Crazy for Cranberries

‘Tis the season for the crazy, crunchy little fruit that will pucker your sucker.  The historic cranberry is now used in an endless array of yummy dishes.  If you like to make your own cranberry sauce to accompany a Thanksgiving turkey, consider this Super Simple gem.  I call it “What a Pear Cranberry Sauce.”

What a Pear Cranberry Sauce

1 orange

½ c sugar

1 star anise (or ¾ tsp anise seeds)

1 (3”) cinnamon stick

½ c raw honey

2-3 pears, peeled & cored, cut in ½” cubes

4 c fresh or frozen cranberries (16 oz)

Grate zest from the orange to make 1 tablespoon.  Squeeze the juice into a measuring cup, adding water or cranberry juice, if needed, to make ½ cup.  In med saucepan over high heat, stir oj, grated zest, sugar, anise & cinnamon stick, until sugar is dissolved, 1-2 min.  Stir in honey & pears; bring to boil.  Then reduce heat to med and stir occasionally till edges of pears are barely tender, just 1-2 min.  Stir in cranberries.  Cook, stirring occasionally, till cranberries start to pop & pears are tender, 5-6 min.  Let cool.  Pour into serving bowl.  Serve cool or cold.  Makes up to 4 cups.

KISS Tip:  Make this up to 3 in advance.  Cover and store in refrigerator.

I love cranberries at any season of the year, so much so that I wrote an entire cookbook dedicated to this historic little fruit.  Check out “Cranberry Cooking” by  Cathy Burnham Martin for more than 130 Keep It Super Simple recipes using cranberries… from beverages, sauces, side dishes and snacks to desserts, entrees, appetizers, and soups!  Try the following appetizer that is both marvelously easy and jaw-droppingly delicious! The cranberry-crab combination surprised me and became a go-to favorite.

Cranberry Crab Tarts

8 oz cream cheese (plain or with chives), softened

1 can crab meat, drained

2-3 green onions (green portions), thinly sliced

45 mini phyllo tart shells

1 can whole berry cranberry sauce

Combine cheese, crab and onions; push into one corner of a large plastic food storage bag.  Snip off the tip of the bag’s corner to create a pastry bag.  Squeeze the bag to push some crab combo into each tart shell.  Spoon some cranberry on top.  Bake 10 min at 350°F and serve hot.

KISS Tips:  You can make the crab cheese combo ahead and store in the refrigerator until needed.  You can even fill the tarts up to 2 hours ahead of time without losing their crispiness.  Keep this Super Simple by purchasing pre-made phyllo tarts.  I find them in boxes of 15 in the frozen dessert section of the supermarket.  To add some zestiness to the flavor, add a couple tablespoons of prepared horseradish to the crab-cheese mixture. 

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Of Grief & Glory

As we approach an Election Day, could we all try to remember our sanity and decency?  If our preferred candidates win, try to accept victory with humility and grace.  If our preferred candidates lose, try to accept defeat with courage and compassion. 

We can expect and accept victors’ cheers and losers’ jeers.  That’s all fine.  I do not accept the ranting and rioting of losers, especially under the guise of peaceful protest.  That is just plain embarrassing. 

We must do better.  If you are an American citizen, cast your vote at the ballot box.  Encourage others to do the same.

If mainstream politicians win, so be it.  If political outsiders and newcomers prevail, so be it.  Black, white, male, female, conservative, liberal, whatever!  Vote for good people.  Vote for those you believe will make our country strong.  Perfect.  I hope that those who cast their votes differently also believe they are voting for good people, not just party politics. 

Regardless of election outcomes, I hope we all will try to spare others the sarcasm and cynicism and arrogance of feigned superiority.  None of us is so special that we have all the right answers. 

If our preferred candidates win, may we gloat not with self-satisfaction.  If our candidates lose, may we cling not to denial and anger.        

May we remember, we all want a strong nation, a booming economy, a safe place to live.  We may not all recognize multiple “right” ways to achieve similar goals.

Whenever we lose, we must remember that we are not alone.  Millions of others lost also.  We all must go through a process of grief and great sadness. 

Whenever we win, we must remember that we will not always win.  We can breathe a momentary sigh of relief, and count our blessings, but we should appreciate that many of our dear friends and family members may be sad, heartbroken, and not celebrating.

In each election comes grief and glory.  Sometimes we’re the bug, and sometimes we’re the windshield.  Disrespecting people we believe are disrespectful is counterproductive, at best.

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Florida Book Signing

Saturday, November 10, 2018

11am – 4pm

I am pleased to announce that I was selected to have my books featured at the upcoming Author Book Fair at the Collier County South Regional Library on 8065 Lely Cultural Parkway in Naples, Florida.  I’ll be with some 3 dozen authors, so there will surely be some great books and fellow authors!

If you are in Southwest Florida at the time, we’d love to see you!

Several of my titles and cookbooks will be available… including both books in “The Bimbo Has Brains” series, “A Dangerous Book for Dogs… How to Train Your Human,” “Healthy Thinking Habits… Seven Attitude Skills Simplified,” and many more.  Half a dozen different titles in my array of cookbooks will also be featured, from the 3-part “Dockside Dining” series to “Champagne! Facts, Fizz, Food, and Fun.”

We’ll also be raffling off a free copy of my latest, full-color cookbook, “Lobacious Lobster…  Decadently Super Simple Recipes.”

Posted in Bubbly Makes the World Go 'Round, Martin on Marco, Taste Bud Travels, Write Again! | Leave a comment

Feel Yourself Truly Living

Sometimes Life is gleeful.  Other times?  Not so much.  However, I believe there is nothing wrong with feeling, even through the difficult times.  Someone lovingly pointed out to me recently that our blessings can even overwhelm grief.  That is not to say that sadness can be obliterated, but it surely can be overshadowed.

Life is rather like a rollercoaster, filled with highs and lows, from times that move slowly to those that zoom and scream along, seemingly out of control.  And it is a very short ride, although most of us have a tendency at times to live as if we have countless years.

Whatever “it” is for us, we fare better when we stop putting it off as if we have all the time in the world.  We don’t.

As I espouse in “The Bimbo Has MORE Brains… Surviving Political Correctness,” we can enjoy the feeling of living far more when we learn to live without regret.  Too often things are said or left unsaid.  We may have expressed harsh bitterness or relentless intolerance.  We may have treated someone harshly.  We may have been unfair.

Our quiet regrets pile up in some corner of our mind.  We never come clean.  We never sincerely apologize.  My Dad always set a great example in this area.  Poppy always shared and said it all.  Thus, when he passed, no one needed to feel the ache of words left unsaid.  Harsh words were never the last ones spoken.  Loving words were never left unsaid.  Forgiveness seemed an almost automatic outpouring of love. 

This is so important, because all too often, we don’t get another chance.  The person or people we may have hurt are gone.  We do not have as much time as we may have thought.

That said, I do not believe the souls of the departed hold any ill will.  Only we living beasts harbor regrets and ill will.

I couldn’t help but wonder what I might wish to say to people left behind if I was suddenly gone tomorrow.  I’d thought about that a lot… Perhaps because we’d suffered some difficult personal losses.  For that same second “Bimbo” book I wrote and shared my thoughts and words.  Literally, I include my list of things that, as the departed soul, I would like to say to friends and loved ones left behind.

Give it a try.  I found it fascinating to see how easily we forgive those who’ve hurt us or caused pain and hardship for people we love.  I loved feeling how happy it made me to recognize the hope and encouragement I relished giving to others.

While Life brings us laughter and love, it also brings heartbreak and tears.  Sad times make us better able to flourish and appreciate happy times.  Feeling the whole spectrum makes us stronger and more compassionate people.  Though I often say that living on this place called Earth is not for sissies, it is also an amazing ride.

Let your heart flow.  Relish and cherish.  Believe and forgive.  Learn and teach.  Fall down and get back up.  Through it all, feel yourself truly living.

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What Kind of Man?

What kind of man spends his entire life serving others?  Being kind and generous, true and loving?  What kind of man is hardworking, resourceful, and an ahead-of-his-time thinker?  Steadfast and persistent?  With the patience of Job?  What kind of man assigns himself the “on-call” work duties for every Thanksgiving and Christmas so his team can be with their families?  What kind of man exudes tirelessness, delightful humor, and vivid imagination to fill his children’s lives with glee and exceptional experiences, while encouraging them to strive to be their very best?  What kind of man is loyal to his high school sweetheart and best friend for more than 70 years?  And near the end merely wishes for more time together?  What kind of man walks the walk as a superbly encouraging and supportive father, uncle, and grandfather?  Active in his church and community and neighborhood?  Both a great listener and a terrific teacher, leading by example?

It’s the kind of man we all dream about as a partner, father, friend or relative.  He listens.  He is humble and humorous.  He is kind.  He is strong.  It’s the very special kind of man I have been privileged to call Poppy. 

My Dad, Robert Burnham, survived two previous cancers, only to be diagnosed this past winter with pancreatic cancer.  His successful surgery this spring, inspired great hope, but infections have been challenging, and he has endured 2 returns to the hospital.  This past week was the toughest.  All seemed well as he enjoyed dinner in the dining room on Tuesday, but Wednesday, he was back to the hospital.  Pneumonia had settled in his lungs.  By Friday night at 9pm, they moved my Poppy into hospice.  He passed peacefully in his sleep Saturday afternoon at 1:30.  There’s one more angel in heaven.

That’s the kind of man my dear Poppy was.  An angel on earth.  His spirit will always live with all of us who knew him.  Prayers please for my Mom, for at age 88, though healthy physically, she has now lost the love of her life. 

God speed, my dearest Poppy. 

Robert Bishop Burnham, November 2, 1931 – October 6, 2018

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Must We Tolerate Intolerance?

A lot of years passed as I developed the strength to both determine and stand up for what I could and would put up with in life.  What is acceptable or unacceptable?  The answers are different for each of us.  Our tolerance levels also vary from person to person.

Some things are simple.  For example, I reached my threshold for people yelling at me.  I decided I didn’t need to take it anymore.  If someone is yelling at me now, it better be to save my life from an oncoming truck… not because they lack the personal control to talk at an acceptable volume level.  Fair.

When we think, feel, speak, or believe differently from someone else, I believe that is fine.  However, we all know people who are not interested in tolerating different perspectives or ideas.  That in and of itself doesn’t make either side more right or wrong.

Where my interest disintegrates is when someone believes they can and should shout down others just to squelch a dissenting thought, voice, or opinion from being heard.  I tune out the screamers and “ranters.”  Their voracious volume levels and rabid rantings do not add validity to their opinions, no matter how frequently they repeat them.

I get into this BIG time in “The Bimbo Has MORE Brains… Surviving Political Correctness.”  I do not believe in suppressing dissenting voices.  I believe in true dialogue, which includes speaking AND listening.  I am grateful for having grown up with parents and educators who believed in us learning all sides of issues.  They taught us how to think, not what to think.  I feel most fortunate for that, among many other blessings.

Saddening, if not maddening is the feeling when I learn of free speech getting squelched purely because someone else values a different philosophy or opinion.  Phooey.  As I state in the book, repressing or shutting down voices we may not care to hear dos not remove the thoughts, feelings, or opinions they wanted to share.

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, expressed it well.  He said, “The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression.  It is more speech.”

I believe our differences give us balance.  Intolerance of our differences throws us off balance.  To tolerate someone else’s intolerance requires a great deal of patience, confidence, and persistence.  We sometimes need to stop and remember that there just may be a lot of right in what seems wrong and a lot of wrong in what seems right.

Cathy Burnham Martin is an award-winning journalist, published author, creative foodie, and communications geek.  Her books and Audiobooks are available through all major book retailers, Amazon, and Audible.  

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People Can Be So Mean

Like all of us, I know we should use social media safely.  More importantly, I wish we would all use it responsibly and not as a weapon to hurt others.  Yet, we all know people, with increasing frequency, who have expressed the need to unfriend or block someone who just can’t stop their negative rant.

When nastiness and volume levels go up, up, up, sanity levels seem to go down, down, down.  Social media seems more like anti-social media.  I don’t care how different our opinions are.  I care about how we treat each other, especially when we differ.

We can and should do better.  We must if we are to survive as a civilized group.

In my book, “The Bimbo Has MORE Brains… Surviving Political Correctness,” I calmly note that there is no law against ignorance.  The best we can do is to keep educating people.  We need not waste one drop of anger on ignorance.

That said, my heart aches when I read painful expressions from someone who has been railed against, especially on sites like Facebook.  “Nastigrams” from naysayers and buffoons are bullying.  Cyber-bullying is hideously ugly and cowardly.

I like to remind my readers and friends that when someone else is being bitterly sour, we don’t have to drink from their cup.  We must try not to let someone else’s lemons sour our hearts.

Little supportive quips can help remind us, too.  Devices and people work better when we turn them on, not off.  Do not ever feel trivialized by someone else’s opinions.

People who think that screaming louder makes their way of thinking more valid and profound should think again.  They merely sound mean, belligerent, and intolerant… at best.

Cathy Burnham Martin is an award-winning journalist, published author, creative foodie, and communications geek.  Her books and Audiobooks are available through all major book retailers, Amazon, and Audible.

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Just Released: “Bastions of Blood” — My Latest Audiobook!

Bastions of Blood” (Kremlins 2) is the sequel to “Citadels of Fire.”  As the 2nd book in a 3-book series, I do suggest listening to “Citadels of Fire” (Kremlins 1) first.  This is a powerful (and rather graphically violent) historical romance novel by a learned Russian history major.

I am thoroughly enjoying producing and narrating these books and bringing the characters created by author L. K. Hill (writing her historical novels now under the name K.L. Conger) to life!  Check them out on Audible.com

Here’s a little sample:  

“Bastions of Blood” Sample
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Survive and Thrive Political Correctness

Bimbo 2 - midnight blue frontWant to thrive, not just survive, in this whacky world that demands political correctness?  (Or what I call political quackiness!)  My latest book slams the bullies and counter-bullies, examines political spectacles, reflects on the great American opioid epidemic of the 21st century, calls for Testosterone Toddlers to behave better, and much more.  I’m advocating for respect, attitude checks, and personal responsibility on many levels, along with empowering the independent spirit in all of us.

Recognizing friends and fiends on both sides of the political aisle, I am an equal opportunity offender… and mender.  Thus, The Bimbo Has MORE Brains delivers the secrets for us all to lighten up, to be more tolerant and less easily offended.

It’s out now in paperback and digital formats… at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and everywhere else.  Yahooo!  (On Audible and iTunes by April 1st.)

If you read it, please serve up a review online… via Amazon, Good Reads, Pinterest, or anywhere else.  Good or bad, love it or hate it… ink is ink and talk is talk.  I love it all.  Thanks!!

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Enjoying Paradise and Helping People

If you like island living… or vacationing… Antigua offers a beautiful and relaxing escape.  We just returned from a week of sun, fun, and superb dining, even a scrumptious grilled Caribbean lobster-stuffed lobster. 

This came as a big of a surprise.  Consider this.  2017’s destructive hurricane season wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean and U.S. mainland.  We’d seen Southwest Florida looking far too much like a war zone after Irma left town.  Islands in the Caribbean are still working to put basic life back together.

The Antiguan Paradise group of islands is bouncing back, but it will take much more time.  For example, their island of Barbuda suffered 90% damage to its buildings and totally lost all infrastructure, like water and power.  After the September storm, Antigua had to completely evacuate Barbuda’s population, bringing everyone to Antigua.  These families are still nowhere near going home!

English Harbor from Shirley Heights

Regardless, Antigua is firing on all cylinders.  Famous ports like English Harbor and Falmouth Harbor, are full of action and mega-yachts.  Festivals and regattas are all a full forward “Go!”  Roads were horrid before the hurricane, so they’re more bizarre now, but don’t let it hold you back.  Select a resort and go relax in the sun.

How beautiful is that??!!?

We can enjoy a vacation in paradise.  In the process, help so many hard-working people and their entire economy at the same time.

Verandah Resort & Spa

Go for it and enjoy… with love and laughter.

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Add Lobaciousness to Your Life!

My latest cookbook has just been released in paperback and digital formats.  “Lobacious Lobster” is packed with 200 decadently delicious and super simple recipes, plus more than 100 color photographs.

I literally could not help but create a new word to aptly describe lobster.  “Lobacious” says it all!

Enjoy this recipe from the collection!

 

Bodacious Bacon Lobster Bites

Bodacious Bacon Lobster Bites

12 (1-1 ½”) squares of cooked bacon

12 buttery crackers (such as Ritz or Pepperidge Farm)

12 slices (½“-thick medallions) fresh, warm lobster tail meat

¼ c favorite bottled “con queso” sauce, heated (or make your own by blending cream cheese, Jack cheese, & diced jalapeños)

At serving time, place a piece of bacon on each cracker; top with a piece of lobster, followed by a drizzle of warmed con queso.  Serve immediately.  Makes 12 bites.

Lobacious Lobster is available through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and more.

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Cranberry Capers

Cranberry Bellini

‘Tis the season to add the tartness of cranberries to the menu.  While I offer the Cranberry Cooking cookbook full of super simple recipes, I share here a yummy way to start a day with the zing of cranberries.

For a holiday brunch, a Mimosa is popular, but the Bellini is even yummier, featuring peach puree and prosecco sparkling Italian wine, plus a touch of raspberry, which is actually a formerly “secret ingredient.”

We’re bringing it forward now for the holidays as a Cranberry Bellini.  Be sure to start with well-chilled ingredients.

 

Cranberry Bellini

½ c cranberry juice

1 c peach nectar

1 bottle prosecco (or other sparkling white wine)

Combine cranberry and peach; keep chilled till needed.  Pour into tall flutes or martini glasses till just ¼ full.  Top with prosecco; garnish as desired.  Serve immediately.  Makes 6-8 servings.

KISS Notes:  I sometimes like to rim the glass with cinnamon sugar.  Garnish

Cranberry Pearrini

with a wedge of lime, a slice of fresh peach, or “shrub”-style with a couple tiny scoops of raspberry (and peach) sorbet or sherbet.  A nice variation for this drink is the Cranberry Pearrini.  Make as above but replace the peach nectar with pear nectar.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves and a large fresh raspberry.

For other great cranberry recipes to take you from appetizers and tapas to entrées, side dishes, and desserts, check out Cranberry CookingIt’s part of a series of 8 pocket cookbooks, all featuring easy recipes to help you star in the kitchen.  They’re all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.  (If you buy one on Amazon, you can also get the digital edition FREE!)   Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Posted in Bubbly Makes the World Go 'Round, Family -- Says It All, Party Themes & Schemes, Super Simple Is Key! | Leave a comment

Sweet Thank You!

Our Maltipoo, Bandit, received the most lovely thank you note… from another dog, no less.  Mr. Casey had just read Bandit’s book, “A Dangerous Book for Dogs.”

He said:

“Hi Bandit.  The best book ever!  You can tell, my humans, Judy & Ken wrote this for me.  We loved reading your story and all your helpful information.  I, too, am a Maltipoo, and my name is “Mr. Casey.”  I weigh 16 pounds, and I have champagne color fur.  I hope you don’t mind; I let my human Mom and Dad read your training methods so they would know what to do with me.  I hope you can come visit me someday.  I thank you again.”

Well, Bandit, with all his 7 pounds of fun, fur, and fury, is very happy to have gotten that missive.  He says he is planning a visit with his newest fan very soon… even though Mr. Casey ignored Bandit’s warning to NOT share his secret tips for training your humans with ANY humans.  Sigh.

Such is a dog’s life.  Love, cookies, and belly rubs.

You can find Bandit’s “A Dangerous Book for Dogs” in paperback and digital (Kindle) formats on sites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as in Audiobook from Audible.com.

 

Posted in Must Love Dogs (& Other Wonderful Pets) | Leave a comment

Thank you!

I have received sooo many fabulous comments and positive reviews for my latest book, “The Bimbo Has Brains!”  I am humbled and honored.

However, I must thank YOU for supporting or contributing to my life’s journey to not only learn how to survive and thrive, but to then become able to share the many life lessons I gleaned with others.  I had no idea that so many people would find this book as helpful in their / your personal journey through life’s stereotypes, double standards, and relationship mazes.

Your feedback inspires me!

Please enjoy this code UP3LM59T which can be applied at “check out” directly from the printer by following this link: https://www.createspace.com/6497205

This scores a 25% discount for $5 off when you purchase the paperback edition of “The Bimbo Has Brains” from the printer!  (Sorry, but neither Amazon nor Barnes and Noble give me any discount options.)  This UP3LM59T code does not expire and can be used multiple times and shared with as many people as you’d like.

Enjoy!  And thanks again!

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“Bimbo” Rocking!

 

My latest book, “The Bimbo Has Brains,” made the Uncaged Book Reviews!

Okay… it’s on the last page of the March, 2017 edition, but it IS a 5-star review, so I am pleased to have been chosen as one of reviewer Amy Shannon’s favorite reviews.

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God Speed

Christopher Martin

Life is a very difficult place to live.

The telephone rings.  A loved one  has passed.  At 39, he is too young… and gone way too soon.  He is Christopher Martin, my husband’s first born and #1 eldest son.  Please say an extra prayer for his Dad, his Mom, and his siblings.

His passing turns the world surreal for everyone who knows and loves him.  Christopher was brilliant.  His creativity flowed like a 10-lane super-highway with the Flying Angels soaring overhead.

His laughter and passion for living will dance in our hearts forever.  His genuine interest in people and what makes us tick touched countless people who passed through his life.  The trail of his footprints will be missed, as his path was cut short too suddenly.

Hug everyone you love a little more closely.  Take nothing for granted… not one single day.

God bless you, Christopher.

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Link of Love!

 

Use this link to my newest book, The Bimbo Has Brains, for a $5 discount (25% off) by using this code:  UP3LM59T

That’s straight from the printer and has NO expiration date!  Enjoy!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Super Simple Sweetheart Goodies

For Valentines Day and beyond, look for easy recipes.  They can be assembled quickly with few ingredients.  You can find yummy ideas in some unexpected places.

For example, in the Dockside Dining… Back for Thirds cookbook, recipes were designed for backyard barbequing, tailgating, and simplicity for travelers, particularly on board on on the shore for boaters.  But these recipes are easy to do indoors in a traditional kitchen, too!    

So many of them are perfect for pairing with your favorite wines or bubbly, too!  For example, here’s a recipe from the Appetizers section.

Super Simple Surfside Crabmeat

Super Simple Surfside Crabmeat

¼ c butter

1 c chopped sweet onion

1 tsp minced garlic

¼ c white wine (such as Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay)

1 lb fresh lump crabmeat (drained)

3 T mayonnaise

¼ tsp paprika plus a dash or 2 cayenne pepper

3 T chopped fresh parsley

1-2 green onions, thinly sliced (green portions)

Melt butter in grill-safe skillet or heavy foil pan over med heat.  Add onion & garlic; sauté 2-3 min till onions are tender.  Add wine; stir for 1 min.  Gently stir in crabmeat; remove from heat.  Stir in mayo, seasonings, and parsley.  Serve directly from the skillet or foil pan with buttery crackers, pita crisps, tortilla chips or melba toasts.  Or spoon into mini phyllo pastry cups.  Makes about 2½ cups.

 KISS Tips:  Try sprinkling a bit of shredded coconut, chopped or sliced almonds, or some panko bread crumbs on top.  Or turn this into a brunch or lunch entrée by spooning over warm rice.

Serve some of this to your sweetheart!

Check Dockside Dining out.  It’s available in both paperback and digital formats.  More than 200 Super Simple recipes are packed into the sweet little 5×8″ size!

There are salads like Orange You Glad You Like Melon and  Far Out Far Eastern Chicken Salad.  Brunch delights include French Toast Timboo Tavern, the Egg McMushroom Sandwich, and Berried Bacon Waffle Treasures.  Other appetizers range from Crabby Bon Bons, Bacon-Stuffed Mushrooms, and Pears in a Blanket to Peachy Brie Bites and Roasted Pecan Crystals.  There’s also an amazing Seafood Crisp a la Kretch’s Marco Island and a Sassy Super Hero Dip.  Among the stellar entrees is the Sail Away Salmon, Riviera Rack of Lamb, and Cathy’s Lime Pepper Shrimp and Scallops.  There are plenty of veggies and sides, soups, lunch ideas,and some saucy condiments.  Of course, there are more than 30 sweet treats for dessert… or whenever.  Some favorites are the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Dip, Super Simple Peach Cobbler, and a cake treat called For the Love of Eclair.  Oh, yeah!!!

 

 

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Bimbo’s First 5-Star Review

So psyched.  The Bimbo Has Brains just got our first review on Barnes & Noble.com and earned 5 stars!  That is an exciting way to start.

Also, Author Amy Shannon’s Bookshelf Reviews has now honored me as one of her featured authors and posted a lengthy interview about the book and me on her blog.  Click to read.

 

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Thank you!

The Bimbo Has Brains has now officially launched!  I feel so very blessed to  have already heard from so many of you!  I do so appreciate the well-wishes.  Some have asked how long it took me to write this book.  Most honestly, I must answer with “a combination of a few months and a few decades.”  That’s what Life Lessons do for us.

I truly do seek honest reviews on any sites from Amazon to Goodreads.  If you will, please share the announcement of this new book with your circles of influence.  Read on!

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20 Days to Bimbo!

bimbo-front-cover

The countdown continues!!!  The official release of my next book is February 1st.  The Bimbo Has Brains is making waves and getting some delightful early comments.  Here are a couple:

“The Bimbo Has Brains—and insight and compassion and empathy and outreach and bubbling-over humor. Cathy Burnham Martin’s book is so human and so immensely caring that it will change lives.”

-Richard Lederer, best-selling author of Anguished English and other books about language and humor

“Cathy Burnham Martin’s voice is bold, beautiful and pregnant with emotion, integrity, humour and honesty.  Brilliant ‘bimbo’ indeed!   She stands up for past and future generations of women and shows our sisters that there is hope through understanding and that communication is the message for all involved. “

-Beverly Read Moody, Toronto Area Book Club

Needless to say, we are quite excited!  Details are on the QTPublishing.com website, along with info on the companion book by John A. Gehrisch, The Golf Pro Has Heart.

 

 

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Happy New Year!

bimbo-front-coverToday begins the official countdown to the release of my next book:  “The Bimbo Has Brains… and Other Freaky Facts.”  31 Days to go!

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Love Dogs – Must Read

06-14-09-04jeeter-bandit-kiss-in-hall‘Tis the season to make treats… AND protect our furry friends from them. In the book released by our dog, Bandit, this year, he includes a long list of items that we humans might not realize are poisonous for our dogs and cats.

As I was preparing dinner last evening, I was reminded of this.  While chopping some onions, a piece flew onto the floor.  As is usual for Bandit, he quickly scurried toward the morsel.  He knows this as “Clean Up, Aisle 4.”  However, on this occasion, I had not called out, “Clean Up, Aisle 4.”  In fact, knowing that onions are on the very serious Oh-No list, I had already made my move to quickly reach the onion chunk first.

Bandit gave me quite the disappointed look.  But, it’s all about keeping them safe.  With more than 100,000 cases of pet poisoning just last year, we can’t be too careful.

A Dangerous Book for Dogs” is truly a riotous romp for dogs on how to train their humans.  Naturally, Bandit felt he should include some free bonus goodies… because you’ve been good.  One of them focuses on food and treat safety.

As the list is several pages long, and goes into a great deal of detail, I will just give a few important highlights here.  The list goes well beyond foods.  For example, while I won’t list every specific detail here, in general, keep all human and pet medications, as well as chemical treatments away from your animals.  Household cleaners and personal care items are also big no-no’s.  The list of harmful plants should also be considered, including the likes of aloe, daisies, marijuana, and tobacco, for just a few.

It’s the foods we consume that cause the most common angst.  In a nutshell, keep alcohol and caffeine away from dogs and cats, along with chocolate, grapes, raisins, fruit pits, citrus peels, garlic, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, yeast dough, nuts, and avocado.  While there are some specifics and varietal details within categories, these form a pretty important starting point.  Despite the popularity for humans right now, don’t even let them get at coconut water, as it’s too high in potassium for dogs.  Also avoid sharing dairy treats, as they are difficult for them to digest.

Sigh.  ‘Tis the season to enjoy goodies, but we all need to remember that to be good to our beloved pets, we need to protect them.

Front Cover - B&W edition

For more information on Bandit’s “A Dangerous Book for Dogs,” (despite his warning to keep it OUT of human hands), check out the list of books at the blog, GoodLiving123.com.  It’s available in paperback, digital, and Audiobook formats.

Posted in Must Love Dogs (& Other Wonderful Pets) | 8 Comments

Yayyyyy Cubbies!

Sorry, but being a lifelong Red Sox fan has also made me aware of other team’s sufferings from various “curse” experiences. I only wish the World Series could have been Cubs v Red Sox.
All good. SOOOOOO happy for Cubs fans everywhere. (Sorry Cleveland. It is not easy to be playing against the year of Destiny.)

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A Dangerous Book for Dogs

Front Cover - B&W editionWARNING!!! Don’t let this book fall into human hands!!!!  That’s Bandit’s strong advice regarding his new book.  A Dangerous Book for Dogs is filled with insider tips and secret strategies to help canines get and keep their humans in line.  Some wonderful advice was also shared by his various canine pals, too.

You’ll find many chuckles along the way as you recognize how some of your own human friends try to understand and cope with their own paws-itively wonderful friends.  Bandit… sometimes known as 7 Pounds of Fun, Fur, and Fury… serves up some superb FREE Bonus treats as well.

If you are a big fan, you can also get the full, unabridged text in a full-color edition by the same title.  Only the cover photographs differ.  The regular paperback (with Bandit lounging on a striped pillow on the cover) contains the same nearly 150 photographs inside as the full-color edition, although they are in black-and-white.

For the full-color edition, look for Bandit propped up on a white pillow.  Front Cover - Full Color EditionAlways the Pillow Puppy… helping him rest as he shares his wisdom.  Now Bandit will start producing the full, unabridged edition as an Audiobook.  That is scheduled for release this Spring!

Posted in Must Love Dogs (& Other Wonderful Pets) | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Where was THIS book when I NEEDED it?

The Hormone FixThe latest book, narrated by Cathy Burnham Martin, is entitled “The Hormone Fix: Naturally Rebalance Your System in 10 Weeks.”

While it may sound wild, hormonal imbalance affects more people than diabetes, heart disease, and cancer combined!  Yikes!  Written by Dr. Julius Herrera, “The Hormone Fix” explains the reality of the science within us AND delivers a natural approach to feeling healthy and balanced, regardless of the “time of the month” OR the time of your life.

Posted in To Our Health & Fitness! | Leave a comment

Timely Fat Loss Tips on Audiobook

Check the new Audiobooks page on my blog www.GoodLiving123.com to see how I’m celebrating my new career twist in the New Year.   After doing voiceover work for decades, I am a Johnny-Come-Lately to narrating Audiobooks, and I am loving it!!!!  I will keep updating the list as I complete works… I am narrating my own books as well as those by other authors.  They’re available on sites like Audible.com, Amazon, iTunes, and such.

I’m learning a lot as I narrate nonfiction works, but I’m also having a blast portraying so many characters in novels.  Oh, and I was told to try romance, so I did.  OMG!  Hubby suggested that I simply “pant” a lot, but I found that was not necessary.  He’s such a wise guy.  🙂

Fat Loss TipsAnyway, one of the books may be most appealing this winter as so many of us try to include good health habits and weight loss among the New Year’s resolutions we hope not to break.  I recorded “Fat Loss Tips 3,” the 3rd book in The Fat Loss Series.  Book 3 in the 7-volume series focuses on food.  It packs a lot of eating tips, along with the real “skinny” on low carb, high fiber, trans fats, and more.  Also in the 90-minute Audiobook, you’ll get fat loss meals and a nutrition plan, including weight loss breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

Check out the whole list of books I’ve finished narrating at this point.  If you’d like to do an Audiobook review on any of the titles, email me at QTPub123@aol.com and I’ll try to get you a code for a comp copy.

Meanwhile, enjoy 2016… with love and laughter.

Posted in To Our Health & Fitness! | Leave a comment

Cheese Crisps Have Hit the Stores!

Since I first made these gems in the late 1970’s, folks have asked why I didn’t sell them.  That’s not my focus, but I figured someone else would… someday.  That day is now.

cheese crispsFresh Gourmet 9-29-15

“Fresh Gourmet” is the name under which they are manufactured.  I’ve now seen them in supermarkets in both the North and South.  They offer two varieties… Parmesan and Asiago.

I bought a bag of each.  (Beware… the price approaches $5 for a small bag.)

The contents match my simple one-ingredient approach.  Cheese.  Just cheese.  100% real, gluten-free, dairy-rich cheese.  Nothing else.  Nada.  Bupkiss.

cheese curls

While the supermarket variety is a small 1” size disk, I advocate making them in a variety of sizes, to suit your needs.  Small ones to replace crackers.  Large disks to top a salad.  I also do some other “shape” treatments for visual interest when placing my Cheese Crisps out with cocktails and other tapas items.  You can “crinkle” each disk a bit or roll them into tubes, but you must do this while they are still fresh and hot from the oven, since they cool very quickly to a nice crispy texture.

cheese crispsBefore I give you the recipe again, let me answer the questions I have already gotten from personal friends.  No, I have no plans to buy them again.  They are just too super simple to make.   I could imagine myself buying a bag if I was traveling and wanted a cheesy snack for the road.  If you want a zero carb snack with all the crunch of a cracker, these babies deliver!

Plus, I make them in lots of flavor varieties, beyond Parmesan and Asiago.  Favorites include Pepper Jack and Muenster, by the way.  The original idea came from picking at cheese that had melted off my nachos and gotten crispy on the foil-covered baking pan.  Oh, yeah!

So, here’s the recipe for you.

Super Simple Cheese Crisps 

Sandwich-size deli square slices of cheese, such as Muenster, cut in 4 squares

Space 4 pieces of cheese in a Pyrex pie dish or 8” square baking dish.  Microwave on high 1 minute (or up to 90 seconds depending on your microwave.  (It helps to start with a warm plate, or you may need to flip the first batch of cheese over and cook 15-30 sec more.)  Cool on paper towels.  Make as many as you like!  Store in airtight containers at room temperature or they will lose their crispness.

Kiss Lips croppedKISS Notes:  A popular restaurant at a Sheraton hotel started serving my Parmesan version of these beauties atop their Caesar salads in 1976.  While such crisps pop up frequently in restaurants now, they were quite the novelty in the 1970’s and even ‘80’s.  I refined them in 1980 to this microwaved technique & with more varieties to serve as AWESOME carb-free crackers for friends trying the Atkins Diet long before carb-free items appeared in stores.  I also served them as a super snack with wine… I still do.

This recipe appears in a couple of my cookbooks, including Volume 1 of “Fifty Years of Fabulous Family Favorites” along with the recipe for my original baked version.  The cookbook “Dockside Dining – Round One” also gives some clever tips on turning these into Cheese Crisp Canapes.  Enjoy on this New Year’s Day… with love and laughter.

Posted in Super Simple Is Key!, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cranberry Capers

Fresh Cranberries

Fresh Cranberries

‘Tis the season to start savoring the tartly delectable cranberry!  My Cranberry Cooking cookbook (in paperback and digital formats) celebrates one of America’s most under-rated fruits.  Whether you enjoy them in breads or desserts, sweetened in a sassy sauce, nestled into a perfect pork or poultry entree, or sprinkled over a sweet potato casserole, “yum” comes to mind with all these recipes, more than 100 in categories from breakfast to dessert, and this is the time of year when we can enjoy them with all their popping crisp freshness.  Naturally I love giving a couple of the recipes free, because while we don’t mind paying for good cookbooks, FREE is always appreciated, I know.

We just had some friends over for a rack of lamb dinner party, so lamb is on my mind right now.  While most folks typically think of cranberries in sauces, desserts, breads, or beverages, their entrée applications are marvelous.

lamb chops w cranberry chutneyLamb with Cranberry Chutney
2 T olive oil
¾ c sweet onion, diced
1 c fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 – ½ c orange marmalade
2 T brown sugar
2 T orange juice
Salt
6 lamb rib chops
In the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan, sauté onion 3-5 min over med heat, stirring frequently.  Stir in cranberries, marmalade, brown sugar & orange juice; salt to suit your taste.  Cook over med heat 5 min, stirring frequently, till sugar dissolves & cranberries pop.  Remove from heat; set aside.  Arrange lamb chops on cooking-spray coated grilling rack in foil-lined, shallow roasting pan.  Broil 6” below heat source for 2-4 min per side, or until desired degree of doneness.  Serve chops with chutney.  Makes 2 servings of 3 ribs each.

Kiss Lips croppedKISS Tip:  Broil 2 min per side for med-rare, 3 min per side for medium, and 4 min per side for med-well.

 

Now, I realize that lamb may or may not be a favorite of yours, so I also include a poultry entrée to tantalize your tastebuds.

Cathy’s Crocked Cranberry Chicken
I created this recipe in 2007, inspired by a childhood favorite that used apricot preserves. 
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat & folded around your favorite stuffing with ½ c dried cranberries & ½ c chopped apple added
Paprika
1 env dry onion soup mix
16 oz whole berry cranberry sauce
1 bottle cranberry vinaigrette
¼ c cranberry liquor, peach schnapps, or Grand Marnier

Place stuffed breasts in bottom of slow cooker.  Sprinkle liberally with paprika & soup mix.  Spread cranberry sauce over them; pour on the vinaigrette.  Cover the cooker; cook on low for 4-5 hrs.  Pour liquor over top & stir a bit.  Cook 5 more min & serve with long grain & wild rice and a green vegetable.

 

Cranberry cover - front onlyTo further entice you, here is a list with a few of the other recipes from Cranberry Cooking:

Appetizers:  Cranberry Orange Hazelnut Dip, Turkey Cranberry Brie Quesadillas, Cranberry Crab Rangoon

Baked Non-Dessert:  Cranberry Kissed Cinnamon Rolls, Spiced Cranberry Muffins, Sweet Potato Praline Coffee Cake

Beverages:  Frozen Cranberry Margarita, Hot Percolator Punch, Smooooth Cape Cod

Desserts:  Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes, Cranberry Streusel Bars, Crumbling Cranberry Peach, Baked Cranberry Apples, Peachy Pecan Foster, Cranberry Mousse, White Chocolate Cranberry Tart

Entrees:  Maple Cranberry BBQ Sauce, Cathy’s Cranberry Stuffed Chicken Rolls, Spirited Pork Chops, Cranberry Turkey Burgers

Fruits:  Blushing Cranberry Pears, Cranberry Apple Dumplings

Salads:  Cranberry Waldorf Salad, Cranberry Orange Spinach Salad, Cranberried Broccoli Salad, Cranberry Wild Rice Salad, Cranberry Vinaigrette

Sandwiches:  Caramelized Cranberry Apple Peanut Butter, Zippy Cranberry Turkey Wraps

Sauces and Condiments: Honey Cranberry Barbeque Sauce, Mushroom Cranberry Sauce, Chunky Cranberry Apple Rhubarb Sauce, Tex Mex Cranberry Salsa

Side Dishes:  Roast Turkey and Cranberry Sausage Stuffing, Spiced Sweet Potato and Cranberry Couscous, Wild Rice Cranberry Pilaf

Snacks:  Nutty Snack Mix, Spiced Cranberry Popcorn

Soups:  Cran-Apple Turkey Stew, Cranberried Turkey a la King

 

The Keep It Super Simple kitchens delighted in compiling this collection of scrumptious cranberry recipes… from appetizers and sauces to salads and entrees… for the KISS™ cookbook Super Series from Quiet Thunder Publishing.  Cranberry Cooking, plus all the other books in the Super Series are conveniently bound in a handy 5×8” format.  If you prefer digital editions, you will also find them on Kindle.

Cranberry Cooking is a special book of Super Simple recipes to help make Good Living as easy as 1-2-3.  Enjoy… with love and laughter!

 

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Tonight! Music, Merriment & Memories


It’s a first for the Manchester Community Music School… tonight’s swinging 1940’s style USO-type show, packed with music and guest stars…. All performing on a volunteer basis to support the great work being done at the school. Fifty of New Hampshire’s most celebrated and professional musicians serve as faculty for more than 1200 students from throughout the region and our neighboring states. Tonight we celebrate!

Enjoy air-conditioned comfort, free refreshments & free raffle tickets… along with great entertainment! My hubby (The Ronald aka Ron Martin) is one of the hosts, alongside Mike Reed… playing his rendition of Bob Hope… or Bob “Hoop” as I call him… with a little “Bling” Crosby and friends.

You’ll catch the famed 48+ piece Summer Band, the Capital Jazz Orchestra Trio, the sensational NH Youth Jazz Combo, plus a couple star numbers from Dance Visions Network. And vocalists? Boston recording artist Bill Andrews, former Miss New Hampshire Michelle Lamontagne, musical theatre buff Paul Padfield, superb Manchester Community Music School voice student Megan Jurnak, and the buttery baritone stylings of Lloyd Owens.

Doors open at 6pm for the 7pm show at the school on 2291 Elm Street in Manchester’s north end. General admission tickets will be sold at the door.

 

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My 1000th Recipe!

Fam Faves trio as cardsWhen the 3-volume set “Fifty Years of Fabulous Family Favorites” came out in April, it included the 1,000th recipe that I have published!  (It’s been a very busy two years!)  I actually first developed this dish in 1979; I just hadn’t started writing the books yet.  This gem has stood the test of time beautifully.

 

Appropriately, for my taste buds, my 1000th recipe features lobster!  So, in my traditional GoodLiving123.com blog fashion, I must give you that dish as a yummy freebie.

Café Martin Shrimp with Spinach and Alfredo Sauce

Cafe Martin Shrimp with Spinach and Alfredo1

4 T butter

6-8 green onions, sliced, including 2-4” of green portions

2 lbs med to large raw shrimp, peeled & deveined

1 T minced garlic

1 bunch fresh spinach (or baby) or 10 oz thawed & dried

1 – 2 c Alfredo sauce, warmed

¼ – ½ c light cream or half-and-half cream (or white wine)

Freshly ground black pepper, to suit your taste

Melt butter over med-low heat in large skillet or Dutch oven; sauté green onions 1 min.  Add shrimp; sauté 1 min, till turning pink.  Remove shrimp & onions with slotted spoon; set aside.  Add garlic & spinach to pan; stir 1 min, just to start turning spinach limp.  Stir shrimp mixture back into pan; stir in Alfredo sauce & cream (or wine) till mixture is your desired consistency.  Season with pepper.  Serve as is or over hot pasta of your choice.  Makes 4-6 servings.

Now… to the lobster.  THIS makes the best variation… substitute large fresh lobster meat chunks for the shrimp.  Ooooh la la!!!

Yum, yum, yum!  Enjoy… with love and laughter!

Posted in Write Again! | Leave a comment

My Family Favorites Cookbook Trio Just Released

They swamped me with work over these past three months, but my newest series has now arrived!  You’ll find over 600 recipes from my family, extended family, and some dear family friends.  Recipes were collected and preserved, some for generations.

Front Cover

Volume 1 contains Starters, Sippers & Sweets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front Cover-Vol 2Volume 2 features recipes for Brunch, Lunch & Entrees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Front CoverVolume 3 folds in all the rest with treasured recipes for Sides, Soup, Salad, Snacks, Etc.

 

In the KISSTM tradition, the collection emphasizes recipes that are Super Simple, though a handful, admittedly, have longer ingredient lists than usual.  Each volume in the series is presented in 5×8” paperback style in the Super Simple tradition.  They’re all available directly through my GoodLiving123.com blog and also online.  However, as with all my works, if you purchase through Amazon, the full-color digital edition is free.

Now you’re cooking with Cathy… and family.  Enjoy… with love and laughter!

Posted in Family -- Says It All, Write Again! | Leave a comment

My First Online Reviewer

Just got my first review on my book “Champagne!”  Here’s the link:  http://www.crystalsmanyreviewers.com/2015/01/champagne-facts-fizz-food-fun-by-cathy.html

Thanks to all for so much support!  You’re the best!!!

Posted in Bubbly Makes the World Go 'Round | Leave a comment

Chronicles and Cathy

YouTube has the program on which I just appeared on January 6, when Kevin Avard interviewed me regarding my latest books. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiKww1e1gCk# is the link or simply Google “Gate City Chronicles – Cathy Burnham” to check it out.  (Oh, my!  It has been a lonnnnng time since I did this sort of gig.)  Both nonfiction and cookbook titles are available on the GoodLiving123.com blog under “Books by Cathy.”

Posted in Family -- Says It All, Super Simple Is Key! | Leave a comment

Champagne Bubbles for Community Music School

ChampagneMy latest book is hot off the presses:  “Champagne! Facts, Fizz, Food & Fun.”  All profits from December sales go to support scholarships and musical instruments at the Manchester Community Music School, for which I am a volunteer and member of the Board of Directors.  We have more than 1200 students now, and the programs, such as music therapy, are gleefully growing like crazy.

Check out the book at the Quiet Thunder Publishing site www.QTPublishing.com or on sites like Amazon or Barnes & Noble.  Of course, details are also in the Books section on the GoodLiving123.com blog.  Beyond insider tips on serving bubbly and setting up theme parties, you can enjoy more than 130 recipes for sparkling beverages and food dishes to serve with champagne.

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Sparks and Bonta Fans Celebrate!

Preview Party Ice Sculpture & Raw Bar

Preview Party Ice Sculpture & Raw Bar

Since Chuck Rolecek closed his celebrated C.R. Sparks restaurant in Bedford, NH in 2010, the ensuing gap has never been filled.  In Hampton, Bonta regulars feared the very same fate when Bonta was sold.  Little did they know that the Montrones had deliberately patterned Bonta after Sparks’ California bistro style.  We had enjoyed Bonta, but upon learning Rolecek had bought it, I instantly thought, “Perfect!  Very little fit-up is needed; it’s already ‘Sparks East.’”

I forgot that I was talking about THE C.R. in C.R. Sparks and in the new CR’s The Restaurant that has now replaced Bonta.  Chuck Rolecek pulled out the existing bar and replaced it with a sexy, curved edition.  Wood trims are gorgeous, including the addition of a second door into the back dining room.  New light fixtures add an updated glow.

Menu items are reminiscent of C.R. Sparks, such as the lamb shank, salmon, and bone-in rib-eye.  Why not!  The original Sparks Executive Chef Chris Veatch is back as a partner and Executive Chef at CR The Restaurant.  Sparks fans will also recognize a favorite bartender, too.  (Welcome Kathleen!)  Many Bonta staff stayed on to join the new restaurant, as well.

CR The Restaurant has been open for a couple of weeks now for dinner 7 nights a week and lunch on Saturdays and Sundays.  As Chuck Rolecek is known to say, “We only get one chance to make a first impression.”  CR The Restaurant wants to make it a good one AND make those with fond Bonta memories feel welcomed back “home.”

For Sparks fans traveling from the Bedford area, the new Hampton restaurant is immediately off the exit just east of I-95.  Easy off, though not so simple to head back west again.  CR’s The Restaurant touts that their location is just 30 minutes from Manchester.  That would be the Manchester-Auburn town line.  It’s easily 45 minutes from Bedford, but it IS worth the drive.  Go for it!

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My 2nd Dockside Dining Cookbook Arrives

Dockside Dining: A Second Helping

Dockside Dining: A Second Helping

Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com are two of the places where you can find both cookbooks.  So savor summer forever by breaking out the barbeque!  This handy little series was developed for those who love life on the waterways, but these goodies work for anyone who wants easy cooking.   I have been very busy in the final days of summer finishing up Dockside Dining: A Second Helping, packed with more original recipes and clever classics. If you buy Volume 1 or Volume 2 in paperback on Amazon, you actually can get the Kindle eBook digital edition absolutely FREE.

Many recipes provide make-ahead tips; others are perfect for last-minute preparations.  Dockside Dining brings you dozens of original recipes that make creative dining Super Simple for weekend warriors, die-hard boaters, and backyard grillers.  (Naturally, I will include a couple of recipes here to whet your appetite!)

Dockside Dining: Round One

Dockside Dining: Round One

We started with Dockside Dining: Round One, featuring more than 170 recipes.  Dockside Dining: A Second Helping brings you more than 150 additional Super Simple recipes… perfect for outdoor or take-along dining.  Whether you are on the boat, dock, or deck, you now have lots more tasty options to take you from breakfast and lunch to Happy Hour and dinner… and beyond.

Among the recipes in Volume 2 are these sample titles:

Appetizers:  Raft-Perfect Piggy Poppers,
Crabby Cream Cheese,
Nacho Mama Hot Off the Grill Nachos,
Panama Beach Parmesan Tenders,
Porky’s Seared Peach Wedges,
Mmm-Mmm Good Grilled Potato Skins,
Ham-It-Up Portobellos,
Tangy Peach Soup with Seafood Ceviche

Beverages:  First Mate Forbidden Fruit

Breads:  Muskoka Mustard Cheese Toasts,
Spinnaker Spiced Zucchini Muffins

Breakfast & Brunch:  Western Port Spamalot Omelet,
Bayside Bacon and Egg Muffins,
Nutty Cinnamon Apple Grilled Sandwich,
Berried Treasure Breakfast Crepes,
French Toast on the Grill

Lunch:  Hot Ham ‘n Cheese Buns,
Caramelized Onion Cheeseburgers,
Buffalo Chicken Pizza,
Nutty Hawaiian Pizza

Salads:  Super Simple Spinach Citrus Salad,
Peg Leg Pete’s Pea Salad

Entrees:  Grilled Polynesian Steak,
Grilled Stuffed Burrito,
Main Deck Meatloaf,
Safe Harbor Salmon Skewers,
Grilled Citrified Tuna,
Super Simple Grilled Lamb Chops,
Caesar Shrimp Pasta,
Florida Coast Pork Ribs,
Almost Legal Grilled Chicken,
Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu,
Grilled Shrimp Cocktail,
Relished Lobster Tails

Sides & Veggies:  Georgetown Gingered Carrots,
Ben’s Bodacious Cheesy Potato Bake,
Cruise Ship Creamed Spinach,
Crow’s Nest Summer Croquettes

Sauces & Condiments:  Jazzy Ketchup,
Incredible Cranberry Chutney

Your Just Desserts:  “Come About” Instant Cookie Bites,
Stuffed Strawberry Blossoms a la Spatt’s,
Carmen Miranda Banana Crisp,
Crispy Pudding Bites,
Grilled Pirate Rum Pineapple Kebabs,
Grilled Peaches and Cream Pound Cake

 

Get one volume, or get them both… either way you’ll have a great collection of Super Simple recipes to make your deck-side or dockside dining sizzle.

Following is a small sampling of the recipes in Dockside Dining: Round One, which was released earlier this summer:

Appetizers:  Super Simple Cheese Crisps,
Baja Bacon-Wrapped Barbeque Shrimp,
Ceviche Martini Roatan,
Yachters’ Yakitori,
Galley Ready Instant Snacks

Beverages: Sparky’s Sparkling Sea Breeze

Breads: Loafin’ Land-Lubber,
On Deck Onion-Cheesy Bread

Breakfast & Brunch: Hammock Time Ham and Egg Sandwich,
Pontoon Potato Pancakes

Lunch:  BLT Lettuce Wraps,
The Hull Truth Steak Tacos

Salads:  Crabby Fresh Corn Salad

Entrees:  Grilled Steak Perfecto,
Sweet and Saucy Salmon,
Mary Had a Little Lamburger,
Cheesy Macaroni on the Grill,
Fireworks Special Ribs,
Wining Garlic BBQ Chicken,
Grilled Shipwreck Shrimp,
Grilled Clams & Mussels

Vegetables: Kool and Kickin’ Corn,
Grilled and Chilled Veggies

Sauces & Condiments:  Bloody Mary Cocktail Sauce,
Dills Gone Jazzy a la James

Your Just Desserts:  Captain Jack Sparrow Spiced Rum Kebabs,
Go Bananas Foster Bites,
Super Simple Tiramisu Dip

 

 

Now, as promised, I must leave you with a couple recipes… Failing to give you a FREE taste or two from Dockside Dining: A Second Helping just wouldn’t be me.  Enjoy!

Nacho Mama Hot Off the Grill Nachos
I love nachos, but I get frustrated when restaurants pile on the chips and skimp on the cheesy toppings.  I always tend to make a single layer of chips, so every chip has plenty of goodies.  My suggestion is to prepare a single layer.  If you want more layers, just repeat the layering process once more.  My personal preference is to make more trays of single layer nachos.

Flat corn tortilla chips
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Canned black beans, drained & rinsed
Diced plum tomatoes
Pickled jalapeño pepper slices
Shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Thinly sliced green onions (green portions)
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish, if desired
Salsa, sour cream & guacamole, for serving

Place a single layer of chips in a large grill-safe pan or heavy foil disposable pan.  Sprinkle liberally with Cheddar cheese.  Then sprinkle with beans, tomatoes & peppers, followed by Jack cheese.  Sprinkle lightly with green onion slices.  Place on grill that was preheated to med-high.  Close the cover & shut off heat directly under nachos.  Cook 3-4 min to melt cheeses.  Garnish with cilantro & serve with salsa, sour cream & guacamole.

Kiss Lips croppedKISS Tip:  Instead of black beans (or in addition to), try cooked bits of beef or chicken.  Nachos make a great way to use such leftovers from the previous night’s grilling adventures.

 

Grilled Pastrami Reuben

Grilled Pastrami Reuben

Mini Pastrami Reubens
I love these as one of the options when folks want to nibble a variety of items for lunch, rather than having one big sandwich.  They’re also super for a dockside Happy Hour.

 

 

4 T butter, melted
4 slices thin, firm rye bread, crusts removed
2 T Dijon or spicy brown mustard
8 slices (3/4 lb) Swiss cheese
10 slices (1/2 lb) pastrami
6 heaping T canned sauerkraut

Brush 2 T butter on one side of 2 slices of bread; turn over & spread mustard on the other side.  Top mustard with 2 slices of cheese, 5 slices pastrami & sauerkraut, followed by 2 more cheese slices.  Place remaining 2 bread slices on top & brush tops with remaining melted butter.  Place on a grill griddle (or pan) preheated to med-high.  Cook 3-4 min.  Carefully turn with a spatula & cook another 3-4 min.  Remove from grill.  On a cutting board, cut each into 3 strips.  (For tapas, cut each strip into 3 small squares.)  Makes 6 strips or 18 tapas.

Kiss Lips croppedKISS Tip:  You can also opt to simply serve them as two traditional sandwiches.  Serve with dill pickles & potato chips on the side, along with some Thousand Island dressing, if desired.

 

 

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Scrumptious Says It All

Florence's Veal Francese

Florence’s Veal Francese

I had not been to Florence’s since the 1990’s, when it was in a completely different Merrimack location and founder, Florence Foti, also had a Boston restaurant.  Since Florence’s reopened (with daughter Florence at the helm) in the current location on the Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack, NH, I have intended to get back there, but it hadn’t happened until now.

My mistake.  I have been missing a tremendous gem of yummy authenticity.

This is my new favorite Italian restaurant in New England.  The atmosphere is relaxed and comfortable.  Service is friendly and they immediately make you feel welcome and like family.  Food is prepared to order and totally fantastic.

With a group of friends, we had a most splendid dinner.  Salad is served family style with the three house dressings, which include poppy seed, balsamic, and Italian.  Everything was fresh and beautifully presented.  We enjoyed linguini and ziti pasta, homemade and perfectly cooked.  One of our friends enjoyed the gluten free pasta with a nice Bolognese sauce.   The marinara sauce is also perfect.

I tried one of my favorites… Veal Francese.  Tender, light, and topped with sliced mushrooms, with its buttery lemon sauce, this dish is totally melt-in-your-mouth yummy.

There are so many wonderful specialties and classic entrees on the menu, it was hard to decide what to try.  If it’s an Italian favorite of yours, it’s probably on this menu.  We will most definitely return… again and again!

We also managed to taste some dessert.  They offer classics like Tiramisu, Tartufo, Spumoni, Crème Brulee, and Cannoli.  Chocolate fans will adore both the Chocolate Lava Divine and the Chocolate Layer Cake, which is supremely dark and decadently moist, thanks to a thick layer of what seemed to be a dense mousse.  Awesome.

They are closed Sunday and Monday, but get there any other evening and indulge your taste buds!   They also have a function room for 50-100 guests.

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Good Pub Great Deck

Saunders Bay Sunset

Saunders Bay Sunset

We’ve enjoyed great sunsets from the Junior’s Crush House deck in Gilford, New Hampshire, including this beauty.  Junior’s is a distinctly “bar-with-a-kitchen” establishment, versus a restaurant with a bar.  There are a few regular tables in the area outside the bar, but also bistro high tops.  We definitely recommend sitting on the deck, which overlooks the Mountain View Yacht Club and Saunders Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee.

Junior's Scallops Penne Alfredo Special

Junior’s Scallops Penne Alfredo Special

In the past I have enjoyed Junior’s for some wonderful homemade pasta with sea scallops, which was a special one night.  However, I don’t recommend it for fine dining.  I find the food to be more hit-or-miss.  Junior’s has opted to become more of a BBQ joint, designed for “pub grub.”  A couple of weeks ago, I enjoyed the Buffalo chicken tenders, though they are breaded, and thus, a bit on the greasy side.  A friend dining with us ordered a beef sandwich that was very heavy on the gristle.  The staff immediately took it away and off our bill and let him order something else, for which they also did not charge us.  So, they definitely try to make things right and do take care of the customers to encourage us to give them another try.

Juniors Potato Curls with Bacon and Cheese

Juniors Potato Curls with Bacon and Cheese

A few days later my husband and I returned for a late lunch and a glass of wine.  My husband tried the chicken tenders again… still rather greasy.  I absolutely LOVED the home made potato curls!!!!   I had them done with cheese and bacon, which is one of the topping options.   Oh, YEAH!!!!  I will be back for those beauties again.  Junior’s is a good atmosphere for beverages and snacks.

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Bar Harbor GREAT Steamers

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bar Harbor, Maine

In Bar Harbor, Maine you’ll find plenty of local culture and history.  It’s a lovely little town in which to walk around.  For me, scoring a lobster or lobster roll is a must-do activity.  I trust the locals for restaurant advice, and I was directed to Stewman’s Lobster Pound.  It looks great, and a good lobster pound can’t really mess up a steamed lobster, but making a great lobster roll is an art.

Stewman's Downdown entrance

Stewman’s Downdown entrance

The downtown West Street setting is perfect… straight off a post card.  Eat out on the dock at picnic tables.  Dine indoors in a more traditional restaurant setting.  Or dine outdoors but under protection.  Go for whatever is most comfortable for you… it’s all good, and every seat offers a view of the bay.

 

We started with local Maine steamer clams.  I must say this is one of the few places we have been where they were both utterly clean AND cooked perfectly!  You’ll find them delectably delicate and tender.

Steamers

Steamers

 

Full scale lobster dinners include clam chowder, a steamed lobster, steamer clams, sweet corn on the cob and red bliss potatoes, followed by a slice of Maine blueberry pie.  There are many other options, from salads, burgers and baskets to steak, salmon, scallops, and haddock.

Stewman's Classic Lobster Roll

Stewman’s Classic Lobster Roll

I selected a Classic Maine Lobster roll.  I must say it looked impressive.  Though the meaty chunks of lobster meat were cut small, the thick, crisply grilled, top-split roll was topped by a large mound of gorgeous fresh lobster meat on a couple large pieces of green lettuce.  Remember that I said it “looked” impressive?  It also tasted sweet and fresh, but for the $17 price tag, the mound of lobster meat served is quite small.  The lettuce lies very near the top of the roll.  While the roll looks large, the lobster basically sits on top.

Stewman's Lobster Roll Cross-Section

Stewman’s Lobster Roll Cross-Section

If you are not a true lobster roll aficionado, the lobster roll at Stewman’s Lobster Pound is just fine.  If you ARE a dedicated expert, however, opt for steamers and a whole lobster.  Skip the lobster roll, unless you just want a small portion of lovely, sweet meat to eat with a fork.

 

On the plus side, I like the side options with a lobster roll… French fries, sweet potato fries, a half-and-half fry combo, or kettle-fried potato chips.

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