Chocolate Chip Cookie Icebox Cake

For the 8 dozen cookies make 1 recipe of toll house cookies from the back of the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

I would leave the whiskey out (or give 2 or 3 servings of this to your kids just before nap time  :)  
just kidding, really)

from Martha Stewart Living July 2011


Happy Friday

Jump into the weekend!

See you at the beach,


Best Salsa Ever

Making a big batch of the 'best salsa ever' is a great way to use up all of the tomatoes coming out of the garden right now.

cast of characters

tomatoes, quartered

 1/2 green pepper in strips

cilantro, coarsely chopped

 Juice from 1 lime (this one was kind of dry)

 put all ingredients into the bowl a large food processor

 dig in!

Good Haven House's Best Salsa Ever

time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
makes: 4-5 cups

6-8 medium tomatoes
1/2 of a medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, quartered
1/2 green pepper, quartered OR 1/2 red pepper, quartered
1 jalapeno pepper, quartered, leave some seeds and spine depending on how hot you like it!
2 pinches of sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
1/2 - 1 cup coarsely chopped, packed cilantro (to taste)
juice from 1/2 a lime (or one if small or dry)

1. Put all ingredients in a large food processor and pulse 15 times or more (depends on how course you like your salsa chopped) Taste test on a tortilla chip and adjust to your taste. ( I rarely add more salt as the chips are usually pretty salty)
2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (if you can stand to wait!) to let flavors mingle.
3. Serve with tortilla chips or if you're really feeling ambitious, nachos. Delicious! 

Note 1: This is a very free form recipe, feel free to experiment and add or subtract ingredients to your own taste and the texture you prefer.
Note 2: This makes A LOT of salsa. You can cut the recipe in half if you don't have a big crowd.
Note 3: You can chop the ingredients by hand if you don't have a food processor. It will have a different texture but will still taste great!

This will keep a few days in the frig. We love this stuff at Good Haven House and it usually doesn't last that long!



One of our family's favorite things to do together is head to the beach with an empty bucket and go shelling. Everyone from grandparents to toddlers enjoys a good treasure hunt and you never know what you might find besides seashells! Driftwood, fisherman's floats, coral, sand dollars, sea glass and all sorts of interesting stuff washes up, especially after a good storm or day of heavy surf.

The best place to look for shells is at the high tide line where the seaweed washes up and lines the sand.

Please, be careful not to take shells with live creatures inside or live sand dollars. It's the law in Florida. These shells are their homes, and we need them to live and do the things that they do to keep the ecological balance of our waters and coastline. All empty shells are fair game on Perdido Key.  
seashells.org is a great site to help you identify your finds, with tips on cleaning and preserving shells and other sea life and what to do with your new found treasures.


Pictured below are some of the most common shells you'll find on Perdido Key.

 Ark Shells
 Arks (turkey wings)

Auger Shells

Scotch Bonnet 

Fighting Conch 

Jewel Boxes

Moon Shell
 Moon Shells

Great Eastern Murex


Branded Olives
Lettered Olives

scallop shells

pictures and lots more info about the above pictured shells courtesy of Picard Realty Rentals

See you at the beach,


Happy Friday

Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck we could have. - Rumi

See you at the beach,

photo 'On The Surface' by Unknown via Pinterest


Mmmmm Corny!

It's at it's peak right now so here's a few different ways to serve our favorite, corn-on-the-cob.

Each topping recipe makes enough for 8 ears.

Basil-Mint Pesto
Puree 2 cloves garlic and 3/4 cup olive oil in a blender. With the machine running add 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves and 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, puree for 1 minute. Brush corn with pesto and season with coarse salt.

Southwest Spice
Combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon each ground toasted cumin and coriander seeds, and a 1/2 teaspoon course salt. Brush corn with olive oil and sprinkle with spices.

Black Pepper and Thyme
Brush corn with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme: season with course salt and fresh ground pepper.

Lime Zest
Combine 1 Tablespoon freshly grated lime zest (from 2 limes) and 2 teaspoons course salt. Brush corn with olive oil and sprinkle with zest mixture.

You can substitute butter for olive oil in any of these.

from Martha Stewart Magazine July 2010


New Lower Sale Price

A cancellation has left us with last minute availability for August 22 - September 3, 2011 so we're offering the days for:

$170 per night for a 7 night stay, $210 per night for 4 - 6 nights and $250 per night for 3 nights all inclusive (not including a $100 per pet, pet fee if applicable)

Have a wonderful end of the summer vacation at a great, low price!
If interested please call Susan at 773 474 2456 or email info@goodhavenhouse.com.


Happy Friday


It was, Jennifer T. had to agree, a beautiful thunderstorm, its black wings beating at the summer air. It had lightening for talons and rain for plumage and it's eyes were alight with a static charge of ozone. 
It was a creature of storm, a big black bird made of thunder.
-from Michael Chabon's Summerland


Buttermilk Ice Cream? Count Me In!


What's more deliciously southern than cold, real churned buttermilk?
Maybe buttermilk ice cream!
Available on-line from Cruze Farm Girl in Knoxville, Tennesse


OR if you're feeling really energetic you can make your own.
(Bring your own ice cream maker, we don't have one at the house)

Lemon-Buttermilk Ice Cream
active time: 15 minutes
total time: approx 2 hours 15 minutes
makes: 16 1/2 cup servings

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 10 lemons) 
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups whole milk
2 cups fat-free buttermilk

1. Combine sugar and juice in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Add half-and-half, whole milk, and buttermilk.
2. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.
3. Spoon ice cream into a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze 1 hour or until firm.

 This recipe makes enough for two batches with the standard Cuisinart ice cream maker.


Want to go over the top? But OF COURSE you say!! Add grilled peach halves, drizzled with honey and sprinkled with fresh basil. My eyes just rolled back in my head.


Last Minute Availability at Good Haven House 8/10-9/3/11

A cancellation has left us with last minute availability for August 10 - September 3, 2011
so we're offering the days for

$195 per night for a 7 night stay, $230 per night for 4 - 6 nights and $260 per night for 3 nights
all inclusive
(not including a $100 pet fee if applicable)

Have a wonderful end of the summer vacation at a great, low price!
If interested please call Susan at 773 474 2456 or email info@goodhavenhouse.com.


Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Really fun and a great core workout to boot, 
stand up paddle boarding is still relatively new to the Perdido area and is an easy way to cruise around the bay or, if your feeling adventurous, to ride a few waves over on Johnson's Beach.

Take a lesson or two from Innerlight Surf and Skate over on Pensacola Beach 
(they provide all the equipment)

You can also rent boards from Innerlight or  
 Alabama PaddleSports (they should deliver to the house) and give it a shot yourself!

See you at the beach,


Happy Friday

Hope you get a chance to make some magic this weekend!

See you at the beach,


Celebrate! Our New Washing Machine

GE 3.6 Cu. Ft. Top-Load Washer (White) 
We're sooooo excited to introduce you to the newest member of our Good Haven House family, our brand new GE 3.6 cubic foot washing machine! She's come to us all the the way from Lowe's on Fairfield in Pensacola. She'll be hanging out in the laundry room waiting to help you with any laundry you may have. 
 RIP old washer and thanks for 20 years of great service. He is in large appliance heaven now.
As a side note: the dryer is pretty happy to have someone a little younger to hang out with.


Summertime Tuna Salad

In these hottest, humid days of summer I like to serve what's called in the South, a cold supper. 
(Supper being the evening meal Southerners are having while Yankees are having dinner :) )
Quick and easy, you can make it before you go to the beach and it's flavors have had a few hours to sit and mingle by the time you come home.

basil - the secret ingredient

chop the celery stalk

chop the red onion

 and the green onion
stack and tightly roll the basil leaves for the chiffonade

slice the basil into a chiffonade

the vegetable ingredients

 add the tuna and flake with a fork

mix to combine

 add the mayo and stir

Mmmm Mmmm!

Summertime Tuna Salad

active time: 15 minutes
total time: 1 hour 15 minutes 
makes: 5 servings

1 large can (12oz) solid white tuna in water OR
3 small cans (5 ½ oz) tuna in water (solid, chunk light or both) drained (not too dry)
1 stalk celery chopped fine
1 green onion chopped fine
1/6 medium red onion chopped fine
8 – 10 leaves fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade
juice from ½ a lemon
5 twists fresh ground pepper
6 tablespoons mayonnaise
enough bread for 5 sandwiches OR 5 large, ripe tomatoes

1. Empty tuna into a large bowl and flake with a fork. Add the next 6 ingredients and mix together. Add mayo and mix well. Add more mayo if needed.
2. If you can wait! cover and refrigerate for an hour or so to let flavors blend.
3. Mound tuna salad onto bread of your choice with tomato and lettuce OR hollow out a large ripe tomato and stuff with the salad. Serve with dill pickle spears if you like.