DDD #149 – Dark & Stormy Rum Cocktail

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IMG_3403All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2020

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image below to watch the video.

Dark & Stormy

INGREDIENTS

3 ounces dark rum

6 ounces ginger beer

fresh lime

ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Fill a glass with ice.  Squeeze half a lime over the ice.  Add a slice of lime inside the glass.  Add the ginger beer.  Pour the rum over a spoon into the glass.  Garnish with a lime slice.

Voila!

DDD #46 – St. Germain Gin Fizz Cocktail

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image below to watch the video.


St. Germain Gin Fizz Cocktail

Makes one real cocktail or two minis

INGREDIENTS

2 oz gin

1 oz St. Germain

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 oz club soda

1/2 oz simple syrup

Garnish options: sliced cucumber, mint sprigs, cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS

Shake the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice & simple syrup in ice for 30 seconds.  Pour into glasses filled with ice & cucumber slices.  Top with club soda & garnish with cucumber & mint.

Consume!  Make more!

DDD #42 – Fresh Pineapple Mojito Cocktail

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

Click the image below to watch the video.

Fresh Pineapple Mojito Cocktail

2 cocktails

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks

10-20 mint leaves

4 oz white rum

juice of 1/2 – 1 lime

Splash club soda

1 TBS sugar or simple syrup (optional)

Dragonfruit ice cubes (optional)

Ice

Garnish – maraschino cherries, pineapple wedges & mint sprigs

DIRECTIONS

Muddle the pineapple & mint in a cocktail shaker.

Add rum & lime juice and sugar (if using) & shake will.  Pour into ice-filled glasses (regular ice or dragonfruit ice cubes) and top with club soda.  Garnish as desired & serve.

DDD #37 – Muddled Strawberry & Cracked Pepper Gin & Tonic

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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My Youtube vide for this recipe is here- just click the image to watch.


INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz gin

4 oz tonic

Cracked pepper

Fresh strawberries

DIRECTIONS

Muddle the strawberries in a glass & grind fresh pepper on them.  Fill the glass with ice & add gind & tonic.

Consume!

 

 

 

DDD Ep. #2 – Last Word Cocktail & St. Patrick’s Day

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image below to watch the video recipe.

Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it – and I hope you find it funny.  Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.

https://www.facebook.com/CapitalBarandGrill

http://capitalhotel.com/CBG/

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Or – as served at the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This is one powerful drink!  The first sip makes you think it of Robitussin & you won’t think you can drink it.  The second sip will win you over & you will realize the trouble you have just gotten yourself into.  Consider yourself warned!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

THE LAST WORD – A Prohibition Era Cocktail

Yield: 1 Drink

Ingredients:

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain & serve!

Lime Gin Fizz Cocktail

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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It has been so friggin’ hot here in LA that a sparkly, bubbly citrus cocktail sounds delicious – as early as lunch.  Gin is a great hot weather liquor as it goes with citrus so well.   This is easy & uses ingredients that are not exotic & goes down like candy.  I used a lemon sugar rim intended for Lemon Drop cocktails but it worked very well.

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Lime Gin Fizz

1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup (I used bottled but recipes for it are HERE)

2 ounces gin

2 ounces seltzer water or club soda

Some sort of sugar for the rim (optional)

Lime wedges for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Wet the glass & dip the rim in sugar.  Shake the lime juice, simple syrup & gin with ice for a good 30 seconds to a minute or more.  Fill the glass with ice & pour the chilled gin mix on top.  Add the seltzer & garnish with lime wedge.

Chug it & make another!

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And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.  The REVIEWS ON AMAZON are awesome!

 

The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

Part 1 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Hi everybody!  That is me just above.  And this is the first entry in a several part recap of restaurants I have visited around Los Angeles.  This is not a complete list & some places here reflect images from multiple visits.  I am not going to get into reviewing them but I will post a link if I have blogged about specific places here in the past – and that link will likely have lots of info & more pictures (except for my earliest posts which were pretty simple).   They will be listed pretty much in alphabetical order & if there is a website for the place – I will try to supply it by making the name of the place a link to their site.   The images above are from Millie’s in Silverlake.   The beer below was at La Poubelle – a spot that is too dark to photograph with much success.  There isn’t a spot in this list that I do not recommend highly.  They span the city from East L.A. to Inglewood and all over Hollywood.  I included two spots in Santa Barbara.   It is just too fucking hot to cook this week – so I am using this heat as an opportunity to reflect.  I hope you enjoy this photo retrospective and maybe try out a few new places yourselves!

 

My blog about MILLIE’S is HERE.

My blog about LA POUBELLE is HERE.

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OK – here we go!

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3 DOG CANTINA – Hollywood

3 DOG CANTINA – in my blog HERE.

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33 TAPS  – Hollywood

 

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54TWENTY – Hollywood

54Twenty in my blog HERE.

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101 COFFEE SHOP – Hollywood

My blog about the 101 Coffee Shop.

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BENNY’S TACOS VENICE

My blog about Benny’s Tacos.

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BIRDS CAFE – Hollywood

My blog about Birds.

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BLUE PALMS BREWHOUSE – Hollywood

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CHEEBO – Hollywood

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CHI DYNASTY – Los Feliz

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DAVEY WAYNE’S – or – GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNE’S – Hollywood

My blog about Davey Wayne’s.

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OK!  There are the first ten.  I hope you try some of them out!!! And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.

 

The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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vromans back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Sriracha Ketchup & Doomie’s Home Cooking & Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Easy & yummy.  And nearly guiltless!!!

Roasted Cauliflower Bites

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil  (more or less – depending on the size of the head of cauliflower)

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cauliflower in just enough oil to lightly coat all the florets & add some S&P.

Roast at 400 degrees for about an hour – turning 3 or 4 times in the process.

Serve with sriracha ketchup!  DEVOUR!

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Sriracha Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup ketchup

2 TBS sriracha (more or less – depending on your heat tolerance)

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp rice vinegar

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DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit up!  Should last in the fridge a week or more.

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OK – first of all – my book reading in Pasadena is THIS SUNDAY!  COME ON OUT!

Secondly – a vegan friend of mine, Ethan, was in town this week promoting veganism for the Humane League on the Warped tour.

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I finally had a companion (or 5 – as he was traveling with 4 peers) to try out a place I have been DYING to try – Doomie’s Home Cooking!!!!  It is right in my hood & it is vegan but not healthy vegan.  It is greasy, comfort food at its best.  Check out the menu.

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Impressed?  Me, too!  And as if this were not enough – Doomie’s has over 150 items on the “secret menu.”  Among them – a vegan BIG MAC!!!!

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The kids Ethan was traveling with were quite aware of the secrets at Doomie’s and they ordered a Dinosaur Egg.  I am not quite sure what it is but here is what it looked like.

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I think it involves something like mashed potatoes & cheese in a deep fried ball with gravy – but I am unclear.  One of them ordered the Big Mac – but with fried chicken instead of burgers.

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The secret menu includes anything you want them to make from the ingredients they have on hand & every sandwich is available served between two grilled cheeses rather than just bread or a bun.  Ethan opted for some kinda fried chicken sandwich between two grilled cheeses.  Here it is & here he is trying to fit it in his mouth.

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We all sampled the fried shrimp & they were VERY convincing!

I cannot recommend this place highly enough!!!!  I am taking the carnivorous Badass Miles Miller there when he visits in two weeks & I am going to convert that son-of-a-bitch to loving the fake meats as much as the cruelty-ridden real meat he subsists upon.

Zits popping out of our faces from grease consumption, we staggered back out into the sunlight – blinking away the brightness & weaving from sudden onset food comas.  And I thought!  OMG!  I have some people I can drag to another place I have been DYING to try – Good Times at Davey Wayne’s.  It, too, is right in my hood and – likely because they were to food-drunk to resist – my companions agreed to go there with me.

The entry is hidden in this little alley garage sale thing.

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At first, I was later told by my vegan companions, that as I spoke to the doorman seated there, they feared I was stopping in the alley to buy drugs.  LOL!  Never fear!  I was just being carded.  Because behind that refrigerator door –

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is Davey Wayne’s!  Pull the fridge door open & it isn’t condiments & produce you find.  No!  You find STAIRS!  That lead you into this 70’s awesomeness!

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See the giant Jenga game in the outdoor area?  This place fucking rules!  We were there at the crack of broad-daylight-5pm – on a MONDAY – and there were like 20 or 30 people there.  Just enough so it felt populated but there was still tons of room & many seating options.

The bartenders were friendly (that matters) – and one mustachioed gent agreed to mix me up a Last Word cocktail by my directions – as he was unfamiliar with the drink.  Here is his:

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I am a huge fan of this cocktail & it was one of the things I posted on DAY ONE of my blog’s life.  Here is my Last Word effort

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And here is one from the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

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The Last Word set me back $10 but that seemed fair to me & the whole experience was tremendous!!!  I very much recommend both Doomie’s and Davey Wayne’s to all!   Your cool factor will rise immensely.

 

 

Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous & Waterfront Film Festival!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans front

vromans back

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I have been shirking my blogging duties lately because last weekend was year 16 of the AWESOME Waterfront Film Festival (Waterfront on Facebook) – a festival I have programmed for every year.  This year was our second season in South Haven, Michigan – having been in Saugatuck for 14 years before that.  We screened a ton of amazing films & the weather was gorgeous & I got to meet a lot of new folks & reunite with some old friends.  Internationally acclaimed artist Ron English did our poster again this year

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and he even came early & painted this mural – IN A DAY.  That is my stepdad, Alvan Long, in the black get-up.

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Besides beaches & murals & movies – there were lots of parties & lotsa this kinda thing:

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As you might imagine, it takes a few days to recover from such debauchery – but recovered I am!  Sorta.  Still too lazy to get nuts in the kitchen but I made this soup today & it came together in about 20-30 minutes & tastes amazing!  EASY & healthy & vegan.  I used these products from Trader Joe’s:

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but you could use any vegan (or not) meatball or another grain – like barley or something.   So easy & flavorful – I hope you try it!

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

1/2 lb vegan meatballs

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS mint – chopped (plus more as garnish)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

NOTE – I tried the leftovers of this soup the next day & by day two – the spices seemed heavy-handed.  So – if you are going to eat this immediately – spice it up.  If you expect leftovers or intend to let it simmer long time – maybe reduce the spices by half and season it more (if it needs it) before serving.

Despite the photos above – keep your vegan meatballs OUT until the end to prevent them from falling apart.

Cook your couscous according to the package & set aside.  This should take 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat & saute the onion (not the garlic) with the dry spices until the onion softens – a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & add the couscous & meatballs.  Season with S&P – add some mint – and you are pretty much good to go.  The longer it gets to simmer – the better the flavors meld but be careful not to break up your meatballs.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with more chopped mint & slurp it up!

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Spicy Chili Chocolate Cake & Fine Dining in Montecito, California

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – I will apologize up front for the lame photos of the chili chocolate cake.  I hope the photos of my Montecito trip make up for it a tiny bit.

This chili chocolate cake is just stupid easy & really dense – like a flourless cake – despite the fact that it is flour-based.  I stole the recipe from Bake-aholic.com (their version & photo below)

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and just used my Fireball frosting from the Fireball Whiskey Cupcakes I made the same day I made this cake.

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My cake seemed far more dense than their appears but it was rather yummy.

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Here is their recipe for

Chili & Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you know I never plan ahead…1 T of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup…add milk to the 1 cup mark.  let sit 5 minutes to curdle)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup hot hot water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 13″x9″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, soda, cinnamon and cayenne (start with 1/4 tsp cayenne…you can adjust when the batter is all combined). Add in oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir gently. Add hot water. Pour into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 T milk

Beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, add vanilla and cinnamon. Add milk and beat until you attain your desired consistency (I generally start with 4 T [1/4 cup] then add 1 T at a time).  Frost cooled cake. (This frosting is also delicious on graham crackers.)

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This weekend marked my second anniversary with the badass, Miles Miller.  I had an available dog sitter so we took the opportunity & escaped for a night to Montecito.  Montecito is the wealthy town just south of Santa Barbara.  I used to go there all the time & have a few favorite spots but I hadn’t been in over a decade – so – returning to those old favorite haunts had a distinct element of risk.  Not every restaurant can maintain its quality for twenty years.  Since I chose the destinations – all the responsibility was on my shoulders and I was a bit nervous.  But one place I was fairly certain would have maintained its allure is the Four Seasons Biltmore up there on the beach.  Unable to afford to actually stay there – I decided we could certainly afford to lunch there – so that was our first stop.

We sauntered into the hotel around noon & went to their restaurant there – Bella Vista.

“Are you joining us for brunch?”

I looked at Miles who shrugged and then answered, “I don’t see why not.”

But I could see why not.  I am not a brunch fan & I am especially not a brunch buffet fan.  Omelette bars & tables of pastries are of no interest to me – not to mention that most buffets are excessively littered with meat options.  Not only am I not a meat eater but, recently, I decided to stop eating seafood (because of the radiation they are finding in it from Fukishima – read HERE).  WTF else is there on a buffet for me?

But, we committed & I decided to make the best of it.  The bottomless champagne promised to take the edge off whatever disappointment lay ahead for me.  And look how pretty the joynt is.

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I tried to console myself with the thought that a high end buffet would, at least, have lots of options that would please my nearly purely carnivorous boyfriend.  I sipped champagne.  I looked around.  I thought, “This does not suck.”  Because it didn’t – no matter what I ended up eating.  And look at how cute Miles is!

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Then I wandered into the buffet room.  It was truly a wonderland of options.  The Biltmore does not fuck around & this buffet proved to be the finest I had ever seen.  Sure, there was bacon & sausage & homemade hash & rare lamb chops & prime rib & steak salad & chicken salad and, really, every meat option you can imagine and there was a wall lined with every variety of sweet thing on Earth.  There was the requisite omelette bar & the bagels & lox & all the other things you might expect.  Initially, I loaded a pile of mashed potatoes on my plate, still determined to go vegetarian – until I lifted the lid on the shrimp & grits.  Oh fuck.  I adore grits & radiation cancer or not – I was going to have some of that shrimpy goodness.  As I spooned a bit on my plate – I spied huge hunks of lobster in the grits, too.  It was about then that I apparently went into some kind of seafood-frenzy black-out.  Photos of my first plate reveal these selections:

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Mashed potatoes, seafood grits, CAVIAR (I could live on caviar) with all the traditional accoutrements, two oysters & a shrimp.

My return to the buffet resulted in this selection:

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That, if you cannot tell, is a small selection of sushi, a tiny piece of smoked salmon, oysters, a shrimp & a SCANDALOUS portion of caviar that, as you might observe, I tried to obscure beneath the little bowl of soy sauce & wasabi.  There are eight blini there so that gives you some idea of the greed I exhibited.  I could have just stood there at the buffet & smeared it all over my face as I scraped the entire quantity offered into my mouth with a cupped palm – whilst growling at anybody unwise enough to approach me.  But that seemed rather classless so I just took about an entire ounce of the black gold and the desired extras (egg & creme fraiche etc) and rejoined Miles at our table & grunted, “This does NOT SUCK” repeatedly as I swilled the free-flowing champagne & licked caviar from my fingers.

Sometimes I’m not safe in public.  God bless Miles for loving me.

Properly sated – we braced for the bill.  Miles guessed the cost would be high & guessed $50 each.  I feared it would be closer to $125 each.  Or more.  After all – there was BOTTOMLESS CAVIAR & the champagne was not sweet & gross and it, too, was bottomless.  I think Miles threw up in his mouth a bit when the bill turned out to be just under $200 with tip but I knew we had dodged a bullet.  And I still had caviar running down my chin like a goatee – so I was good with it all.

So – I dragged him across the street to the beach.  Here is a peek at that loveliness.

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So – we checked into the hotel – the Montecito Inn – and clicked on the fireplace.

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Ah, romance.  A bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub & a stint watching Crib’s Most Expensive Homes & it was time to get back to the eating & drinking.

A single cocktail next door at Lucky’s

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and it was time to go to one of my favorite restaurants anywhere – Pane e Vino.  The pressure was kind of off me by the time we got there because lunch had been such a success but I still sweated it out a bit until Miles declared his bolognese with spinach noodles to be delightful.  He hadn’t been as pleased with a similar dish the night before at LA’s Bottega Louie – so I really was worried.  My homemade pasta with mushrooms was insane.  Hard to photograph but not hard to shovel into my face.

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The ride back & forth, by the way, was provided by the AWESOME Uber service.  Uber is a car service that you summon with an app on your phone.  You simply provide a credit card to them when you sign up & all the fees & tips etc are handled that way.  No cash.  And the drivers (for UberX – the least expensive of their three car options) drive their own car.  Cheaper & easier than a taxi service & you can request a fare estimate before pulling the trigger & calling for an Uber pick up.  I recommend it VERY highly.  And here is a little discount for your first ride.

Use my Uber promo code, 4hmyy, and get $10 off your first Uber ride.

Before we went to bed, I received this pathetic image of my two sons – huddled in despair because of my absence.  They can really work up a pity party when they are motivated.  Silly kids.

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The next day before we headed home to reunited with the doggies – we stopped at Cava in Montecito.  It was a gorgeous day & we sat outside on the patio.  We nibbled on chips & salsa.

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Miles ordered a beer & fajitas.

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I got a huge portion of guacamole, a Bloody Mary & (back on the seafood wagon) – the chile relleno.

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All were delicious though the chile relleno, as you can see, was served as almost a soup.  I have never seen it served that way before but it was very tasty.

And that, as they say, was that.

Try both the Chili Chocolate cake & try Montecito when you can.  And save up for that GD brunch buffet.  You could not possibly regret it!

If Los Angeles is your destination – the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills has a great dining spot, too.  Culina!  Check out my CRAZY experience there – HERE.

Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I posted a pumpkin gnocchi in February with three different sauces.  Those gnocchi came out more dense than I liked.  These new guys are not dense at all – but I experimented with pan-frying them rather than boiling them & I am uncertain how I feel about the results.  Rather than caramelizing – as other bloggers said would happen – they sort of fried up like French fries – with the exterior sealed & the interior soft.  I am not sure if this is because I was pan-frying cheese gnocchi rather than a potato gnocchi – but they were tasty all the same.  I am just not sure if I think the additional calories involved are worth it.  I will boil some up soon & report back on how they stack up against the pan-fried.  Here is how they looked after frying & draining on a paper towel.

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This recipe makes about 6 servings of gnocchi but the tomato & basil sauce is only for two servings.  So – be prepared to freeze some for later use.  To do that, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper & put the fresh gnocchi on it & freeze them like that.  Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, pick them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags in your freezer – each containing a single serving (or in larger quantity – as you desire).  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

 

Gnocchi can be rolled on one of these (inexpensive) little rollers

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for a result like this

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or just cut into cubes like this.

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If you are frying them, do not bother with the board rolling.  The frying will dissolve the grooves anyway.  Also – frying in clarified butter (or ghee) is better because it is harder to burn but regular butter will work.  HERE is how you clarify your own butter.

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Feel free to just boil them.  They are done when they float to the top.

You can do this will all goat cheese or all ricotta.  I just happened to have the ratio of cheeses I posted here.

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Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS

For 6 servings of gnocchi

3/4 cup (5 oz) goat cheese

1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 egg yolks

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp salt

If frying – you will need 4 TBS clarified butter (or regular butter) and 2 TBS olive oil

For 2 servings of tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

1 lb tomatoes – diced small (I used cherry & Roma)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic – minced

1 1/2 cups chopped basil

S&P to taste

Fresh mozzarella balls (in quantity you think suits 2 servings) – sliced

DIRECTIONS

For the gnocchi

Gently blend together the flour, goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest & salt.  Add half the flour.  When well incorporated, lightly dust a counter with flour & transfer the dough there.  Add the rest of the flour & gently pinch it in.  Try not to over-knead or add too much flour.  You might need more or less flour depending on certain factors such as the size of the yolks & the wetness of the ricotta.

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When done and not still sticky – store in the fridge for at least an hour – covered in plastic wrap.

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When ready to make the gnocchi, take sections of dough & roll them out to 3/4 inch thick snakes.  I used my fingertip as a measuring device to cut the gnocchi into cubes.

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You can opt to roll them on a gnocchi board or not.

For the tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a pan.  Add the minced garlic & saute 30 seconds.

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Add the diced tomatoes & bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low & add MOST the basil – reserving some for garnish.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Add S&P & leave on a very low simmer.

To assemble

If boiling the gnocchi – boil them until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon & add to the sauteing tomatoes.

If frying the gnocchi – heat the butter & oil in a pan & fry the gnocchi – shaking the pan and/or turning the gnocchi until browned on all sides.  They can then either be drained on paper towels & then added to the tomatoes or just added directly to the tomatoes.

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Raise the temperature on the tomatoes to a serving temperature.  Divide between to plates & garnish with the sliced fresh mozzarella, grated Parmesan & reserved chopped basil.

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Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is my kitchen – where I attempt to make the magic happen.

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I am VERY lucky because it is huge & I designed it myself 16 years ago & it serves me extremely well.  It is a very inspiring place to hang out & in the 16 years I have lived here – I have collected nearly every cooking thingamajiggy you can imagine.  But the dish I present to you today requires only the basics.  A working stove & oven, a roasting pan & a frying pan.  If you are not a confident cook but you want to try one of my dishes, I would recommend this one highly – just maybe substituting fried eggs for poached.

This dish is so delicious, I was astounded.  I came up with it because I was hunting for new things to do with hominy – things that would not involve a ton of cheese.  Hominy seems most often used for breakfast scramble kinds of things and pozole (a traditional Mexican soup – which I will also attempt soon).  I am also still a tad fixated on the idea of poached eggs on things, probably because I haven’t yet mastered the art of poaching eggs nor have I gotten one of those glorious shots of dripping, oozing yolks bleeding yellow onto plates.  Another reason this dish was a perfect choice last night is because I had roasted a hunk of salmon & dressed it with lemon & dill but I didn’t like how it looked – so I couldn’t use it for the blog.  See?  Here it is:

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Not so impressive to look at.  Salmon is cooked when the white fat in it bubbles to the surface.  I tried to wipe it away to make a prettier presentation – but I still didn’t like how it looked enough to post it here as a stand-alone recipe.  Monomaniacally obsessed with only making foods I can use for this blog, I didn’t want to eat that salmon as it was (though it was delicious) because it seemed like a waste of a great blog opportunity.  So – I wrapped it up & left it in the fridge until I figured something out.

This dish could be made with any meat, leftover or otherwise, or without the poached egg.  Lord knows, I ate half the friggin’ potatoes I’d made by simply grabbing a bit every time I passed the stove because they were delicious!  Same with the cold salmon.  But when I tasted it all together with that egg yolk blended in – I was blown away.  The potatoes were savory & delicious & the hominy added the nicest little crunch.  The salmon (which was just a bullshit piece of frozen fish from Trader Joe’s) was clean & fresh & the egg was rich & decadent.  Oh!  And some totally unnecessary $5 micro kale!  This dish is one of my favorite inventions ever.  And – except for the egg poaching – it is EASY!  If poaching the egg intimidates you, maybe fry them instead, but definitely try this dish.  I had it for dinner but it would make an amazing brunch option, too.  You can roast both the salmon & potatoes up to a day ahead & just assemble it last minute.  It is a genuinely easy dish with a few easy-to-find ingredients.  Try it!  Oh!  And here is a great idea to serve with it!  This is equal parts chardonnay & frozen berries – blended.  YUM!  The perfect pre-workout smoothie!

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Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg

feeds between 2-4 depending on your appetites

INGREDIENTS

2 eggs per person being served

2 yellow potatoes – cubed

5-6 red potatoes (or any other potato combo you desire) – cubed

1 medium onion – diced

1/2 lb salmon

2 tsp dry thyme

olive oil

butter

2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

1 cup hominy – or the full can

1/2 lemon

S&P to taste

Dill or parsley – chopped – as garnish

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 450.

Blend a TBS or so of butter with a TBS or so of olive oil & smear some onto your salmon.  Sprinkle with S&P.  Cook the salmon about 10 minutes – maybe more, maybe less, depending on how thick yours is.  Salmon is ready when the fat bubbles to the surface.  Remove from heat, squeeze some lemon juice onto it, cut it up into cubes so it cools faster & doesn’t continue to cook & set aside.

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Toss the cubed potatoes in about 2 TBS olive oil & season with thyme and S&P.  Roast at 450, stirring every ten minutes, for 30 minutes or more or until golden.   Remove from heat & set aside.

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In a frying pan, heat 2 TBS olive oil & saute the onion & jalapeno until the onion softens & is translucent.  Add the potatoes & hominy & heat through.

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Add more S&P if you think it needs it.  In the last minute before you serve the hash, add the salmon & cook it just until it is warmed.  Do not overcook the salmon.  Set aside on low heat while you poach or fry the eggs.  HERE are some tutorials on poaching.

To serve, simply arrange some hash on each plate, top with your eggs & some dill or parsley & fresh ground pepper.  Devour!

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Pink Grapefruit Margarita

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK, kiddies!  Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner!  I am going to start posting some stuff you might want to consider if you are throwing a party.  This one is eye-catching so I thought I’d start here.

Pretty basic stuff.  You can either use fresh squeezed pink grapefruit juice (preferred) or bottled Ruby Red (easier).  Fresh is way better but sometimes it just isn’t practical.  This can be served blended or over rocks (as I did it) and with either a salt or a sugar rim.  I went sugar.  A sprig of fresh mint would look pretty, too.  I forgot that part.

Pink Grapefruit Margarita

If you are putting salt or sugar on your rim, put the salt/sugar on a plate, wet the rim with a wedge of lime, dredge the rim through the stuff & set aside to dry as you make your cocktail.

INGREDIENTS

2.5 ounces white tequila

1 ounce triple sec

5-6 ounces pink grapefruit juice

Juice of 1/2 lime

Salt & lime for garnish

Salt or Sugar to rim your glass

DIRECTIONS

Shake up the tequila, triple sec, grapefruit juice & lime juice over ice in a shaker or blend it up in a blender with a cup of ice.   Pour into your glass, add a pinch of salt to the cocktail & garnish with lime slices.

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Blogger Spotlight – Go Cook Yourself

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GO COOK YOURSELF

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Macho Meringue Martini

All Photos in this post – Go Cook Yourself

I don’t know how I found this blog but I can tell you I am pretty sure this picture of a Spinach & Feta Tart was involved:

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Doesn’t that look RIDICULOUS!?

I love the simply stated recipes with the verb in bold & the minimalist instructions.  Here is the tart recipe (for example):

400g Spinach / 300g Feta Cheese / 100g Pine Nuts / 50g Cheddar Cheese / 5 Eggs / 1 Lemon / Oregano / Nutmeg / Filo Pastry / Cayenne Pepper / Greaseproof Paper / Oil (1)

HEAT oven to 200C

POUR drop of oil onto 50cm of greaseproof paper and spread out

MAKE square of filo using four pieces of pastry, overlapping edges slightly

SPRINKLE on cayenne pepper

REPEAT process twice, building the filo pastry up in layers

SET aside pastry square

TOAST pine nuts lightly in a frying pan

WILT spinach in pan until dense

GRATE half a Nutmeg into spinach (2)

CRACK eggs into large bowl and whisk

CRUMBLE in Feta and grated Cheddar (3)

ADD grated lemon rind and spinach

SEASON with pepper and pinch of Oregano

MIX with a large spoon

PREPARE baking tin with greaseproof paper

LINE tin with filo pastry square

POUR in spinach and feta mix (4)

PULL pastry over filling

THROW in oven for 20 mins (5)

DON’T promote it on Tumblr cos it will break and bitches will hate you

Please note the final instruction.  While the photographs (so beautifully done!) were what lured me to this blog – it is the cheeky irreverence that keeps me checking back.

FIND recipes for Tap That Ass Risotto:

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or a Lonely Island Iced Tea (again – note the final instruction):

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Instructions:

1/2 Shot Vodka / 1/2 Shot White Rum / 1/2 Shot Gin / 1/2 Shot Triple Sec (Orange Liqueur) / Lemon Juice / Cola

ADD alcohol to shaker with lemon juice

SHAKE

POUR over ice

TOP with coke

DRINK four by yourself and pass out

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That is the image for High on Brownies.

And look at these amazing breakfasts!!!

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Ymmmmm!  So – if you like a smart ass AND you like cooking AND you like gorgeous food porn – Go Cook Yourself is the blog for you!!!!  Now – go cook yourself!

GO COOK YOURSELF

Hangover Cure #4 – Spicy Bloody Mary

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

Is there something satirical or, you know, wrong about posting a hangover cure that involves alcohol in an Amy Winehouse pint glass?  I’m too hung over to figure that out.  I would like to say this, though, to you amateurs out there:  yes – I understand that it seems counter intuitive to drink more of the demon that got you feeling so bad as the cure for feeling so bad but you gotta trust.  Maybe beer isn’t your thing.  Maybe Bloody Marys disgust you.  Then try a Bellini or something.  I don’t care.  But hair of the dog is the shortest way to recovery.  Well – maybe recovery is the wrong word to use because drinking in the morning is a slippery slope – I acknowledge that – and it might lead to a need for recovery of an entirely more permanent & far less pleasant variety – sobriety.   So – let’s just say – alcohol can mend what alcohol threw asunder – much like Ritalin (a form of speed) can cure hyperactivity.   Just try not to get into a pattern with it.  After all – a professional drinker understands pacing & training & developing tolerance.  You can’t just go out once a month & do Jager shots & expect to hang with the big boys.  Just like a good chef cleans as she goes, a good drinker knows their limits and never – I mean never – gets sloppy.  But – hangovers get the best of us, sometimes.  And I am here to hook you up.

OK – so – I am not a tomato juice person.  It is thick & gross & always seems warm.  Blech.  And – I would like to point out – never did I sample a glass of tomato juice & respond by saying, “You know what’s wrong with this juice?  It doesn’t taste fishy enough.”  What could be worse than a thick, warm mouthful of tomato juice slugging its way down your throat like a kidnapper’s gag?  A thick, warm mouthful of CLAM-infused tomato juice, that’s what.

Or, at least, that’s what you’d think.  While I have found that vodka & numerous spicy additions are the only things that can salvage a glass of tomato juice and render it even remotely tempting – I need to confess that Clamato (to make a Caesar – http://cocktails.about.com/od/vodkadrinkrecipes/r/bloody_caesar.htm) makes a superior Bloody Mary – far better than just that random, plain, canned gagger stuff.  Better yet, though, are the many pre-mixed spicy blends out there.  I cannot make a decent Bloody Mary from plain tomato juice.  I just cannot.  I need to start with a decent Bloody Mary mix – like Mr. & Mrs. T’s – http://www.webstaurantstore.com/mr-mrs-t-32-oz-bold-spicy-bloody-mary-mix-12-cs/115BMARYRS.html.   Starting with one of these mixes – and not one of the really thick ones – I add the following:

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LOTS of ice

Vodka – no need for an expensive one – since so much crap is gonna be added

Horseradish

Sriracha – http://everydayfoodblog.marthastewart.com/2011/01/reader-sriracha-ideas.html

Hot sauce – I like Crystal – http://www.thekitchn.com/better-than-tabasco-louisianas-151272

Olives – the standard Spanish olives with pimento

Celery – with the leafy top

Dill pickles – for rim garnish (if you have’m.  They are not critical)

Lime juice (fresh only!)

Pepper

I am pretty heavy handed with the horseradish & the lime.  You can mix these ingredients in any ratio you prefer.  Master chef tip?   If you go heavy with the vodka on the first one – the second one tastes AMAZING!

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Revelation – Affordable Red Wine at Trader Joe’s

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This tip is only relevant if you live in a region that has Trader Joe’s.  If you do and you like red wine and you are also on a budget – or if you need to stock up on cheap stuff to serve to a room full of drunken guests who won’t notice that you stopped serving Stag’s Leap two hours ago – this wine is for you.  It is $4.99 a bottle here in Los Angeles.  It is in the French wine section.  There is a very drinkable white of the same label for the same price.  The label looks fancy & this wine does not have the notoriety of the Two Buck Chuck Trader Joe’s has become famous for so nobody will start tweeting the food community about how stingy you are when you bust this out.

That’s all I have to say about this.  Cheers~