Backyard barbecue and Middle Eastern chicken kebabs

Nothing says summer quite like a backyard barbecue with the aromas of grilling, having friends over and cool ways to beat the heat and fuel summer fun.  Once all the planning and execution is done ahead of time, there shouldn’t be much time in the kitchen, so it’s best to get it all prepped a couple days before the assigned date so that you can spend more time with your guests.  Typically we try to get all the backyard entertaining happen before July 4th.  After that, the weather is just too hot and humid and there’s too many pesky mosquitoes and other bugs that infiltrate the air, so it isn’t quite as fun.

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‘Royal’ Lamb in a creamy almond sauce and a demo lesson on Indian cooking

When it comes to various ethnic cuisines, aromatic and flavorful Indian cuisine is unparalleled, but then you might say I’m biased, which of course I am. 🙂 I believe Indian food is now being appreciated in America, much later than other countries have embraced that particular cuisine. I recall when we first moved to Delaware, there was nary a spice store in sight, and definitely no restaurants unless we drove to Philly.  So much has changed since the early 70’s or 80’s.  Indian cuisine is enjoyed by many now and definitely up there with the other Asian cuisines.  As a blogger, I notice many non-Indian blogs that encompass this cuisine in their repertoire.

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The Garden District – A breathtaking side of New Orleans

A city with a special vibe, a city that screams “come on down, let’s have some fun”.  We have been to New Orleans a number of times before, but never tire of it.  When we lived in Texas, we’d visit frequently and also on more recent trips with friends.  Trawling the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, beignets which are those soft pillowy donuts showered with powdered sugar, cajun and creole restaurants, musicians around every corner, are all synonymous of what New Orleans is all about.  What we had never experienced before though, was the Jazz Festival that typically takes place around May.  A group of about 11 of us decided to rent a B & B in the Garden District.  Although we had taken the St. Charles Street car before, we had never really stopped off to admire the architecture or the gardens around the area.  This trip definitely changed that for me.  We all parted ways at different times of the day for various music events.  Hubby and I had tickets to see Sting and Rod Stewart.  What fun!  Now back to the Garden District to get a view of what we experienced.

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How does your garden grow?

It’s been a while since I posted anything on the gardening section of Safari of the Mind.  I just know I have to remedy that right away.  Believe me when I tell you though, it’s not as though I haven’t been posting all my hard work on social media 🙂 This year especially, I’ve been extra diligent, wanting to stay a few steps ahead of the game.  It took quite a lot of work to get both the front and back gardens cleaned up from the ravages of winter.  This past winter was pretty brutal on the East Coast and as a result, the garden needed extra sprucing in the spring time.  This post will probably be a pictorial one, sit back, relax and enjoy all the colors and vibrancy that flowers create around this time of year.

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Chilli-rubbed chicken with Scallions, Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Today’s post takes one on a tour of Mexico, no it wasn’t my trip, but a blogger friend Johanne, who blogs at French Gardener Dishes. She recently posted a travelogue of her trip to Mexico City and San Miguel de Allende to take in the culture, the art and the stunning architecture.  I enjoyed reading her post and as I often do, I make mental notes of places visited for future reference and this particular part of Mexico intrigued me.  So rest assured, we hope to check it out in the not too distant future. I remember a trip to Mexico when I was single, but it was at a beach town in Puerto Vallarta and you know what happens in beach towns, eat, drink and be merry.  I do hear through my other sources on Trip Advisor that the actual town of Puerto Vallarta (not the beach) is a place where a lot of Americans and Canadians have settled and is definitely another place I’d like to check out. Click on Johanne’s link above to read her post on the area.

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