Cucumber Sandwiches [RECIPE]

Cucumber sandwiches

The next time you host a tea, shower, or other gathering, try whipping up our yummy and refreshing cucumber sandwiches. (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

I’m a girl who loves her tea, and I especially love sharing it with a girlfriend or two as we catch up, laugh, and enjoy one another’s company. But what is a tête-à-tête without a little nosh? These cucumber sandwiches make the perfect accompaniment to an afternoon tea, but also work nicely at showers and other gatherings.  Read more of this post

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Together You and I

Mums in the pumpkin patch

Huge pumpkins and beautiful mums announce the arrival of fall with big, bold color.


October 2011

Dear Friends,

Recently we dropped in on one of our favorite people and caught up on life, sharing our challenges, triumphs, and dreams. It was one of those philosophical conversations we all have at times that was filled with what Oprah always calls, “Aha!” moments. By the end of the afternoon, we walked away with a pocketful of little epiphanies, but one stood out more than all the rest: If we put aside judgments and live with an open heart, we rise toward greatness and make great strides toward finding peace and ultimately, happiness.

We loved that thought, for it was so profound, and yet really quite simple. Leave judgments in God’s hands, and simply love one another. Perhaps British novelist C.S. Lewis put it best when he said, “Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.”

With that thought in mind, we decided to make a concerted effort to simply enjoy the people that populate our lives and demonstrate affection for them in whatever way we can. For an elderly housebound couple, we baked a cake and delivered it to their home. When we accepted a last-minute invitation to share a garden-fresh meal with friends and neighbors at their tiny cottage, we prepared our favorite Bread with Herb Butter and a tossed salad to share with everyone there.

Yesterday, we hosted our Fall Fiesta and served some of our signature Mexican and Tex-Mex inspired dishes like Toasted Flautas, Janet’s Chilaquiles, Spanish Rice, Chicken Enchiladas Salsa Verde, Seven-Layer Dip, Chunky Guacamole with Serrano Peppers, and more. The addition of libations like Margaritas, Strawberry Daiquiris and Pina Coladas rounded out the meal. But it wasn’t just the food and alcohol that everyone enjoyed, for all of us embraced the opportunity to gather together, make new friends and laugh with old ones. Happiness ricocheted through our house like a lightning bolt in a thunderstorm, striking all of us to the point that we thought folks were going to spend the night. We love parties like that! Nothing makes us happier than when everyone has a good time and asks to be invited again soon.

This month, we’re also taking pleasure in the tasks of the season, like planting mums, buying pumpkins, going to college football games, and canning and freezing the last of summer’s veggies. We also begin planning our big parties for later in the year, including our annual Fall Feast, Winter Brunch and Game Day, and a new celebration, our First Feast. It is a lot to do, but we love this time of year with cooler, crisper weather, tons of color, and reasons to indulge in seasonal treats like caramel apples, hot cider and yummy pumpkin pie.

We hope you have the opportunity to make special memories with good friends this month too. Take a group of your best pals to a local festival like the 42nd Annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville, Ohio or meet some of your favorite authors at Books by the Bank, a local book festival here in Cincinnati. (If you go, be sure to visit our friends Brock Clarke and Michael Griffith and pick up one of their latest books!) Or you can simply host your own little soirée or movie night and hang out with good friends. Whatever you do, great people make for special memories and many more chances to add a little more happiness to your life. Live well!

With love,
Jathan & Heather

p.s. We love Dolly Parton‘s new song, “Together You and I.” We feel that it really embodies the epiphany we talked about earlier. Watch the fun video for this tune below.

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.