Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Lemon Drop Cocktail

Lemon Drop Cocktail

Better than candy

Hot enough for you? Yeah, we’re tired of talking about the weather, too. So let’s just cool off with a drink already.

Fortunately, the Lemon Drop Cocktail should perk us right up. This smooth drink soothes and refreshes on a hot afternoon. It’s sweet, but the lemon lends just enough tartness for pre-dinner sipping.

Think of it as your new lemon aid.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BLT Pasta with Goat Cheese

BLT Pasta with Goat Cheese

Garden-fresh produce lightens this summery dish

Vine-ripened tomatoes—with their deep, savory flavor—are one of the glories of summer. And they work well in so many dishes.

We particularly like to pair them with bacon and lettuce, as in the classic BLT sandwich. Or BLT Salad.

But sometimes we want a more substantial main course. Something we can serve hot, but that doesn’t require too much cooking on sultry summer days.

Enter BLT Pasta with Goat Cheese. This simple dish has restaurant-quality flavor, and cooks in minutes. It’s so good we’ve already added it to our recipe rotation. We bet you’ll agree—so get those meal planners revved.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Cosmopolitan Cocktail

Yeah, we know—but it tastes really good

Is there any drink with more cultural baggage than the Cosmopolitan (aka the Cosmo)? With its girly pink hue—not to mention its status as signature drink on Sex and the City—it seems that no self-respecting cocktail connoisseur would be caught dead drinking it.

Which is too bad, because it’s quite a refreshing cocktail. It’s great by the pool in the summer heat. Or as a pre-dinner treat.

So if you’ve never had a Cosmo—and despite its popularity, many people haven’t (that baggage thing, you know)—maybe now is the time to give it a try. Because real men (and women) aren’t put off by a little snark.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sautéed Corn with Chilies and Bacon

Sautéed Corn with Chilies and Bacon

This quick dish is equally tasty made with fresh or frozen corn

Fresh, local sweet corn—it’s one of the glories of mid-summer. But corn also freezes exceptionally well, and what you find in the frozen-food aisle usually has been processed within hours of picking. That means it may have more flavor than “fresh” corn that’s actually days old when it hits your grocer’s produce department.

Which comes in handy when making a dish like this sautéed corn. It’s wonderful with fresh corn, but you won’t even notice the difference if you substitute frozen.

With the main ingredient so readily available year round, this tasty dish might become a menu staple: Have it during summer to celebrate fresh corn. And have it again in winter, to remind you that sunny days will soon be here again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Cape Codder Cocktail

Cape Codder Cocktail

This summer cooler is a breeze to make

July is here, and North America is set to celebrate. Today (July 1st) is Canada Day. And this Saturday, July 4, is Independence Day in the US.

So this is a busy week, full of cookouts and picnics. And to beat the summer heat, we’re all looking for something cool to quench our thirst.

Enter the Cape Codder. Its bright, slightly tart flavor is perfect for those long, hot summer days. And its gorgeous red hue lights up any party. You can even make a nonalcoholic version for those who prefer not to imbibe.

So choose your celebration, and raise a glass.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Hungarian-Style Cold Cherry Soup

Hungarian-Style Cold Cherry Soup

Red wine livens up this summer starter

Chilled fruit soups are popular in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the best known is Hungarian meggyleves (Cold Sour Cherry Soup). It’s traditionally made from sour cherries, cream, and sweet white wine (in Hungary, that often means Tokaji).

Here in the US, it can be hard to find fresh sour cherries. But sweet Bing cherries are in season now—and abundantly available. So we use them instead of sour cherries in our recipe. And to avoid making the soup too sweet, we replace Tokaji with a drier red wine.

The result? A refreshing summer starter with outstanding flavor. And one that can provide a fun change of pace at your next dinner party—especially since this is a dish that many people are not familiar with.

Your guests are sure to be impressed. So start practicing a modest bow. You’ll want to be prepared for their accolades.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

El Presidente Cocktail

El Presidente Cocktail

An aromatic Prohibition-era favorite

El Presidente was named in honor of an early 20th-century president of Cuba. Or maybe two different presidents (more about that in the Notes).

No need to worry about the name, though. What’s important to know is that this cocktail has a wonderful “nose,” with a slightly sweet flavor. It’s crisp and refreshing, a wonderful accompaniment to the savory appetizers you’ll be serving at warm-weather festivities.

And speaking of festivities, this Sunday is Father’s Day here in the US. Families will be gathering to toast the leader of the clan. So what could be more appropriate than a round of El Presidente Cocktails? Hail to the chief.