If ever you wanted to know the face of true goodness in this rag tag world (or better yet, why I’m an “Ange” and not an “Angie”), then you need to know my buddy Angie. Friends from back in the day in high school, every chance I get to catch up with her leaves me grinning ear to ear – she is just that marvelous. A while back, while living vicariously through her pictures of picking fruit with her adorable kiddies, I found one of her recipes for homemade jam. I knew at that moment that I had to beg her for a guest post. No need to twist her arm, though – here is a taste of some majesty courtesy of Angie. -AG
I got into making jams two years ago after picking about 15 gallons of strawberries at a local farm. I don’t know why I picked so many berries at one time. I guess because they were really so flavorful, fresh and quite beautiful that I couldn’t stop picking! Continue reading Peach Bellini Jam
Just like those cheesy radio ads for ‘bama night clubs on the late-night R&B stations, this menu is for the “grown and sexy…” *giggle* Actually, kidding aside, it’s for anyone looking for a romantic meal with a heavy wow factor and very little actual labor involved. The kind of dinner you want to throw together when your anniversary falls on a weeknight and you can’t jet your loved one off to Paris mid-week. Or if you’re looking to treat a foodie friend to something impressive, but are a little nervous wielding a knife in front of them. This menu is as confident as you’ll be puttering around the kitchen, attending to perfectly seasoned dishes for the steamiest of affairs. And it’s up to you whether you choose to play Coltrane or Chaka Khan in the background – that’s for you and your date du jour to figure out. Continue reading Bistro Menu for Beginners
I’m a fan of boozy fruit in the summertime. I have fond memories of sitting in the back yard with my fam, drinking homemade sangria from plastic tiki cups full of the freshest fruit available. Sometimes the fruit even came from the bounty my dad would bring back from the farmers at the market, gifts for keeping them entertained with a little blues every Saturday. Sangria reminds me of the “Party in my Tummy” song from Yo Gabba Gabba (yes, I took it there)…can mangos come to the party in the sangria? Can apples come to the party in the sangria? Yes and yes! Most every fresh fruit can have a place in the sangria pitcher.
I love this version in that it’s a slight departure from the usual red wine concoction. Sangria is incredibly EEO with wine color – red, white, champagne and even port can become lovely versions of this Spanish sipper. For a tropical touch, I combine rose sparkling wine (Spanish cava Cristalino, to keep things authentic) with mango, raspberries, pears and citrus. Brandy becomes a soaking tub for the fruit before it’s blended up with the cava and sprite into bubbly awesomeness. Dandy as candy. Or should I quote Gene Wilder as Willie Wonka with “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.” Or maybe no more childhood references in a post about booze.
Sparkling Rosé Sangria
1/2 c. of brandy (preferably not cheap crap)
1 pear, cored and diced
1 mango, pitted and diced
1 orange, diced peel and all
1 lime, diced peel and all
1 pint of raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 bottle of sprite
1 bottle of rosé cava (or other sparkling rosé)
Mix diced pear, mango, orange, lime and raspberries with the brandy in a small bowl. Refrigerate for a half an hour.
Fill a gallon pitcher with a few cups of ice. Scoop out the fruit and add to the pitcher. Pour in the cava and top with sprite. Serve immediately.