Cocktail O’Clock: Just Beet It

ES called beets in cocktails the next big thing way back in 2010, and sure ‘nough we are seeing them show up on drink lists coast to coast.

This one, from Poste Moderne Brasserie in Washington, DC, mixes up beets for martini lovers.

Just Beet it

1/2 oz. Grey Goose vodka
1/4 oz. lemon juice
1/4 oz. beet juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass with a beet salt garnish.

(Photo: Jason Wiles)

Find dozens more creative cocktail recipes in Endless Cocktails.

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Complementary Colors, Complementary Tastes

With an artist for a mom, we tend to think that the aesthetic presentation is equally as important as the taste. She always taught us that when red and green or purple and yellow or blue and orange are paired together in a work of art, the contrast intensifies the presentation. Like complementary flavors, complementary colors excite a dish.

So here’s a Mothers Day recipe that will impress Mom no both sight and taste levels. White fish is like a blank canvas. It’s delicious but has no range of color. To add dimension to a swordfish dish, we added slivered red onions  (purple) served atop a base of sweet spaghetti squash (yellow). The resulting dinner was both visually enticing and delicious!

Baked Swordfish with Red Onion and Caper Relish over Sauteed Spaghetti Squash

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Brussels Sprouts. Bacon. Pizza. Yes.

I’m going to make a confession: pizza is not really my thing. Most of the time it’s just kind of… boring. Bread with sauce and cheese, big deal. You need to do something pretty cool with pizza to get my attention.

Here is an instance of one such attention-grabbing pizza. My friend Sarah is pretty obsessed with Martha Stewart (I mean, I’m a pretty big fan, too — holler, Martha!) Sarah saved a recipe for Brussels sprout & lemon pizza from the March issue of her magazine, and being a Brussels sprout lover, I was into it. It’s also cooked on the stovetop in a skillet, which intrigued me. So we went ahead and made our version.

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A Recipe for a Healthy Marriage. And Lemon Cupcakes.

Editor’s Note: Wouldn’t have guessed this on Monday, but apparently lemon cupcakes are huge on Endless Simmer this week. Also, please welcome Jody, previous guest poster, to the ES family.

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a baker. My husband is a close second. When he hears muffin tins clanging or sees a dust cloud of flour fumigating the kitchen, he says things like “baking is a science” and “you are following a recipe, right?” (Italics are totally his.)

I try. I honestly try to follow a recipe. But the world plots against me. Take the other morning.

I am making green lemon cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day and follow The Recipe to the letter. Well, except for omitting the lemon curd filling and butter cream icing because they are each sub-recipes and therefore omittable. Let them eat plain cake.

First cream the sugar and butter. Measure and mix the dry ingredients. Allow four eggs to come to room temperature. I stumble a bit on the “room temperature” part. How will I know? But that’s silly. I’m not a Coors Light drinking idiot unable to discern temperature by touch alone, relying instead on color-changing technology. I’m a big girl. With hands.

Focus. I grate the peels of three lemons. And squeeze them. Confident that I’ve obviously turned a corner, I read the end of The Recipe which, granted, should have happened earlier. But who’s that organized? I’m spontaneous. A common excuse for the unorganized. The recipe taunts me from my computer screen. “1 cup buttermilk.” Buttermilk? Who in the hell has buttermilk? I sure don’t.


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Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

I know there are a lot of you cupcake haters here on ES, and yes, I am still trying to convert you. Can I offer you a cupcake with a boozy limoncello curd center that will drip, pour and ooze its way into likeability?

Come on, check out that money shot, begging you to take a bite and taste its tartness. Actually, it was really tart when I first made it so instead of adding more sugar to the mix to even it out, I decided to step it up with some limoncello. Booze is, after all, the grand equalizer in food — alright, that’s just my personal philosophy. It works more often than not to even out a too-strong flavor, and as expected here, it didn’t fail.

So, my dear cupcake haters, brace your tastebuds and take in a rich lemon cupcake body filled with a limoncello curd that’s then been stacked with piles of coconut sweet buttercream frosting, then covered in sweetened coconut.

And trust me when I say the lemon and coconut pairing is quite damntastic!

Coconut Limoncello Cupcakes

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Gridiron Grub: Gearing up

This has been an odd year to be a football fan. With college football ending last January and the NFL lockout lasting through the summer, sports fans have heard incessant talk about the sport but seen very little of it until the last few weeks of preseason games. Because of this, I was ecstatic that I was able to spend last Saturday at the home opener for the Penn State Nittany Lions. I am from Northeast Pa. and Saturday pilgrimages to Beaver Stadium are practically a birthright. The early morning wake-up; the drive through pristine mountains and countryside until the stadium appears on the horizon; thousands of tailgaters sharing food, drinks and stories…..there is nothing quite like it.

Tailgating was in full swing at 9am, the university band was blaring, crowds were cheering and even the first kick-off was returned for a touchdown. There was really only one thing missing at last week’s game: fall weather. At kickoff the temperature was peaking at 90 degrees and felt even hotter with 100,000 of my closest friends packed around. Besides an opening day win, the only thing that made the heat easier to bear was the vendors climbing up and down the stadium stairs with water and fresh-squeezed lemonade for sale. Which got me thinking.

Spiked Basil Lemonade

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