I have so many delicious recipes just waiting to be shared. Before strawberry season is over, I must share new recipes that I tried with my fresh-picked berries this season.
This cocktail was the very first thing we prepared with our fresh strawberries. My husband made it for me on my birthday! ❤ The recipe was adapted from cocktails that New Amsterdam Gin named to honor modern-day landmarks in New York City, via The Spruce Eats.com. I plan to also try it using vodka instead of gin. Happy birthday to me! 😉
Yield: 1 cocktail
- Muddle strawberries with the basil until fully mashed in a cocktail shaker.
- Add all other ingredients.
- Add ice and shake vigorously.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. (We chilled the glass by filling it with ice while the cocktail was being prepared.)
- Garnish with half a strawberry, as desired.
Posted in Drinks, Holiday, Quick, Recipes
Tags: 4th of July, agave nectar, basil, cocktail, drink, Fourth of July, fruit, gin, July 4th, lemon juice, lime juice, strawberry, summer, union square, vodka
I have never made an apple pie that I didn’t enjoy. Apple pie is delicious! 😉 But, I am still seeking a pie that I absolutely love- a pie that will end the search for the perfect pie.
This pie was lovely, with notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. I used a combination of apples and sliced them in a food processor. The pie crust incorporated vodka to ensure a flaky result; my Mother-in-law always utilizes this trick. The filling, thickened with tapioca and apple butter, held together perfectly. I baked it the day before Thanksgiving and it kept well at room temperature.
I served it at the end of our Thanksgiving feast along with my favorite Pumpkin Chiffon Pie and Pecan Pie Bars. Most of us eat small slices of whichever dessert strikes our fancy- topped with either whipped cream or served with vanilla ice cream. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark.
Yield: One 9-inch pie
For the Crust:
- 2 ½ cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon/2.5 grams coarse salt
- 2 ½ sticks/20 tablespoons/285 grams unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4 tablespoons/60 ml vodka
- ¼ to ½ cup ice water
For the Filling:
To Make the Crust:
- 3 pounds/1 1/3 kilograms apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced crosswise (1/8-inch) (I used a combination of Sweet Tango, Envy, Granny Smith, and Fuji apples)
- ½ cup/99 grams granulated sugar, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons/30 grams quick-cooking tapioca
- 1 ½ teaspoons/3 grams ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon/3 grams ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- pinch ground cloves
- 1 ½ tablespoons/22 ml lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons/45 grams apple butter
- heavy cream or milk, as needed
- turbinado sugar, for sprinkling, as needed
- vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche, for serving
- In a food processor, pulse together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Add butter and pulse until mixture forms 3/4-inch pieces.
- Mix vodka with 4 tablespoons ice water (or use 1/2 cup ice water).
- Add half the ice water mixture to dough, pulse a few times, then continue adding liquid a tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together (you might not use all the liquid). Dough should be moist, but not wet, and hold together when pinched. If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
- Between layers of plastic wrap or on a lightly floured surface, gather dough into a ball. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk.
- Cover both tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 5 days.
To Complete the Pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over with a fork, then chill crust for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- While dough chills, heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Line chilled crust with foil or parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed. (You can bake the crust up to 24 hours in advance.)
- Toss apples with sugars, tapioca, spices, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon juice. Fold in apple butter. Transfer apples to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
- Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch round. Use a knife to cut strips 1 3/4 inches wide (or desired width). Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern.
- Brush top of crust with heavy cream or milk. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar.
- Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Bake 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1 hour 15 minutes more.
- Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting.
- Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, sour cream or crème fraîche.
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Posted in Baking, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: apple butter, apple pie, apples, cinnamon, dessert, Envy, fruit, Fuji, ginger, Granny Smith, Holiday, nutmeg, pie, Sweet Tango, tapioca, Thanksgiving, vodka
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Mr. BrookCook searched for the perfect Mother’s Day cocktail and this was it. 🙂 Springy, tasty, and, in the vein of a Moscow Mule, topped with a splash of ginger beer. I loved it!
This cocktail recipe was adapted from Camille Austin of Hakkasan in New York City, via Town and Country magazine. It would also be perfect for the upcoming holiday weekend- and all summer long.
Yield: 1 drink
- 2 oz lemon vodka
- 4-5 blackberries
- .25 oz fresh lime juice
- ginger beer, to taste
- Muddle blackberries in a cocktail shaker.
- Add vodka and lime juice; shake over ice.
- Strain into ice filled double old-fashioned glass or copper mug.
- Top with ginger beer, to taste.
- Garnish with a lime wheel, a lime wedge, and/or blackberries. Serve.
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Posted in Drinks, Holiday, Recipes
Tags: berries, blackberries, cocktail, Drinks, fruit, ginger beer, lime juice, Memorial Day, Mother's Day, spring, summer, vodka
I used to be a margarita or gin and tonic person in the summertime but I have a new favorite refreshing cocktail to share! A friend introduced me to the Moscow Mule during my special trip to Charleston. All I need now is a copper mug to drink it in. 🙂
My friend used a special South Carolina Ginger Beer and I was afraid that it would never taste the same without it. Well, thank goodness for Trader Joe’s! Their Ginger Beer has the little bit of spice that made the South Carolina version amazing. Perfect.
This recipe is a combination of an all recipes.com version and my friend’s concoction. Great!
Yield: Serves 1
- 1 1/2 fluid ounces vodka
- 1/2 fluid ounce lime juice (about 1/2 a lime)
- ice cubes
- 1/2 cup ginger beer, or about 1/2 of a bottle (I used Trader Joe’s)
- splash of seltzer, optional
- 1 lime wedge for garnish
- Pour vodka and lime juice into a mug; add ice cubes and ginger beer. Stir to combine.
- Add a splash of seltzer, if desired, to decrease the sweetness.
- Drop a lime wedge into the mug for garnish.
Note: The classic Moscow Mule is served in a copper mug.
To make a Watermelon Moscow Mule variation add 5 T pureed, strained watermelon juice.
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Posted in Drinks, Quick, Recipes
Tags: cocktail, copper mug, drink, ginger beer, lime, lime juice, moscow mule, summer, summer cocktail, vodka
This year, my son qualified to compete in our County Championship swim meet for the first time! 🙂 The swim club hosts a HUGE pasta party the evening before the meet begins. Many many families bring pasta for all of the swimmers and their families to share. You have never seen so much pasta in your life!! Incredible.
I decided that in order to make it “fair,” I would bring my daughter’s absolute favorite pasta dish, so that the evening was special for her as well. The mistake was that – by appearance only (of course!)- it was indistinguishable from any jarred sauce… if the crowd only knew that it was made with the coveted recipe from Chicago John of one of my absolute favorite blogs From The Bartolini Kitchens… Well, it left more delicious penne a la vodka for us! Yay! 😉
I made this fabulous creamy red sauce including both pancetta and red pepper flakes- but it is just as delicious as a vegetarian and/or non-spicy version. It is particularly fabulous served with garlic bread and green salad. A crowd pleaser. Simple and perfect!
- olive oil
- 1 T unsalted butter
- 1/4 – 1/3 lb. chopped prosciutto or pancetta, optional
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup vodka
- 1 28 oz. can tomatoes, diced or crushed (preferably San Marzano)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3 T fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 T fresh basil, chopped
- coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound penne pasta
- reserved pasta water
- Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over med-low heat.
- Add pork product and slowly render the fat. Do not cook until crisp.
- Increase heat to med-high. Add butter, then onion, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. If needed, add some olive oil.
- Season with salt & pepper; add the red pepper flakes (if using) and the garlic, and continue sautéing for another minute.
- Remove pan from heat, add vodka, stir to combine, return to heat. Have a pan lid nearby to smother the flame should the vodka ignite. Allow to reduce for about 3 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, cream, parsley, season with salt and pepper, stir thoroughly, bring to a boil, and reduce to a low simmer.
- After sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, begin heating a large pot of salted water in which to cook the penne. Cook the pasta per package directions, cooking until about 2 minutes before al dente.
- Reserve a cup of the pasta water, strain the penne, and add the pasta to the tomato sauce.
- Continue cooking the combined pasta and sauce until the pasta is done to your liking. Add some of the reserved pasta water to the pan if the pasta becomes dry during this last step of the cooking process.
- Just before serving, add the basil, mix well, and garnish the serving platter with grated pecorino romano cheese. Serve immediately.
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Posted in Pasta, Quick, Recipes, Sauces, Vegetarian
Tags: a la vodka, basil, cream, dinner, Italian, kid-friendly dinner, pancetta, pecorino romano, penne, prosciutto, sauce, tomatoes, vodka
This is a sweet and festive summer punch- fun for a crowd. I loved the presentation with the skewered watermelon too. This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Andrew Zimmerman of Del Toro Café in Chicago. Chef Zimmerman created a summer version of this traditional Spanish punch with vodka instead of brandy. Cheers to summer & Happy Fiesta Friday #24 at The Novice Gardener! 🙂
Yield: Makes 6 to 8 drinks
- 2 pounds seedless watermelon, peeled and cubed, plus 1/2 pound watermelon cut into balls with a melon baller and skewered on picks
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 6 ounces citrus vodka
- 4 ounces Cointreau or triple sec
- 4 ounces Citrus Syrup, recipe below
- Make the Citrus Syrup: Combine 3/4 cup water, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 1-inch strips lemon zest, and 2 1-inch strips orange zest in a small saucepan. Cook until sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool.
- In a blender, puree the watermelon cubes. Pour through a fine strainer into a pitcher. (Makes approximately 4 cups.)
- Add the white wine, vodka, Cointreau and cooled Citrus Syrup. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Stir again, then pour the sangria into ice-filled white wine glasses and garnish with the skewered watermelon balls.
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Posted in Drinks, Recipes
Tags: citrus simple syrup, citrus syrup, citrus vodka, cocktail, cointreau, Fiesta Friday, fruit, party punch, sangria, Spanish, summer cocktail, triple sec, vodka, watermelon, watermelon drink, white wine
I wanted to have a special cocktail as part of my mom’s birthday celebration. Unfortunately, because of my kids’ activities and all of the last minute cooking required for her birthday meal, we enjoyed this cocktail the following night prior to trick-or-treating instead! 🙂 We still toasted to her upcoming birthday, of course.
This drink is sweet and not too strong. I garnished the glasses with slices of Seckel pears. My kids were able to toast with the leftover cream soda and ginger ale- a treat for everyone. 🙂 This recipe is from Food and Wine, contributed by Todd Thrasher. It would be great prior to a Thanksgiving meal as well.
Yield: Makes 1 drink
- 3/4 ounce citrus vodka
- 3/4 ounce Licor 43 (citrus-and-vanilla-flavored liqueur)
- 2 ounces pear juice or nectar
- 1/2 ounce cream soda
- 1 ounce chilled ginger ale
- 1 or 2 pear slices, for garnish (optional)
- Fill a pint glass with ice. Add all of the remaining ingredients except the ginger ale and pear slices and stir well. Strain into a chilled coupe, top with the ginger ale and garnish with the pear slices, if desired.
Posted in Drinks, Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: cocktail, cream soda, fall cocktail, fruit, ginger ale, Licor 43, pear juice, pears, seckel pears, vodka