ES guest writer Faith has some expert advice on what and where to eat in the beautiful Mediterranean country of Malta. Start planning your vacation now…
Maltese cuisine has Arabic, Sicilian, French, Turkish, Greek and British influences, stemming from a history full of invasions and occupations, making it a culinary concoction just waiting to be discovered. Surrounded by the clear Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a wide range of fresh seafood to enjoy in a traditional Lampuki fish pie, or simply barbequed alfresco style. Rabbit stew is the national dish – traditional and hearty. Whether you prefer surf, turf, or something in between, Malta is definitely a culinary destination.
Okay, what… is this? I know that mason jars are ultra-popular right now, and I support it. Full disclosure: I’m actually drinking some juice out of a mason jar right now as I write this. I swear it was unintentional. At least I live in the south, which I feel makes my mason jar drinking somewhat authentic?
Anyway, whatever. They’re good to use for drinking when you have a lot of liquid that you want to drink out of a wide-mouthed glass receptacle. Some people think they’re too hipster and some people don’t. All this is fine, and I don’t really care. But as I said in the beginning: what… IS THIS?!
Now mason jars are so popular that we can’t even take the time to buy real ones, we need to stock up on plastic ones in the beverage aisle at the grocery store? Here’s a secret: you can pick up mason jars and other “vintage” looking canning gear of all shapes and sizes for about $2-4 at your local craft store or kitchen goods shop. You do NOT need to be spending $10 on one plastic jug with a built-in straw. Yeah, they advertise that they’re BPA-free, but guess what, SO IS GLASS, which is what the original jars are made out of.
Look at these ones. Complete with fake metal lid. So stylish. So perfect for your picnic. Much better than the original glass. Probably worth the $10. Everything I just typed in this paragraph has been sarcastic. The only reason I could see someone needing one of these is if they planned on drinking so much booze out of a mason jar that they’re afraid they’d drop a glass one and shatter it everywhere, but even then, dude, just drink out of a normal keg cup like the rest of us.
Not sure if you’re aware, but this weekend is one of the biggest events of the year. Why? Well, first of all, we have the holiday to end all holidays, Cinco de Mayo. If that weren’t reason enough to celebrate, another big day falls upon this weekend as well: the Kentucky Derby! At first I was almost angry that these two occasions were combined this year. Why mash two perfectly good drinking events into one measly weekend when you can spread the joy around?
I decided to embrace it, though, and luckily the folks at Maestro Dobel Tequila have a recipe that combines the signature boozy delights of both days into their Agave Julep, a tequila-based twist on the classic Mint Julep. Olé!
2 parts DOBEL Tequila
8 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 part Agave Syrup
2 parts Ginger Ale
Garnish Lime wedge
I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner. Well, actually, I don’t really like pancakes or scrambled eggs or anything for dinner…. let me rephrase. I’m a big fan of adding a fried egg on top of whatever I’m having for dinner. That’s more accurate. (I think by this point, most of the culinary world can all agree that a runny egg yolk makes anything better, any time of day.) Anyway, even though this recipe is pretty dang breakfast-y, I like it for dinner because it’s hearty and balanced.
Take your run-of-the-mill hash – potatoes, onions, shredded beef – and give it a southern twist. We’re talking a hash made of sweet potatoes, collard greens, caramelized Texas sweet onions, and smoked brisket, topped with a fried egg and drizzled with BBQ sauce and Louisana hot sauce. Giddy up.
I recently went to eat some food – uh, I mean, visit some friends – in the Bay Area. Kidding, of course my friends are first priority, but obviously any time you’re visiting San Francisco you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t take advantage of its awesome culinary scene.
One thing SF does really well is brunch. Not only brunch, but boozy brunch (and honestly why are you going out to brunch if you’re not planning on drinking?), particularly mimosas. Search SF Yelp for “bottomless mimoas” and you’ll get over 100 results. Preach! No self-respecting bruncher is gonna stop at just one mimosa, let’s be real.
Just as mimosas are an integral part of brunch, eggs benedict is the brunch dish to beat. It’s indulgent without being completely devoid of nutritious ingredients (eggs! They’re good for you!), and it’s just a liiittle too complicated to want to cook at home on a regular basis, so you feel justified paying $13 for someone else to whip up that hollandaise. When getting brunch in the city that overflows with brunch, where to find the best benedict? Here you go:
Oh, did you want some wine with that cheese? The wonderful Mission Cheese in San Francisco offers flights of artesanal cheeses (and yes, a really nice wine list to go along with it). I highly recommend checking it out next time you’re in the Bay Area.
I love my food processor. In my opinion, it is one of thing things Every Kitchen Needs. My food processor is of the 9-cup Kitchenaid variety, and I use it at least twice a week, for everything from peanut sauce to pizza dough. My life as a coleslaw maker was changed the day I first used the food processor to shred cabbage. The fact that I could come up with three food processor-related previous posts off the top of my head should tell you something about my love for this ten-ton appliance.
Why, then, if everything else about it is so great, did they make it so freaking hard to clean? Ugh. It’s seriously enough to make a girl consider mixing her pizza dough by hand.