Tag Archives: Sanibel Island

Inside Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen: A Holiday Recipe Swap

16 Dec

Today, I received a special delivery to my inbox from my gal pal Melissa. Melissa and I went to Indiana University together, and we have stayed close friends ever since (See post). Melissa and her boyfriend Matt have always been amazing cooks … Matt literally made a salmon spread after a night of drinking!

Melissa and I on Sanibel Island, the last time we saw each other.

So, it didn’t surprise me at all when I saw Melissa and her sister Kimberly starting a holiday recipe swap. This is what the email said:

Happy Holidays!

We are participating in a collective, constructive, and TASTY experiment. As such, you have been invited to be part of a recipe exchange concept. We hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would make this fun. Please send a recipe to the person whose name is in position 1 (even if you don’t know him/her) and it should be something quick, easy and without rare ingredients. Actually, the best one is the one you know in your head and can type right now.

Don’t agonize over it, it is one you make when you are short of time.

After you’ve sent the recipe to the person in position 1 below and only to that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1 and put your name in position 2. Only my and your name should show when you send your email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this within 5 days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. You should receive 36 recipes. It’s fun to see where they come from! Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas. The turnaround is fast as there are only 2 names on the list and you only have to do it once.

1 – Kimberly  

2 – Melissa

Upon receiving this, I immedately sent Kimberly my apple-pie recipe. And then I sent the email to 20 of my friends, family and coworkers. But then I got to thinking. Wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone posted their favorite recipe on my blog and then we could all share in the fun!

This apple pie is amazing! Use a cookie cutter for the crust to keep it seasonal!

So, that is my challenge for you. Find a great recipe and share it as a comment below. Then, I’ll start making them and blogging about each one!

And that’s life in a nutshell … I can’t wait to get my hands on your secret family recipes. Those always taste the best!


Sanibel Island: Labor Day Weekend

6 Sep

PoppaNut gave me the surprise of a lifetime this weekend. He simply said, “Pack a bag.” And that’s exactly what I did. When we loaded up the new Jeep on Sunday morning, I had no idea where our final destination would be.

We drove down 275 to 75 … and I started thinking we might be headed to my parents’ home. But as we passed exit 170, I knew that wasn’t it.

About three hours after we left our home, we arrived at the Sundial Resort on Sanibel Island. I immediately assume we are checking in and can’t wait to get to the front desk to secure our reservation. But PoppaNut is sorta dragging behind, texting on his phone. I have no idea what is going on and he is acting so strange. What’s going on?

Melissa and Matt

As we wonder around looking for Building K, I still can’t figure out what is going on. Are we meeting people here? Are we lost? And then, PoppaNut swings me around and I see two very familiar faces: Melissa and Matt from Kentucky, my very close friends from college.

My eyes saw them but my brain couldn’t figure out what the heck they were doing in Sanibel. PoppaNut said my face was priceless … I was completely shocked. I ran up to them and gave them great big hugs! Gosh, I can’t even tell you how great it was to see them. And PoppaNut had arranged it all. He saw that Melissa and Matt were coming down to Florida and arranged the meet-up. Did I pick a keeper or what?

Melissa and MommaNut

As this group of four headed down to the beach, my brain was still trying to figure out what had just happened. We sipped all-natural cocktails while we laid in the sun … Melissa and I catching up on every detail of our lives … and something suprises me. No matter how much time passes between the time I see Melissa, we always pick up as if we haven’t missed a beat. We are instantly catching up and laughing and enjoying the sunny day on the beach.

That night, we head to dinner at a beautiful seaside restaurant called Gramma Dot’s. After a quick drink at a nearby bar, we head back to the pool for a dip, more laughter and way too much tequila. Matt, or JT as some people called him, made us smoked-salmon dip and caprese salad … the most gourmet drunk food I have ever had. And we did tequila shoots with hot sauce and orange slices (it will change your life).

MommaNut and PoppaNut

When it was time to say goodbye, I couldn’t help but cry. I had the best time in the world, and it was amazing to see Matt and Melissa again. And it was so sweet of PoppaNut to arrange this special surprise for me. He said, “I wanted you to be able to see your friends … you never get to see them and I know you miss them.” I could cry again just thinking about it.

And that’s life in a nutshell … getting to see your old friends again can make you feel brand new again. Thank you, hubby! I love you so much.


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