Sunday, October 2, 2016

Kiwi Gin Cocktail

Spoiler Alert!

If you haven't seen Stranger Things you need to first, go watch it on Netflix now and second, skip to the bottom of the page for the coctail recipe inspired by the show and avoid the clever writing of my husband until you have finish season 1.

Barb, the moral compass of this hit Netflix show is a true friend who is always there for you. She'd support, love, and care about you. She's Nancy's voice of reason in this messed up world.

This cocktail not only tastes good, it will hydrate you as well.  Providing a delicate balance of flavors, it walks the fine line between this world and the Upside Down.

So in a world full of demogorgans we all need our friends. Especially those who will be by our side till the end. RIP, Barb!

The Barb - Kiwi Gin Cocktail

2 ounces gin (we prefer Hendrick's)
1 kiwi, peeled
2 oz coconut water

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the kiwi.  Add the gin, coconut water and fill with ice.  Shake vigorously.  Double strain the cocktail through a fine mesh sieve into an ice filled glass.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Note: We were not sponsored by Netflix or Stranger Things.  These are our own thoughts and creations.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Seafood: Salmon

Here's the second of my favorite summer seafood recipes.  Not only is it summer filled with stone fruit and cucumbers but it also has a warm tropical taste from the toasted coconut rice.  While the salmon and salsa should be the hero of this dish I have to say for me it's the rice.  I LOVE IT!!  I really could eat this rice everyday and just by itself cause it's just that good.  So while I was going to write something funny and clever about this dish and or my life I think it's best to just get straight to the recipe, cause really I know that's why you are here.  Enjoy!

Salmon with Coconut Rice and Nectarine Cucumber Salsa

2 - 6 ounce salmon fillets 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup cucumber, chopped
1 nectarine, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse and pat the salmon dry.  Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl combine the cucumber, nectarine, red onion, 1 tablespoon of mint and fresh squeezed lime juice.  Place the salsa in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is done to keep cool and marinate the flavors together.

In a large cast iron heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Carefully place the salmon in the pan skin side down.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Gently turn the salmon over and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Turn the salmon back over to the skin side and place it in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

Coconut Rice

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup water
1 - 13.5 ounce can coconut milk (I prefer low fat)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cup jasmine rice

Heat a small pan over medium heat, add the shredded coconut.  Stirring continuously, cook the coconut until toasted and slightly brown.  Pour into a small bowl to cool.

In a medium sauce pan bring the water, coconut milk and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to a boil.  Add the rice, stir to combine and reduce the heat to low.  Cover and simmer for about 25-30 minutes or until the liquid has absorbed.  Remove from the heat.  The coconut rice will be a bit stickier that your regular rice.  Fluff the rice with a fork.  Add the toasted coconut, stir to combine.  

Note: If you own a rice cooker, simply put all the ingredients into the rice cooker, stir to combine and let the rice cooker do the cooking for you!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Seafood: Scallops

After a long run of boozy cocktail posts we are finally here to bring you some food to soak up all the alcohol.  Earlier this summer I had the chance to test out a few recipes during some much needed time off.  It felt so good to put away my dance shoes, break out my knives and pop open a bottle of wine to enjoy while I experimented with my favorite summer time food; seafood!  I really do think we ate clams at least twice in one week and scallops a few different ways including this recipe.  

This dish takes only about 35 minutes to make.  It's super easy and light which makes a perfect summer time meal.  The creamy herb sauce is SO good and makes the dish fresh and vibrant.  I know I'll be making these scallops again soon!

Scallops with Creamy Herb Sauce and Israeli Couscous

6 large scallops, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large portabella mushroom, cubed
1 ear of corn, shucked and kernels removed
1-1/3 cups Israeli couscous
1-3/4 cups water or chicken broth
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup creamy herb sauce (recipe below)

Preheat the oven to broil.

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the couscous to the pan and saute for about five minutes, until lightly browned.  Add the water or chicken broth and bring to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat, fluff the couscous with a fork and set aside.  

In a medium mixing bowl combine the bell pepper, mushrooms and corn and two tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread the vegetables onto a foil lined baking sheet and broil in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, until done and slightly charred.  

While the vegetables are roasting, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or cast iron over medium high heat.  Add the butter and melt.  Carefully place the scallops in the pan and cook for about two minutes until browned.  Gently turn over the scallops and cook for one to two minutes more.  Immediately remove from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.

To serve, place about 3/4 cup of couscous onto each plate.  Divide the broiled vegetables between the two plates then carefully place the scallops on top finishing with a generous dollop of the creamy herb sauce.  Makes 2 servings.

Creamy Herb Sauce

1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
1/2 cup parsley, stems removed
1/4 cup dill, stems removed
2 stalks green onion, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons creme fraîche

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.  This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Yes Way Vodka Rosé!

Yes, you read the title correctly.  Rosé vodka is a thing, or at least we are making it one!  Rosé wine is not only one of our favorite wines to drink (all year long!) but it is also one of the hottest summer trends thanks to the lovely ladies from Yes Way Rosé.  Their blush hued Instagram couldn't be any prettier and adding a clever accent aigu to their captions makes me want to pack up my things and move to Provence.  

Now while there is no real rosé in our pretty cocktail I promise wine drinkers and rosé lovers will not be disappointed!  Our quick infusion includes strawberries and cucumbers making it fruit forward, aromatic and fresh much like our beloved rosé wine.  It's delightful and smooth enough to sip on alone over ice and is the perfect compliment to a summer brunch on the patio mixed with sparkling wine.  You really can't go wrong however you choose to enjoy it.  Cheers!

Rosé Vodka

20 fresh very ripe strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1/2 large cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 cups vodka

In a quart size jar place all ingredients.  Stir to combine and refrigerate for 1-2 days, tasting after 1 day to ensure likeness of flavor.  If you infuse too long your cucumbers will turn to pickles which is super gross so be sure to check it after a day.  When infused to desired taste, strain vodka and discard the strawberries and cucumbers.  Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 month.

Rosé Vodka Cocktail

2 ounces rosé vodka
2 ounces sparkling wine
1/2 ounce simple syrup or St. Germaine (optional for those who like sweeter drinks)

In an ice filled glass pour in the vodka and top with the sparkling wine.  Add simple syrup or St. Germaine if desired.  Stir gently to combine.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Sip Bourbon...Always.

My sister recently asked me if I put bourbon in everything.  My reply was, "Yes, and you don't?"  I've been a whiskey/bourbon lover for as long as I can remember.  I eased into it slow with whiskey sours and now it's a staple in our household.  I've sipped on some really great complex ones and added our everyday favorite to just about everything from beer cocktails to barbecue sauce.  I often feel a bit of nostalgia when I'm enjoying a great bourbon.  It takes me back to some of the best memories with my hometown girlfriends and night caps with my husband.

For all of you whiskey skeptics, I assure you this cocktail is totally approachable and while it looks fancy it took me less than five minutes to make.  I promise you will feel like you just sat down at a super swanky bar where a mixologist wowed you with their flare.  However, in reality YOU are the swanky mixologist who just whipped up an impressive cocktail for either yourself after putting your kids to bed or for an impromptu summer gathering.  Either way I say it's a win and come on, strawberries are looking amazing right now so why not put them to good use.  Happy Sipping!

Strawberry Sage Bourbon Cocktail

3 ounces bourbon
2 fresh strawberries chopped
2 sage leaves

In a cocktail shaker add the strawberries and sage leaves and muddle.  Add the bourbon and fill with ice.  Shake vigorously.  Strain into a coupe or and ice filled glass.  Garnish with sage leaf if desired. Makes 1 cocktail.