Cocktail Of The Week: Parisian Sunset

photoWhat better time to discover a new cocktail than on Friday? Just a little something to carry you into the weekend. Since it’s November, and the weather has finally turned chilly, it’s time to break out the brown liquor. Let’s hear it for Cognac! Probably a nice platter of cheese and patê is in order as well.

 

Parisian Sunset
Makes 1 Drink

2 oz Cognac
1/3 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz fresh orange juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Fill with ice. Shake thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a real Maraschino cherry.

This will set you up for a great weekend.
Drink Up!

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Cocktail Of The Week: Piña Coladas

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When the summer begins to heat up, there’s nothing like a good tropical drink to get you in the summer mood. If only that drink came with a white sandy beach… well, I guess you can’t have everything. You’ll just have to make do with an awesome piña colada – and perhaps a pool if you’re lucky enough to have one. Otherwise, post a picture of the beach on your wall, and look at it while you sip your drink. Breath deep. Exhale. Can you smell the ocean? Almost? Recipe

Cocktail of the Week: Updated Bellini

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On a Saturday morning, home alone for the first time in months, what are you going to do? Make brunch of course. Brioche French Toast, sausage, maple syrup, whipped cream. Let’s go overboard here. Because…why not? And what is more necessary to a good brunch than a glass of something sparkling? “Pull out the bubbly!” But it’s also summer time – the time of year when fresh fruit cravings are at their height. But, horrors, there’s none in the house! What to do? Ah, yes! That frozen fruit picked way long ago, that has just been chillin’ waiting to be put to good use. Peaches! Peaches and bubbly! What could be better? Frozen peaches puréed in the food processor with a touch of lime juice, and voilá: peach ‘sorbet’. Put a scoop in the bottom of a champagne glass. Fill (carefully) with bubbly. Stir gently and enjoy. Perfect summer brunch cocktail.

Cocktail of the Week: Nectarine Whiskey Smash

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So, I came across a couple of overripe nectarines in the fridge a couple days ago. They smelled wonderful, but I admit, I’m very picky about the texture of my fruit, and I knew I didn’t want to eat them out of hand. What to do, what to do? Make a cocktail of course! I had just picked some of my sadly neglected, but thriving mint, which I threw into the mix, and as it was a cool night, out came the rye. Three rocks glasses, two thirds of a nectarine in each with 10 or so leaves of mint, a squeeze of lemon all smooshed together and covered with rye and ice. Yum, yum.

Recipe.

When Autumn Comes: Grape Focaccia

Make sourdough grape focaccia!

Nothing says Autumn like fresh grapes. I’m not talking about those aroma-less, seedless excuses for grapes you can buy in the grocery store all year long. I’m talking about big, plump, seedy, perfumed grapes. Concord grapes, for example. Freshly picked. There’s a fruit you can smell from a mile away. Plop those on top of focaccia with rosemary and anise seeds and bake it in the oven; suddenly your whole house will smell absolutely amazing. Breath it in; that’s the smell of harvest time.

See recipe…

Cocktail of the Week: A Silver Meyer

Last week when I went to fetch limes from the produce section at the grocery store, I was distracted by a basket full of deep sunset yellow fruit. Meyer Lemons! I was buying citrus for cocktails, so of course I had cocktails on my mind, and I had to try a couple. After all, I’ve never seen meyer lemons looking so ripe. I grabbed a couple, and here’s the drink I came up with. An interesting thing I noticed was that the shaved zest on top gave off a distinctive vanilla like aroma – very different from a conventional lemon. The juice itself smelled of oranges and tasted of lemons (though less tart). A very interesting fruit and I hope I find some again to try out more experiments!

Recipe…

Experiment: Nectarine-Lavender Muffins with Coconut Flour

So, I saw this pin on Pinterest (yes, I spend too much time on that site. But, all the cool ideas I find there!). Anyway, someone pinned Lavender Nectarine Muffins. Sounds damn good, I thought. So (after repinning, of course) I clicked for the recipe. Despair! It was in German! What now? I don’t speak German! Ahhh, but the internet can do anything – right? Hasty Google search. Some copy and pasting. Soon I have a VERY rough translation. Well, I’m creative. I can make this work; I WANT ME SOME MUFFINS.

Of course, being the impatient person I am, I decided to experiment on my first go. I wanted to use less flour by substituting coconut flour. This is not quite as straightforward as I thought it would be since you have to add equal parts extra liquid to coconut flour and sometimes you even need more egg for loft. Add to this that I was working with oz (weight) instead of cups (thanks European measurements). Anyway, for a bit, it was very confusing. However, in the end I actually came out with a batch of tasty muffins. Turns out the combination of nectarine, lavender and coconut flour results in a something that tastes a little like a corn muffin. Who knew? I think I may want to try making the straight flour version just for the sake of comparison. We’ll see…

See recipe.

Cocktail of the Week: Luxardo Maraschino Cherries

We recently finished a jar of Luxardo Maraschino Cherries. For those of you who have not experienced these little treasures, these are the real thing. None of this brightly died, corn-syrup soaked nonsense. These are incredibly delicious. Having one at the bottom of your drink makes you want another drink just so you can eat the cherry – and for the record, I don’t even really like cherries. Anyway, we finished the cherries in the jar, but there was still all sorts of delicious syrup left, and rather than let it go to waste, I thought I would do a little experimentation. The results were pretty tasty I thought.

Recipes…