Cocktail Trials: The Sazerac

Note: I have been drinking the same cocktail since college. The humble gin and tonic has served my 20s well. It’s simple, frill-less and ubiquitous.  However, I’m broadening my horizons and finding a new (for lack of a less cringe-inducing, pretentious-sounding term) signature cocktail. Here is the journey, one drink at a time. Now up:

The Sazerac:

This classic from pre-civil War New Orleans and is (debate-ably) the country’s oldest cocktail.  It’s getting a tryout because of it’s awesome birthplace, history and bad-ass alcohol content.

After spotting the main ingredient a rye whiskey (shockingly, called Sazerac) on a recent trip to Brookyln, I decided that I had to try this at home.

Collecting the ingredients took some thought. I picked up a bottle of Peychauds Bitters from that same NY liquor store, but absinthe had to come from Virginia (it’s not yet legal everywhere) and my husband made up a batch of simple syrup.

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Must Be Summer(ish): Whole Fish, Bloody Mary and Thai Peanut Noodles

To celebrate that our grass grew in and we haven’t killed a single plant (yet), we marked Sunday’s sunny afternoon with bloody marys and an Asian whole fish feast. Here are the recipes:

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary: The making of

I’ve only recently learned to love a Bloody Mary. Maybe it’s a grown up drink and a sign I am getting old. Or maybe it’s just that the Bloody Mary has been remade by the foodie crowd and no longer feature slimy V8. This recipe comes compliments of my friend from Brookyln, who, during a recent visit, made sure to stock our fridge with all the ingredients.

Ingredients:

Tomato juice
vodka
worcestershire sauce
lemons
horseradish
salt and pepper
tabasco (or another hot sauce).

Making the bloody mary

Fill a pint glass with ice and add 1-2 shots of vodka. Then, fill most of the way up with tomato juice. Add two or three good shakes worcestershire sauce, the juice of one lemon, salt and pepper (celery salt if you have it, or add celery seed in addition to the salt) and several shakes of hot sauce. Top that off with about a quarter to half a teaspoon of horseradish.

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It’s Asparagus Season!

Salmon, asparagus and lemon pasta

Delicious-ness in action.

Early spring is asparagus season. One never to pass up a bargain, I currently have two bundles of $1.99 asparagus in my refrigerator.

I’m a fan of just coating asparagus in olive oil, sprinkling it with some salt and sticking it under the broiler for a few minutes.  But if you want an actual recipe for your asparagus, here is my personal favorite.

It’s easy, delicious and stolen from Jamie Oliver. However, I have taken the liberty of de-English-ing this by removing any quirky phrases and  mention of the metric system.

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Holiday House Party — The Menu

Christmas Story family eats Chinese on Christmas

There were many kitchen mishaps, but at least we didn't have to call out for Chinese.

There’s something about Christmas that makes me want to overextend myself. So, when planning my party last weekend, I tried very, very hard not to end up with dough on my hands, guests walking in the door and something burning away in the oven.  I tried to keep it simple.

Still the party went off like a Top Chef competition. No, I didn’t slice my finger open with a razor sharp German-made chef’s knife. But in my frantic attempt to cook for 20 in only 3 hours (after having my kitchen renovations finished the day before), I did dump a tray full of rendered bacon fat on the floor, knock over a glass of wine and preheat the oven with a plastic baggy of screws inside (note to self: after buying appliances on Craigslist, be sure look inside the over before using it) which promptly melted to the bottom and started smoking.

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Spaetzle: Carb of the Year

spaetzle

Spaetzle: Deliciously unhealthy German comfort food. Yum!

Time for another recipe! It’s December; it’s time for magazines, newspapers and blogs everywhere to release their “best of” lists. Well, I’ve already tackled kale, my favorite healthy food for the year. Now, I’m going to tell you about my favorite deliciously unhealthy carb.

Spaeztle are little German-style noodles made out of a eggy dough. Size-wise, they are in between gnocchi and couscous. Something about the noodle’s petite size make them even more delicious than regular pasta. Maybe it’s having more surface area to cover with butter and Parmesan cheese. Just a guess!

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My Favorite Meal (When I have 5 minutes and a jar of kimchi)

A bowl of kimchi and ramen

Yum! Heartburn!

Let me share my favorite fast meal. I learned this in China from my co-worker who learned it from his Korean girlfriend. This recipe has really passed through many cultures to make it to this blog. So appreciate it.

My favorite part is that it contains most of your basic food groups (is that even still a thing?), so I can construe it as somewhat healthy. Well, healthier than the cheese quesadilla I would eat in its place.

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My new obsession with… um, kale

bag of kaleAs it grows cooler out, I like my food cooked. Salads and brown bag lunches are for the hot months of summer. When I’m driving home from work and it’s already dark, I’m craving soup, stew, big ol’ bowls of noodles.

Combining my love for comfort food with my need to not gain 20 pounds in the next four months is an amazing feat. Meet kale. Yeah, I thought it was gross, tough and bitter two weeks ago. But I have learned my lesson! I love kale now.

I now am the proud owner of an industrial sized bag. Because if the world ends and I am trapped in my basement hiding from the zombie appocolypse, I will need my dark green veggies. That and kale cooks down, a lot Here’s the secret to kale love.

How to make kale:

I learned this at a dinner party from a chef in Brookyln. Honey, if you are wondering, is the secret ingrediant here.

  1. 1.  Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Actually, I like to cook this in my wok so I can make bigger batches.
  2. 2. Add chopped garlic and a shake or two of red pepper flakes. Saute.
  3. 3. Add two squirts of honey (hopefully your honey comes in a bear squeezy bottle like mine does)
  4. 4. Make sure the pan is really hot. Put handful of kale in pan, and pour about 1/4 of a cup of chicken broth over the kale. The broth should steam immediately upon hitting the hot pan.
  5. When the kale start to wilt,  add more kale and chicken broth as needed. When you have the desired amount, cook for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Eat.