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Late yesterday afternoon I was a wedding [ceremony] crasher. I learned that an old friend’s son was getting married. I’ve been Facebook friends with the son and knew that a wedding was coming up, but thanks to the continuous changes in FB notifications, newsfeed, etc., I hadn’t seen any news until yesterday. Joe [the groom] was thrilled that I wanted to be there. We kept it a surprise from his mom.

Arriving at the church and hugging Carol’s five sons brought back so many memories. We were neighbors when my older children were small. Both Carol and I had gone through major life changes and we were there for each other through thick and thin. [Sometimes I was at my thickest, and sometimes at my thinnest; Carol was always at her thinnest.] I hadn’t seen her oldest son in 16 years – at his wedding.

When Carol walked down the aisle and spotted me, the tears rolled down both our cheeks. Watching Joe standing at the alter I reminisced my favorite memory. My two older kids and Joe played together all the time. We had a huge fish tank that we kept in my son’s bedroom on the second floor. They loved feeding the fish and one day asked if fish liked grapes. Thankfully, no food except fish food was allowed upstairs.

The feeding of grapes isn’t the memory, but segues into it. One day, while the kids were upstairs playing, Carol and I were in the kitchen enjoying coffee and homemade baked goodies while guarding the grapes. All of a sudden water began dripping from the kitchen ceiling. Just what I needed – a busted pipe. I checked all the other downstairs’ rooms and then made my way upstairs. To what did my wondering eyes did appear? Two little kids playing with the fishes. In the fish tank. Joe and Andrea were in the fish tank. They were laughing and splashing. There were fish kibbying on the fishtank-water-soaked carpet.

After we cleaned up the mess, rescued whatever fish we could, flushed the fish we couldn’t … we laughed. I should have just let them feed grapes to the fish…

In honor of the fish, I came home from the wedding ceremony and needed to make something with grapes. Hubby grilled burgers and always thoughtful, he made a slider-sized portion in case I wanted some moo. I haven’t had beef in more than six weeks…I haven’t really missed it, but it’s hard to ignore the smell rising from the grill.

I made salsa, scallion and jalapeno corn muffins to sandwich the burger, added some fresh guac and some roasted veggies. It was quite good.

grilled grape gazpachoGrilled Grape Gazpacho

Ingredients:

  • 1 c green grapes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped, divided
  • 2 tbs Devo Olive Oil’s Chipotle EVOO, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 c silken tofu
  • 6 scallions, chopped, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly copped
  • 1/4 c Devo Olive Oil’s Apricot Balsamic
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped, divided
  • Garnish with chopped cucumbers, scallions and almonds, etc.*

Directions:

  • Reserve ¼ c chopped cucumber, 1 scallion and some chopped hazelnuts for garnish.
  • Heat indoor grill plan coated with Chipotle EVOO.
  • Grill grapes until grill marks appear.
  • In processor, pulse almonds until ground.
  • Add remaining cucumber and scallions along with grapes and remaining ingredients
  • Process until well blended and liquefied.
  • Refrigerate until completely chilled.
  • Pour in serving bowls/cups.
  • Drizzle with EVOO and top with garnish.

south-of-the-slidersSouth of the Border Sliders

Since I made these on the fly I didn’t write down any measurements. Improvise.

Ingredients:

Sliders:

  • The best ground beef; my hubby is on a new kick of buying beef and grinding it up. For these he used London broil.
  • Freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

Cornbread buns:

  • your favorite cornbread mix (the mix makes 6 muffins, I added less mix to each muffin tin to make 9)
  • salsa (figure 1 tsp per muffin)
  • 2 scallions, chopped, divided
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped, divided

Avocado spread:

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 1 tbs fresh lime juice
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

Roasted veggies:

  • 1/2 zucchini, sliced horizontally
  • 1 plum tomato, sliced vertically
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbs Devo Olive Oil’s Chipotle EVOO
  • Fresh ground sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Roasted veggies:

  • Prepare indoor grill pan or baking sheet. (If baking, heat oven to 425°.)
  • Place all veggies in bowl with  EVOO.
  • Either place on indoor grill pan or baking sheet.
  • Cook about 15-20 minutes.

Cornbread buns:

  • Mix as directed.
  • Pour into greased muffin tins.
  • Add 1 tsp salsa, scallion and jalapeno to each.
  • Mix well.
  • Bake as directed.

Avocado spread:

  • Mix all ingredients until smooth consistency is reached.

Sliders:

  • Form beef into desired size patties
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Grill, about 3 minutes each side

Assembly:

  • Cut corn muffin in half.
  • Top bottom muffin with roasted veggies and burger.
  • Spread avocado mixture on top muffin and place on top of burger.
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