Drinks

159

Negroni (V, GF)
+ Food-Themed Valentines

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! I hope you’re¬†all looking forward to spending today with someone¬†you¬†love (Netflix totally counts right?)¬†Regardless of who or what you’re planning to hang with today, it is without a doubt you’ll be in need of a stiff cocktail at some point. So of course, I’m going to share a red drink to stay on theme. It’s a Negroni, which happens to be one of my all-time favorite cocktails. It’s simple and elegant, but packs a punch..it is allll liquor. I love ordering them at different places, as every bartender makes their Negroni¬†a little differently. But I also really am a fan of making this cocktail at home. The 1:1:1 ratio couldn’t be simpler, and the orange peel really knocks it out of the park.

Not to get too sappy, but I am so happy that you all read my blog. You’re my Valentines this year. I wanted to give every reader a Valentine because there are so many amazing food blogs, and any time you spend reading mine instead of the billions of others is so appreciated. I obviously had to find something food related, and in my search I discovered that apparently there are many¬†vintage valentines involving hot dog puns (??) and a lot of food with faces. Pretty cute stuff, guys. Just fyi, I don’t own any of these images, but I do think they’re adorable and I wanted to share them in a handy way so I made little Valentine sheets! Click¬†here¬†and¬†here¬†to see them, print a million, and give them out to everyone you know!

Negroni

1 oz gin
1 oz Campari
1 oz sweet vermouth
orange peel

Add gin, Campari, and vermouth to a cocktail shaker. Give it a good shake and pour into a martini glass or a rocks glass with ice. Garnish with orange peel. Sip many.

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Drinks

157

Clementine Hot Chocolate (GF)

There’s a real-feel temperature of -9 today in Northampton, and it’s pretty much been like this for a while,¬†which obviously¬†means I have a strong(er than usual) craving for hot chocolate on a regular basis. In the summer months, that craving turns into chocolate ice cream, but for right now, I’m sticking with the cocoa. I’ve started making up different recipes, normal and dairy-free; with and without funky additional flavors, to try to find my favorite. The contenders¬†started out rich and heavy: tahini, Nutella, peanut butter, almond butter, coconut cream. While each pot of these spread-based cocoas came out unbelievably decadent, I really couldn’t handle more than half a mug’s worth before having to take a rest. And coming back to room temperature chocolate is not the dream. So I thought, how about extracts? They kick coffee up a notch for sure. And indeed, peppermint hot chocolate was seasonally appropriate in December, and anise cocoa went really well with sugar cookies, but both fell a little flat in terms of a “Go To Recipe”, y’know? Then I started remembering a million years ago, when I used to find those amazing chocolate oranges in my house’s chocolate drawer- yes, we have one of those, no joke. (Also I had no idea these chocolates were still being made until I found that link and am now struggling not to order all of them). The best thing about chocolate oranges was that both flavors complimented each other perfectly, neither canceling out the other. So I think at that moment, I knew orange was the route to take. But of course, I only had clementines in the house at that point and just couldn’t bring myself go to the grocery store to buy one¬†orange, so I figured what the hell; orange, clementine; potato, potahto, and such.

Sometimes, the kitchen gods smile and and give you a hot chocolate recipe that is satisfying enough for dessert, light enough for a mid-morning snack; completely chocolatey, but still exciting and different. Definitely a recipe I will make for years to come. So, with the snow blowing around¬†here for snowpocalypse2015¬†-the first act of which (last Tuesday) seemed to be a bit of a hoax in Northampton, while¬†today’s blizzard feels much more eerie–¬†I can’t think of a better time to make another cup for myself, pray the power doesn’t go out, and share this recipe.¬†Feel free to make it 100% vegan (or 100% not) according your personal preference!

Hot Chocolate (serves 4)

2 cups 2% milk
2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
zest of one clementine (or orange)
4 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
water

In a medium saucepan, heat both milks over medium heat. While milk is heating, whisk together all other ingredients in a small bowl. Add tablespoons of water one at time to chocolate mixture until smooth. Add chocolate to milk and heat!

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Drinks

152

Egg(less) Nog (V,GF)

Happy end of Hanukkah and merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate! I think a rainy twenty fourth of December is a perfect time to share a recipe for a fairly time consuming holiday treat: egg nog! Rather, egg(less) nog, as it is vegan. This is the first time I’ve ever experimented with making my own nut milk, and I can now say with absolute certainty I know why it’s so expensive. There’s waiting overnight involved¬†and the end result does not yield nearly as much as one would think. Therefore, I will no longer feel guilty for shelling out an extra three dollars a carton to have my¬†soaked almonds/cashews/what have you squeezed for me. Now, that’s a statement of privilege if I ever heard one, amirite? Regardless, I’ve recently been reading some pretty scary articles about the ethical implications of milk (which is not news, as you can see from the article dates, but I’m just trying to be more informed). So I’m currently in the process of switching completely over to non-dairy milk, unless I can make it to a farm and watch the milk come from the well-treated cow. Or a world-wide restructuring of the production of milk happens. Y’know, easy and possible things like that. As of right now, I’ve been able to phase out milk in every area except my coffee, where several splashes of 2% make their home on a daily basis. Almond milk is too weak; coconut milk is too rich; most creamers are full of sugar. Complaint complaint complaint. I’m working on it! I’ll figure something out. Still, it was about time I learned to make my own, and when this nog presented itself in the December¬†issue of Bon App√©tit, I knew it was a sign.¬†The original recipe also describes serving the drink with whipped egg whites on top, which I did not do, as I am scared of raw eggs, but feel free to follow the link and try that yourself.

SO, I have listed directions for how to make this drink¬†100% from scratch, and also my suggestions¬†for how to make it a little semi-homemade, because, as I said in my last post, sometimes¬†store bought is fine. I recommend using almond milk -or soy, if you’re into that- because they’re the most common non-dairy milks and therefore the most affordable. Happy holidays!

Nog (from Bon Appétit)

1 c raw cashews

1 c skin-on raw hazelnuts

2 wide strips orange peel

2 cinnamon sticks

2 star anise pods

4 cloves

1 13.5-oz can coconut milk

2 tbsp agave syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 c dark or spiced rum (OR if you’re me, some kind of whiskey) – optional

4 pieces of cheesecloth

Combine cashews and hazelnuts with 4 cups of hot water in a large bowl. Tie the orange peel, cinnamon, anise, and cloves in a piece of cheesecloth, lightly crush spices with a wooden spoon, and place in the nut mixture. Let sit overnight, covering with a lid/plastic wrap after the mixture gets to room temperature.

Remove spice bundle and discard. Blend nut mixture (I had to do mine in two batches) for two minutes. Line a fine-mesh sieve with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Pour nut mixture through sieve and squeeze out as much liquid as possible (this also will be easier if you do it 3-4 times, replacing the cheesecloth each time).

Pour the coconut milk into a separate bowl. Whisk well, until the cream and water are smooth. Add coconut milk to nut milk. Whisk in the agave and vanilla until smooth. Cover and chill for about three hours.

Before serving, whisk up the nog to freshen the froth, then pour into a punch bowl along with your desired liquor. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg!


 

Quick-and-Easy Nog variation (adapted from above)

4 c unsweetened almond milk (I recommend this brand, because they only use less than 2% alternative thickeners- much better than most out there!)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp orange extract

1/4-1/2 tsp anise extract (personal preference)

+ everything listed above (no cheesecloth needed)

Place almond milk, spices, and extracts in a large saucepan over medium low heat. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until spices are aromatic. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Follow above instructions starting with the coconut milk.

 

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Drinks

142

Minty Orange Gimlet (V, GF)

As I walked to class on Monday night, I realized it was getting dark. Dark.¬†At 7:30 at night. So if going to night class wasn’t depressing enough, it was actually getting kind of cold and windy. Not to mention people were rushing around campus looking stressed because they’d likely spent the weekend at the bar instead of the library finishing that paper due at midnight. School worries aside, and being completely¬†honest, I love fall. It’s my favorite season. Sweaters, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, all that good crap. BUT in order to get there I have to endure the waves of sadness that manifest themselves in setting sun shadows of late September.¬†Does it make sense that I love fall with a passion but can’t stand how the earth gets there? Absolutely not. But that’s the way it goes! And with these precious hours of post-7pm daylight dwindling, so is the time for big frosty cocktails leisurely being sipped in the sun. While I’m as big a fan of mulled cider as the next person, I just can’t shake my true fondness¬†for fresh cocktails.

Spoilers, I did make this drink¬†quite a while ago. On a lazy Sunday I peeled an orange listening to the sounds of grass being mowed through the open window. The syrup boiled and I picked mint from the herb planters in my backyard. As I rinsed the leaves off with the garden hose I heard my little next door neighbors attempts to woo passing cars with 25-cent cups of lemonade. I muddled mint and orange and added gin and then I drank that cocktail¬†on my porch in warm July sun. And then I drank two more and then I fell asleep. Sounds just terrible, doesn’t it? And in case you were wondering, orange simple syrup is pretty much how¬†I imagine rays of summer sunlight would taste if you melted them into a glass. Considering the temperature outside is currently 41 degrees, I could really use the reminder of the cocktail hour that once was. I bet you could too.

 

Gimlet (serves one)

1/2-1 shots orange simple syrup (see recipe below)

1 1/2 shots vodka (or gin)

1/2 shot lime juice

1/4 orange, sliced

mint leaves

seltzer

ice

Make the orange simple syrup and let it cool completely. In the bottom of a glass, muddle sliced orange and mint. In a cocktail shaker combine syrup, lime juice, vodka and ice. Shake well and pour into the glass with muddled orange and mint and fresh ice.

Orange Simple Syrup (from Bon Appetit)

1/2 c cane sugar

Zest from one orange (removed in large strips with vegetable peeler)

Add zest, sugar, and 1/2 c water to a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Let cool; cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Strain syrup into a small jar or bowl. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge, tightly covered, for several weeks.

 

 

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Drinks

124

Frozen Cherry Limeade

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Happy Fourth of July! I can’t say I care much about this holiday for any reason except for no one makes¬†a face as I open my first beer around noon and then spend the next eight hours talking passionately about watching fireworks. Which certainly isn’t bad! I’ll take any¬†excuse to day drink. But in all seriousness, this has been an interesting year for being American, as it usually tends to be. Even just this week the¬†Supreme Court of the land of the free decided employers with religious objections have the right the deny contraception coverage under Obamacare. But vasectomies and Viagra are still covered, of course. So that’s fun. I’ve decided I will just be grateful I don’t work for a business that feels they have the right to decide what I do or do not put in my body. And obviously eat a lot of dessert because dessert cures everything¬†makes bad things seem less bad for like 20 minutes. Hey, I’ll take it.

So I thought I’d make a pretty red and blue frozen cocktail today- it’s very cold and very tart, perfect for the 95% humidity that’s currently consuming Jersey. Scroll down after the cocktail for more red white and blue recipes- make one! Or two! Or all ¬†of them and then collapse at 2 pm from too much sugar..

Cherry Limeade (serves 1)

1 cup frozen cherries

splash pomegranate juice

1 1/2 oz gin

1 oz lime juice

1/2 oz simple syrup (optional)

two handfuls blueberries

Combine all ingredients except the blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a handful of ice cubes if it’s not thick enough for your liking or more juice if it’s too thick. Place one handful of blueberries in the bottom of a tall glass. Pour in the cocktail, then top with the second handful of blueberries!

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And now some dessert recipes for your Fourth of July festivities!

These Vegan Lingonberry Bars are so easy to whip up if you decide last minute to throw/attend a Fourth of July picnic. If you don’t have lingonberry jam, just swap it for raspberry. And then make a tray with blackberry jam to really embrace the colors of the day!

Lemon Raspberry Blueberry Sorbet is the easiest thing if you have an ice cream maker (but you can make do without one, check out the recipe to find out how!)

Try topping my White Chocolate Cinnamon Pudding with fresh strawberries or raspberries to get into the holiday!

Strawberry Shortcake is even more festive when raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries are added..

Blueberry Crumb Pie is out of this world, and always disappears from picnics in mere minutes. Just look at the color of your tongue after you eat it and tell me you’re not celebrating the holiday!

 

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119

Blood Orange Vodka Soda Plus

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No, that’s not a typo, I’ve decided to call this cocktail the Blood Orange Vodka Soda Plus, wordiness and grammatical correctness be damned! Creating this¬†cocktail was my first experience with¬†Cinzano Bianco, an Italian vermouth. I’m very much a fan! It balances out the sharp citrusy orange juice and its herbs and spices highlight the rose water. This is a perfect summer cocktail, it’s very fresh and not too strong. Not to mention it’s super pretty..

Drink (serves one)

1 shot vodka

1 shot Cinzano Bianco

1/2 shot lemon juice

Splash of rose water

Blood orange juice

Seltzer

Pour liquor, lemon juice, and a splash of rose water into a tall glass with ice. Fill the glass 3/4 of the way full with blood orange juice. Stir. Top off the the glass with seltzer. Garnish with lime.

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Breakfasts, Desserts, Drinks

116

ABC (Almond-Banana-Chocolate/Coconut) Smoothie (V)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

If you didn’t already know this, I’m a chocoholic. Anywhere there’s chocolate there’s me. It’s a delicious problem. And because of this, oftentimes I find myself wondering “how, oh how can I have chocolate for breakfast that doesn’t involve a major sugar crash at 11 am?!” The answer presented itself to me in the form of this smoothie. It’s delicious, *healthy*, and chock full of chocolate. A+. Need I say more? Note: If you don’t have frozen bananas I strongly recommend adding ice- the consistency will be waaaay too liquidy otherwise, and for some reason this makes for an odd smoothie experience. You want your drink to be at least a bit viscous (icky word, amiright?) Anyway, let’s make smoothies!

Smoothie (serves 1; adapted from A Beautiful Mess)

– 1 frozen banana (or 1 fresh banana and several ice cubes)

– 1/3-1/2+ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

– 1 tbsp. almond butter

– 2 tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

– 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed

– 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth- how easy is that?

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109

Rum Punch

Is it summer yet? I know I wish it was. The longest year of my college career is coming to a close (ONE. MORE. WEEK) so I say we drink. Let’s pretend we’re on a warm beach, sipping one of these as we watch the sun set. Yes? Yes. Keeping the post short and sweet so we can get to the good stuff. You’re welcome.

Punch (serves 1, adapted from Martha Stewart.com)

Р2 oz light rum

Р1 oz orange juice

– 1/2 oz pineapple guava juice

Р1/2 oz lime juice

Рsplash cranberry juice

– splash grenadine

– Ice

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and serve, garnishing with fresh lime and cherries. Cheers!

 

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Drinks

107

Ōü¬†White Lightning Sangria¬†Ōü

There are lots of different ways to make sangria. Red wine, white wine, pink wine; hints of vodka and brandy- someday I’ll try them all! But I was poking around the internet the other day and found a recipe for White Lightning Sangria; the name was too fun to pass up. I made up my own version of the drink for this post! As I’ve mentioned before in terms of punch, pre-mixed cocktails are perfect at parties. You control the quantity and quality of the liquor, your guests still get a buzz, everybody wins! Feel free to change up the fruit according to what you have/prefer. I think fresh berries in this would be amazing!

Sangria (adapted from Food Network.com, makes 6-8 servings depending on cup size)

– 1 bottle chilled white wine (the bottle of Sauvignon Blanc I used was on sale for $5.99 #class)

– 1/2 cup vodka

– 2 oz Grand Marnier

– 1/2 cup white grape juice

– 1/2 cup strawberry compote (or strawberry syrup)

– 1/2 grapefruit, sliced

– the other half of said grapefruit, juiced

– 1 green apple, sliced

– 1 lemon, sliced

– 1 orange, sliced

– seltzer or ginger ale

Pour wine, vodka, and Grand Marnier into a pitcher along with the fruit and juice . Chill for at least an hour, then add seltzer/ginger ale to your liking before serving (or add more wine woooo!). For an extra hit of lighting, sprinkle chopped pieces of¬†crystallized ginger into each glass. Serve over ice if desired.¬†Ōü

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Drinks

105

Espresso Martini

Well, it’s happened. I finally found it. The best cocktail. One that involves booze, coffee, and coffee-flavored booze. Now, hold onto your heart-rates because I’m gonna tell you how to make it. But maybe just have one, unless you have a burning desire to wake up on in bed at 5 am with the beginnings of three different DIY projects under you, your computer playing Diners Drive Ins and Dives at the highest possible volume and your shoes still on. Not that this happened to me or anything.

Anyway, let’s make a cocktail.

Martini (from kahlua.com)

– 1 1/2 oz. Kahlua

– 1 oz. vodka

– 1 fresh shot espresso (or maybe go for just a shot of plain coffee)

Pull the espresso shot. Add Kahlua and vodka to a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the coffee and shake well. Strain into a martini glass with one or two chocolate covered espresso beans and a twist of lemon.

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