February 2013


You may have heard, here in the Land of Steady Habits (a.k.a. Connecticut), we were walloped by a monster blizzard this weekend. In my 44 years living in this area, I don’t recall snowfall of this magnitude. I can’t open my front door.


The door to my back deck leads to a wall of snow. The deck itself looks like a giant bowl of powdered sugar.


The only door that will open is in the basement. I opened it to dig out my heat pump (insert wallet here), in hopes I can keep things relatively toasty here. Have I told you lately I’m a crummy pioneer?

So, what time is it? Well, it was about 1:30ish when I stirred it up, but that’s beside the point.


It’s really time for a liquid thin mint! A liquored up Girl Scout cookie cocoa, replete with whippy cream to make the day a little brighter. Kid you not, it tastes just like a thin mint with the added magic factor of being an adult beverage.

Follow me, you might just earn your bartender merit badge for this one! With apologies to Mrs. Kachinsky, my Brownie leader–I never made it further than Brownies–I really am a good girl deep down where it counts.


1/2 cup + of milk (overpour so you have a standard mug half filled with milk)
1 tablespoon Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
1 Valrhona feve (or small amount of your favorite dark chocolate, broken into pieces; note: 1 Valrhona feve = 1/8 oz.)
1/4 cup Rumple Minze peppermint schnapps
generous glug of Bailey’s Irish Cream
whipped cream (I like Reddi-wip for this purpose) to top your cocoa

Heat the milk in the mug in the microwave. About 45 seconds worked nicely here. Take it out, stir in the Ghirardelli cocoa, then break up the dark chocolate, drop it into the mug and stir again. It should melt in, but an extra trip to the microwave will make it perfect–about 20 seconds more.

Stir in the Rumple Minze, then the Bailey’s. Remember, you need to leave enough space to top it with whipped cream. Et voilà!

So, I leave you singing a “Song of Joy” with alllllllllllll the happiness this melody brings…because the power is on and I’m safe and warm, however snowbound. And now a little warmer–OK and mildly buzzed–from  this killer cup of cocoa. I was a huge Captain & Tennille fan back in my Brownie days (oh, yes, I had this album, for the record). 🙂 Make no mistake, they still sound good to me, too. CENT’ANNI, amici! Stay safe and toasty, wherever you are!


In the dead of winter, it’s hard to think about BLTs. ’cause as much as bacon’s the star in that sandwich, where is it without the supporting role of a nice native tomato? I loathe the cold and lack of sun this time of year. Apparently, tomatoes do, too, since they don’t grow here now (well, nothing does, that’s part of the problem, but I digress).

Luckily, grape tomatoes always taste good. Sure, they are sweeter to me straight off my deck in the summertime, but no matter where they come from, they never disappoint. And working them into a sexy salad is a fun way to get your off-season BLT fix. I should mention, I invited avocado to the party by making a little bacon guacamole. It’s more of a formula than a recipe. Let me show you how.

for two, or barring someone to share with me, I eat the whole thing myself 🙂

spring mix (or whatever lettuce combo you like best)
2 slices of your favorite bacon, cooked and chopped (mine comes from M’town’s Meadow Meat)
1 ripe avocado
a wedge of lemon or lime
a handful of grape tomatoes (maybe 5-7, depending on size, doowutchyalike)
a slice of sweet onion, diced
a kitchen teaspoonful of mayo (i.e. grab a teaspoon from the silverware drawer and don’t be shy)
Kosher salt to taste

Cook the bacon, drain, set aside to cool and chop.

Meantime, chop a slice of sweet onion and cut up the grape tomatoes–add to a medium bowl. Dice the avo and add to the bowl. Squeeze the lemon or lime over the top. Add chopped bacon and mayo; add salt to taste.

Plate your spring mix (or lettuce)–spoon the bacon guac over the top. Toss together–it’s your dressing, so enjoy it!

Counting the days till spring (45!), I remain, your friend,
The bacon-loving Kat >>^..^<<