Sweetness in a glass: The date shake

April 17, 2015

Date shake

When I stumbled across this recipe on Epicurious last year, I immediately ran out to buy the ingredients to make the date shake. I guess I was craving something sweet and refreshing, because normally reading about what is basically a vanilla milkshake made with almond milk wouldn’t have been something that would have prompted an “I must have it now!” response from me. Whatever the reason, I’m glad it did, because this is now one of my favorite sweet pick-me-ups to have in the middle of the day.

I decided if I were going the route of almond milk, I might as well make this recipe dairy-free, so I picked up a pint of Coconut Bliss Vanilla Island instead of opting for the vanilla gelato called for in the recipe. (more…)

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Saturday Sippers: Sangria

June 7, 2014

Sangria

Summertime. Hot weather. Sunny days. Blue skies. Relaxing with friends. Fresh, juicy fruits. Sitting by the water. Sipping chilled drinks. And do I have one of the best chilled drinks for you. The classic sangria. You can whip it up by the pitcher or by the cooler, depending on how big your crowd is. Sit out glasses and an ice bucket, as well as a ladle for the fruit, and you’ve got a self-serve cocktail that packs enough of a punch to enjoy, but not so much that your friends will be teeter-tottering into the pool.

The wonderful thing about sangria is there are so many options, and you can make do with whatever you have on hand. Red, white, rosé, sparkling – all make a wonderful sangria. Pick your fruit, pick your juice, pick your liqueur, and pick your soda. Balance it out with a little pre-punchbowl taste test, adding a bit more of this or that to bring a harmony to the flavors – not too sweet, not too fruity, not too alcoholic, but Goldilock’s-approved ‘just right’.

This Goldilock’s has already found her ‘just right’ however for the classic red wine sangria, so she shall share her secrets with you forthwith. (more…)

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Delightful! The Turkish Delight Martini

April 25, 2014

Turkish Delight Martini

There’s something fun and exotic about a cocktail with rose petals floating in it. Rose water was a bit of an acquired taste for me, but after I decided I liked it, it’s opened up a whole new world of interesting drinks and tipples. Then there’s the name of this cocktail. Inspired by Turkish delight, which I’m sure many of you, like me, will identify with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, just makes this drink all the better. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Turkish delight, beyond the book, it’s a sweet candy which comes in many flavors, but one of the more popular is rose water, and it is dusted with powdered sugar. While this may not be exactly like biting into a piece of the candy, you’ll definitely pick up the sweet hints and the subtle rose flavor that are the hallmarks of Turkish delight. (more…)

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Cheery cherry chai smoothie

September 10, 2013

Cherry Chai Smoothie

I’ve decided to dedicate the month of September to getting some of the yummy posts I’ve made on the daily nosh into recipe form over here in the kitchen. And I think I shall kick off with a smoothie that I’ve become addicted to!

I have to admit, I cannot take credit for coming up with the flavor profile for this smoothie. I stumbled upon it at a local juice bar, and I decided to give it a go at home. Mine comes out a bit more cherry, and every bit as cheery as the original, only now I can have it any time I want it. Well, so long as I keep those cheery cherries in my freezer. (more…)

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Elk Steaks with Chipotle Potato Puree

June 17, 2013

Elk steak with okra and chipotle potatoes

A few weeks ago I found a surprise on my doorstep – a cooler full of elk! A friend who has enjoyed more than a couple of dinners from the Madd Hatter’s kitchen thought I would enjoy this bounty from the Rocky Mountain states, and he was right. Surprisingly, it’s not a meat I’ve had the privilege to try before, so a little research was needed before I decided to embark upon my elk feast.

Elk is a very lean, red meat. At first glance when I opened the cooler, the coloring of the meat reminded me of bison or venison, both of which have little fat to add flavor to the meat, and the latter having a much more gamey taste. After a little reading through the information Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Company sent with the elk, I decided it must be more similar to bison meat. Thus I developed a flavorful marinade that would bring in some extra flavor where the fat was missing, but wouldn’t mask the mild, sweet flavor of the meat, which might have been needed if it were more gamey.

I recently added a new flavor to my lineup of olive oils from the Olive Bar – a chipotle olive oil that has a definite kick to it! With this as my base, I began to build on the flavors that I thought would pair nicely with a syrah, as I had decided this is what I would serve with the elk. What I ended up with was one part Southwest, one part Southern, with a sprinkling of Asian spice thrown in for good measure. And might I say, I wouldn’t change a thing about this marinade. (more…)

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