Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pimm's Cup Ice Pops

Pimm's Cup Ice Pops
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy icy cold cocktails. From frosty blended drinks, to tall sweaty glasses filled with ice cubes that clink and slosh every time you lift them, there's just something about raising a toast under the hot sun. Of course, sitting alone under a shade tree isn't so bad, either.

As much as I enjoy sipping, it's no secret that I enjoy turning my cocktails into boozesicles even more. There were these Tequila Sunrise Ice Pops, and these Cherry Mojito Ice Pops, not to mention these Lemon Lime Margarita Creamsicles—and that's just to name a few. Sure, it's convenient to have a portable frozen cocktail, but it's the whimsy and nostalgia that get me every time.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Garlicky Duck Stir-Fry inspired by Eat Drink Man Woman #FoodnFlix

Garlicky Duck Stir-Fry inspired by Eat Drink Man Woman
"Eat, drink, man, woman. Basic human desires."

This month's Food 'n Flix pick is a true "foodie movie". A delight for the senses, Eat Drink Man Woman is set in Taiwan and centers around widowed Master Chef Chu and his three unmarried adult daughters who still live at home. Each Sunday they come together to connect over a lovingly crafted elaborate family meal. The daughters are being pulled in their own directions by love and careers while they notice that their father's once flawless food is starting to lack flavor because he has lost his sense of taste.

Sound familiar? Well, if you haven't seen this 1994 release before, maybe you've seen the 2001 flick Tortilla Soup. Tortilla Soup is the American remake that features a Mexican-American family living in Southern California. I think both movies are equally delicious in their own right.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Peach-Rosemary Shrub #ProgressiveEats

Peach-Rosemary Shrub
I've been meaning to try making (and drinking) a shrub for at least 3 or 4 years now. I'm not really sure why I've waited so long, seeing as they couldn't be any easier to make. So, when you think shrub, does your mind automatically go to the bushes outside your childhood home? Or, if you're like me, a little TLC song might start playing on a constant loop in your head. (Yes, I know it's scrub, not shrub. I can't help the way my mind works.) What I'm really referring to are the shrubs that are also known as "drinking vinegars".

Basically, you macerate fresh fruit or berries with sugar until the fruit is soft and the sugar is dissolved, then you add vinegar and allow the mixture to infuse for several days. You can add fresh herbs or spices for different flavors. Once the mixture has infused, you strain out the solids and use the resulting sweet and tangy syrup to flavor things, usually drinks (though you could use it in vinaigrettes or sauces, as well).

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Boozy Raspberry Marshmallows (Chambord Marshmallows)

Boozy Raspberry Marshmallows (Chambord Marshmallows)
If you look very closely, you'll see a faint, dusty rose tinge to these marshmallows. That, my friends, is the boozy portion of this homemade marshmallows recipe. I've been meaning to try my hand at boozy marshmallows for a while now. I was aiming for a somewhat delicate flavor; maybe something a bit floral or perhaps fruity.  After a quick liquor cabinet inventory, Chambord was the winner.

Chambord is a beautiful reddish-purple raspberry liqueur, so at the thought of using it, visions of deep pink marshmallows danced in my head. Imagine my surprise when the color was beaten into submission. I watched as the whisk gradually worked in the molten sugar and erased all but a faint trace of color I'd imagined.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Whole Roasted Trout w/ Sake and Plums inspired by Flask of the Drunken Master

Whole Roasted Trout w/ Sake and Plums
I'm so excited to be hosting a tour stop for Susan Spann's latest release in her Shinobi Mystery series today. I'll admit, it was initially the title that drew me in: Flask of the Drunken Master. I hadn't read (or even heard of) the books before, but I'm a huge kung-fu fan, and Drunken Master is one of my favorite kung-fu flicks, so I couldn't wait to read the book. Now, there's actually no kung-fu involved in the book, and it's set in Japan, not China...fortunately, that didn't stop me from enjoying every minute of it!

So, I mentioned that this book is actually part of a series; it's book three. I ordered the first two books in the series with the intention of reading them before this one, but time got away from me and I didn't get the chance. Now that I've read Flask of the Drunken Master, I can't wait to go back and get caught up with the first two books, but my experience wasn't lacking for not having read them already. It can stand on it's own if you want to dive right in.

Flask is a mystery set in Japan in the year 1565. Our main characters are the Hiro, a translator who, unbeknownst to most, is actually a shibobi (ninja), and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo. Together they are working to prove sake brewer Ginjiro innocent of the crime of murder, and find the real killer before he is executed for the crime.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Red Fruit Salad

Red Fruit Salad
Red. The color of love and passion. It's bold. It's exciting. It draws the most eyes in any crowd. It disappears first in any candy jar. So, while it's important to eat the rainbow in order to get the best variety of nutrients and antioxidants, sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and embrace the intensity that is RED!

Who doesn't go crazy for sweet, juicy red fruit and berries at their peak? Who else has to purchase an extra pint of wild strawberries from the farmers market...just so that you'll actually have some left by the time you get home?

I've probably mentioned it a time or five before—for me, there's no season like cherry season. Is it wrong to eat one's weight in cherries? I think not.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Grilled Shrimp Burgers

Grilled Shrimp Burgers
Now that the weather has warmed up and the grill has once again taken up residence on the patio, I've been a grilling fool. I'm sure everybody has their own "go to" foods for the grill. Ours are chops, brats, hot dogs, chicken breast, corn on the cob, beef burgers and marinated skirt steak (for tacos). On special occasions I actually get a nice thick steak. But what I really look forward to is that familiar smokiness permeating some fish or seafood.

I have pescetarian tendencies, but my family does not. Each of them likes certain types of fish or seafood, but would revolt if I tried to completely remove other meat permanently from their diets. So instead, I just slip some in as often as possible.

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