classic old fashioned

July 29th, 2011

This past week I took a classic cocktail class at the Brooklyn Kitchen, which was taught by Sother Teague of Rye Restaurant here in Brooklyn. It was awesome…like super duper awesome. Sother focused on gin and rye based cocktails (some of my favs!) since those are the oldest spirits. He has such an arsenal of informations from super simple stuff like what’s a “dash” (he considers it flipping the bottle all the way over with an additional bounce) to the difference between shaken and stirred (hint, it’s all about the aeration and not about the amount of water released). Plus, since it’s a cocktail class, we got to learn how to make lots of cocktails and of course drink them. Now I’m just waiting for the next one…

Cheers! To learning, drinking and having fun!

classic old fashioned
This is one of my all time favorite drinks. It’s super simple and kind of perfect… especially for a night cap.
makes 1 cocktail

2 oz rye, like old overholt*
1/4 oz demerrara simple syrup
dash angostura bitters
lemon twist

Pour the rye, demerrara syrup and bitters in a glass, add 1 large (2″x2″) or a few small ice cubes.
Gently stir.
With the rind of the lemon peel facing towards the drink, gently squeeze to release the oils into the drink. Twist the lemon and put in drink. Enjoy!

*I learned in my class to use lower proof rye like Old Overholt (which I think is 70 proof when it’s a spirits-only cocktail, but when a cocktail is blended with other elements like a Manhattan, use stronger rye like Rittenhouse, which is 100 proof).

maque choux aka summer veggie delight

July 25th, 2011

One of the few productive things I did this weekend was brave the heat (at 8:30 am it was already in the 90′s) and go to the farmers market. It was totally worth it. Every vendor was overflowing with amazing, colorful produce. I found it hard to hold back and ended up coming home with a boatload of veggies including several varieties of peppers, okra, sweet corn, onions, scapes, tomatillos… so much goodness! So instead of heading out to brunch like we usually do, we locked ourselves in the a/c and I cooked up a bunch of those veggies (along with a little bacon) in stovetop New Orleans-inspired stew called Maque Choux (pronounced Mock Shoe). It was the perfect way to let the flavors of summer shine.

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peach slush

July 22nd, 2011

I’ve implemented new rules in our house. When the temperature reaches above 90°, all drinks must be slushes. Preferably with bourbon. Hence the peach slush. It’s easy, it’s delicious and it’ll keep you cool.

Cheers! To not melting!

Peach Slush

makes 3-4 cocktails
2 peaches, pitted and roughly sliced
3 ounces simple syrup
juice of 1 lemon, about 1.5 ounces
2 cups ice
1/4 cup bourbon, optional (replace with water if not using)
1/4 cup water
1. Toss it all in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Serve with a straw and enjoy!


ice cream sandwiches with brown butter chocolate chip cookies

July 19th, 2011

Last week I shared a childhood-inspired recipe for grown-up jalepeño poppers that I made while on vacation with friends. Well, for that same meal, I wanted to make a dessert that had the same comforting qualities. One of the first things I thought of was ice cream sandwiches. They’re one of my favorite summer treats, but I rarely indulge in them. I thought they’d be the perfect way to end a warm summer evening crowded around the kitchen table playing board games with friends. Plus, they can be made ahead of time so once the dishes have been cleared, all I had to do was open the freezer and pull them out. These sandwiches are a little piece of summery heaven.

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boozy mint lemonade slush

July 15th, 2011

Earlier this week I saw Heidi’s post for a lemon anise slush and I haven’t stop thinking about it… The thing is, I don’t have anise seeds, so I went with a classic summer pairing, lemon and mint, which I thought sounded super refreshing, especially for a slush. And since it’s happy hour, a little bourbon doesn’t hurt either. The thing is, I substituted all the water with bourbon… yowza! This baby went down smooth and fast but man, this slush doesn’t mess around! I think next time I’d do half bourbon, half water.

I’m seriously in love with the slush and can’t wait to whip up more ice beverages… I’m thinking watermelon, peaches, maybe cherries?! So much exploring to do!

Cheers! To cool, summer beverages!

boozy mint lemonade slush
makes 2 large or 4 small slushes

6 mint leaves
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/4-1/2 cup bourbon (I used 1/2 cup bourbon and it was quite strong)
1/4 cup water, optional (if you use 1/4 cup bourbon, I’d add the water)
2-3 cups ice
mint leaves, for garnish

Fill a blender with all the ingredients and blend, until all the ice is smooth. You may need to add a few more ice cubes.

Pour into a glass and garnish with mint leaf. Serve immediately.

grown-up jalepeño poppers

July 11th, 2011

Last weekend I headed to upstate New York to spend some time relaxing with friends in a big old country house. I volunteered to make dinner on Friday which made me a little nervous. Making dinner for Aaron and I is one thing, but making dinner for a group of 13 people—who all love food and have great taste—is another thing. When I got off the train, I still wasn’t sure what I’d be making for dinner that night, but I did come armed with a recipe for homemade jalepeño poppers, because come on, how could they not be good? I put my bets on the fact that the combination of spicy peppers, warm, creamy cheese and childhood memories would be a winner… and I was right.

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blueberry + gin smash

July 8th, 2011

Man I love summer. I’m less in love with super hot and humid days, but I’ll take them if it means leisurely weekends, amazing produce and good moods. Lucky for me, that’s exactly what I’ve been enjoying lately. Last weekend I spent flew to Michigan to spend time with family and friends and along the way I stopped by a farmers market and fruit stand and picked up totally amazing apricots, cherries and blueberries. I loved it! And while I’m missing my local market, I’m excited to spend another weekend away from home— this time in Northern New York with friends. I’m preparing myself for cute dogs, good food and drink, awesome people and a life of leisure—at least for a few days. This little number, aptly named a blueberry + gin smash, is perfect for a little outdoor summer action. It’s just a simple combination of smashed blueberries, gin, lime and simple syrup… yeah, I love summer.

Cheers! To good friends, good drinks & summer!

blueberry + gin smash
makes 1 cocktail

about 10 blueberries, plus 3 for garnish
1.5 oz gin, like Hendrick’s
.5 oz simple syrup
.5 oz lime juice

In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the blueberries until completely smashed.
Add a few ice cubes and the rest of the ingredients. Shake for about 10 seconds.
Add two ice cubes to a collins (or tall) glass. Pour the mixture from the cocktail shaker into the glass.
Garnish with 3 blueberries on a skewer and enjoy!

ginger cilantro margarita

July 1st, 2011

It’s Friday! Woohoo! I’m super jazzed to be heading to Michigan for a long weekend to spend time with family and friends. It’ll be the first time I’ll flying with my dog, Maude, so I’m a little nervous. If my flight weren’t so dang early in the morning, I’d definitely make myself a nice little cocktail like this one to calm my nerves, but instead I’ll just be all hopped up on coffee and hope that Maude is her normal, chilled-out self.

I hope you all have a most excellent weekend! Cheers!

ginger cilantro margarita
makes 1 cocktail

1 ounce lime juice
1 Tablespoon fresh cilantro (when it’s squished together it should be about the size of Tablespoon)
1.5 ounces 100% agave tequila
1/2 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
1/4 ounce agave syrup

1 teaspoon salt, for the rim

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of salt on a plate. Rub the rim of a glass with a lime then dip in salt.
In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle the cilantro and lime juice together.
Add enough ice to fill the shaker and the remaining ingredients.
Shake vigorously for 10 seconds.
Strain into the salt rimmed glass filled with ice. Enjoy!