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Posts Tagged ‘Beverages’

From Dish Gwen:

To be honest I’m not a big smoothie person. I’ve always kind of associated them with people who wear bike shorts and wake up early on the weekend to go for a 5 mile run. I’m not one of those people, so I thought smoothies weren’t for me. But then I spent the weekend at a friend’s house in DC about a year ago and everything changed.

My friend – let’s call her Kate (because that’s really her name) – blew my mind halfway through making our breakfast smoothie when she pulled out a jar of peanut butter and scooped a generous portion of the gooey stuff into a blender filled with yogurt and raspberries. I thought she was nuts and that this was going to be a rather nasty breakfast, but I was wrong. Dead wrong.

It was delicious! Adding peanut butter (or any nut butter) to your smoothie brings creaminess and rich texture, and even a little saltiness which I really enjoy. When I returned to NYC from my trip to Kate’s house I immediately purchased a blender and started adding almond butter and frozen berries to my regular shopping list. I’ll make myself a smoothie for breakfast at least a few times a week and it’s a great way to start the day. Plus it’s quick and easy to make (the key is to rinse out the blender immediately so you’re not scrubbing crusty dried yogurt out of it later on when you get home from work).

No bike shorts required.

Ingredients
1/2 cup fresh cranberries (can be substituted for any berries — fresh or frozen)
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup milk
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff!)
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 ripe banana

This is the hard part: put them all in the blender, and push “go”. I have a “smoothie” button on my blender but I’m pretty sure any of the buttons on the machine would do the trick. Just make sure you blend it long enough to chop the cranberries finely.

Pour and drink! And check your teeth before you leave the house – you’ve likely got some berry bits stuck in there.

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From Dish Danielle:

There’s nothing better than a bright spring-y PUNCH when having your best gals over for a night of clothes swapping. It’s finally the perfect weather to start introducing all things bubbly back into your beverage repertoire, and festive PUNCH cocktails for a night with the ladies seemed reason enough for me.

I wanted kumquats and Prosecco, but wasn’t quite sure how to make it happen in a light & balanced way. Luckily, with a little guidance from my cocktail slinging, Whisk & Ladle bartending roommate Nicholas Bennett, I was able to make my PUNCHY vision a reality. The finished product was bright and delightful, packed the perfect amount of PUNCH– but most importantly–was springtime sippable.

Ingredients
¾-1c kumquat simple syrup (recipe below)
¾ fresh squeezed lime juice, (about 8 limes worth)
1c white rum
½c Hawaiian dark rum, (I used Koloa, which is pretty darn sweet & vanilla-y)
1½c Prosecco
2c club soda
tbsp agave nectar (if needed)
handful of iced cubes

Kumquat simple:
3c water
3c sugar
2½c rinsed & sliced kumquats (you don’t need to de-seed cause you’ll strain it later– and the seeds are actually the sweetest part!)

First make your simple syrup: Throw above ingredients into a small saucepot and let boil for a while. You want the liquid to reduce to about half. Once it’s reduced strain it, and let it come to room temp. You’ll wind up with enough to make a double batch of the punch, or you can have it around the fridge for later use, (you can also save candied kumquats for snacking/ice cream topping purposes).

Now for assembly. This is really tough. Are you ready? Pour all ingredients except agave into a pretty punch bowl and stir. Here’s the most important step: taste it.

Does it need a touch more sweet? If so, add a bit of agave. Feel free to add more/less to your own liking. I wound up fiddling with my initial proportions and the above is pretty in keeping with the final ratio I settled on. It can certainly be tweaked for an even boozier batch for the right occasion.


Garnish with some lime wheels and kumquat slices, throw your best gals a pound and PUNCH it out.

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OMG Appletinis!

From Dish Amelia:

Appletini

Ok, well not Appletinis exactly, but much better. Last year I really thought I had appled out and would never want to see one again, but apparently I’ve come around. I had a pile of Honeycrisps from apple-picking a few weeks ago, and if you are not aware of this varietal, than you should know that it is a good eating apple, and by good, I mean that it is what every apple wishes it were. I am not a bartender, but I love thinking of cocktails like I think of food (such is the way in Brooklyn these days, la la la…) and this drink is lovely and you should make it. Or come over and I’ll make it.

Appletini ingredients2+ oz Honeycrisp Apple Vodka
1/2 oz Calvados (apple brandy)
2 Teaspoons lemon juice
2 tsp rosemary syrup
ice
Apple chip garnish/rosemary sprig

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the Vodka:
Infusing vodka
Wash and cut up 2 or 3 Honeycrisp apples into small pieces. They are often large. Put these in a large mason jar and pour in a 750 ml bottle of vodka of your choice. seal and keep in a dark place for at least 3 weeks, turning every day or two. When you want to start drinking it and quit rotating it, strain it through paper towels or cheesecloth and a strainer into a quart container. Throw out the apple pieces unless you are in college.

For the Rosemary Syrup:
Rosemary syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
leaves from 5 or 6 rosemary sprigs
heat ingredients in a saucepan until sugar is completely dissolved and rosemary has lost its green color. Syrup should be slightly amber and taste like sweet rosemary. Cool.

For the Apple Chip Garnish:
Slice apples
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. slice an apple on a mandolin so it is about an eighth of an inch thick or less. Slice all the way through, including the stem and seeds. Dip these thin slices in the rosemary syrup and lay flat on a silpat. Bake in a slow oven for a long time, (more than an hour) until completely dry and golden. When they are done they might still have some give, but take them out and they will immediately become brittle. They are fragile, so when they are totally cool, gently bend the silpat away from them to lift them off. If you really don’t want them to be golden, you can add crushed vitamin C to the syrup. I did not do this, since everything would be a pretty golden color anyway.

For the Cocktail Already:
A nice tall Appletini
Fill a shaker with ice. Add vodka, Calvados, lemon juice and rosemary syrup. cover and shake. Strain into awesome vintage wheelcut martini glass. Float apple chip and sprig on surface, and toast the big apple. Salud!
And a lovely Dish Amelia!

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From Dish Danielle:

It’s still SUMMER!  No matter what they say…

Lemon Lime Basil

So in my book, summer lasts until Sept 21, when the first official day of Fall arrives.  Sure, it’s getting cooler and the kids are all back to school—but these can be the very best days of summer! Traffic dies down, the beaches are empty, and you might be able to visit a museum in peace (well, somewhat).  I’m still receiving summer fruits and veggies from my CSA, so that’s what I’m sticking to until the Fall Harvest really takes over.

Fresh Peach Salsa with Lemon Lime Basil & Lemon Lime Basil Simple Syrup

I was lucky enough to be given practically a whole bush of Lemon Lime Basil upon my departure from upstate this past Labor Day weekend.  Since I knew it wouldn’t last long, I dreamed up a few simple summery ways I could enjoy it and also keep the dwindling season alive…

Peach Salsa:

Peach Salsa

3 peaches, finely diced

½ of 1 red onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ of 1 red pepper, finely diced

½ of 1 jalepeno, finely diced

1 square inch of ginger, finely diced (or microplaned)

salt

1 tbsp sugar (if needed)

handful of lemon lime basil, chiffoned.

Juice of ½ a lemon, (more if desired)

Toss peaches, onion, garlic, red pepper, jalepeno, ginger and liberal pinch of salt into a medium bowl.  Pour lemon juice over and mix.  (you can also use lime juice if you’d prefer)  Give it a taste.  Add more salt if needed.  Add the sugar if needed.  Toss your Lemon Lime Basil into the salsa, give it a mix, and you’ve got a fresh summer salsa!  You can enjoy this in so many ways: simply with tortilla chips, tossed into a mashed avocado, or spooned over chicken or fish.  I broiled a few swordfish steaks and noshed on it that way.

Salsa with Swordfish

Lemon Lime Basil Simple Syrup:

Soaking Lemon Lime Basil

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

large handful of Lemon Lime Basil

Boil the water, and add the sugar—whisking until dissolved.  Once cooled slightly, toss in your herbs.  I used the seedling pods that had begun to grow on the Basil bush, which also introduced a TON of flavor.  Allow this to sit for 15-20 minutes so the flavor really takes to the syrup.  This can also be used in numerous ways: COCKTAILS.  Yes.  Iced tea, lemonade, or seltzer with pep!  You can even pour it over fruit as a dessert.

Lemon Lime BasilLemon Lime Cocktail

Enjoy the final days of Summer!

Danielle cooking...Danielle eating!

Lime Basil on Foodista

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