Latest 'Grams

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tropical Garden Party Cocktail

Tropical Garden Party Cocktail  | Loves Food, Loves to EatHI, it’s me! And I come baring refreshing summer cocktails… because it finally sort of feels like summer in Seattle! These are bright and fresh, a little sweet, slightly savory, and super herbaceous, with muddled shiso leaves and cucumbers, gin (I used Hendricks for that extra floral/herbal kick), lemonade and a splash of pineapple juice (though a muddled chunk of fresh pineapple would be the way to go if you have it!), and a sparkly splash of Serrano DRY to finish it off. 
Tropical Garden Party Cocktail  | Loves Food, Loves to Eat
These cocktails are a breeze to mix up, but they do require a couple speciality items: shiso leaves and Serrano DRY. My neighbors pointed out two giant shiso plants in the jungly oasis they planted between our places, so I’ve been trying to come up with lots of things to do with the leaves. They have such a unique scent and flavor, I’m obsessed (and stoked that I can just go pick them whenever I want now!). If you don’t have generous neighbors with green thumbs, you should be able to find fresh shiso leaves at fancy grocery stores or Asian grocers. Serrano Pepper is one of DRY Sparkling’s limited summer flavors, so get it while you can (their website usually lists where you can find it). For straight sipping, I actually prefer their other summer flavor, Malali Watermelon (it seriously smells and tastes like a fresh juicy watermelon, no fake melon flavor at all), but the Serrano is great for cocktails, especially savory sweet ones like these! If you can’t find it, just use plain soda water (but it will change the flavor). If you like an extra kick, you can add a slice of actual Serrano pepper (though spicy cocktails aren’t for me!). Also, crushed ice would have been real cute in these, but when happy hour (i.e.: noon on a Sunday) is calling, ain't nobody got time to crush some ice. 

Note: This post is NOT sponsored, and all opinions are my own, but I did get a free sample of the Serrano DRY from their summer release party last week! 

Tropical Garden Party Cocktail
Makes one 1/2 pint cocktail 

1 large shiso leaf
2 slices of cucumber plus 1 more for garnish
1 ounce Hendricks gin (or more as desired)
Pineapple juice
Lemonade
Serrano DRY Sparkling
Ice

Put shiso leaf and cucumber slices in glass. Muddle together until mashed up and fragrant. Fill glass with ice. Add a splash of pineapple juice, and fill glass 3/4 full with lemonade. Fill remainder of glass with Serrano DRY. Stir, garnish with a cuke slice, and enjoy! 

Feel free to adjust quantities based on your tastes. 

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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vanilla Pineapple IPA Popsicles | #POPSICLEWEEK

Loves Food, Loves to Eat// Vanilla Pineapple IPA Popsicles | #POPSICLEWEEKIt’s that magical first-week-of-summer time. When everything seems possible, when we shed our winter skins and people ride bikes naked through the streets, the sun sets later and later each night, barbeques and beers on patios are plentiful and stretch past our pre-solstice bed-times, camping plans and picnic plans and beach-day plans are dreamt up and mapped out, and here in the PNW, we wear tank tops and flip flops one day, rainboots and jackets the next, constantly unprepared for the heat or the rain. It’s also the time of year when Billy of Wit & Vinegar hosts Popsicle Week!

Popsicles are one of those things that give me all the nostalgic summertime feels. Childhood memories of being sent outside into the summer heat with frozen orange juice or frozen grape juice on a stick, melting faster than you can eat it. It seems impossible, no matter what sad and awful and hateful and terrible things are happening in the world and the nation and our lives, to not smile when you’re eating a popsicle. Popsicle week came at just the right time this year—I feel like we could all benefit from a few extra, sticky-frozen-sweet smiles this month.    

This popsicle is sort of my ode to the Pacific North Best—a gift to my comrades in the upper left USA who’ve waded through a long, wet, grey, sunless winter. To my fellow Seattleites who know the few months of sunshine we get every summer make the rest of year worth it. It has a bitter hoppy finish that I associate with the northwest. IPAs of course are all over the map, but they feel so PNWonderland to me—piney and woodsy, best accompanied by a flannel shirt, mountains, and evergreen trees. And the pineapple—that’s for those of us who never want to call another place home, but still long for tropical beaches.

I’ve been toying with the idea of a vanilla pineapple IPA beertail for some time now, and with popsicle week here, I decided rather than a cocktail, this would be the perfect popsicle! All the satisfying cool relief and childlike giddiness of eating an icy pop, with the contrast of the sweet tangy pineapple, the warm roundness of vanilla, and the bitter hops that our adult palates have come to know and respect. Note that these aren’t the kind of treats that have a little something for everyone—If you’re not an IPA fan (shame on you) or you’re an actual child, these aren’t the pops for you. There's a real punch in the face IPA-ness about them. Luckily, if you head over to Wit & Vinegar, there are a lot of other options to meet your summer frozen treat needs and wishes.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat// Vanilla Pineapple IPA Popsicles | #POPSICLEWEEK

Why is it impossible to get the sticks in straight!?

Vanilla Pineapple IPA Popsicles
This makes about 1.5 cups more liquid than my 10 popsicle mold could hold. I started to do the maths to cut back, and instead gave up and poured the extra liquid in a glass over ice and was grateful for that decision, instant gratification for those of us that can hardly stand to wait overnight for these pops to freeze. Note that because they contain alcohol, they don't get a really deep freeze, and that makes them melt super fast...but the slushy pop gobbled up really quick before it melted away was my fave part. 

18 oz. pineapple juice *
16 oz (1 pint / 2 cups) IPA **
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon vanilla ***

Whisk ingredients together and pour into popsicle molds. Freeze until solid. Enjoy on a rainy or sunny PNW summer day.

* I used three 6 oz cans of Dole pineapple juice
**I used one from one of my neighborhood breweries… I tried to pick something a little summery and citrusy. If you can get your hands on a citra, that would be the winner
***I used vanilla bean paste, which I think has a deeper vanilla flavor plus I love the specs of vanilla bean (all those little black speckles at the tips of the pops), but regular vanilla extract and/or scraped vanilla bean will work
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Monday, May 30, 2016

Fried Chicken Sandwiches!

Delicious fried chicken on a rack. My mom said that when she and my dad first lived together, practically all she made was deep fried food in a cast iron skillet, because it’s all she knew how to cook. And my grandma, from Oklahoma, has bubbling hot oil running through her veins. But I was raised in the Pacific Northwest, in the 80s and 90s. Back when health crazes were all the rage. In a time when margarine was better for you than butter (although the lower price is more likely what kept that giant tub of Country Crock in our fridge my entire childhood). The days of Slim Fast powder and Jane Fonda aerobics tapes. Back when my mom only deep fried a couple times a year, and usually just to make breaded fried zucchini, and taquitos on Amanda’s birthday. Contrary to my mom’s belief, deep frying prowess is not something you’re born with. It’s not something I was born with. In fact, it’s something that, while brave and adventurous in the kitchen, I’ve always been intimidated by and have failed at every time I tried.
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Ready-To-Go TJ Salad

Ready-To-Go TJs Salad  // Loves Food Loves to EatI was eleven or twelve years old, and beyond excited to go to the movie that everyone said made them literally scream and jump out of their seats with fear. Of course my cousin Coco, 13 years my senior, took me. The same cousin who let me watch Candyman four years earlier (I would go on to brag, for years, that Candyman didn’t even give me nightmares, a fact that I wore like a badge of honor and maturity). The same cousin who couldn’t wait to binge on the movie Fear with my sister and me every summer since it came out… in 1990. When I was 5. (While the Marky Mark/ Alicia Silverstone Fear is amazing and the ferris wheel scene taught middle schoolers across the country everything we knew about sex at the time, I’m talking about the earlier movie Fear, starring Ally Sheedy, in which she’s a psychic who uses her powers to track down murderers and ps. it’s the best movie ever). The same cousin who later took us to see The Blair Witch Project… the night before we went on a family camping trip. 
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Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Shredded Chicken Gorditas

Shredded Chicken Gorditas | Loves Food Loves to EatToday I’m joining some other fun people on the interwebz in sharing recipes for Cinco de Mayo (scroll to the bottom for links)! Before we get started, a few notes:
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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Warm Lentil Salad with Butter-Crumbed Eggs | #SpringPantryPurge

Warm Lentil Salad with Butter-Crumbed Eggs | #SpringPantryPurge
I have a tendency to hoard but a desire to live minimally.

I have a nostalgia for things, which I come by naturally. My dad was a first generation child of immigrants, growing up in a family who had left everything behind. I think that probably makes you hang onto things a little tighter. When my parents were young and child-free, they travelled around the American southwest, living in a tiny travel-trailer in small towns along the way. That forces you to live minimally. Then when I was born, they settled on a 5 acre property, with lots of room for stuff. When I was growing up, we didn’t have a ton of money, which I also think makes people hang onto things. And we never moved. My entire childhood. So we just kept saving stuff and filling up our space. And overtime, we grew very attached and sentimental about our things. My mom still has all of my childhood toys. So, getting rid of things is hard for me. But I feel so much better in a clutter free environment. I truly feel like clearing the clutter in my house helps clear the clutter in my mind. So, I’m trying.
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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kristy Taco Salad (with Doritos and French Dressing)

In my pre-teen through teen years, taco salad night was a pretty regular occurrence at my house. I would help my mom season and cook the ground beef (seasoning taco meat was where I got my start in the kitchen), my sister would prep the veggies, and Tami, my sister’s best friend, would grate the cheese. Seriously, I don't have any memories of anyone else grating cheese in my teen years.
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