Night out nets new friends, great recipe

Friday, August 16, 2013, Vol. 37, No. 33

Last Friday night, Don and I had a funeral visitation we had to attend around six o’clock. Afterwards, since we were pretty “dressed-up” and all, we decided to make it a date night. After all, who wants to be showered and dressed on a Friday night for only about an hour? We felt like we needed to take advantage of the situation.

We chose one of our favorite restaurants not far from our house, Bonefish Grill. Luckily, there was only about a 15-minute wait.

While waiting for our table, we inched-up next to the bar to grab something to drink. Since I could feel a migraine coming on, I decided to stay away from my usual glass of red wine and instead opted for a non-alcoholic drink called Blackberry Spritzer. Boy, was it good.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but drinks featuring real-juice mixed with water are becoming all the rage. Even a few of the hotels I’ve been to recently have large glass urns filled with ice and lemons and limes, or sometimes cucumbers. These drinks are becoming quite popular, and I love them.

We came away from this restaurant with two pluses – a new recipe (the bartender gave me the ingredients used in the Blackberry Spritzer) and a new friendship.

We struck up a conversation with the couple sitting across from us and, honestly, it was like we’d been friends for years. I love when that happens. As it turned out, the couple next to us had also just left a funeral visitation.

It started when Don and I ordered the bang-bang shrimp on the appetizer menu. The other couple ordered something else, but afterward saw that just about everyone had ordered the bang-bang shrimp but them, and so they were curious as to how it tasted.

We explained that the shrimp is kind of a signature item for the restaurant, but our conversation grew from that point on.

Blackberry Spritzer

1 ounce of coconut water
1 ounce of blackberry syrup
club soda
1 lemon, sliced
2 sage leaves, torn

Add the coconut water and blackberry syrup to a serving glass with ice. (The one the bar used was a large wine glass.) Toss in a few blackberries, a few slices of lemon, squeezed, and a few of the sage leaf pieces. Finish off with club soda. Add more blackberry syrup if desired.

Corn Dip

4 cans of Green Giant Mexi Corn
1/2 of a purple onion, chopped
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1/2-3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2-3/4 cup of Mexican cheese, shredded
Salt, pepper, paprika (to taste)
Heaping spoonful of real mayonnaise

Mix all of the ingredients together. Use enough mayo to bind the ingredients to dipping consistency. Chill before serving to let flavors meld. Best with Frito’s but tortilla chips are OK, too.

Anyway, it was a great evening, and we exchanged cards and promised to stay in touch with each other.

Another event we attended this weekend was the birthday party for our 3-year old granddaughter in Arlington, Tenn.

As with most birthday parties for young children, it was busy, filled with the excitement of the kids, and so much fun.

April, our daughter, had the party at a park. The night was great. It was cool and the sun was behind the clouds, so the children were able to run and play while the adults sat under the pavilion. No one got overheated. It was the perfect setting.

At the party, we had burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, but there was one dip that stood out in the mix – a corn dip. I’ve been trying to get this recipe from the owner for quite some time, and she finally gave it to me. I told her I was going to share it with all of you, and she was all for that.

I promise you it’s a great corn dip! It’s easy to make and you’ll will get rave reviews from serving this at your next cookout. Or, since football time and tailgating is just around the corner, it would be a super tailgate party dip.

So, in order to share both of these recipes with you, I’m shuttin’ up. But not without one last thought: try both of these recipes – they’re great. (DaVinci makes some Blackberry syrup.) You can make this drink in a larger batch, ahead of time, it you want it for a get-together. Get everything prepared and then just make them up as you go along. They’re fun for a party and easy for someone to make their own.

Edie Lee Adams gave me the corn dip recipe. I have had this two or three times now, and it gets better every time. You’ll love it. I promise.