T Minus one week until the best holiday of the year is upon us. Thanksgiving, lets be honest isn’t really about giving thanks, rather, it’s about food and how much you can stuff into your body before you feel nauseas and ultimately have to nap it off. Gluttony at its finest, and you know what? Im okay with that. In fact, I’m more than okay, I love it. An entire day celebrating food is like heaven for me. (more…)
I usually try to steer clear of sugary drinks and stick to
wine water for my main source of fluid intake. I mean, really, if I’m going to ingest extra calories, it’s going to be in a burger and fries, not the soda. That being said, summer is the time of year when sweet, cold beverages sound amazing. Sometimes you just need to give in to temptation and drink the cool aid lemonade.
My mouth is watering as I type. The tart lemons, sweet sugar and floral lavender come together to create something delightful: an explosion in your mouth, a lip-smackin’ good time…you get the picture.
As a kid, I partook in the stereotypical lemonade stand with my siblings. Business was good, we had some regulars, but they were probably just there for the carwash. What can I say? We monopolized the market on Via Cereza street. We might have been able to open up a few different locations, had we known to just add some lavender.
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons dried lavender buds
The juice of 6 lemons
In a medium sauce pan, combine the water, sugar and lavender and bring to a boil over medium/high heat. Boil about 2 minutes; keep your eye on the syrup mixture, it tends to want to boil over. Set aside to cool.
Juice and strain your lemons, depending on the size, you should get 1-1 1/2 cups of juice.
When the syrup mixture has cooled, strain the lavender and discard. Mix the syrup and the lemon juice together in a pitcher and add cold water to taste. I probably added about 4 cups. Add some
vodka ice and you are ready to be lounging, poolside!
The London Fog, or earl grey tea latte, is by far one of my favorite drinks when it is cold and rainy out…which is pretty much everyday up here in Seattle. I’ve seen a few different variations of the drink, but at the end of the day, you just can’t go wrong with anything that has steamed milk in it.
It may be 90 degrees and sunny in LA right now, but go inside, crank up the air, put on some slippers and make one of these suckers, you will not regret it!
1 cup raw cane sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon madagascar vanilla bean paste (must be paste, not extract!)
organic earl grey tea
1 cup milk
First make a vanilla simple syrup by adding the sugar and water to a small sauce pan. Cook on medium/high heat until it comes to a rolling boil then turn off the heat. Whisk in the vanilla bean paste and set aside.
Steep the tea in 2 ounces of boiling water for about 5 minutes (or whatever the package says for the tea) in the mug.
Steam the milk. If you are like me and don’t have a steamer, heat the milk over medium/high heat in a small saucepan, whisking constantly, until it comes to a simmer. Do not let the milk boil, it will create a huge mess!
When tea is finished steeping, add 1 tablespoon of the vanilla syrup, pour in the steamed milk and voila! You’ve got yourself a London Fog.
*store vanilla syrup in an airtight container at room temp for 4-6 weeks
As I made my way through the candy aisle, I was pleasantly surprised to find such high quality couverture amongst the boring usual chocolate choices of a super market. My excitement, however, was dulled by a subtle turn in my stomach. You see, when I was in culinary school, we spent a quarter working with chocolate and I hated it. At first, I couldn’t remember why, but once I began chopping said chocolate, the stark reality came crashing down…all over my kitchen, like broken glass. I found myself in a sea of chocolate bits, it was on my hands, on my feet, in my sink, all over my floor. You name it, there was chocolate on it. Now, there is a very slight possibility that my infant sized cutting board had a little something to do with the mess, but we’ll just chalk it up as a loss.
After scraping my precious chocolatey chunks
mostly onto the floor into the saucepan, I began melting it, and my huge mess of a kitchen was completely worth it.
Now, I usually indulge in one…or three spiked hot chocolates when I’m
falling on my face shredding fresh powder on the side of a mountain, but I haven’t yet made it to the slopes this year. So, I decided to make a much better version of the Swiss Miss and Popov-quality alcohol they sell at the lodges.
I give you: Dark Sipping Chocolate with Bailey’s and fresh Whipped Cream. Be warned, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream.
Tell me that doesn’t look like the epitome of Winter.
Dark Sipping Chocolate with Bailey’s and Fresh Whipped Cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
8 oz dark couverture (chocolate) 70% or higher, chopped
1 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar
Bailey’s Irish Cream
Place chopped chocolate pieces into a large bowl.
Heat whole milk and 1 cup of heavy cream over medium/high heat, whisking occasionally, until it is simmering (there will be small bubbles around the edge of the sauce pan). Do not boil.
While heating milk/cream mixture, add the remaining heavy whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment (or in a medium bowl with a hand held mixer), add sugar and whip on high 2-3 minutes, or until the cream is a stiff whipped cream.
When milk/cream mixture is simmering, remove from heat and pour over chocolate pieces. Let it sit for about 1 minute then whisk together, starting from the center and working your way out.
Pour a shot of Bailey’s into a mug, add a ladle of sipping chocolate and top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!
Recipe for a pint:
- 3 oz Vodka
- 3 oz Tomato juice
- 2 dashes Tabasco Sauce or Sriracha
- 2 tsp Horseradish
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pinch Celery salt
- 1 pinch Ground Black Pepper
- 1 pinch Paprika
- Celery salt
- 1 Lemon wedge
- 1 Lime wedge
Garnish: Add a Celery stalk, some Celery Salt on the rim and a lime wedge.