Adirondack Lake Life — Skinny Girls Roadshow LIVE from Big Wolf, NY

We arrived at the lake, the last destination and second half of our epic East Coast road trip, on the eve of Independence Day. It felt uniquely American, crossing the border from distinctly French Quebec, to be winding along northeast country roads, past farms and cottages and through quaint villages, adorned with American flags, one and all.

Sunset on the lake

Sunset on the lake

It had been raining on and off all week in the Adirondacks, and one of the first things I noticed walking the Buck Summerhill Camp at Big Wolf Lake was a mushroom — a surprising revelation for a summer day. On a July 4 morning walk, up with the sun, I found not only Lost Pond but also a bag full of mushrooms — including several birch boletes, some black trumpets and a single lovely porcini. More

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A Tonic for What Ails Ye

I’m a sucker for a great classic cocktail — and by great, I mean a drink made with few ingredients, where you can taste the high-quality spirit the beverage is built around. A perfect margarita, for example — lime, agave syrup, good tequila.

A lady gets her close up

A lady gets her close up

I used to think the rechristening of bartenders as “mixologists” was a bit silly. (What would be next — busboys would now be “dishware reutilization engineers”!??) But then on one of our rare evening adventures into civilization without the kids, our pal Alex took us to an establishment in Culver City called Oldfield’s Liquor Room that he liked to frequent with his mistress. The bartender, who was also apparently the proprietor, was a buxom woman in pointy glasses and an old timey baby doll dress. The mercifully manageable bar menu contained a dozen or so “house drinks” based on classics and made with house-infused syrups and bitters. Those we tried were delicious, and I thought, “Okay, she’s more like a chef — and maybe they do deserve something more elevated than ‘bartender'”. More

My Best Idea

I remember watching a Ken Burns documentary series a few years back about the National Park system. It was called, “America’s Best Idea.”

I was thinking about this on a particularly hot Southern California summer afternoon, the desert winds blowing through the canyon and out to sea. It was stifling, I was thirsty… and then it came to me: My best idea!

Watermelon Aguarita

Watermelon Aguarita

It began with a half-eaten watermelon sitting on the kitchen counter. I was reminded of a post about watermelon agua fresca on my friend’s Jessica’s blog, Attempts in Domesticity. I pulled up her website, glanced at the instructions, and made myself a nice cold pinkish glass of watermelon agua fresca, which was just as refreshing as the post had suggested. More

El Chapulín

We don’t drink a lot of hard liquor, but when we do, we’re definitely tequila people. I’ve gained a reputation for making a pretty great margarita. Which leads to the obvious rut — what else can we do with tequila besides margaritas?

El Chapulín

El Chapulín

Because I like high quality ingredients in everything I make, we have a good collection of liquor — artisans small-maker rums from the Caribbean and Havana Club rum smuggled in from Cuba (via Mexico) just for mojitos; fine handmade Kentucky bourbons and peaty aged Scotch; and at least five or six different special tequilas, many you can only get in Mexico. More

The New Other Best Beer

I like to do beer reviews from time to time, especially when I discover a new beer that sets my heart a flutter.

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Such was the case recently when I was out to lunch at a beer chain place called Yard House with my father and brothers. I was looking over the comprehensive list of beers on tap, including plenty of favorites and plenty I’d never heard of, when I spotted a chalk board with some special selections. I picked one whose name I liked, and which was local — Ballast Point Sculpin IPA from San Diego. And imagine my surprise when here, in my glass, was one of the best beers I’d ever tasted! More

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