Wednesday, June 21, 2017
The drink that put vodka on the US map
Vodka may now be the most popular spirit in the United States. But back when this drink was invented (in the 1940s), few Americans had ever encountered it.
Then the Moscow Mule took the country by storm. And Americans started a love affair with vodka that still goes strong today.
One taste of this tall, slow sipper and you’ll see why. Because what could be better than vodka and lime juice topped off with spicy ginger beer?
Drink up, comrades!
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Vinaigrette dressing makes this perfect for picnics
Potato salad is the ultimate summer side dish. It never misses a cookout, barbecue, or picnic.
Green beans make this potato salad lighter and more colorful – not to mention tastier. And this salad features vinaigrette dressing instead of mayo, so you can serve it at room temperature.
That’s great for cookouts. You can leave this salad on the picnic table while you’re cavorting in the summer sunshine. Because after all that outdoor activity, you’ll want to go back for seconds.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Basically, a Martini with attitude
A classic Martini is made with dry gin and dry vermouth. So is The Atty Cocktail.
But the Atty adds a kiss of absinthe and crème de violette – just enough to give its flavor a hint of anise and violet, and its hue a tinge of blue.
The Atty is perfect for sipping before dinner on a warm summer’s night. But really, we’d welcome it anytime. Because suave is always in style.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Easy, tasty, colorful, quick, and elegant
Berries, melons, stone fruit, and more. They’re all reaching peak flavor in our part of the world.
So how about using them in a gorgeous dessert? This fruit salad is quick enough for a weeknight dinner, but elegant enough for the fanciest party. (You can even replace the champagne with sparkling cider if you want a nonalcoholic version).
You’ll have plenty of bubbly left over, too, so you can pour everyone a glass to accompany dessert.
Your guests will love the great fresh flavor of this salad. Not to mention the bubbles.
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Outdoor flavor, indoor easy
Here in the US, we’ll be celebrating Memorial Day this weekend. And that means the start of cookout season.
Problem is, the weather forecast says rain in our area. Bummer.
Fortunately, we have the perfect dish for days when the weather gods refuse to cooperate. This slow-cooker BBQ pulled chicken tastes like you cooked it long and slow over an outdoor smoker. But you never need to leave the house.
Most of the cooking is unattended, too, giving you time to do other things. Like chat with your guests over a cocktail. Or two.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Refreshing and lively, this is the perfect summer starter
As the weather grows warmer, we need something to tease our appetites. Something like this simple-to-make (and delightful-to-eat) summer salad.
It’s got great color, and better flavor. And it’s a wonderful way to use all the locally grown beets that show up in markets this time of year.
Can’t beat that.
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Serve this tangy dish as starter or main
Cucumbers and smoked salmon, tossed with creamy feta cheese dressing. What’s not to like? Especially when you add green peas for color and radishes for perk.
Serve this dish of scrumptiousness as a starter. Or spoon up extra-large portions for a light main course.
This salad is quick to make, so it’s ideal for weeknight dinner. But it’s also fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party.
Like maybe your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend?
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Named for a Valentino movie
Ready for a scotch-based drink inspired by a bullfighting flick? Of course you are!
In 1922, Rudolph Valentino was at the height of his fame. Cinemas everywhere were showing his latest work, Blood and Sand. It was thrilling stuff.
And this namesake drink does the film justice. A mix of scotch, Cherry Heering, sweet vermouth, and orange juice, the Blood and Sand Cocktail smolders with dangerous allure. Just like Valentino himself, you might say.
Still not enough to persuade you? Well, there’s also a tequila version of this cocktail, which is perfect for Cinco de Mayo (more about that in the Notes).
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, a new twist on a classic dish
Tacos are the ultimate fast food.
So let’s slow them down a bit, shall we? Because sometimes we need to savor. This dish keeps all the flavor of the original, but makes things more knife-and-fork friendly.
We replace corn tortillas with grits (also made from corn, so lots of savor there). Then we mound the other ingredients on top, for an open-faced taco.
The result is fancy (and good) enough for a dinner party. But easy enough for a quick meal. Nothing fishy about that.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Serve this as a side, or use it to top a BBQ pork sandwich
Cookout season will soon be here. So it’s time to seek out side dishes!
Like this one. Coleslaw is always a hit. And you can’t go wrong with bacon. Put them together and . . . instant favorite.
This dish is terrific all by itself, too. Or use it to top a pulled-pork sandwich, or even to garnish fish tacos.
This coleslaw is versatile. And that’s no hogwash.
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
This seasonal starter says spring!
Ah, spring. Warmer weather. Tender fresh baby spinach. And strawberries!
Those two ingredients frolic like bunnies in this tasty – and gorgeous – salad. Then we toss them in balsamic vinaigrette (with poppy seeds) for even more perk.
It’s the perfect start to Easter dinner. Peeps ahoy!
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Even non-scotch drinkers will enjoy this Manhattan variant
A scotch-based cocktail? Aye!
The Rob Roy dates back to the 19th century. And it has aged well – much like its signature ingredient.
The drink probably was named after a popular operetta. Which is appropriate, because you’ll soon be singing its praises.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
This vegan Italian-style dish makes a great side or main
Dark, leafy greens are some virtuous eats. Cooked Italian style, they bring on the flavor, too.
Best of all, greens cook quickly. So you can whip up this dish on a weeknight. It makes an extra-tasty side. Or pair it with some bread (we favor cornbread or garlic bread) and you have a complete meal.
Virtue never tasted so good.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Buttery, slightly sweet, with a mild earthy note – these taste like spring
It’s radish season!
Not impressed? This recipe may change your mind.
When you glaze radishes in butter and a bit of sugar, they lose most of their sharp edge. And they develop a deep, rooty flavor that pairs particularly well with roast meats. Best of all, glazing radishes is an easy way to cook them.
So make more than you think you’ll need. Everyone will want seconds. Maybe thirds.
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
This easy casserole makes a one-dish St. Patrick’s Day meal
Ready for St. Pat’s Day? Craving some corned beef and cabbage, but don’t have the time to make it? We’ve got the solution.
This dish combines the three most popular elements of a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner – corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes – into one scrumptious dish. And you can use deli corned beef rather than cooking your own – a real time saver.
So you’ll have more time to celebrate. You lucky leprechaun, you.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
This vegan dish is spicy but not wild
An aromatic blend of sweet potatoes and chickpeas? Sign us up!
This soup sports flavor that’s assertive but not overpowering. And it’s light enough for a first course. Or you could ladle up extra-large portions, pair it with salad and crusty bread, and serve it as a main dish.
Tasty, zippy, versatile – it’s a real meal deal.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Made with Irish whiskey, this elixir is perfect for St. Pat’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day is coming up soon. So how about a drink?
We suggest the Blackthorn (sometimes spelled Blackthorne), which mixes Irish whiskey with sweet vermouth, absinthe, and bitters.
It’s bracing and tasty. And just right for getting your Irish on.
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Let the good times roll with this spicy New Orleans classic
Mardi Gras – aka Fat Tuesday – is next week. And you know what that means, right?
Even if you don’t have much time to cook, you can whip up the perfect dish. Shrimp Creole (a classic dish made all over Louisiana) is extremely fast to put together.
Which works for us. Because less time in the kitchen means more time to eat and drink. And party!
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Warm up with a spicy and flavorful bowl
This time of year, the days are short in our part of the world. And the nights are cold. Fortunately, we have chili to keep us warm.
Chicken chili is a bit lighter than the beef version, so we don’t sink down in our snowshoes. But green chilies and white beans make it plenty tasty and hearty.
Good thing this recipe yields a big batch. You’ll want seconds.
Wednesday, February 8, 2017
With rich and decadent flavor, these are a natural for Valentine’s Day
Chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Mais oui!
But you needn’t buy expensive bonbons in heart-shaped boxes. Because these homemade truffles are outrageously good – and they look fancy, too.
Best of all, they’re easy to make. So you’ll have more time to sip champagne with your sweetie.
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Perfect for Valentine’s Day
In February, our thoughts naturally turn to Hanky Panky (the cocktail, of course).
And if the name sounds like the title of a Noël Coward play, well, that’s fitting: It was invented for an actor who mentored Coward.
More history in a bit. First, we need to learn how to mix this beauty. Because your sweetheart awaits.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
|Chocolate Fudge with Nutella|
Loads of tasty ideas for your game-day feast
The Super Bowl is coming up on Sunday, February 5th. And that means parties!
Looking for ideas on what to serve? We’ve got you covered.
We’ve assembled some of our favorite football-friendly recipes. And we’ve just scratched the surface. You can find lots more in our Recipe Index.
So let’s get started. No need to flip a coin.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
This cheesy gratin is comfort food for the whole family
Chili. Cheese. Pasta. Bring ‘em on!
And this dish does, in delicious combination. It’s a quick-bake casserole that makes a perfect cold-weather meal. It even gives you an excuse to use leftover chili.
You can have this dish on the table in about 30 minutes, so it’s great for weeknight dinners. But it’s tasty enough for company, too.
So take this along to your next pot-luck event. Like maybe your neighbor’s annual Super Bowl party. Who cares which team wins the game? You’ve won the meal.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Black-eyed peas add savor to this healthy cold-weather pleaser
Cabbage chili? Yeah, not something you’re likely to find in Texas. But totally worth having.
Particularly since cabbage has almost no calories. Many of us are diet conscious this time of year, so that’s a winner.
But the biggest winner is the flavor. We’ve loaded this dish with lots of dried chile powder and other spices, so it has all the deep chili flavor you expect from, well, chili.
This dish makes a great weekday meal, but it’s good enough to serve at an informal weekend gathering with friends. Like, maybe, for football playoffs or the Super Bowl. Score!
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
This classic charmer is essentially a Manhattan made with Fernet-Branca
The Manhattan Cocktail is one of our favorites. It’s a smooth combo of rye or bourbon and sweet (Italian) vermouth, spiced up with Angostura bitters.
Well, replace the bitters with Fernet-Branca (an Italian liqueur), and you have the Fanciulli Cocktail. This drink is largely forgotten today, but it seems to have been quite popular in pre-Prohibition America.
Time for a revival, no? Especially since the the Fanciulli’s spicy flavor makes it perfect for winter sipping.
We like to serve the Fanciulli as a predinner drink, though it’s great any time of the day. Well, maybe not for breakfast. But you know what we mean.