Strawberry Coriander Shrub Cocktail

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Hi Friends! I hope this weekend holds sunshine, relaxing, and overly-caffeinated mornings for you. I will be kickin’ it in spin class, barbecuing anything I can get my hands on, and daydreaming about one day having a kid as cute as this in the kitchen. (<— Did you watch it? It will make your day if this cocktail doesn’t.)

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It’s been a little while since my last bar creation and with all this beautiful summer fruit at the farmers market, I knew it was high time we revisited the shrub cocktail! If you’re not familiar with shrub in its non-leafy version, it’s a fruit, sugar, vinegar concentrate that hails from the Colonial days. Shrub is a revitalizing, sweet and tangy beverage served over ice with your choice of sparkling water, prosecco, or liquor.

Today we’re tackling the …keep reading

The PPD Cocktail

I have your next hit cocktail — it’ll be gangbusters. Prepare yourself. For The PPD.

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“What is The PPD?” You may ask. It’s the perfect thing to impress your date. It will run out at your party, leaving people begging for more. It suits both chick flick night and sports night without fail.

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The PPD is, dare I say, magical in its symphony of flavors. Dark caramel meets sweet and juicy pineapple where it becomes candied, and a subtle heat is then introduced with chili flakes. The pineapple is reserved for garnish, because I love it when my drinks come with snacks, don’t we all? …keep reading…

Apple Thyme Shrub Cocktail

I flick apples in the produce section. I get the occasional eyebrow raise my direction, but I always end up with the crunchiest, crispest apples. The higher pitch the apple makes, the crunchier the fruit. I don’t compromise here, so I’ll happily endure the raised eyebrows. A good fall apple should be bright in flavor and almost brittle like kettle-cooked potato chips.

Apple thyme shrub cocktail

Apples bring back a flood of memories of gallivanting through an apple orchard in Virginia with my family and our close family friends. The rows were littered with half-eaten apples discarded only to sample another variety until our bellies could fit no more….that is, until we were presented with hot apple fritters and fresh-pressed apple cider back at the farm store.

I recently concocted a drink that captures that sweet, bright, tart burst of flavor in an autumn apple. The trick? Keep reading…

Summer in a Glass: The Cherry Lemonade Cooler

I’ve been whipping up cocktails basically every week this summer. Until this cherry lemonade cooler, the highlights have been this one and this one. Summer cocktails are simply the best. Don’t get me wrong, fall cocktails will have their time to shine (because the fun can’t just stop in September), but the fresh sweet and tart flavors that you can get from all that gorgeous summer fruit is irreplaceable.

Cherry lemon cocktail

This cherry lemonade cooler transports you to a beautiful place. That place (either mentally or physically) should be under a palm tree next to the pool, or barefoot in a garden at twilight. The bold cherry flavor shines thrice in this cocktail – in the simple syrup, muddled into your glass, and as a snack/garnish… You know how I love it when my drinks come with SNACKS.

I like my cocktails on the tart side, so I went heavy-handed on the …keep reading!

Pear Spice Cocktail

Fall Cocktail Recipe

Friends! I was just thinking that I need to share another great cocktail with you…it’s been far too long! It obviously needed to be one that tastes like fall. My mom and I were planning out our Thanksgiving menu last weekend, and at the top of the list is our Apple Cider Cars that we make to kick off every Thanksgiving. I thought, that would be the perfect one to share…but I forgot that I already did.

Hence, research on fall cocktails was embarked upon, flavor ideas were hatched, and recipe testing was completed. I even had to re-photograph the cocktail one afternoon for better lighting…and I couldn’t let that delicious treat go to waste. #sorryimnotsorry #funemployed

Pear Spice Cocktails

I love summer cocktails, but there are some things you just can’t do until the fall…like brandy, cinnamon, orange spice, pumpkin, pomegranate, cider, and pear. I’ve never done a pear cocktail, but I knew that …Keep reading!

Beer Battered Fish Tacos & The Chelada

Summer is better effortless and a little messy. Let your hair down, get your toes in the sand, forget the makeup, embrace the post-work cocktail, and let that cilantro jalapeño crema run down your cheek.

Fish Tacos

These California fish tacos are messy (in the best possible way) and their cocktail sidekick, the chelada, is effortless. I’m excited to make them again, like woah.

Elizabeth and I had a little dinner party featuring these bad boys (kinda like the one with these bad boys). The summer evening light flooded the kitchen, and our cocktails in hand, we blasted the Salsa Fever Pandora station (pro tip), and we were ready to whip up what would be the best fish tacos I’ve ever had. You should absolutely throw this dinner party – people will hate you…for how awesome you are.

Chelada

Let’s start with our totally effortless beer cocktail, shall we? (This one would also do!) Rim a pint glass with coarse salt, add a few cubes of ice, squeeze the juice of one lime in your glass, pour in your favorite light lager (we used Pacifico – just don’t use a flavorless light beer), give it a quick stir, and voila! a wonderfully refreshing and totally easy summer cocktail: The Chelada ladies and gentlemen.

Now here’s the deal with the tacos: there are tons of fun toppings all of which are optional, but highly encouraged – you do you. The only thing you MUST promise me you’ll make is the cilantro jalapeño crema. That’s a nonnegotiable. The crema is what sets these fish tacos apart from all the rest. It’s a crema revolution, get on board.

Keep reading!

I’m Blushing! The Liebster Award!

Strictly Delicious nominated me for the Liebster Award, and I couldn’t be more honored! And I’m a little upset, because she already got it and that means I can’t nominate her. I really do feel very flattered – thank you! She asked me a few questions, and here are my thoughts…

Geeky Chique

1. What are you most afraid of in the kitchen?
#humblebrag, I like to think of myself as pretty fearless, but honestly, I haven’t dabbled in gluten-free baking. (Minus the macarons I made last year, which definitely give me hope!)
2. What inspired you to begin blogging?
A few friends of mine who have blogs encouraged me to start my own, and looking for an addition to my New Years Resolution, I decided to just give it a shot!

3. What gives you the most joy from blogging?
Blogging gives me a great place to record my shenaniganry :)

4. What does your ideal Saturday look like?
Sleep in; make a big breakfast (preferably including buttermilk pancakes and caramelized onion fritatta); explore some new part of the city; and have friends over for cocktails on the roof…is it Saturday yet?

5. What pantry staple would you never want to live or cook without?
Salt. Done and done.

6. Name a place you have never visited, but want to.
I would love to visit Japan, but realistically next on my list will be Germany and Greece, buuuuut I also want to visit Brazil! And I’m dying to go back to France. Basically everywhere. Can you tell I miss traveling?

7. What’s the most surprisingly delicious thing you’ve ever eaten?
Oysters!

8. Who is your favorite “audience” to cook for?
Obviously my family and friends, but I do love cooking for people who I’m starting to get to know – there’s that moment when they try my cooking, and I feel like I’ve really secured the friendship ;)

9. What’s your favorite time of day and why?
I love the evening – whipping up a cocktail or pouring a glass of wine to enjoy with my roommates before drink #2 (or 3) while making dinner. (On the other end, my mornings are ALWAYS accompanied by a mug of coffee the size of my head and a general zombie-like demeanor.)

10. What are you looking forward to most this year?
California <3

California

I’m sure these wonderful bloggers have received wide acclaim, but nevertheless, I would like to nominate the following awesome bloggers for the Leibster Award!…

Ngan at Ngan Made It

Sue at Birger Bird

Liz at My Favourite Pastime

Patty over at Patty Nguyen

Sonal at Simply Vegetarian

Elmarie at Flippen blog

Josette at The Brook Cook

 

And my questions for you lovely ladies:

  1. What was the last thing you ate?
  2. What was your typical elementary school lunch?
  3. What’s your favorite kitchen utensil/appliance?
  4. Food you’d never touch?
  5. Food allergy you wish you had?
  6. What was the cause of your last hangover?
  7. What’s your favorite splurge at the grocery store?

 

The Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions you were given.
  3. Nominate other blogs with less than 500 followers.
  4. Post questions for your selected nominees to answer.
  5. Tag and link the nominees and post a comment to let them know you have nominated and appreciate their hard work

 

Apple Cider Cars

Happy un-Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you were able to relax and enjoy some good food with people you love :)

Apple cider car

I was lucky enough to spend the whole week up in a cabin in the Virginia mountains with my family. While we made all sorts of delicious food for Thanksgiving, including my favorite stuffing recipe of all time and my mom’s famous cranberry relish, I whipped up our signature cocktail, Apple Cider Cars, to sip on throughout the course of the day. I’ll leave you with this seasonal cocktail recipe and a few pictures of the fun up here.

Forest run

Running through the forest along the lake. Le sigh…wonderful :)

Turkey

Don’t stop reading! The recipe awaits…

My Perfect Old Fashioned

Ok, I’ve been thinking about this for you. Ready?…

Old Fashioned

10 great ways to spend your time:

  1. Watching the Food Network on the treadmill. (Seriously, you get some great recipe ideas with the added benefit of being a boss.)
  2. Trolling http://animalstalkinginallcaps.tumblr.com
  3. Wandering around a city – new or old
  4. Making a pitcher of cocktails for your friends, because they’ll love you, duh. (The 712 CocktailThe Gin Sour, or The Cinnamon Cidercane would be a great place to start.)
  5. Planning a road trip
  6. Re-watching all of the old Arrested Development
  7. Perusing thrift stores
  8. Lounging on the roof with wine and cheese (Once a week? Twice? No one’s judging.)
  9. Going to a free salsa/swing dancing night and resultingly either embracing how ridiculous you are or flaunting your sweet new moves ;)
  10. Spending an entire week perfecting an Old Fashioned

Definitely time well-spent.

I’ve done all of those pretty recently, but I need someone to keep me accountable for #4, #7, and #9 soon. Any takers?  #10 happened last week in LA with my family. Man, I love my family. Do other families do this? I mean if the first Old Fashioned wasn’t quite right, we have to make a second…obviously. And the second was good but could’ve used a little more bitters, soooo… And then I honestly just wanted to become pro behind the bar, so my family lovingly endured another few Old Fashioneds throughout the course of the week. And I think we came away with something pretty great here.

Easy Cocktail

Here’s what I did:

Old Fashioned

In a tumbler, stir together:
-1 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water boiled, cooled)
-4 dashes of angostura bitters (ends up being about 6 drops)
-3 oz. (2 shots) of good bourbon

Drop in:
-2 jarred sour cherries (like Morello, or another tart preserved cherry. *Just DON’T use maraschino…unless you’re that one person who likes them and can’t give it up for some weird reason.)
-a few cubes of ice

Obviously this is all to your liking – if you like it a little sweeter, try more simple syrup. Try more or less bitters (I happen to think 4 dashes is great, but some people like 2 and my mom likes 5). Try different kinds of bitters. Try it with an orange twist. Try it in a box. Try it with a fox. Just don’t dye it green ;)

*French phrase for fun:

Je ne les aime pas, moi, je m’appelle Sam.

I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Salty Dog G & T

Ok, don’t hate me. I know I promised you Mushroom & Pancetta Pasta with Whiskey Cream Sauce today, but that’s not what you’re gettin.

Goldie Locks & the Three Bears Cocktails

Goldie Locks & the Three Bears Cocktails

I made that in fall weather in Scotland, and it is definitely NOT fall here yet! Don’t let go of summer people! Here’s a little taste of my weekend at Virginia Beach last weekend where we cranked up the tunes, grilled veggies to tasty perfection, I managed to turn my skin from “fair” to “golden marshmallow” color, and we perfected this delicious cocktail.

Beach

Three kids just havin fun

Three kids just havin fun

Pirate Tim

Here’s what we did:

Salty Dog G & T

Measure into a tall glass  with ice:

-2 parts gin

-4 parts grapefruit juice (fresh if you can, otherwise just make sure you buy a good one!)

-the juice of half a lime

-a splash of tonic water

Stir and enjoy – soaking up summer before we fall into autumn ;)

French phrase for fun:

J’aime l’automne, mais j’aime les cocktails d’été mieux.
I love the fall, but I like summer cocktails better.