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Mix & Match Meals: A Mish Mash Of Ideas October 25, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Vegetarian Recipes.
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My favorite way to prepare meals involves creating something new out of the odds and ends that need to be consumed.

Today’s lunch . . . a perfect example of what I mean.

I made something similar to Pimento Cheese (using several we-need-to-be-eaten ingredients), then spread it liberally on toasted Rosemary Garlic Bread.


Tomato Cheese Spread

2 oz. Horseradish Cheddar Cheese
1 small tomato, diced
1 oz. whipped cream cheese
Cracked Black Pepper
2 slices Rosemary Garlic Bread

Mix together leftover grated cheese, with a chopped tomato.

Stir in the last bit of whipped cream cheese (that’s getting tired of hanging out in the tub) to act as “glue.”

Generously crack fresh black pepper into the mix.

Spread on toasted Rosemary Garlic Bread (left over from last night’s dinner).

Grab a napkin and enjoy every savory bite!

The Gift of Synchronicity October 25, 2010

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Magick & Mystery, Nature.
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Saturday night, while chowing down on BFF’s Birthday Cake, we began to discuss what to do to complete his birthday celebration.  We decided to head to Naples on Sunday.

I pulled out a stack of travel brochures on Naples.  As we flipped through them, we revisited  our first trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida ~ a business trip (filled with pleasure) to South Seas Plantation on Captiva Island in 1986, as pampered guests of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.

“That’s when and where I fell in love with this area . . . wandering  the white sandy beaches of Captiva.”

BFF nodded.


Inspired, we started pawing through brochures on Captiva and Sanibel Islands, putting the trip to Naples on hold.

“Hmm . . . maybe we should wait until Monday to avoid the weekend traffic?”

BFF shrugged, “If the weather’s fine, let’s go tomorrow (Sunday).”

As it turns out, the Universe steered us in the right direction at exactly the right moment in time . . .

On the way to Captiva, we drove through downtown Ft. Myers, admiring the historic buildings and sidewalk cafes on First Street.

We stopped to stretch our legs at the Fort Myers City Pier, and enjoyed balmy breezes from the  CaloosaHATCHee River as we walked on the dock.

C’mon, with a name like that, how could we resist?

Due to the detour, we arrived at Sanibel later than expected . . . but with what turned out to be perfect timing.

After crossing over the causeway (for the first time in 21 years), we pulled into the Visitor’s Center to pick up more recent literature.  As I gathered general information on the island, including this week’s island newspapers, BFF picked up a single item that “caught his eye” ~ a brochure for Bailey’s Market.

To market, to market, to buy a . . . birthday donut.  Mmm . . . donuts.

We turned the “wrong” way and ended up at the lighthouse at the southern tip of the island.

The “wrong” turn turned out to be just right.

We retraced our steps and headed north.

When we arrived at the Bailey Shopping Center at 1:30, we found the 25th Annual Baileyfest in full swing with FREE entertainment, FREE raffles, and FREE food!

The festival, which we knew NOTHING about until we pulled into the packed parking lot, had started at 1 pm, thirty minutes before we arrived.


* If we hadn’t stopped at the City Pier, the Visitor’s Center, and the Lighthouse, we would have arrived too soon and missed it.

* If we had headed to Naples, instead of Captiva, we would have missed it.

* If we had waited until Monday to head south, we would have missed it.

As is often the case when we listen to our inner compass, the Universe steers us in the right direction at precisely the right time. 

Before we understood exactly what we had walked into, we noticed two women giving out FREE homemade ice cream.  Putting our plans to buy a donut on hold, we stood in the shade and enjoyed cups of Cookies and Cream and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream while listening to a jazz saxophonist.

Talking to a few of the locals, we got the lay of the land.

Each year, the Bailey Market holds a festival for customers and visitors to the island.  During Baileyfest, the Market collects donations to distribute  among charities on the island and hands out FREE food: ice cream,  hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, chips, homemade salsa, french fries, cotton candy, barbeque sandwiches, soda, bottled water, popcorn, peanuts,  lemonade,  coffee, etc.

Sam Bailey started the Baileyfest tradition 25 years ago.  He died last month at age 82, just shy of its 25th Anniversary.  His beloved memory lives on.


During the festival, I picked up a button with Sam’s smiling face on it and clipped it to my purse strap.

At the time, I didn’t know why I picked it up . . . since I’d never met the man.  It just seemed the “right” thing to do. 

As we watched the stage and munched on pizza and fries, a gentlemen  walked over, handed us two FREE raffle tickets and said, “Fill these out and drop them in the tub on the far side of the stage.”

Thanking him, I read the ticket, “Must be present to win.”  I laughed.   So true.  When we aren’t “present,” we lose our connection with reality.   

I knew we wouldn’t be staying long and wondered whether I should bother filling them out.  I received an immediate answer . . . a “knowing nudge” from the Universe.  No problem.  I pulled out a pen, printed our names on the two tickets, walked past the stage filled with Irish Dancers, and  dropped the tickets into the mix at 2:15.

At 2:30, they started the raffle give-aways.   Standing in line for a drink, I waved to BFF  and motioned to the stage so he’d be listening.

The first name . . . BFF!

The prize?

A $100 gift certificate to Lily Co.  Jewelry  Gallery.

Be dazzled!

The Gallery wasn’t open on Sunday, but we have 12 months to claim the Universe’s Gift of Synchronicity.

How’s that for a Magickal Birthday Present?

After spending an hour at the festival, talking to the locals, listening to jazz, eating some great food, watching Irish step dancing, and winning $100, we  continued on our way to the J. N. “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge.

At the Refuge Visitor Center, the woman at the Information Desk told me about the Bailey Tract, a mini refuge right down the street from the Bailey Market.

“We just came from the 25th Annual Baileyfest!  See!”  With that, I showed her the button on my purse strap.  She smiled in recognition . . .

She knew Sam Bailey.  I had picked up the button for her. 

As she clipped the pin to her jacket, the Universe prompted me to mention the film made about Sam’s memorial service which had “premiered” at the festival.  She received that bit of information with enthusiasm.

When we remain present (following impulses and allowing the path to unfold step-by-step), the Universe is able to prompt us to convey news (and even deliver commemorative items) to the “intended” recipients. 

Exchange complete, BFF and I  checked out the exhibits, then drove north, to the end of Captiva, to admire the beach and birds.

We stopped at the ‘Tween Waters Inn (where we had Sunday Brunch with my sister and her BFF on our last visit to the island . . . in 1989).

It’s changed.

So have we.

After meandering through village streets and sandy lanes, we hiked around the Bailey Tract preserve, taking care not to disturb a 3 foot snake sunning himself on the side of the path.  Best to let sleeping snakes lie.

Last stop, the Bailey Market . . .  to get donuts for the ride home.

No rules.  Just write!

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