Showing posts with label caribbean. Show all posts
Showing posts with label caribbean. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Island Sides

The past few days have been feeling more Caribbean-like up here in the northeast. I stepped off the train this morning and was greeted by a hot, humid gust of Long Island wind. Not only is the morning heat very reminiscent of the islands, these afternoon thunderstorms are too!

There is just one big difference between enjoying Caribbean weather while on vacation and suffering through it on a regular day. I try to look presentable when going to work where I don't even bother with mascara on vacation. This humidity is making my hair straightener work overtime! Even after ten minutes with the iron, all of my hard work is undone upon opening the front door!

Luckily I have an appointment at the salon this weekend, where I will cut several inches off my hair. This will make it lighter and easier to curl. The straight-haired days of winter are over. Time to embrace bouncy curls once again! (Which means its also time to confuse my male coworkers with my ever changing hair.)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paradise Chicken

Since I shared with you an island drink yesterday, I thought that today I would tell you a little bit about that island.  St Kitts, home of Ting, is part of the Caribbean country including its neighboring island Nevis.  Boyfriend and I spent a week there a few years ago and loved every minute of it.

If you are looking for a quiet island with lots to do, this is the place to book your next vacation.  Boyfriend and I were drawn to St Kitts with its promise of lush rain forests, clear blue waters and monkeys!

Yes, monkeys!  The monkeys that live on St Kitts are not naturally from the island and were brought there by the French as pets in the 1600's.  Now they abound in the rain forests and you can even find them by the beaches, drinking your cocktails.  (Enjoy a laugh and google drunken St Kitts monkeys!)

You should definitely judge your vacation location depending on its lack or abundance of monkeys.

We also spent a good portion of time hiking through the rain forest and walking through Basseterre.  We ate locally made ice cream in the port during the day and barbecued chicken on the beach at night.  There was always an abundance of empty beaches with calm water for snorkeling and wave-filled beaches for the acrobat in your family.

We lived on chicken while we were on St Kitts.  The many different beach huts we frequented all offered their delicious poultry options.  For our Caribbean dreams menu, chicken had to be the main course.  I chose a dish with heat, traditionally found on St Thomas.  If you're not a fan of spicy foods, just remove the habanero pepper!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Caribbean Dreams

It's the unofficial start of summer here in the United States!  Memorial day weekend marks the beginning of weekends at the beach, late nights over the fire pit and long bike rides in the sun.  To celebrate summer, boyfriend and I threw a dinner party for our friends with the warm weather in mind.  While the northeast won't be greeted with tropical weather this weekend, we soon will be basking in heat and humidity.

Traditionally, boyfriend and I head to the Caribbean right around the time we get sick of winter.  This means that come February, we are packing up our suitcases with bathing suits and sunscreen, getting ready to escape the snow and clouds.  Whether it be a trip on a cruise, sailing from island to island, or a week at a beach side resort, wiling away the hours lazing on the beach.  It doesn't matter where we go, as long as it's warm!

We never wind up just sitting and relaxing of course.  If you know us, you know that boyfriend and I cannot sit still for very long.  On our trips to the islands, you might find us snorkeling, hiking, rappelling, zip-lining or canyoning.  Our day-long adventures lead us to be extremely hungry come the end of the day!  The best way to finish your day in the islands is eating at a beach side hut, enjoying food prepared by locals.

Along our travels throughout the Caribbean, I have picked up a number of local cookbooks.  Since we only travel south once a year, I wanted to be able to remember that vacation feeling while at home.  It was from these cookbooks that we planned out Caribbean dreams dinner party for our friends.

In order to unofficially start summer here in New Jersey, we enjoyed a dinner from the islands!  The food took us island hopping from Key West to St Thomas.  Drinks and desserts brought us from St Kitts to Grenada.  We journeyed all over the Caribbean sea in a single evening!  Throughout the week, you can take the same trip we took and today we begin with drinks.

While I was still a Postdoc, boyfriend and I took a week long trip to St Kitts.  While the island is an excellent place for hiking, snorkeling and monkey sighting, it is also home to Ting.  During our week on St Kitts, we probably drank a few dozen bottles of Ting.  A sparkling, tangy grapefruit soda, Ting is bottled on St Kitts (originating on the island of Jamaica!) and is a favorite local drink.  If you're looking to enjoy your vacation a little more, pour in some rum, for Ting with a sting!

Stop by all week for the rest of our Caribbean dreams dinner and take a trip of your own!

Drinks - Ting & Ting with a sting - St Kitts

Appetizer - Coconut Shrimp with mango-lime yogurt - Key West

Main - Paradise Fowl - St Thomas, USVI

Sides - Hot Lulu - Cayman Islands
         - Island Salad - Dominica

Dessert - Traditional Chocolate Cake - Grenada (I'm not going to share this recipe quite yet, because to be honest, it wasn't that good.  Straight from the cookbook, this cake came out bitter and oily.  Totally not blog-worthy!)
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