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I would like to raise my glass… so I will.


To the time we spend together and the time we spend apart. To new friends, old friends and friends we will never meet (in person).

To drinks that are raised, to food that is eaten (enjoyed + thoughtfully prepared).

To cooks that are passionate, to cooks that are good, to cooks that experiment (which are those that have the most fun).

To a red fish, a blue fish, and a place in the sun.

To Angie, for giving us a venue to cook, share and inspire.


Now, please

Close your eyes, if you will, and imagine this: a hot beach, scattered with squishy white sand still warm from the sun. A sunset, exploding with color and filling the sky. Music, softly and rhythmically performing in unison with the lapping waves of the ocean; I’m thinking, Taj Mahal (especially with The Hula Blues Band). Bebel Gilberto (or any relation*), perhaps Charles Afton (check out Lost Sunset Lounge), Stan Getz (the Bossa Nova years*) or Sarah Vaughn (particularly Copacabana).

Okay, imagine breathing in, the taste of salty air languishes on your tongue. The smell of fragrant flowers mix in, blending, in perfect harmony, with that of the hot coals, readying themselves for the feast. Partygoers are arriving dressed in linen and silk, flip flops, sandals and hats. There are smiles and conversation, food, drink and the promise of fun. It is Fiesta Friday and I am there to help make you feel welcome with a kind word and a smile. I hand you a cocktail and a bite to begin before mixing into the crowd, sharing stories, making memories and letting the stress of the busy week seem miles away.

Now, as you open your eyes, you will see an amuse-bouche to start you on your way, over to the party.

20140516-145009.jpgPlease help yourself.



Chez Stacey Tuna Poke bites
Makes twelve amuse


3 oz sashimi grade ahi tuna
2 TB lite soy sauce
1 tsp chopped, roasted shiitake mushrooms
1 TB chopped pickled ginger
1 TB sliced spring onions (green and white parts)
1/2 tsp chopped chipotle
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 TB chopped cilantro


Rinse and pat dry the fish.

Combine the remaking ingredients.


With a very clean knife, on a very clean surface (I keep my tuna on wax paper over a cutting board), dice the tuna into 3/8″ cubes.

Toss this into the sauce mix and stir to combine. Now comes the fun. Plate, style and garnish as you wish.

20140516-201422.jpgI found it fun to use the spring onion as a spoon by slicing lengthwise up the middle of the stem and peeling off the outer pieces. The smaller, inner pieces were perfect for slicing to add to the mix.

Now, with cocktail in hand, and amuse down the hatch, step over to Angie’s site here, to mix and mingle…but wait, first, please meet the beautiful (inside and out) Elaine, my partner co-host for Fiesta Friday #16, that will have amply prepared scrumptiousness (yes, it’s a word) for your enjoyment. So, please, step over here first. Then, over to the Novice Gardner here for the “real” party.

(be sure to check out the party guidelines here so you can link up properly).