Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Grape Bourbon Smash

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

Normally when we think about grapes and alcohol, we think wine. But fresh grapes taste completely different than fermented ones and actually make a great fruity addition to cocktails.

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

You can always use juice to add fruit flavor to any spirit but a smash uses fresh fruit that's been muddled. So, in a sense, we're stomping grapes here only with a cocktail muddler and shaker. I've tried this drink with vodka, gin and rum and all were fine. But my preference was for the warm flavor of bourbon with the fresh sweet and slightly acidic taste of the grapes.

Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

Any grape you enjoy eating will work in this recipe but only the red skinned ones will give your drink that slightly pink hue. The little champagne grapes I used are a seasonal favorite and I admit I can't resist buying them when I find them. They're small and seedless with a wonderful crisp taste. And yes, they're highly decorative but we do eat (and drink) with our eyes. I would serve this drink with extra grapes and some good cheese. Cheers!
Yield: 2 Servings
Author: Anita Schecter
Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

Grape Bourbon Smash

Prep time: 7 MinTotal time: 7 Min
Recipe for a bourbon cocktail flavored with fresh grapes, lemon and elderflower liqueur.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. Bourbon
  • 4 oz. Juice from muddled grapes
  • 2 oz. Elderflower liqueur
  • 1 oz. Lemon juice
  • 1 oz. Simple syrup
  • Club soda for topping

Instructions

  1. Add about a cup of regular seedless red grapes or champagne grapes to a bowl and muddle using a wooden spoon or cocktail muddler. Strain out the pulp. You can also do this in a food processor. Feel free to add a tablespoon of water if needed to fully puree.
  2. Add the bourbon, grape puree, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice, shake well and pour into two cocktail glasses. Top with club soda and garnish with a few grapes, if desired.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles

Recipe for sweet and tangy vanilla ice cream popsicles swirled with fresh strawberries.

It's hot and I want ice cream. Sometimes in a dish, sometimes in a waffle cone and sometimes in the form of an easy to grab popsicle. I don't discriminate when it comes to ice cream.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Loaded Pastrami and Swiss Sandwich

Recipe for an over-stuffed sandwich filled with pastrami, Swiss cheese, shredded lettuce, diced pickles, mayo and mustard on toasted Ciabatta rolls.

There's a fairly new gourmet market in my neighborhood and they specialize in beautiful, over-stuffed sandwiches. The menu is long and it's so hard to choose. But, you actually have plenty of time to make your choice because the line snakes around the block. Sigh.

Monday, June 28, 2021

Watermelon Frosé

Recipe for a frozen cocktail with rosé wine and fresh watermelon.

Frosé became popular a few years ago when lots of restaurants and bars set up machines to turn out these slushy drinks all day. What is it exactly? Just rosé wine, maybe some fruit, maybe a little extra sweetness and citrus, all blended up with ice until slushy. It's delicious!

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Cherry Cobbler with Cream Cheese Biscuits

Recipe for a cherry cobbler, baked with a cream cheese biscuit top.

It's the middle of June and, shockingly, these were the first cherries of the season that I bought. Normally I scoop them up the second I see them but somehow I didn't get to it the past couple of weeks. But, they're here now!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Deep Dish Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Recipe for a deep dish quiche with a savory crust and broccoli and cheddar cheese filling.

There's a new French bakery in my neighborhood. In addition to croissants and delicate fruit tarts, they also sell slices of their fresh baked quiche. It's hard to walk past the place without immediately getting hungry. So far the only thing that's saved me from buying them out has been the fact that the line to get in goes around the block.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Peanut Butter Milkshake with Chocolate Doughnuts

Recipe for a peanut butter and vanilla ice cream milkshake topped with baked mini chocolate doughnuts with a peanut butter glaze.

Last week we had our first mini heatwave. It's not usually in the 90's in New York in May but it happened and we all got an unexpected chance to see if our air conditioners were still working. Apart from being in need of a cleaning, mine seem to be OK.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Cheeseburger Hand Pies

Recipe for cheesy beef filling baked inside flaky, savory homemade pastry.

I have a hard time resisting anything in a crust, sweet or savory. So, when I'm developing recipes, I frequently ask myself - would this be good inside a crust of some kind? Truth.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Recipe for moist, banana bread with Greek yogurt and milk chocolate chips.

Do you have a "buy nothing" group in your neighborhood? They've become super popular around here and I love my local one. Lots of generous folks and community spirit. So much so that a lovely woman was giving away slices of her homemade banana bread. I didn't have time to grab one but it did start a wicked craving.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

S'mores Cupcakes

Recipe for a chocolate cupcake with a graham cracker crust base, topped with marshmallow butter frosting.

A couple of weeks ago I had a wicked craving for a cupcake. Sadly the best cupcake bakery (cupcakery?) in my neighborhood is closed for renovation. So I bought one at another place, not really known for them but, hey, you never know. Yes, yes you do. It did not hit the spot.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Pink Salty Dog Cocktail

Recipe for a vodka cocktail with grapefruit juice, grapefruit soda or beer and served in a salted rim glass.

We're kind of in that shoulder season between all the good winter citrus and all spring fruit. Coming home from the market with a load of beautiful pink grapefruit, I stopped to admire the first flowering tree on my block. A perfect example of where we are right now.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Potato and Caramelized Onion Bourekas (Turnovers)

Recipe for mini savory turnovers, filled with potato, caramelized onion and mustard and wrapped in puff pastry.

We may call them turnovers here but, in the Middle East, these filled puffs of dough are called bourekas. Popular in Israel, they usually contain a savory filling stuffed inside puff pastry.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Cocktail 101 for the Home Bartender

Easy guide for putting together a home bar including spirits, mixers, glassware and tools.

Starting a home bar doesn't have to be fussy or expensive if you begin with some basics and then add to your collection over time. Unlike some guides that feel strongly about spirits brands, appropriate glassware and what type of shaker you use, this is going to be a judgement-free zone. Because making cocktails at home should be fun! Below is a guide for building your home bar including items I think you should buy now, items you don't need immediately but are fun and inexpensive and those things you will add over time. Even a small collection will allow you to make a great many types of cocktails. Once you have the basics, it's fun to add a specialty liquor from time to time. And because those tend to be used more sparingly than the base spirit, they'll last much longer.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Sparkling Cotton Candy Cosmopolitan

Recipe for a Cosmopolitan cocktail version with vodka, cranberry juice, triple sec, lime juice, prosecco and cotton candy.

The Cosmo cocktail came into fashion when Sex and the City was airing but it's never left. For that matter, Sex and the City never really left because I'm sure I can find reruns of it daily. But that combination of vodka, cranberry, orange liqueur and lime definitely has staying power.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Tangerine Mint Whiskey Slush

Recipe for a whiskey based frozen cocktail flavored with fresh tangerine juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and mint.

March is acting true to form - coming in like a lion with snow and freezing temperatures but quickly becoming a lamb. We'll still have some very cold days before spring but we're starting to get a taste of warmth and sunshine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

S'mores Hot Cocoa Bombs

Recipe for hot cocoa bombs made with a milk chocolate shell, filled with hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs.

OK, I seem to be a little obsessed and can't stop creating hot cocoa bombs. It can appear a little daunting at first. You have to buy a mold and make a chocolate sphere and that seems like fancy chocolate shop work. Fortunately, it's really easy. And once you make your first batch, you'll find yourself wanting to make more.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie with Tahini Swirl

Recipe for individual skillet chocolate chip cookies with a sweet tahini swirl and topped with ice cream and halvah candy.

Is there anything more comforting than tucking into a warm skillet cookie with ice cream melting into the gooey chocolate? Yes, when you add a swirl of peanut butter or, in this case, a dollop of sweet tahini. The nutty taste of the sesame seeds blends with the sweetness of the cookie but adds an additional layer of flavor.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Savory Dutch Babies (German Pancakes)

Recipe for a savory Dutch baby German pancake filled with cheese and topped with sauteed bell peppers, red onions, tomatoes and ham.

The first time I tried cooking these puffy pancakes, I was not expecting them to rise as much as they did. Some kind of photography/food styling trick, I thought. Nope. I've made them several times since that first time and they puff big!

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Boozy Chocolate and Peanut Butter Hot Cocoa Bombs

Recipe for hot cocoa bombs made with a marbled peanut butter and milk chocolate shell, filled with hot cocoa mix and bourbon.

You've probably been seeing hot cocoa bombs everywhere on the internet for the past few months. Costco now makes them and sells them in multi-flavor packs. Even smaller producers are offering them on Etsy. And while I don't normally jump on trends, I've made a few of these for clients and, well, they're just so cute and fun.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Satsuma Mandarin Orange Scones

Recipe for cream scones flavored with satsuma mandarin orange juice and zest, topped with a mandarin orange glaze.

There's very little that I like about winter but those first couple of months of the new year do have one high note and that is the abundance of winter citrus. It's always been strange to me that fresh fruit is in peak season when my city is blanketed in frozen snow.

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Cheesy Rice and Vegetable Bake

Recipe for a cheese topped rice casserole cooked with onions, carrots, zucchini and butternut squash.

I totally understand wanting a healthy food reset in the new year. But, there's a strong argument to be made for comfort food in January because it's cold and it gets dark ridiculously early and it's a little depressing when the holidays are over. We can compromise between the two, though.