Bourbon Cherries

Liquor soaked cherries packed in homemade cherry liqour

Liquor soaked cherries packed in homemade cherry liquor

These are really, really strong and yet still taste amazing. The final cherry liquor made from the packing liquid is fantastic added to many cocktails or as a stand alone drink.

Use really fresh cherries and a wide-mouth 24-ounce mason jar. Use a good quality (but not too pricey) bourbon for this. I like Knob Creek or Maker’s Mark. The easiest way to pit a cherry is to slice around the pit with a sharp knife then twist the halves apart. If the cherry is ripe it will separate and the pit can easily be popped out of the one half.

Bourbon Cherries

  • About 1 lb pitted cherries
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Bourbon
  • Simple Syrup

Fill mason jar with cherries. Pour in sugar and mix well with a spoon. Fill to top with bourbon. Seal jar and place in refrigerator. Let stand for one week shaking jar once a day. After a week pour liquid into a pan and measure. For every cup of cherry flavored bourbon add 1/3 cup simple syrup. Mix well and pour back into the jar with the cherries. Cherries are ready to be eaten. Any leftover cherry liquor keeps well in the refrigerator.

To make simple syrup bring equal parts sugar and water to a boil until sugar dissolves. Cool completely before using.

Posted in Food, How to, Spirits, Things in Jars | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Grapefruit and Bourbon Together Again

By Katherine

I am your master, now drink me

I am your master, now drink me

I like making drinks for Greg, but I have to adjust to his tastes. If I add a bit of simple syrup to take the edge off, he’ll find it too sweet. Cocktails I find a bit too strong are sometimes just up his alley. (Although we once followed a Martha Stewart mojito recipe to the letter and he got a headache after just one.) We often end up making two slightly different versions of the same drink, like the White Lady. (Note to self, you haven’t had a White Lady in ages.)

In any case, this drink hit the spot for both of us. It’s a bit like a Blinder, but packs more punch.

Grapefruit and Bourbon Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz bourbon
  • 1/2 triple sec
  • 3 oz ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 tsp grenadine

Pour grenadine in the bottom of a martini glass. Pour remaining ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake, then strain into the martini glass. Garnish with a cherry.

 

Posted in Recipes, Spirits | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Eggplant and Tomato Sandwiches with Pesto and Feta

Mmmmmmmmmm sandwich

Mmmmmmmmmm sandwich

Katherine came up with this veggie sandwich to help use up some eggplant and leftover French bread. To say it was the greatest sandwich ever would be silly.

It was the greatest sandwich that I ever had this week.

Spicy Grilled Eggplant Sandwich

  • Thick sliced French bread
  • 1 eggplant sliced 1/4″ thick lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + more
  • 1 tbsp Tapatio
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 large tomato sliced thin
  • 4 oz feta
  • 3 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt

Start a fire in the grill. Mix feta, pesto and yogurt together and whip until smooth with a fork. Mix oil, Tapatio and mustard together and set aside. Lightly salt eggplant slices, pile in a colander and place some weight on top. Press for 30 minutes then pat dry. Brush with oil mixture and let stand 15 minutes. Brush each side of bread with olive oil. Grill bread until golden on both sides. Grill eggplant until browned brushing with extra sauce. To assemble sandwich spread cheese mixture on both pieces of bread, top with a slice of eggplant then tomatoes then another slice of eggplant.

 

Posted in Food, Grilling/Smoking, Italian, Recipes, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Peach Shortcakes

That is a pile of fun

That is a pile of fun

This right here is why we don’t often have dessert in our household. It tastes too good, goes too fast and leaves us in a sugar stupor. But summer is long and peach season is all too short…

Peach Shortcakes

Peaches

  • 4 cups peaches, skinned and sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Shortcakes

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp of the peach syrup

For peaches, mix three cups of peaches with basil, sugar and vinegar in a three-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over low heat until thick. This will take a good while, about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat. Once cool scoop out a tablespoon of the peach syrup for the whipped cream. Then fold in the remaining fresh peaches. For shortcakes, preheat oven to 400 and grease baking sheet. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter, using a fork or pastry blender cut the butter into the dry mix until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in milk and cream until a soft dough is formed. Don’t overdo it. Drop dough in 12 equal portions onto the baking sheet. Cook for 15-20 minutes. Cool on rack. For whipped cream, beat sugar and cream with mixer until soft peaks form. To assemble, top each shortcake with a scoop of peaches and a spoonful of whipped cream. Cover the top with another shortcake, depending on how many you’re serving and how hungry they are. Spoon peaches over the top and finish with another scoop of whipped cream.

 

Posted in Dessert, Food, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

Bulgur Salad Stuffed Squash

Hot and cold

Hot and cold

This is a great appetizer, first course or light meal. The hot roasted squash pairs perfectly with the cold creamy bulgur salad.

Stuffed Summer Squash

  • 3 large summer squash
  • 2 large tomatoes diced small
  • 6 leaves basil cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup bulgur soaked in cold water for 2 hours
  • 1/2 cup red onion finely diced
  • 1/2 lime juiced
  • 4 oz feta
  • Salt/pepper

Slice squash in half and scoop seeds and pulp out to form a channel. Coat squash in olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile chop up scooped out squash flesh and add to bulgur, basil, tomatoes and onion. Mix well then add lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Add cheese and mix well. Scoop filling into squash halves and serve immediately.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Garden, Recipes, Sides, vegetarian | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Sunday Suppers: More Goodies from the Grill

Grilling in the summer is kind of torture in these parts. Sure you keep the house cooler, but you have to stand in triple-digit heat, or close enough to it. Here are some recipes that reward your suffering.

Grilled Whole Fish Stuffed with Citrus and Olives

Here fishy fishy fishy

Here fishy fishy fishy

White Bean Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant

You could throw some feta on top as well

You could throw some feta on top as well

Grilled Peaches with Sweet Vermouth

This tastes much better than sweet vermouth

This tastes much better than sweet vermouth

Posted in Dessert, Dinner, Food, Grilling/Smoking, Seafood, Sides | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Avocado and Cucumber Soup

Good for your heart foods

Good for your heart foods

This is a simple cold soup that is great as a starter course or light lunch. Serve with toasted bread to dip.

Avocado Cucumber Soup

  • 1/2 lbs cucumber peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 10-12 basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • Salt/pepper

Cut 1 1/2 of the avocados into chunks and blend with all other ingredients until smooth. Chill soup for four hours then taste for seasoning and serve garnished with thinly sliced remaining avocado half.

Posted in Appetizers, Food, Recipes, Soups, vegetarian | Tagged , , | 8 Comments