Off Topic

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day.  Is this the holiday you love to hate, or is that just me?  I mean, while I do swoon a bit over the concept of heart-shaped everything, my enthusiasm wanes somewhat with the over-commercialization of the whole thing.  There is so much pressure to pack all of our collective love and romance into one day.  THE day of love and romance.  Like the other 364 days of the year can just forget about seeing anything slightly romantic when it’s their turn.

Happy Valentine's Day

Did you know that the exact origin of Valentine’s Day is not entirely clear?  I know, because I googled it.  One theory is that it is actually a celebration of a Roman fertility festival.  What??  This crashes headfirst with my very fond memory of painstakingly addressing 23 small Valentines so that I could distribute one to each of my classmate’s via their handmade mailboxes.  I don’t recall Mom ever mentioning that the history of my little ritual may actually be based in s-e-x.

Don’t get me wrong.  I really do like it all in theory.  But, like so many holidays, the true meaning of it all gets a bit diluted by the over-commercialization of it.  Not only are there red hearts everywhere, there are also not-so-subtle reminders that if I avoid those heart-ridden aisles, I may in fact be the the biggest love loser of all time.

While writing this, I came to the conclusion that I’m going to embrace this whole thing.  In my own way.  It’s a good time to remember that romantic love is only one kind of love.  And that on Valentine’s Day we could show a little love to some of those around us. So, on this Valentine’s Day, I’m going to give the gift of an unexpected smile or compliment to someone I don’t know.  For someone special in my life, I’m not only going to tell them I love them but also why.  And, this one will be the most challenging for me, I’m going to give the gift of my patience if (when?) I encounter someone doing something stupid.  This means a free hall pass for all of you drivers that cannot get it through your heads that the left lane is not the “drive at your own pace lane” or for that person in front of me at Safeway for not only wanting to pay for your groceries with a check, but also for when you fail to realize that you can actually start looking for your pen before your groceries are completely checked and bagged.

Who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy it all so much I’ll repeat it all again on the 15th.

So, maybe those advertisements are right.  Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be hard.

(If you have an inclination to bake a sweet for your Sweetie, you can’t go wrong with these sugar cookies.  Click here for the recipe.)

Happy love to you all.

Heart Cookie Cutter

Cookie Sprinkles

Valentine's Day Cookies

Pink Sugar Cookies

What’s New?

The Hostess and I are pretty excited to introduce what’s new here at our humble blog:  We’ve been accepted by the Yummly Publisher Network!

Certified Yummly Recipes on

You’re thinking, “Um, I thought this post was going to be about a cocktail recipe.  What gives?”  Well…read on!

Basically, file this under the “it’s good for you, it’s good for us” category.  Yummly is a new service that’s been described as “Google for food.”  They’re developing a massive database of curated recipes (reviewed to ensure quality) along with a search engine that lets you specify ingredients, flavor preferences, type of dish (appetizer, main course, etc.), diet and allergy restrictions, and much more.  We’ve tried their service out and we think it’s pretty cool.  It’s very likely the “next big thing” in the realm of online food networks — so we’re jumping on board their bandwagon.  Also, if you create a recipe box at Yummly, you can save recipes there that you find online for easy retrieval when it comes time to actually make them (and with their mobile apps you can take your recipes along to the grocery store).  So, we think this is all good for you.

In addition to our usual day-by-day activities of developing and testing food and drink recipes, taking pictures, and sharing our experiences and entertainment tips with you, we’re always looking for ways to broaden our audience and help more and more people find their way to  We think Yummly will help us do that.  So, we’re hoping it’s good for us.

We’d like to encourage you to check out the details of how Yummly works here, and to follow along as we build out a collection of recipes on our own Yummly publisher page.

What does this all mean for our website?  The changes are actually fairly subtle:  On each of our recipe pages, yum-to-savenear the top in the “Share this” section, I’ve added a new “Yum” button that you can click on to save our recipe to your personal recipe box on Yummly.  Think of this as creating your own customized cookbook, online — and you’re adding one of our recipes to the cookbook.   The more times our recipes get added to people’s boxes (it’s called “getting yums”), the more new people will find out about our blog.  It’s similar to liking a post on Facebook or pinning something onto a Pinterest board, but Yummly is less about social networking and more about eating and drinking. Hmmm, that kind of sounds like what is all about, doesn’t it?

Cheers…and thank you for being a part of our virtual community.

She Walked.

And she walked.

She walked 60 miles over three days.  She walked over 1500 miles during the months leading up to the 3-day walk to prepare herself, mentally and physically, for the 60 miles.

She walked for her daughter-in-law who last year lost her battle with breast cancer after battling it most of her adult life.  Anne also walked for her son, and for her grandsons who now live life without their mom.

She didn’t walk as part of a team, yet she wasn’t alone.  There were thousands, equally committed and determined walkers, who walked beside her.  I wonder if that’s how someone diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease feels.  That they are alone, dependent on their own body and mind to get them through it, yet are so very much surrounded by others who walk their journey with them.

There were many, many friends and neighbors who supported her along the way, and many gave very generously to help Anne be one of the top three fundraisers in this walk.  But, still, it was Anne who walked.

I now understand how ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary feats.  Or feets, as the case may be.  And, quite honestly, I am humbled by her.  I know thousands walk and raise money every year for this very worthy cause.  But Anne is my neighbor and friend, so it is her dedication and tenacity that I have witnessed firsthand.  It’s Anne that I admire.

Hope for the Cure CupcakesAfter the walk, the neighbors did what they do.  They threw a party for one of our own, to help celebrate her achievement and to honor Anne and her walk.  Jon and I drove to the party, which was less than 2 blocks away.  That tells you something about me versus Anne.  I could defend myself and say that I was carrying 2 dozen cupcakes to the party, and it was raining, so we couldn’t walk.  But believe me, the irony of the fact that we drove to a party honoring those who walked isn’t lost on me.

Through this blog, we encourage others to celebrate the small moments and the big moments and any moments in-between that deserve a celebration.  I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate than Anne and those like her who walk to find a cure.

Happy Celebrating!


(We wanted the focus of this post to be on Anne and the Walk for the Cure.  If you’d like the recipe for these cupcakes, click here.)

Gettin’ Social

Hey there — Jon here, with a post that’s slightly off-topic from our usual fare.  Sometimes I do a little moonlighting from my normal duties as the Bartender (which, technically, is also a moonlighting gig) and serve as our website’s information technology support person (aka “The IT Guy”).  Our regular readers may have noticed some changes to the look and feel of our blog over the past couple months.  We run our website with a custom WordPress theme that was designed for us by Watered Roots Design, and over the 18 months that we’ve been up and running, as we’ve learned what works for us and what we want to function differently, we’ve gradually incorporated some tweaks and fiddles to the site to get to where it is today.  We hope the changes look good and work well for you, and we really appreciate your continued visits and comments!

One of the areas that we’re trying to get more adept with is social media.  Debbie (the Hostess) has done a fantastic job with our Facebook page since practically Day One, and over the last three or so months she’s learned a ton about Pinterest and has set up a great Pinterest board.  And our FoodGawker gallery continues to help hundreds of new visitors find our blog.  But one area where we’ve struggled is Twitter.  I really, really hate to admit this, but I think maybe I’m becoming a bit of an old codger.  (The fact that I use the word codger likely confirms this.)  Whatever the reason, I’ve shied away from adopting Twitter because I just didn’t get what value it could bring to our blog.  That is, until our son Jared and daughter-in-law Laura came to visit this week.

Director of Social Media

Engineering our Twitter launch!

Within an hour of arriving, Jared asked why we didn’t have a presence on Twitter, and while I was still mumbling something about newfangled-this-or-that, he was already pulling pictures off our server, building our Twitter profile page, and sending out our first tweets. Holy cow. So now we’re pleased to introduce our newly-recruited Director of Social Media, whose first challenge is something along the lines of “teaching old dogs new tricks.”  (Jeez, am I the master of the codgerly cliche or what?)

So keep following us as we continue blogging, and check out our social networking sites, too — there’s much more to come.


Entertaining Couple Staff Meeting

“Staff meeting”

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