December 2014 Drink of the Month

Just in time for Christmas (yup, I said “Christmas”)…

The CANDYCANE MARTINI

This martini is quick and easy and sure to be a hit!

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Ingredients:
Peppermint liquer
Light Cream
Sambuca, white
Candy cane
Red raspberry syrup (schmukers plate scrapers brand works best)

Prep martini glass with raspberry syrup. Place tip of syrup bottle in bottom of glass and with slow even pressure squeeze as you swirl up to the rim.

Starting from rim to base causes syrup to run and streak glass.

Steps:
1) fill cocktail shaker with ice
2) add 3.5oz peppermint liquer, 1oz cream, 3 drops sambuca
3) shake vigorously until well chilled
4) strain into martini glass
5) garnish with candy cane
6) ENJOY

Come visit me at The Horseshoe Grille – I’ll make one for you.

Let’s Eat

Summer is still here, despite what my husband says. He is like Eeyore. Starting the 3rd week in July, he likes to remind me on a nightly basis how much sunlight we are losing AND that summer is almost over.
Well, I say, “Nay, nay, my friends”. As far as I am concerned, summer is still alive and kicking until that first leaf falls in my yard.
With all that being said, I want to share with you two recipes. The first one is for GREEK PASTA SALAD and the second is for HERBED RED BLISS POTATO SALAD.
Today, I will focus on the pasta. This was just served at my ANNUAL THANK YOU BBQ I put on each summer at my home for my amazing “regulars“.

GREEK PASTA SALAD

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Ingredients:
2lbs penne pasta
1 Green bell pepper, seeded and julienned
1 medium sized cucumber, skin on, seeded, diced
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in wheels, discard ends (this step is a slight pain in the ass)
1 small red onion, chopped (grab some tissues, tears will fall)
1 pint crumbled feta
1 16 oz bottle of greek dressing, oil based not creamy
Salt

Boil pasta until al dente (you do not want mushy pasta) in salted water, drain, cold water rinse, drain again

Pasta can be prepped up to 2 days in advance, chill in fridge, then use greek dressing to LIGHTLY coat (just enough to keep pasta from sticking and to let flavor soak in)

Mix together bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, onion (place in container and set aside in fridge until 24hrs before serving. Day before consumption, mix in with pasta, add more dressing, again, just enough to coat not soak)

Day of party: mix in feta, add more dressing (enough to wet not soak, I used just under 3/4 of a bottle)

ENJOY the compliments and the taste!

xo, Amy

PS: prep time varies based on your alcohol consumption

It’s a good day for balls.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful...

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…


What is better on a snowy, cold afternoon than some tasty balls?

Mama mia – meatballs, you sickos! Jeez, get your minds out of the gutter.

Meatballs

If you bothered to read I SUPPOSE YOU WANT TO EAT TOO!, then you know I like to eat. Even more, I love to cook. Being of Italian heritage, cooking is MORE than just feeding people. It is a symbol of love. It also means you don’t measure a damn thing! Below is a recipe for my go-to winter’s day comfort food.

    AMY’S MEAT-a-BALLZ

2 lbs ground beef (I prefer 80/20 lean)
1 lb ground pork
1 large egg
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
Red wine – swig some and then splash some in the bowl
Worcestershire sauce, a few good shakes
Kosher salt, not a lot, no one likes salty balls
Black pepper, about 1tsp
Dried oregano and parsley flakes, equal amounts
Garlic powder, I like ALOT!

Pre-heat oven to 450
Line baking sheet with tinfoil, set aside

In a large bowl whisk all ingredients EXCEPT for meats
(Always start with the egg first, to make sure it is not bad)
Begin to incorporate meat into bowl, 1 pound at a time
Get your hands right in there, don’t be shy, really massage it

Now, grab a handful and start forming the size you like
(I usually go large and get a dozen)

Place in 3 evenly spaced rows on baking sheet
Bake at 450 for 10 minutes
Reduce heat to 375, bake for 15 minutes
Take out and let rest for 5 minutes

Serve with your favorite pasta and homemade sauce(I’ll share that recipe another time). Don’t forget the wine!
Enjoy and MANGE!

Xoxo,
Amy

Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Martini

Fresh strawberries

Fresh strawberries

In the lab

In the lab

Valentine's martini

Valentine’s martini

After quite a bit of taste testing, I have mastered the final draft of my recipe. Again, I will remind you that I am a trained professional. Please do not try this at home and then get on the road.

Men, your woman will love this twist on an old favorite for Valentine’s Day! (But, may I suggest that you have roses and jewelry at the ready as well.)

INGREDIENTS:
3oz fresh strawberry purée
2oz white crème de cacao
1oz whipped vodka (since I do not get paid to advertise, I will just let you know, there is a whipped vodka by P*NN**LE)
Chocolate syrup for garnish

To make strawberry purée, take 12 ripe strawberries, cut tops off, slice in half and use a food processor or hand-held blender(my preference).

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, top with ice
Shake, shake, shake
Strain into a martini glass (drizzled with chocolate syrup)
Wow your date with a strawberry (plain or dipped) on rim

WARNING: This tini will be on the thicker side and it does have seeds that settle, so if your date has dentures this could be a problem.

Penne Ala Vodka

I am a big fan of “sharing the love”. This young lady is far beyond her years and so is her palate. Definitely worth checking out this new “flog”.
Not to mention she married booze and pasta, two of my favorite things in this world!
Xoxo,
Amy

Young Foodie's Dilemma

Penne Ala Vodka

This was the best meal of my study abroad experience! It is also a home favorite. I got the craving for it after Facetimeing my dad who had said that he ordered it at a restaurant that opened close to our house but he thought mine was better 🙂 (Gotta love him!)

To make – Finely chop onions and garlic and cook in a pan with olive oil. Once soft, add vodka and cook until the alcohol is almost cooked off. (Hint – when you smell the pot, it will be done when the smell won’t almost knock you over lol). Then, place the mixture into a pot with crushed tomatoes. Once the sauce is warmed up, I added ricotta cheese, heavy cream, basil and parmesan cheese. I let the sauce heat up and become a homogenous mixture. (Some people suggest putting the mixture through the blender. I would recommend…

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