey Goose vodka
  • Juice of 1/2 of a lime

Muddle the basil leaves with a morter and pestal.

Add ice, basil, vodka, agave, and lime juice to a martini shaker.

Shake it like it’s hot.

Pour into 2 chilled martini glasses. Happy birthday Lefty!