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, Wyoming
Thanks for visiting Sauce du Jour. Feel free to share a great recipe, leave a comment, or make me dinner. I'll bring hors d' oeuvres and the wine! To visit my website go to Thanks for visiting the Sauce ~Tammi

Mar 19, 2011

Hammerhead Shark Loses Wrestling Contest To The Dos Equis Man

Our good friends, the Dr. and Mrs. Lexus’ recently came to the islands to see us and while here Denny entered the prestigious Caribbean Iron Man Contest. Denny, who by the way is the most interesting man we know, (like a Dos Equis-slash-Renaissance man) intended to compete in the Sr. Citizens Class, but bad news for Denny—the judges took one look at him and made him compete in the “Under 40” class, which unfortunately cost him the title. He did finish with an impressive 2nd place, but only because his bum hip gave out on him in the Pull The Boat To Shore Contest, which then slowed him up in the Palm Tree Climbing Contest. What a disappointment it was for all of us. We are hoping he won’t have to have another hip replacement surgery when he gets home.
     To cheer him up, The Big Guy and I took the liberty to enter him in the Great Hammerhead Shark Wrestling Contest, off of Anegada. It was quite a thrill to watch him wrestle that big fish out of the water, onto shore, then finally into the back of a pickup, with just his bare hands. I am sad to report that he finished a distant 3rd, since his shark was only just a little over 9 feet long and weighed a measly 290 lbs. We think if Denny hadn’t been dragging that hip he wouldn’t have chosen such a small shark to wrestle. Better luck next year old man.
     On a brighter note, Karen won hands down the Power Shopping Contest. No one could even come close to her and her smoking credit card! Single handily she boosted the economy of Cruz Bay.
Karen, celebrating her
Power Shopping victory
     Coincidently, while in Anegada for the shark wresting, we learned that there was also a kite boarding contest going on which was being sponsored by Sir Richard Branson, who happens to be a close personal friend of the Lexus’. We hung out on Cow Wreck Beach and watched as hundreds of kite boarders took to the skies, Denny and Sir Richard among them. They finished 1st and 2nd, respectively but Denny turned down the honors so some young hippie kid could receive the half a million dollar purse.
     While Karen shopped, Big and I sat at the beach bar (bored to tears) with Denny and Sir Richard as they negotiated a deal in which Denny would purchase Necker Island. Sad to say that at the last minute it fell through. Sir Richard was not willing to part with any of the wild goats that inhabit the island. The Doc held firm…no goats…no deal, he told Sir Dick. Way to go Den!
The Dos Equis Man & The Mrs.
     With a ton of money burning a hole in his pocket, Denny treated us and the 500 or so kite-boarders to a lobster dinner at our favorite place, Potters By The Sea. The butter wasn’t even dried on our chins when Karen decided that we should pull an all-nighter and party with all the kite-boarders who where blasting Karen’s favorite rap music at the bar that was directly across from where our boat was moored. Denny, always a manshionista, put on his twin set (which is stylish in an old-folks-home-kind-of-way) while Karen rocked a hot little leopard mini, and then those crazy kids got down with their home boys. Big and I called it a night about 5 AM and I slept in until 6 AM, then got up to make breakfast, since Denny had requested a big one after all that partying.
Denny also took 1st place in the
Conch Blowing Contest
      With all the competition finally behind us we settled into a relaxing week. The Lexus’ kicked back while Big kept a Pisces Punch in their hands 24-7. Their ravenous appetites kept me at the stove for about 18 hours a day, but they appreciated all the fine dining so I didn’t mind one bit. I used my other 6 hours to do dishes, pour gin and open wine bottles. I swear those people never sleep.     
     Not everyone knows that Dr. L and the Mrs. are world renowned free divers, and that Denny still holds several records, some dating clear back to the 1950’s. Karen who is much younger, has set some of her own impressive records, mostly from stunts she pulled in the late 60’s, some of which do include diving. Big and I watched in awe as they ascended to depths of about 300 feet on a single breath of air. Denny had previously smoked the competition is this portion of the Iron Man Contest, so it was just another day at the office for him. Those two are sure full of a lot of air, so I was able to  catch a quick nap, while they made their dives.
     Before we knew the week was spent and they had to return to Wyoming, so the Doc could be there for the grand opening of his new business venture: Autopsies While You Wait. 
     But hey, good news...I just heard from Karen that they will be returning in May, this time with all the little Lexus’ in tow. Big and I can hardly wait for the games to  begin! Natalie and Nicole love to mud wrestle and camel fight, and Suzy, who is the thrillseeker of the family, wants to go up mast so she can do some high-diving. Son-in-law Joe loves nothing more than doing shots and giving tattoos to the in-laws, who insured us they intend to get some more training in while here.  Did I mention we can hardly wait?
Dr & Mrs Lexus strike a pose after the Iron Man competition

I will share my recipe for Nicoise Salad.  I made it with seared tuna for the energy starved Lexus' but forgot to take a picture. (It can also be made with salmon) In this picture I served it with chicken. Go to the "Recipes" tab at the top of this page to view it.

                                                      The Big Guy and I on Anegada

Mar 11, 2011

Cool Comes To The Caribbean

I had been scouring St. Thomas for mint because I needed it for two recipes that I had planned to make for our friends from Denver—the (Suit)Cases, who were coming to celebrate Chris’ 40th birthday. We pre-advised them to pack lightly (not much storage on board) and to avoid bringing hard sided luggage because, say it with me, there’s not much storage on board. My dear friend Brenda, showed up with “Pinkie”, the biggest, brightest pink, hard-sided piece of luggage that has ever been produced. I’m not saying that this was a totally bad idea…opened up flat it could have held the four of us, the two dogs, and a weeks worth of provisions, had we needed to abandon ship. It was kind of like a cool, pink folding life boat. (P.S. I will give Brenda credit—for her this was packing light. Proof ? She only brought two pairs of heels.) I will also tell you that it was soooo big it had to have it's own stateroom.   
The uber-cool couple
     I should point out here that Brenda is the coolest friend I have. She has all the coolest stuff and is in the know about all things and places cool. She even has a Gucci diaper bag! How cool is that?  Look up cool in the dictionary…you’ll see her picture. She’s that cool. I should also mention that Chris, while no where near as cool as Brenda, is a pretty cool guy himself, as far as cool guys go. So of course we took them to the coolest place we know—Havana Blue, which is were we started the birthday week, with a fabulous dinner.
     I told Brenda about my mint dilemma, so we hatched a plan to drink enough Mojitos to score the needed mint. News flash—the whole island must have been under a mint crisis because after the first one the bartender said he couldn’t make any more because even he had NO mint. Not cool.
     We spent the first night at Pirates Bight, which is where we get our complimentary wine glasses, then Chris, Brenda and The Big Guy got Willy T’d, while I fixed dinner. While in St. Thomas I had scored the biggest, most beautiful scallops (at gulp, $24.99 pound, but worth every penny) so I served them with a sun-dried tomato buerre blanc and blue cheese mashed potatoes.  
At the Baths
     The next day we snorkeled the Indians, which was on our way to Peter Island where Brenda and I had spa treatments booked. While we were getting scrubbed and rubbed, Chris and Big hung out at the pool and drank Pain Killers at $17 a pop. Yes, Peter Island Resort is pretty proud of its elite status. Bren and I made friends with the bartender who happened to be our  hook up for the mint, so that night I made seared Ahi, plantain and sweet potato mash, Asian slaw (with mint) and a sauce called kecap manis (a soy reduction with star anise). We wrapped up our relaxing day with a fancy bottle of Champagne, which I had bought for Chris' birthday. Nothing but the best, for these two!
     The following day we sailed to the Baths where the (Suit)Cases and I ignored the “No Snorkeling” warning flags and went snorkeling. After our near drowning experience we hiked the Baths, Brenda & I bought some cool Conch shell necklaces, then we took a scenic taxi ride across Virgin Gorda, which includes the most amazing view of the Sir Francis Drake channel. Big took the boat around and met us at Leverick Baywhere we had Happy Hour and took in the very uncool Pirate show. Since Chris and Brenda had requested seafood and more seafood, I made salmon with cheesy grits and a caper cream sauce, for dinner.     
The breathtaking view of Virgin Gorda
The next morning Chris, who must have bumped his head several months ago, and who is training for some crazy Iron Man  thing, got a workout in by taking the kayak for a spin around the boat, then we set sail for Jost Van Dyke. Chris tried his skills at fishing and found out that he didn’t have any, however, he did master the art of the bar crawl. We then had dinner at Corsairs, where we were served an obscene amount of lobster, shrimp and scallops, which was very cool! 
     On our last day together we went to Caneel Bay on St. John, where we got in one last snorkel. After lunch in Cruz Bay, Brenda (who like myself, is a professional shopper) and I got some last minute "birthday" (wink-wink) shopping in. We wrapped up the trip with dinner at my second favorite cool place, XO Bistro. 
     The next morning the (Suit)Cases were crying and begging us to let them stay on, but we run a tight ship here and had some VIP's coming, so sadly we were forced to put them inside "Pinkie" and call them a cab. You should have heard the way they screamed...not cool...

Pears & Prosciutto with Orange, Fennel & Mint Dressing
 This was the recipe that originally sent me on my mint mission. Adapted from one from Bon Appetit that calls for pear nectar and anise, I make mine with orange juice and fennel and top it with a little goat cheese. Brenda said it was delish and she would know. Go to the "Recipes" tab at the top of this page to view it.

The bathroom at One Love Beach Bar,
which Brenda was waaaayyyy to cool to use!

Mar 4, 2011

Baby On Board

Shane, going up the mast
Provisioning the boat for two picky eaters and a baby was easy—bottled water for Paisley’s formula and frozen pizzas, hotdogs, fruity cereal, lots of tortillas, and beans for her mom and dad, and we were ready to hit the seas! 
     First things first…we started the trip by sending Shane up the mast to fix a light. Only when he was waaaaayyy up there did Savannah mention that he was afraid of heights. Turns out he is even more afraid of The Big Guy, so he didn’t mention it when he was getting strapped into the chair.
Paisley, in her snorkel suit
     With the mast light fixed we were off like a prom dress.The kids and Big got some diving and snorkeling in while I babysat the little power napper (read: naps in 5 minute intervals about twice a day). It should be noted here that the words “baby” “boating” and “relaxing” cannot under any circumstances be used in the same sentence. I know, I tried.
Since she wasn't quite sitting up by herself it meant that she had to be held constantly, which was not a bad thing unless you are a baby with little pimply bumps all over you.  Between the heat, the sticky salt air and the sunscreen she developed a rash over her entire body, except for that place under her chin where she stores up lint. We assumed it was itchy because...well it looked itchy and she cried like it was itchy. 
     For the most part she was a real little trooper! She sat through the entire (2 hour) Pirate show without cryingno wait a minute, that was me. After a long afternoon of doing the bar crawl on Jost Van Dyke she fell asleep in the dinghy on the ride back to the boat—ummm, come to think of it that was me too. Well never mind all that. 
     The truth is she was an absolute joy to have on board! By day she was a happy, smiling baby and I barely noticed that at night she turned into a screaming-mad, pacifier-spitting, diaper-dirtying machine.
     Oh, but I love my little Paisely and can’t wait to spend time with her again.  This baby is always welcome on board!
    It's hard to go wrong with grilled sandwhiches and kids.  I love paninis and make them all the time, with one of my favorites being turkey, pears, and fontina cheese. The possibilites are endless...ham, a pineapple slice and Gruyere cheese...tuna, artichokes and sharp cheddar...I usually make a flavored mayo, like pesto mayo or red pepper mayo to go along with. No recipes needed!