Been Around the World and Back

IMG_3829

Time does not change me.  I change time.

There's an picture of me that I will never forget - I am a kid, in a hallway in one of our temporary homes, it's Christmas.  I had just been given 2 dollhouses as presents.  I had a shit eating grin on my face that defied time.  Cut to 35 some-odd years later.  Now, I am in Istanbul, Turkey (the Asian side).  We've almost wrapped a new Arabic talk show I helped launch.  I've got cold champagne in one hand and that same shit eating grin on my mug.  I suppose not much has changed since old Misty girl was a kid.

Been getting lots of emails on where the heck am I and why is The Tooth not being updated. 

Well, I've been a busy bee - I sold my first show that I created from scratch straight to series to National Geographic Channel and worked on that for months down in Texas.  It will air in January.

Right after we wrapped, I drove all through mainland Mexico, and even did a 2 week stint in San Miguel de Allende, where I am most certain I would have been murdered if I'd stayed a hot second longer.

I just got back from a month in Istanbul, where a new talk show I was working on was one of the toughest (and funnest) of my career.  Americans, Turks and Arabs - what a lovely lesson in world politics.

Currently, I am now home on my boat in the marina with my dog, Minka, and watching the sun set - it's massive and golden orange and I cannot take my eyes off it - which is causing me loads of hotspots while writing this.

Bottom line, I'm back.  I'm going to create & sell more shows.  I'm going to make many more wonderful meals in my floating kitchen.  I'm going to get a 27' Airstream (upgrade from the 23').  I'm going to make it all happen, just like I always thought I would.  Same shit eating grin the whole way. 

Much to come - mst


But Then I Remember Why Belize is SOOO Special

_MG_2863
Especially after a nice Cuba Libre for breakfast....
I asked the lady running the hotel breakfast room if it would be nuts to have rum for breakfast and she laughed and cheered me (with her own bit she was nippin on)!  My kind of peeps.  Life is too short to not have a damn drink when you exit the hell of the Belizian jungle.  The pina colada I had the night we got out tore my stomach up.  I was so used to just beans and rice and water. Good to know you can't just go back!
Anyhow - we roll out different people.  At least I was.  You begin to realize what you should (and shouldn't) leave home for.   I used to be the gal who would tear out for a job with barely a minutes notice, but things are on the change...I missed Minka something terrible - but then met 2 dogs on the island we had to stop at on the way to Snake Island.  They made my day with their funny dreads and their excited way they greeted every boat that roared by.  
What a simple life the ranger led.  Visitors come.  Tell them about the islands.  Day done.  Holla.
The boat ride over to Snake Island was perfect - I made rum and cokes with fresh ginger and limes.  Coconut rum, mind you.  We swam with sharks.  We saw loads of crazy colorful fish while snorkeling.  We had a ball our last day.   And, then it was over.  Just like that.
Kylie went on to film this new show on Discovery Channel - Naked and Afraid. Her episode premieres July 28 so mega root for her (it's the season finale)!  Dave the DP had just wrapped the new Robert Redford sailing movie he shot in Baja (ALL IS LOST - cannot wait til that comes out this summer)!  And, we will wait and see what becomes of Mark and his footage of the shoot.  Forgot to tell you - in all that freaking jungle...WE FOUND IT.  It was an impossible discovery, but we did it.  
WHEWWWWWW!
_MG_2829
_MG_2837
_MG_2838
_MG_2843
_MG_2845
_MG_2847
_MG_2850
_MG_2851
_MG_2854
_MG_2884
_MG_2891
_MG_2903


Cooking Up a Truly Homemade Feast - Fatcake Style

IMG_7999-1

God bless kitchens - it's like every day's a cookbook!

Cooking food with me and my gals is like going to war and back - with a full belly onhand.  There is no solid plan.  Just loose...and very vague ideas, that usually come together at the very last minute on a rare day off. 

What's in the fridge, what can I throw together, while half sauced.  Cause you know the sauce is on the make come high noon.  That's usually the first craving.  A good, goes-down-easy cocktail of some sort.   Or perhaps some very hyper-chilled sparkling something or other.  Maybe half frozen sake.  Lately it's been mega mixology drinks with made up names (stand by for "A Goat Named Minka" - a drink so damn good, that has me slinging back hard whiskey - and I'm not, I repeat not into the browns).

Usually a pop into someones room - rounding up a few folks who might be spending the day not slugging it to the city.  A competitive game or two is usually involved and whoever has hands and wants to help can jump in the kitchen.  Nobody really knows what's happening - it's like a tornado blazing through.  A white squall of activity around the kitchen island.  I love to cook this way.

Drinks being mixed, pans being dirtied with all the sauces and mix-ups, funky homemade dips being dunked into, laughs being had, half convos attempted.  It's easy to get distracted by the need to dump more white wine into the risotto.  Holy crap, hand-slapped, wine bottle rolled noodles to go with the beef dish - why not whip some up with a ton of butter?   The rich just-made pesto, caramelized roasted tomatoes with garlic and mixed goat cheeses skulking on top of little toasts goes really fast. 

I'm usually braising some kind of vegetable in the oven for hours and hours during the workday, so I have a fridge full of them on the wait - just chillin' out, waiting to be the inspiration for something downright delicious.  They're easy to sling onto a cracker, into the wok risotto, or eat just straight off a knife.   Wine and olive oil turn anything into something creamy and slatherable.

And, when it's over, it's beyond over.  Dishes cleaned, games tucked away, leftovers dolled out, dessert shoved down.  Everyone quickly disappearing into their own little private domain that is their corporate housing apartment.  Little waves goodbye and hasta mananas all the way around.

IMG_7977

IMG_7947

IMG_7952

IMG_7967

IMG_7994

IMG_7961

IMG_8000

IMG_8034

 

 


The Best Tequila in the World Found in La Bufadora

IMG_0337

Regular tequila no mas.

La Bufadora, Baja is famous for being the home of an enormous blowhole that spits water hundreds of feet up in the air.  

On this latest trip down the peninsula I wanted to see places I've never been so, I went trekked down the curvy, mountainous road to check it out.   How I ended up swilling the most delicious house-made tequila I've ever had instead of seeing a world famous blow hole is beyond me, but who cares.  So some water shoots up in the air; MY GOD, did you even know tequila like this existed? 

I  wasn't even on a tequila quest at that point in the trip.  Hell, La Bufadora is just barely south of the border, but once the old dude sitting alone with a beer told me I had to try the tequila cause it was the best he ever had...well, that's all she wrote.  

I bought a big bottle of it ($50 for half bottle) thinking I'd haul it home to add to my liquor cabinet, but dontcha know I drank the whole beast before I even hit the southern tip of Baja.  Never has a sipping tequila gone down so good.  I could make mucho dinero off this tequila here - they infuse it for weeks with raisins, lemon and orange peels.  The color is so bright and fresh.  The legs just rich.  The taste is unreal.  

I wish my computer could squirt out scents.  This tequila would bowl you over.  Find it at the restaurant at the top of the hill just before you park and head down to the blowhole.  Trust me, buy the whole bottle.  Half will be gone before you even hit Guerro Negro.

IMG_0308

IMG_0324

IMG_0320


The Maritime in NYC - Just a Chill Spot

IMG_2325

All I'm sayin'is the Maritime Hotel in NYC makes me happy.  

It's all nautical-themed, with big port hole windows that actually open out to all the beautiful NYC noise.  The rooms are tiny, like cruise ship rooms, but no matter...it's all about the thread count (500, thanks).  The Bloody Mary's are made with olive flavored vokda (rare touch) and the baked eggs are sick.  Makes ya just want a NY Times, a few BM's, a warm breeze and a whole new way of looking at the world around ya.

Choice spot to stay in the Chelsea area.  Love walking that band of road.

IMG_2321

IMG_2323

IMG_2327

IMG_2331

IMG_2328

IMG_2332

IMG_2334


Swinging Door in Texas...Home Sweet Home...

IMG_0138

Texas is just damn big.

We were just down filming in Texas for a few days and to me, the mighty state of Texas is all about Tex-Mex style Mexican food, freezing cold beer and massive plates of BBQ (thank you Swinging Door, which reminds me of home in TN!).  Not much else.  I found good stuff all the way around.  Backwoods BBQ, cold beer in little barrels + you just grab one on your way to a table, and Mexican food so good and cheap it's insulting.  I still couldn't wait to bolt though.  Bolt - back to New Jersey.  Could you imagine?

Who knows when I'll roll back thru Texas...though I do want to make it to Marfa one day (it's supposed to be an incredibly cool little town in the middle of nowhere with skies that stretch forever).  I also love Texas Hill Country, but sadly, I was in neither of those...I was holed up in the Hotel Derek in Houston managing my prosecco habit and trying to make a friggin' TV show.

Onto better drinks...

IMG_0139

IMG_0134

IMG_0129

IMG_0133

IMG_0136

IMG_0148

IMG_0132

 

 


Mojitos in Todos Santos - Con Killer View

IMG_0098

It's all about the crushed ice.

The best mojito I ever had was in Nicaragua.  Little Corn Island to be precise.  It's mainly cause they crushed the ice and used no artificial ingredients.  That, the stars, the pounding surf and the full moon actually are what made the drink mad memorable.  I still toss that memory about my mind at least once a week.

Since then, I've had a rather difficult time finding 'tenders who will use crushed ice.  They look at me like I'm nuts.  But, sometimes they go the extra mile, beat the shit outta some ice, and throw down on a delicious mojito.  Like at a new, super-chill hotel in Todos Santos called Guaycura

It's a very hip place on a dirt road with a killer roof-top deck to watch the sunset from.  Drinks are way too expensive, but when the jazz band is up there playing and the bar folks are willing to go the extra mile, I'm all in.  One after another, after another.  They just go down soooo easy. 

The rooms are quite nice.  I could imagine tucking away and just getting some shiz done in this little place.  $1 fish tacos by day and mojitos 10x that price by afternoon and night.  Look, you pick your savings and sometimes it ain't in the booze.

The whole place is quite lovely - twinkly, sparkling and sophisticated all at once.  But down a dirt road.  Exactly my style.

IMG_2488

IMG_2489

IMG_2490

IMG_2492

IMG_2496

IMG_2497

IMG_2501


A Dazzling Drink Called Gypsy Tears

IMG_2355

Drinks should be just as special and well thought out as food.  Period.

Not once had I ever tasted St. Germain, before I happened upon it one fine day in NYC.  It's a highly addictive liqueur made from wild elderflower (picked in the Alps), that once you inhale a bit, you're done in.  It's over.  The stars align, the birds chirp and life seems to continually be on the up and up!

This drink found its way into my happy little paws one night in in the city after a pals play.  The bartender had crafted up this doozie one day in the middle of the summer to take advantage of all the fresh produce.  Namely watermelon and cucumber. It's so easy to recreate, which I have done multiple times to the delight of all who get enveloped in her gracefully sippable aura.

So - you muddle cucumber.  You muddle watermelon.  Toss both into a glass and add a couple hits of St. Germain as well as some somewhat dry Savignon Blanc.  Shake it super well and strain the whole bit into a fresh glass of ice (with a bit of the muddle at the bottom).

Literally off the charts as far as drinks are concerned.  I was thinking another good one would be Texas Tears.  But this time, use ginger liquer and something really spicy like baby bits of jalapeno juice to top it off. 

Once you have drinks like this, everything else seems so pedestrian and blase.  I can almost never drink another vodka or rum drink again.  Unless, of course, its Bison Grass vodka.  And, there is that rum I discovered in Nicaragua, Flor de Cana.  And, I still love my Indo rum, Jamaica. 

But still...like I said, all drinks quaffed should be just as special as the food ya shove down.  If only bartenders 'round the world understood this. 

IMG_2363

IMG_2368

IMG_2371

IMG_2373

IMG_2374

IMG_2376

IMG_2377

 


Best Drinks in the World and Where They Be Found

IMG_2784

Absolutely my favorite thing to do the in the world is tie one on.  Sort out where I'm having my next one.  Just take the edge off.  Have a bit of a breather. 

So, why not lay out some round-the-world details of where to have the perfect libation?  There are so many goodies.  From South Africa, to San Miguel del Allende, to Baja, to Indo, to Isla Mujeres, to Yelapa, to Greece, to Italy, to TN, to Marina del Rey.  All of them.

My next posts shall explore them all.  Cause it's my favorite thing EVER.  And, why not?  We're all dead soon, anyhow.  Might as well go out lit.

This would be a good one to listen to whilst figuring out where to have your next one.

 

Me Gustas Tu



 


Indo Rum Mixed With a Little POM Juice is Straight Delish

IMG_4160

My favorite rum in the entire world is something I can only find in Indonesia.  Such a tragedy.  I only have a spot of it left, from a bottle that my pal Mary brought back for me the last time she was there (the best surprise ever).  I can't even find anything about it online--Mansion House Jamaica Rum.  I mean I can't find jack...nada.

Now, here's what I did to stretch the goods.  I coupled this incredible rum, which has the most alarmingly delightful floral/caramel/rosy flavor, with some tart Pomegranate juice that the kind folks over at the POM empire sent me to sample.  I squeezed a bunch of juicy lime in the glass and swooshed around a long rosemary sprig.  Dude.  I really have no words for the pleasure packet this summery combo provided me.  Couple of gulps and it was gone.  Which leaves me so little precious rum left. 

I meant to bring some back from Indo this past trip, but it slipped my mind.  Let's just say that won't happen again.  In fact, I think I could make a pretty penny off this rum.  Ever read the book "Around the World in 80 Trades"??  It's well worth the read--this intrepid guy rolls around the world with a vague plan of how to pick up one product in lets say South Africa and then transport it to India where he makes a buck on it.  He did a TV show about it for Channel 4 in the UK, which I didn't see, but the book is a page-turner.  His ultimate goal is to double his dough--$50k USD--which he managed to do in about 5 months.

I love hair-brained schemes, especially those that involve travel.  He was buying camels in Northern Africa, selling inflatable surfboards in Mexico, picking up Jade in Asia, pilfering hot sauce in India, making straight coin off red wine in Singapore, ditching tequila in Brazil, off-loading teak in the UK.  Really brill stuff. 

This rum could easily fit into that vein, if you've got the wherewithal to go there.  Which I just may, someday.

IMG_4162