Category Archives: Entertaining

Strawberry Jalapeno Margaritas

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

We went to St. Thomas in February and when I saw Strawberry Jalapeno margaritas on the menu, I had to try it!  I don’t like the frozen super sweet margaritas, I like to taste the tequila.  The strawberries add just the right amount of sweetness (plus the pink is so pretty!) and the jalapeno adds some nice heat.  They are a bit of an effort to make as you have to hand squeeze the strawberries but it’s worth the effort :)  Cheers!

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
  • 4 Jiggers of your favorite tequila
  • 2 Jiggers of Cointreau
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbsp of simple syrup
  • 10 strawberries
  • 1 jalapeno
  • Margarita salt, optional
  • ice
  1. Add the tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker.
  2. With your hands, squeeze the juice from 8 of the strawberries into the cocktail shaker. You want the color to be quite pink. Depending on how ripe your strawberries are, you made need more than 8.
  3. Rim the glasses with salt if you like and add ice to the glasses. Slice the 2 remaining strawberries and add to the glasses. Slice the jalapeno very thin and add 1 to the glass if you are afraid of the heat, up to 4 or 5 if you like the heat.
  4. Vigorously shake the margaritas and pour into the prepared glasses.


Make Ahead Christmas Menu

christmas tree

For me, Christmas is about creating traditions that the whole family looks forward to and enjoys.  You know you have done a good job when your children get older and know exactly what we are going to eat, what movies we are going to watch, exactly what we are going to do, because that is our family tradition.  Kaileen is on her own now in her own apartment, but she has been talking about Christmas Eve (watching Christmas Vacation and eating appetizers and snacks all night in the great room) and Christmas Day (starting with Cinnamon rolls and a breakfast bake casserole, then onto the main event) since August :).


I have made this same menu with a tweak here and there for about 10 years.  For a long time, I made a standing rib roast which is delicious and amazing, but last year I switched to a Beef Tenderloin (I am doing that again this year).  The sauce stays the same, but the cut of beef may change.  What I love about this menu is that it is very special occasion but it can ALL be made ahead.  So, on Christmas Day I can enjoy my family, relax, even have time to go for a run because the food is all ready to go!  Score!


To start, I make a roast beef.  The cut is up to you.  Just make sure you dry age it in your refrigerator for one or two days before and bring it to room temperature before you roast it.  If you do these two things, you will have an amazing Roast.  Now, you can serve the roast however you want, but I have to have the Roast Beef with Red Wine Reduction Sauce.


For the best potato side ever, I make Twice Baked potatoes.  I like these for a few reasons:  (1) They have bacon, carmelized onions and cheese.  Do I have to say more?  (2) They can be made ahead and (3) you really can’t over cook them.  One thing I have learned over the years is that no matter when you think your Roast will be done, you are wrong.  There always seems to be a bit of a window.  This way you put the potatoes in the oven with the foil on and they can just stay warm for a long time, so you will have your side ready when your roast decides it is ready.

Twice Baked Potato

For the Veg, I make Spinach Bacon Salad.  The fresh taste of the spinach salad goes well with the rich Beef and potatoes and you can make it all ahead of time!

spinach salad egg

For Dessert, Chocolate Pots De Creme.  I will usually also put out a tray of cookies and sweets that I have made.  The Chocolate Pots De Creme are definitely Christmas worthy, easy to make and can be made ahead of time.  Starting to see the theme here?

Chocolate pot de creme


Classic Margaritas


How do I begin to describe my love affair with Margaritas if you don’t know me?  Um, my Specialized Ruby Bike is named Rita.  I do races so I have a legitimate excuse to “replace my electrolytes” with a Margarita with salt.  I just love Margaritas.  I like different flavors but by far, this classic recipe is my all time favorite. Continue reading Classic Margaritas

Throwing a Great Cocktail Party


Throwing a Great Cocktail Party isn’t hard, it just takes some careful planning.  This post is going to give you the top tips to throw a fun, memorable cocktail party.

1).  Themes are Fun!  Theme’s get people excited and help you create the ambience, right menu and most importantly, the right cocktails!  This is after all, a cocktail party.  Some Theme ideas:  Continue reading Throwing a Great Cocktail Party

Thanksgiving Menu and Entertaining Tips

Well, Thanksgiving is almost here and I am here to help with my favorite recipes and entertaining tips.

Starting with the Table Settings.


Menu starts with Bloody Mary Martinis, Deviled Eggs (can be made ahead one day) and Shrimp Cocktail (can be made ahead one day)  Continue reading Thanksgiving Menu and Entertaining Tips