Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Shorts: Random Summer Ramblings

Bon Appetit!
How I Made It Through My Detox?

Chopsticks…and a whole lot of water…but I am Cabo ready!

My Favorite Summer Meal:

I’ve had my fair share of BBQ this summer so it was time to change it up.

Sliced fresh tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella. Topped with vinegar and oil, toasted croutons and threads of green onions.

And what better pairing than fresh, King crab legs. And a cold glass of wine.

Lemon Yogurt
I had never been a huge fan of Greek yogurt until I added a tablespoon of lemon curd. It totally changed the taste. Now, I eat it regularly and even use it plain to top a baked potato instead of sour cream.

Cold Coffee

Summer is a great time for iced coffee.
La Colombe steeps coffee for 16 hours in stainless steel wine tanks, presses and then filters it twice. Pure Black is an observance of the culinary flavors of coffee - cocoa.

You’ve got to be a coffee junkie though because it is really strong.

I’ve made so many buttercream recipes I get them mixed up. I liked this one but I’m still searching for “the one” that tastes just like Angel Food Bakery’s.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 cup butter softened
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1/8 teaspoon salt

In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat till blended.

Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.

Speaking of perfect cupcakes, I use fruit to make them a lot more interesting to look at...and photograph.

Skinny Cookies

When it comes to chocolate chip cookies I have one rule. Thin in the summer and thick in the winter.
Lemon Posset

In honor of the Olympics, I whipped up this easy English Posset. This was really delightful spread between super thin Ginger cookies.
1 cup thick cream
4 tablespoons sugar
juice and zest of 1 large lemon
Bring cream, sugar and lemon zest to boil in a pan, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the lemon juice and strain into two cups or ramekins. Chill overnight or for at least 4 hours.
A lot of people love bread and wine. Me – I’m stuck on popovers and wine.
Winter Warm Me Up…
Enjoy a martini in the summer by shaking it with a lot of ice before you pour. Conclusion: When you’re in the mood, a martini tastes good no matter what the season.
I’ve been using agave nectar to sweeten a lot of things these days. It has none of the bitter aftertaste associated with artificial sweeteners and is also much healthier for you.
I used a combination of pineapple and orange juice to give this drink some additional flavor.
The mix of salt and chili on the rim really made the look of the drink and gave me a lot of ideas for rimming a glass for a favorite summer drink.

Coarse salt
Chili powder
1 c. tequila
1 c. pineapple juice
1/2 c. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp. agave nectar

Rub the rims of 4 glasses with lime then dip in coarse salt mixed with chili powder.
In a martini shaker, add ice. Pour tequila, pineapple juice, lime juice and agave over the top. Shake and strain into glasses.
Summer Rolls
Vietnamese-influenced summer rolls are stuffed with cooked shrimp and abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables. I serve them with a spicy, peanut sauce and make the recipe up as I go along.
Fruity Tea Soda – Instead of Pop

I used this drink as a stand-in for a cocktail when I was on my detox. I got so use to drinking this that it’s now my first choice if I am in the mood for a special mocktail.
Other tea flavor infusions to consider: mint, cranberry, strawberry, blackcurrant, chamomile, or lemon.
Steep 2 tea bags of your favorite herbal tea in 3 cups of boiling water. Chill.
Add 1 cup of sparkling mineral or soda water.

Salted Caramel Milkshake

I never thought to mix tequila with ice cream before. Don’t know why because I love them both. The dash of caramel was just enough sweetness to make this drink divine.  
My new favorite Ice Cream drink!
1 cup vanilla ice cream
1/3 cup prepared dulce de leche or caramel sauce
1 shot tequila (preferably anejo or reposado)
Whipped cream, sea salt and/or candied orange peel, for garnish
Blend the ice cream, dulce de leche, tequila and 3 ice cubes in a blender on medium speed until thick and smooth. Divide among small glasses. Top with whipped cream, sea salt and/or candied orange peel.

Spicy Bloody Mary With Dilly Beans

I’m not really into Bloody Mary’s because I’ve always found them to be so heavy. I liked this one though with the combination of the tomato juice and V8.

After my detox, I also enjoyed the heavy garnish of vegetables.

2 ½ cups tomato juice, chilled
2 ½ cups vegetable juice cocktail, chilled
3 Tbsp celery salt
pinch ground black pepper
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
½ tsp Tabasco
2 tsp Worcestershire
¼ cup lime juice
1 Tbsp fresh grated Horseradish
1 ½ cups vodka

Garnish: String on a pick:
Lemon wedge
Bread and butter Pickle
Pickled Onion
Put dilly beans in glass

In a cocktail pitcher, mix ingredients. Add vodka and ice. Pour over ice (don’t strain it) into a celery salt-rimmed rocks glass and garnish with pickled green beans.