I like breaking out the ice cream maker to make boozy sorbet for parties.* New Year’s had me thinking about this Pink Grapefruit Champagne Sorbet.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can also make a granita by throwing the same ingredients into a baking dish, then freezing it and scraping it down with a fork every 30 minutes.
If you don’t have the time to make a granita, there’s still good news: You can just throw the bottle of champagne into the ice cream maker about 25 minute before midnight and you’ll have a champagne slushy to serve.
If you don’t have an ice cream maker or the time to make a granita, just be honest with yourself and drink the bottle of champagne alone.
Remember: Anyone can drink a bottle of champagne. Let’s eat one.
*At times, parties of one.
When our friend Tonya came to visit for the weekend, we wanted to make some really special dishes using one of her favorite ingredients, leading us to cilantro hummus and cilantro chutney. Tonya is one of our dearest friends and, as such, these visits often lead to a dramatic reading from “I Could Pee On This” while wearing a mixing bowl as a hat in the bathtub and kicking us in the shins if she doesn’t like the meal we’ve prepared. So we also wanted to make sure we had a fancy cocktail to distract her in case she didn’t like the dishes.
Good news: She likes all three takes on cilantro, and we hope you do, too.
That business about her kicking us in the shins is not true. She would never do such a thing. She kicks us in the face.
What to Have
- fresh cilantro (one bunch), hard stems removed
- 1 cans chickpeas
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper
What to Do
Combine half the cilantro and all other ingredients in food processor. Blend until smooth. Add more cilantro to taste.
What to Have
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 1 serrano pepper, some seeds removed
- 1/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
What to Do
Pulse all ingredients in blender. Leave some coarseness.
Absolut Cilantro Martini
What to Have
- Absolut Cilantro
- Coconut Water
- Mango Nectar
What to Do
Combine two parts Absolute Cilantro, one part coconut water, one part mango nectar and a squeeze of lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour into glass and serve with a cilantro sprig.
Thanksgiving Day Bloody Mary Bar: Thanksgiving Day. Day drinking. Clearly the two things are related.
Let’s use an etiquette guide to learn about ourselves. Everyone is one of these:
- When hosting Thanksgiving, don’t forget the importance of a champagne punch to keep your guests happy while you work in the kitchen.
hosting attending Thanksgiving, don’t forget the importance of a champagne punch Bloody Mary Bar to keep your guests yourself happy while you others work in the kitchen.
- When begrudgingly attending Thanksgiving, don’t forget the importance of
a Bloody Mary Bar vodka to keep yourself happy from punching someone and/or crying while you others work in the kitchen.
begrudgingly attending Thanksgiving awake, don’t for get the importance of a Bloody Mary Bar vodka to keep yourself happy from punching someone and/or crying while you others work in the kitchen.
Which one are you? Thanksgiving is a magical day that transports me from No. 4 to No. 1 and back again.
Etiquette aside, we truly do have a Bloody Mary Bar as part of our Thanksgiving menu. It’s even a crucial plot point in my “Eat Drink Thank” Thanksgiving trailer. You should have one, too. It’s a long day of cooking, and Bloody Marys offer the perfect justification for day drinking. And by day drinking, I mean morning drinking. Whether you’re in the kitchen or an innocent bystander, you could stand to take the edge off.
This year’s Bloody Mary Bar features horseradish vodka, basil vodka, tomato vodka and bacon (but vegetarian) vodka with a Bacon Salt rim. Jam your glass full of pickles and olives and, if you drink too much, start eating until you’re back to normal. Thanksgiving day drinking isn’t about passing out, people. That’s trashy. You save that for your night drinking, and then you blame that stuff in turkeys that makes people tired. I, as someone who does not turkey, must stay strong and last the entire day without passing out. That’s why I practice for this all year long.
OK now. Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving Side-Dish Face-Off will pit a traditional dish, a new-to-me dish and a modern dish in the ultimate battle of wits.
Go get your Bloody Mary Bar ready.
Mummy Apples: white chocolate, then layers of peanut butter, caramel and pecans.
We’re hosting our Boo! Boo! Booze! Halloween party tonight. Among the treats: Mummy Apples, which are covered in white chocolate, peanut butter, caramel and pecans.
I’m turning the black vodka screwdrivers into shots, served in layered shot glasses, alongside a Witch’s Brew of orange juice, sherbet and other mysterious things like dry ice and probably a soy version of eye of newt or some such thing. That’s what witches drink, right? Continue reading
We’re hosting a Halloween party Saturday, and I’ve been
drinking a lot developing cocktail and punch recipes. Pumpkin pie martini. Dry ice in the punch bowl, or in each glass. I also wanted to include Blavod black vodka in the mix. Nothing says Halloween more than drinking something that looks like death, right? Right.
Then, as I do, I decided to try to make my own black vodka using food coloring. And it works!
Then I wanted to layer the black vodka with something orange. And it works!
This is a basic screwdriver — orange juice with black vodka floating on top. I wanted to keep it basic, and now I have a few days to figure out how to punch it up some. Vanilla vodka? Black sambuca? Pairing our vodka-tasting set with our punch bowl so guests can spike their punch with layered shots of their choosing?
It’s all in the name of science. Oh, and justifying all those failed cocktails that I couldn’t let go to waste. And for you. I did it all for you.
If you have jalapeños, tequila and 15 minutes, I can make you happy.
It’s happening. Summer is leaving us. Show it who’s boss by creating your own kind of heat. In a jar. With peppers. We’re talking about spice here, not capturing actual sunshine in a jar. If I knew how to do that, I wouldn’t tell anyone else how. Except you. And we would make millions selling it in, I don’t know, let’s say … Canada. And we’d make all sorts of “You can put this where the sun don’t shine” merchandise.
Dream big, friend. We’ll figure it out. Continue reading
We made Strawberry Basil Martinis with Square One Basil Organic Vodka. Yes, our martini shaker is taller than the bottle. No, that is not because the bottle is short.
I grabbed a bottle of Square One Organic Basil Vodka earlier this week. In return, it grabbed me in that special place that makes you feel warm and fuzzy, which, if I understand anatomy correctly, is your liver.
I am a fan of drinking basil vodka, and usually infuse it myself or muddle it with strawberries. Square One has graciously agreed to save me lots of time infusing basil vodka by making it for me. I’ve decided to use a portion of that extra time spreading the word about basil vodka, and the remainder shall be spent discussing the British television program “Misfits” with the zero others I know who also watch it.
I did two things with the basil vodka: Continue reading
Like the frozen tears of an angel, Wine Chill Drops let you go from hot and miserable to hot and miserable with a glass of wine in three minutes.
It’s been 103 degrees here lately. Maybe 129. It’s hot. One has to be prepared to deal with these things.
But try as you might, at some point you may find yourself in need of a bottle of white wine that isn’t chilled. Oh no!
Then you grab these Wine Chill Drops from your freezer and balance is restored. In a few minutes, they’ll get your wine to the right temperature, while you properly chill the rest of the bottle.
Technology provides us with many amazing things. This is one of them.
While the desserts are patriotic colors, I couldn't commit to a true all-American theme. But there will be many coolers of beer. That's a national pastime I can get behind.
My name is Cavan and I’m a planaholic. So it’s no surprise that part of my routine for getting ready for parties now includes creating a menu on my iPad. Mind you, these menus don’t always make it to the actual party. They’re just for me. I mean, the iPad is busy during the party serving as a cookbook and stereo. It can’t just sit around on the table telling people what the food is.
… That’s why you also create labels for each dish.
Other people do these things, right?
Well. Anyway. Here’s what we have in the works for tomorrow’s Fourth of July party at our house.
I will never get tired of grilling pizzas. It seems hard, but is really so simple. Make a dough that’s somewhat thin and easy to handle, brush some olive oil on it, grill it for a few minutes to let it firm up, then hand it over to a party guest to top it. A few more minutes on the grill, and you’re in Pizza Heaven. Or as close as you can get without owning a wood-fire oven. This is yet another cooking trick I picked up from Sweets by Natalie Kay, proving her expertise even beyond sweets.
Another new trick is watermelon granita. Just like the vodka sodas, these started as a fancy desesert from bon appetit that I quickly transformed into a cocktail. It’s easy and magical. Fill your blender about 3/4 full with watermelon cubes (go small to help your blender out), two heavy splashes of lemon juice and a few tablespoons of sugar. Blend. Top with ice. Blend. Taste and add sugar to get to your own sweetness preference. Throw in some glub-glubs* of vodka.
*I stand by my belief that the best cocktails adjust themselves accordingly as the evening goes on, whether this means increasing or decreasing glub-glubs of vodka as the night goes on. The point is, add however much vodka you can handle. And then add a splash more. You can do it. I believe in you.
Did Scott like my Blackberry Mint Soda recipe, or did it put our marriage in peril? Let's find out.
Say, do you remember last week when we made three types of vodka sodas? If you don’t, then I bet you’ve been making them every night since! Now, if you would, sober up just long enough to see how my taste test went.
As soon as I wrapped up taping for the vodka soda video, my husband walked in from work. Is there anything more American than having a cocktail ready to go when you’re husband walks in the door? I mean, aside from the overwhelming amount of camera gear, the ingredients in the glass that were not vodka and the fact that we’re both dudes, it was like a scene out of “Mad Men.”
Remember, the Strawberry, Lemon and Basil Soda and Spicy Ginger Soda recipes were from bon appetit, and I made up the Blackberry Mint Soda recipe on the spot. Did Scott like mine as well as the chef’s recipes? Watch and find out.
Also: I told you about how protective he is of that flour sifter!