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  • By Susan Welsh

Happy Aloha Friday

The gray sky and falling temperatures seem to affirm the cold and snowy forecast the meteorologists have predicted for us in the next 24 hours. We could all use a little sunshine right about now-- which is why I'm compiling ideas for any and all ways to obtain a few rays of it for myself.

No better place to start with than an "Escape to Margaritaville," which the Chicago Sun-Times calls, "The feel good musical that finds the joy of living in the moment" and which previews tomorrow and officially opens at the Marquis Theatre on Broadway March 15.

Hard to believe it's been over 40 years since one of Buffett's most beloved and recognized songs, "Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville," appeared on his seventh studio album "Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes."

In preparation, I'm lining up the fixings for a bright, sunny, tangy dose of liquid sunshine. . .How'd you like a nice Hawaiian Rum Punch? Yes, please! Plus, that pineapple you're packing into your punch has over 130% of your daily requirements for Vitamin C which boosts immunity and speeds up healing. In addition you're getting a bevy of other vitamins and minerals, and enzymes like bromelain which reduce inflammation. This mighty fruits also aids in digestion, and improves vision, blood circulation and blood pressure.

No weekend (at least for me) is complete without some form of baking--usually cookies, sometimes cake, when I'm feeling motivated some kind of yeasted sweet bread.

For many months I've been dreaming of Coconut Cream Pie--and maybe this is the weekend to tackle it. Or, if I'm in a cakier mood, I'll jump in with one of my all-time favorites, Ina Garten, whose recipes are always a sure-bet and sure-to-please. This one is a wonderful, fluffy wonder!

I think all my Aloha shirts have disappeared, but I've still got plenty of Jimmy Buffett cds somewhere. My favorite has always been his 1978 live double album, "You Had to Be There," and I love every track.

Right now I'd love a Cheeseburger in Paradise, or just about anywhere (see my TripAdvisor review on our own local Cheeseburger in New Hope Paradise). Can't do it, though. I have to save up indulgence calories for whatever I bake this weekend and bathing suit weather is how many weeks away now?

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