A Few of My Favorites - 08.08.14

080814 1. Chuck Taylors: Every so often I find a pair of shoes that I live in. In high school they were Birkenstocks, in college they were a pair of grey and neon green Nike Shox and currently, I find myself wearing my pair of all black Chuck Taylors as often as possible. They are comfortable. They are slick. They are classic. And they go with just about everything.

2. Tinto de Verano: I was shopping at Trader Joe's yesterday and fell upon something that I had long been looking for since I left Spain six years ago - sparkling lemonade. Tinto de Verano is a drink made up of equal parts red wine and sparkling lemonade. I have tried everything else under the sun - Sprite, 7Up...but nothing was the same. Until now! Thank you Trader Joe's!

3. NutriBullet: I kind of feel like I am cheating on Vitamix with this one... But let's be honest with ourselves here, I am an incredibly broke 27-year old and I don't have the money to go out and buy a $700 blender. So for now I will go with the cheaper, and surprisingly amazing, lesser version. Best of all, I can blend my smoothie in the mug that I take on the go. Talk about convenience.

4. Trader Joe's: New York introduced me to Trader Joe's and I've been forever changed. No, you may not be able to get everything you need here, but you can get pretty close. Best of all, the prices are absolutely reasonable. TJ Favorites? Roasted Gorgonzola Flavored Oven Crisp Crackers, Cilantro Jalapeño Hummus, Cold Brew and the frozen mac & cheese. Last night's dinner? Trader Joe's Mac & Cheese with a few glasses of tinto de verano.

5. Andy Grammer Magazines or Novels: I've seen Andy Grammer in concert a number of times at Ravinia in Illinois and have always been a fan. His most recent album, Magazines or Novels, came out this past Tuesday and it has been on repeat ever since. Simply put, the album does not disappoint. Song after song I find myself blurting out nonsensical words as if I knew the lyrics (I will learn them eventually).

Iced Red Wine Snow

So you're telling me that it is already Thursday morning? I knew this would happen, but I still do not want to believe that my time in Door County is already half over. I've been able to get a lot done, but there is still so much to do - finishing a minimum of two books while laying out on the dock? Do yoga every morning? Work vigorously on my novel? Yea, none of those have happened yet. Perhaps worst of all? I am finding myself complaining at times about not having good internet service - isn't that why I want to get away? To be unplugged? Would I be able to resist picking up my phone first thing in the morning and browsing through my newsfeed? That will be the challenge for myself tomorrow morning... Stovetop

Antique Timer

It unfortunately has not been as warm as I had been hoping this week. So far, I think I've only laid out on the dock one or two days since arriving. (Fingers crossed for some more sun/warmth the next few days). Despite the lackluster weather, I was determined to make iced red wine snow. This recipe has been in my family's repertoire for over 15 years. I can remember being nine years old and watching my mom make this for friends. She even let met try a little taste - my nine-year old self thought I was so sophisticated because I was eating something that had wine in it (even if the alcohol had been boiled off).

Iced Red Wine Snow

Door County Living

The combination of flavors - the full-bodied red wine, the lemon and cranberry juices, the hint of cinnamon - makes for an amazingly refreshing summer treat. It is one of those desserts that is gone even before you realize you took your first bite.

Iced Red Wine Snow

This is an absolute must-try if you are a wino like myself. Or even if you like ice cream, or slushies, or any cold dessert. Let's face it, who doesn't like an adult-only dessert?

Iced Red Wine Snow Recipe from The Summer Book by Susan Birch Serves 8


1 cup water 3/4 cup sugar 2 cups good red wine, a Cabernet or Pinot Noir 2 cinnamon sticks 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 cups cranberry juice


  1. In a saucepan, stir water, sugar, wine and cinnamon sticks together, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in lemon and cranberry juice, refrigerate until cold.
  3. Pour in a 9"x9" pan and put it in the freezer.
  4. Stir every 1/2 hour or so with a fork to break up crystals, until frozen - about 3 hours.
  5. Before serving, let it sit out for a few minutes until slightly soft. Scoop into bowls or shallow cups.