28 May 2011
15 May 2011
10 May 2011
06 May 2011
For salsa you need:
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/3 large white onion, cut into smallish pieces
1 jalapeno, sliced (keep the seeds!)
5 cloves of garlic
juice of one lime (I prefer to section limes for salsa because you get the most juice that way, but it's fine to just juice it)
3 Tbsp white vinegar (give or take)
handful of cilantro (I remove the leaves from the stems and just use the leaves, but if you're really lazy, you can throw the stems in there too, it'll be fine!)
salt to taste (probably you'll need as much as 1 Tbsp, but add it slowly to be careful!)
Put everything except the vinegar and salt in a food processor. Pulse until it's at the consistency you want. Add the vinegar one tablespoon at a time and the salt one large pinch at a time until you like the flavor. And remember, this is salsa. Everyone likes it different. One jalapeno with seeds gives it a kick but shouldn't send you running for milk. If you want it hotter, add another pepper. If you don't want it hot, remove the seeds and ribs (the RIBS are where most of the heat is, so remember that!). If you like it very sour, add more lime or vinegar, etc.
4 parts tequila (blanco or reposado)
1 part triple sec
2 parts fresh lime juice
0.5-1 part agave syrup
A good margarita is all about ingredients. First, you need the right tequila. I am against anything that calls itself "gold" because gold tequila isn't actually aged like reposado or anejo tequila, it has extra flavors and colors added. You absolutely want something that is "100% agave" (which "gold" tequilas are not) and use blanco/silver or reposado (anejo is for sipping!) and use a bottle that costs around $20-25 for a fifth. You don't want to spend too much on tequila because a lot of the flavor will be covered anyway. Hornitos, Milagro, and 1800 are good options. You can use cheap triple sec (a fifth costs less than $10) or something fancier like Grand Marnier. You will notice the flavor difference (also Grand Marnier is 80 proof, while most cheap triple secs are around 30 proof) and I think if you're making a small batch, then go for the better stuff. If you're making a big pitcher, cheap triple sec is fine. You want to use fresh lime juice. The amount of juice in a lime varies a lot, but a good, average sized lime will give you about an ounce of juice if you squeeze it all out. Before juicing, roll the lime on the counter to break apart the insides a little. You'll feel it get softer. Finally, you want to use agave syrup instead of simple syrup. Tequila is made from agave so it's natural that the flavors of tequila and agave syrup would complement each other. You can usually find agave syrup next to honey in the grocery store. Truth be told, agave syrup will make your margaritas less pretty. It's brown and and margaritas made with it are not as bright green as you might like. BUT I promise it tastes better!
Proportion wise, you can change things a little. The dominant flavors in a margarita should be tequila and lime. The orange and sweetness should be minor. I strongly recommend that about half of your cocktail should be tequila. You also don't want to lose the sourness of lime by covering it up with too much sweetener. Use 1 part or less sweetener per 2 parts lime. You can even cut it down to about a teaspoon per ounce of lime juice (which is 1 part agave to 6 parts lime juice) but taste it to make sure you like it.
You can make as large or small a batch as you'd like. For a small serving, put all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. For a large batch, pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir, making sure the agave syrup gets mixed in. Add ice and stir again. You'll want to serve these fairly quickly (like within 30 minutes) so the ice doesn't melt too much and water everything down. If you suspect the pitcher will be around for a while, only add a little ice, and then encourage the drinkers to put lots of ice in their glass. Serve up (my preference) or over ice in a salt-rimmed glass (mandatory).
Woah. That was way more than I expected to write about margaritas. Happy Friday!
05 May 2011
20 March 2011
Some days you wake up and it's pouring and your roof is leaking and you have a lot of work to do but you left your keys in your office over the weekend and so instead you make a coffee cake and a chipotle bloody mary (or two) and call it a day.
I'm pretty proud of this coffee cake considering I made it up with things I have in my house and I've never made a coffee cake before. Also of note: the bloody mary probably doesn't go well with the coffee cake, but it sure goes down nicely while you're waiting for it to bake.
Coffee Walnut Coffee Cake
1 cup butter
1.5 cup white sugar
.5 cup turbinado sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp kahlua
2 Tbsp instant coffee mixed into 1 tsp hot water (or the minimum amount of water you can use to get it to dissolve)
2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1. Preheat oven to 350, grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar on low until light and airy. Add eggs one at a time. Then add sour cream, yogurt, vanilla, kahlua and coffee.
3. Mix flour, salt, and baking soda in a separate bowl, then pour into mixer while still on low speed.
4. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a spatula to make sure it's all mixed in and then mix at medium speed for one minute.
5. In a small bowl, mix the walnuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon with a fork. Mix in melted butter with a fork. The mixture should be clumpy.
6. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture in the middle. Add the rest of the batter and then cover the top with the remaining 2/3 of the walnut mixture.
7. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Chipotle Bloody Mary
6 oz high quality tomato juice
juice of 1.5 limes
1 tsp horseradish
2 tsp adobo sauce from a jar of chipotle peppers
1 tsp chipotle powder
2 tsp Old Bay powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 oz vodka.
1. Mix all ingredients except vodka in a jar and shake thoroughly.
2. Fill a glass with ice cubes and add vodka. Pour tomato juice mix into the cup.
3. Stir and serve with celery!
16 March 2011
13 March 2011
I was inspired by this post, found on foodgawker, but changed the recipe a lot.
Until about a year ago, I'd never had a Bloody Mary. I thought tomato juice was gross, who wants not sweet juice? But then I ordered one on a whim at a happy hour and I never looked back! I love hot things and this definitely translates to Bloody Marys. When I order them, I usually add more Tabasco. I looked at a lot of recipes and sort of improvised and made it spicier, of course. This mix is spicy and thick. If you don't like it hot, you might want to tone it down a notch. Or maybe you should just order a mimosa, because you are clearly not a bloody mary person!
For a good Bloody Mary, you need good ingredients. Buy expensive, thick, organic tomato juice. Use Tabasco brand hot sauce. It's vinegary and spicy without adding too many other random flavors. Use Old Bay. Other seafood seasonings are imitators! Taste your lime juice to make sure it tastes right. Some limes don't actually give good juice. Keep extras of everything around to adjust your seasonings to make sure it's perfect!
A really good Bloody Mary mix is made the night before (or a few days before). This allows the flavors to blend so when you take a sip, you're tasting everything. If you forget the night before, or if you suddenly have brunch guests, you can still make this last minute. But the earlier the better!
32 oz. jar of tomato juice, the best kind you can buy! spluge, it's worth it!
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (lime is best, but you can use lemon or a mix of lemon and lime juices too)
2 Tbsp horseradish
2 Tbsp Tabasco
1 Tbsp Worcester sauce (Worcester sauce is usually made with anchovies and so is not vegan/vegetarian, I sometimes make it with vegan Worcester sauce but use 1 tsp soy sauce and 2 tsp vegan Worcester because the vegan version is a little sweeter)
4 tsp Old Bay
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
vodka or tequila
celery and/or pickled vegetables for serving
1. Pour out about a cup (8 oz) of the juice, but don't throw it out or drink it (yet!)
2. Add all of the rest of the ingredients to the jar and shake thoroughly.
3. Taste it. If it's not salty enough, add 1/2 tsp Old Bay at a time until it's salty enough! Same for hot (add tabasco or horseradish!) and sour (lime). I wouldn't add more brown sugar or black pepper.
4. If there is still space in the jar, add some of the juice back. This might dilute it a little bit, so make sure you can add more flavors if you need.
5. Let the jar sit overnight in the fridge. It will last about a week in the fridge.
6. To make a Bloody Mary, fill a tom collins glass (or whatever glass you'd like) about halfway with ice. Pour in 1 part vodka or tequila (Bloody Maria!) to 3 parts bloody mary mix. You can add more or less depending on how alcoholic you want your drinks to be. Garnish (a MUST!) with celery and/or pickled vegetables (green beans, carrots, asparagus are all great!)
26 February 2011
This is one of my favorite savory pie recipes. I love squash. I love cheese. Perfect!
single crust pie dough (I like the vodka pie crust recipe that Heather previously wrote about)
2 lb butternut squash (I usually opt to buy two 1lb squashes because I think the smaller ones taste better!)
generous 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
pinch cayenne pepper
2 tbsp butter, softened (optional, this makes a rich pie even richer, but it's so good!)
1. Preheat your oven to 400. Roll out your pie crust into a 9 inch pie pan.
2. Cook the squash. I prefer to cut it in half, put the cut half down on a large plate and microwave it for 20 minutes. You can also roast the squash in the oven for a richer flavor, but this takes longer! Once the squash is cooked, allow it to cool (if you're using the microwave, it's going to be HOT. You may want to put the plate in the fridge or freezer to speed up the cooling process. Once it's cool, scoop out the flesh into a large bowl and mash it with a fork, this should be easy and you don't want large clumps.
2. Add the eggs and mix well.
3. Add the cheese, salt, nutmeg, cayenne and butter and mix until the filling is homogenous. You don't want to blend this, it should still have a little texture!
4. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until the squash juuuust starts to brown a little.
5. Allow the pie to cool for at least an hour before serving, though you may rewarm slices in the oven or microwave before serving.
Let me tell you about something called Blanco Basura. Blanco Basura is a special product that my friends discovered that proudly claims how its name is Bad Spanish for "White Trash." So yeah, if you actually speak Spanish, it's not my fault. Anyway, Blanco Basura is a special party pack that comes with five beers, a pint of tequila and a shot glass.
(if you're wondering, yes that's an image of a dog peeing)
What a great idea! We knew it wasn't going to taste good, but $10 for a party? Awesome. But the tequila. is. awful. And I really like tequila. So we do the shots of tequila and chase it with a Blanco Basura beer. Hey! After that urine cleverly disguised as tequila, this beer is pretty good! We should totally buy this again! And again! And again! But really, Blanco Basura beer is not that good. So it sits and sits in my fridge for weeks... months even!
Until I decide enough is enough, I gotta get rid of this beer.
Beer bread is so good and so easy! It's hearty and a little sweet and gets rid of that crappy beer no one wants to drink. I've made beer bread with different kinds of beer, but I think lagers work the best. They give the least flavor. Bread is ok if it's a little yeasty, but you don't want it to be too strong. And you really don't want to waste good beer on bread! So use the cheap stuff leftover from that last party.
This recipe is easy and very basic. You can play around with sweetener, use some wheat flour, add butter, spices, cheese, whatever!
3 cups white flour
1.5 Tbsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar (if you want to substitute alternative sugars like honey, agave or molasses, I recommend using at least 1 Tbsp dry sugar)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease and flour a 5x9 inch loaf pan.
2. Whisk together all the dry ingredients.
3. Add the beer slowly while stirring with a wooden spoon. If you're adding a liquid sweetener, add half of the beer, then add the sweetener, then the rest of the beer. Stir the dough for about 2-3 minutes. The dough should be sticky.
4. Pour the dough into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until the top of the loaf begins to brown. The bread will rise quite a bit.
5. Remove from pan immediately and allow it to cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes (better if you can wait 30!) until cutting.
6. Enjoy alone or with butter and honey!
21 February 2011
20 February 2011
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup orange juice (about 2 oranges if using freshly squeezed)
1 tablespoon navel orange zest (about 1 orange)
2 teaspoons fresh minced ginger
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Spray a 12 mold regular size muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, egg, and juice. Add the orange zest, ginger, honey, and vanilla, and whisk until just combined. Add to the flour mixture and stir quickly until well combined. Fold in the pecans. Spoon the batter evenly into the 12 molds.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.
02 February 2011
1 butternut squash
1 small onion or ½ large onion
½ to 1 bunch spinach
about ¼ a loaf of preferably rustic bread
Peel and chop the butternut squash into one-inch cubes. Toss with salt and olive oil and roast at 450 F until tender when pierced by a fork, about 30 to 40 minutes.
Chop onion and sauté on medium for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 5 minutes until onions are tender. You can also cook until onions are caramelized.
Chop day-old (or older, as long as it isn’t moldy) bread into cubes. Toast in a skillet with a bit of olive oil until a bit brown.
Chop spinach into ribbons. Toss all the cooked ingredients and spinach together in a bowl. The heat of the squash will slightly cook the spinach. Add cheese, salt and pepper to your taste.