Monday, September 27, 2010

I have the perfect knock your socks off “Rustic Bolognese Sauce” recipe in honor of Columbus Day


Foodies, conquistadors & lovers of farmers markets, lend me your ears! There’s another holiday coming up in just 2 ½ weeks…are you doing anything special for Columbus Day? As most of my readers probably know (but the arm chair historian in me likes to point out), Columbus Day is an Italian-American heritage celebration that occurs the second week of October, every year since the 1800s. San Francisco was the first place to turn this bellissimo event into all-day parades and great food, until the holiday achieved statewide appeal in 1907 and Colorado made it a big ta’do.

Whether you’re in the Rockies or heart of Dixie, it’s time to get out your calendars and make note: October 10, 2010, a Sunday, and eve of Columbus Day on 10/11 this year, is the perfect excuse to host a family weekend dinner, using all the fixings you can procure at Italian-American heritage events in your community.

But you don’t have to hail from that part of Europe to enjoy. Do you have any Canadian friends? Columbus Day just happens to coincide with their Thanksgiving, and it’s a big National Holiday for Spain, too—so if you have any dear amigos, get out the tapas, a.k.a. “appys” and treat them all!

In addition to the various, special farmers markets that weekend, there are Columbus Day inspired store giveaways and special promotions/discounts (think espresso machines!) at Italian Markets across the land; I found one in my own Lauderdale neck of the woods (at Doris’) last year, and hope they do something similar for 2010.

You might also have some fun shopping collectible plates that bring out the explorer in all your Sunday dinner guests. Since I KNOW my foodie fans are all about the weekend Farmers Markets, I encourage them to peruse these ingredients and pick up the makings for this FABULOUS Italian sauce that can be the star of your family lasagna or angel hair. To make my Rustic Bolognese Sauce that originated in a Northern Italian city of the same name, you need: a great big yellow onion, bunch of pretty green celery, at least two carrots, 4 wonderfully stinky cloves of garlic, thyme, oregano and a bottle of red…if they got it.

Then it’s off to the butcher (or Italian Market where free espresso machines may be in short supply : )!!!) for the meat that goes into this beyond savory age-old Italian sauce; while traditionally its ingredients were confined to beef, pancetta, choice veggies, white wine, tomato paste and cream, Italian chefs have been known to literally “sweeten the pot” with a little rabbit, pork sausage and sometimes goose liver! My recipe advocates chuck, brisket or good ol’ savory ground round, and just as the Italian foodies love to do, I highly recommend leaving your sauce on simmer for as long as you possibly can—no less than two hours. Of course, a complete ingredient list, plus foodie friendly instructions are available by clicking here.

Pranzo feliz—Happy dining!

Rustic Bolognese Sauce

Browning the veggies and beef for this rich, rustic sauce is key to developing its flavor. Simmering, while reducing the sauce, concentrates the flavor. Spending time to make the sauce today yields several meals later on.

Yield: 4 (2-cup) packages
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: Simmer sauce for 2 hours or longer

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced, about 1 ½ cups
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and diced, about 1 cup
3 medium celery ribs, diced, about 1 cup
4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 1 tablespoon
3 pounds ground beef (chuck, brisket or ground round)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups red wine
1 quart home made beef broth, or low sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Pour the olive oil into a large pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Cook until soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beef to the pot. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beef is browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the red wine and simmer until the wine reduces by half, about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Pour in enough stock to cover the beef. Add the thyme and oregano. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the sauce. Continue simmering the sauce for two hours. Add additional beef stock to the sauce as it evaporates. The idea is to create a rich depth of flavor by reducing and then adding stock.

Cool the sauce to room temperature. Divide into several airtight containers, mark with the date, and store in the freezer for up to two months.

To heat the sauce, thaw the package in the refrigerator, or in a sink with chilled water. Slowly reheat the sauce in a pot over medium heat.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Host a Happier Halloween With the Ultimate Party Plan!





Dear Fellow Foodies,

With October 31st just around the dark and spooky corner, it’s definitely time to pre-plan your strategy for Halloween night—perhaps the most ideal day in the entire year to hold an Open House. Why? Well, er…I’m not exactly physic, but I do believe this holiday brings many a guest with a sweet tooth to your front door : )!! There’s really no trick to the delicious treats on this party menu—better yet, the weary parents of trick-or-treaters will positively adore the respite your offering of warm, creamy soups bring on a cold pre-winter’s night—and if that doesn’t warm them up, your spicy cornbread will. I’m betting even the little skeletons coming to your door find something that sticks to their ribs!

Now…I apologize if you have hosting chops already, but just in case that department in your brain needs its cobwebs cleared, I’ve provided some notes on how far in advance you need to prepare each of the items on this menu, how to showcase them on your buffet table, and other tricks of the trade…just insert my party-loving cackle here!

My Halloween Menu…Isn’t it a Scream?


Menu notes:
About the Salad
: If you generally get a huge Halloween crowd, save yourself some hassle and eliminate the lettuce bowls—simply tear the lettuce and add it to your other salad ingredients; arrange & toss salad just 30 minutes before guests start to arrive.
About the Soups: Halloween falls on a Sunday this year; make the soups on Saturday, cover them and refrigerate. Make sure your buffet table is graced with plenty of mugs and soupspoons!
About the cake: Bake it, frost it. Cover and refrigerate it on Saturday night
About the cornbread and muffins: these guys can wait until an hour or two before the first guests are expected to trickle in…after all, you want them to smell good things to eat as they approach your front door…!

Table d├ęcor tip that channels Martha’s spirit:

Carve a Pumpkin with a purpose; sure they make wonderful candlelight play over your goodies when they’re lit up as jack-o-lanterns, but pumpkins are also WONDERFUL soup terrines—just hollow them out and fill them up; remember not to discard the pumpkin’s lid, as keeping it on between servings ensures a warmer soup!

How You’ll Spend Halloween…from waking in the morning, to cleaning up afterward in the wee hours of November 1st…

On Halloween morning, set up your buffet table as close to the front door as possible and get to work preparing your salad ingredients.

On Halloween Eve, when you expect to hear your doorbell ring and the adorable trill of “Trick-or-Treat” begin any minute, set candy in a bowl and don your costume.

Bon Appetite, everyone! Rumor has it your parties get rave reviews…even if "boos" are allowed this time of year!!

Sweet Potato Cake with Orange Glaze

Servings: 12 to 18
Preparation Time: 45 minutes, plus baking

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup butter (1 stick) room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy whipping cream

Zest of 1 medium orange (about 2 tablespoons)
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Juice of 3 medium oranges (about ¾ cup)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain well and mash.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl.

Use an electric mixer to combine the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Stir in the mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Add the flour and cream in 3 additions, alternating 1/3 flour mixture, ½ cream mixture until just blended.

Pour the batter into the Bundt pan coated with vegetable oil spray and dusted with flour. Bake for 50 or 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cake to a rack placed on top of sheets of waxed paper.

Whisk together the orange zest and confectioners’ sugar. Whisk in the orange juice and vanilla.

Use a skewer to poke holes in the cake. Pour the glaze over the cake, repeating with the glaze that runs off onto the waxed paper.

Spicy Cornbread with Sun-Dried Tomato and Jalapeno

Servings 10 to 12
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus baking

¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons butter, melted
¾ cup milk
3 large eggs, beaten
1 (7 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
2 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded an diced (about 4 tablespoons)

Place the flour, baking powder, salt and chili powder into a large bowl. Whisk in the cornmeal.

Whisk in the butter, milk and eggs until just combined. Fold in the tomatoes and peppers.

Place the batter into a loaf pan coated in vegetable oil spray. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Servings: 10 to 12
Preparation time: 60 minutes

¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
4 medium celery ribs, thinly sliced (about 1 ½ cups)
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, cut into pieces (about ½ cup)
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 bay leaves
2 quarts chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
3 cups whipping cream
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon curry powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Cook the celery, onion and carrots in the butter until soft, about 12 minutes. Stir the flour into the vegetables.

Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, bay leaves and chicken stock. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves from the soup.

Use an immersion blender (or food processor) to puree the soup. Stir in the basil, cream, paprika and curry. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple Cheddar Muffins

Yields: 12 muffins
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus baking

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup milk
2 large eggs
¼ cup butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8 inch dice (about 1 cup)
¾ cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the milk and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the butter. Stir the flour mixture into the milk mixture until just combined. Fold in the diced apples and cheese.

Place the batter into a 12-cup muffin tin coated in vegetable oil spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tops are golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Old-fashioned Mushroom Soup

Servings: 10 to 12
Preparation time: 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
2 large yellow onions, diced (about 2 cups)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced, about 1 tablespoon
2 pounds mushrooms, such as button, shitake, Portobello, cut into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 quarts chicken stock
¼ cup fresh thyme
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large soup pan over medium high heat. Cook the leeks, onions and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the pot. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir. Cook for several minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cream. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

Bibbed Lettuce Bowls with Chopped Bacon, Tomatoes and Blue Cheese

Servings: 10 to 12
Preparation time: 20 minutes

10 to 12 small heads bibbed lettuce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup champagne vinegar
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ pound bacon, diced
6 to 8 plum tomatoes, seed and diced, about 2 cups

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Peel the outer leaves from the lettuce and trim the stem so that the head of lettuce sits on its stem on a platter. Slice off the top fourth of the head. Use your fingers to pull the leaves away from the center creating a “bowl.”

Whisk together the mustard and champagne vinegar in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper.

Cook the bacon in a small skillet over medium high heat. Drain on paper toweling.

Assemble the salad by placing the lettuce bowls on a large platter. Sprinkle each lettuce bowl with equal amounts of bacon, chopped tomatoes and blue cheese. Pour the vinaigrette over the top and into the lettuce bowl.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yummy Book Club Menu, Plus Tips on How to Get This Party Started


Have you ever thrown a book club party? Well, I’ve hosted my fair share. If you’re just launching a book club, determined to send everyone home from the first meeting well fed and excited over what books you’ve laid out for the next 12 months, there are a few tried and true guidelines that make for a successful literary nosh-fest.

First, you need between 4 to 8 pals who share your passion for books. Second, you need a reading list, with 6 books on it—to complete one full year of page-turning bliss. Translation? Your group meets at your place (or you rotate hosts) every two months.

Where do you find a great list of novels that appeal to a wide range of readers? In a word: Oprah. Her Books to Pick Up in September 2010 had me so intrigued in the synopses offered, I wasted more time than I dare admit reading first chapters on Amazon. When you click on the September books link, you’ll see a Readers Guide for every novel that gets Oprah’s seal of approval; using these questions lends your book party shape and coherence, so that you remember the whole point of congregating and enjoying excellent food & drink : )!!

Okay, so once you have in mind who you want to invite, it’s time to chat with them either in person, via Facebook or on the phone, feel them out for the best possible date, and hop on Evite for an apropos book club invitation.

This is the menu I recommend for the big day:

Peel and Eat Shrimp with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce
Asparagus Bundles Wrapped in Prosciutto
Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Olive Tapenade
Crustless Southwestern Quiche
Maple Cake Donuts

Now, to drink…?

Over Labor Day I did a post on 10 kicked up cocktails, any of which are a welcome libation at a rollicking fun book club party; however, I recommend providing an iced-down cooler with diet soda and a pitcher of sparkling water for those who want to take it easy. My Menu du book club has a dessert suggestion, which means that you absolutely must serve coffee!

If the food and wine are good enough, it won’t be long before your book club’s the talk of the town, and members grow into the big leagues (expert hostesses recommend no more than 11 guests for book clubs). From personal experience, hosting every kind of party, featuring every kind of theme, I recommend starting the party at 7:30pm, with the understanding that things are likely to run until at least 10.

Before I leave you to your shopping list (you have to get busy procuring savory veggies, prosciutto and maple-y sweetness), I want to invite anyone contemplating a book pick like, say, Memoirs of a Geisha, to write to me for dishes inspired by the ethnicity featured in the novel. If we’re reading a romance that takes place in the British Countryside, I’ve got minced pies for your banquet table you’ll never forget.

Happy hosting!






MAPLE CAKE DOUGHNUTS

It’s way too easy to eat warm doughnuts in your own kitchen. These remind me of the ones my Grandma used to make on “Fat Tuesday”, the day before Ash Wednesday.

Note: Change the flavor of these doughnuts by substituting with your favorite spices.

Makes about 12 doughnuts and a whole bunch of dough nut holes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes for all of the doughnuts

3 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all natural sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of ½ medium orange (about 1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon maple extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sour cream
Canola oil for frying
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until fluffy and thick. Whisk in the orange zest, maple extract and butter. Whisk in the sour cream. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold in the flour mixture. The dough will be sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or layout 2 Silpat liners). Dust work surface with flour. Dredge a rolling pin, 2 ½-inch diameter round cutter, and 1-inch diameter cutter in flour. Roll out 1/3 of the dough to ½-inch thickness. Cut large rounds and place onto prepared baking sheets. Use the small cutter for doughnut holes, and to cut additional holes from scraps. Continue until all of the dough has been used.

Pour enough canola oil in a deep pot to come to 1 ½-inches. Heat to 365 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with several layers of paper towels. Use a slotted spoon to place the doughnut holes into the oil in batches. Do not crowd. Watch as they drop to the bottom of the pot. When they bob to the surface, gently turn over to evenly brown. Remove to baking sheets. Repeat until all of the holes and doughnuts have been fried. The hole will brown in 2 to 3 minutes. Doughnuts will take a minute or two more.

Dust the doughnuts with confectioners’ sugar while still warm.

Crustless Southwestern Quiche

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 to 40 minutes
Serves: 6
Serving Size: 1 wedge

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried and chopped (about 2 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 large eggs
1 cup fat free half and half
½ teaspoon dried mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon corn meal
6 ounces grated reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 ½ cups)
2 ounces shredded reduced fat Mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)
2 large roasted red bell peppers, seeded and cut into thin strips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and jalapeno pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the spinach and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat.

Whisk together the eggs, cream, dry mustard and parsley in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Coat a baking dish or quiche dish with vegetable oil spray. Sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal.

Sprinkle the cheeses on the bottom of the dish. Layer the top of the cheese with red pepper strips. Spoon the spinach mixture on top of the peppers. Pour the egg mixture over all.

Bake until the quiche is set and the top is golden, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 wedges.

Cherry Tomatoes Stuffed with Green Olive Tapenade

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time:
Yield: about 2 dozen tomatoes
Serving Size: 4 stuffed tomatoes

1 cup Spanish olives with pimento
4 anchovy fillets
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes

Place the olives, anchovies and capers into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with ground pepper.

Use a sharp knife to remove the top of the cherry tomatoes. Use a small melon ball scooper to scoop out some of the flesh. Place a dollop of the tapenade into the bowl created in the tomato.

Asparagus Bundles Wrapped in Prosciutto

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6
Serving Size: 1 bundle

6 thin slices prosciutto
1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lay the prosciutto slices onto your work surface.

Trim the tough ends from the asparagus. Divide into 6 bundles. Place each bundle onto a slice of prosciutto. Wrap the prosciutto around the bundle of asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and place onto a baking sheet with a lip. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast the bundles until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Peel and Eat Shrimp with Chipotle Cocktail Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 18 shrimp and 1 cup sauce
Serving Size: 3 to 4 shrimp and 2 tablespoons sauce

1 pounds large uncooked shrimp, (about 18)
Juice of 1 medium lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon diced chipotle chili packed in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook the shrimp in boiling water with lemon until they turn pink and opaque, about 4 minutes. Place the shrimp in ice water to stop the cooking process.

Place the diced tomatoes, chili, tomato paste and Balsamic vinegar into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the shrimp with the dipping sauce on the side.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Kid: 10 kicked up cocktails, perfect for Labor Day Weekend


This is a great time of year to enjoy the tinkle of ice cubes in a glass, and revel in the chilled class of a carefully concocted drink. If you’re not the hostess and attending somebody else’s Labor Day shindig, the recipes included here travel well. Just jot down the ingredients and slip them in your pocket; whoever is manning cocktail hour will appreciate your little love-note as you hand it over the bar.

But before I dive in, let me remind my readers that they must take care over the holiday weekend and drink responsibly—designate a driver if you plan on partying hard, or borrow the nearest couch or guestroom. Now that my public service announcement is taken care of, I’d like to introduce 10 of my wildest, tastiest Kicked Up cocktails, legendary in my own soiree circles—sometimes we even put our signature on the drink. If your name is Doreen, I look forward to toasting you with a custom blended dirty martini. “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.”

You’ll see from these recipes that when champagne meets the Sex & The City Girls’ favorite drink (Champagne Cosmo Cocktail) and your cherry colored sangria takes on a paler shade, in the form of a thirst quenching White Sangria, you’ve got yourself a kicked up version of a classic. I’ve also pumped up the tang on lots of other favorites; a simple Bloody Mary gets converted into a “Hair of the Dog” you’ll lap right up, and dirty martinis get edgier, thanks to my best friend’s aforementioned personal recipe…and so much more! Get ready to drink and be merry. I’ve got more tricks up my sleeve than Isaac had elixirs at The Love Boat Bar.

You’re about to indulge in a happy hour no one will soon forget.

Champagne Cosmo Cocktail
12 ounces pomegranate juice
2 ounces Chambord raspberry liqueur
Juice of 1 large lime, about 2 tablespoons
1 (750-ml) bottle Champagne
Fresh pitted cherries
Stir together the pomegranate juice, Chambord and lime juice in a pitcher. Pour about 1 ounce of this mixture into the bottom of a champagne flute. Top off the glass with Champagne. Garnish with fresh cherries.

White Sangria
1 (750-ml) bottle of red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rioja reds, Zinfandel, Shiraz)
1 whole orange, cut into pinwheels
1 whole lemon, cut into pinwheels
1 whole lime, cut into pinwheels
2 tablespoons all natural sugar
2 ounces Cointreau Orange Liqueur
8 ounces Prosecco wine or Champagne
Pour the wine into a pitcher. Add the fruit, sugar and Cointreau. Stir and refrigerate for several hours to combine the flavors. Add the Prosecco to the pitcher just before serving. Pour into glasses filled with ice cubes.

Lemon Sugar Rush Drop
1 ounce citrus flavored vodka
1 teaspoon super-fine sugar, plus more for rimming the glass
Juice of ½ large lemon, about 2 tablespoons
Lemon twist

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour in the vodka, sugar and lemon juice. Shake well and set aside. Run a lemon twist around the rim of a martini glass. Dip the rim into superfine sugar. Strain and pour the mixture into the glass and plop the twist in the glass.

Doreen’s Dirty Martini
2 ounces vodka
½ ounce olive juice
Whiff of dry vermouth
2 to 3 colossal size olives

Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Pour in the vodka and the olive juice. Shake well and set aside. Add a touch of vermouth to a martini glass. Strain and pour the mixture into the glass. Garnish with olives.

That’s Mr. Tom Collins to you!
2 ounces gin
Juice of ½ large lemon, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon super fine confectioner’s sugar
Club soda
Lemon wedge

Fill a cocktail shaker half full of ice. Pour in the gin, lemon juice and sugar. Shake well and set aside. Fill a cocktail glass with ice cubes. Strain and pour the mixture over the ice. Top it off with club soda. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Old Fashioned Bourbon
3 maraschino cherries
Orange pinwheel
1 tablespoon super fine sugar
2 ounces bourbon
Club soda

Place two cherries and orange slice into the bottom of a cocktail glass. Sprinkle with sugar and stir with the back of a wooden spoon to blend flavors. Pour the bourbon over top. Fill the glass with ice. Top it off with club soda. Garnish with the third cherry.

White Wine Spritzer
2 ounces white wine
Club soda
Lemon wedge

Fill a wine glass with ice. Pour in the wine. Top it off with club soda. Garnish with lemon wedge.

Light as Air Daiquiri
1 ½ ounces light rum
Juice of 1 large lime, about 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon super fine sugar

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in the light rum, lime juice and sugar. Shake well and set aside. Fill a cocktail glass with ice cubes. Strain and pour the mixture into the glass.

Gimee a Gimlet
2 ounces gin
1 ½ ounce Rose's lime juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice cubes. Pour in the gin and lime juice. Shake well and strain into a cocktail glass filled with ice cubes

Hair of the Dog
12 ounces tomato juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 to 4 drops (or more) hot pepper sauce
1 whole lemon, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon celery salt
2 (12-ounce bottles) beer
Celery stalks with leaves

In a pitcher, stir together the tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and hot pepper sauce. Rub the rims of the cocktail glasses with lemon wedges. Dip the rims into a saucer containing the celery salt. Fill each glass with ice cubes.
Fill half the glass with beer and top it off with the tomato juice mixture. Garnish with celery stalks.
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