I am a coffee addict.
I’ve tried to quit. I’ve suffered through the withdrawal headaches and general fooginess. I’ve gone months without. But the aroma of a fresh pot brewing always pulls me back in. I’m sure all the other coffee addicts out there will understand.
Although I need my coffee, it’s a little tougher to drink a hot cup in the summer, especially on those days where the humidity makes it feel like I’m walking through water. I’ve tried different ways of making a cold coffee, but this is the one that works best for me. Depending on how strong I feel like having my latte I’ll add one or two shots of espresso. If you want to sweeten the drink, I suggest adding sugar to the espresso before adding it to the cold milk so that it dissolves.
- 1 – 2 shots espresso
- cold milk
- Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour milk to till the glass is 2/3 full then add the espresso. Stir.
Happy New Year!
I’m not big on new years resolutions. I see no reason to hold off on doing something you truly want to do, so waiting till January 1st doesn’t work for me. I’m sure the reason most resolutions are not kept past January 3rd is that they tend to be things people don’t want to do.
That’s not to say I don’t see an advantage to the new year. It’s a time to reflect, look back on what was and move forward. If your year was good, you can build on it. If your year was crappy, well then you get begin all over again. A new year gives us a chance to clean the slate and start fresh.
Personally I found 2011 to be kind of meh. It was year I spent waiting, and because of that I feel almost that it was a lost year. It had ups and downs along the way, but looking back the downs outweighed the ups. So I’m looking forward to 2012 and all of the opportunities it has to offer.
I’m starting the year off with this fresh start drink, a rosemary scented grapefruit cocktail. The fresh squeezed grapefruit is a nod to the healthy living many have promised to adhere to this month. And the rosemary sugar syrup and booze are there to throw resolutions out the window. Feel free to use store bought grapefruit juice, but keep in mind that they are often sweetened so you may have to cut back on the sugar in the syrup. Also, if you are on medication that doesn’t play well with grapefruit .. drink something else please.
Rosemary Scented Grapefruit Cocktail
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2-3 long sprigs of rosemary
- 4 cups fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
- 3 oz vodka
- 2 oz Triple Sec
- Make the rosemary syrup: In a small saucepan heat the sugar and water until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add the rosemary and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a pitcher, mix the rosemary syrup with the grapefruit juice, vodka and Triple Sec.
- Serve over ice with a rosemary “stirrer”.
Sunday in Montreal was oppressively hot, so humid the air felt wet. My mom and I spent the afternoon going to thrift shops on the West Island. There are 3 Nova Stores in our area. Nova is an organization that provides nursing home care services in Montreal. To raise money they have thrift stores around the city. Run by volunteers, often retired nurses, they sell everything from furniture to fabric remnants. I could spend hours in those stores. And there’s no need to feel shopping guilt because all for a great cause.
My goal today was to find props for photos, and I did; antique bowls, 25 cent glasses, and a tiney tiny silver spoon. I also picked up a copy of Anne of Green Gables for $1, just because I love that book. But the best find of the day was a teak chair for $35, very similar to this one. It needs to be reupholstered, but still an amazing deal. I can’t wait to start searching for fabric for it!
The drive from store to store is a very pretty stretch of road along the water. We had the windows rolled down enjoying what the summer has to offer. By the time we got home we were quite parched. Thankfully I had this Nectarine and Basil Iced Tea waiting for us. I was a little hesitant to add the basil, but it actually gives the tea a really nice almost spicy flavour. It was surprisingly refreshing. I kept the iced tea alcohol free, but feel free to booze it up.
Nectarine and Basil Iced Tea
- 4 bags black tea
- 4 nectarines, sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 5-10 basil leaves
- Steep the tea in 8 cups boiled water for 5 minutes, then discard the tea bags.
- While the tea is steeping, bring the nectarine slices and sugar to boil with 1 cup of water. Reserve 1/4 of the nectarine slices. Simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and add the basil leaves to the pot for 5 minutes to flavour the syrup. Discard the leaves and pour the nectarine mixture into the tea.
- Chill, then serve with ice and remaining nectarine slices.
There are a few people on Twitter I follow but never speak to. They’re people I’m a little in awe of, so I lurk around their pages, eavesdrop on their conversations. I could interact with them but my shyness holds me back, even in the virtual world.
Abby Dodge is one of those people. She’s the author of several cookbooks, and a contributor to Fine Cooking Magazine. During one of my recent “lurking” bouts I discovered Bake Together. Bake Together came about through Twitter conversations about .. baking together. Since it would be pretty difficult to actually get together and bake, bloggers are invited to virtually bake together. Abby chooses a recipe, and bloggers each create their own version and post it. I missed the first challenge but decided to get in on the second, strawberry sorbet.
My original plan was to make strawberry rhubarb ice cream sandwiches with chocolate cookies. I don’t have an ice cream maker, but I’ve made ice cream without one before so I assumed sorbet would work too. I made the fruit puree, put it in the freezer, then blended it with an immersion blender every 45 minutes or so for 4 hours. At that point I let it freeze, just like I did with the ice cream. Unfortunately, I ended up with a block that was semi scoopable, but really too solid to consider sorbet. It tasted amazing though; the flavour of the Quebec strawberries really came through. I wasn’t going to let this go to waste.
My mind went back to the strawberry juice my mom used to make when I was young; it’s just strawberries blended with sugar and water but it’s soo good. My new plan was to make a grown up version of that. I melted the “sorbet” and mixed it with some club soda, rum and mint to make Strawberry Rhubarb Mojitos. And now Bake Together has become Drink Together.
If you have an ice cream maker, I’d really recommend making the sorbet. And if you don’t, you should try this drink!
Strawberry Rhubard Sorbet
- 3 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups strawberries, cleaned and hulled
- In a large saucepan, bring the rhubarb and sugar to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the rhubarb is softened. Let cool.
- In a blender, puree the strawberries. Add the cooled rhubarb to the strawberries and blend.
- Follow the manufacturers instructions on your ice cream maker to freeze the sorbet.
Strawberry Rhubarb Mojitos
- 1 cup Strawberry Rhubarb Puree
- Mint leave (about 10 per person)
- 1 cup White Rum
- Club Soda
- Simple Syrup (optional)
- In a pitcher, mix the mint leaves with some ice to muddle. Add the strawberry rhubarb puree and white rum. Top off the pitcher with club soda. If you feel it needs more sugar, and the simple syrup.
I’m always a little shocked when New Years comes around. Has another year really gone by? Suddenly there is the “what to do for New Years” pressure again.
To be honest I don’t remember what I did most years. It’s not what you think (okay, maybe it’s a little of what you think … hiccup), it’s just that my memories of different New Years parties over the years have all kind of melded together. Some were amazing, like the time I was at Le P’tit Caribou in Mont Tremblant. Some were terrible, like the year I watched people play Guitar Hero all night in some guys basement. All of them were spent with people who were very important to me at that point in time.
Some of those friendships have stood the test of time, others haven’t, but all of the blurred memories are still cherished.
So today I’m thinking about all the people who have come through my life and changed me in some way. And taking a cup of kindness, for auld lang syne.
White Sangria with Pomegranate
- 1 bottle white wine
- 3 cans 7up or Sprite
- Grand Marnier (I didn’t measure, a few ounces I think)
- Seeds of 1 pomegranate
- slices of two limes
- Pour all ingredients into a punch bowl. Wait for the seeds to float.
Happy New Year!