Taste of Bloomington 2012

It’s Taste Day! The Taste of Bloomington is one of my favorite events. I spent my first few years at the Taste pouring beer for Bloomington Brewing Company in my hand bedazzled “Don’t Worry, Be Hoppy”  pink tank top. Then I moved onto One World Catering & Events and the first year our booth was Hawaiian themed complete with Pineapple Coconut Coolers. We won best booth in 2009 and 2010! I  also served on the Taste Event Committee in 2010 and saw what it takes to pull off this large scale event. This year I will be supporting Oliver Winery and will serve locally made wines and Beanblossom Hard Ciders.

At $6 for a ticket, you can’t afford to miss the event! All proceeds go to Hoosier Hills Food Bank and the Community Kitchen. There are two music stages, one with a country focus. A few highlights from the music line up are the New Old Cavalry, my favorite Bloomington bluegrass band, the Vallures and the Clayton Anderson band.

Chocolate Moose will serve my favorite Grasshopper ice cream AND Herb Infused Cotton Candy! I am also looking forward to checking out Inga’s Popcorn, I hear it is highly addictive. The Big Cheeze, the new food truck in town, will make their debut at the Taste today. I want a crispy grilled cheese, maybe with tomato and basil?

My friend Gene is the artist for the Taste and he comes up with a variation of the American Gothic painting each year. This is Gene’s 30th year on the Event Committee! Congratulations Gene! For more information about the Taste of Bloomington, visit the website http://www.visitbloomington.com/taste/

Basil Cucumber Gin & Tonic

The Gin & Tonic is my all time favorite summer time cocktail. I was looking for a way to spice it up and basil and cucumber did just the trick. Get yourself an English cucumber and some fresh basil, muddle it gently and make sure to extract the oils and liquid then add some ice and a little gin. Top it off with some tonic and give it a good mix. If you are used to a limey G & T, go ahead and squeeze a little over the drink although discard the pulp and skin as it will overwhelm the subtleness of the cucumber and basil if it ends up in the drink .

My favorite gin for this is Gordon’s, it is tasty and kind on a girl’s pocketbook at $17.99 for a big bottle. I discovered this gin at a dinner party when a friend of mine introduced me to it. If you are drinking gin on the rocks, opt for something a little higher on the shelf. Try your own combination by adding lemon & thyme or lavendar & agave, get creative with it. Cheers!

Basil Cucumber G & T

Yard Sale Season

Some people look forward to baseball season, fishing season, gardening season. I can say I like those things but summer time makes me think of yard sale season.

I found some wonderful goodies last weekend including a darling antique daffodil enamel tray perfect for martini service. Hand cut antique crystal water goblets, set of six. Antique beer glasses that are classic and unique, the gilded rims are a bit worn which is so charming. I also found the perfect ashtray for the hunting lodge, an antique metal number with a horse in the middle. The martini shaker is straight from Mad Men and the mercury glass candle holders will be perfect for dining al fresco. The oldest piece of the day went to a pretty and simple white serving dish dated to 1890.

Check out the newspaper, find some yard sale junkie buddies, throw on a sundress and some sunscreen and don’t forget your shades. It is the perfect way to start a Saturday.

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