Cocktail: Habanero & Grapefruit Margarita

We’re packing up the car and heading into the city for a weekend away. We rented a house through VRBO, and are meeting a few good friends there to celebrate Matt’s birthday. I was cooking until midnight last night trying to get as much prep out of the way as possible: I’m very excited about the menu. I’ll post recipes and pictures next week. For now, a cocktail to enjoy this weekend. Its delicious! Have a great one. P1040271

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1 bottle of 100% agave tequila. I use Blanco here, but Reposado works well also. Save the Anejo tequila for sipping; this cocktail doesn’t showcase the tequila enough to warrant the aged stuff.

1-2 small habanero peppers, cut in half (I remove the seeds so I don’t have to strain it)

fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice

squeeze of lime (optional)

salt

Combine tequila and peppers in a pitcher. Cover and let infuse for about 3 hours, or longer. Taste frequently for heat. If you overdo it, add plain tequila to balance it out. Remove chilies and return to bottle.

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix 2:1 juice to tequila. Taste, I usually like to add a squeeze of lime but it depends on the tartness of your grapefruit. Shake & strain into glasses.

Optional: Fill a small plate with water. Dip rims of glasses into water, then dip half the glass rim into salt. Alternately, put a small pinch into the cocktail shaker before mixing drinks.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Whisper Thin Sandwich

lunch

This is my favorite kind of lunch — a few staples and leftovers come together to create something wholly satisfying in a matter of minutes. Thin slices of whole wheat toast are slathered with creamy Greek yogurt, and topped with a spicy, tangy tomato chutney. Leftover grilled pork tenderloin is shaved into whisper thin slices, and topped with sharp white cheddar and fresh pickles. Finished with a dusting of lemon zest and a handful of micro greens. These micro greens are actually garden tinnings of radish, beet, spinach, arugula and turnip greens. Nothing wasted and delicious to boot.

More a template than recipe, I always change it up based on what I have on hand. But I find it so helpful to have a handful of go to lunch ideas when mid day rolls around and I’m suddenly starving.

The bread is really key, I like something with lots of seeds and grains (this is a current favorite). I love to build off a creamy base; I’ll often use thick Greek yogurt, but ricotta, labneh, hummus or avocado are all delicious (Heidi has a wonderful post up about labneh)

To this I’ll  add something with a little pop to offset the creaminess — like spicy chutney, stone ground mustard, pickled vegetables or marmalade

I think the key with a sandwich like this is the textures and balance; the bread should provide structure and plenty of crunch, while any vegetables, meats and cheeses are shaved thin to keep things light and delicate.

Excellent toppings include: zucchini or asparagus ribbons, thin slices of cucumber, onion, pepper; fresh peas; a little later in the season tomato slices topped with a sprinkle of finishing salt. I’m always heavy handed with greens — I’ll finish with as much fresh arugula, spinach, micro greens, or herbs as I can.

Happy lunching!

Massaged Kale Salad with Garlicky Lemon Dressing

After spending years stumped by “what is your favorite food” questions, I realized my answer is rather surprising.

kale1

Raw in salad, sauteed with garlic, on pizza, or whirled into a smoothie,  kale is an integral part of my diet. I love its texture and flavor, it keeps me full, and its just so darn good for you!

This is more of a template than a recipe, you can take the concept of a kale salad in many directions. Top with any combination of goodies you have on hand. This recipe makes a bright, springy dressing with a fresh kick from the garlic.

Full recipe after the jump… Continue reading

Hazelnut, Flax & Red Currant Granola

label granola

Breakfast is the hardest meal for me. I am definitely not a morning person, and if I have to wake up early I can hardly bring myself to eat. I naturally gravitate toward a piece of toast with marmalade… which isn’t bad, but isn’t something I should eat every morning.

I’ve come to rely on two easy breakfasts to eat on weekdays. Come the weekend, I give myself a license to eat as much toast as I like. Granola like this is the first of those staples.

I tend to throw together a batch on the weekend and it lasts me through the week. Its really dense stuff, so I usually only eat about 1/3 of a cup portion. This batch makes enough for a couple of people to munch on through the week. And the best part is, this recipe takes all of 5 minutes of active time to put together. Full recipe after the jump… Continue reading

Cocktail: The Basil-Gin Fizz

basil gin fizz

The calendar might suggest it is Spring, but here in the Mid-Atlantic, winter is hanging on. It snowed yesterday.

I’m not letting the grey skies keep me down, no sir. I’m eating and drinking like its spring. Here’s a perfect cocktail to welcome the weekend. Taking advantage of the last of winter’s beautiful citrus, this drink combines the juice of cara cara oranges and lime with a basil simple syrup, the herbaceous depth of gin and a splash of sparkling water to bring it all home. Continue reading