What the heck is Affogato you say?
The Italians have given us so many good pasta dishes, sauces, risottos, lasagna and of course their tiramisu; BUT have you tried their Affogato. Affogato literally means drowned and what is being drowned in? Well an Affogato is ice cream, either vanilla, coffee, or chocolate, and it’s drowned in hot espresso or a very strong coffee. (All recipes call for hot espresso but I think next time I will use room temperature espresso so it doesn’t melt the ice cream so quickly.)
We spent New Year’s eve with friends and she made an Affogato for dessert. It was delicious and reminded me of one I had at a restaurant in Austin years ago. This particular recipe I’m using chocolate shavings and chopped hazelnuts and a splash of kahlula. I put the ice cream in a brandy type glass and I have some little egg cups I will put the hot espresso in and then some tiny pitchers with handle that I will put the kahlula — a little interactive dessert that’s easy, fun and of course delicious.
Red for the holidays!
There’s nothing better than being with family and friends over the holidays. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas.
I love experimenting with cocktails and for a recent Christmas dinner party I made these Poinsettia Cocktails. Unsweetened cranberry juice was used and orange liqueur which you can go easy on if you don’t want it quite so sweet.
Recently I told a friend that I would rather cook than eat and that’s true. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have friends/family to cook for. Sometimes alll those recipes I experiment with sometimes don’t get tried before I serve to others, but the majority of the time the turn out wonderful.
My favorite cocktail.
Either you love this or not. I happen to love it. I love the floral notes of the creme de violet and of course the purple color. I’ve started using some of the Empress 1908 gin which is really purple as either all of the gin in this cocktail or part of it. It will make the drink a lot more purple. This gin uses butterfly pea blossoms and that’s where the color comes from.
The Aviation is a classic cocktail made with gin, maraschino liqueur (not the red kind), creme de violet and lemon juice. This cocktail was created by Hugo Ensslin who was head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in Newark back in the early twentieth century and the recipe first showed up in print in 1916. This cocktail is often referred to as a “forgotten classic” but back in the 1990’s young bartenders found the recipe while looking through old cocktail manuals.
What would afternoon tea be without a cocktail.
Our afternoon tea a couple week ago started with this blackberry thyme champagne cocktail and of course our committee had to sample it before the tea to make sure it was just right. Some of the ladies helping decided they liked it a little sweeter so we added more than the one teaspoon of blackberry syrup the recipe. One teaspoon of the syrup will give you a nice glass of pinkish champagne or prosecco.
Don’t you just love the bubbles of champagne and when you add this blackberry syrup to the glass it makes for a perfect cocktail and the sprig of fresh thyme and a blackberry for garnish.
At the tea we served this cocktail with some blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped with prosciutto before the ladies sat down to an afternoon of tea with sandwiches, sweets and scones.
Love coffee? You’ll love this shake.
Did you love shakes as a kid? Do you still love shakes? Then how about an adult coffee shake with a little Kahula topped with some whipped cream and sprinkles of spice. (Last of my holiday shake recipes I made over Christmas.)
As a kid I remember my grandfather loving chocolate malts. My grandmother would drive over to local ice cream shop and buy quite a few for 25 cents each and take them home to put in the freezer. When he was ready for a chocolate malt treat, which was almost nightly, he would take out a frozen shake, chop out the center and add a little milk and continue chopping on it until it has thawed enough he could eat it. I still remember the taste of those malts and that has been at least 60 years ago.
A toast to everyone for 2019!
This is my first toast to the new year — “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we diet!” (Unknown author)
I’ve tried more new cocktail recipes in the last couple of months than my 9 years of doing this blog.
I happened to be one of those “cheap dates”, “lightweight”, “two pot streamers” (Australian saying) drinkers. And, after one drink, I’d say I’m a little tipsy, my eyes start blurring a little, lips get a little numb. Then if I happen to have a second drink then maybe I start getting in the category of groggy (never giddy), maybe a little pie-eyed. But after two drinks, I usually stop before I get three sheets to the wind and her never close to being hammered. That says a lot about how much I drink.
The idea of a little cocktail before dinner (or after) is more appealing to me than a glass of wine. I’ve been know to take my own set ups with me if I want something special. Not many bars have Creme de Mure or Creme de Violet. Once I asked for a Blackberry Bramble at one of our favorite local restaurants and after telling the bartender what was in it, he went to the kitchen and fished out some blackberries that were marinating for their blackberry cobbler and made me the drink. Now I call that service. (Thanks John)
Shake it up for Christmas with this date shake.
When we were in Israel it took me a while to realize that the row after row, field after field of palm trees were date palms and produced the Medjool date.
I never realized there was more than one kind of date on the market; some others are Barhi, Deglet Noor, Halawy, Khdraw, Medjool, Thoory and Zahidi. In fact there are over 1,500 varieties of dates grown in the world. The Medjool date is know as the Cadillac of dates and originated in Morocco and I love the size of these dates, just big enough for two good bites.
Did you know that dates are a fresh fruit not a dried fruit? I didn’t. The white stuff you sometimes see on the outside of a date is the natural sugar crystallizing and perfectly fine to eat, so don’t throw away your dates if they are white.
Another cocktail for you to try.
A couple of weeks ago my friend Peggy was over for dinner and we (she) decided to experiment with a cocktail. A little gin and a little peach and we (she) ( I just provided some gin and other essential ingredients) came up with another nice cocktail, Peaches and Herb (herb some from the gin of course).
I can remember my very first martini and it was not a pleasant memory. My husband went to Missouri School of Mines in Rolla, Missouri. He was a Sig Ep and I went up for every party weekend. At the time there were NO girls in school so all the girls were imported in for parties. Over the years of partying in a really cool old Ozzie and Harriet type fraternity house, it was torn down and they built a tall multi story brick building. No more bar in the basement that looked like a cave.
We were married his last year and half of college and lived next door in a house the fraternity owned that was called The Cat Lady’s house (whole other story). There was a grand opening for the new frat house and cocktails were served. Since I have never been a beer drinker I decided I would try a martini. It sounded like such a sophisticated cocktail. But I though it was the nastiest thing I’d ever drank; since at the time my drink of choice was a Singapore Sling.
What a way to start off an afternoon!
We aren’t saying goodbye to summer yet here in Texas and a cocktail made with fresh blueberries is the perfect end to a hot day.
A lot of you may be into Fall already. If so, I envy you. We don’t really have Fall or Spring here in our part of Texas. We have hot and cool sometimes a little cold but never those Fall days when you can see and feel the leaves falling around you or the welcomed Spring days that you smell fresh cut grass, smell after a rain shower and flowers popping up all over the place. What we do have is 12 months out of the year that my husband can play golf, can work outside and we enjoy our outdoor kitchen more from September through June before it does get a little too hot to even want to be outside.
Blueberry Mojito to go with my Blueberry Ice Cream.
So I had these blueberries left over from making my Blueberry Lavender Ice Cream and what’s a person to do with them other than eat them by the handful — make a Mojito of course.
Nothing taste better on sweltering hot days here in Texas than to have a cocktail in your hand, floating in the pool watching the clouds float by. My husband has even made a little boat to hold his drinks but I don’t really trust my drink in his vessel.
I’ve only posted two other drinks on this blog, one Aviation Cocktail (my favorite) and my daughter-in-law, Brooke, posted a Kentucky Derby Cocktail when son Paul did a post on “Born in Kentucky” back in 2009 so I thought it was time for another one.