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The Aviation Cocktail

It’s SPRING-time, SPRING-time! Finally, SPRING-time.

SPRING-time calls for pretty things, a flowers, and budding trees, and lovely purple cocktails!

The Aviation became a cult favorite in 1916 when it first appeared in “Recipes for Mixed Drinks”, by Hugo Ensslin, head bartender at Times Square’s Hotel Wallick. Ensslin’s original formula called for the drink to include crème de violette, as I have here, which tints the drink this lovely color.

The Aviation also appears Harry Craddock’s “Savoy Cocktail Book” from 1930 where you find a version of the Aviation without the crème de violate – but what would be the point of that!?

I used an Amarena Cherry as garnish, but a maraschino cherry or a lemon twist would work just as well.

Try it, the doldrums of winter will slowly slough off and you’ll be doing a happy spring dance!

  • 2 ozs gin
  • 3/4 oz maraschino liqueur
  • 1/4 oz creme de violette
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice

Shake with ice.

Strain.

Garnish with a cherry or a lemon twist.

Pretty!

Balsamic Roasted Carrots

It starts to be that time of year. Fresh vegetables start to appear. Carrots grown in the greenhouse over winter pop up and are ready to eat.

I wish I could say these were my carrots, but alas, we planted nothing for over winter in the greenhouse this year. These are local and fabulous.

I love roasting carrots; it really bring out their sweetness. Tossing them with balsamic and garlic … well, woweeeeee! I made these one night we had a bunch of people over. Another of those situations, where 4 turns into 6 which turns into 8 and finally stops the train at 10! Fortunately, the Dear One must have been Italian in a past life as he will always opt for erring on the side of too much food. Well, except these carrots. I made a 1 1/2 times this recipe and there wasn’t a single carrot left!

  • 24 thin carrots, tops trimmed to 2 inches (or cut thicker ones in half)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves (additional shopped for garnish)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.

Place carrots in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet.

NOTE: Some that seemed too wide I cut in half. Slender baby carrots would be perfect for this.

Mix next 7 ingredients in a bowl.

Pour over carrots and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat all carrots.

Into oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until tender.

Serve immediately, garnish with chopped parsley.

PLT #FantasticalFoodFight

While tip-toeing through the internet, I came across Fantastical Food Fight. And, while I’m REALLY bad at timed anything, this really intrigued me. A dish is picked, make your own version, compare. I liked that.

And April’s theme … the BLT! Not that I think there’s anything you can do to a BLT to improve it. Bacon, mayonnaise, bacon, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, bacon, bread. But perhaps, just perhaps, there is another way to have a BLT.

Crispy pancetta, arugula and sun-dried tomatoes, some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, all tucked inside a ciabatta roll. Well, that works for me.

The arugula is from our garden. The sun-dried tomatoes too – the last jar from last summer.

You may find this shocking, but there really isn’t a recipe for this.

  • Ciabatta roll or loaf
  • Thinly sliced pancetta or prosciutto
  • Arugula
  • Sun-dried tomatoes

Heat oven to 425.

On a baking sheet, make a single layer of the pancetta or prosciutto. Should take about 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Pile everything onto the ciabatta.

Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. (I suggest a balsamic glaze or reduction)

DIG IN!



Pecan Crusted Cod #SundaySupper

We live in the land of Cod here on the Gulf of Maine. Well, not the land of Cod … you know what I mean.

While Cod has been over fished to the point near extinction, a small bit of Cod fishing is still allowed in the Gulf. And every once in a while our fish monger has beautiful, locally caught Cod. Nothing comes close to fresh Cod. There is no substitute.

But, how do you do it justice. Fried is just not the way. And you get tired of cooking the same things the same way all the time. Then I came across this recipe! This recipe is adapted from one I saw on Honest Cooking – very lightly adapted. It was so great just the way it was done I only changed a couple of things.

Finding fresh Cod coincided perfectly with this week’s Sunday Supper, hosted by Claire McEwen at Sprinkles and Sprouts. The theme – Best Sunday Supper Seafood Recipes.

Enjoy and try to stop by the other fabulous blogs participating in this week’s Sunday Supper!

  • ½ pound cod filets
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon rind
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place cod in a baking pan and drizzle with lemon juice.

In a bowl, mix parsley, lemon peel, breadcrumbs, walnuts salt and pepper. Add butter and stir until combined.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of pecan topping onto one side of the fish filets.

Bake 15 minutes or until cod flakes with a fork and crumbs are golden.

25+ Best Sunday Supper Seafood Recipes

Appetizers

Main Dishes

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Watermelon Limeade #SundaySupper

It’s seems to be a winter that’s getting longer by the moment. As I sit here typing, on March 22, it’s SNOWING again! Just as my head is turning toward starting some seedlings for planting and planning out our garden. It’s SNOWING! AGAIN! I need something spring-like. Something summer-time cool to chase away the winter blasé mood.

It was a combination of events that led me to try this recipe … first, Sunday Supper’s theme of Citrus Recipes That Will Make Your Smile, hosted by Lisa at Jersey Girl Cooks AND walking through the supermarket and finding watermelon! I know, I know, it’s the wrong time of year. I don’t care. It looked fab and I needed a cocktail.

The original recipe did not call for gin. To me, it called for gin!

  • 6 cups 1-inch-pieces watermelon (from about 1/2 5-pound watermelon)
  • 1/2 cup cup fresh lime juice
  • 2–3 tablespoons light agave syrup (nectar) or honey
  • Lime wedges (for serving)
  • GIN

Purée watermelon, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. agave syrup in a blender until smooth. Add 1 Tbsp. more agave, if desired. Strain into a large pitcher filled with ice and stir in 1/2 cup water. Serve over ice and garnish with lime wedges.

Sunday Supper Citrus Recipes That Will Make You Smile

Appetizers

Breakfasts

Main Dishes

Sides

Desserts

Beverages

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cherry Walnut Soda Bread

I come from an Italian and Greek family. We celebrate a lot of things with a lot of food.

But, here comes St. Patrick’s Day. The Dear One is Irish (mostly) and can trace his roots back to Town someplace in the County something. Totally lost in translation for me.

Sadly, this is what I know about being Irish …

Irish Whisky
Guinness (Steak & Guinness Pie)
Uncle Nicky’s Irish Cream
Irish Stew
Beer
St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC
LeprechaunS

I’m sure there are other things … but the knowledge is SERIOUSLY limited.

I want to make something special for the Dear One. Celebrate his heritage a wee bit.

I opened the Boston Globe and there was a recipe from Lisa Yockelson of Baking Style Diary for a cherry and walnuts soda bread. This is the ticket.

No blarney, this was fantastic and easy … and gone. Great combination of favorite flavors. This could make even the least Irish amongst us to feel a bit green on St. Patrick’s Day!

  • 2½ cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, preferably fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into teaspoon-size chunks
  • 1 egg plus 1 extra yolk
  • ½ cup buttermilk, or more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup dried Montmorency cherries
  • ⅔ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

NOTE: Didn’t have buttermilk. Didn’t want to buy a gigantic container of buttermilk for a mere 1/2 cup. I do, however, keep a container of buttermilk powder in the fridge for just such emergencies. Worked like a charm! The powder goes in with the dry ingredients and you add water to the wet ingredients. Not sure how it works – magic, I’m sure – but it does!

Set the oven at 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar to blend them.

Scatter the butter over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two blunt knives, cut the fat into the flour until it is reduced to pea-size bits. Using your fingertips, lightly crumble the mixture for 1 minute to reduce the butter into small flakes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, buttermilk, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Scatter the cherries and walnuts on top. With a rubber spatula, stir to form a dense but cohesive mixture to bring the dough together. If necessary, add more buttermilk, 1 teaspoon at a time. Knead the dough lightly and briefly in the bowl for half a minute.

Turn the dough out onto the counter. Form it into a plump ball about 5½ to 6 inches in diameter. Place the ball on the baking sheet and use a sharp paring knife to slash a shallow “X” in the top.

Bake the round for 45 to 50 minutes, or until set and golden on top. Using two spatulas, carefully transfer the bread from the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely.

Use a serrated knife to cut into slices.

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Pistachio Lemon Bars #SundaySupper

 

This week’s Sunday Supper is brought by Anne from Simple and Savory. The theme is Easy Spring Recipes. There are so many spring vegetables that I would love to write about, but this is Maine. Spring doesn’t hit until June and we’re pretty lacking in local produce at the moment. I haven’t even begun to think about the garden yet! I am dreaming about it … but in the meantime …

There’s a little happy dance being done here – a very tentative happy dance, mind you. This is, after all, Maine. The snow has started to melt (hard to believe 2 1/2 weeks ago there was 4 FEET of snow out there), seems as though the grip of winter has started to ease. I realize, that merely typing these words can bring upon us another snowmageddon, but we’re hopeful.

We have a short growing season here, so vegetables that take a longer time to mature grow in our greenhouse, all else in the garden. I CAN NOT WAIT!

I’m not quite sure why lemons and pistachios remind me of spring, but they do. Perhaps it’s my Greek roots. Perhaps it was my Papoo’s love of pistachios and sneaking handfuls out of his night stand drawer – though, those were the red dyed ones. Not easy to be sneaky when your fingers and lips and tongue are dyed bright red!. Perhaps it was his idea that lemons were good for everything – softening your hands, flavoring things, making you feel better, taking away unpleasant smells.

So, Papoo, this one’s for you …

THE CRUST:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup shelled unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped

THE FILLING:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  •  cup shelled unsalted pistachios
  •  Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (if using foil, lightly butter it). Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add butter and process until well combined. Stir in chopped pistachios. Firmly press mixture into the bottom of the lined pan using the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup (if it sticks, place a piece of parchment paper on the dough before pressing).

Bake until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the filling ingredients. When the crust is baked, pour the filling into the pan and bake until set, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.

Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 2-inch squares.

Breakfast

Cakes, Pies, and Sweets

Cookies and Bars

Main Courses

Pastas

Seafood

Veggies and Sides

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.