‘Tis the season to pick strawberries. Last week I went headed to New Market with my friend and her almost three-year old to have a berry picking adventure. We went to North Alabama icon Brown’s Farm and it lived up to my high expectations. It had a restroom, very important when traveling with a toddler. That was our first stop. Our second stop was a cute, little cabin to buy jams, honey and to get our strawberry picking buckets. Buckets in hand and hats on head we headed to the fields and started eating… I mean gathering strawberries. Some of us were a bit better at collecting strawberries than others, but there was a particular member of our picking party that ate far more than he put in the bucket.Please note the very emptiness of his bucket! Eventually he realized that strawberry picking was very similar to Easter Egg hunting and got onboard. The fields were nice, accessible and the attendant pointed us the best section to pick berries.After buying store-bought berries I sometimes I forget how strawberries are supposed to taste: sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness at the very end. In other words perfection. We picked for about an hour and had three very full buckets of nature’s candy, but as it approach noon it got hot and we started to wither. We didn’t bring lunch with us, but the farm had a lovely covered picnic area.I fully planned to come up with a recipe for the strawberries but we ate them all before I had a chance. Sometimes it’s just best to eat them as is.
Recently I worked on a story for Event Magazine about local cocktails. Some stories are more fun then others and this was a pretty fun one. I got to travel around Huntsville, photographing and sampling (for educational purposes, of course) local cocktails.
One of my favorite places was The Scene Bar and Lounge, located in the Bridgestreet Town Center in Huntsville Alabama. I’ve been there a number of times prior to doing the article, and I especially love their cucumber mojito. My mouth waters just thinking about it.
The Scene is located in an upscale movie theatre called Monaco. Monaco is pretty awesome. It’s the standard stadium seating, big movie theatre but with really comfy Lazy Boy type seats. There is also a wine vending machine, which is just cool. But the best part is there is an over 21 section, which eliminates all those pesky (loud) high school kids. It’s heavenly.
It’s nice to grab a drink and appetizer before or after (or before and after) the movie. The Scene has the best sushi! (Yum)
During the shoot I got to sample the amazing Berry Basil Muddle. It was pink, fresh and fruity. And came with a fun garnish, which I am a real sucker for. I would go crazy in Hawaii, especially if I could drink out of a coconut.
The Scene was kind enough to share their recipe with me, so you too can enjoy this drink perfect for the hot months of summer.
So this year, I decide to get healthy… well healthish. Having a dessert blog is probably not the best start. I haven’t attended any 5 am bootcamp classes or become a militant raw food vegan (and probably never will), but I do attend the occasional yoga class and one time I googled what was involved in doing a juice cleanse. I also decided to eliminate soda from my diet and drink more water. Ouch. In all seriousness soda/pop/coke/soft drink (whatever you call it) is pretty terrible for you. Numerous studies have found that soda can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, stroke, kidney damage, cancer, etc. etc. etc. And don’t even get me started on diet soda. So I switched to water, which is healthier and as a result I feel better, but sometimes old-fashioned H2O can be a little bit lackluster. So I started adding little things to make it feel and taste more exciting.
I am also very excited because by little herb garden is thriving, so I can add a sprig of this and that to bump up the flavor. Of course you should try your own concoctions but these are my three favorites. They are all obvious, but refreshing.
I have lived in the southern United States for years now, and yet I am never used to the stifling heat and humidity that rears its miserable head in the summer. The heat has just begun (as well as the 97% humidity!!!!) and I am already over it.
My go-to refreshing drink is water with slices of cucumber, springs of mint and LOTS of ice. It is reminiscent of a mojito.
I also love lavender which reminds me of relaxing vacations to France rather than the suffocated heat that is trying to kill me. I put slices of lemon and springs of lavender in still water and relax.
Also for those of you interested in photography here is a pulled back shot of my set. Very rustic. You don’t need a fancy studio!
And lastly, the gnomes are enjoying sunnier weather after their winter culinary adventures. If you want to see their snowy shenanigans here is the link.