Boodles Gin Cocktail

Cocktail O’ Clock: The Violet Crown

Boodles Gin Cocktail

While this cocktail may seem a bit more at home at a springtime garden party than a cozy fall evening, I can’t wait until next spring to share this recipe! It’s too good. First of all, starting with a premium gin base like this Boodles British Gin ensures a satisfying libation. (I can handle my share of cheap alcohol, but I just can’t do cheap gin. It has to be the good stuff. Boodles sent me a bottle to try and I knew I had to do it justice with a sophisticated cocktail recipe.) Secondly, the addition of Creme Yvette adds a refreshing and unique twist. If you’re not familiar with Creme Yvette I won’t hold it against you; it’s a relatively obscure, older liqueur that was just rereleased on the market a few years ago. It’s made from (…deep breath…)  parma violet petals, blackberries, red raspberries, wild strawberries and cassis, honey, orange peel and vanilla. What do you get when you combine these two boozy delights? HEAVEN!

I named this cocktail the Violet Crown because Creme Yvette is a purple-y (well, violet, obviously) color, and I live in Austin, a city that happens to have the nickname of “The Violet Crown.” So… why not?

Violet Crown Cocktail

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Mushroom and Blue Cheese Farrotto

I feel like, by this point in my ES career, there are certain things that we just can’t avoid. For example: I love healthy grains and making plays on risotto with them, I love mushrooms, and I love blue cheese. So it really shouldn’t surprise anyone when I introduce my next recipe creation: blue cheese and mushroom risotto made with farro instead of arborio rice.

Here’s why I like farro: It’s toasty and nutty with a toothsome bite, standing up to heavy sauces much better than plain ol’ rice. Not only that, but it’s freaking healthy! High in fiber, low in gluten, and packing 7g of protein per 1/4c serving, farro is a grain to be reckoned with. I mixed this with the usual risotto suspects (white wine, cheese, more cheese) with spectacular results. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that this is a super healthy meal (because of the aforementioned cheese and more cheese), but it’s a step up from classic risotto thanks to all the benefits of farro plus a load of vitamins and minerals from the mushrooms and iron from the spinach. All in all… you could do a lot worse. Plus this combination is just plain delicious.

MushroomFarrotto

Mushroom and Blue Cheese Farrotto

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Sun-Dried Tomato & Rosemary Minestrone Soup

Alright, dudes! Welcome to healthy time! To counteract the amazing and resolution-murdering bacon pie our very own beloved BS debuted yesterday, I’m contributing one of my favorite—and yes, New Year’s friendly—soup ideas. It’s salty, spicy, tomato-y, chock full of vegetables and protein, and it tastes bomb.com. (I decided I’m bringing back bomb.com in 2013, just let it happen.)

Okay, so my soup trick: instead of just normal crushed tomatoes in your minestrone soup, add sun-dried tomatoes. Instead of just olive oil in your minestrone soup, use the sun-dried tomato oil! It packs that salty, intense taste we all know and love, but the sun-dried tomatoes themselves reconstitute in the broth and swell up into juicy, soft balloons of savory goodness in the soup. You’re welcome.

Resolution Minestrone Soup

 

Sun-Dried Tomato & Rosemary Minestrone Soup

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Rosemary Sea Salt Blondies

I have a special place in my heart for all of my baked-good creations, but this one has an extra large piece of it. Blondies are my kind of dessert. I like brownies, but I really have to be in the mood for that much chocolate. Blondies are always delicious. They are like a thick, chewy cookie in bar form. Add a little savory rosemary and sea salt and you have a more sophisticated version, one that belongs in your holiday cookie tins.

Rosemary Sea Salt Blondies

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Comfort Food Time: Creamy Veggie & Bean Soup with Homemade Rustic Rosemary Bread

Ok, y”all. Halloween is over. The election is over.  It”s time to really delve into comfort foods like soup and bread.  Or better yet, both. My house recently smelled like garlic and freshly baked bread for two days. Let”s face it–those are the best smells on earth.

I adore soup and just had to share this recipe; it”s soooo good, and healthy to boot.  This is probably my favorite soup I”ve made so far!  Make it, for realz.

Plus, a bonus bread recipe!  I spoil you, so.

Creamy Veggie & Bean Soup

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Grilled Rosemary Chicken and Potato Kabobs

Please tell me we all have these days.  When we look at the laundry to fold and the grass to mow…and end up on a raft in the pool drinking beers. Please tell me it’s okay to sometimes have a whole week like this.

Well, despite my incredible procrastination of monotonous house chores as of late, I have actually still been making food. Ok, I’ve been grilling food in between dips in the pool.  Whatever. This recipe is perfect for procrastinators and slackers alike. It is so easy, it’s embarrassing to call it a recipe. Well, clearly that’s not going to stop me from sharing it with you lovely people today.

Grilled Rosemary Chicken and Potato Skewers

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An Open Letter to Hummus (and a Recipe)

Hummus is on my mind lately, everyone.  I just thought you should know that.  It is so awesome, and it has been making daily appearances in my life.  I need a few moments to express my feelings for this super awesome food.  So bear with me as I get a little sentimental.

Oh, hummus.  I have nothing but love for you.

Shall I count the ways?

I shall.

1.       You are super versatile and can go on almost everything, from veggies to sandwiches or even used as a salad dressing.

2.       You are full of protein and make my tummy happy.

3.       There are so many flavor combinations to incorporate into you.

4.       You are made from a legume called either chickpeas or garbanzo beans, which are both on my top ten list of fun words to say out loud.

5.       Oh, I could go on forever, hummus.  But I’m hungry.  So I’m just gonna get to it.

Here’s a twofer recipe that starts with my secret to making perfect hummus: rosemary-infused olive oil:

Chunky Rosemary-Infused Hummus

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