Tag Archives: Vacation

Fresh Florida Strawberry Pancakes



Pancakes are a family favorite at our house, so much so that our son has declared every Sunday to be Pancake Day. To keep it interesting, I usually try to make a new pancake every week. It has been lot of fun to have this tradition and still keep it fresh. When we take family vacations to 30a or Seabrook, it’s fun to try to incorporate local flavors into our pancakes. One of our favorites that we picked up while visiting Florida in the spring is strawberry pancakes. They have the most delicious aroma that you can only get from fresh strawberries. This time of year, strawberries are making their way back into the markets and may even be starting to pop up in your strawberry patch at home, so good fresh strawberries should be easy to find. And make sure to save some for the topping as well. These will definitely be a family favorite!

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  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • 6-8 strawberries hulled
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • vanilla extract



In a medium mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture; set aside.

In another medium mixing bowl combine the beaten egg, vanilla extract and olive oil. In a blender blend half of the strawberries and milk and add to the egg mixture. Add egg mixture all at once to the dry mixture. Stir just till moistened. Dice the remaining half of the fresh strawberries and fold into the batter (batter should be lumpy).

For standard-size pancakes, pour about ¼ cup batter onto a hot, lightly greased griddle or heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat about 2 minutes on each side or till pancakes are golden brown, turning to second sides when pancakes have bubbly surfaces and edges are slightly dry. Serve warm. Makes 6 to 8 standard-size pancakes (6 servings).

  • Toppings
  • strawberries
  • Greek yogurt
  • fromage blanc
  • maple syrup


Vanilla Infused Vodka and a Cocktail

Vanilla Infused Vodka and Cocktail Recipe

As spring turns into summer the evenings grow and so does the heat. Cocktails and a game of bocce ball in the yard with good company are the ideal way to spend an evening. We wanted to share a simple and delicious way to step up your cocktail game and impress your guests with some homemade vanilla infused vodka. It goes so well with almost any drink that you’ll never want to be without a bottle of it in your collection. And we guarantee you’ll not be tempted by a pre-flavored bottle from the store after finding out how truly simple it is to make. We’ve included one of our favorite cocktail recipes using the infused vodka but feel free to play around and replace the regular vodka in your favorite cocktail with vanilla. Our recipe below can be changed by simply switching out your preferred jam and either lime or lemon juice. Now you’re ready to call the neighbors and set up an easy cocktail bar and enjoy the long evening on the lawn.  Just be sure to plan ahead and allow time for your vodka to infuse first.

Vanilla Infused Vodka and Cocktail Recipe


  • 750 ml good quality vodka
  • 1 Vanilla Bean split lengthwise
  • small piece of orange peel (as much pith removed as possible)


Open your bottle of vodka; add vanilla bean and the orange peel. Close and allow to infuse about 7-10 days in a cool dark place. Be sure to gently shake the vodka everyday.  Leave it too long and you’ll have vanilla extract. You can always dilute it with a little more vodka if the vanilla taste gets too intense.

Vanilla Infused Vodka and Cocktail Recipe


  • 2oz homemade vanilla vodka
  • 1 tablespoon of your favorite jam (we love sour cherry)
  • 1oz simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar in a saucepan heated until sugar dissolves)
  • 1oz lime or lemon juice
  • 1 egg white (optional but strongly recommended)
  • Ice

In a shaker add vodka, jam, simple syrup, lime or lemon juice, and ice (no ice yet if using a egg white). If using egg white shake for about 30 seconds without ice (this is known as a dry shake), then add ice and shake until very cold. If not using the egg white, shake all of the ingredients until very cold. Strain into a chilled highball glass. Garnish with a slice of lime or lemon.

How to Host a Beach Bonfire from Sugar and Charm

host-a-bonfireAs the evenings are starting to grow chillier, we are still spending every moment we can gathered with loved ones by the sea bidding the summer farewell. Any excuse will do. As we were wandering the blogosphere recently we came across a little article from Sugar & Charm that really caught our eye: How to Host a Beach Bonfire. Complete with delicious sounding recipes that can be made on and off the campfire, this little guide is the perfect excuse to call up a few dear friends and make it an evening. Enjoy!

Pop Sugar Features Togadera

POP-Sugar-NovogratzWe admit it, we love seeing people fall in love with our homes! So when we came across this feature in Pop Sugar entitled “An Unbelievably Cool House to Copy“, about our beloved Seabrook beach house, naturally we were so excited that we had to share it! Designed by the Novogratz, our favorite design duo, Togadera is full of unique features and pops of color that inspire me every time I walk through the door. So take a look at their article and fall in love with Togadera too!

Peach Gin Sour

peach-gin-sour-wideAs summer comes to a close, I am always doing my darnedest to get my fill of the last of the summer produce. At just about every meal, our table is full of summer goodies like grilled corn, fresh berries and, of course, those gorgeous summer peaches. Chris Castro, our favorite food contributor and cocktail expert has agreed to share one of his favorite ways to savor the season. The peach gin sour. Muddled with fresh peaches, this bright and delicious drink is perfect for sipping on warm evenings over lots of laughs and conversation. So share this with a friend on the back deck with a side of grilled corn and a salad straight from the garden and make the best of the end of the summer. Enjoy!


1 peach
4 oz lemon juice
4 tablespoons of sugar
4 oz gin

Directions Cut the peach in half. In a cocktail shaker, muddle both halves of the peach with the gin, lemon juice, and sugar until the peach is nearly puréed and is mixed well with other ingredients . Fill shaker with ice cubes and shake well. Strain into a glass and enjoy. Makes 2 drinks