Tag Archives: drinks

my favorite things: the beach edition

Getting ready for my annual pilgrimage to the beach in Rhode Island and I thought what a perfect time for another favorite things post–the summer beach vacation edition.

Reef Bottle Opener Flip Flops

In case you’ve doubted it before, yes, I am one cool chick to have around. I can even open your beer on the beach with my shoe with these Reef flip flops! The bottle opener is built right into the sole.


A waterproof iPhone case! And it comes in pretty pink for girls. No, I’m not going swimming with my brand spanking new iPhone, no matter what the manufacturer says, but for sand and spill protection, I think this case will do just fine. Picture it–the iPhone stashed safely in the cup holder in the arm of my folding chair. Ooops! Oh no! I spilled my drink in the cup holder! What will I do? Never fear, the phone is safe in the waterproof case. And yes, I’m guilty of stashing my phone in my boobs, and sweat happens to the best of us in the summer…so this will be good for that too! ­čśë


My new favorite summer drink in a can, perfect for the cooler when you don’t want a beer on the beach. Try a Limerita! Made by Bud, it’s literally a margarita in a can! Comes in original Lime or Strawberry. 8% alcohol.

That’s all I’ve got for you right now. What’s your favorite things for the beach?

how many sleeps til christmas?! part 2 -gifts for the foodie

I had so much fun putting together the post with the list of gift ideas for the writer in your life last week, I decided to make another, but this time for the food/drink lover in your life. So here you go…get out your Christmas lists and credit cards!

Bacon KeychainBACON!

Everyone loves bacon, right? And I heard a horrible rumor that there may be a shortage due to weather and failing crops that were needed to feed the pigs… I don’t know, it’s all too horrible to think about, so let’s move on to the gift for the bacon lover! How about a key chain proclaiming your love for both that someone special in your life, and bacon? Courtesy of Etsy.com and WhiteLilieDesigns.

Lobster Print~

LOBSTER, anyone?

How about framing this print for a unique item of kitchen decor?

A beautiful antique lobster image, printed on a vintage dictionary page from Black Baroque on Etsy. They have tons of other designs as well.


Trader Vic's Book o Food & Drink


I’ve just recently read about Trader Vic’s history and it’s pretty amazing. More than that, so is his famed dark rum which I also just tasted for the first time.rum_dark

Buying this cookbook for my husband was a no brainer and I’m at this very moment holding in my hand the original 1946 printing of Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink, available on Amazon, and it is totally cool.

Imagine how happy a gift of a bottle and the book would make the rum/food lover in your life.

Any other suggestions? I’d love to hear them!



dreamstimefree_148418I laughingly joked last week on Facebook that I should be able to deduct a new coffee maker as a business expense on my taxes because any writer knows caffiene is a tool of our trade. I was only half joking, and I definitely wasn’t in a good mood after yet another coffeemaker bit the dust.

So there I stood in my kitchen with one Grind-n-Brew which ground the beans just fine, but refused to drip, and a slightly older Grind-n-Brew which would drip fine but wouldn’t grind. Thank God my hoarder tendencies made me keep my half broken coffeemaker. Little did I know I’d need it for my counter-coffee-maker lineup. That’s when I decided I was done with both Cuisinart and with the combo machines.

So I took my coffee, once I finally got it made, and I googled and I found what I hope will be the Cadallac of coffeemakers and provide me with years of caffeinated bliss–I bought a Viking. They make great stoves so I figured why not?

I also ordered a separate burr grinder and so far, so good. Yes, we’ve had two mishaps. I’m so used to my Grind-n-Brew that I keep forgetting to actually take the grinds out of the grinder and transfer them to the filter basket in the coffeemaker. But I’ll get over that eventually.

What sold me? The Viking’s claim to fame was that it heats the water to what experts say is the optimal brewing temperature–195 degrees fahrenheit. The longevity of this machine as compared to the short-lived Cusinarts has yet to be proven but I have hope…and now, nice hot coffee…and a pretty new maker. And I’m going to need it too, since tomorrow is new release day for FLANKED, and as you know there’s no rest for the wicked.



September 2012 has been declared National Bourbon Heritage Month in Kentucky by the state governor. I read that little tidbit on the Bourbon Blog because, you know, I like to keep abreast of important happenings in the world.┬áNow I don’t live in Kentucky but I’m never opposed to celebrating! Besides, I just happen to have developed a few bourbon recipes recently.


You see I was going to New Orleans, to Bourbon Street to be exact, and partaking in an author pub crawl at the Bourbon Cowboy for Authors After Dark to promote my cowboy series. Of course, that called for some Buckin’ Good Bourbon Drink Recipes, did it not? So I consulted my favorite liquor store, told the man what I was doing, and I loaded up my cart with ingredients I thought might make a good drink. Having tended bar for more years than I’d like to admit I knew flavors and brands pretty well for the liqueurs, but I needed some advice on the bourbon. He steered me to Evan Williams brand, saying it had a lighter flavor than some others and would mix better for my experiment. Then I went home, cracked open all the bottles, lined up a bunch of glasses and started to mix. This was about 2PM, keep in mind, so by the time the husband arrived home that evening from work, I was slumped in the bed but I was excited, because lined up on the table I had three drinks I was pretty sure were pretty damn good. And beneath each glass I had a note with what I’d put in them because by then I was a little loopy and was afraid I’d forget.


He agreed the drinks were tasty! Now I’m not saying no one has ever mixed these alcohols in this particular combo before. They probably have. I’m just saying these combos are personally tasted and found to be very drinkable by me, and I’m not a bourbon drinker generally so you know they must be good. So in honor of Bourbon Month and the release of my next cowboy book FLANKED in just over a week, I bring you my cowboy-inspired bourbon drinks.

Cat Johnson

1 part Bourbon
1 part Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur
Serve over ice
Variation: Add to hot coffee and cream for Nutty Cowboy Coffee

1 part Bourbon
1 part Kahlua® Coffee Liqueur
Serve over ice
Variation: Add hot coffee and cream for coffee with a kick


1 part Bourbon
1 part Dark Creme de Cocoa
Serve over ice
Variation: Add hot coffee and cream for a chocolately treat