September is National Bourbon Month!

11 Sep

National Guacamole Day is September 16 AND the whole month of September is celebrating bourbon! Guac and Bourbon in our household are two things dearly beloved.

I know very little about whisky and/or bourbon, but Stud Muffin is a fan and we both love learning all about whiskey and bourbon (and all beverages). When I got this email about a social platform called Distiller, I thought it was a great opportunity to blog about it. The app helps guide people through the whiskey discovery process. They’ve also recently released a few infographics that explain how whisky is made and thought you might like them too. The first one was about the mash process (below) and the second graphic is detailing the distillation process.

Check out the full series here.

the_mash_infographic

WHISKEY DECONSTRUCTED // STEP ONE

 

 

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WHISKEY DECONSTRUCTED // STEP TWO

 

 

 

Holy Moly, It’s National Guacamole Day on Sept. 16!

9 Sep Dos Caminos Guacamole

I love guac. It is as simple as that. Fresh avocados, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro… just perfection. Well, who knew that September 16 was National Guacamole Day!? I certainly did not, but boy am I glad I know now. Is there something unusual that you like to add to your guac, like lobster or goat cheese? If you’ve ever wanted to try something new, now is the time. Thanks to Chef Ivy Stark of Dos Caminos for providing these awesome, different recipes and cocktail pairings!

Dos Caminos Guacamole

Pairing 1

The sweet and fruity flavors of the Marvelous Mango Margarita provide the perfect complement to the smoky heat of the Chipotle-Goat Cheese Guacamole.

mango margarita

Pairing 2

Turn your cocktail up a notch this National Guacamole Day with the Spicy Sauza®-Rita.  This spicy cocktail brings the heat with red and chili pepper flavors and pairs well with the mild flavors of the Artichoke Guacamole with Toasted Pine Nuts.

Spicy Sauzarita

Pairing 3

Try the Strawberry Sparkler with the Lobster Guacamole for a fresh take on the traditional lobster/champagne pairing.

Strawberry Sparklers

Check out the recipes below:

Pairing 1

Marvelous Mango Margarita

  • 1 part Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • ½ part JDK & Sons™ O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
  • ½ large ripe mango
  • 2 parts fresh orange juice
  • ⅔ part lime juice
  • ½ part simple syrup
  • 4 parts ice

Preparation: Peel, seed and chop your mango. If you have time you can freeze your prepared mango at this point. Otherwise, put all ingredients except for the ice into your blender and blend until smooth. Then add the ice. Pour the margarita into a glass and enjoy!

 Chipotle-Goat Cheese Guacamole

  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp. minced jalapeño or Serrano chilies (Optional: remove seeds and membranes)
  • ½ tsp. teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2  large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 small plum tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • 2 tbsp. chopped canned chipotle chilies

 Preparation:

  1. In a medium size bowl, use the back of a spoon to mash 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon onion, 1 teaspoon of minced chile, and ½ teaspoon salt together against the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add the avocados and gently mash them with a fork until chunky-smooth.
  3. Add 4 oz. crumbled goat cheese and 2 tablespoons of chopped canned chipotle chilles.
  4. Fold the remaining cilantro, onion, and chile into the mixture.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice, taste to adjust the seasonings.
  6. Serve with warm corn tortilla chips.

 **Makes 4 Servings

 Pairing 2

 Spicy Sauza-Rita

  • 1 part Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • 2 parts beer
  • 1 part frozen limeade concentrate
  • 1 part water
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • Sugar (for garnish)
  • Salt (for garnish)
  • Red pepper (for garnish)
  • Chili pepper (for garnish)

 Preparation: In a glass, combine all ingredients. Chill and serve in glasses rimmed with sugar, salt and red pepper. Garnish with a chili.Enjoy!

 Artichoke Guacamole with Toasted Pine Nuts

  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp. minced jalapeño or Serrano chilies (Optional: remove seeds and membranes)
  • ½ tsp. teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2  large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 small plum tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Preparation:

  1. In a medium size bowl, use the back of a spoon to mash 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon onion, 1 teaspoon of minced chile, and ½ teaspoon salt together against the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Add the avocados and gently mash them with a fork until chunky-smooth.
  3. Add 1 cup of marinated artichoke hearts chopped with ¼ cup of toasted pine nuts and stir.
  4. Fold the remaining cilantro, onion, and chile into the mixture.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice, taste to adjust the seasonings.
  6. Serve with warm corn tortilla chips.

**Makes 4 Servings

Pairing 3

 Strawberry Sparkler

  • 1 part Sauza® Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
  • ½ part DeKuyper® Strawberry Liqueur
  • ½ part (chilled) rose champagne
  • ½ part limeade
  • 3 strawberries
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 lime wedge

 Preparation:  Wash, stem, quarter and freeze strawberries for at least 1 hour (can be done the day ahead). Run a wedge of lime around the rim of your champagne flute and dip in a plate of sugar to coat rim. Place 3 frozen strawberries in the bottom of the prepared flute.  Pour champagne into the glass. In a shaker filled with ice, combine tequila, limeade, and strawberry liqueur. Shake and pour into glass. Add a squeeze of fresh lime if desired and serve immediately.

 Lobster Guacamole

  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tsp. finely chopped white onion
  • 2 tsp. minced jalapeño or Serrano chilies (Optional: remove seeds and membranes)
  • ½ tsp. teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2  large ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 1 small plum tomato, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 lb. whole lobster or 4 oz. lobster meat, steamed, cleaned and rough chopped
  • Japanese pickled ginger for garnish (Optional)

 Preparation:

  1. In a medium size bowl, use the back of a spoon to mash 1 tablespoon of the cilantro, 1 teaspoon onion, 1 teaspoon of minced chile, and ½ teaspoon salt together against the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Steam, cool and pick meat from lobster and rough chop. Then add to bowl.
  3. Add the avocados and gently mash them with a fork until chunky-smooth.
  4. Fold the remaining cilantro, onion, and chile into the mixture.
  5. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice, taste to adjust the seasonings.
  6. Add Japanese pickled ginger for garnish (optional).
  7. Serve with warm corn tortilla chips.

 **Makes 4 Servings

Beertails! A tasty treat for all!

20 Aug

Do you like beer? Do you like cocktails? Well, then you’ll love Beertails. That’s right, that’s a thing now and these recipes sound pretty darn good. Labor Day is right around the corner (I hate that I just had to type that), and these might be some tasty treats for your end of summer bash!

Bohemia Limeaid

Ingredients

·         1 ½oz Herradura Silver

·         ¼  oz triple sec

·         1 oz fresh lime juice

·         ½  oz agave syrup

·         1 oz Bohemia

Directions

1.       Mix all ingredients together and stir without ice.

2.       Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Spiked Hawaiian

Ingredients

·         1 oz Morita chili infused tequila (To Infuse  the Reposado tequila take a cup of Morita chilies add to a measuring jug, pour 1 liter of Reposado tequila over the  chilies and leave for 90 mins.

·         ½  oz celery juice (blend celery stems to create a pulp)

·         ¾  oz  pineapple juice

Directions

1.       Combine tequila, celery juice and pineapple in a cocktail shaker with cubed ice.

2.       Shake hard and strain into a high ball glass.

3.       Top with Indio beer and stir to combine. Garnish with a pineapple flag dipped in crushed red chilies.

 Mojito Tecate Light

Ingredients

·         6 Mint leaves

·         4 tbls. Sugar Syrup

·         2 tbls. Lemon Juice

·         2 tbls White Rum (optional)

·         12 oz. cold Tecate Light

Instructions

1.       Crush the mint leaves and in a tall glass, add the sugar syrup; the lemon juice; the white rum and cold Tecate Light. Shake and enjoy!

Do you have a favorite beertail? Do share in the comments.

Legal Oysteria in Charlestown: Review

21 Jul wpid-20140717_180941.jpg

After Olives made its grand departure from Charlestown, we were interested to see what would become of the space. It is a great location and a place like Olives was needed in the area. We were excited to hear that Legal Sea Foods was going to be opening up an oysteria in the space and would be serving Italian seafood. After months of renovation, Legal Oysteria officially opened on Wednesday, July 16, 2014.

wpid-20140717_180941.jpgStud Muffin and I decided to check it out on Friday night for dinner. We were warmly greeted by several hostesses and we put our name in for a table. There was about a 30 minute wait, which was fine as we wanted to get a drink. Instead of getting a buzzer to tell us when our table was ready, we gave them our cell phone number and they text us when it was ready. I haven’t seen that in Boston yet, but thought that was a cool feature.

For drinks, I got a class of Sauvignon Blanc and SM got a Jack’s Abbey beer. As we waited for our table and enjoyed our drinks, we also enjoyed some people watching. We noticed that there were almost as many employees in the restaurant as there were patrons. I know it is likely because it was only the third day of being open, but it was a bit overwhelming and it just made it seem a lot more crowded than it needed to be. The bar was packed with people grabbing a drink after work and every table was full. We sat down to dinner within 20 to 25 minutes of putting in our name.

The menu has some great options for seafood lovers and those not so keen. It is broken up into Apps, Small Plates, Salads and Soups, Entrees and Sides (entrees are served a la carte). We decided to try some of the small plates including the Salt Cod Crostini (delicious, though very salty), Chickpea & Shrimp Fritters (with a spicy, bacon aoili dipping sauce – this was my favorite) & Ricotta Fritters (these were little fried balls of ricotta cheese served with a spicy honey dipping sauce. It was sinful, we saved them for dessert they were so delicious). We also shared a Sopressata pizza, which was stracciatella, banana peppers, spicy red sauce.

All in all, we had a good experience. The server was cheery, knowledgeable and attentive. The atmosphere was good, still as loud as Olives was, but the fist-pumping music he used to play is no longer blaring. We are glad to see a new neighborhood restaurant and we’ll definitely be back. They have valet parking available, but there is typically plenty of two-hour parking spots available around the neighborhood.

Follow Legal Sea Foods on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: Ribelle Brookline

17 Jul Sesame Buns

I have heard about Ribelle for some time now, but just haven’t had an opportunity to get to Brookline, until now. Stud Muffin and I joined my sister (@amkline) and our bro-in-law for a night out. While driving around looking for a parking space, we were able to avoid all of the rain, and as we were eating dinner, were treated to a nice sunset.

Now onto the food. We started off with an amazing glass of pinot noir, but it was a glass of white wine, and it was amazing. I would go back just for a bottle of it. Stud Muffin had a cocktail, which I am pretty sure added a good amount of hair to his already hairified chest. We perused the menu and thought about doing the 5-course pasta tasting menu, but opted to just get a bunch of dishes and share them all.

 

We started off with Sicilian Semolina Bread with caponata and pinenuts; Sesame Buns with panelle, calabrian chili mayo and arugula;  Broccoli with fontina, onion and pistachio; and Quail with kohlrabi, maitake, squid ink breadcrumbs. My favorite starter was the Sesame bun and the semolina bread. The sesame bun was like a slider and had a fritter of sorts in the middle, but what made this dish was the chili mayo. I am a fan of aiolis and spiced up mayos… Fisher you can stop barfing now. The Semolina Bread was served with caponata, which was a vegetable, eggplant mixture and it was served with amazing garlic bread.

 

Our main meals were: Rigatoni with octopus, fennel, smoked tomato; Lamb Neck with green chili, favas, hazelnuts; and 2 dishes of Pappardelle with bolognese, kale, pork rinds. The boys took good care of the Lamb Neck and Rigatoni and my sister and I handled the Papparadelle, though we did share a bit. I was told the Lamb Neck was really delicious, cooked well and had really good flavors. Stud Muffin said the rigatoni was more smokey than any other flavor and was expecting it to be more seafood-y with the octopus. He still ate all of it, so it must have been good, but not sure he would get the same thing again. The Pappardelle was delicious. I wanted to eat the entire thing, but I couldn’t. The healthy portion of pasta was cooked perfectly and the bolognese was to die for. I have had this type of dish at 62 in Salem and I have always said it is the best around, but this one at Ribelle may rival it. I would like to do a taste test.

For dessert, we tried the olive oil ice cream and the chocolate cake. I was intrigued by the olive oil ice cream, but only took a few bites. The olive oil was a little over powering. The chocolate cake was delicious.

The atmosphere was cool and hip. The menus were clipped to cut outs from wine boxes. There is also a long farm-style table in the middle where several parties sat together, with the bar on one side and then other tables on the periphery. All in all, it was a great experience and I would definitely recommend this to try out.

If you are interested in following them on social channels check them out @RibelleBKline on Twitter, @RibelleBKline on Instagram, Ribelle Facebook and G+. Beware: their posts will make you hungry. 

National Tequila Day! July 24

16 Jul

Apparently, July 24 is National Tequila Day. I assumed that would be Cinco de Mayo, but you know what happens when you assume…

Anywho, we have received several emails about how to spice up your margarita so I thought we’d share  a few with you all.

Cucumber Mint Margarita
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup key lime juice
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/3 cup tequila reposado
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco Original Red Sauce
6 ice cubes

Garnish:
Salt to rim glasses
2 cucumber slices

Preparation:
Blend ingredients in a blender for one minute. Divide between two 6-ounce salt-rimmed glasses. Garnish each glass with a cucumber slice.

CucumberMintMargarita

 

 

 

 

 

 

Este Lado
Created by Mixologists Ben Scorah and Marshall Altier

Ingredients:

1 1/2 ounces Tequila Don Julio Blanco
1/2 ounce Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
Slice of English Cucumber
Mint Sprig
Mint and Cucumber Wheel Garnish

Preparation:
Muddle English Cucumber and mint sprig in simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
Add Tequila Don Julio Blanco, fresh lime juice and ice. Shake well.
Strain Contents over ice into a rocks glass.
Garnish with mint sprig and cucumber wheel.

Ideal Serving:
Rocks Glass

Yield:
1 drink, no drink contains more than 0.6 fl oz of alcohol

DonJulio_CincoDeMayo_ss-7014

 

Upcoming Events! (That I can’t attend)

17 May

There are so many great things happening while Stud Muffin and I are on our Honeymoon. I’m not complaining because we will be on an amazing trip, but I hate to miss out on awesome events in Boston!

So, if you don’t have plans for May 31 or June 7, or even if you do and you want a good excuse to cancel your other plans… check out these upcoming events.

May 30 & May 31 – times vary – American Craft Beer Fest  - According to EventBrite invite, “The 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest (ACBF) is the east coast’s largest celebration of American craft beer hosted at the Seaport World Trade Center Boston by BeerAdvocate & Harpoon Brewery. The 2-day fest will feature 3-session and 640+ craft beers from 140+ American brewers.”

Saturday, May 31 starting at 5 pmWink & Nod in the South End is celebrating Ardbeg Day (I had to look this up to be honest) by opening a bottle of Ardbeg Galileo, a 12-year old single malt that was ranked best in the world. This will only be served on this day and at midnight, it will be closed and saved until next year’s Ardbeg Day. So if you are into exclusives, hand over $11 and sip it down straight or in a cocktail!

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June 1 2 – 6 PMCREATE - The Waterfront Gallery & Harbor Walk at Fairmont Battery Wharf

CREATE sounds like an awesome event. I have never heard of it before, but apparently this is the 3rd year! So here is the description, “Chef Louis DiBiccari will showcase some of Boston’s brightest rising art, culinary and mixology stars in Boston. Chefs and bartenders will be paired with visual artists to create a dish and drink that corresponds, interacts or interprets the art. There will be six art/food/drink stations set up. Art will vary, may be 2D or 3D, and may be interactive (live). Guests are encouraged to peruse and purchase at their leisure— seeing, sipping and tasting a trifecta of Bostonian culture. Outside of the winery, tunes from Moe Pope and DJ TJ Connelly keep the energy amped.

Participating Artists:
· Ind!v!duals
· Karen Jerzk
· Mark Sebastiano
· Moe Pope
· And more to come….

Participating Chefs:
· Jade Taylor, Bondir
· Alex Crab, Asta
· Scott Jones , Menton
· Jason Cheek , Merrill and Co
· Monica Glass , Clio
· Meg Ward, Coppa

Participating Bartenders:
· Emma Hollander, Trina’s Starlite Lounge
· Palmer Matthews , Drink
· Daren Swisher, JM Curley
· Steve Schnelwar, 80 Thoreau
· Sabrina Kershaw, The Franklin Cafe
· Tyler Wang, Audubon

Tickets are $35

June 7 2:30 – 5 PM – Landmark Center parking structure – Bacon & Beer Festival

I mean it is bacon and beer. What more could you ask for? I have yet to go to this event. BUT that is not surprising because the thing sells out in 45 seconds. YES – THAT IS WHAT I SAID! 45 SECONDS! If you got a ticket, good on you. Tell us how it is.

Bacon&Beer14-BOS-web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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