Sunday, May 29, 2011

Potato Salad - No Mayo

We played golf today.  It was 86 degrees when we drove over.  It was a beautiful day.  Too bad my golf playing was so pathetic.  We came home and had some margaritas, can't get away from that Mexican influence.  Then we cooked the dinner we were supposed to have last night.  
After I went to Wegmans yesterday to get the missing ingredients for our dinner, I saw Audrey outside and went over to say hello.  Jane was out on her deck and said hi too.  Then Larry came outside and Jane invited us over for a glass of wine.  Audrey and Steve didn't come because they had their granddaughter Heather with them.  Larry and I did go, and 3+ hours later we went home.  By then it was too late for dinner so we just had some ice cream for dessert.

Now we could have our dinner.  It was our first official summer dinner.  Hamburgs cooked on the grill, corn on the cob, and potato salad.  The potato salad is my favorite potato salad that I got from Terry probably 40 years ago but now I leave out the mayonnaise and milk and it is still delicious.  Below is the original recipe.

Terry's Potato Salad 
8 cups diced cooked potatoes

Mix together and let stand 

1/4 cup instant minced onion 
1/4 cup water 
2 Tbl vinegar
Add to above 

1⁄4 cup prepared mustard 
1 Tbs sugar 
1⁄4 cup salad oil 
1 Tbs season salt 
1 tsp celery seed 
black pepper

Add potatoes 

Let chill several hours or over night


2 cups diced crisp celery 
1⁄4 cup diced sweet pickles

I leave out these ingredients:
4 hard cooked eggs

Blend together and pour over potatoes 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1⁄2 cup milk
Toss to mix 


Makes 2 1⁄2 quarts

These tulips were in our garden.  We were surprised that they were still in bloom, but because it was so cold this year, they waited for us to return from Cancun so we could bring them in the house.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Last Day Before We Leave

Today was our last full day in Cancun and once again the weather was incredible.  The wind was still relatively calm which meant the water was not that wavy so it was perfect for taking my tube in and bob around.
We had our Margaritas on the beach in the afternoon

and then some Dos Equis later on.  What can I say, we had a lot of beverages left over.  As it was, we left a full bottle of wine behind.

We went to Puerto Madero for dinner again tonight and this time I took pictures.

We started with complimentary margaritas.

I loved the purse holder that they brought over to our table.

The funny thing is we had less to eat tonight than the last time but felt so much fuller, or at least I did.  I was in pain from how full I was so instead of taking the bus back to the hotel we walked.  Even once we got back, all I could do was lie down because my stomach was too full to stay in an upright position.

Here are some of the pictures from this night. 
 We got there in time for a beautiful sunset

We knew we wanted fish so the waiter brought over the raw selections that we had for that day. 

 Above is the special tuna for the day, I think it was bigeye and is what I ordered.  The last time we were there I got the ahi tuna, which is on the left of the plate below
Larry got the sea bass which is on the right of the plate above.  Lobsters were another choice of the day.
Above is the sea bass that came with shitake mushrooms and asparagus.  We also got a side of roasted vegetables.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Next to Last

For a day that started out with Larry not feeling well, it turned out to be a good one.  Larry had a stomach ache this morning so I went to Starbucks by myself and got a coffee.  Later in the morning we went for a walk on the beach and then got out towels and sat on the beach (after going in the water to cool off) until 3:00 when we went to the Couples Game, like the Newlywed Game, but not as good as the one on the cruise so we left before it was over.  We showered and got dressed to go to the Tequila tasting.  We learned the process of making Tequila and tasted a variety of them including a cream tequila that was like Baileys and a Pomegranate Tequila.

After that we stopped on our way back at Fish Fritango for a wonderful dinner.  From the street you would never know that this restaurant was in the back of the tiny little building in the front.  We sat at tables on the sand

 and had margaritas with chips to start

followed by a fish dinner for two that included lobster, shrimp wrapped in bacon and cheese, grilled shrimp, fried calamari, grilled fish (grouper), refried beans, guacomorle, rice and vegetables.

 We did a real good job of cleaning our plate.
On the walk home we saw our first sunset of this vacation.  The last time we faced the lagoon was the previous Wednesday when we went to  Puerto Madero, but it was cloudy that night.
The final "piece de resitance" for the evening was that we stopped at Ben & Jerry's and Starbucks.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Perfect Day

Today was a perfect beach day.  Finally the yellow flag was up so the waves weren't as strong as the previous days.  I was able to take my tube out and actually stay out there and bob around over the waves quite easily.  It wasn't until I put my legs through the tube so that I was sitting on it that the waves carried me to shore.  The first time I did it, I was gently pushed toward the shore and when I got close to shore, where the waves were breaking I got pushed a little harder.  I got pushed so far onto shore that I was sitting on the sand.  Before I came in, Larry got the camera so he could take some pictures, at my request. 
We went to the beach around 10:00 and stayed until almost 5:00, it was so beautiful. And, I actually read a real book in only a couple of days and got a new one.

We went up to our room and finished our homemade margaritas.

Before eating we took a walk on the beach since we didn't take one earlier in the day.

For dinner we had salad with tuna and goat cheese.

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Week In Cancun

We've been here for a week already and I haven't really posted anything.  Let's see how much I can remember, of course my picture taking will help.

Friday the 13th
The flight down was fine.  Everything left as scheduled, the only problem was that we had about a 5 hour layover in Atlanta but we knew about that after the departure time of the flight from Atlanta was changed a few months ago.  The only unusual thing that happened was when I went to the ladies room at the Atlanta airport (one of the many times).  Going into the stall, the woman coming out said "those things in there aren't mine."  I didn't understand what she was talking about until I saw a dress and sweater hanging on the back of the door and a pair of flip flops on the side shelf.  Looked like someone was making a quick getaway and escaping the security cameras.  

We arrived here in the afternoon and were met by the van driver at the airport and whisked away to the hotel. 

We checked in and went to our room and both took pictures of the room before it didn't look the same (once we give it the lived in look).  

Then we took a walk around the grounds and on the beach.  We went to a liquour store across the street to get some tequila, triple sec and wine but they didn't have any Rose's Lime juice so no home made margaritas tonight.  
Across the street is a big shopping mall that is called La Isla Mall (, lots of stores, restaurants, and an aquarium  We walked around there and finally stopped at Chocolate City where we had icy cold Dos Equis and delicious salads.

Saturday, May 14
Time to go shopping and get some food in our place.  We heard that Walmart was the best place to go grocery shopping to so we got on the bus and familiarized ourselves with public transportation.  A week later we're practically experts, at least for bus R-2 and R-15.  It costs 85 pesos (85 cents) for the bus and is the best deal in town.  We took a cab back because of the number of bags we had and that was only $12 USD.  Our favorite purchase was the freshly made Pico de Galle and we went back later in the week to replenish our supply along with the hot, also freshly made corn tortillas.  They didn't have Rose's Lime Juice either so we bought lots of fresh limes.
The Walmart parking lot is covered
 After unpacking our groceries we went to the pool and later for a walk on the beach.  The water was calm and beautiful.

Sunday, May 15
We were out on the beach at 7:30 this morning taking a walk and I started collecting shells.  We got back in time to change and go to the 9:00 AM English speaking mass at the open air church which is across the street from the Playboy Club which opened in December 2010.  In the afternoon we went to the beach which we decided was a much more comfortable place to sit than at the pool since there was that constant breeze to keep you comfortable.

Monday, May 16
Today we got up and walked the beach at 6:30 in search of better shells and before the sun came out full force.  Yesterday it was pretty hot on the walk back. 
We had a late lunch at Viento, the restaurant down by the pool.  

We shared a wrap that was delicious and some fish tacos and of course the basket of tortilla chips to start.  At night we had a healthy salad in our room.  

Tuesday, May 17
Back to the beach for our morning walk, this time even earlier than 6:30.  We walked almost as far as the point but thought it might be too hot on the way back so we turned around but the sun was hidden behind the clouds where we walked so we would have been OK.  Later in the day we were in the water bobbing around and it was then that I decided we needed some kind of floaty for the water which would make it more fun to just hang out in the surf.  We had lunch at Viento again because we both were mouthwatering for those wraps again.  They had such a great flavor (we couldn't really identify it) but wanted it again.  Of course, this time they didn't taste the same.  That evening, about 5:30, along with everyone going home from work we took the bus to Walmart where I was on a mission to get a water toy and we did get a big tube.  We also got some fresh Mexican pastries and more tortillas but they were out of the Pico de Galle.

Wednesday, May 18 - Happy 75th Birthday Larry
This morning we walked all the way down to the point.  It was about 5 miles round trip after I google mapped it when we came back.  When we were almost back to the hotel, Larry said his foot was hurting.  When we got up to the room, we checked and he had a big blister on the bottom of his foot that popped - OUCH and HAPPY BIRTHDAY.  For the remainder of the day Larry rested his foot on the couch and I went to the beach but no playing in the water with the new tube.
For Larry's birthday dinner we got on the bus and went down the street a short way to Puerto Madero.  We started off with margaritas on the rocks followed by dinner with a glass of Cabernet Savignon.  I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the food.  Larry had the most delicious Sea Bass in a smooth soy sauce with shitake mushrooms and grilled asparagus.  I had seared tuna with a soy sauce and we had a side of grilled vegetables.  For his birthday surprise they served a creme brulee on a beautifully decorated plate and I had an outstanding cup of coffee.  A perfect birthday dinner.

Thursday, May 19
So now that I have the desired water tube, the wind has picked up out of the East and we have waves that make it less than desirable for my hanging out in the surf.  We played two games of miniature golf in the morning and we split them, no playoff. We made another trip to Walmart and got the Pico de Galle, two big tubs of it and some more pastries, cereal and fruit.  This time it wasn't rush hour.  We came back and went to the pool and then after deciding it was too hot we went back to the beach.  Happy Hour found us up on our deck with a bottle of wine and tortillas and pico de galle.  That night it was the final episodes of Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice for me and some Skype-ing with Laura during commercials.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday in Cancun

Just another day in Paradise. And I don't mean Webster.

- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, May 9, 2011

Good dessert idea

Got this idea from Anna at WW today.

Cool Whip
Other fruits as desired

Make individual servings

How to locate iPhoto pics in Finder

If you want a quick way to access your photos in the Finder, open up your ~/Pictures folder, right-click "iPhoto Library" and select "Show Package Contents", then make an alias to the "Originals" (and/or "Modified") folders on your desktop, or even drag it to your sidebar.

Or just do a search on Originals/Modified in Finder

Sunday, May 8, 2011


For Marge's shower I crocheted elephants which match the pattern of her bedding from Pottery Barn.

I also made a baby blanket, this was before I knew her color theme but after I knew she was having a boy.

Shower Cakes

Yesterday Karen and Kim held a baby shower for Margie who is having a boy on June 8.
These cakes were beautiful and delicious and maybe I'll make them sometime so I'm posting the recipes here so I don't forget 

Chocolate Cake with Fleur de Sel Caramel Filling

There's chocolate cake—and then there's this chocolate cake. Four layers of cake. Chocolate ganache. Salted caramel. Toasted almonds. It's a decadent combination that has become a big seller at Santa Monica's Vanilla Bake Shop—and a new favorite for weddings.

Recipe by Vanilla Bake Shop
September 2008
  1 cup sugar
  1/4 cup water
  2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, diced
  1/4 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  Large pinch of fine fleur de sel* plus additional for assembly

  1 1/2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  3 cups heavy whipping cream

  2 cups sugar
  1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  1 teaspoon salt
  1 cup whole milk
  2 large eggs
  1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  1 cup hot water
  1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee
  1 1/4 cups almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped

Stir sugar, 1/4 cup water, and corn syrup in deep medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to medium; cover pan and cook 4 minutes. Uncover; increase heat to high. Boil without stirring until syrup is deep amber, occasionally brushing down pan sides with wet pastry brush, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble). Whisk in butter, then crème fraîche, lemon juice, and pinch of fleur de sel. Cool completely. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before using.

Place chocolate in large bowl. Bring cream to simmer in medium saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate; let soften 1 minute. Whisk until chocolate is smooth. Cool, then cover and chill overnight. DO AHEAD Ganache can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Bring to room temperature before using.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Butter two 9-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of each with parchment paper; butter paper and dust pan with flour.

Sift sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into large bowl. Add milk, eggs, and melted butter. Using electric mixer, beat at low speed until blended. Increase speed and beat 2 minutes. Stir 1 cup hot water and espresso powder in small bowl to dissolve. Add to batter; beat until blended (batter will be thin). Divide batter between pans (about 3 cups each).

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 32 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 10 minutes. Cut around cakes; turn out onto racks. Peel off parchment and cool completely.

Using long serrated knife, cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 layer on platter; spread with 1/2 cup room-temperature ganache. Spoon 3/4 cup ganache into pastry bag fitted with 1/4-inch plain round tip. Pipe ring of ganache around edge of layer. Spread 1/4 cup room-temperature caramel filling evenly inside ring. Sprinkle caramel with large pinch of fleur de sel, then 1 tablespoon almonds. Top with second cake layer, ganache, ganache ring, caramel filling, fleur de sel, and almonds. Repeat with third cake layer. Top with fourth cake layer, cut side down. Spread remaining ganache over top and sides of cake. Press remaining almonds onto sides. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Let cake stand at room temperature 1 hour.

A type of sea salt; available at some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores.

Mixed-Berry Chiffon Cake with Almond Cream Cheese Frosting

Almond cream filling
1 cup half and half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
1/2 7-ounce roll almond paste (scant 1/2 cup packed), diced
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Baker's), finely chopped
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup chilled heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
5 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 cup raspberry preserves

Almond cream cheese frosting
2 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Assorted fresh berries (such as strawberries and blueberries)
Currant jelly, warmed

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cleaning Out Mail

I was just cleaning out my roadrunner mail which has become my major junk mail account. I have a gmail account that I haven't given to anyone besides friends and family so that mail I want to read doesn't get lost but sometimes people forget and send me stuff to my RR account. This was one of the things I found this morning while cleaning it out.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Visit to Greta

After visiting Laura, I went to see Greta and all the boys.  We went to the playground after having lunch when I got there on Sunday.

Monday I played Mom, took Greta to the train, Myles and Hunter to school (2nd grade and kindergarten) went to the store for Bev and managed to squeeze in an excellent  1 1/2 hour Yoga class at Glow.  Then I took Tucker to Nursery School, stopped at the Rummage Room,  my favorite thrift store and bought a skirt and a pair of capris for $8 each.  The skirt is a pink Ann Taylor that looks brand new and the capris are white Izod that also look new.
Before I knew it, it was time to pick up the boys from school and then we took a trip to Target and everyone got to buy something.  My last pickup was to get Greta from the train and later that evening Greta and I had an early Mother's Day dinner at Baang.

Tuesday morning I left for home after taking Greta to the train and getting the final picture taken.