Category Archives: Beverages

This Year

There is a lot I want to do this year.

I want to makeover this boring looking blog and intend to do so over the next few months (stay tuned). I want to be more consistent and frequent with my blogging. I want to learn at least two solid songs on the piano. I want to get involved somehow with The Cookery. I want to make focaccia, homemade ravioli, successfully poach eggs, make soufflé, english muffins (among many other things).

This month has been spent playing catch up. Re-adjusting to living back in N.C, taking care of mundane adult nonsense, and securing new work. I just landed a baking job with a wonderful bakery in Durham, called Scratch, that I’ve been dying to work at and I am excited to be surrounded by people who are as big of fools for food as I am. In addition, I’m trying to find some supplemental work and some freelance writing and am eager to see what pans out.

I  do miss New York. I miss exploring the city on foot, solo and walking everywhere, taking it all in. I miss the endless plethora of amazing restaurants at my fingertips. I miss the subway music at the Metropolitan/Lorimer stop. I miss the view of the East River, from Greenpoint. I miss  The Blue Stove and The Brooklyn Flea. But mostly I miss my friends. Things are really good here though and I am finding my footing again, as I begin to navigate through this new year.

It’s been wonderful to have our kitchen back—a clean and functional one that I can actually cook and bake in! So I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm and it feels good. One of the things I’ve been doing lately (that is neither cooking nor baking) is making smoothies and sneaking fruits and veggies in them so I make sure I’m getting enough and lo and behold, I actually made one with kale and I loved it! I was always skeptical about drinking anything with kale or spinach in it but decided I needed to see what all the fuss was about and sure enough, if you put other yummy things in there, you can get away with it! I came up with this smoothie combo after having some leftover purple kale and it is the most gorgeous drink! It makes for a great afternoon snack or healthy breakfast.

Winter Purple Kale and Berry Smoothie

1 cup torn purple kale, packed

1 cup frozen mixed berries (if using fresh, add a few ice cubes to the smoothie)

2 splashes of juice (I use orange but berry, grape or cherry would work nice)

3/4 cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

1 TBS agave nectar (or honey)

optional: 1 TBS ground flax seed

Combine ingredients in a blender, blend well and sip to your heart’s content!

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Rainy Days and Roasted Strawberry Scones

I’m fairly certain that rainy mornings were meant for lying in, pajamas til’ noon and roasted strawberry scones.  Lately I’ve been taking advantage of the early strawberry season and have been playing with fun recipes to use these berries in; as well as rhubarb.  Both fuse together harmoniously when nestled into a buttery, cakey cobbler, which has become my new favorite way to enjoy these two fruits together.  I adapted this Saveur Magazine’s recipe for rhubarb cobbler, subbing half the amount of rhubarb for some farmer’s market strawberries and I used white sugar instead of brown and the sticky, cakey dough rose up between the bubbling pink and red fruits and filled our house with the most heavenly smell.

Do yourself a favor and make this ASAP!

My friend Elizabeth shared a recipe for rhubarb syrup (perfect for rhubarb mojitos)!  It amazes me how such an odd smelling fruit that is like a red version of celery can transform into such a delicious tart and sweet fruit and how when boiled down with some sugar and water, it will turn into a vivid watermelon hue.  I love the added spice from the vanilla bean the the subtlety of the nutmeg – just enough to know its there.

I also made some gorgeous strawberry conserve that we’ve been enjoying with toast and farmer’s cheese, though it’s a little too far on the tart side for me.  I’ve been wanting to pair it with some ice cream of some sort to help balance it a little.

Then this morning, I was itching to make these roasted strawberry scones and I’m so glad I did.  Roasted in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar, the strawberries blistered and broke down under the heat and after they cooled they were folded into the scone dough.  I think I could have stood to roast them about 15 minutes longer than I did (I only did about 45) and I think they made the dough a little stickier than it should have been, but adding flour can always solve that problem (and I added lots more)!  They turned the dough kind of a pretty mauve color and baked up beautifully.  I drizzled them with a glaze (of powdered sugar, half and half and a tad of the leftover roasting juices) and ate them with mascarpone cheese…sublime.  I may or may not have eaten two and may or may not be thinking about having another one…

This has nothing to do with strawberries but everything to do with a certain apple we all know.  Ahem…drumroll please…Now for some exciting news!  For those who don’t yet know, I’ve been offered (and have obviously accepted) an editorial food & drink internship with Time Out New York!  I will be temporarily moving to NYC this July for about four months or so.  I feel so lucky and am so ecstatic about this fortunate opportunity and the adventure that lies ahead.  More to come very soon!

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A Drink To Take The Heat Off

When the temperature dares to climb into the upper 90s, there are very few remedies that come to mind, for dealing with such painstakingly annoying heat.  Running through sprinklers, eating popsicles and drinking refreshing cocktails like this one come to mind.   Inspired by a marvelous concoction I had at the amazing Poole’s Downtown Diner, in Raleigh, called “She’s the Fastest,” – this cocktail has become my new favorite for summer.

It’s made with gin, pink grapefruit juice, St. Germain’s Elderflower Liqueur and a splash of tonic.  Essentially, it’s a fun spin on a gin and tonic.  The grapefruit juice provides a bittersweet, incredibly refreshing punch to the drink, while the elderflower liqueur is much like a simple syrup with class.  It conjures a unique lightly sweet floral note that compliments both the gin and the grapefruit flavors nicely.

“She’s the Fastest”inspired by Poole’s Downtown Diner, located at 426 South McDowell St., Raleigh, N.C.

  • 1 shot of gin (I use Tanqueray)
  • 1 shot of St. Germain’s Elderflower Liqueur
  • 1 shot of  pink grapefruit juice
  • A splash of tonic.

Combine gin, liqueur, juice and ice in a shaker and shake vigorously.  Strain.  Serve with a splash of tonic and a garnish of grapefruit segment.

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Lavender Beverages

Here’s another one from Goodbite, folks!

Iced Lavender Mocha (makes one serving in a 20 oz. glass)

-1 cup of milk (preferably 1 or 2 percent)

-1 tsp. of dried lavender buds

-1 shot of espresso or ¼ cup of strong, cold coffee

-about 4 Tbsp. of chocolate syrup (varies upon taste)

-ice

-whipped cream (optional)

Directions:

Heat the milk and lavender in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a slight boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let the lavender steep and the mixture cool for about 10 minutes.  Strain and discard the lavender.  Fill a 20 oz. glass about half way with ice and add either a shot of espresso or ¼-1/2 cup of strongly-brewed, cold coffee.  Add the chocolate syrup and the lavender milk and mix well.  Add a splash or two more of milk if desired and top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of lavender.

Honey Lavender Lemonade (makes a full pitcher)

-2 cups of lemon juice (roughly 12 lemons)

-4 cups of cold water

-honey-lavender simple syrup (see recipe below)

-sprig of lavender

-slice of lemon

Honey-Lavender Simple Syrup:

-1 ½ cups of honey

-1 cup of water

-2 Tbsp. of lavender buds

Directions:

Combine the honey, water and lavender in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring well.  Make sure the honey is dissolved, and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let syrup steep and cool for about 10 minutes.  Strain and discard the lavender.  Pour the lemon juice, water and simple syrup into a large pitcher and stir.  Garnish with a sprig of lavender and/or a lemon slice.

Lavender Lemondrop Martini (makes one cocktail)

-2 oz. of Absolut Citron (or your favorite citrus vodka)

-1 oz. of lavender simple syrup (see recipe below)

-splash of tonic

-twist of lemon

-lavender sprig (optional)

*you can also substitute limoncello for the vodka*

Lavender Simple Syrup Recipe:

-1/2 cup of granulated sugar

-1/2 cup of water

-1 ½ tsp. of dried lavender buds

Combine the sugar, lavender and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring well, until sugar is dissolved.  Reduce to a simmer for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let syrup steep and cool for about 10 minutes.  Strain and discard the lavender.

Directions:

Combine the vodka and syrup with ice in a shaker and shake vigorously.  Pour into glass, top with a splash of tonic and garnish with a lavender sprig and/or a twist of lemon.

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