The first ripe cherry of the season brings soooo much pleasure. Eating cherries right out of a pretty bowl is pure decadence. Remember the cherry eating scene from The Witches of Eastwick movie?
The Eastwick Martini
5 pitted cherries
2oz good vodka (using cherry vodka will make it sweeter)
1oz. soda water
½oz. Luxardo liqueur
Directions: If your martini glasses aren’t already stored in the freezer, add some ice and water to a martini glass to chill it while you make the martini.
Muddle the pitted cherries in a cocktail shaker. Add a cup of crushed ice, the vodka, and the Luxardo. Give it a quick shake and let it sit to mellow for 1-2 minutes. After 2 minutes, shake, shake, shake the cocktail shaker. The shaking releases more of the juices of the cherries and gets your martini perfectly chilled. Dump the ice and water out of the martini glass. Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the glass. Admire how pretty it is. Add the splash of soda water.
Variation: Add a splash of chocolate liqueur for a Chocolate Eastwick.
Blueberries are in! When you’ve made enough blueberry pancakes, blueberry crisp, blueberry muffins, blueberry buckle, then make this refreshing cocktail and sit on your porch.
It’s pretty, too!
Makes 2 cocktails
3oz. Gin (I used Death’s Door from Washington Island, WI)
2oz. Simple Syrup (1part water:1 part sugar)
2oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
about 20 blueberries
optional: lemon slices for garnish
Layer ice and a few sliced blueberries in a Collins glass or a Double Old-Fashioned.
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the rest of the whole berries with the simple syrup until fruit is crushed. Add lemon juice, gin and fill halfway with crushed ice. Shake once and let sit for 1-2 minutes. Then shake, shake shake.
Strain the cocktail into the ice and blueberry-filled Collins glasses.
Spritz with soda water; stir gently to mix.
You know how mint takes over the garden and becomes a weedy annoyance really quickly? Well, I got so tired of the mint spreading everywhere that I pulled it all up. My father seemed to think that I still really needed the mint (you never know when you may need it) so he brought some over in two large pots – big, but manageable when contained.
In honor of mint lovers everywhere I made a tequila mojito. Funny, even though I picked a good sized bunch from the plant it still looks full and bushy. Guess that means more mojitos and moroccan mint tea.
Makes 2 cocktails
4 oz. Silver Tequila (Patrón or Milagro is good)
1 lime, sliced
2 oz. simple syrup
small bunch of fresh mint leaves
superfine sugar for the rim
mint leaves for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint leaves, lime, and simple syrup. Add a cup of crushed ice and the tequila. SHAKE, shake, shake the cocktail shaker and let it sit while you rim the glasses with sugar by rubbing a lime around the edge and dipping the glass in the fine sugar.
Strain the cocktail evenly between the two glasses and top with club soda. Use a cocktail spoon to gently stir. Add mint leaves for a garnish.
Our old Vermont Castings gas grill recently decided to give in to the inevitable. and die…It was sad. We’ve cooked many a steak, vegetables, and burgers on that grill. When we first saw the gas grill in the showroom, the glossy blue paint and the wrought iron fancy nameplate was calling us. It was big enough to cook for over 20 people at a time. It even lasted nearly 8 years before sacrificing itself. Thank you, Vermont Castings. You did good.
Enter the Big Green Egg.
A friend of mine has been talking about the Big Green Egg (BGE for short) for a couple years now, but I really didn’t know what it was other than an egg shaped grill. I had no idea of it’s capabilities, it’s versatility, and how delicious the food is that when cooked in it. When our grill died this spring my husband, Todd, and I decided that a Big Green Egg might be a great anniversary present to each other. Time to research. I read about the BGE online, heard more testimonials about how great it was, but I still wasn’t entirely sure.
I made a trip to Yankee Fireplace in Middleton and talked at some length about the BGE with the salesperson and the owner. Yankee had about fifty different grills; charcoal, gas, stainless steel, enamel, built-ins, free-standing, anything you can think of to cook food outdoors and in style was at this shop, including the BGE in various sizes. In fact, the BGE had its own section! Shelves of accessories and tools were right in front of me to explore. After a few minutes of chatting about the benefits of the BGE, I knew it was the right grill for us. I just had to decide on the size (a Large BGE), hand over some cash, wait for a forklift to get it into my dad’s truck, and ask Todd to put it together. Easy, right? It actually was. After adding on the necessary accessories like the large Plate Setter, a Grid Lifter, an Ash Pusher, an embroidered BGE cover, a tiered rack with drip tray so I can cook in two layers (totally necessary when entertaining), and a large bag of wood charcoal I was all set and ready to go. Phew.
Kate waiting at home to help me unload. All set.
Driving home with all these accessories and boxes I was getting a little nervous about the Egg. So much STUFF, so many expectations, and a big price tag. What if I couldn’t work with it? Burnt food?
I was a little intimidated the first time we decided to cook on it. Todd lit it, and after ten minutes it was ready to go. It’s unlike any grill we’ve ever cooked on. It’s amazing. I was surprised that I was able to regulate the temperature so easily and it only took ten minutes to be ready. The first experiment was, nothing too daunting (insert chuckle)… I would slow cook pork ribs and bake a corn bread. Not cook a burger. Not cook a piece of chicken, but smoke ribs and bake bread. The ribs and cornbread came out great! Success! And, the good thing about being successful is that you want to do it more often.
This weekend I roasted a whole chicken. It was delicious, moist, and very flavorful. Five pounds for about 100 minutes with a steady temperature of 350°.
You many not be told this by friends that have a BGE because all they talk about is how good the food is, blah blah blah, and I agree, but for me the best thing about the BGE is it uses very little charcoal, is energy efficient, and leaves hardly any ash. The BGE charcoal contains no by-products, chemical fillers or petroleum additives. Big bonus.
Hello my name is Kimberley and I love my Big Green Egg.
I’m an EGGhead. And I’m ok with it.
For more information on the Big Green Egg, click here.
Refreshing and not too sweet, this Bon Appétit adapted recipe is perfectly delicious. You could just sip it on ice or if you’re feeling like an adult beverage is more appropriate you can simply add chilled vodka!
Makes a large pitcher
1 large, whole seedless watermelon (about 10lbs), cut into chunks
2 cups of Ruby Red grapefruit juice
Using a powerful blender (I use my Vita-Mix), process the watermelon until it’s puréed. Let the foam settle on the top. Scoop off as much as you can, but don’t worry about it too much or you’ll scoop off the watermelon juice, too. You may have to do this in batches. Add the watermelon juice to a large pitcher. You need a very large one. (I got mine at a hardware store and for $10 it was a steal) Add the 2 cups of Ruby Red and stir. Serve over ice.
Note: There is some settling of watermelon at the bottom of the jar. Simply stir again and serve.
Sweet and spicy, a ginger cocktail is perfect to warm the bones. Ginger is so good for you, too. It aids digestion, helps with nausea and seasickness, and tastes great in stir-frys, soups, and marinades. We love ginger so much in our house that we named one of our Labs Ginger.
This cocktail is so delicious – I wish I could take credit for it. I found it on the Domaine De Canton website and adapted it to quantities that fit our martini glasses. Their website is loaded with cocktail and food recipes. If you love ginger, this is the site for you.
Don’t forget to keep your martini glasses in the freezer so they are ready and frosty whenever you want.
The Gold Rush Makes 2 martinis Ingredients:
4½oz. of Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur
3 oz. Bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1½ oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with crushed ice. Pour in the Domaine De Canton and the Bourbon. Stir and let sit for 1- 2 minutes to mellow. Add the lemon juice. Now shake, shake, shake the cocktail shaker as hard as you can.
Strain into chilled martini glasses garnished with a cherry.
Anyway, welcome to my new page. It’ll take me a bit getting used to, but I hope to figure out WordPress soon. iWeb is no longer. So sad. But, change is good and I’m going to keep at it until I can make this blog look good. If anyone has any advice about how to use wordpress better, please let me know.