Ginger Beer & Dare I Say It….Tequila.

Listen, just because this is the 3rd drink post and 2nd consecutive one, doesn’t mean we are saying food isn’t important or that we all need to go on some liquid diet. Although, as hot as this summer is supposed to be…I am not opposed to it at all! Anyway, like many of my post grad peers I swore off tequila after college. Sure I developed a taste for some of the good stuff, but it still wasn’t my drink of choice. (Sidebar Jess and I are both huge café patron fans by the way. what’s not to love? espresso-yum, good alcohol-yum) Ok ok back to tequila in general and its redeeming qualities… As I was saying, if not consumed in copious amounts and as a shooter, it’s not half bad. I even found myself enjoying a tequila tasting with coworkers, sampling various flights of chocolate and chili undertones. So much so, that a colleague of mine even gave me a bottle of some very nice tequila for Christmas. Now what to do with it…I don’t particularly love margaritas or want to waste the time cleaning my blender so I just let it sit on bar for months until I was at my cousin’s and had this lovely little refreshing gem of a cocktail. Boy, I knew drinking and good taste ran in the family, but I was so pleasantly surprised by this drink that it became my poison of choice all summer long.

  • 4 ounces ginger beer
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces tequila (She used patron silver, but any good quality tequila will work. It can be the gold stuff too, just please no Jose, cringe).
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (feel free to leave out, some people just need a little sweet to counterbalance the bold ginger & lime flavors, I do without it).
  • fresh limes for garnish
  • coarse salt for the rim (this isn’t just to look fancy, the salt compliments the ginger beer well).

The key to make these super delicious is to use frosty glasses! So a few hours (or the night) before, stick your glasses in the freezer. Before serving, rim the edge of the glass with a lime slice and then dip it in coarse salt to coat. Fill the glass with just a few ice cubes. Add the ginger beer, lime juice, tequila, and simple syrup to a shaker with ice and gently shake (you don’t want to lose the fizz of the ginger beer so one quick stir or shake is more than enough) to combine. Pour over ice and add to the glass an extra lime wedge for show. P/S we are not responsible for any hangovers these may cause, because it will be very hard to just have one!

Happy Drinking, XO.

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Mellow Yellow

Every summer I would have a BBQ at my NY apartment because it had this lovely, large courtyard with grills and a pool. It was the ideal outdoor space to entertain and while I look at the calendar this year to try and host a BBQ down in Philly I keep getting nostalgic of the four years of fun times we had in my White Plains courtyard. This drink was served in pitchers galore and I am having a major hankering for it now. Especially after my trip to Italy last year, where we went to Sorrento, to an actual lemon grove and did a limoncello tasting! yum! Anyway, I just cant get enough of it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy sipping on this deliciousness in the warm yellow sun on a mellow weekend afternoon!

  • Springs of fresh mint leaves (I would do a small handful)
  • 1 box of blackberries
  • 1 box of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup of simple syrup (equal parts sugar/water boiled mixture)
  • 16 oz. sparkling water (I didn’t do the flavored kind and used plain, but I’m sure if you only have flavored that would also be fine)
  • 1 1/2 cups of Italian Limoncello

Muddle the mint with ice at the bottom of the pitcher, add the simple syrup* & berries. Right before serving pour in the limoncello and top off with the sparkling water.

*Boil 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water until the sugar is dissolved and stir the mixture until it has a syrup-y consistency. Let it cool before adding to pitcher. Also if you don’t like something too sweet, feel free to leave out or reduce.

This is meant to be served in a tall high ball glass however I don’t think Emily Post would freak if you did a white wine glass. Consume alcohol safely!

Happy Drinking, XO.

Rolling with My Homies

So as per usual, I was hung-over & laying on the couch watching the Food Network channel. Much to my dismay though the show on the screen was making something much too difficult for anything I’d want to replicate. So I took the basic premise of the dish they were constructing and watered it down to the point that the home cook can make it (i.e. I tossed out the whole section about making your own fresh pasta dough, I mean please, if I could do all that I wouldn’t need to dine out. I don’t have the time nor the energy to get down like that). Anyway, I liked the concept of the dish and was craving some home cooking, good ole Italian food. Some prefer some southern comfort food, but pasta or anything Italian is the way to get me feeling all cozy & loved. So when I was finally hydrated and rid of the shakes from a super fun weekend with my homies- I got rolling in the kitchen. (ha get it, rolling because its a rollatini recipe!) Hope you guys enjoy & if you have any suggestions or spins of your own, please do comment below!

  • 3 oz. Prosciutto de Parma (thinly sliced, finely chopped)
  • 1 box of Lasagana Sheets (I think you could even use manicotti tubes & stuff those, but I guess that takes away the “rolling”/”rollatini” fun?!)
  • 1/2 cup Whole milk ricotta
  • freshly grated parmesan (I just grabbed a lil chuck of the reggiano from Whole Foods, try to avoid the pre grated stuff if you can)
  • 1 tsp. of crushed garlic
  • a pinch of black pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 12 oz. frozen spinach (completely thawed & drained of excess water, this is imperative so don’t rush past this step)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. of butter

Boil the pasta just al dente. You want the lasagna sheet to be ply-able, but not so over cooked it tears when rolling. I’d say about 10-15 minutes in salted water. While the pasta boils: combine the egg, dried/thawed spinach, garlic, seasoning, cheeses, & prosciutto. Lay out the pasta sheets and pat them dry. Layer the mixture of the other ingredients like you would for a lasagna, but then roll the pasta up (don’t make too thick of a layer the stuffing will spill when rolling, also it helps to leave a little margin at both ends so that you have a seal to create when all rolled up). Flip it so its standing upwards in the pan, not laying down (See photos below). Repeat with all sheets. When the pan is filled, brush the tops with the butter and grate some more cheese on top. Stick in the broiler at xxx degrees & cook for xxx minutes while keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Serve warm with marinara sauce.

photo

Happy Eating, XO.

Rice Like You’ve Never Had Before

Although Cinco de Mayo is behind us now, it doesn’t mean we can’t still break out the Latin food! I’m sure we all have some left over cilantro and lime juice, and this recipe will take care of just that. It’s a super refreshing dish that goes great with fish or served under grilled chicken.

  • 1 cup white rice (cook according to box instructions)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 4 tbsp lime juice (add more or less depending on your tastes)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic

While the rice is cooking, blend the remaining ingredients in a blender (or use my favorite little gadget, this multi chopper). Once the rice is done, combine both rice and herb mixture.

Cilantro Lime RiceHappy Eating, XO.

The Iced Tea Game Changer

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof!” I know you know this song, and if you’re having warmer weather like we are, I’m sure you’re feeling pretty damn happy about it! 

We had our first neighborhood BBQ this weekend and it felt so good to be cooking outside. (Technically, in a room without a roof. Ha!). To get in to the summery spirit, I made some Thai iced tea. I tried this tea a couple months ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Honestly guys, it’s f*king amazing. It’s an iced tea game changer for sure.

Makes enough for a pitcher.

  • 6-7 bags of black tea (add more if you like it stronger)
  • 1 gallon pitcher of water
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk (or half and half if you want it thicker) 
  • 2 tsp star anise
  • 1/2 cup ground tumeric (more or less depending on what you like)**
  • 4 tbsp cardamom (be sure you take out the little black seeds)**

Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.

** You should have both of these spices left over from the goan fish curry, tandoori chicken, simla mirch paneer, etc. And if you don’t, use the leftovers to make those dishes!! **

Thai iced tea

Happy Drinking, XO.