Cocktail O’Clock: A Margarita for Winter

We’re always looking for new ways to use strawberries, and blending them up and mixing them with tequila is most definitely appropriate — even if it’s not summer. This new cocktail recipe, which is sort of like a strawberry margarita, only heated up for winter, comes courtesy of Sable Kitchen and Bar in Chicago.

Winter Whisper
1 oz Siete Leguas Tequila Reposado
1 oz Luxardo Amaro
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz dried strawberry syrup (recipe follows)
2 dashes strawberry-allspice bitters

Preheat Irish coffee glass or mug with hot water. Heat all ingredients over a double boiler, do not heat directly.  Dump out hot water from irish coffee glass, add ingredients, top with 3 oz very hot water.  Garnish with a tiny pinch of freshly ground allspice.

*Dried Strawberry syrup
2 cups freeze-dried strawberries
2 cups sugar

Blend dried strawberries and sugar in high-speed blender until well combined. Add 2 cups hot water, stir to combine. Strain and chill.

Loads more creative cocktail ideas in Endless Cocktails.

Photo credit: Andrea Donadio

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Nachos Gone Wild!

With football season kicking into high gear, it’s about time for some serious snack talk. But you know us ES-ers aren’t gonna just crack open some Tostitos spicy cheese dip and call it a day. These 10 recipes are taking nachos to a whole new level.

1. Greek Nachos

Pita chips, ground lamb, and tzatziki stand in for the usual Mexican ingredients in this inventive Mediterranean take on Nachos.

Greek nachos recipe from elly says opa!

2. Chimichurri Nachos

It’s Argentina’s turn to get creative, topping their nachos with grilled steak and the country’s signature cilantro sauce.

Chimichurri nachos recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

3. Totchos

Yes, that’s tater tot nachos, and really, can anyone argue nachos wouldn’t be better when you replace the chips with crispy fried potatoes?

Tater tot nacho recipe from Riley J. Briggs.

4. Pasta Nachos

At San Francisco Italian restaurant Puccini and Pinetti, wonton wrappers serve as the base for Italian nachos topped with marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and basil.

Recipe for pasta nachos.

5. Grilled Nachos

Once again proving that any food that tastes good tastes even better cooked over a grill.

Grilled nachos recipe from Jenn’s Food Journey.

Next: Potato chip nachos, dessert nachos and more

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Cocktail O’Clock: Tequila + Balsamic

Who says tequila is made for margaritas only? This sweet and savory summer cocktail mixes the hard stuff with fresh strawberries, basil, lime juice and — for an extra foodie touch — balsamic vinegar. We approve.

Corzo Italian Sipper

1 ¼ oz. Corzo Silver
2 strawberries
1 sprigs of fresh basil
4 drops of balsamic
1 oz. Fresh lime juice
2 oz. distilled water
2 packets of Splenda or similar or 1 oz Agave Nectar

Serve over the rocks in an 8 oz. glass

Method: In a mixing glass muddle fresh strawberries and basil, add the rest of the ingredients with ice, shake 20 times and serve in a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with a fresh spring of basil.

Find more summer-y cocktail ideas in Endless Cocktails.

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Tired of Adult Popsicles Yet? We Didn’t Think So

You like fruit, you like vodka, you like popsicles — shoot, you like a lot of things. So to help move you more quickly towards all your likings, we found a way to combine the three aforementioned likes into one.

Before your skeptical brow can arch upwards, let us say — yes, you can freeze vodka. After some quick experimenting and an afternoon of mixing and an evening of freezing …Strawberry Peach Vodka Collins Popsicles are yours for the licking!

And careful, these are deceptively kid-like in flavor but packed with adult enjoyment.

 

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100 Ways to Use Strawberries

Strawberry season comes but once a year, and before you know it, you’ve spent way too much at the farmers’ market buying an entire flat of them, only to panic when you remember they go bad faster than bananas. So what to do with all those juicy little red guys? Oh we’ve got your covered…

Click on the photos for full recipes.

breakfast-pancake1

 

See also: 100 Ways to Use Blueberries

100 Ways to Use an Apple

From bacon to bananas, find the rest of our 100 Ways here.

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Salvaging a Crime Scene

This time of year it’s hard for me to eat brunch at a restaurant. Instead of tired florentine or crab cake benedicts (or <gasp> buffets), I grab a bright red bike from the closest Capital Bikeshare dock and ride over to the farmers market. Asparagus bundles line the wooden tables. Bins of kale and spinach also take up plenty of space. But on Sunday, it was all about the strawberries. It was the first time I spied the sultry fruit this season and I couldn’t resist picking up 2 cartons (at $7) from the tiny Bloomingdale market.

The only mistake: riding my bike back home. The berries rumbled around in a box I borrowed from a vendor. When I opened it up at home, it looked like a crime scene as the berries stained the cardboard walls. I managed to save them and decided to use most of them up pretty quickly for a friend’s graduation party. (Congrats, El!) It’s a twist on strawberries and cream, and mostly all of the ingredients can be found at market.

Creating this still cheesy, but much fresher, dish makes me so freaking happy its spring! That was pretty lame, huh?!

 

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