rhubarb + blood orange spritzer

May 3rd, 2013

Oh, hello there! Ummmm, I have a daughter now! How crazy is that?! It’s been nearly a month since Claire Beatrice arrived and I still can’t believe that I’m a mom to this beautiful little lady. So much (babies change so fast!) and so little (ahem, housework, blog, any correspondence) has happened over the past month—I feel a little shy coming back. Chances are that’ll last about one post.

This week we’ve been working on taking little adventures in and out of San Francisco, one of which landed me in a cute little grocery store that had ruby red stalks of rhubarb—my most favorite sign of spring. In years past I’ve eagerly stalked the farmers market waiting, waiting, waiting until finally it arrives; this year there was none of that (I suppose all the waiting was reserved for a little someone’s arrival) and simply a “woohoo!” yelped when I saw it amid the produce. I picked up a meager two stalks and promised myself I’d make something with them.

Thus I present you with a delicious springtime beverage, a rhubarb + blood orange spritzer. This little number can be made with or without a splash of vermouth (which gives it a nice bit of body) and is perfect for days when the sun is out and the weather is looking up—of which I hope you’re having plenty.

Cheers, to being back, warm weather and rhubarb! Oh, and I can’t leave my biggest accomplishment to date out of this toast—to my amazing little lady, Claire Beatrice, welcome to this wonderful world babycakes!

rhubarb + blood orange spritzer

makes 1 cocktail

1 1/2 ounce blood orange juice
1 1/2 ounce rhubarb syrup
1 1/2 ounce red vermouth, optional
seltzer water
1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the blood orange juice, rhubarb syrup and vermouth. Shake for about 10 seconds. Strain into a glass.2. Top the drink off with 2-3 ounces of seltzer water, stir with a straw and enjoy!

spicy baby!

March 26th, 2013

Yesterday I was searching through my cocktail archive for a project I’m working on (I can’t wait to share it with you!) and the drool practically rolled off my chin. Man, do I miss cocktails! I miss thinking up new combinations as much (ok, almost as much) as I miss drinking them! For some reason I just wasn’t inspired during my pregnancy to make many “mocktails”—maybe it’s because I hate that word so much and could never come up with a good replacement for it. But recently I’ve been drinking up this wacky, but oh-so-good combination that I came up with at a local bar and had the bartender make for me. I suppose it’s kind of like a virgin margarita, but it really holds it’s own. A combination of blood orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, jalepeno slices and seltzer, it’s the perfect palette pleaser for this pregnant lady. And for those of you who are allowed to get all boozy, I think a little tequila added to it would be perfect!

Speaking of being pregnant—today is my due date! Woohoo! As much as I’m excited to be able to drink again, I am leaps and bounds more excited to meet this mystery person who’s been hiding in my belly for 9 months! I’ll obviously being taking it easy and out of it for a few weeks, so I’ll probably be absent from this space for a little bit, but if you’re not following me already on instagram, please do— @kellycarambula. I’m much better about updating it with all sorts of food adventures, craft projects and general life goodies, so I hope to see you there! In the meantime, wish me luck and I’ll see you soon!

Cheers!

spicy baby!

makes 1 cocktail

1 ounce fresh squeezed blood orange juice plus 2 slices blood orange (for garnish)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
5 thin slices jalepeno
seltzer water
1 1/2 ounce tequila, optional
salt for rim 
1. Rub the rim of a tall glass with a slice of lime, then dip it in salt. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the blood orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup, jalepeno slices and tequila, if using. Shake for about 10 seconds.

3. Add ice and blood orange slices to the salt-rimmed glass, then pour the juice mixture, including the jalepeno slices into the glass.

4. Top it off with the seltzer water, give it a gentle stir and drink up!

mushroom quinoa casserole

March 11th, 2013

Oh goodness—it’s been a long time my friends! I’ve been in a bit of a food rut and it’s totally bumming me out. Does that ever happen to you? I just can’t seem to get inspired to get in the kitchen. I feel like my passion got misplaced in our move or something and I just need to find it again. I have faith that I will, but if you have any tips on how to find it again, please send them my way! One of the few things that’s gotten me in the kitchen is this oh-so-good mushroom quinoa casserole—both Aaron and I actually crave it. It’s earthy and nourishing with a hint of spice to jazz things up, plus it makes enough that there are leftovers for the next days lunch—woohoo!

My friend Dana served this to us soon after arriving to San Francisco and I think all four of us went back for thirds—it’s that good. I’ve since made it twice at home, making a few tweaks here and there. It’s a pretty adaptable dish—you can switch out the spices, the original called for tarragon, I swapped it for red pepper flakes, or toss in a few more veggies like kale and it’ll still be great. Whatever you do, just give it a chance, it’s a keeper.

Speaking of, do you have any favorite casseroles? With a baby due to arrive in our house in two weeks (!!) I’d love to freeze a few dishes so we can just pop them in the oven without even thinking about it.

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blood orange + pomegranate pancakes with blood orange + honey syrup

February 15th, 2013

I’ve come to realize that pancakes are one of my favorite foods. They’re super easy, super flexible, and always comforting. Honestly, they’re one of my favorite ways to start the day—but only if I make them at home. Which brings me to this crazy realization—I’m now a Californian. My home is no longer that cozy apartment in Brooklyn—or even simply Brooklyn—the place I lived for over eight years and basically became an adult. I think some people think that we’re a little crazy moving across the country with a baby due in less than two months, but for some reason, this move seemed like the right thing to do. Life is already going to dramatically change, so why not embrace more change? It seems like an awesome adventure—although, yes, sometimes a little crazy—to us. Oh, and did I mention that our new apartment has a totally dreamy kitchen? That didn’t hurt. So, while I’ve been a wee-bit absent here, I’ve spent the past few weeks trying to reassemble and adjust to our new life in sunny california.

After the initial week of simply getting logistical things done (with a little fun sprinkled in of course), we finally went to the market. I was immediately drawn to the things I’ve never been able to by fresh at the market—fresh citrus and pomegranates. Since blood oranges are on the top of my favorites list, I loaded my bag with those and since I’d never had a fresh pomegranate, I figured there’s no better time to try one out. The next morning I woke up with a vision—blood orange and pomegranate pancakes—and since we hadn’t picked up maple syrup yet, I’d make a blood orange and honey syrup. I love waking up with a good idea, then being able to execute it—especially when it’s this tasty.

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happy hour: westward!

January 11th, 2013

Well hello again and happy belated 2013! This time of year I find myself feeling a little angry about the weather—it can be bitter cold here in NYC (although I haven’t had much to complain about this year). Luckily, my favorite winter fruit, blood oranges arrive at just the right time to bring a little sunshine into my life during these cold, gloomy months.

This week I used my inaugural haul of blood oranges to make two versions (boozy and non-boozy) of a drink I’ve dubbed Westward! I created this little number not only because I love these juicy fellas but because I have big news to share. In less than two weeks, the Carámbula household is packing up and heading to sunny California—San Francisco  to be exact (so I’ll add foggy into the equation)— home of blood oranges!! It’s been a totally crazy (did I mention I’m almost 7 months pregnant) whirlwind decision, but I couldn’t be more jazzed about it! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to explore a new city with new farmers markets, restaurants, and shops.

So, a big old cheers is due… Cheers to a new year, to big changes, and of course, blood oranges.

Westward!

makes 1 cocktail

2 ounces fresh squeezed blood orange juice
1/2 ounce cinnamon-infused simple syrup, recipe below
1 1/2 ounces vodka (optional)
1-2 ounces seltzer water
2 blood orange slices

 

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the blood orange juice, simple syrup and vodka, if using. Shake vigorously for about 10 seconds.

2. Strain into a tall collins glass filled with ice. Top it off with seltzer water and add the blood orange slices and a straw, giving it a little swirl to incorporate the seltzer.

3. Enjoy!

Cinnamon-infused simple syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks
1. In a small saucepan stir together all the ingredients over medium-low heat.

2. Simmer for 10-15 minutes and let cool completely.

3. Strain out the cinnamon sticks and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

puppy chow

December 20th, 2012

The holidays have been bonkers for me this year (and I’m sure I’m not alone)—between craft fairs and shipping for Remedy Quarterly and this whole pregnancy thing, But yesterday I found myself with a little free time and decided it was time to make at least one thing to share with you. I had three favorites in mind—but the one that rose to the top is this oldie but goodie, puppy chow. I have no idea why it’s called that, but honestly it’s so good that I don’t care what you call it. A mixture of melted peanut butter, butter, and butterscotch all over rice chex, then topped with powdered sugar—this treat is far from healthy but oh-so-good. In fact, that first bite took me right back to my mom’s kitchen growing up where I’d sneak a handful of puppy chow as I walked through the kitchen—then before you knew it the whole bag was gone.

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holiday giveaway 4: art in the age gift box

December 18th, 2012

Oh boy, I’m jazzed to share the last giveaway with you! How awesome is this box full of goodies from Art in the Age? If you’re not familiar with Art in the Age, they’re the makers of some of my favorite artisan spirits like Root and Snap, along with other things like soap and apparel. Anywho, they’ve given me this box full of goodies like Tomr’s Tonic, Royal Rose Syrup, Hella Bitters, Whiskey Disks, Art in the Age Soap, t-shirts and a few mugs. It’s kind of like a home mixologists must-haves… I love it!

If you’d like to win this box of awesome, just leave a comment with your favorite holiday drink (alcoholic or not) and I’ll randomly chose a winner this Thursday, December 20 at noon.

***Congratulations to Emily, who won this lovely gift box! It looks like egg nog, cider (mulled an/or spiked), and champagne rise to be some of your favorite holiday drinks. Enjoy this holiday season! Cheers!***

pear + ginger muffins with oatmeal topping

December 14th, 2012

Oh how I love a good muffin. Perfectly moist, with a bit of fruit and a bit of sweet, buttery goodness sprinkled on top—all waiting to greet you in the morning—that’s my idea of a good muffin. A few weeks ago, we went to a restaurant that sent us home with a pear ginger muffin to enjoy the next morning (which is a genius move if you ask me). The muffin was a perfect fall breakfast—it hit all my previously stated requirements of a muffin while also being seasonal and comfy. It took me a while to actually get in the kitchen to create my own version, but when I finally got around to it, they were totally worth the wait. These pear + ginger muffins with oatmeal topping will make any morning better.

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