Month: June 2014

Dill Pickle Chips and Alabama White Sauce

 

picklesFried pickles are one of my favorite fried foods, and I love fried things, so that’s sayin’ something! These pickles are Cajun seasoned (though not very spicy) and coated in a very basic buttermilk-flour batter. In my opinion, the dill pickle is the only type of pickle that should be fried. The saltiness of the pickle is an absolutely perfect compliment for the crunch of the batter.

As far as I’m concerned, deep frying things in a home kitchen is quite possibly the grossest and most appalling cooking activity. Normally, I would recommend avoiding it at all costs. So, I am challenging anyone who would like to try this recipe in a skillet with just an inch or two of oil to do so because I would love to hear the results!! I am desperate to find a way of doing this that does not involve deep frying.

As of now, this recipe does involve deep frying, but despite the oiliness and excess of oil that results, I would definitely encourage everyone to try it because these dill pickle chips are ahhhmazing!

White sauce, or as we call it in northern Alabama “whyyyte sauce”, is a very particular kind of BBQ sauce. In northern Alabama, if you order barbecue, the natural way of serving it is with this mayonnaise-vinegar sauce that was developed by Bob Gibson in 1925. (You can find out more about the regionality of BBQ sauces in Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Handbook.) White sauce has an extremely limited geographical reach and just so happens to be very different from its tomato-based counterparts, but it is somewhat similar to a Carolinian pepper-vinegar sauce. This white sauce recipe is courtesy of my dad, who was born and raised in Decatur, AL, the home of Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ!

For the mayo in white sauce I will always and forever recommend Duke’s. I actually get my Duke’s mayo shipped to me via amazon, because I cannot buy it in California and I am NOT kidding it is just that good. (Feel free to read more about the magic of Duke’s here.)

picklesFinally, I know that the last step about baking them after frying them may seem really superfluous, but it will give them the crunch that makes them so very satisfying to eat!

Dill Pickle Chips with Alabama White Sauce

Ingredients

for the Pickles
32 ounces sliced, dill pickles
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups AP flour
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

for the White Sauce
1/2 cup mayonnaise
5-6 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Lawry’s seasoned salt
4-5 drops Worcestershire sauce

picklesFirst, to make the pickle chips: Make sure you drain the pickles and pat them dry a bit.

picklesWhisk together the egg, buttermilk, 1 tbs flour, and Worcestershire sauce together in a small bowl.

picklesIn a larger bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, and the rest of the flour.

picklesBe sure to bread all of the pickles before frying, they cook very quickly and you really don’t want to be stuck trying to do everything at once with boiling oil in the kitchen! To bread them, first, dip the pickles (one by one) in the buttermilk mixture.

picklesThen, coat them generously in the flour mixture. You can lay them all out on a plate or large platter, they shouldn’t be too sticky.

In a large pot, over medium heat, get the vegetable oil up to 350°F. (Throw a bit of batter in there to test it, if it starts spitting and bubbling, you’re ready to go!) Cooking the pickles 6-10 at a time, let them crisp to a golden brown and then gently lift them out of the oil and onto a draining plate.

picklesWhen you are done frying the pickles, preheat the oven to 450°F. Arrange them on a baking sheet and bake them for about 5 minutes.

picklesThey are ready to come out after they have browned a bit and gotten very very crispy.

picklesThen, make the white sauce:

Whisk the mayonnaise, vinegar, pepper, Lawry’s, and Worcestershire sauce together until it foams. You are welcome to make this sauce as thin or thick as you like (by adjusting the vinegar). I love very thin white sauce, and usually add a larger amount of vinegar.

picklesServe up your pickles and white sauce!

picklesEnjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Brown-Sugar Sugar Cookie

sugar cookiesIn the famed battle of salty vs sweet, I always come out on salty’s side. However, one random Tuesday a few weeks ago, I got this craving for a sugar cookie. It hit me out of nowhere and I thought, this is gonna be a tough one. I mean, I can make many things, but sugar cookies have never been on my radar. So, I conjured up a few ideas of what I was looking for: chewy, rich in flavor (like actual sugar flavor), a little crispy, and buttery!

This, amazing cookie is the result! This cookie has cornstarch in it, and I think that is what keeps them so chewy and delicious even after several days! The dough does require chilling (for at least two hours), so this isn’t an “Easy-Bake oven” type recipe, but the result is well worth the wait!

sugar cookiesSome of the pictures feature cookies with a white, gooey center. This is because the BF insisted on filling some of the cookies with chopped up Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream bars. It sounds so incredibly weird to me, and I was expecting them to be disgusting and way too sweet. Turns out, he has a knack for cooking and they were amazing.

That being said, feel free to add any little treat you want to the center! I can attest that it will stay there through cooking if you chill the dough well! I added cinnamon to my sugar cookies, but if you’re not a fan, do not add it! The cinnamon flavor definitely comes through and makes the cookies a little bit more like snickerdoodles (if we’re gonna get technical with our cookie typing).

Butter and Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies
Makes around 32 cookies, Inspiration from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients
2 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup salted butter
1 1/4 cups dark (or light) brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar (for rolling)
parchment paper for baking

sugar cookiesFirst, combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt.

sugar cookiesMelt the butter in a large measuring cup. Add the brown sugar and whisk them together! It will  take a good amount of time to stir together, but you want to make sure that you keep whisking until there are no more sugar lumps and the result is a thick, viscous liquid. Whisk in the vanilla, and, once you are sure that the mixture has cooled off add in the egg.

sugar cookiesPour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix them together with a rubber spatula or a spoon.

sugar cookiesYou will definitely be able to tell when the dough is ready to be chilled, because it will be very smooth and golden brown:

sugar cookiesCover the bowl with a sheet of parchment paper and chill the dough for at least two hours! You can chill it for up to three days, but I found that at two hours exactly, I was able to take it out and make perfectly solid cookies that were not totally falling apart.

After the dough is done chilling, take it out of the fridge and preheat the oven to 325ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and prepare the dough for rolling. Put the white sugar in a bowl and measure out one tablespoon of dough. Roll it into a ball with your hands and then roll it in the sugar, be sure to coat them well!

sugar cookiesLine the cookies up on a baking sheet, about 1-inch apart.

sugar cookiesBake the cookies for 9 minutes and then take them out. Press them lightly with a fork or spoon to get that crinkly top.

sugar cookiesFinally, bake them for another minute or so. They will still be soft when they’re ready to come out of the oven.

sugar cookiesEnjoy!

 

 

 

Mesclun Greens with Toasted Pine Nuts

mesclun greensMesclun is a special mixture of baby greens, originating from Provence. I enjoy them because they are dark green and leafy (not crunchy). Darker, leafier greens are much healthier for you, and accordingly, most people don’t find them very appetizing. But mesclun greens are delicious! Usually this mixture involves some baby arugula, chervil, frisée, or mustard greens. Honestly, you can also buy spring mixes and herb mixes prepackaged at the store, and those work great in this salad as well. You definitely want something with a little spice, a lettuce mix that has its own flavors to contribute.

As for the pine nuts, I’ve added them to this salad because pine nuts are not used nearly enough. They are fairly expensive, but when toasted they are divine! Pine nuts are a melt-in-your-mouth treat. They have a high caloric content and contain lots of heart-healthy fats. As a vegetarian, I also love pine nuts because they contain a great range of the B-vitamins which are not easy for me to get elsewhere.

This salad is super easy to make, but it doesn’t save well. The recipe is very easy to halve and quarter, and I would definitely recommend doing so if you think you may not be able to finish what you make.

As an added plus, if you use olive oil instead of butter to toast the pine nuts, the salad is completely vegan friendly!

Mesclun Greens with Toasted Pine Nuts
Serves two as an entree, four as an appetizer

Ingredients
5 ounce box of spring mix/herb mix/mesclun greens
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
Cayenne pepper and kosher salt to taste
1/4 tablespoon salted butter (or olive oil for vegans)
1/4 cup craisins
1 green apple, diced
1/4 cup raspberry vinaigrette

mesclun greensFirst, wash the greens thoroughly and place them in a large bowl, big enough to toss everything together well.

mesclun greensNext, toast the pine nuts. In a skillet over low heat, melt the butter and toss in the seeds (pine nuts are actually not nuts, but the seeds of pine trees!). It is very important that you watch them carefully and constantly stir them, sprinkling them with a few dashes of cayenne pepper and kosher salt. Pine nuts take no time at all to cook, and it is incredibly easy to burn them! You want them to be slightly browned, but not black. I cooked mine for only a minute or so and they were pretty well done!

mesclun greensOnce the pine nuts have been toasted, toss them in with the mixed greens. Add in the craisins and the diced apple.

mesclun greensFinally, measure out the dressing and drizzle it lightly over the top of the mixture and toss everything together. I know that 1/4 cup of dressing seems like a meager amount for so much salad, but it spreads so well!

mesclun greensEnjoy!

 

Sicilian Tomato Sauce

tomato sauceLet me preface this recipe by admitting that this is not an exact replica of our old-world famiglia recipe. I have added herbes de Provence and fennel. Personally, I really enjoy the additional flavors. Adding the fennel especially gives this sauce an extra kick that reminds me of my pre-vegetarian days when pasta sauce was accompanied by Italian sausage. For some reason, I feel like it rounds out the sauce very nicely and completes a pasta dish so that it doesn’t even require any meat.  But, if you are super interested in adding meat or super un-interested in having fennel in your sauce, just remove the herbs and spices, cook up some ground beef, and throw it in the pot with the sauce!

pasta sauceI have gotten into the habit of making this sauce once a month and freezing it. It can stay frozen for several weeks and be thawed for use in lasagna, manicotti, cannelloni, or plain old spaghetti! You do have to be around to stir it for at least two hours in order for all of the flavors to develop well, so I would suggest making this on a weekend.

Sicilian Tomato Sauce
Makes about 32 ounces

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
28 ounces crushed or peeled San Marzano tomatoes (our Safeway doesn’t carry crushed so I settled for peeled and it worked out fine)
6 ounces tomato paste
1 tablespoon fennel
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil
28 ounces water (roughly, I just used the San Marzano can for measurement)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda (to reduce the acidity)

pasta sauceFirst, mince the garlic and cook it in the olive oil over medium heat in a deep pasta pot. Let it cook until it is tender and fragrant (around 5 minutes, but watch it carefully because you don’t want it to brown).

pasta sauce

Once the garlic is cooked, add in the San Marzano tomatoes and stir everything together. While you are stirring, make sure to crush the large pieces of tomato (this will be especially necessary for anyone who uses the peeled tomatoes instead of the crushed ones).

pasta sauce

Add in the tomato paste and let the sauce continue to simmer. Stir until everything is blended.

While the tomatoes and garlic continue to simmer, measure out the fennel, oregano, herbes de Provence, and kosher salt.

pasta sauceChiffonade the basil, and add all of the herbs and spices into the pot.

Stir everything together and let it simmer for at least 2 hours. While the sauce is simmering, you can add in the water (about 8 ounces at a time). How much water you add is really up to you: how much sauce you want to make, and how thick you’re interested in the sauce being. I added in almost a full can’s worth and the resulting sauce was still flavorful and hearty!

After about an hour and a half of simmering, add in the sugar. (I know it seems weird, but trust me it makes the sauce delicious and brings out the tomato flavor!) Once the sugar is stirred in, sprinkle the baking soda across the top of the sauce. The sauce will quickly foam up and take on a lighter color, this is good! Stir it in, and your sauce will be less acidic and sit more pleasantly in your dinner guests’ stomachs!

Enjoy!

 

P.S. If you are going to be eating this sauce with spaghetti immediately after making it, you can boil up a few eggs and plop them in the sauce. This is– as my grandfather always explained– the Sicilian way to eat pasta, not the Italian way! It is delicious and makes the sauce super creamy when it gets mixed in with the yolk!

pasta sauce

This sauce is also amazing as a dip for pretzels, calzones, or cheese sticks. I use it with lasagna, stuffed pasta shells, and about a billion other things! It is a fabulous staple to keep in your freezer!

 

Pão de Queijo with paprika and sea salt

pdqIt’s World Cup time, and although Brazil is not my team, I thought that I’d make some Brazilian snack foods for the games. Pão de queijo, Brazilian cheese bread, is a very common breakfast or snack food. It is SO delicious, and worth trying if you’ve never had it!

I topped half of mine with spicy paprika and sea salt (that is definitely my preference) but they are amazing just plain as well. If you seal them in an airtight container, they should last for a few days. BUT bring these out at your next football viewing and I promise you there will be no leftovers!

pdqThese are airy little cheese puffs, bite-sized for the perfect game day food!

A quick note on finding cassava or tapioca flour: Whole Foods has it and so do most health food stores. You can also find it at Latin markets, if there is one conveniently located near you.

Pão de Queijo
Makes a little over 2 dozen puffs

Ingredients
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups tapioca or cassava flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups parmesan-reggiano cheese, shredded
parchment paper for baking

pdq

First, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Pour the milk, oil, and kosher salt together in a medium-sized bowl. (The oil + milk combo is super cool looking, like mercury!) Over medium heat, continually stir everything until a rolling boil gets going and everything is completely mixed together. When it’s ready to be taken off heat, you should see big bubbles coming up through the milk.

pdqPour the milk mixture into a bowl and add in the tapioca flour. Using a rubber spatula or your hands, stir in the flour until there is no more dry flour. It will be hot from the boiling milk, so be careful!

pdqIt will look super weird once the milk is all soaked up, but I promise you haven’t done anything wrong! Let the dough cool until you can put a finger on/in it and hold it for a few seconds.

pdqIn a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Then, mix the egg in with the dough using your hands, only putting in 1/2 at a time. Let each part soak into the dough thoroughly before adding in the second 1/2. The dough will be very sticky!

pdqFinally, add in the cheese!

Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and pour a small amount of vegetable oil in a cup (this will help with the stickiness of the dough). Measure out 1 tablespoon portions and round them. You can use your hands to form the little balls, continually dipping them in the vegetable oil to keep them from sticking.

pdqSpace them about an inch apart on the baking sheet.

pdqIf you choose, top them with sea salt and paprika!

pdqNow, turn the oven down to 350°F and bake for 25 minutes, or until they are just browning on the outside, more golden brown on the bottom, and have puffed up nicely!

pdqEnjoy!

 

The Best, Buttery, Flaky, Easy-Peasy, Southern Biscuit

biscuitsWhat can I say about biscuits that does justice to how wonderfully delicious they can be? What can I say about biscuits that does justice to how incredibly dry and disgusting they can be? A good biscuit is like nothing else in the world. It’s not dry, it is delicate and flaky, but it won’t fall apart too easily; it’s buttery, it’s salty, and it is just slightly sweet! A good biscuit is so many things and it can be eaten in so many amazing ways.

You can eat a biscuit loaded up with eggs and cheese and meat (or veggie meat in my case!). You can eat a biscuit toasted with butter. Biscuits are great with honey, they are delicious with all kinds of jams and jellies. Biscuits are delicious just by themselves. You can even add a bunch of silly stuff to the recipe to cook into the biscuit!

biscuits

Okay, okay, I know I sound ridiculous. Seriously, though. I have missed biscuits. For some reason, California restaurants make biscuits that are more like scones. These biscuits are pretty dry and dense, and just not what I’m looking for when I am up super early in the morning interacting with people, “Can I have a biscuit please??” Now, don’t get me wrong, I love scones. It’s just, when I use the word biscuit, I am referring to something completely different.

So, several months ago I set out on a quest to find an amazing biscuit recipe. I read a bunch of sciency articles and thought about what kind of biscuit I was looking to make. This is the result! This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and if you aren’t in the mood to go out and buy cake flour for it, you can even use AP flour if you like. The cake flour just makes the biscuit more flaky, fluffy, and light- all qualities that I love in biscuits, and it keeps them from being too dry! Another flour alternative (for the purist) is White Lily. Personally, I am not always able to use White Lily because I have to special order it (California grocers don’t carry biscuit flour). However, White Lily is the flour of standard use for biscuits in the south. If you’re interested in a true, Southern biscuit experience, White Lily is the way to go. It is specially formulated for biscuit making, as it is lighter (think Italian 00″).

biscuit

Southern Biscuits
Makes about 8 large biscuits

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups cake flour/White Lily flour
3 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
9 tablespoons salted butter
3/4 cup  buttermilk
parchment paper for baking

biscuit

 

To start, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl.

biscuits

Next, cut the butter into little chunks and melt it in the microwave on low power. You want to make sure it doesn’t sputter or cook too much, it just needs to be liquified. Pour the melted butter into the flour mixture.

With your hands, mix the butter in until it has a mealy, gritty texture. You want all of the flour to soak up butter so that it all looks wet, but it shouldn’t be smooth.

Finally, pour in the buttermilk and carefully mix everything together until you have formed a semi-smooth dough. It will still have some mealy bits in it, but don’t worry too much about this, they bake out!

biscuits

Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it in parchment paper and buttering the parchment paper.

Next, prepare a rolling station. Cover a flat surface with flour and roll the dough out into a 1/2″ thick sheet.

Using the rim of a cup or a biscuit cutter, carefully shape your biscuits.

Note: Make sure when you do this that you push the biscuit cutter down into the dough but do not twist it to sever the dough. If you do that twisting motion (as natural as it feels), it will seal the edges of the dough and the biscuits will not rise to perfection!

biscuits

I prefer to do this in small increments. I take just a handful of dough and flatten it and only make one or two biscuits, then continue until I’ve finished with the dough. You can also re-incorporate scraps into the larger dough mass this way.

Next, take your sharpest knife and slice a shallow nick around the entire circumference of each biscuit. This will aid the rising process for the fluffiest biscuits possible!

Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheet, leaving enough space in between them for rising.

Bake them for 15 minutes, and then remove them. Butter them generously to make for the browned tops. (Alternatively, you can do a basic egg wash in the last five minutes of baking.)

Place them back into the oven for another 2 or 3 minutes just to let them brown.

biscuits

Biscuits are best when they’re fresh!

 

Dress them in whatever way you prefer and enjoy!

biscuits

 

 

Mom’s Lasagna

 

lasagna

Talk about comfort foods, this is one of my all-time favorites! My mom makes it with cottage cheese, and it is amazing. Ricotta is more traditional, but for some reason the saltiness of cottage cheese has always been more appealing to me, and it’s better for you! For the filling, fresh parsley is always better than dried (imagine that!).

Also, when it comes to tomato sauce, I make my own once every few months and freeze it, so that’s what I’ve used here. You can find my sauce recipe here! But, if you really don’t want the lasagna to be this time intensive, look for a sauce that has big chunks of garlic and basil and if it has other spices that is even better! I usually make mine with fennel, basil, oregano, and herbes de provence.

When it comes to pasta, homemade is always better but I cannot expect all of my readers to have pasta makers, especially considering I don’t even have one! Most people have a brand of dried grocery pasta that they prefer, and I recommend you just go with your gut or your wallet on this one! Honestly, if the pasta itself isn’t the best stuff around, this lasagna will still be delicious! Just make sure that it’s cooked al dente for this dish.

Even if you normally prefer your pasta very well done (cringe!), this dish is going into the oven for an additional 45 minutes after you boil the lasagne noodles, so you really don’t need to worry about it being too tough for your tastes. Also, the noodles are like the frame and foundation for this delicious building, and they need to have some fortitude to withstand the weight of cheesy goodness that’s going in on top of them!

lasagna

One last comment: this recipe is a very simple one. It is vegetarian friendly, and doesn’t require complicated ingredients. It is surprisingly easy to assemble, and for those diners who are insistent carnivores, you can always fry up some Italian sausage and throw it on top!

Mom’s Lasagna
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
16 ounces cottage cheese
16 ounces ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
10-12 lasagne noodles (a little under what’s in a 1lb box, I use Barilla)
3 1/2 cups (28 ounces) tomato sauce (I promise I will upload a recipe soon!)
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese to top

First, assemble the filling. In a medium-sized bowl, stir the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, and the eggs together.

Next, add in the mozzarella, parsley, kosher salt, and pepper.

Then, prepare the pasta. Start a big pot of water boiling with a splash of olive oil, and a dash of both kosher salt and pepper. Once a rolling boil gets going, put the noodles in the water and let them cook according to the package instructions.

You can easily check to make sure the pasta is done by testing how tough it is. It should be completely pale and tender, but not easy to cut with the edge of the spoon.

lasagnaWhen the pasta is done, drain it and begin assembling the lasagna ASAP. It will be hot and not easy to handle, but if you let it sit the noodles can easily stick together and then they are torn to shreds when you try to separate them! As frustrating as it is to deal with hot noodles, I promise it is more frustrating to try to assemble tattered and irregularly shaped lasagne!

 

Finally, assemble the lasagna! Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 9×13 pan, spread out 1/3 a cup of the sauce (I used a little more than this, but you don’t need much).

On top of the sauce, add a layer with 3 noodles.

lasagna

Next, carefully spread out a layer with half of the cottage cheese mixture. This is a little difficult because the noodles will slide a bit. A spoon or rubber spatula will get the job done if you spread it slowly and carefully.

lasagna

Next, add another layer with three more noodles. Then, spread out more sauce. Add three more noodles and on top of that, add the rest of the cottage cheese mixture. Add the final three noodles and then spread sauce out on top of them. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the top of the entire dish.

lasagna

Cover the pan with aluminum foil, and bake it for 35 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and cook for an additional ten minutes to crisp up the top layer. After it’s done, remove it from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before cutting slices out.

lasagna

Enjoy with garlic toast and wine!

lasagna

 

 

Home Fries with Fennel

home friesThese potatoes are phenomenal. Personally, I love love love fennel and I don’t think that people use it enough! It’s great with potatoes, and this recipe results in a savory, fabulously crispy breakfast side dish.

The recipe is fairly easy and quick to make, and it doesn’t require any kind of special kitchen gadgets. I am a lover of breakfast, brunch, and breakfast for dinner. I would eat breakfast all day everyday if I could! While I do not make this recipe for every brunch, it is a really nice edition to a plate that gives what otherwise would be a simple breakfast much more complexity in flavor.

Home Fries with Fennel
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
3 yukon gold potatoes (small-medium sized)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 dash Hungarian paprika
3 dashes cayenne
1/2 tablespoon fennel
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper

home friesFirst, slice the potatoes into little squares. This can be really easily done by first cutting them long-ways into little slices, then chopping the slices up.

home friesThrow the potatoes into a bowl and add in the parsley, paprika, cayenne, fennel, kosher salt, and pepper. Mix everything together.

home friesHeat the olive oil in a skillet, and throw the potatoes in. Spread them out and let them cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until they’ve browned and crisped.

home fries

Enjoy!

home fries

 

Monday Funday: Citrus Drop Cocktail

citrus cocktailToday was my final day of Finals, so I am dubbing it ‘Monday Funday’! I thought I would add a special cocktail that, although it does take a little more effort than most, is deliciously dangerous (read: doesn’t taste like alcohol at all).

This cocktail has lime, lemon, and orange flavors all mixed in, and it is made with simple syrup. I have included my recipe for simple syrup, but it makes way more syrup that you would need for one of these drinks. I usually just store simple syrup in the fridge and it keeps very well, which makes the second batch of citrus drop cocktails that much easier! However, if you want to make less and not have leftovers, the ratio is simply 1:1,  sugar:water. I used half dark brown sugar and half white sugar because I like my simple syrup to be really strongly flavored with that nice brown-caramel-iness!

In the ingredients, I use the term ‘shot’ as a measurement. I rechecked all of my shot glasses to make sure that these drinks will all come out the same, and they will: 1 shot = 1.5 fluid ounces.

One last warning: this is technically a 3-shot drink, so you’ll need big glasses and maybe a chaperone? 😉

Citrus Drop Cocktail
Makes one 3-shot drink!

Ingredients

For the simple syrup:
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar

For the drink:
1/4 cup lime juice
1 shot lemon juice (I just used juice from those plastic lemon bottles)
1 shot simple syrup
1 shot Cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
2 shots vodka (you can use anything here, because the flavor doesn’t really come through all that much)

citrus cocktailFirst, make the simple syrup: in a pot over medium heat, combine the water and the sugars, and heat it to a rolling boil. If you plan on keeping the simple syrup in the fridge, you might want to add a splash of vodka to act as a natural preservative. Continue to stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and then set it aside to let it cool.  By my estimations, if you want to use all of the resulting simple syrup for drinks, this recipe is enough for about 7 drinks, each with 1 shot of simple syrup.

citrus cocktail

If you’re using fresh limes, squeeze the juice into a liquid measuring cup. (Once again, these desert limes took forever to squeeze out manually and it took about 4-6 limes to get only a 1/4 cup of juice! All ya’ll who don’t live in the desert, be grateful!) Pour the lime juice into a separate cup along with the lemon juice, simple syrup, Cointreau, and vodka.

citrus cocktailAdd the liquid along with a few ice cubes to a shaker and shake it up!

citrus cocktailOnce the drink has been mixed and thoroughly cooled, it is ready to be served. This drink is a totally random creation that my boyfriend came up with one night, so there is no wrong way to serve it! I like to serve it in giant martini glasses with sugar-coated rims, but it could just as easily be served humbly on the rocks in a tumbler.

citrust cocktailHave it any way you like it, and enjoy!

citrus cocktail