Savoring Summer

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Cloud Duck

Cloud Duck

In the North, we tend to say the same sort of thing at this time of year… “The summers are just too short!”

But savoring the beauty of change becomes part of the art of experiencing all four seasons.  We’ve loved the lingering daylight hours.  We’ve played gleefully in the cool waters of the wonderful Lake Winnipesaukee.  We’ve sipped icy cold beverages to beat the heat… the same heat that we’ll long for in just a few short months from now.  We’ve sung songs at sunsets that striped the skies from horizon to horizon.

In fact, we bobbed in a bay on the boat during one glorious sunset while listening to the Margaritaville channel on Sirius XM radio.  Jimmy Buffett introduced each of the songs on his new album, “Songs from St. Somewhere” in  a sneak preview.  We snapped this red and purple sunset sky, appropriately, during the song “Color of the Sun.”

Color of the Sun

Color of the Sun

The best parts remain the glorious days and laughter shared with so many dear friends.  We’ve missed sharing time with loved ones we didn’t get to see this summer.  Sigh.  Such is Life.

My husband often says such things as, “None of us knows just how many Summers lie ahead.”  So true.  So savoring each day seems all the more important.

Dock Party

Dock Party

We began to bid adieu to some of our boating friends with a Labor Day weekend tradition.  We all gathered for a huge barbecue, hosted by a Scotty, a fellow boater.  He and his friend “Chef Bill” seared the beef to perfection.  The rest of us pitched in some cash and a healthy array of appetizers, salad, side dishes, and desserts.

For one of the appetizers, we made a great little gem that we’ll share with you now.  These super simple Peppery Bacon Mushrooms are easy to  make and can be made ahead of time, which I love!  We prepped them on foil trays to cook on the BBQ grill near the dock just before serving time.  You can bake or broil them in a traditional or convection oven just as easily.

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

 Peppery Bacon Mushrooms

 These are so simple, it’s crazy!  AND they’re gluten free… no breading of any sort.

48 lg mushrooms, (stems removed and finely chopped)

1/3 – ½ c thinly sliced green onion (green portions)

8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temp

1 to 1-1/2c shredded Cheddar cheese (or a blend)

1 heaping cup crumbled, crisply cooked, peppered bacon

Cook the chopped mushroom stems and chopped sweet onions on high in the microwave for 2-3 min.  (Or sauté in 2 T butter.)  Cream the cream cheese in a bowl; stirs. in the mushroom stems, sweet onions, and sliced green onions, followed by the shredded cheese and bacon.

Spoon mixture into the hollows of the mushroom caps and place in shallow pans.  Cook 8-10 min over high heat in a covered BBQ grill or in a 400°F oven.  Serve hot.  Makes 4 dozen pieces.

1 yummy Peppery Bacon Mushroom

1 yummy Peppery Bacon Mushroom

Kiss Lips croppedKISS Tip:  No peppered bacon?  No problem.  Just add ¼ – ½ c de-seeded, very thinly sliced fresh jalapeno pepper along with the green onion

Kiss Lips cropped KISS Variation:  For Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms,, simply use your regular favorite bacon instead of a spicy variety.

Kiss Lips cropped KISS Note:  To make ahead, just cover your filled trays with plastic wrap & refrigerate or freeze till needed.  If cooking from the freezer, add another minute or two to the cooking time.

If you’re looking for a super source for every sort of gourmet bacon imaginable, check out www.BaconFreak.com.  They have so many sweet and savory flavors, it’s bacon amazing.  Some of the peppery flavors include Pepper Country, Cracked Pepper and Garlic, Cajon, Chipolte, Jalapeno bacon and more.  Serious sizzle!

Anyway, this tasty original recipe is one of dozens that we compiled in Dockside Dining.

Dockside dining at the BBQ

Dockside dining at the BBQ

That cookbook is perfect for anyone who cooks on their boat or any casual dockside environment. Recipes are all easy.  Many can be prepared ahead of time, which is great whether you’re heading out for a day trip, a weekend, or a vacation holiday.

Dockside Dining is part of the KISS™ (Keep It Super Simple) cookbook series from Quiet Thunder Publishing.  Check them out at www.QTPublishing.com for other great original recipe collections and other books, too.

Meanwhile, as we help you make Good Living as easy as 1-2-3, enjoy these Peppery Bacon Mushrooms… with love and laughter!

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About Cathy Burnham Martin

Author of 14 books, and counting! As a lifelong corporate communications geek, I enjoy a highly eclectic career, ranging from the arts and journalism to finance, telecommunications, and publishing. Along with my husband, I have passions for entertaining, gardening, volunteering, active and visual arts, GREAT food, and traveling. I believe that we all should live with as much contagious enthusiasm as possible... Whether we're with friends or family, taking people along for the ride is more than half the fun.
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