Friday, August 31, 2012

TGIF- Frozen Green Apple Martini

So, if you've been following along for the past couple of days you'll know that we have been heading on a longish slowish road toward the Frozen Green Apple Martini.  But its worth it!  You're going to to love this recipe.  However, as my Dad pointed out, the first line of the recipe has to be something like 'Start with $600 worth of equipment...'  So, not for everyone but if you happen to have these gadgets lying around then you'll be loving this!
Worst picture ever.  This is what happens when you portion these 4 drinks into 2 large glasses...
Frozen Green Apple Martini
Makes 2-4 depending on pourer
3 pounds Granny Smith Apples, washed but not peeled
1 Lemon
1/4 cup Simple Syrup
4 shots of Vodka
Slice the flesh from the core of the apples and make sure that the chunks are small enough to fit into your juicers slot but not so small that it takes all day.  You're juicing these after all... If you are able to cut quickly then you can do the whole 3 pounds then begin juicing.  But if you're a slower slicer, you should do the job in parts as the slices will turn brown and change the color of the juice.
Slice the lemon in half and squeeze juice directly into the green apple juice and stir.  The lemon juice will help keep the apple juice from changing color.  Do not put the lemon through the juicer as most juicers are centrfugal and will add lemon peel and pith into your juice.  The peel won't hurt but the pith is bitter and will affect the taste of the juice.
Now on to the frozen part of our day!  Take the apple juice and place it into the bowl of your favorite ice cream maker.  Here is mine.  Isn't she pretty?
Freeze the green apple juice according to the instructions on your Ice Cream Maker.  Then place in freezer to further solidify.  When the sorbet is finished, place into blender with the vodka and blend until smooth.  Try to remember to take a picture before drinking the whole thing.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

The King of Ice Cream Makers

I think I've previously mentioned that I like to make ice cream. I'm not huge on eating it but the creative process of coming up with flavors is fun for me.  I used to use my standard 'freeze the canister' one use machine and it was great. Until I got frustrated by the need to keep the canister in my always crowded freezer. Then I brainstormed a reason to get this:

Th Cuisinart ICE-50BC Supreme Ice Cream Maker  (Doesn't that sort of name seem like it needs an echo or something?  Maker, Maker, Maker- maybe it's me...) This baby has her own compressor so she can run all day of you'd like without the need to stop and refreeze. Yum. Of course the less gluttonous among us are very well served by the classic freezer canister and hand cranked ice cream makers.  I think I once even saw a soccer ball that you kicked around and it froze ice cream.  That'd work too.

This week I used my ice cream maker to freeze some green apple juice that I'd made with my juice man juicer I talked about yesterday. The result was Green Apple Sorbet.  Ok, actually that was just step 2.  I then took the sorbet and mixed it with vodka and made Frozen Green Apple Martinis. 

I'll post the recipe tomorrow...
This is the kind of picture you take when you've been drinking martinis out of a highball glass. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I inherited a Juiceman Juicer from my Stepmother who had received it from her brother.  I guess it had been a wedding gift that he and his wife never even opened.  Oh well, their loss.  For me, the juicer was a revelation. 

I've used this baby to make some of the most delicious cocktails I've ever had.  Oh, and also some very healthy juices too.  Unlike the many waffle makers, electric griddles and other gadgets I've bought in my life, this one had legs.  And I used it so much that I actually went out and bought this: 

The Magimix Le Duo Plus juicer!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE this juicer.

Worst picture ever alert...
I'm a huge fan of Magimix appliances but just haven't yet gotten the guts to buy one of their food processors.  They're REALLY expensive.  And this juicer wasn't cheap either.  I think I paid about $250 for it on Amazon. (Roland Magimix Le Duo Plus Juicer )They're currently out of stock there and be careful when purchasing one of these babies as most of them are wired for European electricity and won't work in the US.  But, if you can find one, grab it!  I use it all the time.  It's even got a smoothie attachment that allows you to juice berries which you can't do with most other juicers.  It's heaven.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Jar of tapers

Quite some time ago I'd seen an article or something and in the background was a large, lovely glass container with plain white candles stored inside.  I know that it doesn't sound stunning but I assure you, it was.  So, I immediately ran out to recreate this lovliness for the buffet at my summer house. 

Ok, maybe it doesn't currently look stunning per se, but that's mostly because it's late in the season and I've used a lot of the candles over the course of the summer.  Trust me, when the whole jar is full, it's gorgeous. 

I bought the glass container (Anchor Hocking 2-Gallon Heritage Hill Jar with Glass Lid) and beeswax tapers in bulk on Amazon (Bulk 12" White Unscented Taper Candles (144 Pieces), White)  The biggest pain was unwrapping the tapers but that's why I had a child.  Try this functional art if you too have an empty space on your sideboard or in your home.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Lobster Roll

I love lobster. The end. In all of those childhood games of 'if you were on a deserted island and you could only pick one food' mine was always lobster. And all those kids out there who laughed and said pizza, now that you've grown up I bet you realize I was right after all!

You wouldn't want to run into this guy in a dark alley.  2.5 pounds of steamed Maine badass!

But sometimes we buy a lobster so big just can't eat it all in one sitting. Then what? Then we sleep extra soundly because we know that tomorrow's lunch will be this:

The Perfect Lobster Roll. AKA Buttery Goodness
makes 1 perfect roll.  Can, and probably should, be doubled, tripled etc

At least 4 oz of steamed, chopped Maine Lobster meat
Mayo and Dijon mustard to taste
Top Split Hot Dog bun
Unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove meat from steamed lobster. I've never tried this with meat still warm from cooking as I think it's better to use room temperature or even chilled lobster. Cut meat into large bite sized chunks. This is luxurious meal and tiny mince just won't do here.  Personally, I choose to just add good mayo, salt and pepper to my lobsters but some others like a touch of Dijon mustard mixed into the mayo too. To each his own!

However, under NO circumstances do I add celery or any other such junk. I recognize the crunch argument but really, celery is just added at restaurants to stretch out the meat and reduce their costs. They sold you that crunch line to cover their deception.

Anyway one critical addition to the mayo and meat is enough of the lobsters own natural juices to thin the mayo a bit. This way not only do you avoid gloppy mayo, but also add a little more flavor of the sea to your mixture. Yum.

Once the meat is prepared, melt some butter in a frying pan over medium heat.

Once melted, add a top sliced hot dog bun. Unless you're in an area of the country that does by have top sliced, you have no excuse to go with a side sliced bun. Period.  Allow the soft sides of the bun to become golden brown and slightly crispy as it absorbs the butter.

 Then fill with the lobster mixture and enjoy!  I'll be right over.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Isn't she funny?!?

Another funny lady!  Enjoy your weekend :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Grown Up Blue Raspberry Slush Puppies

I  love me a good cocktail and I'm not afraid to put in the work to get there.  But sometimes, the novelty of the idea wears off when I can't really figure out how to make those 'super cool' ingredients work.  This was actually the case on Wednesday when my first ever batch of Jolly Rancher Infused Vodka's was finally done.  Ok, it only took 12 hours but when you're so anxiously awaiting the result, that's a long time!

Jen from is a vodka wizard.
Anyway, my original plan had been to mix the infused vodka with seltzer and voila!  Instant yummy!  Except it didn't really do it for me.  Not sure why but it just didn't.  Time for Plan B.  My sister and I pulled out the blender (actually we used the Margaritaville Machine because we didn't have our blender handy) and it was 'make it work time'!  We stumbled upon a dead ringer for the Blue Raspberry Slush Puppies of our youth.  Try these babies.  You won't regret it!

Grown Up Slush Puppies
Makes 2-4 drinks.  Depending upon who is pouring...

1/2 can frozen lemonade concentrate
1/3 (of that same can) Blue Raspberry Jolly Rancher Vodka
Crushed or Shaved ice to taste. 

Combine all ingredients into a blender and whip her up!  Add more ice if you feel that the result is too tart.  This will take you back to those summer days of your youth, riding you bike to the corner store for a slushie!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Corn salad with Smoked Gouda

This is one of my favorite creations of all time. Lovely grilled veggies mixed with smoky creamy Gouda. What's not to love? Best part? Left over grilled veggies are just as good, if not better than fresh in this recipe so it's a great way to recycle leftovers.

Corn Salad with Smoked Gouda

6 ears corn
1 red bell pepper
1 onion (here I used a red onion for color)
1 zucchini
1 large carrot
2-3 oz smoked Gouda, grated or diced finely

Clean all vegetables. Shuck the corn. Peel the carrot and cut the carrot and zucchini into 1/4 inch thin strips. Take the top and root end off the onion, peel the outer layer and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Place each slice of onion in aluminum foil. Cut the pepper from stem to bottom and remove the seeds and core.

Place all veggies on the grill and cook until soft turning halfway through. 20 minutes for the onion, 10 min for most others but check frequently as grill temps vary.

While the veggies grill, grate or finely dice the smoked Gouda.

mmm gouda!
After the veggies are done, allow them to cook enough to allow handling then dice into 1/4 inch cubes.

With the pepper, remove the charred skin prior to dicing.

Use a corn skimmer to release the kernels or carefully slice them off the cob with a knife.

 Combine all chopped veggies with the cheese, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly.

If the heat of the diced veggies does not melt the cheese, place in microwave for 30 seconds to encourage the cheese to melt. Add salt and pepper to taste.


The last place I looked for it

Today someone told me that they'd found something in "the last place that they looked for it".  Imagine my surprise!  "Really?"  I responded.  "And you chose to stop looking just then?  At that very moment when you'd found it??  Amazing!"  Of course it didn't help that this was someone who was already on my nerves...  I'm not always that snarky.  But people can really try your patience. 

Here is my advice:  If you're looking for something and you find it then you should stop.  If you find it then keep looking, you are an idiot.  You're welcome

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Roasting by Barbara Kafka

I can think of no cooking method I love more than Roasting.  Except maybe Crock Potting but I'm not even sure that's a word, much less a technique.  Anyway, in the 90's roasting enjoyed something of a revival. Apparently some home cooks turned away from the complicated and fussy methods they had adopted in the late 80's and took joy in the simple art of using high heat to caramelize, render and transform the simplest of ingredients into delicious and soul satisfying food.
During this period, Barbara Kafka wrote the ultimate authority on this cooking method entitled "Roasting".

I loved that book. Not only because of the plethora of great recipes but really, where else are you going to find a cookbook where pretty much every recipe starts with 'heat oven to 500 degrees'??  
We could have really used this book when I was growing up. Our house had a wall oven that during its golden years chose to provide only the most basic of functions.  I'm talking on and off.  It took the users temperature setting as mere suggestion and then did as it pleased.  However, like most ovens, it was always too happy to go full whack.  If only this book had been written a few years earlier. Sigh.

Anyway, I suggest you check it out. I'd go ahead and post Barbara's amazing roast chicken recipe but that would be too predictable. Instead I will provide her formula for roasting chicken parts.  I have always been a fan of a chickens darker side. Given the choice between a juicy thigh and the possibility of a gaggingly dry breast you can probably imagine which way I'll turn. And since I've recently been finding chicken leg quarters as cheap as $.69 per pound, how can you go wrong?? Try these one night this week:

Simply Roasted Chicken Leg Quarter.
Adapted from Barbara Kafka's Roasting.
Serves 4

2 pounds of chicken leg quarters (at least 4) with the skin on.
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup of wine/chicken stock/ water/fruit juice for deglazing
Preheat oven to 500 degrees with rack placed in the center. Wash and pat dry the chicken leg quarters. Trim any excess skin and fat. No need to go crazy here though. The roasting process will render a lot of the fat for you (winning!)
In a medium roasting pan arrange the chicken skin side down and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes then turn pieces over, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and roast another 15 to 20 minutes. Chicken should have reached a temperature of xxx and when pierced, the juices should run clear. Remove to a platter

Pour off any fat in the roasting pan and place the pan on the top of the stove. Add 1 cup of wine/chicken stock/water or even a fruit juice like orange to the pan and bring to a boil. As the liquid boils, scrape free any bits which have gotten stuck during the roasting and allow the beautiful mixture to reduce by half. Either pour this sauce over the chicken or serve on the side. Yum!

You can find Barbara's book online at Amazon
Roasting-A Simple Art

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


For me, popovers are the stuff of dreams. I can recall the scent of baking popovers wafting up to my room as a child and it always signaled the beginning of a great weekend. I also have very fond memories of strawberry butter smeared popovers at the Jordan Pond house in Acadia National Park. Yum.
This amazing picture came from inarges

This one too.  Thank you inarges!

The thing about popovers is that they're very versatile- happily served at either breakfast or aside a lovely roast during dinner. But they can also be really hard to make. Over the years I've invested in quite a few popover mixes and pans but without finding any one solution that was reliable. Until I went to my moms cookbook, that is. Leave it to good old Fannie Farmer!


As published in The Fannie Farmer Cookbook by Marion Cunningham, Thirteenth Edition, 1990. (you know you're good when your cookbook is updated 12 times over the course of 100 years) The Fannie Farmer Cookbook: Anniversary

Makes 5 to 10 depending on size of muffin tin used.

According to Fannie Farmer, the secret to great popovers is to start with a cold oven. I agree!

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  Avoid over mixing as that will develop the gluten and make the popovers yucky. Half fill the cups of a Muffin or popover pan and place into a cold oven. Set the heat to 450 and bake for 15 min. Them reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 15-20 min. Test one before removing it from the pan. It should be crisp outside but moist and tender inside. Enjoy!

I'm forever in the process of perfecting a strawberry butter recipe.  When I do, you'll be the first to know.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Corn skimmer

I'm not a huge fan of kitchen gadgets that serve only one purpose.  But once in a while I find one that's an exception to the rule.  And that's this:  The OXO Good Grips Corn Skimmer.  Yes I am serious.  It's awesome. 

I'm a huge fan of Grilled Corn on the Cob but not a huge fan of the endless flossing that results from the treat.  And therefore I have spent quite a bit of time finding ways to get said corn from it's cozy home on the cob.  Most methods have proven imperfect (and a couple downright dangerous) until I found the Skimmer.  Cue the sounds of angels...   No more risking cuts etc trying to run the kernels off with whatever sharp knife I first reach for.  Nope, OXO Good Grips came up with a computer mouse like object with a little toothed metal mouth that glides down your cob and perfectly removes the golden goodness. 

And, as if that wasn't good enough, it also acts as a measuring cup.  Although I'm not entirely sure why, you can tip it one it's end and see when you have exactly one half cup. Well, either way, I think you should check it out the next time that you're at a Kitchen Supply store.  Or you could find it online here:OXO Good Grips Corn Stripper.  Check it out and later in the week I'll have a recipe for the most yummy Grilled Corn Salad that you can imagine.
Oh, and did I forget to mention that it snaps apart for easy cleaning?  Life changing.  Sorta.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Isn't she smart?!?

Omg I love this girl and I love her blog!

We could totally be best friends! Seriously though. Not like the other 50 people I might have mentioned as possible best friends who would, in all likelihood, call the cops on my stalker ass. Nope. Lindsley would never do that.

How can I be so sure you ask? Mosty because she's had plenty of chances over the last 33 years of our friendship.  Which now that I think about it is kinda a miracle considering I'm still only 29...

Anyway, go check her out at   But just beware: she's already got a BFF and its me!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Drunken Arnold Palmer

Ok so by now you're aware of my love of the cocktail. And you've probably noticed that I tend to stick with vodka. Not completely sure why but it's likely due to roaring hangovers I've had over time from other spirits. (Yes I know that the hangover is due completely to pilot error and is not any certain spirits fault- unless it's crappy red wine).  Anyway, back to me. This week I'm all about the Drunken Arnold Palmer. If there's a cocktail out there that screams summer more than this one, I've never met it but would like to. This is your thinks-she's-hip Aunts favorite but with the volume turned up. And people said the Arnold Palmer was dead...

First take a tall glass and fill with ice. Then pour one shot (or to taste my boozy friends) of Sweet Tea Vodka and fill to the top with your favorite Lemonade. Mine's still Newman's Own Organic. Charities everywhere are grateful for my boozing. Just sayin'.

Grab a book, find a sun porch or your own happy place, get comfortable and have a sip of summery heaven.   You're welcome.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Proof that I have issues

I am completely and utterly unable to "Enter the letters as they are shown in the image above." I don't know why that is or what it means but I can tell you that it frustrates the hell out of me. I'm all for keeping spammers under control but when it means I'm going to have to make 20 attempts to figure out what that little smear of loops and lines says then maybe things have just gone too far.

But, yet again, society has ensnared me. I can't get around this little test as almost every website and online resource is employing it. I also can't bring myself to use the 'help' button. I've never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but I try to think that I'm able to muddle through just like everyone else. I'd like to be able to hang on to my very last shred of dignity by not using that particular 'lifeline'.

It's a real problem. Anyone have any suggestions? Should I have paid more attention in school when they were covering that section on hieroglyphics?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Ashleys Amazing Roasted Figs

My friend Ashley is a culinary genius.  Not the 'I can cook anything my favorite Cookbook author publishes' kind of genius.  More like the 'Wouldn't this little twist make an awesome thing even better' type.    It's like she's a food psychic.  She can see what something yummy needs to make it really delicious.  It's a gift.  And, fortunately for Ashley's friends, it's a gift that she's always ready to share.  Yum.  Today for your consideration, I present Ashley's Amazing Roasted Figs.

But that seems so familiar you might say.  Doesn't the Barefoot Contessa or someone do something like that?  Well, sort of.  But I assure you that as much as I adore Ina, Prosciutto wrapped figs existed long before her recipe evolved.  Ashley's figs are different from most in that she skips the honey, adds a splash of delicious balsamic vinegar and later presents with a small bowl of goat cheese should any takers choose to go over the top and dress these babies with a dollop of Chevre.   Ashley's deliciousness was more likely inspired by her recent trip to Italy than any particular cookbook. She's cool like that. It's good to have friends.  Especially ones like Ashley.  Seriously.

To make Ashley's Amazing Figs you will need some ripe, Black Mission Figs.  Cut each fig in half through the stem end straight down to the bottom.  Line the sliced figs cut side up on a baking sheet.  Don't they look yummy already?

Then you take these beauties and drizzle them with a little Balsamic Vinegar.  Oops I'm already drooling a little.  Embarassing.

Next you wrap each little jewel with the finest wisp of real, honest to goodness Prosciutto di Parma.  This is no time for imitators!

Once all of the figs are wrapped, place them under the broiler until the prosciutto is crispy and the figs are warm.  Wouldn't it have been great if I'd gotten a picture of this step instead of going off to pour myself a glass of wine?

Lastly, arrange the crispy wrapped figs on a beautiful platter around a small bowl of your favorite plain (as in unflavored, not boring) goat cheese.  Encourage your friends and family to place a small dollop of said goat cheese atop any roasted figs that you yourself have not already gobbled.  Oh, on that note, make sure you prepare plenty so that there are some for the guests after you 'sample' a dozen or so.  Otherwise you'll be left with an empty platter and, quite frankly, a bunch of pissed off people.  Sharing is caring folks.

Sorry about the lack of photos for the latter half of this recipe.  I blame the wine but I'm pretty sure that Ashley is on to my real plan which is that she's going to have to make them AGAIN so that I can properly complete this report.  She may be the cool, talented friend but in the sneaky department I reign supreme!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Custom pints

I like to make ice cream. I don't care so much about eating it (thank heaven or I would be so big that I'd have my own zip code) my pleasure is in the creation. As a result, I make a lot of frozen goodness for my daughter and her friends. And what do they do while I ponder then concoct taste sensations? They make custom decorated pint containers.

What a fun and creative way to distract them while the machine is churning. Get them here: Enjoy!!

Monday, August 13, 2012


There are some people who 1. Make lists and others who b. Don't. You'd guess from that sentence that I'm a listmaker but you'd be wrong. I'm of the third variety. I like to rely on memory and/or rote recital of the things I must remember. Which is why I'm commonly short of important items and seen wandering around muttering catchy tunes like cleaning products and sprite; cleaning products and sprite; cleaning products and sprite. I like to think of it as my own little addition to the Law of Attraction. Repeat the word for an item frequently enough, and it will come to you.  Or be thrown at you.   Whichever.

My friends think I'm laying the groundwork for an insanity defense. Which is a good idea by the way.  Just in case.  Put it on my list... 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Isn't she funny??

OK, I'm about to reveal a huge secret.  Actually, it's probably not 'huge' to anyone but me.  Especially since 1. It's been a few years and  2. I don't even live in 'Stepford' anymore (Thank the Lord).  Anyway, I used to have another blog where I released the steam generated by the frustration of living in the worst of the worst that Suburbia has to offer.  I called it The Stepford Mommy and I was funny, really funny, if I may say so myself.  Of course it helped that I had the most ridiculous material imaginable to work with... and it was all true (seriously!)  I could just tell you that it was awful but don't take my word for it.  See for yourself!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Poll Closed

Poll is now closed.  Despite varying answers (thanks guys!) in the end, it turns out that I can't clean for even one hour without wanting, and therefore making, an Electric Blue Lemonade.  But on the bright side, I did wait 4 hours since the idea came to me so that's something, right?

Also, I had to close the poll because the darn thing turned the top of my blog from pretty pink to poop brown and I couldn't stand it one more minute.  Shallow, I know.  I'm working on it.

ETA: the house is clean(ish). Of course I'm half in the bag so who knows what it's going to look like in the morning when I'm sober... But for the moment, I feel good about it. I should mention that there is currently a Tornado Watch in effect. If a tornado rolls through and messes this place up I'm going to swear it was spotless to all the networks. Just sayin'.

Electric blue lemonade

In my ongoing quest to find the perfect House Speciality drink for the summer I've made quite a few winners and even a couple of duds.  Right now the leader in the race is the Electric Blue Lemonade.  Sounds fun, right?

The Electric Blue Lemonade is a pretty cocktail and it's easy to prepare as well.  Which comes in handy after you've consumed a couple...  Begin by selecting a tall glass that will fit your super cool cubic ice (see previous post "Ultimate Ice").

Directly on top of the ice pour 1oz of Blue Curacao.  Then top that with one shot of vodka or to taste (but don't pour too heavily because I guarantee you'll be wanting more than one of these babies so you'd better save room!)  Lastly, fill to the top with lemonade.  I've tried a number of brands including SanPelligrino Lemonata, Simply Lemonade, various store brands and Newman's Own Organic Lemonade.  By far the tasters at my house have found that the Newman's Own Organic Lemonade works best in this libation.  Don't be afraid to take a picture of this baby.  She's ready for her close up!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My dream kitchen...

Living well sometimes takes planning.  Advanced planning!  And of course you can count on the fact that I've always got a plan ;)  Actually even though I've done 3 kitchen reno's in the last 4 years (don't ask...) I still haven't yet gotten to include my ultimate dream appliance.  Maybe I'm saving it for my ultimate dream kitchen???  Or maybe it's that my current house doesn't have gas.  Either way, as soon as I get the chance I'm ordering one of these babies.

The BlueStar Residential Nova Burner stove.  With a delicate simmer function as well as a 22,000 Ultra Nova burner and convection oven you've got all bases covered.  Configurable with grill, burners, griddle- you name it!  I'd be lying if I said I didn't swoon at the mere thought.  And I'll probably do it in my signature color Riverhaven blue!

Brings a tear to my eye!   Check out these amazing babies at but leave at least one for me please!!