Vegetarian Mini Enchilada


I “Stomp”ed around Chicago with td (my husband of 41+ years!) and some friends for a few days just before the 2017 New Year. We happily played the usual suspects tourists…

beanposed with The Bean (formal name “Cloud Gate”) created and installed in 2006 by the amazing Anish Kapoor,


hung out with blues great, Buddy Guy, 2012 Kennedy Center Honor Recipient (please watch this video with Morgan Freeman presenting Mr. Guy with the Honor), seized this magical photo op with him at his club, Buddy Guy’s Legends), bavettesand hopped from one fantastic restaurant and hotel bar to the next. No lack there, my friends! BONUS, we enjoyed dinner one night with James Beard Award winning chef Rick Bayless at Frontera Grill. I mean, we just couldn’t even decide what to order; it all was so tempting…so we began with hand crafted margaritas. I was so inspired with our dinner, that I flew home and waked up my own kitchen, and prepared this concoction. So…take this little jewel to the bank and thank Rick B. and Peg all the way! And PtotheS…

Be Sociable, Share This! Everyone has been sharing a LOT lately, so let’s unite and share something yummy, just a nice little recipe-no politics ever on this blog-just joy and fun!

southwestern-mini-black-bean-enchiladas10 miniature 4” flour tortillas
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz can refried beans
8 oz can red enchilada sauce
4 oz can chopped green chiles
4 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
1/2 cup sour cream
3 Tbs thinly sliced green onions
4 Tbs chopped avocado
4 Tbs chopped cilantro
1 fresh lime, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 350°.
Grease 12 cup muffin pan with olive oil or melted butter.
Tuck tortillas gently into cups.
Bake 12 to 14 minutes until crisp and browned.
Stir together black beans, refried beans, enchilada sauce, and green chiles in medium bowl.
Divide mixture evenly among baked tortilla cups.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Back at 350° until cheese melts, about 10 minutes.
Transfer enchiladas to serving platter.
Top evenly with lettuce.
Drizzle with sour cream.
Sprinkle with green onions, avocado, and cilantro.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over top.
Garnish with fresh lime.

The Kentucky 95

Happy Sunday! We rolled with a Kentucky 95 and Animal Crackers over this icy weekend. This just seems right for brunch, lunch, or five o’clock anywhere, or any time, really! We first tried this last summer with Bobby Flay at Bar Amercain. But in this cold and flu season, we felt a wee bit healthy drinking the oj! These ingredients are in most fridges, so no need to risk the icy driving if you’re still inside like we.


3/4 oz Makers Mark or other good quality bourbon
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz fresh orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
Ice cubes
Champagne, chilled
Lemon or orange twist for serving

Combine bourbon, lemon juice, orange juice, and simple syrup in tall glass over ice.
Stir well.
Strain into wine glass filled with crushed ice.
Top up with champagne.
Garnish with a twist.

Gotta Love an Ice Bar

From Phone 046Happy F.R.I.D.A.Y! I know you remember how much I adore, love am obsessed with an Ice Bar, right? My most recent adventure was at Frost in Boston, celebrating Gray’s birthday. At a chilly 21°F, 30 minutes was about the right amount of wrong for us. From Phone 032From Phone 031

Acting all childlike, we then traipsed across to the Rose Kennedy Greenway, and hopped on the Carousel for a ride on the artfully handmade animals. Prezza was the next stop for a divine Italian dinner. There’s no substitute for experience, and that night we enjoyed more than our fair share. Then…back to the real world!From Phone 052From Phone 059

I LOVE a photo in a mirror...This comes as BO surprise to my family!!

I LOVE a photo in a mirror…This comes as NO surprise to my family!!

Thaw in the Straw

"Thaw in the Straw"    ©PEGhardee

Thaw in the Straw                 ©PEGhardee

Don’t sit under the apple tree; sit under the honeycomb, like Judy and Matt do…notice their Beelicious honey on my breakfast table! Our most recent excursion to Boston found us enjoying a delicious, low key brunch at Puritan & Company in Cambridge. How we navigated there beats the heck outa me…Gray and Marc drive the streets of that city as if it’s a one stoplight town in southern Georgia! Since it was Sunday Funday, we ordered adult beverages; Marc enjoyed what they call Thaw in the Straw. Upon returning home I called and kindly asked to speak with the bartender. I inquired about this concoction and he was friendly and forthcoming. You may be asking yourself how I even knew that I wanted to re-create it. We are a bourbon loving family; but here’s a confession. Marc stepped away from the table with Liam for a split second, and TD, Gray, and I all tasted it! Oopsie!! Thanks Marc. Here ’tis!

1 1/2 oz bourbon
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz honey
2 oz ginger beer

Mix bourbon, lemon juice, and honey together in glass.
Fill with ice.
Top up with ginger beer.

Puritan & Company, Cambridge

Puritan & Company, Cambridge

Liam and Puritan's Boston Cream Donut, Yummy!

Liam enjoying Puritan’s famous Boston Cream Donut, Yummy!

Winter Mojito

©Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

©Kennedy Center for Performing Arts

The evening began with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin at The Kennedy Center. ‘Nough said! Then we made our way to Kafe Leopold where I tried, and fell in love with this Winter Mojito (along with their warm tomato mozzarella tea sandwich). The groundhog insists that we have a few more weeks of winter remaining, so give this a whirl. It is after all M.O.N.D.A.Y…Get your cocktail on!

PtotheS. I think this would be excellent any time of the year, snowy outside or not.

Sorry, not a great pic. Taken with phone in dimly lit wonderful Kafe Leopold!

Sorry, not a great pic. Taken with phone in dimly lit wonderful Kafe Leopold!

Drunken Cranberry Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cup cranberries
2 cinnamon sticks
Zest of 1 orange, in large pieces
Combine all in sauce pan.
Bring to boil, stirring, until berries open, about 1 minute.
Drain liquid in to a container.
Discard orange and cinnamon, reserving berries.
Add 1 cup light rum.
Stir and allow to cool.

The Cocktail:
2 t drunken berries
2 t drunken berry liquid
2 lime wedges
8 mint leaves
3 oz dark Rum
2 oz club soda

In cocktail shaker, muddle together berries, berry juice, limes, and mint leaves.
Fill with ice.
Add rum.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into Manhattan glass.
Top with club soda.

Alternatively, fill a cocktail glass with ice.
Strain mixed cocktail into iced glass.
Top with club soda and stir.


Appetizer Cubano CocktailIt’s M.O.N.D.A.Y. Get your cocktail on! My children had a sweet friend, Burke who established a Monday evening cocktail group. Just for the hell of it. Just to begin the week properly. So, today I give you yet another delicious cocktail, The Cubano. Friday found TD (the don for new readers!) and me swooping up Gray and Liam at RDU and making the baby visiting rounds in “Dash” (affectionate name for Winston-Salem). The last stop was Single Brothers, the Yelle’s favorite watering hole from their lives there, prior to the Boston move. There we met up with two other babies/toddlers and their parents, where we shared a table and libations. The new seasonal drink menu had just been established and I enjoyed this Cubano. Remember, I love champagne! So, here you have it!

1 1/2 oz 10 Cane Rum
1 oz simple syrup
4 mint leaves
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Splash of champagne

Muddle mint and syrup in cocktail shaker.
Fill with ice cubes.
Add lime juice and rum.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into stemmed glass.
Top off with champagne.

The French 75

Appetizer French 75 CocktailIt is S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y! Get your cocktail on! I enjoyed this a couple of weeks ago with The Yelles at the lively Oak Long Bar at the Fairmont Hotel, Boston. I inquired about the seemingly odd name and quickly received an education of its history from our brainiac bartender. The cocktail pays homage to two powerful French icons – guns and champagne. The French 75mm field gun was a powerful weapon in WWI and the American soldiers were impressed with its power in battle. Adding a bit of muscle to solo champagne, the soldiers mixed in Brandy. Thirst Quenched. The cocktail evolved further when the American soldiers returned to the USofA and aptly named it to honor the allies. And now I present The French 75!

2 oz Brandy
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs simple syrup
2/3 cup chilled champagne

Pour Brandy, lemon juice, and simple syrup in to cocktail shaker.
Fill with ice cubes.
Shake vigorously.
Strain into 2 champagne flutes.
Top with champagne.
Garnish with lemon or orange peel.

The Old Cuban

My Version in the Wine Glasses from Gray and Marc's Wedding Dinner Dance

My Version in the Wine Glasses from Gray and Marc’s Wedding Dinner Dance

Get Your Cocktail On. It is after-all Sunday Funday! I have a new favorite cocktail. Shocking I know. My first experience with the Old Cuban was with Gray, Marc, Liam and TD this past Thursday afternoon at Drink, Boston, just voted the “world’s best cocktail bar at this year’s Spirited Awards at the Tales of the Cocktail”. (Hell yea, follow them on FB!) The bartenders are so adept at mixing that they simply ask you what tastes you prefer and then craft something specifically for you. I mumbled something akin to “well I love a proper mojito in summertime and I adore champagne”. So he comes up with this most perfect concoction. Oh yea, I’m in love, all over again. Got home yesterday morning at 9:15 and waited til 6pm to try my own version. (Nice test of self restraint!) Not quite as tasty, but damn reminiscent! So, give it a try! No disappointment here.

3/4 oz lime juice
1 oz simple syrup
6 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 oz gold, aged rum
Dash bitters
2 to 3 oz champagne

Pour lime juice, sugar, and mint into shaker.
Muddle mint gently.
Fill shaker with ice.
Add rum and bitters.
Shake well.
Strain into wine glass.
Top off with champagne.

Grainy Pic...It is just an iPhone in a Dark Bar!

Grainy Pic…It is just an iPhone in a Dark Bar!

Meet You at The Bar!

A Few of My Favorites from Last Weekend in DC…Side Note, the Reasoning Behind My Madness for THE BAR...

One Helluva Wine Cellar, Complete with Corporate Table, The Jefferson

One Helluva Wine Cellar, Complete with Corporate Table, The Jefferson

My best Italian friend David Rocco states quite clearly in his book Made in Italy that Italians stop daily at the bar on their way home from work. In a word, decompress. I rather think American city-dwelling business folks conquer. Personally I fell in love with the bar in my mid- thirties when TD (for new readers, The Don, husband of 38 years) and I ventured in to the original Oak Bar at The Plaza.  We were on a then rare (yes, in those days we

actually stayed home!) weekend away with truest of friends Mary Margaret and Bob (I won’t disclose the nightmare flight, yikes). The environment was just so damn civilized, and conducive to actually enjoying, as opposed to gulping, a finely prepared cocktail and calm, quiet conversation. They ended up having to boot us out so we could make our dinner reservation up the street. Then a decade or so ago, a family trip to Paris further deepened

Rye Bar, Capella Hotel

Rye Bar, Capella Hotel

my love of the bar. We bar fooded and drank our afternoon and evening through The Loveliest of Lovely Hotel Bars. Leaving the Ritz in the rain was NBD. Our spirits could not be dampened! As Always: Drink Responsibly and Avoid Alcohol Consumption while Pregnant.

Round Robin Bar, The Willard

Round Robin Bar, The Willard

Putting on the Ritz

Putting on the Ritz

B Peg Ritz blur