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Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1 cup fresh lavender flowers, pounded to a pulp. Get in there Jimmy! Pound that lavender!

  • ~2.5 cups fresh squeezed lime juice (about 10 limes)

  • ~5 cups vodka

  • Club soda

Instructions

  1. Add the sugar and lavender to 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer for about 15 minutes. This should make about 2.5 cups lavender simple syrup. Pour into to a freezer safe pitcher, through a strainer to strain out the lavender flowers (I use a pitcher that is a bit more than 2 quarts)

  2. Add an equal amount of fresh lime juice. It’s about 10 limes, but the important thing is an EQUAL amount of lime juice to the simple syrup, because the sweet and the tart must be equal partners. Hand-in-hand. Don’t fuck around with this.

  3. Add an amount of vodka equal to the amount of the combined simple syrup and lime juice. About 5 cups. Again, it’s the proportions that matter. EQUAL amount of vodka to the other stuff.

  4. Put into the freezer and freeze for at least a couple hours. The result will be a slushy mix. You want a slushy mix, because slushies were fun as a child, and mixing vodka with childhood is what life is actually about. Look it up.

To serve, place the slushy mixture in a martini glass, cut with club soda to taste (my preference is about half as much club soda to cocktail). A sprig of fresh lavender adds a nice garnish. Best quotes: “Did we really down that entire pitcher?” and “Where are my pants?”

Gooey Bars

(Or as Nancy Marshall would say, Macaroon Cake, although there isn’t any coconut in it. Nancy didn’t care. She still called it Macaroon Cake. She’s gone now, so let’s cut her some slack. Call it Macaroon Cake if you want. Mom would be proud.)

Ingredients

  • 1 box yellow cake mix (lemon cake mix purchased by mistake will ruin this recipe, trust me). I use Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix (it’s less sticky than Duncan Hines, and who really wants to wash their hands when baking?)

  • 3 eggs.

  • 1 box Philadelphia Cream Cheese

  • 1 stick butter, salted. Tillamook butter: It’s what God bakes with.

  • 16 oz box of powdered sugar (32 oz box of powdered sugar purchased by mistake will ruin this recipe, trust me)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 (because 350 is the only temperature that the laws of thermodynamics allow. You can try other temperatures, for anything, but they will always fail)

  2. Melt the butter, and mix with 1 egg. Remember: Step 1 has 1 egg. Step 2 has 2 eggs.

  3. Mix in the yellow cake mix. Lick the blender paddles.

  4. Mold into a cake pan as the base. Keep the base even and not too thick around all the sides.

  5. Mix the cream cheese (melted) with 2 eggs

  6. Add in the powdered sugar. Lick the blender paddles again. Don’t let anyone see you lick the paddles. If they see you, you’ll have to offer them some, and then there will be less for you. So just be careful, ok?

  7. Pour over the base. As you spatula out the gooey goodness, you’ll have another perfect opportunity to lick utensils.

  8. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the top becomes golden brown

  9. Prepare for madness

Instant Pot Crab or Shrimp Risotto

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter (I prefer Tillamook salted)

  • 1 chopped white onion

  • 3 finely chopped garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves

  • 2 cups Arborio rice

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 4 cups of chicken broth

  • 1 lb crab meat (I prefer Oregon dungeness, of course), or cooked shrimp

  • Chopped asparagus

  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese

  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat broth.

  2. Set Instant Pot to Sauté function and melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Add rice and stir until toasted, 2 minutes.

  3. Deglaze pot with wine. Cook until most of wine is absorbed, then turn Sauté function off.

  4. Add warm broth and place lid on Instant Pot. Set to Manual, High and set time for 5 minutes.

  5. In a large saute pan or brasier pot, cook the asparagus in a bit of olive oil

  6. When the Instant Pot is complete with its pressure cooking, turn valve to quick release.

  7. Place risotto in the pan with the asparagus, stir in the crab and the parmesan. Mix it until the cheese is melted and the crab is warm. Season with salt and pepper, and serve!

Negronis

Ingredients

  • 2 parts Gin (I use a dry gin, such as Brokers)

  • 1 part sweet vermouth (I use Carpano classico)

  • 1 part Compari

  • A splash of balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Mix ^^ on some ice and shake

  2. Serve on a big ice cube, or neat or on some rocks

Enjoy the taste of Milan. Dove sono i miei pantaloni!  

Summer Peach and Tomato Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cut into small wedges, 2 ripe Roma tomatoes cut into small wedges, and about 20 cherry tomatoes cut into two

  • 4 ripe peaches, cut into small wedges

  • 1/2 thinly sliced sweet red onion

  • Chopped fresh basil

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the balsamic vinegar and feta, drain any excess fluid, and keep refrigerated

  2. When ready to serve, add the balsamic and feta, mix

“It’s so colorful!”

“Where are my pants?”


And yes, as you might have guessed, summers ARE fun at my house. Martinis. Cakes. Colorful salads. If you’re hot and you need to float on some cool water, come on over! You may not have pants when you leave, but that will be the least of your problems.