Drinks

The Sacred Valley- A Pisco Cocktail

June 14, 2014
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My husband and I recently spent nine days in Peru, our first time to that country and our first trip to South America. This visit marked our travels to our 6th continent (someday Antarctica, someday…).

We had a fantastic time exploring the Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley, including the incomparable Machu Picchu and wandering the streets and markets of the colonial city of Cusco and the vibrant capital of Lima. We spent our time eating and drinking as much as possible of the best Peru has to offer; we ate ceviche, alpaca and even tasted guinea pig. We had a 15 course Japanese-Peruvian fusion meal to rival the best Michelin starred restaurants in the world and an fragrant, life affirming, bowl of chicken soup at a market stall which cost about $2. And we drank Pisco, lots and lots of Pisco.

What is Pisco? Besides

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Cranberry Vanilla Bean Syrup, a Compote and a Cocktail

November 22, 2011
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Lately I’ve had an obsession with vanilla beans. Don’t ask me why, I just think everything tastes better with a little real vanilla bean added to it. This is coming from someone who has always been a chocolate girl at heart. While chocolate is my longtime love, vanilla beans are my latest crush. Unlike adding vanilla extract, using the fresh bean will actually perfume your food. You will smell the vanilla before you taste it.

I wanted to make a holiday inspired syrup as a mix-in to use with my SodaStream soda. Then of course, I thought “Who doesn’t need want a cocktail on Thanksgiving?” In my family, it’s become tradition to start a large meal with an ice cold shot of gin so the cocktail is an homage to that traditional as well.

Finally, the compote was simply an unexpected bonus. I wasn’t really thinking about what …

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Cardamom Spiced Persimmon Ice Cream

November 3, 2011
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We have an ongoing battle surrounding our persimmon tree with the squirrels in our neighborhood.

It’s actually pretty simple; they eat the persimmons, sometimes tossing them aside after only a few bites, and we shake our fists at them, yell, and sometimes cry. It’s quite sad, but only for us. I think the squirrels are fairly happy with the deal.

To add insult to injury, it seems that our persimmon tree only bears a substantial amount of fruit every other year. In the bountiful years it’s not uncommon for us to get buckets of fruit, 50-75 pounds of it, so much that we are giving it away and don’t notice the squirrel consumption. In the “off” years, we get nary a persimmon with the squirrels eating any and all of the meager amount of fruit on the tree. This is one of those years where the humans did not get …

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Tummy Tamer Soda Syrup; Orange, Mint, Ginger and Anise

January 10, 2011
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For all I love to eat and travel, my stomach does not. I wish I could boast of an iron clad gut as many travelers do, but alas I’m easily afflicted with tummy trouble. It doesn’t really matter how careful I am or how much or how little I eat on the street, any change in my usual diet can result in distress, even at home. This can be the result of over-indulgence of rich foods in places like Rome or Paris, or over-indulgence in spicy foods in South East Asia or my local Thai restaurant.

My travels have led me to try many a local remedy. In Morocco, a carpet salesman sold me a small vial of orange oil which he told me was medicinal. He said I should put a few drops in some water or open it and smell it if I was ever feeling sick and …

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Some of my favorite recipes…

July 12, 2010

I’m on vacation this week and in my absence I thought I’d share some of my favorite recipes from the past. These are all “oldies but goodies” but if you’re new to the blog, they may be new to you too!

How to Make Fresh Lemonade

What could be easier than lemon juice, sugar and water? After you see how easy this is, you’ll never buy premade or (gasp) powdered lemonade again! Plus, we do a lemonade taste test of Meyer lemons vs. Eureka lemons.

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How to Peel and Seed fresh tomatoes

If your garden tomatoes are starting to come in, you might find yourself wondering what to do with them when you get that mid-summer glut of tomatoes. At the very least you can freeze them to use later. Here’s what I do…

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Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Parmesan.

This is a lighter, …

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Kick-Ass Homemade Bloody Mary Mix

December 31, 2009
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When I was little, I used to spend every holiday with my grandparents. While they always hosted Christmas, on New Years Day we would usually go to a party held at the house of a family friend. I remember this tradition fondly and about 10 years ago, decided to recreate it, inviting friends over for a hangover-busting New Year’s Day brunch. The central theme of this brunch has always been “Bacon.”
As in, “come for the bacon, you know you want it.”
Yes, the uber-trendy ingredient of 2009 has been the most popular part of brunch at my house for the better part of a decade. Every year I cook at least 5 lbs of it and it disappears like sharks into the swirling chum. This is no fancy-schmancy bacon, nor it even my own homemade stuff, just plain old Farmer John, cooked to a crisp. It’s …
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