Sunday, June 26, 2016

Recipe Roundup: The Living Is Easy

Summer is finally, officially here - and while the days will be hot and full of activity, you'll still need to eat eventually, right? Thankfully, produce will be at its best over the coming months. You will want to enjoy most of it as fresh as possible, but here are some alternatives in case your crops runneth over :-)

Heirloom Tomato Cobbler: Yes, that's correct. After all, tomatoes are still a fruit! This is a great savory side dish, and an excellent use for tomatoes that may be a tad past their prime.

Lemon-Rosemary Zucchini Bread: Instead of heavy spices, this zucchini bread uses flavors you might associate with lots of sun, gentle breezes, and breathtaking views of the ocean.

Summer Fruit Cobbler: the sweet version of cobbler you grew up with, and the simplest version of cobbler I know.

Homemade Ice Cream: sinfully easy, and no special equipment needed!

Ginger Beer Highball: Crisp and refreshing, perfect at the end of a long Summer day.


Friday, June 17, 2016

The Spirit of Things: Ginger Beer Highball

When I was growing up, my mother would make dozens of bourbon balls for the Holidays, starting well enough in advance so that they would have time to develop and mature before giving them away to friends and family. In the spirit of transparency, I confess she actually made these treats with rye whisky (and not bourbon), but after sampling a few, no one could be bothered to quibble over such pesky details :-)

To help pass the tedious time rolling ball after ball, my mother would mix herself a classic Highball of whisky and ginger ale on the rocks. It's an extremely pleasing combination, and one that reminds me of Winter - but when I came into a bottle of whisky recently, I saw no reason to wait that long! I added some peppery kick in the form of ginger beer, and the addition of mint for that Churchill Downs feeling:

Ginger Beer Highball

4-5 fresh mint leaves
2 oz. whisky (or bourbon)
2-3 ice cubes
6 oz. ginger beer (naturally sweetened if you can find it)

Roughly tear mint leaves and place in the bottom of your glass. Add whisky and let steep for a few minutes (if you want to muddle the mint leaves in the whisky, that would be fabulous). Add ice, top with ginger beer, and serve. Easy - and refreshing!

Ginger Beer Highball Cocktail

Notes: The ginger beer may seem too sharp and fiery for warm weather, but it really is the perfect thing on a hot day. Make sure it's completely chilled before using. If you can't find or don't like ginger beer, of course use a good ginger ale in its place.