Happy National Martini Day

A trio of delicious libations – aka – three martini recipes.

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As a treat, or when we want to pretend we are Old Hollywood icons or starring in Sex and the City, we practice mixology with our favorite ingredients.   We use a bartender’s shaker and glass, a shot glass to measure, and the ice strainer.  And always crushed ice.  It was a requisite when we bought our refrigerator.

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Martini # 1 – The Classic

There are many variations in recipes for a classic martini.  Here’s ours:

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Ingredients:

gin

dry vermouth

olives (3)

Add 1/2 shot of vermouth to the big glass and two shots of gin per drink.  Shake and pour, using  the ice strainer to hold back the pieces of ice.  The drink is cold and frosty, and is guaranteed to melt the stress away from a hard day on the set, dahling.

Variations:  Use vodka instead of gin.  Use olive juice instead of vermouth (a dirty martini) or just swish the inside of the glass with vermouth, toss it and add the gin.  Use olives, cocktail onion, a twist of lemon or lime for garnishee.

Martini #2 – The Cosmo

 

This martini was made famous by Carrie and the girls in Sex and the City, but actually it is a version of a drink we enjoyed in our 20’s – the Kamikaze – with cranberry juice to tone it down.  We use a recipe that our friend Jack gave us.

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Ingredients:

Orange vodka

Orange liqueur

Lime juice, fresh or bottled

Cranberry juice cocktail

3-2-1-2 is the way I remember the proportions.  3 shots of orange vodka, 2 shots of orange liqueur, 1 shot lime juice, 2 shots cranberry juice into the big glass.  Shake with crushed ice and pour into glasses.  It makes a shakerful, enough for two large or three small cocktails.  With martinis, as with wine and food, always use the best ingredients your taste and pocketbook allows.

This is my personal favorite and yes, I do fancy myself as Carrie Bradshaw of the older set.  Well, after one or two of these, I certainly do.

Martini #3 – Key Lime

Here’s a recipe my sister’s boss gave her, “You need this for your vacation.”

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Ingredients:

coconut rum

vanilla vodka

pineapple juice

lime juice, fresh or bottled or a combination

vanilla liqueur (called 43)

2-2-2-2-1 into the glass, shake with crushed ice.  Rim the glass with a bit of lime juice and dip in graham cracker crumbs.  This really makes it taste like you are drinking a piece of key lime pie.  Who needs dessert when you can sip one of these instead?

Try them and let me know.  What is your favorite martini recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Recipe of the Week: Basic Vegetable Soup

Jump start a healthy eating plan.

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Whenever I want to jump start or re-start my healthy eating plan, I always prepare  vegetable soup.  No grains, no meat, just vegetable soup.  My body is reeling from over-indulgence.  I’ve had fun celebrating, now it’s time to get back to basics with this easy and versatile veggie soup.

Continue reading “Recipe of the Week: Basic Vegetable Soup”

Recipe of the Week: Shrimp Fondue

Sharing a yummy appetizer from my mother’s recipe stash.

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This recipe for shrimp fondue is from my mother’s recipe book.  She made the rich and delicious appetizer anytime there was a family party.  If it wasn’t included on the menu, either my sister or I would say, “you’re going to make shrimp fondue, aren’t you?”

 

Continue reading “Recipe of the Week: Shrimp Fondue”

Recipe for Cherry Cake

Easy and delicious cherry cake.

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Cherry Cake is an easy “from scratch” recipe that serves 12 – 16 people.    There are enough servings to share with a friend and save for your family as well.  I wish you could taste the rich, buttery flavor, enhanced by the almond extract.  

Continue reading “Recipe for Cherry Cake”

Love and Cheesecake

A Valentine Dessert for Your Love

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Dessert gets a bad rap around our house these days.  We love it but we know it is not healthy.  But a special occasion like Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to indulge in treat.  I’m happy to be sharing this recipe with you, as well as the love story that goes with it.

My mother swore it was this cheesecake that sealed the deal between her and my stepfather.  She was a widow with three children, he was a widower with five.  On the night the they decided to make it a blended family, this cheesecake was on the menu.  If you believe the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, this might just be the ticket.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 double package of shortbread cookies*  (The original recipe specified Lorna Doones).

2T butter

2 8-0z. packages of cream cheese

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp. salt

2T flour

1t vanilla

4 eggs separated

½ pint heavy cream

1 large can cherry pie filling

*I make my own shortbread cookies and crumble and use them (1 cup flour, ½ cup butter, ¼ cup brown sugar)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Crumble the cookies with the butter and press into the bottom of a 9″ spring-form pan.
  3. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar,  and salt.
  4. Add the flour and vanilla.
  5. Separate the eggs and add one yolk at a time, beating in between.
  6. Add the heavy cream, stirring in by hand.

Then

  1. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.  Fold into batter by hand.  Mixture will seem a little lumpy.
  2. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake for one hour.  Then turn off the oven and open the oven door a crack and leave in there for another hour.
  4. When cake is done, take out of the oven and cool completely. You can put it in the fridge.
  5. When cool, top with cherries or desired fruit.

NOTES:

The top of the cake has a tendency to crack.  You can try cooking it in a water bath, or loosening the edges with a knife after you turn the oven off.  It really makes no difference, as you will be topping the cake with canned cherry pie filling.  I’ve tried using light cream cheese and half and half instead of heavy cream, but it is not the same.

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Cherries on top are festive for Valentine’s Day, but strawberries, pineapple, blueberries would also work.

 

My whole family agreed that they had a tingly surge of happiness when they ate a piece.  Maybe it was the sugar, but maybe, just maybe,  it was Cupid’s arrow.

 

Easy Recipe for Artichoke Pie

I am absolutely abuzz to share this awesome Artichoke Pie recipe with you.   It’s a great dish for a meatless Monday meal or a girl friends luncheon, but trust me, men like it too.    I got this recipe from my friend, Robyn, who also happens to be the mom of my daughter’s boyfriend.  

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The creaminess of the cheese and the heartiness of the artichokes all baked up in a bubbly pie will become a family favorite.
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Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Serves: 6-8 
This is an easy 5-ingredient recipe that utilizes ready-made pie crust. If you are ambitious, by all means make your own dough. I prefer to use the pre-made dough and roll it out.
Ingredients
  • 1 9″ pie crust (I used a deep dish pie pan so the crust only came up to the top of the edge)
  • 2 can quartered articokes
  • 1 16oz block of mozzarella cut into chuncks
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 gloves garlic
Instructions
  1. Place oil in saute pan with garlic. Cook a minute or two until fragrant. Add the artichokes and saute until they are soft but not browned.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the block of mozzarella into chunks. Drop eggs into a bowl and whisk a little, then add the cheese. Add artichokes into the pie crust with a slotted spoon. Pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Serve with a simple green salad and light vinaigrette.    It’s rich, creamy and comforting, but most of all easy.