I was introduced to a very special friend, Vodka Gimlet, back in 2009. I went to dinner at Sweetwater Restaurant with my friend Katy and her husband (Hi, my name is Jenny and I’m a third wheel) and I had a variation of a gimlet that was so delicious I’ve been drinking them ever since.
A traditional gimlet is made with gin, and although I can’t say I’ve ever had gin, I’m convinced I don’t like it. There are tons of ways to jazz it up, but all you really need is ice, vodka and FRESH lime juice. If you try to make this with bottled lime juice (I’m looking at you, Rose’s Lime Juice), consider yourself a failure at making cocktails and go open up a wine cooler like it’s New Year’s Eve 1997.
Some prefer simple syrup to sweeten it up a bit, others like it shaken with some mint or basil (yum!). I recommend it on the rocks because I like a strong drink to be frosty cold. Depending on how strong of a drink you like, you can use anywhere from 1.5 to 3 parts vodka for every ounce of lime juice.
On a recent trip to the Berkshires, Matt and I stopped for a cocktail at Allium in Great Barrington and I loved how the bartender served my gimlet with a sliver of lime, not a slice or a wedge, but the thinnest little shaving. It looked so elegant and delicate. I’ll definitely be copying that next time I make them!
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged drinks, recipe, shopping on August 13, 2012 |
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As you may have deduced from my blog’s name, I live on Long Island. I used to believe that Long Island had an appealing climate. Wintery winters, springy springs, summery summers, you get the picture. After this summer, I’ve changed my mind. Heat wave after heat wave – and the humidity! Ugh. It’s like this evil weather-killer. I take a peek at the week’s temperatures and see low and mid-80s and think, Ok, that’s not so bad. And then I step outside and it easily feels ten degrees hotter and so much stickier.
Remember when summers had cool nights and breezy mornings? When you needed a cardigan or denim jacket if you were headed out to dinner? Not this year. Here are some ways to keep cool.
1. Go to the mall – Not only will you cool off, but you will also forget that it’s even summer. Stores are pumping up the A/C to encourage you to buy fall clothes. We stopped at Roosevelt Field the other day and the stores were easily 60 degrees, with the employees warmly bundled in the latest collections.
PS I want this:
I also wouldn’t say no these:
Ok, so maybe spending too much time at the mall would be a bad thing.
2. Go to the beach – If you are fortunate enough to have a child who doesn’t enjoy eating sand, the beach is always an option. Nolan enjoys eating sand by the handful. He maintains direct eye contact while he does this because he knows he isn’t supposed to. If you try to give him real food to eat, he will cover it with his favorite condiment, sand.
3. Drink cold drinks – Like these
Or my favorite tasty drink that I wrote about here
Just say yes to a vodka gimlet. If you’re feeling adventurous, try these basil infused ones.
Stay cool, people!
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My friend June and her sweet babbly baby Devin came over for “brunch” this week. I say “brunch” because there was nothing brunch-y about the meal, but it occurred before noon. I made an easy black bean salad, guacamole and kick-your-ass margaritas. Although wholly inappropriate for 11am, this little menu is perfect for happy hour or pre-dinner snacking.
Margaritas – Barefoot Contessa’s recipe is my favorite (no surprise there). They are not too sweet, frosty cold, and very refreshing. Combine three cups of ice (about one tray’s worth) with 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1 cup of triple sec in a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 cup of white tequila and blend for another few seconds. Serve over ice and enjoy. Don’t go crazy with a super expensive tequila but don’t totally cheap out. I use Jose Cuervo Silver for these.
Black Bean Salad – I found this recipe doing a quick search on Food Network’s site. Heads up: contrary to what the website says, it takes longer than 10 minutes to prep. It’s probably closer to 30 minutes to do all the chopping. Because I wasn’t in the mood for a ton of spice, I used a half of one jalapeno without the ribs and seeds. I used champagne vinegar instead of sherry vinegar, and I also omitted the pinch of cumin because I wasn’t feeling taco-ish.
Guacamole – If you’ve ever eaten at Besito, you’ve probably had their tableside guacamole. Besito generously shared the recipe on its Facebook page a while back and it’s very easy to make. I don’t have a molecajete so I use the back of a wooden spoon to grind the ingredients together. If you’re making this for more than one or two people, you’ll want to double (triple?) this recipe.
Enough about food, here are the kiddies.
They’re on the move! And yeah, I know my kid is dressed like an old man. We didn’t leave the house that day.
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Hey, world! Here are a few things that have kept me busy and piqued my interest lately:
Pinterest – holy mother of all time suckers. I have a whole post on Pinterest in the works, but if you haven’t pinned, get busy.
Bronx Zoo – we went here yesterday for a birthday party and it was so fun. I go every few years and each time I think, Wow! I need to get here more often. It’s lovely and so nicely cared for.
Cooking Food Stuffs – the aforementioned Pinterest has kept my kitchen BUSY. This BLT Quinoa Salad is delicious, these Crispy Southwest Chicken Wraps taste like they could be from a restaurant, and if Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars sound like something you might enjoy, then you have to make these. If they don’t sound like something you would like, please leave. Or see a mental health professional STAT.
Reading – being back at work and reading the literary gems of high school students keeps me pretty busy so I haven’t been reading much fiction lately. I started the memoir Bringing Up Bebe and really enjoyed it but had to return it to my library since it was a 7-day loan. English teacher + mother of baby = not finishing a book a week. I’ll probably buy it from Amazon next time I’m on there. So in about five minutes. I think I’m the last woman on Earth to read 50 Shades of Grey. It’s on my to-do list for the summer.
ABC Kitchen – Matt and I went here for lunch over the April vacation and had a pretty amazing meal. I will say this, the place tries really hard. A little too hard if you ask me. It’s a bit over curated for my taste and just felt kind of forced. Everyone was friendly, the food was original and delicious but the space and the “uniforms” were a bit of an eye roll. Is it weird that I’m being a snob about a restaurant’s snobbery?
This Guy – he’s been keeping me busy and happy Here he is doing some work on Matt’s computer.
And enjoying some Starbucks:
What about you, friends? Read anything great lately or have something worth sharing?
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Oh, hello there. I didn’t see you. I was busy gazing at these babies.
These are the perfect holiday party treat. They are easy to make and even easier to eat. My friends Matt and Shara (holla!) brought these to our 3rd Annual Fakesgiving and they were the hit of the party. I made them for a party last week and it took every ounce of will power in me to only eat one before heading out.
The recipe comes from The Pampered Chef and can be found here, but here is a screen shot:
I opted to cut off the screen shot before the nutrition facts because really, who needs nutrition facts on a dessert?
I don’t have too much to add (for once). The only change I made was that I bought Ghirardelli chocolate bars instead of the Hershey-type bar I was supposed to buy. As a result, I had to cut each Ghirardelli square into quarters which took all of thirty seconds.
I find it pretty funny how far The Pampered Chef will go to try to sell you stuff. For instance, the recipe tells you to use their Professional Shears dipped in cold water to cut the marshmallows. Ok… or you could use a knife? Maybe?
I don’t have a Mini Tart Shaper (the shame!) so I used the end of a citrus reamer to press down the bottoms. You could also use a thumb.
Make sure you really spray/grease the heck out of the muffin pan or these suckers aren’t coming out. Mmmm – don’t they look great? How could they possibly get better?
Oh right, by dipping the tops in chocolate.
The recipe makes 24 but they go fast so you may want to play it safe and double it!
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Hey all – I’ve been a busy bee in the kitchen lately trying new some recipes and whipping up some of my favorites. Nothing original, just scouring the web and tweaking where necessary. I thought I’d share and hopefully inspire you to get your booty off the couch and in the kitchen!
Ina Garten’s Roasted Tomato Basil Soup – Great for summer because you can eat it cold. In a few months enjoy a happy winter weekend by eating it warm with a grilled cheese sandwich. Yum. My tweaks: use half the salt it calls for (Ina Garten if you’re reading this, your cardiologist called, stop using so much salt) and use low sodium chicken stock. Slightly annoying that you have to run this through a food mill. If you don’t have one you could get around that step by removing the tomato skins after you roast them and then running the soup through a blender for a few seconds. You won’t get quite the same consistency, but it would be ok in a pinch.
Ina Garten’s Chicken Salad Veronique – This is chicken salad jazzed up with green grapes and tarragon. I typically don’t like tarragon because it has an anise (licorice) flavor, but it really works here. Again, go easy on the salt. This salad is great on a crispy ciabatta bread.
Giada De Laurentiis’s Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetable – This was surprisingly SO good. The recipe calls for two zucchini and two squash but just use two squash (unless they are freakishly small). There was no way four would have fit in the pan. I didn’t have the dried Italian herb mix it called for – actually that’s not true, I found a jar of it that expired in 2008 – so I just made my own. I combined dried thyme, rosemary and oregano and it was fine. I also used plain mozzarella instead of smoked.
Ina Garten’s Tabbouleh Salad – I made this for the first time about a month ago and I’ve made it four times already. I can’t get enough of it and it’s actually healthy. Great on its own but even better in a warmed up pita. When I saw Ina G make it on her show, she used chicken stock instead of water so that’s what I did the first time. Never again. The chicken flavor was a terrible match for the lemon, herb and vegetable flavors. Since then I just do what the original recipe says and use boiling water. Aside from a little bit of olive oil, there is no fat because it’s just herbs, veggies, and wheat bulgur (very healthy grain that has the consistency of couscous). I also like to add a little avocado just before serving. That negates the no fat thing but come on, it’s avocado!
And of course you can’t forget dessert… Ina Garten’s Peach and Blueberry Crumbles – so good and perfect for summer because you can use up those peaches. I will definitely tweak this for fall and winter with other fruits (pear and apple?). This one I actually got around to taking a picture of before I put it in the oven but I was so overwhelmed by the delicious smells coming from the kitchen that I forgot to snap a picture of the finished product. Let’s just say it was bubbling and delicious looking. I also did not have the small ramekins that the recipe called for so I made four LARGE crumbles instead of six reasonable portions. I had no trouble finishing the larger one
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Posted in Cooking, tagged onion dip, recipe on October 3, 2010 |
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Who doesn’t love the good old Lipton Onion Soup Mix packet o’powder for some onion dip? I know I do!
But as I was browsing through the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, I saw a recipe for Pan Fried Onion Dip. Hmmmmm…could it be better than the powder? As I found out today, YES!
2 large yellow onions
4 tablespoons of butter
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
4 ounces room temperature cream cheese.
Cut the onions in half, peel off the outer skin, and slice them into thin half circles. Heat the butter and oil in a large saute pan and add the onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Lower the heat to low/medium and cook for another 20-25 minutes until the onions are browned and deeeelicious. Do not let them burn! Better to keep the heat a little low and let them cook longer. Burned onions = ruined dip. Let the onions cool for at least 15 or 20 minutes.
raw onions (blurry phone pictures)
onions after 10 minutes
onions after 30 minutes
Combine the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until they’re smooth and combined. Strain then add the onions and mix well. Refrigerate for an hour and serve with chips. Receive praise.
Side note: If your cream cheese isn’t softened enough, you can microwave it on 10-second increments for 20 seconds or so. Don’t let it cook!!
Apologies for no picture of the finished product. I’ll try to give you a visual – it looked like onion dip.
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