Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let me pour you a Russian White Christmas!

     It only happens a few times during your life, if your lucky, that you meet someone and there is an instant and amazing connection.   You always know that the relationship is one that will last a lifetime.  It's a blessing.  It's a gift.  It's what I have with my dear friend, and now brother-in-law, Greg.  To put it in a nutshell (not that I am in any way referring to him as a "nut"), he forever inspires me with his culinary talents,  he has a personality that can instantly change the mood of a room and naturally draws people to him, and he can make me laugh without saying a word.  I couldn't love him more.

     How lucky is that?

     Greg sent me this cocktail idea from his beautiful home in Richmond, Virginia.  It should help keep him warm under that blanket of snow this Christmas.  We will surely miss him this holiday.  Especially since he does most of the cooking for my dinner.  I just take all the credit.

Greg's Russian White Christmas

Although as a family member, I am not eligible to win, I still enjoy drinking.  Why wouldn't I?

1 OZ coffee liqueur
1 OZ creme de menthe
1 OZ vodka

Top with half and half (to taste)


Thank you, Greg, we will.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I want for your cocktail!


     It's not too late - you still have 2 days to tell us about your best, most flavorful, and most festive cocktail concoction and you will automatically be entered to win an amazing Bar and Cocktail Gift Set from our good friends at!

Send in the recipe, tell us the inspiration for your creation, or where you tasted your first sip.

As always, we would never limit you to one drink, so send us as many entries as you would like!

Allow us to reprint your cocktail recipe, and send pictures!

Submit your entries here or email us directly at

Contest ends December 23rd at midnight - winner will be announced on Christmas Eve, right before Santa shoots down your chimney and swigs your cocktail.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I'm dreaming of a GREEN CHRISTMAS...


     Probably not the "green" some of you were thinking.  This entry for our
12 Days of Christmas Cocktails 
came to us from Heather D.  in Nashville, Tennessee - and HOLY CRAP are they good!  So good, in fact, that the first batch was gone before the ice cream had enough time to soften up for the second batch.

     I love a cocktail that is festive, delicious, and super easy to make more than one at a time.  Babe, a vodka drinker by years of training, thought the recipe sounded too sweet for his liking.  But after his third one, he couldn't think of a more perfect holiday drink!  The color is the shade of my Christmas tree, and the mint flavors make it a perfect after-dinner cocktail.  I think I will forego baking my usual six different types of holiday cookies this year, and simply serve this for my Christmas dinner dessert.

      Thanks to Heather, I just saved 14 hours of baking, allowing more time for Happy Hour!  I'll drink to that!

Grasshopper Milkshake
From Heather D.

2 Cups mint chocolate chip ice cream
1/2 cup milk
2 T De Kuyper creme de menthe liqueur  

Mix all ingredients in a 
blender,  pour into 
tall shot glasses and 
share if you must.  
Remember, it is the season 
of giving.

Drink happy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love poured for me...


    Today I received one of my favorite entries for the 12 Cocktails of Christmas Contest from my clever sister, Deb.  Unfortunately for Deb, she is not permitted to win the contest as, one - she is my sister and it would break the "no family members can win" rule, and two - this cocktail would be better served on the 13th day of Christmas.  Sorry, Deb.

     I can, however, give a blatant plug to her website as, one - I am so proud of what she has created, and two - this is my blog and I'll plug if I want to. 

     Pyramid for Peace is the heart and soul of Deb's incredible and visionary idea that she evolved into her own successful business.  Please take a moment to check out the beautiful jewelry, ornaments and t-shirts available for SALE JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!  If you mention my blog when you place your order you will receive FREE GIFT WRAPPING AND FREE SHIPPING!  

The perfect holiday gift is the message of peace.  

Now, back to her cocktail entry...  

You may want to stock up on these ingredients early.  I use them as stocking stuffers for Babe and all my siblings.

The Last Call Cocktail
contributed by Debbie Batcha 
Pyramid for Peace

Plop 2 Lemon Lime Alka-Seltzer tablets into 4 oz. of water (tap or bottled).
Allow tablets to dissolve completely.
Enjoy!  Drink happy!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Deck the halls with Balls of Oreos...fa la la la la la la!

     Now, according to my dear friend, Margaret, the Oreo cookie is the epitome of culinary confections.  Not the Double Stuff, nor the Oreo Cakesters, the Golden Oreos, or even the Oreo Peanut Butter Cremes.  She says, "you cannot improve on perfection."

     Hard to argue with Margaret.

     I was given this recipe from one of my loyal followers, and it may just give Nabisco something to think about, since I'm sure their seventeen varieties are not enough.  Three ingredients - no cooking - and man, oh, man are they good!  Or, as my kids said, "these are the frickin' bomb!".  They speak so eloquently...

Oreo Cookie Balls

1 package Oreo Cookies
8 oz.  cream cheese, removed from refrigerator 30 minutes
4 oz. white chocolate bark

Process Oreos in food processor until blended fine.  Add the cream cheese to the Oreo crumbs and process until dough forms.  It will look something like this:

Scoop by teaspoon and roll into balls.  Place on wax paper and chill for 15 minutes.  Melt the white chocolate bark according to the package directions.  Dip the chilled Oreo balls in the chocolate, covering completely, but allowing the excess to drip off.   While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with decorative sugars.  The chocolate sets up fast, so do a few at a time, sprinkle, repeat.   

Makes 30-36, depending on the size of your balls.  Babe preferred his without the chocolate coating, that cute health nut.    

I think there are ready to eat in about 10 minutes.  My kids finished them before it hit the 10 minute mark, so I'm guessing here.

Eat happy!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Wine of the Year!

One perfect word...Amarone.

     Babe and I received this precious bottle of Della Valpolicella Amarone as a birthday gift from my brother, Dean and his sweet wife, Helen.  We saved it for a special occasion,  but this wine is so good, it could make a Tuesday a special occasion.

     If you have never treated your taste buds to this nectar of the Gods, run to your local wine store and buy it today!  The holidays are the perfect special occasion, as the price is a bit steep, but you deserve a gift to yourself.  I know I do.

     Valpolicella grapes come from the Venitian region in Italy, but it is the unique fermentation process that makes this wine beyond divine.  After the harvest in October, the grapes are laid on straw mats and dried in the sun, although modern Amarone is now dried in special drying chamber for 120 days.  The grapes are then crushed, with the dried skins setting the tone for the perfectly balanced tannins.  The finish, I imagine being similar to drinking velvet.  Please note, I never really drank velvet, but if you could, this is what it would be like.

     Speaking of Christmas gifts to myself, my new Luigi Bormioli Esperienze wine glasses just arrived - perfect for this or any wine!

     Why are you still here reading this?  Run to the wine store!  Drink merry!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sugar cookies danced in my head!

     Oh, they were sugar cookies alright, but I never even turned my oven on.

     This entry for the 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails came to me from Juanita in Miami - the land of spice and attitude - and this drink hits the mark!

Sugar Cookie Cocktail

Rim a small snifter glass with brown sugar.  In your cocktail shaker, half way filled with ice, add 2 teaspoons brown sugar, and 2 ounces Margaritaville Tequila.  Shake well, and strain into glass.  

No glass of milk necessary with this cookie!  Drink happy!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

...and a chicken in a pear tree

     Yes, we were singing as we ate our supper!  We dined on the most delicious homemade Chicken and Dumplings, a recipe from our dear friends Ken and John.  It is one of those dishes you can't stop eating even though you are beyond full.  Ken and John have a lovely cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, and they've told me how they enjoy this recipe on those wonderfully cool nights.  I'll admit it,  I get jealous each time they brag, I mean tell me about their quiet sabbaticals spent there.  I am sure that if I keep bugging them, just enough, they will actually invite me there.  Either that, or I will just show up.

      I added white mushrooms to the broth, one; because I like them, and two; because any other mushroom would be too overpowering for the delicate broth.  I also added 2 cloves of garlic, one; because I like garlic, and two; because I'm Italian.  I promise you, there will be no leftovers.

Ken's Chicken and Dumplings

2 1/2 lb.s chicken, use your favorite cut, skinless but on the bone for more flavor
32 oz. chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper

Place in large dutch oven, bring to a boil, cover, and lower heat to simmer for 30 mins.

4 large carrots, large slice
4 stalks of celery, large slice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, sliced

Remove cooked chicken, allow to cool so easier to handle.  Meanwhile, add carrots, celery, onion and mushrooms to pot and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Debone the chicken and tear into large bite-sized pieces.  Add back to the pot with vegtables, cover and return to a low simmer.

2 cups all purpose flour
4 t baking powder
2 t salt
4 T vegtable oil
1 C milk

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir the oil into the milk, and add to the flour mixture.  Stir, gently, just until mixed together.  Drop by heaping tablespoons on top of the chicken broth mixture.  Cover and cook on a low simmer for 12-15 minutes.  Top with fresh chopped parsley.

My kids think this is so much better than partridge.  Eat happy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's beginning To Taste A Lot Like Christmas!

The 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails Contest is off to a wonderful start, thanks to this entry from Helen L.!

We tried her DELICIOUS recipe for this martini last night.  It was so delightful, we thought it would be a good idea to have a second one.  I think I remember us singing Christmas carols...

There is a reason this recipe comes with a warning from Helen to "hold on to your head"!

The presentation is beautiful, the flavor to-die-for, and Babe and I both think it's perfect for the holidays.

Thank you, Helen!

Chocolate Martini To Die For
submitted by Helen L.

One full shot each of:
Vanilla Vodka
Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
creme de cacao

Rinse 2 martini glasses with water and place in freezer for 5 minutes to chill.  Drizzle Hersey's syrup inside the chilled glass.  Add all liquors into your shaker (filled half way with ice), and shake well for 15 seconds.  Pour into the martini glass and Drink Happy!

You will love Helen.  She may be your new best friend.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The lunatics are in my Christmas Tree...

We did some Christmas shopping this weekend.

Babe drove.

Played Pink Floyd the whole way.

Right in the middle of his singing Us and Them, he came up with this cocktail idea, inspired by his buddy, Steve.  Did I ever mention that the Babe is brilliant?

This cocktail is powerful, containing four different liquors; Absolut Vodka, Margaritaville Tequila, Bombay Sapphire Gin, and Barcardi Rum!  The addition of cranberry and pineapple juice makes it deliciously divine.  Similar to a Long Island Iced Tea, the taste of the alcohol is almost undetectable.  Strangely enough, Babe and I were only able to drink one of these.  Had the effect of two.  Mick, on the otherhand, enjoyed them so much, he's had three.

He's been singing "Wish You Were Here" for the past 2 hours.  He should be getting sleepy soon.  We hope.

The color - pink, of course.

Comfortably Numb Cocktail

1 oz Absolut Vodka
1 oz Margaritaville Tequila
1 oz Bombay Sapphire Gin
1 oz Bacardi Rum
  -  feel free to substitute with any of your favorites
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz pineapple juice

Fill a shaker half way with crushed ice.  Add all the liquors and juices, and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.  Pour into tall glass, over ice.  Garnish with a wedge of pineapple.  Makes 2 brilliant cocktails - Drink Happy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

"He brought everything back, all the food for the feast. And he, he himself, the Grinch, carved the roast beast." ~ Dr. Seuss

     Ahhh...roast beast.  Sometimes you just get a craving for it, and it's been my experience, that if you don't feed that craving, it doesn't go away.  It just keeps coming on, stronger and stronger.  Very similar, but no where nearly as severe as a chocolate craving.  

      We try to do the healthy thing, eating more chickenfish, and vegetables, and limiting our ingestion of beef to once a week. Sorry, Beef Council, no offense.  But every once in a blue moon, (which is a fine beer as well) Babe gets a craving for this sandwich from his youth, growing up in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Although we are newlyweds, I do know Babe well enough, that once this craving starts, nothing else will his satisfy his appetite.  It's like a train that's gone off it's tracks.  Like a 18-wheeler that's lost it's breaks coming down a mountainside.  Like Congress on a spending spree - it's unstoppable.

      This is his favorite sandwich from the Bratskellar Restaurant, a German pizza joint, yes, you read correctly, German pizza joint.  I never thought of those words together, but who am I to argue - not only are these sandwiches SUPER EASY to make, they are perfect for football games and the busy holiday season, terrifically DELICIOUS, and best of all - Babe does all the cooking!

Bratskellar Roast Beef Sandwiches - according to Babe's memory

Makes 4 sandwiches

2 lb.s lean, rare Roast Beef, thinly sliced from the Deli
1/2 lb. sliced Smoked Provolone
Horseradish Sauce - we like Bennett's brand
4 crusty Italian hoagie rolls
McComick Au Jus gravy mix
Jar of Roasted Peppers, optional

Split the hoagie rolls lengthwise.  Spread 2 T of mayonnaise on each roll, add the horseradish sauce to your liking, layer with 8 oz. of roast beef,  sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with the cheese.

Place sandwiches on a cookie sheet, and place on middle rack of ove, broil 3-6 minutes, or until cheese is perfectly melted.  While the roast beasts are broiling, make the au jus gravy according to the package directions.  How easy is that?

Pour the hot au jus in small ramekins, and place on the plate next to the sandwich for dipping.

Serve with a large dill pickle and chips.

I added Ina Garten's caramelized onions and roasted peppers to my sandwich before topping with the cheese.  Craving satisfied!  Eat Happy!

Caramelized Onions (Ina Garten Barefoot Contessa)

  • tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoons unsalted butter
  • lbs yellow onions, peeled and sliced in half-rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leave
  • tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    1. 1Heat olive oil and butter in a large shallow pot, add onions and thyme and toss with the oil.
    2. 2Place the lid on top and cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes to sweat the onions. Remove the lid and continue to cook over medium low heat, stirring occasionally for 25 to 30 minutes, until t he onions are caramlized and golden brown. This could take much longer than 30 minutes, if your stove top is on a very low setting. If the onions are cooking too fast, lower the heat. Don't rush the process. It is worth the wait.
    3. 3Add the sherry wine vinegar, salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes, scraping the brown bits from the pan. Season to taste. They should be highly seasoned.

Friday, December 3, 2010

'Tis the season for giving - give it away give it away give it away now!

'Tis also the season of cocktails!

It's official - 
The 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails 
contest begins!

     Tell us about your best, most flavorful, and most festive cocktail concoction and you will automatically be entered to win an amazing Bar and Cocktail Gift Set from our good friends at!

Send in the recipe, tell us the inspiration for your creation, or where you tasted your first sip.

As always, we would never limit you to one drink, so send us as many entries as you would like!

Allow us to reprint your cocktail recipe, and send pictures!

Submit your entries here or email us directly at

Contest ends December 23rd at midnight - winner will be announced on Christmas Eve, right before Santa shoots down your chimney and swigs your cocktail.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

     We woke up today to the most beautiful, COOL weather here in South Florida!  Babe and I had to slip on our heavy robes as we sat on the patio and drank our coffee this morning - it's absolutely delightful and a very welcome change from the heat and humidity of the past 10 months.  The weather reminded us of our  trip to San Francisco, which even though it was July, the tempatures there were in the 50s and we loved every minute of it - especially when we warmed our souls with the best Irish Coffee at the place that started it all, the Buena Vista!

     Make no doubt about it...Babe and I will be drinking these tonight, by the fire in our chiminea, right next to the palm tree.

The Original Irish Coffee
Recipe provided by The Buena Vista

Fill glass with very hot water to pre-heat, then empty.

Pour hot coffee into hot glass until it is about three-quarters full.Drop in two cocktail sugar cubes.

Stir until the sugar is thoroughly dissolved.

Add full jigger of Irish Whiskey for proper taste and body. (We use Bushmills)

Top with a collar of lightly whipped whipping cream by pouring gently over a spoon.
Enjoy it while piping hot.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Guest stars and prizes!

North Carolina Holly Tree
     Happy first day of December!  I am very excited to tell you all about some awesome things happening this month - just in time for the holidays!  First off, I proudly announce that two SURPRISE GUEST BLOGGERS will be gracing the pages of Now, where did I put my drink... !!  Each will share their own special and humorous talents in cooking, entertaining, and cocktailing (yes, I just made that word into a verb) - which you will not want to miss.   I guarantee that if you do not learn at least one new idea, use that idea at one of your holiday parties, and become the envy of all your friends and family, you will be entitled to a full refund of your money, which equals $0.00.

    Next up - it's contest time!  The rules are few, the chances of winning are great, and the prize is yet to be determined.  Doesn't that sound awesome?  Look for all the details on Friday's blog!

    I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I'm not a glutton-I am an explorer of food." ~ Erma Bombeck

    One of the many things I love about "Babe" is his willingness to explore with his taste buds and openness to try new things.  This is not an easy task for most health nuts, that seem to live their lives with under indulgences and limited moments of culinary joy.  Babe has his balance in check - he eats very healthy, exercises religiously, and every once in a while, enjoys some of life's most wonderful gifts, like almond M & Ms, a new pastry recipe I'm trying out, or this bowl of San Francisco clam chowder served in a Boudin Sourdough bread bowl - unforgettable goodness!

     This recipe comes from the San Francisco A La Carte cookbook by Jr. League San Francisco, and is very close to the taste of the original.  I add a couple extra slices of bacon, just because I can.  Depending on where you live, the hardest part may be finding good quality sour dough bread bowls, but keep in mind, Boudins will ship it to your door.  This is the perfect time of year to cook up a pot of this chowder,  cooler weather always makes me hungry for soups and stews.  Unfortunately, today it's 85 degrees and 127% humidity here in lovely South Florida.

We'll just turn our air conditioner down a few notches and pretend it's Fall...

San Francisco Clam Chowder

4 slices Bacon; coarsley chopped
3 Green onions; chopped
5 medium Potatoes; peeled and cut
2 TB Chopped green pepper
1 Stalk celery; sliced
Garlic clove; minced
2 C Water
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp White pepper
1  Tsp Worcestshire sauce
4 dashes Tabasco Sauce
2 C Raw clams with juice
2 C Half and half


Saute bacon until crisp in a large skillet. Add onions, potatoes, green pepper, celery and garlic. Add 2 cups of water and season with salt and pepper, Worcestershire and Tabasco. Cover the kettle and simmer for 15 mins; or until the potatoes are tender. In a separate pan heat the clams and their juice for approx 3 mins, or til tender. Add the clams and juice to the kettle, pour in the half and half. Heat, stirring until piping hot. **Do not boil*** 
Makes 6 servings.