Joe’s Stone Crab Key Lime Pie (copycat)

One of my favorite restaurants is Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami (not to be confused with Joe’s Crab Shack). Will Smith once said that Joe’s was his favorite place to eat.  For one hundred years, Miami natives and tourists alike have dined along side celebrities including Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali and Jennifer Lopez.  Joe’s has been a south beach institution since 1913! My husband loves the stone crabs and the key lime pie.  I love the key lime pie (not so into stone crabs).  Joe’s is really famous for their key lime pie and I finally perfected it (as close as it can be). Next time you’re in SoBe, make sure you find time to visit Joe’s and try the Key Lime Pie.  It’s cold.  It’s tart. It’s creamy.  It’s delicious.  (Or, just stay home and make mine!)  Joe’s has limited summer hours, so check before you go.  Here’s the address:

11 Washington Ave 
Miami BeachFlorida 33139
305-673-0365
www.joesstonecrab.com

I actually made these mini key lime pies as an early birthday surprise for my son-in-law because I knew I would be out of the country on his birthday.  He simply loves these!  And I’m up for the mother-in-law of the year award because I take my own advise.  You can read it here!

Key Lime Pie

5.0 from 3 reviews
Joes' Stone Crab Key Lime Pie (copycat)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. lime zest
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • ⅔ cup fresh key lime juice
  • For crust:
  • 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ⅓ cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. To make crust, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together and press firmly to bottom and sides of pie plate. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. In mixer with wire whisk, beat egg yolks and lime zest on high speed until very fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  4. Gradually add the condensed milk and beat 3-4 minutes longer. Lower speed and gradually add the lime juice until combined.
  5. Pour into crust and bake 10 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate until well chilled.

Helpful Hint:  You can also buy a ready made graham cracker crust or bake them in small pans like I did so that everyone gets their own!  I tried to find the tiny tart pans with the removable bottoms, but couldn’t. Also, never, ever use bottled lemon or lime juice when making a pie.  It will give it an artificial, yucky taste. And if you don’t have key limes on hand, go ahead and use the juice from regular limes.  It’s not quite the same, but really close.  Key limes are not just limes grown in the keys.  Actually, it’s a specific variety of  lime.  Read all about key limes here! Time to give it up!  What’s your favorite pie? Joe's Stone Crab

Beach Sign Tutorial

I’m beyond excited to have Danielle guest blogging for me today!  Danielle lives in Australia and we became blogger friends a while back.  She invited me to write a guest post a few months ago on her Glitter Bug Blog and now she’s guest posting for me.  You can see the post I wrote for her (Discovering your Body Shape) by clicking here!
Please give Danielle a warm welcome by leaving a comment!  Now, on with Danielle’s beach sign tutorial!

 

Hi everyone! I’m Danielle from Glitter Bug and I’m so excited to be stopping by Alli’s blog to
share this fun tutorial with you all. Alli was a guest poster on my blog a few
months back and I have been so late in getting this post to her – so I just wanted
to quickly apologize to Alli for being so late!!

 

I live in Australia, in a small beach side town. We moved
here nearly two years ago and into our current house 8 months later. Our house
is a rental so decorating and still sticking to the rules can be tricky.
Luckily these day companies like 3M are making products for renters that make
my life easier.

 

Today I’m sharing a tutorial for my DIY Beach Sign. I made this sign for our bathroom as I’m in the
process of giving it a little facelift, normally I’m not one for the beachy
theme – well only because I live a few blocks away from the beach and I just feel
it’s cheesy to have a beachy house in a beach town, but I made an exception for
our bathroom since the floor tiles are a blueish colour. I knew I wanted a
beach sign and after one failed attempt I finally got a finished product I
love. I think it looks great above the mirror and it’s given me new inspiration
to get the bathroom completed! So let’s make our very own DIY Beach Sign!
 
You’ll
need:
 
·       Plank
of wood (size is up to you)
·       Wide
masking tape or contact paper
·       Letter
templates
·       2
colours of paint (I used house paint but use what you have)
·       Foam
brush
·       Sander
or sandpaper
·       3M
Command Strips
·       Scissors
·       Pencil/pen

 

Step
1:

Start by cutting your wood to size, the length of your piece depends on how
wide your wood is and how far apart you space your letter – give yourself a few
inches to be safe (you can always cut
some off if needed)
. Now if you have a power saw this step will take you
all of 5 minutes. {However if you only have a hacksaw like us then give yourself
20 minutes to get this done.}
Lightly sand the edges to remove any rough bits.

 

Step
2:

Paint your plank the letter colour. I chose white for my letters so in my case
I paint the top of the plank white first. Allow to dry – apply re-coats as necessary.

 

Step
3:
 Arrange your tape letters on your plank. {I used the font Bebas Neue size
360.}
 I just traced the letters onto paper from my
computer screen. 
I then rolled out strips of wide masking tape {or you can use contact paper} Place your letters on top
and trace around. Cut them out & stick them down. I originally
used exercise book paper and spray adhesive (seen in this picture) but it didn’t come off so I re-did
it using this method. Learn from my mistakes!
J

 
Step 4:
Paint your wood with your top colour. For me I chose a blue grey and mixed in
some white paint to lighten it a bit, paint the sides too! Re-coat as needed, when
you’ve applied the final coat give the wood a few minutes to dry (not too long maybe 5-10 minutes max)
now carefully remove your letters revealing your bottom colour exposed! If your
paint bled a bit, just grab your under colour and a thin paint brush a do a bit
of touch ups on the major spots. Don’t be too pedantic about it.

 

Step 5:
Sand your sign. This is optional and originally I wasn’t going to do this but
after removing the tape I just felt it was a little too perfect for a beach
sign so I lightly sanded the whole thing until I was happy with it. Attach some
3M command strips to the back and hang in place! 

 

Congratulations! You just made yourself  your very own Beach Sign!! Yay!! Of course you can use whatever words you like – if
you live in the desert maybe use the word desert, if you live near the
mountains then use that! Adjust it to fit your life and style! There are so
many options with these kind of signs and they can easily be completed in an
afternoon, I will be making a few other variations for around our house so be
sure to check out my blog for more
of these and other great tutorials!

 

 
I hope you liked this tutorial and again thank you so
much to Alli, I’ve had great fun doing this project and it was great to stop by
for a visit!! If you’d like feel free to follow me on social media below!! 

 photo http---signaturesmylivesignaturecom-54492-72-1B3F8386394C104CE312171E1E563EA4_zps5c57771f.png

Saint Lucia

My husband and I are barely into the second week of our St. Lucian vacation and I hope this week goes by very slowly!

Saint Lucia marks the 9th Caribbean Island that we’ve visited.  It’s not written in stone or anywhere else, but I guess you could call visiting as many islands as possible to be a priority on our bucket list.  And you can read all about my top 10 packing tips here!

Saint Lucia

I grew up going to Panama City Beach & Daytona, FL,  and Jekyll Island & St. Simons Island, GA (shout out to my will-always-be-home state of GA) and North Myrtle Beach as an adult,  so I’m blaming that for my love of the beach!

Because I’m a summer person and a beach bum,  and I don’t really care for cruises (I know I’m in the minority, but you can read all about that here) and  I don’t like the mountains unless there is a beach attached (read about my horrible skiing experience here), I decided to type the longest sentence in history.  No, my husband and I decided long ago that we would try to visit a new Caribbean island each year (mostly after the kids were grown).  The oldest kids still say that it’s not fair that we never went to the Caribbean when they were little.  Heck, we were too busy rearing kids!

Last July we visited St. Maarten/St. Martin (Dutch side/French side) for three weeks.  My husband thought it was one week too long.  I felt it was 11 months and one week too short. :)  The trade winds, the views and the food made it my number one destination.  The french macarons were to die for!

Back to St. Lucia

The St. Lucia Hewanorra International Airport is where all the big planes fly into and it’s about 90 minutes away (only 34 miles)  from Windjammer Landing, our resort at Labrelotte Bay, Castries.  There is a closer airport, but it’s only for small planes.  You can book a helicopter to take you from the main airport to the small airport and it takes about 15 minutes, but it will cost you.  A lot.  So we booked a car service online from home.

The ride is long because of the twisting roads up and down the mountains and it makes it a slow go.  But our driver (had heard lots of good things about this particular car service - phvtours.com) was holding the placard with our name on it as soon as we exited customs.  He was equipped with cold beverages and was very knowledgeable about the island.

Helpful Hint:  We had checked with our resort to see if they had airport transfers.  They did and it was not complimentary.  It cost more than a car service and we would be on a shuttle bus instead of just us in a private, comfortable car.  Also, if you’ve ever visited the Caribbean, you will notice that there are lots and lots of taxi cab drivers competing to catch your attention.  If you have already reserved a car transfer, just keep your eyes straight ahead and walk with a purpose.  Don’t stop.  Don’t engage in conversation.  Just walk.

I had the name of my driver and his license number on the confirmation printout in my purse and he introduced himself as soon as we met.  You can never be too cautious!

During the trip, our driver stopped at a famous, beautiful view of the ocean to take our pictures with our phone.  He also stopped at a roadside stand to buy us some one-of-a-kind homemade creole bread from a woman he knew.  He paid for it and bought himself one, as well.  The  homemade bread had melted cheese oozing out the sides and was the best bread I’ve ever tasted.  It was so big that we saved some and I warmed it for breakfast the next morning to go with my instant grits.

St. Lucia

Our driver then stopped by the local grocery store (IGA) for us to pick up some groceries and loaned us his bonus card so that we could save some money!  By then, I wanted to adopt him and take him home with us!  And, yes, he received a very, very good tip.  He was awesome.

Bananas

Bananas are the number one St. Lucian export and banana fields are everywhere!  When a bunch of bananas form on the trees, they are wrapped with polythene bags to keep disease and birds away.  When the fruit is about 12 months old, it is cut from the tree in a green condition.  The banana tree only yields one crop of fruit before it is cut down and the area is replanted.

Tourism

Tourism is the biggest industry in Saint Lucia.  Just as in other Caribbean Islands, you will see a great deal of what we consider poverty.  Right now, according to our driver, the unemployment rate is 25%.  Crime rate is relatively low.  Probably because there is nowhere to run.

The Resort

St. Lucia

 

I fell in love with the resort online, but because I had never been, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would fulfill my expectations or leave me disappointed.

It did not disappoint!  The Mediterranean style villas are situated on a mountain overlooking the Caribbean Sea and our villa has a 90 degree view of the sea.  It’s simple breathtaking.  And the balcony is the largest I’ve ever seen in any resort.

St. Lucia View

The floors of our one bedroom villa are terra cotta tiles and the doors are all rounded.  The ceilings are high, with whitewashed, exposed beams.  It has so much character!  Do I have to go home?  We also have a full size kitchen (with gas stove!), living area, etc.

I thought we were pretty high up, but even farther up the mountain, there are private 2,200+ villas with full sized pools.  We don’t have our own pool, but we do have a choice of several large pools around the resort.  I’d rather be on the beach.

The pic below is the steps leading up to my villa.  My legs are thanking me for my daily, early morning walks, but I always forget that I have to climb these stairs at the end!  If I lived here, I would be in such great shape because the daily walk is so breathtakingly beautiful!

Saint Lucia

 

The higher up you are, the more steps you have to climb, so it’s a good thing that the resort has a shuttle bus service 24/7.  Just touch “O” on your phone and a shuttle is on the way!

Jacquot Fun Kids Club

Parents magazine listed Windjammer Landing as one of it’s 10 best Caribbean destinations!  And their complimentary kid’s club is top notch!  It’s available for kids from 4-10 years old and is open from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm and from 6:30-10 pm.

Obviously, I didn’t have kids with me, but I “interviewed” a couple of parents to see what it was all about.  I received rave reviews from parents visiting from California.  A child from Glasgow, Scotland was crying when she had to leave the club one night and join her parents waiting with us for a shuttle.  She said, between sobs, “I’ve never seen that movie in Glasgow,  I don’t want to leave.”

For tots under the age of 4, they have a nanny/babysitting service available for $10 US per hour.  You can read more about their fab kid’s club here!

Restaurants

There are 5 restaurants on the property of Windjammer Landing.  One of them (Embers) is only open for lunch. Jammers has a real casual vibe and doesn’t require reservations.  Dragonfly, Papa Don’s and Upper Deck is only open for dinner and requires reservations.

World renowned chef Bill Munn oversees all 5 of the restaurants and I have to say that they are all top notch.

One more thing, an all inclusive plan is available, but not required.  After careful research, we decided to forgo that route, because we wanted to try other eateries that were not located at the resort.

Helpful Facts

The currency is Eastern Caribbean (EC), but, like most islands in the Caribbean, they gladly accept American currency.  The exchange rate is fixed at 2.67 EC for $1.00 US across the island.  However, at the resorts, it’s 2.65.

Also, at most resorts and in most of the islands, they automatically add a $2.00 charge per night to your total resort bill for the Tourism Enhancement Fund.  You can choose to have this deducted, but the fund helps finance projects that enhance the island.  Recently they helped relocate a preschool when it was damaged during a storm.

Over two centuries, England and France battled over possession of St. Lucia.  England finally secured ownership in 1815 and St. Lucia became an independent member of the Commonwealth in 1979.  English (with that lovely British accent, of course) is the official language, but the locally patois is French Creole.

Most of the tourists are European.  The Americans are in the minority here and I like that fact just fine!  I’ve met the sweetest couple from France, but it seems that most of the tourists are from England.  Maybe the accent will rub off on me.  I’ve always wanted a British accent.

In part 2, I’ll share some of my favorite restaurants in St. Lucia!

Note:  All pictures were taken with my iPhone because I didn’t want to lug the Nikon with me.  I kinda wish I would have brought it.

What’s your most favorite vacation spot?

I’ll leave you with this beautiful sunset taken with my iPhone from my villa terrace!

sunset at St. Lucia

 

 

 

Comscore