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.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Summer Bourbon Sangria

I know it's been months since we've posted but we are finally back with a summer cocktail that you can make in under two minutes!  This past spring was packed full of travels including work, a family reunion, a wedding, and an unforgettable girls trip.  While I loved every minute of being busy I was super thankful for having the past three weeks off to get back to the kitchen and be creative.  

I am a true summer lover.  It's a time for me to slow down, reset and relax.  The days are longer and I enjoy nothing more than sipping on an uncomplicated yet beautiful cocktail while soaking in the few extra hours of sunlight.

This sangria was created with leftover wine.  I know, I can barely believe I just said that and I feel weird about it, but I'm so glad that it happened.  Most sangria recipes require time, chopping lots of fruit and refrigerating overnight.   This one however requires about two minutes of your time, packs a punch and if you don't have fruit you'll be fine without it.  Besides, wine is made from grapes and that's a fruit right?  So go make sangria, enjoy the sun setting after 8pm, take a deep breath and relax a little.  We all deserve it.  Cheers!

Summer Bourbon Sangria

2 ounces bourbon 
4 ounces red wine (we prefer Tempranillo or Garnacha)
Fruit (strawberries, raspberries, peaches, cherries...whatever you have)
Lime (optional)

In an ice filled glass pour in the bourbon and red wine.  Stir to combine and garnish with fruit and lime if desired.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cocktails for "The League"

Super Bowl is more than just a football game for my husband and his friends.  It is the day that one of the lucky members of their Fantasy Football team is presented with their version of the Shiva.  The League fans, this post is for you.  

Their Fantasy Football winner is awarded a Championship Belt.  Yes, I said belt as in WWE with the winner's name engraved on it and all.  Football season is no longer a Sunday of enjoying a game or two, sipping on a bloody mary and relaxing.  It is now all about making trades, checking the waiver wire, setting your line up, watching the RedZone Channel, checking your points, and stressing over a player who you put on your bench who you shouldn't have because he's scoring more points than everyone else on your team that you are currently playing (insert Ruxin's voice).  

After all of that you know you need this cocktail! It's spicy yet refreshing and will have you screaming SHIVA-KAMINI-blah-blah-blah-blah! (I have no idea what her full name is or what they are saying.)  

Will we be enjoying this delicious cocktail on Sunday?  Well that's up to our hosts, the Commissioner of the league and his wife to decide.  To see what we're sipping and snacking on this Super Bowl follow us on Instagram, not My Face by Taco Corp.  

Cucumber Jalapeno Cocktail

2 ounces vodka
2 slices cucumber, quartered
1-2 slices red jalapenos
1/2 ounce fresh meyer lemon juice
Agave nectar
Soda water

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber and jalapeno.  Add in the vodka, meyer lemon juice and a squirt of agave nectar.  Add ice and shake vigorously until chilled.  Double strain the cocktail into an ice filled cocktail glass and top with soda water.  Garnish with a cucumber slice and red jalapeno if desired.  Makes 1 cocktail.

Need to make this in a batch for your party?  To make this an easy, no fuss cocktail for your Super Bowl guest simply infuse your vodka the day or two before using the recipe below.

Cucumber Jalapeno Infused Vodka

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
2-3 small red jalapenos
1-750ml bottle of vodka

Pour all ingredients into a large airtight container or jar.  Cover and allow to infuse in a dark and cool place for up to two days.  Strain and discard the cucumber and jalapenos.  Store the vodka in the refrigerator for up to one month in an airtight container.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cast Iron Chicken

It's January, the holidays are over and we're back to the grind. With busy days of work, tyring to keep New Year's resolutions, and reinventing ourselves we still need to find time to make dinner.  I hope you are ready, because I'm about to make it super easy for you.  May I introduce you to my lovely cast iron?  She's (yes, I think it's a female) amazing!  I can't tell you how many great dishes I have made in my cast iron, from the perfect steak to savory scones, roasted veggies, and even brownies.  However, this chicken may take the cake.  

I am not a chicken lover by any means.  I rarely, almost never order it out and I'm super picky when buying it which is why I'm quite partial to Mary's Organic Chicken.  Oh, and those of you being skeptical and judgy over purchasing organic chicken, I promise it won't break your bank.  Besides, knowing where my meat comes from is really important to me.  

I'm a dry chicken hater and this could be the farthest from it.  The basting process, which is super easy, keeps the chicken moist along with a quick sear and finishing in the oven.  When cooking the chicken completely on the stove top you have a pretty good chance of drying out your meat and over cooking.  

I suggest paring this chicken with roasted root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips or a delightful mashed potato.  Well, and of course you should pair it with this great wine from my favorite, Club W.  This Gewürztraminer, unlike chardonnay, is light, floral and fragrant making it a wonderful complement to the sage and butter chicken.  

Cast Iron Chicken with Sage

4 whole chicken legs
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
4-6 sprigs fresh sage (or other fresh herb)
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Generously season the chicken legs with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat a large cast iron pan over medium high heat.  Add the olive oil and heat until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Add the butter.  When the butter is about halfway melted add the sage sprigs and stir to infuse the oil and butter.  Add the chicken legs and allow to cook for about 2 minutes.  Using a spoon, carefully baste the chicken with the sage infused olive oil and butter.  Cook for another 5 minutes until browned.  Turn the chicken over and cook until browned, about 5 minutes, and basting in between.  Turn the chicken back over and baste one last time.  

Place the cast iron pan in the oven and bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.

***We were not paid to advertise or review Mary's Organic Chicken or Club W.  These are simply our own opinions.