My Not-Yet-Famous Bloody Mary Recipe

I have been in search of the perfect Bloody Mary for years. From Northern California golf courses to Tex Mex hot spots in Austin, I’ve found some delicious versions of my favorite Sunday brunch drink. But something is always missing. Needs salt. Needs zing. Needs smoother vodka.

I’ve taken my favorite things about each version and come up with my own. A huge hit with friends and family, I hope you will enjoy it, too!

I especially needed one of these after losing my cherished hole-in-one golf ball in the lake.

Get out the blender and gather some friends!

Tracy’s Very Bloody Mary


  • One 2 QT container of Campbell’s Tomato Juice
  • 1 tbsp horseradish
  • 1 tbsp tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • Celery stalks, washed and chilled in ice water
  • Large olives
  • Margarita salt for lining the glass rim
  • Lime wedges for adhering salt to glass rim
  • Effen Cucumber Vodka

In a blender, combine tomato sauce with horseradish, tabasco, pepper, worcestershire and celery salt. Blend. Use a lime wedge to wet the rims of your glassware. Turn each glass upside down on a plate of margarita salt to coat the rims. Fill each glass with ice, two olives, and one or two celery stalks. Less is NOT more. As my sister-in-law says, “I like a lotta groceries in my Bloody Mary.” Add one shot of vodka (or more for your crazy Uncle Bob) to each glass. Pour tomato mix on top. Give a gentle stir with the celery stalk and enjoy. Cheers!


The Tragic Story of My First Hole-in-One

Have you ever been so out-of-your-mind-excited that you made a bad decision? Or did something stupid?

Sometimes the best moments and worst decisions go hand-in-hand.

Every summer I visit Melbourne Beach, FL to spend time with my family. This trip, at the last minute, my mom and I entered a Fourth of July golf tournament.  It was the first time we’ve played together in ten years.

Wearing borrowed clothes,  my running shoes, and armed with my new lucky pink glove, I joined my mom and her friends at the shotgun start. Our team made birdie on the first hole. It wasn’t a pretty birdie, but we felt good.

The next hole was a Par 3, 145 yards uphill to the pin positioned on the back of the green. I pulled out my mom’s 5 iron and walked up to the tee box. When the club face struck the ball, I knew I had hit it well. [Read more…]


My Dad, a Man of Integrity

My father was 44 years old when I was born in Spain. A successful partner with a big accounting firm in the 1970’s, he was working a three-year stint in the Madrid office when I arrived on the scene. He left the firm due to what he felt was unethical behavior by guys at the top. Since that time, I’ve watched him make countless decisions that personify his integrity.

When I was a little girl, my dad didn’t really know how to have a relationship with me. Dolls and ballet weren’t his thing. But he always came to my gymnastics meets. He watched all the events except beam. The idea of me falling off the skinny contraption suspended in air made him too nervous, so he made trips to the concession stand during my routines. He has worried about me for 37 years and counting!   [Read more…]


Are Your Compliments Laced with Insults?

“You got skinny while I was gone!” said an acquaintance I haven’t seen in three months. Her tone was critical. Judgmental at best.

I got skinny while you were gone? Nice to see you, too. And by the way, what does that even MEAN?

Was I fat before?

Am I gaunt now? Haggard, maybe?

I replied, “Well, when I last saw you I had been eating a LOT of Chick-fil-A. And singlehandedly keeping Duncan Hines in business.” (It’s true. When I’m stressed I like to eat chocolate icing straight from the container with a spoon. A little habit I picked up while pregnant.)

Ok. I didn’t really say that.

But seriously how do you respond? Um, thanks…I think? It made me mad. It hurt.

Words matter. They affect people deeply. The fact is, that “compliment” was laced with an insult.

People may not intentionally criticize, but they certainly don’t put much thought into choosing their words wisely. It’s all too common for our comments to have implied insults or hidden agendas.

Here are some ways to improve conventional messages:

  • Replace “Wow, you look tired!” with “What can I do to help you today?”
  • Instead of “You haven’t completed the project?!?” ask “What obstacles are you facing?”
  • Rather than “I haven’t heard from you in forever!” say “It’s wonderful to hear your voice!”
  • Refrain from commenting on your friend’s weight. A simple, “You look fantastic!” is the best compliment.

What are some other words you often hear that have an underlying tone of criticism? How can they be rephrased in order to build people up?