Hair of the Dog – Bloody Marys

Hair of the Dog - Bloody Mary

It’s no secret… my seester T and I are rather in L-O-V-E with a good Bloody Mary. They’re schpishy, zingy and man…do they have some serious rejuvenating powers. Hair of the dog all the way!

But there’s nothing worse than a watered down, flavorless Bloody. Vodka in an iced glass of tomato juice does not make a Bloody Mary. Hell – that’s just spiked tomato juice. Yuck! 

A well crafted Bloody should be as complex and multi-layered as a beautiful dish. Savory while bright, spiced and full of umami (ugh, did I really use that word?), while still packing a strong punch.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to using a premade Bloody mix because there are some darn good ones out there. But even when I do use a premixed base, I always tweak it. Usually to give more spice and depth of flavor.

Hair of the Dog - Bloody Mary

So when one of my favorite meals comes around (Sunday Brunch of course), I’m the first to offer up one of my Bloody Marys. Starting off with a good tomato juice, I add some of this and some of that until the concoction is just right. And then, the Bloody has got to chill in the fridge so that the flavors have a chance to marry.

That gives you the perfect amount of time to get the “toppings” together. And that’s where things get fun. Pickled or fresh veggies, pepperoni, crispy bacon, shrimp, cheeses, kettle chips–anything goes! And want a tip? If you’re wary about having to pick up all kinds of ingredients to garnish a cocktail–fret not! Just swing by the salad bar of your local grocery store and grab whatever tickles your fancy. I usually fill a little box with all the fixings to jazz up my cocktails for under $2-$3.

Looking for a Pan-Asian spin on the Bloody Mary? Use Sriracha instead of hot sauce….swap out Worcestershire sauce for Maggi Seasoning Sauce… crush in some hot Thai chiles….and finally, top it with a SPAM musubi. HELL YEAH!

I’ve included a guide below of how I start my Bloody Marys but like my other cocktail recipes on the site, the measurements are loose guidelines and should be adjusted to your liking.

With that Friends….TGIF! Happy Friday and have a brilliant weekend!

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Hair of the Dog – Bloody Marys
Serves 2 (very hefty servings)

Ingredients:

3 cups tomato juice
1 heaping tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon Tabasco sauce (or other hot sauce of your choice)
2 tablespoons olive juice (brine)
juice of ½ small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
zest of ½ lemon
several dashes Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon celery salt (more to rim the glasses)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt  (more to rim the glasses)
1/8 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
4 ounces premium vodka

Extra goodness:
grilled prawns
thick pepperoni slices
peperoncinis
cucumber slices
pickled hot cherry peppers
lemon wedges
lime wedges
celery stalks

In a pitcher or very large cocktail shaker, combine the first 12 ingredients. Stir well and refrigerate for about an hour.

While the cocktail chills, take wooden skewers and slide the garnish onto them.

Mix together 1 part celery salt and 1 part kosher salt in a shallow plate. Wipe the rim of two glasses with a lemon wedge. Roll the edges of each glass into the salt mixture and set aside.

Once chilled, stir the Bloody Mary concoction well. Fill the glasses with ice and divide the chilled liquid amongst the two. Garnish each drink with the celery stalks and prepared skewers.

Cheers!

 

Almond Joy Milkshakes

Almond Joy Milkshakes

It’s been really hot these past few days.

How hot you ask?

HELLA hot.

Darn too hot to cook or even warm up food. So instead, I opted to make milkshakes for dinner the other night.

Almond Joy Milkshakes

I rummaged through the freezer and found some chocolate and coconut ice creams which I threw in the blender with some other goodies. And some how, I inadvertently made the most delicious milkshake with the flavors of Almond Joy. ‘Cause….

Sometimes you feel like a nut…
Sometimes you don’t…..

It was decadently yummy and helped keep me cool during the .5 seconds it took me to inhale the whole thing.

I love it when I make delish things by accidents.

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Almond Joy Milkshakes
Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 heaping scoop chocolate ice cream
1 heaping scoop coconut ice cream
½ cup almond milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon coconut extract
1 ounce creme de cacao (optional)
2 tablespoons toasted coconut flakes
1 teaspoon toasted almond slices
1 teaspoon cacao nibs or chocolate chunks

In a blender, add both ice creams, almond milk, both extracts, creme de cacao (if using) and 1½ tablespoons coconut flakes. Blend until the shake is smooth and frothy. Pour the contents into a glass and sprinkle the top with the remaining coconut flakes, almond slices and cacao nibs (or chocolate).

Enjoy!

 

 

Blended Mango Margaritas

Blended Mango Margaritas

Let’s get one thing straight.

In my book, it’s not a Cinco de Mayo celebration if there aren’t margaritas on hand –whether there’s booze in them or not. A chilled beverage filled with tons of citrus that is the perfect sidekick to spicy salsas, tacos, ceviche, barbacoa….let’s face it–pretty much anything!

 

Blended Mango Margaritas

As we continue on with the Cinco de Mayo plans, it’s only fit to think about what type of margaritas to serve. I usually lean towards my standard classic margarita on the rocks with a heavy salt rim. But if you’re interested in something different, here are a few options:

 

Blood Orange Margaritas

Blood Orange Margaritas

Mint Margaritas

Mint Margaritas


Pomegranate Margaritas

Pomegranate Margaritas

 

Palomas
(not technically a margarita but a fantastic close cousin)

Palomas

 

I managed to get my hands on some deliciously sweet ataulfo mangoes and thought they would be fantastic in a blended margarita. I tossed them into the blender with some booze, fresh citrus, ice and voila— a fiesta in a glass!

Blended Mango Margaritas

If you don’t have fresh mangoes on hand, frozen mangoes could also be used. However, you may want to reduce the amount of ice and add a bit more simple syrup to taste. I also chose to rim the glass with sugar but if you happen to have some chili-lime salt (ie. Tajin) then that would be another fab flavor layer.

Salud!

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Blended Mango Margaritas
Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 lime wedge
sugar
2½ cups ripe mangoes
4 ounces premium tequila
2 ounces Cointreau or triple sec
2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces fresh orange juice
1 ounce simple syrup (more if you prefer a sweeter cocktail)
1 cup crushed ice
limes slices to garnish

Use the lime wedge and rim the edge of two glasses. Dip/roll the rim into the sugar and coat the edge of each glass.

Place all the remaining items into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the contents into the rimmed glass and garnish with a lime slice. Cheers!

“One Night in Bangkok” – Thai themed Family Dinner

February 2014: Thai Fam Din

“One night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble
Not much between despair and ecstasy….”

Uh…not going to lie. That song rocks but I have no idea what any of the words are beside “one night in Bangkok“…But that didn’t stop my sibs and I from blaring that oldie but goodie when we had our last Sunday Family Dinner where we whipped up some of our favorite delish Thai inspired dishes…… it was the only right thing to do.

We started off with a few Thai Iced Teasthat the kiddos made using a quick recipe from White on Rice. This little number is full flavored—deep, deep black tea mixed up with a decadent douse of half and half. After a quick sip of this concoction I was convinced that there’s no need to order this out ever again. It’s so easy to make at home, plus, you can’t put a price tag on the entertainment you get when you pour the half and half into the tea to get a swirly -stormy mixture.

GORGEOUS!

Thai Iced Tea

And since the kiddos were set on their drinks, it was time for the 21+ to have a little drinky in our hands. I decided to mix up a little number that I appropriately called “One Night in Bangkok”.

Kaffir lime infused simple syrup, fresh lime juice, vodka, pineapple chunks, lime juice, mint and club soda.

Uh…YES, PLEASE!

One Night in Bangkok

We then moved on to some pre-dinner appetizers. Big seester made Thai Fish Cakes {Tod Mun Pla} with a Cucumber Salad that was my hands down, favorite dish of the night. They’re a common street food (LOVE street foods) in Thailand and she used the recipe found here.

Now, you may think fish cakes sound fairly mundane but do not underestimate these little buggers. They really knocked me off my feet by being incredibly moist and tender and were incredibly aromatic from the kaffir lime leaves. And you’ll never guess what’s in the fish paste……coconut milk!!!

I could’ve easily eaten a dozen of these fish cakes over rice and wish we would’ve doubled the batch! Oh wait– she did double the batch! :)

Thai Fish Cakes

Our second app for the night was my Pork Larb Gai Lettuce Wraps. It’s a dish that I make often but have tweaked several times over the years. Larb ( or laap, laab, etc.) can be made from a variety of proteins and is typically mixed with tons of fresh herbs, a fish sauce mixture, citrus, toasted ground rice, and depending on where in Thailand it’s made–pork/beef blood…..though I always it omit it.

Larb is DEE-LISH. If I was on a low carb diet, I’d eat it every day-all day. Since you can make it with anything, you can choose a really lean protein and the citrus & herbs makes it a very bright and satisfying dish.

Pork Larb

Big sis then made a Shrimp & Chicken Pad Thai using Alice’s recipe from Sweet Savory Life. It’s my go-to Pad Thai recipe whenever I want to make it at home and my overview of it can be found here.

Pad Thai

My other seester, T, made a big ol’ pot of Tom Yum Koong. Tons of seafood, aromatics and flavors that played with sour, sweet and a lots of spice!

Tom Yum Koong

She also made rich and hearty Beef Panang Curry.

Beef Penang Curry

And finally, dessert. As a nod to Thai flavors, I decided to pair one of my old recipes, Toasted Coconut Gelato with hot and crispy Fried Bananas. I mean, c’mon now. You CANNOT go  wrong with that!

IMG_63791

I’ve got to confess to y’all. Our Thai themed Sunday Family Dinner was awesome.

Sure, there were a lot of different dishes but they weren’t really heavy which allowed us to shovel it all in without feeling too bad. Definitely one of our more successful Family Dinners if I do say so myself. And since we started off with it, let me share with you how to make “One Night in Bangkok”.

One Night in Bangkok

ไชโย Folks and let’s see what next month has to offer!

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One Night in Bangkok
Serves 1

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
½ cup water
12-15 whole kaffir lime leaves, divided
¼ cup fresh pineapple chunks
2 lime wedges
3-4 mint leaves
2 ounces vodka
ice
3-4 ounces tonic water

Prepare the Kaffir Lime infused Simple Syrup. In a small pot, add the sugar, water and kaffir lime leaves. Bring the liquids to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar. Lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking the syrup on low for 5-10 minutes until it’s thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Transfer the Kaffir Lime infused Simple Syrup to a resealable jar or container. It may be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pineapple chunks, lime wedges, mint leaves, 1 kaffir lime leaf and 1 tablespoon of Kaffir Lime infused Simple Syrup. Add the vodka and fill the shaker halfway with ice. Vigorously shake for 15-20 seconds and strain the liquids into a glass filled with ice. Top off the glass with the tonic water and garnish with additional pineapple spears, mint leaves and kaffir lime leaves.  Enjoy!

Toasting the 86th Oscars with an “Aye-Aye Captain”!

Aye-Aye Captain

Hollywood’s biggest night is nearly upon us with the Oscars just a few days away. And like every year, I cannot wait to see all the gorgeous gowns! The glitz the glam – I love it!

This year I’m keeping things pretty low key but it would not be an Oscars Night if I didn’t shake up a few special-themed craft cocktails. Last year in honor of Life of Pi, I made the Sparkling Tangerine Tiger that was bright and dangerously delicious. For this year’s 86th Academy Awards, my cocktail is created in honor of Captain Phillips and is called the Aye -Aye Captain!

DSC_Aye-Aye Captain

And let me tell ya…you’re going to love this one. Fresh oranges, limes, mint, Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and ginger beer. The spiced rum and ginger beer offer a great bite while the fresh citrus rounds out this delightful cocktail. But be warned, these beauties go down incredibly smooth.

If you’re hosting a shindig for the event, finger foods and small bites are definitely the way to go. Below are a few suggestions that would definitely win the hearts & tummies of your guests:

Aye-Aye Captain

Enjoy the Oscars!

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Aye -Aye Captain
Serves 1

Ingredients:

½ small orange, cut into small wedges (I used Cara Caras that are incredibly sweet & juicy)
½ lime, cut into small wedges
5 fresh mint leaves (more to garnish)
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1½  ounces Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
ice
3-4 ounces ginger beer

In a shaker, muddle ¼ of the oranges, 2-3 lime wedges, mint and sugar. Add the rum and shake well.

Fill a tumbler with ice. Strain and pour the liquid from the shaker into the glass. Top with ginger beer and garnish with citrus wedges and mint leaves. Cheers!

Ringing in 2014 with Moscow Mules

Moscow Mules

We’re having a New Year’s Eve Cocktail Party tonight and are spending the day on some last minute preparations. Instead of a fussy sit down menu, my sister opted for an hors d’oeuvres spread. Some of our small bites will include chimichurri steak crostinis, smoked salmon, kalua pig sliders, gougères, sugarcane shrimp and papas rellenas. Hopefully a little something for everyone to enjoy while we’re counting down to 2014.

Moscow Mules

There will be of course, cocktails…..lots and lots of cocktails. My Red Wine Sangria has been steeping for 2 days now and our brother said he’s been dreaming up some Champagne Cocktails that he’ll be whipping up tonight.

I will be serving up one of my favorite’s–Moscow Mules. Moscow Mules have been around since the late 1930′s – early 40′s but thanks to hipsters, there’s been quite the resurgence of them which I love…..the drink, not the hipsters :)

Mules are quite easy to whip up since they only have a few ingredients–vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and a few dashes of bitters. However, I highly suggest using ginger beer and not ginger ale as ginger beer often will have more “bite” to it and is less sweet.

Moscow Mules

And with that, dear Friends, I wish you all a very, VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR filled with lots of good laughter, love, and Foodventures!

Cheers!

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Moscow Mules
Serves 1

Ingredients:

ice
2 ounces quality vodka
1/2 ounce lime juice
5 ounces ginger beer
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters
mint sprigs and lime slices for garnish

Fill a Mule mug (or glass of your choice) with ice. Pour the vodka and lime juice over the ice. Slowly pour the ginger beer into the mug and stir with a straw. Add the dashes of Angostura Bitters to the top and garnish with lime slices and mint sprigs. Cheers!

Day 7 of A Week of Holiday Cocktails – White Cranberry Sangria

White Cranberry Sangria

Well Folks, we made it. The last day of our Week of Holiday Cocktails.

Have y’all survived?

How’s the liver? :)

 

White Cranberry Sangria

The last installment for the week is our White Cranberry Sangria. Cranberries always remind me of the holidays so why not use white cranberry juice in sangria? It turned out to be a lovely little cocktail to sip on for a daytime celebration or a casual get together. Tart, light, and a little bubbly from the last minute addition of soda water.

I have to admit, I had a helluva time testing and shaking up these goodies and I hope that it’s given you some fun ideas for your winter festivities. Thanks for hanging out for our Week of Holiday Cocktails — wishing you and your loved ones an amazing Holiday season!

Salute – dear Friends!

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White Cranberry Sangria

Ingredients:

2 bottles white wine (such as a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc)
16 ounces white cranberry juice
1/2 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup brandy
juice of 1 lemon
2 cinnamon sticks
fresh fruit (ie. grapes, berries, apple slices, etc.)
12 ounces soda water

Pour the wine into a large pitcher and add cranberry juice, Cointreau, brandy, and lemon juice. Stir well. Add in cinnamon sticks and fruit. Chill for a minimum of 2-3 hours. Before serving, stir in soda and pour into glasses that have been filled with ice. Enjoy!

(ps. My big seesters wanted me to remind everyone to drink responsibility :) )