It’s Thursday and cocktail time here on My Breakfast At Tiffany’s! Since this weekend will be filled with Ghouls, Goblins, Vampires and Witches, I decided to post some Halloween inspired cocktail recipes. The easiest way to create spooky cocktails is to use black vodka. It should be available at your local liquor store, but if you can’t find it, then stick to some of these other creepy drinks!
Blood Sucker Cocktail
1 1/2 oz Bacardi O
1/2 oz Cointreau
2 oz pineapple juice
drizzle of grenadine
In cocktail shaker with ice combine Bacardi O, cointreau, and pineapple juice; shake well. Pour over ice in a cocktail glass. Drop a couple drops of grenadine onto inside of glass to create spooky bloody drizzles.
Blood Sucker Cocktail
Black Devil Martini
2 oz dark rum
1 oz dry vermouth
black olives on a toothpick
Shake dark rum and dry vermouth with ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour into a martini glass rimmed with orange sugar. Garnish with black olives.
Black Devil Martini
Almond Joy Martini
1 oz chocolate flavored vodka
1 oz Frangelica
1 oz coconut rum
Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Pour into a chilled martini glass and let the kid in you enjoy!
Almond Joy Martini
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange or tangerine juice
1 1/2 oz black vodka
1 black licorice twist, for serving
Place ice in a tall glass and pour juice in to half way up the glass. Pour vodka over the back of a cocktail spoon into glass so it sits on top of juice and creates a layer of blackness. Slice 1/4 inch off each end of licorice, and use as a straw.
Black Vodka Cocktails
*All of these and more can be found on MarthaStewart.com and fineliving.com
This week was C.P.’s birthday and usually we go out to a nice dinner, but since we have both been feeling tired and a bit run down, we decided we would go out over the weekend instead to celebrate. This meant we would be home on his actually birthday night so I wanted to make a nice dinner. I have often made a nice filet or something extra special for these types of occasions, but this time he wanted his “true favorite”, homemade mac-n-cheese. That’s an easy one and so delicious! I have made this recipe several times and it always comes out so wonderfully! You can give it your own twist easily, by using a mix of your favorite types of cheeses. I typically use a blend of Cheddar, Jack and parmesan for mine. I especially like this recipe because it is creamy but not liquidy like many mac-n-cheese recipes. Also you can add bacon and onions if you wish.
1 pound of large elbow macaroni
2 tbls butter
3-4 tbls flour
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (use any of your favorites)
five strips of bacon
parmesan cheese for topping
bread crumbs for topping (my favorite are Panko bread crumbs, a Japanese version)
Generously grease a large casserole dish and set aside. Cook and drain elbow macaroni, place it back into the large pot used to cook it. Slice bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and cook in a sauce pan. Once bacon is cooked thoroughly add 2 tbls butter and let melt, but do not burn. Add 3-4 tbls flour and whisk quickly just until mixed in, then add milk. Whisk and stir to thoroughly combine and cook over med heat until it begins to thicken. Once milk mixture begins to thicken add 2 1/2 cups of your favorite shredded cheeses. Continue stirring over medium heat until well blended and slightly thick. Pour the cheese mixture over the elbow macaroni and thoroughly combine. Pour into greased casserole dish. Top generously with shredded parmesan cheese. Finish dish by topping off with some bread crumbs. Place into a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until topping begins to brown. Enjoy!
This homemade mac-n-cheese recipe is dedicated to C.P. for his birthday!! And we are going to enjoy it with left-over pulled pork all week!!
Ok, so maybe its not that funny, but with so many family members, friends, and coworkers coming down with the swine flu, I just couldn’t resist. And just to clarify, NO you CAN NOT get the swine flu from eating pork (as some of our favorite celebs have suggested). If you do find yourself feeling a bit flu-like then you are best sticking with bland foods and lots of liquids. Try dry toast, white rice, bananas, apple sauce, and chicken soup or broth. Also, replenish any lost electrolytes with gatorade. I also strongly believe in the importance of vitamin C and am always eating and drinking foods and beverages with high vitamin C content. This is useful throughout the year but I find myself paying even more attention to my vitamin C intake during cold and flu season. Yes, healthy foods rich in vitamins and nutrients help keep your immune system working at its fullest, so eat healthy, get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and hopefully you will avoid the swine flu (or seasonal flu for that matter) this year. Unfortunately many of us will come down with some form of flu, so maybe I’ll post a blog actually dedicated to that soon. Hmmm….something to think about…..
But, for now I’ll go ahead with my original post on pulled pork!
Pulled pork is a favorite around my house and this week I’m am busting out the handy dandy slow cooker once again! This time pulled pork is on the menu, and soon my whole house will be filled with the delightfully yummy aroma of juicy pork roast!
1 3-4 pound pork shoulder
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
Salt and pepper
Trim and place pork roast in crockpot (again I use crockpot liners for easy clean-up), salt and pepper roast. Mix half of the bottle of BBQ sauce, brown sugar, and cider vinegar. Pour mixture over roast and set crockpot to low. Cook on low 9-11 hours. Shred pork with fork and mix in more BBQ sauce if desired. Serve warm on a soft roll for pulled pork sandwiches or along side some home-cooked mac-n-cheese! Enjoy! I’ll also post a recipe for my homemade, from scratch, mac-n-cheese in my next blog!!!
I was in Chicago this last week for a medical science conference and had a great time trying the food and drinks. If you ever go to Chicago you of course have to try the famous Chicago Dogs and Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, but beyond that there are many more tantalizing food and drink options. I learned what an American Gastro-Tavern has to offer. Following suit with the British Gastropub and the French Gastro-Bistro, America now has come to offer the Gastro-Tavern. It’s a smart idea, a casual yet sophisticated Bar/Restaurant serving excellent drinks and modern takes on classic American food. Think “grown-up” burger and beer joints for a foodie crowd. The burgers are dressed up with elegant cheese and topping options, the vegetable sides are topped with goat cheese and unique spices, and the french fries are flavored with truffle oil. Beyond the food, the drinks are also sophisticated classics. Try a pear blossom martini, a Champagne Charlie (modern twist on the mimosa), or a double passion cooler. The wine selections are also very thorough and delicious. The prices are very reasonable, and the atmosphere is friendly and laid back, not trendy and stuck-up. So find a Gastro-Tavern near you, and experience it for yourself! Or, the next time you are in Chicago check out the Luxbar or the Gage Restaurant and Tavern!
Pear Blossom Martini
2 oz Grey Goose La Poire (Pear) Vodka
1/2 oz lemon juice
1 oz apple juice
Shake all ingredients with ice in a martini shaker. Pour into martini glass and garnish with apple or pear slice, or a maraschino cherry. Enjoy!
Pear Blossom Martini
Pour 2 oz Cointreau into champagne flute. Fill glass with Prosecco and garnish with orange bitters or a mandarin orange slice. Enjoy!
I always remember how good dinner always smelled when I was a child. I had the privilege of enjoying family dinners on most nights when I was a child, and I can still smell mom’s home cooking! I must admit that most of what I have learned about cooking and baking originated from my mother, and for that I thank her very much! I still remember the comfort of coming home to a warm house glowing with the aroma of dinner. It would be cold and snowy outside and warm and toasty inside. I still can see the fog on the windows formed from the delicious oven heat inside meeting the cold of the glass from the chilly snow outside. Now, I still enjoy coming home to the comfort and aroma of warm cooking roast wafting through my house.
Since winter is slowly approaching and has brought us some cold weather this week I decided to break out my crockpot and enjoy some good comfy, winter home cooking. (Ok, so 65 degrees during the day isn’t that cold, but for southern california its been downright chilly this week!) I bought a lovely chuck roast and some good crusty french bread and made the most amazing french dip sandwiches. The beef was so tender and the rustic flavors were to die for! And it was so easy! Just throw the roast in the crockpot with some herbs and beef broth, turn it on to low and let it go for 8-10 hours. When you return home from work in the evening you will be greeted by comforting and welcoming aromas.
3-4 pound beef chuck roast
2-2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 teas dried thyme
1 teas dried oregano
2 teas cracked pepper
Place roast in the crockpot (I use disposable crockpot liners, they are genius and make cleanup a snap!). Add dried herbs and spices. Pour in enough beef broth so the liquid comes about 3/4 of the way up the side of the roast. Turn crockpot to low and leave it for 8-10 hours. Remove meat and let it cool for a few minutes, meat will be very tender and juicy. You can use the remaining juices for dipping if you like. Just strain off the fat/grease and whisk in some flour if you would like to thicken the sauce slightly. I enjoy it just as it is! If you do not have a liquid separator for removing the fat/grease layer, you can line a regular colander with heavy paper towels and strain the liquid through it. For the sandwiches I like to use crusty french bread and slap on a slice of provolone cheese. You could even butter and toast the bread if you like! Enjoy!
Beef French Dip
Its time for my weekly Thursday cocktail recipe. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I have devised a fun girly PINK drink that I like to call a Pinktini! Hope you enjoy!
2 oz vodak
1 oz cointreau
1 oz cranberry juice
1 oz pomegranate juice
splash of lemon-lime soda
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Pour into a martini glass and enjoy!
Going to school and doing cancer research at UCLA has allowed me the opportunity to meet and interact with many brilliant research doctors. Since it is National Breast Cancer Awareness month I’d like to recognize one such man, Dr. Dennis Slamon. His story is one that shows the lifelong dedication many research doctors have for finding a cure. His brilliant work has lead to the development of the breast cancer drug, Herceptin. Herceptin is very effective in many women with Her2+ breast cancer and has saved nearly half a million lives; however, it wasn’t easy getting this drug tested and approved. The development of this drug shows the promise for finding more cancer targeted therapies. This approach is widely researched throughout the field, and will hopefully lead to more targeted therapies for a number of cancers.
The lifetime movie “Living Proof” portrays the professional and personal struggles of Dr. Slamon throughout is journey to develop, test and gain approval for his drug. Many breast cancer patients were involved in the process as well, and many more are benefiting from the dedication of all the people involved. “Living Proof” is set to air October 8th at 8PM on the lifetime movie channel (check the schedule to find out more). You can also read an interview of Dr. Slamon discussing his work.
Grab a blanket, make some healthy popcorn and watch the story unfold that has changed the lives of so many!
Since this is a food blog, I have to mention my favorite healthy movie snack, air-popped popcorn. A typical 3 cup serving has only 93 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. Popcorn also contains vitamin E, vitamin B, magnesium and fiber. The best option is to use a hot-air popcorn popper. If you don’t have one try heating a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Then add 1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels, cover with lid and continue to heat over medium heat. Shake throughout the popping process until most kernels have popped. Olive oil actually has beneficial health effects due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances, so it will not only add some flavor to your popcorn, but its also not bad for you!