About a month ago, during a stormy day, the neighbor's daughter brought us some rice with milk - a wonderful snack here, especially on chilly or rainy days. I have sent them brownies and cake in the past, but I got the idea that I would make some cookies.
I pulled up a toll-house cookie recipe (always remember that Friends episode where they tore their hair out looking for Phoebe's grandmother's secret cookie recipe - with the French accent they didn't figure out until the end that it was toll-house, and right on the package...hahaha).
While searching for the toll-house recipe, I found one for chocolate chip peanut-butter cookies too, and since I happened to have crunchy peanut butter on-hand, I decided to make a batch of those while I was at it.
The cookies all turned out great, but way too many for us. Some went to the neighbors (I put the cookies in the dish they used for the rice with milk - was taught to never return a dish empty (although I sure have, lots of times)). Some cookies were given to Miguel's daughter, some were given to Ed (a client who was here on his own for a month), and some were given to another client (along with some of my home-made lasagna).
The peanut butter chocolate chip cookies were the best, and from now on those are all I'm going to make - we love them and so does everyone else we share them with.
And the lasagna - one of our clients loves lasagna, and so I wanted to share some when I made it. In exchange, they made lasagna a couple of weeks later, and delivered it to the house, along with some gnocchis, a stick of bread and a nice slice of cake with chocolate icing. In exchange I made them some chicken vegetable soup, and sent it over along with some fresh rolls, and a few more cookies from the batch I made that morning.
I've also shared some soup and cookies with the carpenter who has worked so hard the last month. He didn't say anything about the food so I'm not sure he liked it, but I'll continue to share with him anyway, when I make something I think he will enjoy. He lives alone and I know he doesn't cook for himself, other than eggs.
We have exchanged meals with other friends too - they came for breakfast a few months ago for Miguel's chilaquilles (the best in the world). A month or so ago we went to their place for dinner - Italian night - baked ziti, Italian sausage, salad, and lime pie. Delicious!
Ed also came for breakfast one day - once again we did chilaquilles since we know he loves them. Then he took us to Cafe Hidalgo for breakfast, and a couple of weeks later we shared a delicious pizza from Barlito's. We couldn't just have the pizza though, we also shared the Anthony Panini (meatballs made with their own Italian sausage) - the best sandwich in the world.
On Thursday my ex-boss and his new wife came to the island for a day-trip. I took them all over the island and we ended the day with a shared meal on the beach at Sunset Grill. I ordered aztec soup and it was so flavorful - I will definitely go there again for that soup.
Last night we had guests who checked in at one of the homes and they were hungry so they followed us to La Bruja since we were going there anyway. We ended up sitting together and we ordered way too much food but it was all great - they loved it, and we found a lot of common interests and spent a very pleasant time.
Our clients that we exchanged lasagna with just made some cheesecake to share, so our evening rounds may involve a drop-in to pick up the dessert. It will taste great with our coffee later this evening. Now I'm subscribed to daily recipes from Allrecipes.com, and since I saved a cheesecake recipe that came to my email last week, I'm probably going to make that in exchange.
The recipe today calls for triple-dipped battered chicken. The calorie count is off the wall, but it sounds so good I'm going to have to make it soon. You can be sure I will not be short of people to share it with. Just have to figure out what to make for dessert (I bet peanut butter chocolate chip cookies would be just fine). Although Ed's wife Judy sent me a recipe for a chocolate chip cheese ball - since she's coming next month, I might have to make that and share it with her. She is doing some research so might need to include that dessert as part of her investigations. ;-)
All this friendship has resulted in widening waistlines, but it's so much fun to share that I think it will be part of our routine now. In fact, I'm almost tempted to suggest a monthly food fest amongst our friends and clients - hosted at one of our homes, depending on who is here and when. We all have at least two things in common - we love Isla Mujeres and we love animals. I guess we also have a third thing in common - we love to eat good food and we are all good cooks (is that four things in common?). We'll see how it all unfolds over time.