Monday, May 20, 2013

Cucumber Rosemary Vodka Lemonade

The name of this recipe suggests that there's an awful lot going on here in this cocktail, doesn't it? The reality of it is that couldn't be further from the truth. OK, OK I guess it could be, say if you mixed Coke Zero and vodka (not that I've ever done that), but it's pretty easy nonetheless. I found this great grocery store brand lemonade with just a hint of carbonation that was delicious for mixing. It was also zero calories, which doesn't hurt when a drink is so good you could have about ten of them. The flavors go together beautifully, with only a hint of rosemary, and a nice little vodka kick. Now, let's address the question you're really asking: the answer is Anthropologie; the napkins are from Anthropologie. You're welcome.

Cucumber Rosemary Vodka Lemonade
Makes 2 cocktails

8 oz. lemonade
4 oz. vodka
2 sprigs rosemary
6 slices of cucumber

Place rosemary and cucumber in a shallow bowl and cover with vodka. Allow to sit for several hours, if time allows. If not, just make the cocktail already.

Add vodka, rosemary and cucumber to a glass over ice. Add lemonade. If your rosemary just isn't perky anymore, just switch it out for a new sprig as garnish.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I'm always on the hunt for super easy, quick dinners to make throughout the week; if they are a bit healthy as well, then well let's call that a bonus. This simple little recipe ticks all of those boxes perfectly. Everything in this recipe is store-bought, which is a gross departure from my usual recipes, but again it's ease we're going for here. By subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream, using healthful salsa as sauce, and taking it a little easy on the cheese, you can really make a delicious entree that is pretty darn good for you (especially as far as Gingersnaps goes). All this plus hearty, filling, and ready in less than 10 minutes? Winner!


Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

1 microwaveable sweet potato (sold ready-to-microwave at grocery stores)
1/2 breast from rotisserie chicken
Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Scant 1/4 cup Monterrey Jack cheese
Dollop of Greek yogurt
Cilantro, chopped

1. Microwave the sweet potato per package instructions. Allow to cool, and cut in half. Scoop out a small amount of flesh from the potato to create space. (You could also make this more of a potato skin by removing more).

2. Shred rotisserie chicken breast and toss with a bit of hot sauce, if desired. Add to potato halves.

3. Top with shredded cheese. Microwave just until cheese is melted.

4. Top with salsa, Greek yogurt, and cilantro garnish.

Monday, May 13, 2013

White Truffle, Parmesan & Rosemary Popcorn

On a recent trip to Philadelphia, Adam and I stayed in a hotel that had the coolest perk: a free wine and popcorn happy hour! The popcorn was perfectly coated with delicious truffle butter, and I couldn't stop going back for more. I decided to recreate it at home, and add a little something extra with some Parmesan and fresh rosemary. This snack is crazy easy to make, and would be a perfect thing to serve at a party or as a unique treat before dinner. Alternatively, you can just douse popcorn in truffle butter and mop the bowl with each piece (been there, done that), but the added ingredients make it that much more special.

White Truffle, Parmesan & Rosemary Popcorn

6 cups popped unflavored popcorn (1 standard bag)
1.5 T. white truffle butter, melted
1 T. butter, melted
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, leaves finely chopped

Pop popcorn according to package directions. Toss with melted butter until evenly distributed. Toss with Parmesan cheese and chopped rosemary. Serve.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Tangerine Sorbet Prosecco Float

When I surprised Adam with this cocktail the other night, upon first taste, his response was, "Now that tastes like summer". He couldn't have been more right; with the Maryland weather refusing to embrace springtime (let alone summer), we just had to create our own sunshine.

After tangerine and prosecco paired so well in a previous cocktail, I decided to give it another go, but with a different spin. I hadn't busted out my trusty ice cream maker yet this year, so I thought I'd dust it off for some homemade tangerine sorbet. Then I thought: why not douse that sorbet in prosecco for an even better treat? I was right, it really was better with alcohol.

You really don't need to make your own sorbet, I just get a little crazy sometimes and can't stop myself. Also, you could serve this the way I intended, as a float, or go for Adam's method of immediately stirring everything together for more of a classic cocktail. Either way, it is so refreshing and satisfying, and really does taste just like summer.

Tangerine Sorbet Prosecco Float

1 ice cream scoop of tangerine sorbet, store-bought or homemade
4 oz. prosecco or champagne (if you fancy)

Do you really need directions? No I did not think so.

Tangerine Sorbet

2 cups fresh tangerine juice (or store-bought)
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. lemon juice

Strain tangerine juice into a large bowl to remove pulp and seeds.
Add lemon juice and sugar to the bowl, stir until dissolved.
Process in ice cream maker.