Summer Gathering 2015



Basil Sweet Tea Cocktails - Marinated Grilled Shrimp Pineapple summer Salad - Mango Jalapeño Polenta
 Key Lime Cookie Butter Pops


I can’t believe it’s been a year since the first Fond Life Gathering. So many lovely faces have been involved in this little blog since then. Chad and I have a little apartment nestled in Denver, and I wanted to use the Summer Gathering as an excuse to get to know our neighbors a little better. 

Since none of us have much space, we carted Amy’s table outside into our “yard” which is really just the space between the sidewalk and the street. It’s all about the company, right? Special thanks to Chase + Amy for the genius mixology, help in the kitchen, and for providing a table that could actually accommodate more than 4 people.


Chili Lime Sweet Tea Cocktail

I let Chase know the meal game plan early on in the week, and he developed the perfect batch cocktail to pair with the light and fresh flavors. This recipe comes straight from the man himself. 



1 750ml bottle of deep eddy’s sweet tea vodka
1 full bottle of limeade
15-20 basil leaves (bigger the better)
chipotle chili powder



  1. Pour a small amount of the sweet tea vodka into a sturdy cup. A pint glass works well.
  2. Add 10-12 basil leaves and muddle together extensively. This creates a concentrate that will flavor the rest of the drink.
  3. Strain the concentrate to remove the mashed up basil leaves to be left with deliciousness only.
  4. In a presentable container, combine the concentrate, 1/2 sweet tea vodka and 1/2 limeade. (You can always make it more boozy if you like.)
  5. Stir together and add a few basil leaves to the big container for presentation.


  1. Combine chipotle chili powder with sugar to make a garnish for the rim. You can make this as spicy or as sweet as you like.
  2. Put the chili & sugar onto a small, shallow plate.
  3. Cut up the limes into wedges and use an extra to “wet” the rim of the glass all the way around.
  4. With a wet rim, roll the rim of the glass in the chili/sugar mix until the whole thing is covered.
  5. Fill the glass with ice & 1 basil leaf
  6. Pour drink into glass
  7. Garnish with a lime wedge


Basil-Lime Grilled Shrimp

This recipe used about 1.5lbs jumbo shrimp, but the marinade could stretch farther to cover more if you’re feeding more people. To avoid burning your skewers, you can soak them in water before skewering your shrimp. You can also forego the grill, and cook these marinated babies on the stove top. 



1-2 lbs shrimp
1/2c olive oil
juice from 2 limes
1t lime zest
1t salt
3T fresh basil, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
grilling skewers


  1. Mix together olive oil, lime juice & zest, salt, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Add shrimp and stir to combine.
  2. Place shrimp mixture in a large bag to let marinate in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours.
  3. After marinated, place 4-5 shrimp on each grilling skewer. Heat grill to high and place skewers on grill, cooking 2 minutes on each side until bright pink.


Pineapple Summer Salad

This recipe just screams summer and is perfect for a picnic. The textures and light flavors are perfect to accompany any dish on a hot day. 



1 can black beans
1/2c pineapple, diced
1 small white onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, minced
1/2 green bell pepper, minced
1/4c parsley, chopped course
1c grape tomatoes, halved
1/2c olive oil
1/4c red wine vinegar
1T lime juice
alt + pepper


  1. Combine black beans, pineapple, onion, red pepper, parsley, and tomato in serving bowl.
  2. Whisk rest of ingredients together and thoroughly combine into bean mixture.
  3. Chill until ready to serve.


Mango Jalapeño Polenta

Base your quantity on the packaged instructions for how many people you are serving, substituting half of the water for mango puree. 



3-4 mangos
1  jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
2T butter


  1. Cut the flesh out of your mangos and puree in food process or blender, to make between 1-2 cups, depending on how much polenta you are making.
  2. Follow the cooking instructions on your polenta package, but substitute half of the water with the mango puree.
  3. When cooked, fold in butter and minced jalapeño. Keep warm until ready to serve.


Key Lime Cookie Butter Pops

This recipe is based off of a Smitten Kitchen recipe. The cookie butter is a great addition to these tart pops, and the cayenne adds a subtle kick to the mix.



2/3 c key lime juice
1t lime zest
1c half and half
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/4t cayenne pepper
cookie butter
gram crackers, crushed


Combine lime juice, zest, half and half, condensed milk and cayenne. Mix well.
Pour popsicle molds 2/3 full. Dollop a few scoops cookie butter into each popsicle mold, and top off with additional key lime filling.
Insert pop sticks and freeze for at least 4 hours.
Spread crushed gram crackers on a flat surface, coating the pops before serving.