Archive | June, 2012

Minty Mojito

30 Jun

Happy Birthday Alice!!!  A delicious minty refreshment for a backyard bbq– to celebrate Alice’s bday and engagement! There are many ways to make a mojito. And the basis for this one actually came from some googling that led me to the website “Musing of a housewife.” She says the secret is mint simple syrup. I totally agree and thought that infusing the rum would be a nice touch too. This way– all the mintyness is already in the drink– and the crushed and muddled mint and ice in the glass can just be for extra effect (and presentation). If you don’t have time to do the rum infusing- you can just go w. the mint simple syrup. The mint infusions give the brownish hue.

For this recipe you need:
1 750ml bottle rum (silver)
2 cups simple syrup
1 dozen limes
1 bottle seltzer
2 bunches of mint

Mint infused rum:
Bottle of silver rum
Bunch of mint

Lightly crush mint (w. hands or frying pan) (i used 3/4 of a bunch to save extra for garnish). Put in bottom of a mason jar. Sprinkled w. a little brown sugar. Pour the bottle of rum into the jar. Closed lid. Shake. And leave on the counter for 2-3 days. (if u don’t have this long- just do it as long as you have). Shake once a day. Strain. Throw out mint.

Mint simple syrup
2 cups water
2 cups sugar (used 1/4 light brown, rest white)
1 bunch mint

Bring sugar and water to a boil, cook for 1 minute for sugar to dissolve. Add mint, turn off heat, cover and let sit. Sit at least 30 mins (preferably an hour) or I left mine several hours because was leaving the house. Strain and throw out mint.

I couldn’t bother with the math– so thought I’d make 6 cups total. If you want to make less- just keep the ratio. Pour all contents in giant jar (used empty Looza bottle). Shake.
3 cups mint-infused rum
2 cups mint simple syrup
1 cup fresh lime juice (don’t use store bought)

In glass, crush some ice (w. back of a pan) and muddle with some mint (can use a pestle). Pour in mojito concoction- top off glass with seltzer.


Fruit on the Bottom Yogurt

26 Jun

Or on Top (twss)

I eat greek yogurt every morning for breakfast. And as much as I love those with fruits or flavorings, they always seem to be packed with sugar and god knows what else. Don’t get me wrong– i still buy these sometimes because i’m lazy– but DIY toppings are just tastier. One of my favorites– is plain greek yogurt with maple syrup and bananas (oooh and mangoes, f yea). But summer time comes and things get a little fruity. I love buying all this fresh fruit- but either I eat it all in one sitting- or it sits in my fridge and I forget about it. So when it starts to turn a bit, or isn’t quite as sweet as you want to be, or you want to just turn up the notch on the  flavor– and make it last for the week. I throw it in a pan for a hot minute. And presto.

Works with any fruit. for example

1 pint blueberries
1 tablespoon sugar (can increase if you want sweeter)
1 tablespoon water
zest and juice of half a lemon

put blueberries, sugar and water in a skillet. Cook for a few minutes on medium heat- will start to cook down (in maybe 3-5 minutes). smashed half with back of the spoon. finished with lemon.

same idea for peaches (for which i’d minus the zest) or any other fruit.

Cobb Salad

19 Jun

Made this salad for Father’s day brunch. It is all about assembly and presentation. Not only are the rows pretty- but they allow people to only take the ingredients they like. Eggs are on the side- b/c pops things they are yucky. Served this as side salad for 5… and scaled down some of the ingredients below (half pint of tomatoes, 4 hb eggs)- but if you are serving for a big party- by all means, do it all. Saw this recipe on Chuck’s Day Off. He is so dreamy.  Oh- and the dressing is awesome- could use for anything.

And by the way- if you didn’t get the memo already– it’s Cold-Brewed Ice Coffee season!

A Chuck Hughes recipe.

8 slices thick-cut bacon, cubed [used regular bacon
2 cups watercress
6 hard-boiled eggs, peeled sliced [boil water, submerge eggs for 11 mins. remove to cold water bath to cool]
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed
2 tomatoes, cubed [subbed pint cherry tomatoes]
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into wedges [used boston lettuce]
salt and fresh ground pepper

2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire, sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
salt and freshly ground pepper

For salad:
Skillet Method: Cook the bacon in a large skillet over med heat until crisp, about 10 minutes.
OR the Oven Method: line a rimmed baking sheet w. foil. Lay bacon. Put in cold oven. turn on and cook 17-20 minutes.
Transfer to paper towels to

For dressing:
Bowl method: In a small bowl, using a fork, mix the egg yolks into the mustard to make a paste. Whisk in the maple syrup, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil to form a thick dressing. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water to loosen it up if necessary- [was not necessary for me]. Whisk in the chives. Season with salt and pepper.
OR my Jar Method: Do egg/mustard paste as above. Add maple, vinegar and worestershire- mix w. fork. Add oil. Put lid on and shake vigoursly. Then fork mix in salt/pepper/chives.

To serve, drizzle the dressing over the salad [or serve on side].

Greek Panzanella

4 Jun

Made this massive summer salad a couple years ago when I had some friends out to the beach house. Sigh, those were the days. Panzanella is generally an italian-  tomato and stale bread based salad. But this Ina Garten is like an enchanced greek version. Would be great for picnics- summer bbqs etc.

A Barefoot Contessa Recipe
1 hothouse cucumber [those long ones wrapped in plastic], unpeeled, seeded [cut cucumber in half lengthwise, take a small spoon and run it down the center, scooping out the seeds— this makes the salad less watery], and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 red bell pepper, large diced
1 yellow bell pepper, large diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved [grocery store was out- so begrudgingly used plum tomatoes– scooped and seeded out the middle]
1/2 red onion, sliced in half rounds
1/2 pound feta cheese, cut in 1/2-inch cubes [i just crumble some]
1/2 cup calamata olives, pitted [i leave pitts in, just cause I like it that way]

olive oil
1 small French bread or boule, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups) [i used a multigrain loaf]
kosher salt

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup good red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil

Croutons. 2 choices here. Ina Stovetop Method: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned. Add more olive oil as needed. [The first time I made this, I had a bit of a struggle– pan was too small, pile of bread too big- so not toasting- and I had to split into 2 pans. So I’d suggest only single layer of bread. OR Tessa Oven Method: Preheat oven to 400. Toss bread, olive oil and salt in a bowl. Spread in single layer and toast until golden– about 15 minutes

Place the cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, tomatoes and red onion in a large bowl [legit large- this makes a giant salad].

Ina way: For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, oregano, mustard, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper in a small bowl. While still whisking, add the olive oil and make an emulsion. Tessa way: put all contents in a mason jar, shake vigorously. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables. Add the feta, olives and bread cubes and mix together lightly. Set aside for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

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