RSS Feed

Next time you’re in Finland…

IMG_6891

This is the national drink of Finland, or so I am told…

It is called a “long drink” and it is very refreshing. It’s a mix of gin and grapefruit soda (which didn’t sound very good at first) and one sip convinced me that we need to import this to the U.S.A. pronto! Or as the Finns would say “nopeasti”…

Back to the long drink and where it got it’s origin (according to wikipedia):

long drink or tall drink is an alcoholic mixed drink with a relatively large volume (> 12 cl, frequently 16–40 cl or between 5–9 fluid ounces).[1]

A long drink will have a tall glass full of mixer, in contrast to a short drink which has less mixer. Short drinks are generally stronger since both types tend to contain the same amount of alcohol. Long drinks are therefore generally more dilute than short drinks.

In Finland, long drink refers either to a mixed drink made from gin and, most commonly, grapefruit soda, or to a fermented drink that comes close to the taste of gin and grapefruit juice.

for more on this drink in Finland please click here.

Ok, back to the drink. I was lucky enough to have friends who brought a duffel bag back of this stuff from Finland and they were generous enough to share it with me.

It’s great over ice with lime. According to wikipedia, this same fast can be concocted with a 1 to 5 part mix of gin and grapefruit soda. If I get around to trying this with Squirt and some cheap gin, I’ll let you know if it’s worth a try.

But if you ever find yourself in Finland, order a Hartwall Long Drink and bring an extra duffel bag to bring back a stash!

IMG_6890

Zucchini Bread 101

Yes, it’s that time of year when you lock your car so that no one can drop off their daily harvest of the dreaded green tubes on your passenger seat…If all vegetables were as prolific as the under appreciated zucchini, we could feed the world from home gardens alone!

So what to do with these squash that have gotten too big to eat in their native state? Shred it of course!
IMG_7217

Shred on a box grater and freeze in 2+ cup portions in zip top quart size freezer bags. This way you can make zucchini bread all winter. Right now everyone is making it and you’re as sick of the bread as you are of the squash, but come winter, you’ll thank me!

Here’s my favorite recipe courtesy of all recipes.com

Of course I tweaked it by elimating the walnuts(ew!) and replaced 1/4 cup of oil with applesauce. You’ll really like it as the original, or with the tweaks (I promise)…

This recipe freezes well, too.

IMG_7214

Mom’s Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ground cinnamon

3 large eggs

1 cup vegetable oil (or 3/4 cup vegetable oil plus 1/4 cup applesauce)

2 1/4 cup white sugar

3 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts (if you must)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grease and flour (or use baking spray) two 8×4 loaf pans. Or one 8×4 and 2 mini pans. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, or 165 degrees C (for our metric readers)
  2. Sift flour, salt,baking powder,baking soda and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted mix and beat until well combined. Stir in zucchini and nuts.
  4. Pour into the pans
  5. Bake for 40 min and check with a toothpick, then bake for 10 minutes more and check again, if it’s not finished yet, bake for 5 more minutes and repeat until done. (The reason you can’t get exact time for baking is because the moisture level of the zucchini is unpredictable.)
  6. Let cool 5 minutes and slide a butter knife around between the pan and loaf to loosen. Remove loafs from pans onto cooling racks.

IMG_7218

Check with the trusty toothpick/skewer…

IMG_7219

Oh yeah! Tastes great warm, too!

Cheez-it Extra Toasty, extra good!

IMG_5975When I saw a friend post a photo of these on Facebook last week, my heart skipped a beat, and I made a special trip to the store to get a box.

As a huge Cheez-it fan, I was obsessed with the browned ones that would occasionally show up in the box. I actually knew people who would return to the store when they discovered a box with toasted ones. They would buy more from the same shelf space in hopes the batch was all toasted.

Now we can buy them toasted and they are good! They have a deeper flavor and these toasted versions seem to be a bit puffier and crispier. Beware, and don’t eat them straight from the box, because you will eat WAY more than you realize…

I don’t know who “requested” this flavor, but I need to find them and thank them…

 

 

Ocho Coconut candy bar…muy bueno!

Posted on

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.07.19 PM Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.08.34 PM

This is an organic coconut and dark chocolate combination which is worth the higher price in the candy bar arena.

The chocolate has a once snap on top of the chewy coconut. I paid $1.99 at Safeway and it was worth it.

They also make toffee, and peanut butter bars, so be on the look out and when you spot one, buy it! And oh my, they have mini bars, too!

Their web site states “OCHO Candy was created to provide candy lovers with a delicious, organic alternative to traditional candy bars. We use the finest ingredients and hand craft our bars so that you can taste the difference in every bite.”

Apple Cider Margaritas…good and good for you…honest…

IMG_5221

Oh how I love Fall with the crisp nights and sunny days, plus with the apple crop comes the abundance of apple cider.

Here is a delicious drink which you can make as a large punch, or a single drink (but you’ll regret it and end up making more…) We made a pitcher by quadrupling the recipe and it was the best solution.

Thanks to my friend Rebecca for improving the original recipe. This one is a keeper for sure.

This recipe is for one drink

Apple Cider Margaritas
Ingredients:
1 ounce Grand Marnier
2 ounces gold tequila (use GOOD tequila, not great, but decent)
5 ounces real apple cider (not apple juice)
orange slices and apple slices
cinnamon + cane sugar for glass rimming
cinnamon sticks for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a shaker or a tall glass add the Grand Marnier, tequila and apple cider and shake stir to mix.
  2.  Add a few spoonfuls of cane sugar, coarse sugar and cinnamon to a plate. Run an orange segment around the edge of the glass, then press into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the rim.
  3. Add an orange slice to the bottom of the glass, fill with ice, then add the cider mixture.
  4. Garnish with an apple slice and cinnamon sticks, and sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top of the apple slice. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice for grown ups

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 9.55.36 PM

Oooh 2 of my favorite things…pumpkins and owls… I discovered this ale on friday and I’m hooked.

Crafted by Elysian Brewing Company, it is perfectly balanced with enough pumpkin and spices to taste like a fall beverage should without tasting like dessert. Both the men and women at our table liked this ale. The brewery’s site describes the process as being “brewed with seven and a half pounds of pumpkin per barrel and spiced in conditioning with ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice”. Check out the ale’s stats here.

This is a seasonal ale and you should try a glass before it’s gone. Trust me, you’ll want to buy a 6 pack for your fridge.

thanks to www.seattleite.com for the image

 

Are you a corner or center?

Posted on

Brownie Perfection

I’m not asking where you line-up in football formation.

This is an all-important question about brownies.

Last night a friend brought a wonderful batch of brownies to dinner and I took a corner piece and she look incredulous and said “you actually like the corner?” She said she preferred the center of the brownie pan, to which I say NAY! The center is always to rich and gooey for me, much the reason why I don’t like fudge. It’s just too much of everything.

I do like fudgey brownies with a bit of crunch on the top and on the edges. It’s the best of both worlds.

I googled the subject and came across this funny discussion on reddit.com

There’s also the Brownie Corner Pan, something that is sheer brilliance!

Brownie corner pan

I hadn’t realized that there were people who disliked the crunchy/chewy sensation of a good corner of the brownie pan, but they are out there. So as always, I say we can all get along and this just leaves more for me!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 683 other followers