Sherry Martini. New Music From Rachel Taylor.

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I love Lillet, that light, crisp, citrusy French aperitif. Here it gets mixed with some sherry and vodka to make a potent and infinitely pleasing riff on the martini.

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Sherry Martini

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons Lillet Blanc
1/4 cup vodka
3 tablespoons amontillado sherry
Dash of angostura bitters
Orange peel, for serving

Directions:

1. Shake first 4 ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with orange peel.

Makes 1 drink

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine
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Nashville-based singer Rachel Taylor has a new album out. ‘Magnetic’ is a collection of songs exploring relationships and personal soul searching all highlighted by the soft, lovely vocals.

Check out Rachel Taylor on her Website, where you can learn of upcoming shows and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Short And Sweet. Frozen Peach Pie.

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Q: Why do flamingos lift one leg when they’re sleeping?
A: If they lifted both legs, they’d fall over.

This is such an insane time of year. School is winding down and 2 graduations on the horizon, baseball season ongoing for my 3 boys, class trips, school concerts, award ceremonies…the list goes on.

I want pie. And the time to make one.

Fortunately, this recipe makes it possible to have a delicious pie ready in a flash.

The peach filling is do ahead. You mix up the ingredients and freeze them in the shape of a pie. When you’re ready to make a peach pie, just pop the frozen filling into a pie crust and bake it all up. That’s it.

Paula Deen’s recipe uses fresh peaches in quantities enough to make 4 pies. I used frozen peach slices to make things really simple. I also prepared the peaches in the morning, froze them and baked the pie that evening. If you are going to keep the prepared filling in the freezer for longer you might want to include the Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) in the ingredients. (See link below to Paula’s original recipe.)

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Frozen Peach Pie

Ingredients:

30 oz frozen peach slices, thawed
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 refrigerated pie crusts

Directions:

1. Place peaches in a bowl. Stir in sugar, tapioca, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well.

2. Line a pie pan with heavy foil, placing a piece of plastic wrap over foil. Put filling into pan. Loosely fold wrapping around pie and freeze until firm. When filling is frozen solid, remove from pans and wrap tightly. Return to freezer until ready to use.
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3. When ready to bake the pie, simply place frozen pie filling in pie shell, dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with the second round of pastry, seal well, and bake for 50 to 60 minutes in a preheated 375℉ oven.

Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen
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Let’s rock out to a song that is both short and sweet.

“I’m gonna say it to you, talking on the telephone
Whisper low as a mourning dove
Whoever might be listening in
I’m gonna tell ‘em you’re the one I love”

Check out Kevin Gordon on his Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy the music.

Cheers!

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Stove Top Peppadew Mac-n-Cheese. Listening To The Crane Wives.

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Super simple, creamy, smooth macaroni and cheese gets some crunch and subtle heat from the addition of tangy peppadew peppers.
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Stove Top Peppadew Mac-n-Cheese

Ingredients:

1⁄2 lb elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons butter
2 eggs
6 ounces evaporated milk
1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh black pepper, to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup thinly sliced peppadew peppers

Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente and drain.

2. Return pasta to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat.

3. Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy. Stir in the peppers and serve.

Serves 6 to 8

Recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown
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How about some thigh slapping, alt-folk?

“I am fine with that”.

Check out The Crane Wives on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming US tour dates and buy their music.

Cheers!

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Oven Poached Egg Salad With Garlic Croutons. Listening To Flint Eastwood.

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Make your Tuesday even merrier with this fun little salad. It’s basically a ramped up Caesar with the addition of some sliced avocado and a dreamy poached egg to top it all.

To make poached eggs in a jiffy, try this oven baked method. It’s a great way to make a whole bunch at once.

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Poached Egg Salad With Garlic Croutons

Ingredients:

1 crushed garlic clove
2 Tbs olive oil
1 small ciabatta loaf, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 poached eggs
1 head torn Cos or Romaine lettuce
4 Tbs Caesar salad dressing
Sliced avocado

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200℃/350℉.

2. Mix garlic with olive oil in a bowl. Toss bread with the oil mixture, then spread out on a baking sheet. Toast the bread in the oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.

3. Dress the lettuce in Caesar salad dressing. Toss with the garlic croutons, divide between 2 plates and serve with slices of avocado.

4. Top each plate of salad with a poached egg and drizzle a little extra dressing over the egg to serve.

Serves 2

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine
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Oven Poached Eggs

Ingredients:

Hot water
Large eggs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease a well of a muffin tin pan for each egg.

2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of boiling water into each well. Crack an egg into each well and pour about 2 more tablespoons of water on top of each egg.

3. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes. (The water on top of the egg will make it a bit difficult to see when the egg is cooked, but 10 minutes was about right for me to get a set white with a runny yolk.)
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4. Use 2 soup spoons to carefully release eggs from pan.

Recipe from Cooking Tip Of The Day
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Make my day.

It was the name that caught my eye first. Flint Eastwood.

I expected some hot take on alt-country since the band describes themselves as “A spaghetti-western cooked in the ovens of Detroit.” It’s hot alright. Cowboy boots stomping around to some heavy duty dance beats. Fun.

Check out Flint Eastwood on the band’s Website, where you can learn of upcoming shows in Michigan and link to buy their music.

Cheers!

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Peanut Butter And Pudding Pie. New Music From Pavo Pavo.

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Can I interest you in some pie?

I know that I have some hard core peanut butter fans out there judging by the popularity of the peanut butter dessert recipes I post. So, if peanut butter is your thing, I think you’ll like this pie.

Today’s Peanut Butter And Pudding Pie stands out from others in that it has a press in crust, which is not only super easy but meltingly tender. The peanut butter flavor comes from crumbles of peanut butter mixed with powdered sugar. Really innovative. Add thick layers of vanilla pudding and whipped topping and you have some serious comfort food to feed your sweet tooth.

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Peanut Butter And Pudding Pie

Ingredients for crust:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp milk

Ingredients for filling:

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 (5.3-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
2 1/2 cups milk
8 oz frozen whipped topping, such as Cool Whip

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan.

2. Blend all crust ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon and press into prepared pan. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until brown. Remove and allow to cool.

3. For filling, using a fork, mix peanut butter and confectioner’s sugar until crumbly.

4. Sprinkle peanut butter mixture into bottom of baked pie shell, reserving a tablespoon for garnish.

5. Beat pudding mix with milk for 2 minutes, using an electric mixer. Pour on top of peanut butter mixture. Spread with whipped topping.

6. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of peanut butter mixture. Refrigerate several hours before serving.

Serves 8

Recipe from The Lady & Sons Just Desserts Cookbook
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Being a hard core runner, I was attracted to ‘Ran Ran Run’ just by the title. The dreamy, ethereal feel tacked onto the quickstep beat sealed the deal. Major auditory attraction.

Check out Pavo Pavo on Facebook and here, where you can learn of two upcoming gigs in NYC. Keep posted to both of those sites to find out where to buy the music.

Cheers!

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Prosciutto And Melon Salad. Listening To Martin Newell.

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This light and bright salad is just right as a starter. Fragrant with basil, it’s a terrific take on the classic prosciutto wrapped cantaloupe.

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Prosciutto And Melon Salad

Ingredients:

Small bunch of fresh basil, a few small leaves set aside for garnish
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
Juice from ½ lemon
230g prosciutto
1 cantaloupe melon, cut into cubes
Balsamic vinegar

Directions:

1. Mince the basil. Mix it with a pinch of salt. Add extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

2. Lay 12 slices of prosciutto on a platter, leaving a space in the middle. Mound the melon cubes in center. Drizzle over a little balsamic, then scatter over the reserved small basil leaves.

3. Drizzle with the basil dressing and serve.

Serves 6

Recipe slightly adapted from Jamie Oliver
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Here’s a slice of some good old-fashioned Brit-pop.

Check out Martin Newell on his Website, where you can learn of an upcoming gig in Colchester.

You can buy his music here.

Cheers!

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Broccoli Salad With Peppers, Pine Nuts And Halloumi. New Music From Heart/Dancer.

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I don’t know why I find that photo so funny.

How about some salad fun?

Today’s recipe is a fabulous combination of flavor and texture. The crunch of pine nuts and sweetness from golden raisins perfectly complement the crisp tender broccoli and cheese.

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Broccoli Salad With Peppers, Pine Nuts And Halloumi

Ingredients:

4 Tbs golden sultanas
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
300g long stem broccoli
½ pound halloumi cheese, sliced
2 roasted red peppers from a jar, chopped (I also added a few peppadews to add more spice)
2 Tbs pine nuts, toasted

Directions:

1. Put the sultanas in a small bowl and pour over enough boiling water to cover them. Leave for 10 minutes then drain.

2. Whisk the oil and vinegar with some salt and pepper. Stir in the shallot and drained sultanas.

3. Blanch the broccoli briefly in boiling water. Rinse in cold water and drain.

4. Pan-fry the halloumi on both sides until golden.

5. Toss the broccoli and sultanas with the dressing. Add the red pepper. Serve scattered with the pine nuts and topped with halloumi.

Serves 2

Recipe from Olive Magazine
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‘Outro (Entry Code, Dial Tone)’ is the debut single from Swedish duo Heart/Dancer. Pleasant pop that is perfect for a warm spring day.

Check out Heart/Dancer on Facebook, where you can keep up to date about upcoming European shows. You can buy their music here.

Cheers!

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