Horchata

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After a few weeks of house guests and travels, I am about to get back into this. But for now, please make yourself some horchata. Apricots will be gone before we know it. This is delicious as a mid-afternoon snack or even for dessert with a shortbread cookie. The recipe for this apricot horchata is here. XO

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Angostura Sour

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We haven’t had a drink around here in a while. I don’t know what’s wrong. We’ve certainly been drinking, dranking even (Beyoncé reference—sorry, I can’t stop). Truth be told, it might be because once a delicious cocktail is poured I often don’t want to take the time to photograph it— I just want to drink it. I’ll try to be more patient and less selfish. read more+++

Spring Drinks

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It has been a while since I wrote about a cocktail on these pages. What’s wrong with me? Am I avoiding the word mixology?

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This little beauty features rhubarb juice, a juice I didn’t know existed. At least I had never given it any thought. You puree a bunch of rhubarb in a food processor and then strain it through cheesecloth. You get a mind-blowing amount of juice. Like, basically rhubarb are all liquid. It is crazy! Science! Anyway, you get a measuring cup full of ruby-red liquid (or not, depending on the color of your rhubarb). You need to let the liquid sit overnight so that the pulp can sink to the bottom and then you pour off the crystal clear red juice and discard the sediment. Then, you make this very delicious drink.

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Strawberry Lassi

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Summer might be my least favorite season in Chicago. I know! I know! I feel very conflicted about it, too. Admittedly, there is much I like about summer, especially as it relates to food: farmers markets! local everything! hot dogs! The thing is, I really dislike being hot. My thermostat is off, I run hot already. And the humidity in Chicago really gets me down. So, unlike every other Chicagoan who cant wait for summer….I am ambivalent. Of course, there are those dry sunny days in the 70′s that I too love, but they’re pretty rare. Mostly it is too hot and too humid. So, I look for ways to cool off. This lassi does the trick.

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Lottie + Doof + Kelly = !!!! (4)

[Kelly Carambula is cool. Not only does she run a fantastic blog, produces a beautiful food journal, she’s a great person to hang out with at a cocktail party. Speaking of cocktails, she made one for us!]

This little number is inspired by the delicious fruit desserts that Tim shares. Blackberries, an ode to summer, are paired with a fall staple in my house, Fuji apple cider (regular apple cider works too) and bourbon to create a cocktail that’s sweet and satisfying. Finished with a rim of cinnamon sugar, it’s a perfect welcome to the beginning of a new season and another year of delicious treats from Tim.

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Quinine Syrup

The other day at lunch, my friend Anna was telling me about someone she knew who roasted his own coffee beans at home. I made a joke about how ridiculous that was and then remembered that I had a vat of quinine syrup brewing in my fridge—who am I to judge? read more+++

Special Juice

In the immortal words of Alana from Toddlers & Tiaras, My special juice is gonna help me win!!“.

Like Alana’s secret go-go juice (it involves Mountain Dew), this special juice really will help you win, not child beauty pageants, but the admiration of breakfast or brunch guests. It might also help you win beauty pageants, I just haven’t tried. Yet.

I’m getting off track.

This is my favorite juice blend and something that we make for very special breakfasts. I say “we” because Bryan juices the fruit. We don’t have anything to help juice, he uses a fork and sheer determination and then swears we are never making this stupid juice again, but of course we do. read more+++

Elderflowers

Elderflowers are difficult to come by in Chicago. So when Seedling Farms announced some were available, I jumped at the opportunity to try the ever increasing pile of elderflower recipes I have been collecting. A week or two later, lucky me had a giant box of beautifully perfumed elderflower heads in my hot little hands.

In the states, we’re probably most familiar with elderflower in the form the ubiquitous St. Germain liqueur that has managed to make its way onto every cocktail menu. Europe is better at appreciating these delicate white flowers that are most often used to perfume a sweet cordial. The elder tree is actually a pretty remarkable plant that produces both these flower and elderberries, which are also used in culinary applications. Perhaps most interestingly, the tree has long been associated with witches, and the wood of the tree is particularly well suited to making magic wands. Cool.

What is not to love? And why isn’t there an elder tree on every corner?

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Milk Punch (+ Japan)

We’re all trying to figure out how to write about food after what has happened in Japan. Ruth Reichl’s tweets are getting more and more bizarre. We’re struggling. There isn’t an answer. We are unbelievably fortunate to be alive, and to have our homes, friends and family safe. Even this internet that brings me to you is such a privilege. My hope is that we are all appreciating our good fortune, and finding ways to help those that are suffering. And I hope that someday everyone will have the luxury of caring about the food they eat (or whatever else) as much as we do. read more+++

Bonus: The Poacher

So, you have made your beautiful quince pie and have a cup or two of poaching liquid left over (I ended up with 1 3/4 cups). It would be unforgivable for you to pour it down the drain. What to do? Have a drink! The poaching liquid was too beautiful and fragrant for me to ignore, so I decided to invent a cocktail. This is a good idea for any future leftover poaching liquid (pear tarts?). All you need to do is strain the liquid into a jar and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use. read more+++