Screwdrive your Halloween: Layered black vodka cocktails

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.

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Pitchers of jalapeño-infused tequila help you say goodbye to summer

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

The best news about basil vodka you will read all day

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

Bachelor Weekend, and why you need Bacon Salt

Bachelor Chow! Totino's Party Pizza, Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, Bacon Salt.

Scott was on a business trip this weekend. As is tradition, he left me a care package filled with the makings for Bachelor Chow.

You may recall that Bachelor Chow, a delightful mix of Totino’s Party Pizza and Kraft Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese, is my comfort food. And what better reason to seek out comfort than being without your loved one for a few days?

I added Bacon Salt this time. Have you had Bacon Salt? It’s three things: 1) vegetarian, 2) delicious, 3) not on enough things you eat. Let’s review things that are better with Bacon Salt: Continue reading

Texas Caviar

Texas Caviar: When you make something this healthy, it's best to balance it out by eating it with chips.

During our Tastes Like Freedom party, we grilled pizzas, potato and paneer skewers and eggplant for baba ganoush. But I knew I’d need a few things I could whip together beforehand and toss on the table. I remembered I hadn’t made one of my favorite dishes this summer — Texas Caviar. I realize this reveals just how pretentious I can get, but I tried several times to think of a better name for the dish. I settled on Salsa Fresca for the menu for the party … but at least one friend was horrified, thinking I’d taken the Tequila Fresca idea a bit too far and turned it into food. Hadn’t thought of that.

The appeal of the dish is that it’s so easy. You open cans. You put the contents together. You pour on some dressing. You chill it. You immediately remove it from the fridge and eat an inappropriate amount to make sure the flavors are right. You chill it again. You serve it. You continue to eat an inappropriate amount, this time in front of your guests.

I’ve tried to fancy up the flavors quite a bit … and am convinced that the real secret is Seven Seas Italian dressing. Fancy yours up as you like, but the dressing will do the trick. Continue reading

Wine Chill Drops

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.

I never meant to leave you.

Really, I didn’t. I’ve been having issues in the kitchen. Unlike the time all of the appliances made a suicide pact, this time the issues are of the camera variety.

I shoot all of the videos myself, while I’m home alone, except for that one time Scott got home from work early and was my vodka soda taste-tester. That’s a lot of moving a tripod around, balancing an iPad to get close-up shots and holding an iPhone over the stove while I stir. Well, I need a new tripod and a better way to stabilize the iPad, and in my hunt for equipment, I’ve neglected you.

I’ll fix it.

Soon.

Let’s still be friends.