You may recall my wonderful meal at Restaurant Nola in New Orleans. One of the many highlights was their Cosmo – made with their own Pineapple infused vodka. Since that fateful night in September, I have been wanting to make my own infused vodka. I decided it would be a perfect gift for family and friends this year – I wasn’t able to find any cool bottles so had to stick with the classic, but it’s what inside that counts, right?
The recipe is simple, quick and I promise that whoever is on the receiving end of this gift will be in cocktail heaven!
Put pineapple chunks (or strawberry, grapefruit, jalapeño, etc) into a jar and fill with vodka of choice. Refrigerate for at least 5 days and then drink on the rocks, in a cocktail or neat.
Happy New Year!
With Christmas/Chanukah behind us and New Years Eve ahead of us I’m interested to hear how you all stay healthy through the Holidays. I know in past years I’ve felt a little sluggish and “heavy” but this year I feel great and don’t think I’ve really put on any weight – if so, it is a minimal amount. I think this is because:
- I remained active (including snow-shoeing with mom and hotel gym)
- The “Holidays” are not a month-long event for me
- I eat great food year-round – this is not a once-in-a-year chance (with the exception of some cookies)
- I enjoyed cookies and treats but because I never denied myself, I never over-did it
How are you feeling this year? And what did you do to keep up with your healthy lifestyle? (if you are into that sort of thing 😉 )
Eggplant is a vegetable that I have yet to fully understand. I just don’t always get it. Sometimes I love it and sometimes I’m left wondering what I did wrong. So here it is, I’m officially accepting any and all eggplant tips.
Regardless of my eggplant struggles, this sandwich was delightful and perfect for a low-key dinner. The variations are endless and since I’m left with 1/2 loaf of chewy Ciabatta bread, a repeat may be sooner than I had expected!
Eggplant, Caramelized Onion & Goat Gouda Sandwich adapted from Bon Appetit – Makes 2 sandwiches
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 eggplant, sliced
- roasted peppers
- ciabatta bread
- 2 slices goat gouda cheese
- 2 slices prosciutto
Onions: Heat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add onion slices and cook until just brown. Add the balsamic vinegar, stirring frequently until all liquid has evaporated. Set aside.
Eggplant: Sprinkle slices with salt and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Pat dry, rub with olive oil and broil for about 3 minutes per side. Set aside.
Slice ciabatta bread and broil with cheese until bubbly. Drizzle other slice of bread with some olive oil and salt & pepper. Stack eggplant, peppers, onions and piece of prosciutto. Enjoy every creamy bite. All while getting your veggies in.
Since I started dating the taster (many moons ago), his family has been telling tales of an epic fried rice. After many years of wondering when I would be able to try this culinary treat the night finally came. I made the brown rice and he took it from there. Shortly after, the kitchen was a disaster but oh so worth it. I was more than happy to take the leftovers to work with me and it made a very satisfying lunch!
Taster’s Fried Rice
- 1 bag Cascadian Farm Thai Style Veggies
- 1/2 bag frozen peas
- 1/2 chopped onion
- 8 oz oyster mushrooms
- 1 egg
- 2 cups brown rice
- sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, chili paste
Sauté onions and mushroom in 1 Tbsp sesame oil. Add frozen veggies and peas and cook until hot. Set aside. Add egg to hot pan and scramble. Add rice, sauces and onion-veggie mix to pan and mix to combine. Serve steaming hot!
I loved all of the ideas you all came up with for what you would make with the au gratin dishes from cookware.com! The winner of the Le Crueset give-away is commenter #3:
Julie at Savvyeats.com:
“I would make individual mac & cheese or mini pot pies/mini shepherd pies. Fun!”
Julie – Send me your info and I will have them sent out for you!
You could wrap anything in lettuce and I’m pretty sure I would love it. My Mother makes the best lettuce wraps – it was a favorite meal of mine growing up – so fun to eat and delicious at the same time. (Also a great way to get your kids to eat some veggies!)
This makes for a great week-night dinner as it comes together fast but is so flavorful and fresh-tasting. It would also be a perfect light dinner for post-Holiday food comas. 😉
thai pork lettuce wraps adapted from Food & Wine’s Thai Ground Pork Salad
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 small shallots, minced
- 1 large jalapeño, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
- 2 tsp agave
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup mint, chopped
- 1 head Bibb lettuce
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
1. Mix the pork, garlic, shallots and jalapeño together. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and sriracha.
2. In a skillet, heat the oil. Add the pork mixture and cook over high heat, stirring to break up the meat, until no pink remains, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in herbs and season with salt and pepper. Serve with lettuce, peppers and cucumber slices for wrapping. (and some sriracha on the side if desired)
I’m so glad that you all have enjoyed my Haiti posts: The People and The Food. Writing about my trip to Haiti has been a great way for me to reflect on my time there and always brings back so many memories!
Tuesdays are the Market days in Thiotté and it is an event that is missed only by a few. The market is complete with the expected – avocados, beans, rice and fruit. And then there is the unexpected – the buckets of random pills, the fish sitting out in the sun and some voodoo potions. I love visiting the markets in foreign countries and I was so grateful that I got to visit a market in Haiti, it certainly did not disappoint!
Some women proudly posing with their goods
Rows of cabbage
Not sure what these are – anyone know?
Fresh Coffee Beans
You’ll never guess what we had for lunch on Tuesday…
I apologize if this horrifies anyone
The voodoo potion – you can use on your husband or boyfriend to tell if they are cheating on you – not sure if this has been scientifically proven or not…
The donkey parking lot