emeraldowl

Weekly Boozer: Hard Lemonade

In Weekly Boozer on September 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Summer and lemonade just go together. Like sprinklers and children, like your couch and the TV, or flowers and bees… these things were just meant to be together. So since the summer heat is still bearing down, what could be better than fresh squeezed lemonade? Adult fresh squeezed lemonade! Hard lemonade, like the kind “Mike” makes. Only way better because it doesn’t have that weird bottled preservative flavor. Sinfully tart and delicious, fresh and aromatic, and delicious. Homemade Hard Lemonade and patios just go together.

Homemade Hard Lemonade

2 cups water
1 cup sugar 
several large strips of lemon zest
 
2 ounces of vodka
2 ounces of whiskey (*if you are not a whiskey fan – double vodka!)
1 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (5-6 large lemons) 
1 lemon sliced into rings, for serving
ice, for serving
 

Directions: In a small saucepan, bring water, sugar, and strips of zest to a simmer. Cook until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove strips of zest and discard. It has done its zestly duties.  In a large pitcher, combine the lemon infused simple syrup, vodka, whiskey, lemon juice, and stir.  Fill serving glasses with ice and lemon slices, add the lemony goodness, drink, and enjoy summer.

Green Crostini

In Cooking on August 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Since our trip to the Dallas Farmers Market dishes have been clean, simple and fresh. It’s been all about utilizing and enjoying the produce in season and not burying those fresh flavors we crave so much in the winter.  This last week has also been about headaches. I have only escape a skull smashing, eye squinting, bed-stricken state twice this week. My husband luckily has been kind, patient and self-sufficient. I have awoken with ice-water at my bedside and never a cross word about lack of cooking or chores undone. I think I’ll keep him!

via Instagram

Two things I have really enjoyed this last week were a simple Bread Salad and this Green Crostini.  The Bread Salad is simple, sweet and a delicious way to use up leftover bread, or bread ends. I coarsely chopped up two large slices of a loaf of artisan garlic baguette, chopped up 4-5 small tomatoes, tossed in a Tbsp of olive oil, dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and some coarsely chopped cilantro (any fresh herb will do); toss the bread in the mix letting it absorb the juices and oil and enjoy. It’s so so very good. Plus zip, zero, zelch cooking – on these hundred degree days that is a blessing!

GREEN CROSTINI

makes 2 servings, four slices 
 
4 – inch thick slices of baguette (we used our artisan garlic bread) 
butter or oil for toasting bread
 
1 – large avocado
1 – Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 – Tbsp fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
1 – Tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
*plus more for serving – if you love it like we do!
2 – Tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
 

Directions: Slice baguette; spread oil or butter and toast over medium heat in a skillet. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare topping. Combine all the ingredients, except the pistachios, and gently mash. Salt and Pepper mixture to taste and then spread on prepared toast; sprinkle with pistachios and extra cilantro if desired.  Enjoy!

This topping is beautiful with all the different shades of green. It is mildly reminiscent of guacamole, but with a salty crunch from the pistachios.  The garlic bread really brought out the flavors of several ingredients, if you were using a plain baguette I would break the “green” theme and add a little garlic to the mix! Hope you enjoy and for tonight I am headache free – hallelujah!

Bruschetta

In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

We have been enjoying the August bounty of the Farmer’s Market. Tomatoes being at the top of the list! I love fresh grown tomatoes; especially straight from the farm, where they remain untainted by waxes.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good tomato is Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”). 

Bruschetta

  • 6 or 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (or any small sweet tomato will do!)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • zest of half lemon, optional if using lemon juice
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar crusty bread
  • melted butter, for toasting bread

Directions: Wash tomatoes; cut them in halves or quarters; remove the seeds and stems from their centers.  Cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Add the tomatoes to a bowl; stir in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest/vinegar, chopped basil and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside or in refrigerator while you prepare bread – this resting time allows the flavors to bloom.

 Cut the bread on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch slices. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Apply melted butter to both sides, with a pastry brush; add buttered slices to skillet. Cook on each side until brown and toasted. Remove and  rub both sides of the warm bread with the cut garlic; set aside on serving tray. Top warm buttered garlic toast with chilled tomato mixture. Serve with additional small basil leaves, for those like me who enjoy a lil’ extra basil. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

We enjoyed ours with some fresh fruit and good cheese. I love the touch of lemon, instead of the much more common balsamic vinegar. It adds a brightness to the taste and smell of the dish.  Also, I love rubbing the warm toast with the garlic, instead of having minced garlic in the tomato mixture.  It adds amazing flavor and is still aromatic, while allowing you to control the garlic content and focus on the beautiful tomatoes!! Simple. Lovely. Summer.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.