Aperol Spritz

The Aperol Spritz is synonymous with summer, and if you haven’t tried one yet, get on it! This cocktail is low-alcohol making it the perfect daytime summer sipper. Do as the Italians do and sip this three-ingredient aperitif (pre-dinner cocktail) al fresco with a bowl of potato chips. Salut!

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Aperol Spritz

  • 4 ounces Prosecco
  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 3/4 ounce club soda
  • orange slice for garnish

Fill a wine glass with ice. Pour prosecco in, then Aperol and top with club soda. Garnish with orange slice.

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First drink on board my Alaskan cruise: a spritz of course!

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Cranberry Gin Fizz

Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of all time for the obvious reason, i.e. stuffing) can be tough for many people under the best of circumstances. Hectic travel. Black Friday fatigue. Bumping into old frenemies from high school. Trying to explain your millennial job to your great aunt. And my personal favorite, responding to the question “OMG, did you lose a ton of weight?” Yes, I have indeed shed a few pounds since my Bat Mitzvah, Mrs. Goldberger. I have also groomed my caterpillar eyebrows, thank you very much.

But this year, after, shall we say, a divisive election, things have the potential to get downright ugly. Especially if you’re leaving your East Coast Liberal haven for the heartland. To avoid igniting a live Facebook comments war at your Thanksgiving table, you’re going to need alcohol.

How does a seasonal cocktail to unite the whole family sound? We’re stronger together with a Cranberry Gin Fizz in hand. Made with a tart, fresh cranberry simple syrup with notes of rosemary, the Cranberry Gin Fizz will get you through Thanksgiving. It’s festive and colorful. And after all, Booze Trumps No Booze.

Bite your tongue, take down a few Make America Great Again lawn signs and sip your Cranberry Gin Fizz this Thanksgiving. And remember, when they go low, we reach for a seasonal fall cocktail and start drinking to dull the pain. Happy Thanksgiving, all!

 

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cranberry-revised

 

Cranberry Gin Fizz

Makes 1 cocktail

1 ounce fresh lime juice

2 ounces gin

1 ounce cranberry simple syrup

1 sprig of rosemary for garnish

a few cranberries for garnish

splash of club soda

ice

Cranberry Simple Syrup:

6 ounces fresh cranberries

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

sprig of rosemary

Combine cranberries, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries start to burst. Remove from heat and add in rosemary. Allow mixture to cool and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Combine lime juice, cranberry simple syrup, and gin in a cocktail shaker. Shake and pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with a splash of club soda, a few fresh cranberries, and a rosemary sprig for garnish.

 

Rose water grapefruit cocktail

Rose water is a love-it-or-hate-it ingredient. You either appreciate the delicate floral notes or it makes you feel like you’ve been punched in the face with your grandmother’s perfume. It’s a fine line. A subtle amount of rose water can transform baked goods, jam, ice cream and, of course, cocktails. The first time I fell in love with rose water was at Balaboosta in New York City. I ordered the knafeh for dessert — a Middle Eastern cheesecake made with thin shreds of phyllo dough. It was served with this delicate rose water ice cream and topped with pistachios. I promptly ordered a bottle of rose water and began plotting ways to use it.  Check out my article on SheKnows.com!

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Rose water grapefruit cocktail recipe

Makes 1 cocktail

  • 1-1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1-1/2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon rose water
  • splash of Campari
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • lemon peel for garnish

Mix vodka, grapefruit juice, honey and rose water in a cocktail shaker. Pour over ice and top with club soda and a splash of Campari. Garnish with lemon peel.

Watermelon Margaritas

On a recent trip to Costa Rica I had some magical watermelon margaritas. The fruit there was out of this world and I took every available opportunity to mix my booze with fresh fruit juice. My first drink there was a watermelon marg and it was love at first sip. Using fresh juice in a cocktail makes a huge difference and it’s super easy – especially if you have an immersion blender. You can use any juice you like here – I’ve done blood orange juice and grapefruit juice. Make it spicy by muddling in some jalapeno and adding chili powder to your salt rim.  Puree peaches, strawberries, mangoes – the sky’s the limit here. Enjoy your weekend!

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Watermelon Margaritas 

  • 2 cups watermelon chunks, seeded
  • 4 oz. tequila
  • 1 oz. Cointreau
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Ice cubes
  • Salt, optional
  • 2 lime wedges

Using an immersion blender puree the watermelon chunks. In a cocktail shaker (or in my case a plastic soup container – works great!) combine tequila, Cointreau, lime juice and watermelon juice. Shake vigorously. Salt your glasses if you like using a lime wedge to moisten the rim. Ice your glasses and pour the drink into glasses. Garnish with lime wedge if desired.

Paloma

It’s Friday, people! That means catching some extra z’s (that refers to eating pizza, right?) and letting off some steam (laundering your clothes) with a cocktail in hand. It’s time to put that crappy beer down. You deserve better!  How does a refreshing citrusy cocktail sound? The Paloma is a tequila-based cocktail made with grapefruit soda and lime juice served on the rocks. If you’re not already on a beach in Mexico, after a few Palomas, you will feel like you’re swimming with the dolphins cocktail in hand, guacamole on standby. If you’re not into tequila, try subbing coconut rum. Insane. Tropical explosion. Happy weekend!

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Paloma

From Bon Appetit

kosher salt

grapefruit slice

2 oz tequila

1/2 oz fresh lime juice

Grapefruit soda (use San Pellegrino Pompelmo if you have any self respect)

ice

Pour some salt on a plate. Rub the rim of your glass with grapefruit slice and dip rim in the salt. Combine tequila and lime juice in glass. Fill glass with ice then top off with soda. Serve with grapefruit slice.

Game Day

The Super Bowl is over, leaving only a trail of beer cans and indigestion in its wake.  It was a game to forget, but a night to remember at my apartment, with guests so sated by the food that one ended up unconscious on the floor. The wings showed more fight than Peyton Manning and the spices in the chili were more aggressive than Seattle’s defense— this was the game of my life.   Football deviled eggs, chili, corn bread muffins, baked salami, hot wings, fun punch, roasted chickpeas, chips, dips and more. This spread was more ludicrous than Denver -2.

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Oven Roasted Chickpeas

1 15 oz can of chickpeas

1 tsp ground corianderpicstitch (9)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp lemon zest

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp paprika

Big pinch of kosher salt

2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Drain chickpeas and dry thoroughly on a paper towel. Toss chickpeas with olive oil, zest, salt and spices. Spread the chickpeas on a cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Occasionally move the chickpeas around on the pan while roasting. Let cool and serve. Flavor explosion.

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Football Deviled Eggs

10 large eggsphoto (5)

7 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

pinch of kosher salt

squirt of  sriracha

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

chives

Perfect hard boiled eggs every time: Place your eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let the eggs sit covered for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs and run under cold water. Peel the eggs under cold running water. Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the mayo, mustard, cayenne, salt and sriracha until nice and smooth. Stuff the creamy mixture back into the egg whites. Decorate the eggs like footballs with the chives. Become everyone’s favorite hostess.

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Baked Salami

This recipe is from my wonderful mom, Carol

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A work of art.

Large hard salami (2 lbs)

1 cup apricot preserves

1 container frozen orange juice concentrate

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup spicy mustard

Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the salami into thin slices, but not all the way through. Place a wire rack on a cookie sheet and put the salami on top so the excess fat will drip off when baking. Bake the salami for 1 hour uncovered. Meanwhile, place the apricot preserves, orange juice concentrate, brown sugar and mustard in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the ingredients are all melted together. Take your salami out and pour maybe half of the sauce on the salami. Bake for another hour, pouring more sauce on the salami every 15 minutes or so. Cut the salami and serve with mustard and cocktail bread.

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Halftime Chili

This recipe is from Bon Appetit

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Oliver’s masterpiece.

2 tbsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

8 large garlic cloves, chopped

3 pounds ground beef

5 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried basil (used fresh)

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree

1 14 1/2-ounce can chicken broth

1 12-ounce bottle beer

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

1 15- to 16-ounce can pinto beans

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add meat and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of spoon, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano and thyme. Stir 2 minutes. Mix in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, beer and tomato paste. Simmer until thickened to desired consistency, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Mix in beans. Simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with corn bread muffins, sour cream, chopped tomatoes and sliced green onions.

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Corn Bread Muffins

5 tsp baking powder

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Find a man who makes muffins. Never let him go.

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup honey

3 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1 1/8 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for 8-10 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins.
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Buffalo Chicken Wings
32 chicken wings (about 6 lbs)picstitch (2)
2 sticks of margarine (SORRY WORLD)
8 tsp Frank’s Hot Sauce
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
Preheat the broiler. Cut the chicken wings in thirds, cutting between the bones. Melt the margarine and add the cayenne, hot sauce, and salt. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the sauce. Broil them about 3 inches below the heat for 8 minutes or longer until golden. Turn the wings, brush them again with the butter, and broil for 10 minutes or until crisp and delicious. I tossed the wings in extra hot sauce at the end.
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Fun Punch
This recipe is from my Aunt Debbie
1 package frozen limeade concentrate
36 oz of Miller Light (I used Bud)
Malibu rum
Place the frozen limeade in a punch bowl. Fill the limeade container with Malibu rum and add to the bowl. Crack open the beer and pour in. You’re welcome.