Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps and Beautiful Cheeses with Friends!

313cheese and crackers

What is better than cheese and crackers with friends on a sunny afternoon?

307afternoon snacks

Fruits and olives, beautiful cheeses and fresh whole grain bread and crackers take this afternoon snack to a whole new level!

308afternoon snacks

Fresh ripe papaya taste like honey and sunshine!

303cheese and crackers

These crackers are melt in your mouth fantastic. So much flavor in wholesome ingredients makes this guilt-free snacking at it’s best.

296afternoon snack

Lesley Stowe, Raincoast Crisps are my new favorite cracker!

These are unique, delicisious and worth the trouble to find!

302cheese and crackers

These photos with the sun streaming in bring back memories of great conversation and joy with friends.

301cheese and crackers

Fine dining does not have to be complicated.

Some of my finest culinary moments have been born of the simplest ingredients!

312cheese and crackers

Don’t forget to put the love into it to get the most of your food and friends!

Anna’s Breakfast Potato, Veggie and Egg Scramble with Cheese!

068 anna's potato and veggie scramble

Not only is my BFF Anna is a great cook but she is the hostess with the mostest!

We invade her lovely home for long weekends and she manages to entertain us like royalty!

One of her specialties is this casserole, of sorts, or breakfast scramble.

067 anna's potato and veggie scramble

She par cooks potatoes in the microwave

Chops and sautes any vegetables on hand, usually: red peppers, asparagus, leeks, and mushrooms and sets those aside

Then dice the potatoes and combine in a large skillet the cooked veggies, potatoes, some cheese then crack a few eggs on top

Turn the heat down to low and cover to allow the eggs to cook.

You’re finished!

You can also do this in the oven in a lovely casserole dish for a more elegant presentation.

Or cook the eggs seperatly and serve on top.

Either way it’s delicious!

066 anna's potato and veggie scramble

Fruity Cocktails, Amazing Pizza, 200 Fabulous Gay Men and Me!

040G2H2 Luxe

A dream come true!

Me in a sea of men surrounded by the most glorious pizzas, ever and tropical fruity cocktails served up by a cute bartender with attitude!

Luxe was host to the G2H2 Happy Hour event in Cleveland , Oh.

The food was amazing! I know it’s a social thing but given the “circumstances” I had plenty of time to focus on the food and drinks!

034mushroom spinach goat cheese balsamic  pizza

This portobello mushroom, spinach, goat cheese and balsamic reduction pizza was my favorite.

Chef Marlin Kaplan knows that a light touch of fresh potent ingredients is the way to go!

032mushroom spinach goat cheese balsamic pizza

I couldn’t get enough of this pizza and made myself a fixture at the buffet!

011spinach mushroom balsamic goat cheese pizza

This is definitley something that I want to try at home.

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Chris was adorable and he knows the food.

019tomato basil pizza at Luxe

This tomato basil was fantastic; fresh and delish!

018pizza at Luxe

The setting was elegant but casual.

017pizza at Luxe

Sweetheart! Jen kept the fresh hot pies coming my way

021tomato and herb pizza at Luxe

Tomato and herb.

030Goat cheese chicken rosemary pizza at Luxe

Chicken, rosemary and goat cheese was a big hit.

044bartender Luxe

What would the evening be without a spunky bartender serving up the one-liners with the best mojitos in town?!

Lee was a delight!

Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Spread with Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper!

091eggplant lentil spread

The secret to the delightful flavor of this dish is the roasting!

Roasted garlic, eggplant, rep pepper and sauteed leeks create a richness that makes this similar to a pate in texture and flavor.

002eggplant lentil spread

This recipe is also full of nutrition. Lentils are hardy and full of protein and fiber.

This is also light and when spread on whole wheat or flax crackers leaves you satisfied yet not full.

003eggplant lentil spread

It is also easy to make and can be whippped up on short notice.

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant
1 cup lentils
1 glove garlic
1 medium leek
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro
1 lime
1 roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

In a 350 degree oven wrap in aluminum foil the eggplant cut in half with a drizzle of olive oil on the flesh.

In a clay roaster or aluminum foil wrap the garlic and place in oven to roast.

Both should take no more than 30-45 minutes.

In a pan add a drizzle of olive oil to sliced leeks and sautee until translucent.

Cook 1 cup of lentils in 2 cups of water until tender.

When everything is done and cooled for handling, place in the food processor.

Add the cilantro and puree.

Add enough olive oil to create the texture you desire.

For a creamier dip; just add more oil.

010eggplant lentil spread roasted red peppers

I then chopped the roasted red pepper, very fine, and folded it into the finished mixture.

I wanted little “pops” of sweet juicy flavor and the texture contrast.

I, also squeezed some lime into the finished dish and then gave it a good mixing.

Serve with your favorite crackers or breads or even crudites.

014eggplant lentil roasted red pepper

White Wine, White Bean Dip, an Artist, a Ballerina and Freddy!

010freddy

The original Freddy was happy to join the ladies for cocktails and conversation in Shelly’s beach cottage.

023freddy

Freddy as seen by artist Shelly Valisiades; respledent in a rainbow of color.

020art shelly's

Bright and cheerful best describes Shelly’s nest.

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006ari, belle, linda and shelly

Me, the writer, my two daughters and the Ballerina!

012colors at shelly's

Every corner is filled with color and energy.

003cocktails at shelly's

Knowing that Shelly’s forte is painting I brought the roasted garlic and white bean dip with French bread toasts.

2 cans of white beans
1 bulb roasted garlic
1/2 onion sauteed in olive oil
olive oil; about 1/4-1/2 cup

Place everything in the food processor until velvety and creamy.

Easy-peasy instant friends!

009art at shelly's

Shelly puts her heart and soul in everything she does.

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Every nook is filled with love.

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028art at shelly's

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