Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I had to go restock the liquor cabinet (imagine that!) and picked up Cherry Brandy and Coffee Brandy. It seemed as if I saw tons of recipes calling for these and I was tired of skipping all of them. Plus, I like cherry and coffee flavors.

Naturally, I got home, sat down with Mr. Boston's Official Bartender's Guide and had a heckuva a time finding any of those cocktails.

Eventually, after due diligence, I dug up some interesting prospects.

The first we tried was Cherie which was quite delicious. And it had a maraschino cherry. Which was perfect because we were watching Some Like It Hot.

Don't see the connection? Pick up the movie and watch for Tony Curtis on the train.

1 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Triple Sec
1 oz. Light Rum
1/2 oz. Cherry-flavored Brandy

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Add a maraschino cherry.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Can you have Halloween cocktails and not include the Zombie? I'm pretty sure that's against the rules. Somewhere.

These are, in a word, delicious. In another word, tangy. In a third word (or two), potential lethal.

As a side note: I'd never tasted passion fruit syrup before. It is like a curious combination of pineapple, orange, and mango on the tongue. Quite good.

We now return to the Zombie ... it never does to take one's eyes off of a zombie for too long, after all.

Do not overindulge. Or you will become that thing we all dread. A zombie.

But one Zombie won't hurt. At least we all came out alive. And since we were testing these while watching last weekend's Cowboys game, we needed something to dull the pain.

1 tsp. Brown Sugar
1 oz. Lemon Juice
1 oz. Lime Juice
1 oz. Pineapple Juice
1 oz. Passion Fruit Syrup
1 dash Angostura Bitters
1 oz. Gold Rum
1 oz. 151-proof Rum
1 oz. White Rum

Dissolve brown sugar in juices. Combine all ingredients, shake with ice, and pour into chilled Collins glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Satan's Whiskers

It's interesting to me that Hannah and Rose both seem to choose cocktails to try based on the name. We have discovered some delicious cocktails that way, to be sure, but it is it so different from my method of scanning the ingredients to see if my mind's palate thinks it would be a good drink.

With Halloween coming up, Rose is at it again. Hence, Satan's Whiskers, which filled me with dread because of the double vermouth whammy ... which my mind's palate was nudging me in the ribs about (too much vermouth is not something I adore). Also orange juice. Which none of us are very fond of.

Based on my fears, we made sure we had ingredients for Zombies on hand also. There was no need as it turned out.

Satan's Whiskers was a lovely orange cocktail with no one ingredient overwhelming the others. A rich, deep flavor is the only way I can think of to describe it. Delicious. You'll just have to try it for yourself and see what you think. (More about the Zombies later.)

Satan's Whiskers
3/4 oz. Gin
3/4 oz. Dry Vermouth
3/4 oz. Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz. Orange Juice
1/2 oz. Grand Marnier (our house orange liqueur is Cointreau so we used that)
1 dash Orange Bitters

Shake with ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallows

I have read marshmallow recipes for many years but never tried any, although I always was rather curious about what they'd be like. I am not very fond of marshmallows, as a matter of fact, and my curiosity was never great enough to move me to experiment.

Rose had a friend from Chicago visit last weekend, however, and tried out this recipe from the current Cooking Light. Other than mentioning that sampling cocktails before working with boiling sugar syrup seemed an unnecessary risk (one they took seriously enough to postpone cocktails, by the way), I didn't participate at all.

As we have come to expect from Cooking Light, Rose said the recipe worked exactly as written and was very easy. Everyone loved the soft texture and slight chocolate flavor. I did sample one and as marshmallows go it was good enough.

Next time Rose may try more cocoa powder for a deeper chocolate flavor. It also seems to me that a mint version would be good, perhaps with a touch of green or pink food coloring.

Chocolate Marshmallows

For a more pronounced chocolate flavor, increase the cocoa powder in marshmallows.

1 cup water, divided
3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light-colored corn syrup
Dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa
Cooking spray
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1. Pour 1/2 cup water into a small microwave-safe bowl, and sprinkle with gelatin.

2. Combine remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer registers 250°. Pour sugar mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand until a candy thermometer registers 210°.

3. Microwave gelatin mixture at HIGH for 20 seconds or until gelatin melts, stirring after 10 seconds. With mixer on low speed, beat sugar mixture using a whip attachment; gradually pour gelatin mixture in a thin stream into sugar mixture. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Increase speed to high; whip mixture at high speed until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Reduce mixer to medium speed, and gradually add 1/4 cup cocoa; beat until combined. Using a spatula coated with cooking spray, scrape mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray; smooth top. Let stand 2 hours.

4. Sift together powdered sugar, cornstarch, and 2 teaspoons cocoa into a jelly-roll pan. Using an offset spatula coated with cooking spray, remove marshmallow from pan; place in sugar mixture. Using scissors well coated with powdered sugar mixture, cut marshmallows into 78 (1-inch) squares. Dust with powdered sugar mixture; shake to remove excess sugar mixture.

5. Arrange marshmallows on a cooling rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Place bittersweet chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds until smooth. Drizzle melted chocolate over marshmallows; let stand until chocolate is set.

Friday, October 07, 2011

55 Great Global Food Blogs

Writing around here has been scarce on the ground. I have been cooking but somehow, with one exception which I will tell you about soon, none of it has been particularly interesting or noteworthy (aside from keeping us fed, of course).

So, you may be interested in Saveur's list of 55 Great Global Food Blogs. I know I was. There is some great stuff out there and this is a perfect way to explore it.