Archive for May, 2008

We’re not big drinkers at my house – after a long day, either one of us can be known to crack open a cold beer, but we’ll typically stop at the one. Now that I’m thinking about wedding stuff though, I want to come up with a fresh, seasonal beverage to serve people in February. It should be something that can be easily adapted to be virgin so that everyone can enjoy.

Last night I decided that we should start experimenting. After visiting Palm Springs this year and seeing all the beautiful citrus trees, I figured that grapefruit would be a good place to start. The Grapefruit Margarita made its debut last night, and was so delicious. It’s a contender, and may be even better when I make it’s cousin, the Smoky Grilled Grapefruit Margarita. Yowza.

I haven’t been posting lately due to the fact that my camera was sat on, and the lens is now dead. Bummer! I’m saving up for a new one, but in the meantime I’m relying on Lynelle and Chris’ cameras. I didn’t make anyone take a picture of these, so you’re left with my interpretation. Ahem…

Anyone have any other winter-boozy-and-non-boozy-drink ideas? I’m also open to warm drinks, seeing as it might be chilly. Let the taste testing begin!

Edited to add: how about the ingredients?  This just goes to show that my brain is a bit scattered these days.  Anyway, here’s the mixture – make it today!

First, make a simple syrup.  Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan and set over high heat.  Stir occasionally until sugar dissolves.  Boil one minute then cool.

Combine 1/4 cup of the simple syrup with 3 cups fresh pink grapefruit juice, 3 tablespoons Triple Sec, Cointreau or Grand Marnier, and 6 ounces tequila.  Stir to blend and serve over crushed ice.

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Gettin’ Hitched

I was going to draft some emails to friends and family who I haven’t talked to yet, but hell – what good is a website if you can’t take care of these things in one fell swoop?  I’ve been filling this space with such personal things lately – I promise, it’s back to caterpillars and mulching soon.

Chris proposed, and I happily accepted.  We’re gettin’ hitched!  We’re both really excited and twitterpated, and I keep staring down at my hand.  My mom generously gave us the stone from her engagement ring, so we’ve definitely got some good marriage juju working for us!

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Steam Heat

My obsession with 99 Ranch has been documented on this site before. I teach once a week out in Kearny Mesa, and usually have an hour to kill between work and school – the perfect browsing window. Last week’s purchase was a bamboo steaming basket. I have wonderful early memories of steaming plates of dim sum dumplings, and had to find a way to satisfy the craving. The latest obsession has begun – dumpling time!

As fate would have it, this month’s Cooking Light magazine has a feature article on steaming, and included a few recipes that I ripped out and tried right away.

First stop, pork buns (Char Siu Bao). I only had whole wheat flour, so that was the only substitution I made. They weren’t quite as sweet as those from my childhood, and I may need to experiment some more. I fully planned to freeze half of them, but they disappeared too quickly.

I did better with my next experiment – shrimp and mushroom sui mei (I’ve always seen it written shu mai, but there you go).  Yum, y’all.  I only had shiitakes, and steamed them atop some taro leaves instead of napa cabbage, but followed the rest of the recipe exactly.

These turned out exactly right – chewy, bite-sized pouches of chopped mushroom and shrimp.  Chris and I gobbled these up so quickly that I may think of doubling the recipe next time.  The steamfest has begun!

Also, not to get your hopes up, but I’m currently experimenting with my second batch of homemade fudgesicles.  Yeah, it’s gonna be a good summer!

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