Bloody Mary!

We recently treated our mom to a belated Mother’s Day lunch at the Hotel Vandivort’s restaurant, The Order. I’ve been bragging about their DIY bloody mary bar, and hot tamale, it was fun.

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Our server brought us a large glass of ice and Tito’s, the rim salted to perfection. We took our glasses to the Bloody Mary station, and filled them with mix, horseradish sauce, various salts, hot sauces, and garnishes (including bacon, carrots, and peppers).

There’s no need for us to worry about invoking Mary at our house. We want Bloody Marys EVERY week now! Here are some fun ways to create your own Bloody Mary Bar for your next boozy brunch…

Easy Bruschetta

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Living in the midwest affords us plenty of farm-fresh fare. This year, my family re-joined a CSA (community-supported agriculture) at Millsap Farms. We belonged a few years ago, and it was such an amazing experience. Each week we’d receive a box of fruits & vegetables. To offset the cost, we’d work the farm a few days over the season, which was an eye-opening experience. I mean, who even knew what Kohlrabi is!?

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This year, we are more hands-off, and the box of produce is delivered to our house, and we paid extra to skip the work hours. But the vegetables still taste oh so delicious! And each week, we’ve been receiving a giant bag of basil and a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes. That means one thing: BRUSCHETTA!

Now, I’m no connoisseur. But I do know that I like my bruschetta garlicky, oily, and full of flavor. So here’s how I make mine:

INGREDIENTS:

  • cherry tomatoes (pint)
  • about 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • handful of basil
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • can of artichokes (drained)
  1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Put in a bowl.
  2. Roll up the basil leaves and cut them into thin strips for a chiffonade. { –> How to Chiffonade Basil via The Pioneer Woman }
  3. Add basil to tomatoes, drizzle balsamic vinegar to quickly coat the tomatoes. Start with a little, you can add more later.
  4. Chop the drained artichokes into bite-size pieces or smaller. Add to bowl.
  5. Mix everything together.
  6. In a skillet, add a few tablespoons olive oil and the garlic, and heat until just brown. Pour the garlic and oil on top of the tomatoes. Let marinate.
  7. EAT!

I love slicing french bread, buttering it, and toasting it in the oven Or prepare a big bowl of linguini and add this to the top, with a shaving of parmesan cheese. Or just grab a fork and eat straight out of the bowl. Serve with nice mineral-y white wine (I love J’s Pinot Gris), and you got yourself a summer dinner!

Do you have a favorite recipe that you use during an abundance of tomatoes? We’d love to hear!

Not even Semi-Homemade

If you’ve been following along, you know we love to entertain. Part of the fun is menu crafting, deciding what to make from scratch, what to collaborate on with the grocery store, and what to just unpackage and put on a pretty plate.

Last week Stephanie hosted a Bunco party for some friends, and because of her schedule, she didn’t have time to prepare much. But it looked like she did…

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Click to read more about easy entertaining!

Makin’ Whoopie (Pies)

There was a period of time where we made a lot of whoopie…pies. (har har)

They’re just SO tasty, and fun to make. And with such a variety of flavors, the options are endless! (Trust me…we’ve tried to make them all.)

The best still, though, are the classic version. A chocolate cake-ish sandwich, with marshmallow creme. Think a Moonpie, or a Double Doozie. Or, a Whoopie Pie!

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Click more for the recipe!

Wine to Go Go

One summer evening, I joined a friend for an outdoor Shakespeare on the Park. It was a beautiful night, they were performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the lawn was packed. My friend had already set up chairs and blankets and as I arrived, she handed me an insulated tumbler.

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Photo by JodyHongFilms on Unsplash

Ah, thanks, I’m so thirsty! After a big gulp and a little cough, I realized the giant tumbler she gave me was filled with cold white wine. She’s a good friend.

Three Cheers to the Paloma

Just when you think you’ve figured out your signature cocktail (gimlets for Stephanie, French 76 for Nicole), along comes a potent kick in the pants in the form of refreshment on a hot summer day…or mild Missouri spring…

OF COURSE we’re talking about a Paloma! This simple cocktail of blanco tequila, lime juice, and grapefruit soda packs a punch, is refreshing, AND pretty to look at.

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Sweet Tea Treat

Despite us growing up in the south, we are not sweet tea fans, or really even iced tea fans. Classic iced tea, at least. Thai Iced Tea…well, that’s a different category of wonderful deliciousness altogether.

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The best Thai Iced Teas are sweeter than sweet and a creamy orange tone. Our local thai restaurant makes a mighty fine cup, but some nights, homemade will do…

Indoor Picnic

The weather here in Southwest Missouri has been cold, drizzly, and not very spring-like. So for Easter Sunday this year, we decided to have a French-inspired indoor picnic. French wine, cheeses, a charcuterie board, home-made baguettes…the whole works.

Of course, we ate at the dining table, so rather than a picnic, I guess it was just French-inspired picnic-fare. C’est la vie. It. Was. Parfait.

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Cheers! The Lychee Martini

What to ‘shake’ up your cocktail game? Try the Lychee Martini, recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.

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photo via Martha Stewart

Lychees are Asian tree fruits, with red dinosaur-like skin and a subtle grape-like taste and texture. And they make AMAZING cocktail ingredients! We drank these all winter long, despite them being a summer fruit. With access to international markets in town, though, we can enjoy them ALL YEAR LONG!

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It tastes high end, when using good vermouth and cold cold vodka. The lychee syrup adds just a touch of sweetness.

Recipe:

  • Ice
  • Cocktail shaker
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 can Lychee fruit in Syrup
  • 3 oz vodka
  • 1/3 cup lychee juice, reserved from can

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add in vodka, vermouth, and lychee juice. Shake well. Strain into 2 martini glasses and garnish each with a lychee fruit.

Other Lychee products to up your cocktail game:

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Lychee lattes! Lychee lemonade! Lychee slushies! Oh the possibilities with this Syrup

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Lychee Gummy Candy!

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Lychee Cane Sugar – ooh, to add a lychee-flavored sugar rim to your martini glass.

Excuse me. I think it’s almost Happy Hour, and I need to get to the market…