Cocktail Hour: White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fizz

A Feteful Life: White Peach + Blackbery Gin Fizz

Having my kids home all summer has been both wonderful and trying — particularly so on grocery store trips, which they love to do and I always think sounds like such a good opportunity. They’ll be helpful, and they’ll learn how to read prices, and taste new things. And they do. And then they also want everything they see and I end up spending gobs of money on stuff we either shouldn’t eat or couldn’t possibly eat before it spoils. Hence this week’s cocktail hour recipe of fresh fruit. Yes, they NEEDED white peaches. “We LOVE peaches!” But wouldn’t you know that they wouldn’t eat a gosh darn peach once we got home. Cue googling “white peach cocktails.” A lot of sangria results, of which I’m not a big fan. Don’t get me wrong, I love wine. I just don’t love fruit and wine. And then I ran across a sweet-looking recipe for a white peach fizz using fresh fruit. Add in blackberries + mint and I had a delicious cocktail that used up some sweet summer produce. Win, win.

White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fizz (based on Adventures in Cooking)
Makes 2 cocktails

Ingredients
– 1/2 cup good gin, chilled
– 1 cup club soda, chilled
– 1-2 tablespoons white peach simple syrup* (recipe below), chilled
– 4 blackberries
– 8 white peach slides (4 for muddling, 4 for garnish)
– a handful of mint leaves

Directions
1. Muddle 2 peach slices, 2 blackberries, and a few mint leaves in the bottom of each serving glass.
2. Split gin, club soda, and simple syrup between the two. Stir until well blended.
3. Float the remaining two peach slices on the top of the drink. Serve immediately.

*use less simple syrup (1/2 tbs per drink) if you like your cocktails not too sweet and just add more club soda

White Peach Simple Syrup (slightly adapted from Adventures in Cooking)

Ingredients
– 1/2 cup water
– 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
– 1 white peach, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices

Directions
1. Macerate the white peach slices in a small saucepan with the sugar and water.
2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then lower the heat to a simmer and allow it to cook for 30 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Then strain peach pulp out and reserve syrup. Keep the syrup refrigerated until use.

A Feteful Life: White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fizz

A Feteful Life: White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fizz

A Feteful Life: White Peach + Blackberry Gin Fiz

Dog Days of Summer Party

Oh yeah. They’re here and they’re hot. I’m talking about the dog days of summer, friend. But I’m sick of talking about how hot it is. I’d rather celebrate these dog days with a fabulous hot dog inspired party. Let’s do it — before you know, we’ll be complaining about how cold it is!

A Feteful Life: Dog Days of Summer Party

1 / I love the hot dog party A Pair of Pears held for their pup’s 1st birthday. And I would totally use their invitation for my own Dog Days of Summer party.

2 / Pop print? Oh yes. I’d be making some envelope liners, garlands and party signage with these great hot dog printed papers from Whimsy and Nonsense.

3 / Remember these puppies? The pop Koons’esque minis would look great scattered about and sent home as favors.

4 / A DIY hot dog garland. Shut the front door. Head over to A Pair of Pears for the free template and DIY instructions. I might make this just for my home.

5 / These striped lanterns would look fabulous.

6 / You want your dog to look cute! Dress it up with a striped tray (necessary to catch all the fixins).

7 / Speaking of those fixins, how about a DIY hot dog bar set up to make dogs from around the country? Let’s be frank, much like the garland, I might just make this at home for like a Thursday night.

Black + White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

My body type does not always lend itself to stripes — it can be hard to find a good stripe that doesn’t accentuate the wrong things. BUT I happen to be so, so in love with black + white stripes right now and I’d love to work them into my end of summer wardrobe. It makes so much sense to me as a print right now — still fresh and clean, but transitional to fall (whereas navy stripes always screams spring/summer to me). Perhaps paired with leather, mixed with camo, or even some leopard print. And I think I’ve rounded up pieces that will work for me. Here’s what’s topping my list ….

A Feteful Life: Black and White Striped Wardrobe Pieces

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Cocktail Hour: Mint & St. Germain Margarita

A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - St. Germain Mint Margarita

Hello from the beach! The kids and I escaped the heat of DC for a few weeks with my parents at the beach. It’s been a nice break so far with lots of sandcastle building, wave surfing and shell collecting. And, of course, some nice summery cocktails for me!

It’s fun having my parents around to test some cocktails that I’ve been wanting to try and this margarita is a big winner in my book. With its strong mint flavor, it’s almost more of a hybrid mojito/margarita. Not only do you muddle some mint when making the drink, I also infused my simple syrup with some mint. And speaking of simple syrup, I tried a new method of making my syrup with no heat (after reading this article on Food52) and I’m sold. It was quick, effective and there was not waiting for it to cool. Perfect!

A Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - St. Germain Mint MargaritaA Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - St. Germain Mint MargaritaA Feteful Life: Cocktail Hour - St. Germain Mint Margarita

St. Germain Mint Margarita (from Waiting on Martha)

Ingredients

1.5 oz. Silver Patron Tequila
1 oz. St. Germain
1 oz. fresh lime juice + more for garnish
1/2 cup club soda
Splash of simple syrup (using the cold method mentioned above infused with a mint leaf)
2-4 mint sprigs + more for garnish
salt (optional)

Directions

In a cocktail shaker add mint leaves and muddle. Add ice, tequila, St. Germain, and lime juice. Shake and test, if sour add simple syrup. Take one lime slice and run it around the rim of your glass then immediately dip glass into salt and twist. Fill glass with ice and pour margarita mixture, add club soda. Garnish with a mint sprig and lime.

 

 

Cocktail Hour: Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops

A Feteful Life: Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops

Ooooweeee. It’s been HOT around here lately. Boozy pops have been on my cocktail to-do list for a while and this weather seemed like the perfect opportunity. I had a hard time deciding what kind of pop to make though — it might be hot, but this time of year also means so, so much fresh fruit. Part of the problem was that I came across a whole rainbow full of yummy ice pops from 84th and 3rd, all of which seemed relatively simple and didn’t require adding sugar (so paleo/primal peeps who drink some alcohol, these are perfect for you). But I spotted one that called for dark rum and I had a teensy bit of Myer’s Jamaican Dark Rum to use up and a whole lot of Jamaican vacation withdrawal. So I went with that. The original recipe didn’t call for basil, but I was a little worried it would be too sweet with all that coconut milk (even without adding sugar, I find coconut milk a tad sweet sometimes). And I think the addition was a good call — the basil gave it the perfect balance.

Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops (slightly adapted from 84th & 3rd)
Makes 4 ice pops

Ingredients
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– 1/4 cup orange juice
– 3/4 cup coconut milk
– 6 large basil leaves, chiffonade
– 2 tbsp dark rum

Directions
Simmer berries and juice for 5 minutes. Blend berry mix, 1/2 basil chiffonade, and coconut milk in blender until smooth. Stir in dark rum and remaining chiffonade. Pour into ice pop molds (I used these) and freeze overnight.

* if you are making some non-boozy pops as well, follow same directions omitting rum.

A Feteful Life: Bluberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops

A Feteful Life: Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops

A Feteful Life: Blueberry Coconut Basil Boozy Pops

A Feteful Life: Blueberry Coconut Basil Pops

A Feteful Life: Blueberry Coconut Basil Pops

 

 

Campari + Orange Cocktail

A Feteful Life: Campari + Orange CocktailIt took me a little while to join the Campari bandwagon but once I did, there was no looking back. At first glance you may think this pretty red aperitif is sweet like cherries but it is anything but. It is bitter with hints of grapefruit and herbs and adds the perfect antidote to those sweet, sugary cocktails (e.g., the mai thai) that you usually come across when the weather turns warm.

Campari + Orange Cocktail (adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

1 ounce Campari
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons lemon simple syrup, recipe below

Directions

Fill a glass full of ice. Add the Campari, orange and simple syrup. Top off with club soda.

Lemon Simple Syrup

Ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
zest from 1/2 lemon

Directions

Combine the sugar, water & lemon zest in a small pan. Heat over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let it cool completely before using.

 

 

Coffee Granita with Whipped Cream

A Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamI am obsessed with coffee. I love it all… hot, cold, latte, cappuccino, ice cream, etc. You name it, I love it. But there’s one coffee confection that I have yet to try but have always wanted to… coffee granita. If you’re not familiar with a granita, think of it as part shaved ice, part slushy, all amazing. So since we are melting under another heat wave in the Nation’s Capital, I decided that this was the week to give this cold dessert a try. And, it was AMAZING!

The flavor of the slightly sweet frozen coffee with the creamy and rich whipped cream reminded me a bit of tiramisu but not nearly as heavy. While I will definitely be making this dessert again because it is ridiculously simple, it should be noted that it does require some of your time – raking the freezing coffee every 30-40 minutes over the course of 2-3 hours. It’s not hard work but the periodic raking ensures that your coffee freezes in light and fluffy crystals.

A Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamA Feteful Life: Coffee Granita with Whipped CreamCoffee Granita (adapted from Ina Garten)

Ingredients

2 cups strongly brewed coffee or espresso, lukewarm
1/4 cup sugar (the original recipe calls for 1/2 but I don’t think that’s necessary)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons coffee liqueur, like Kahlua
Sweetened Whippped Cream (recipe below)

Directions

Combine the coffee, sugar, coffee liqueur, and vanilla and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture in a flat pan that’s about 9 by 9-inches. Place the pan in the freezer for one hour, until it starts to become slushy around the edges. Rake the mixture with a large fork to break up the crystals and place it back into the freezer. Every 30 minutes, rake the mixture until it is completely frozen and granular throughout. Freeze until ready to serve. Spoon the granita into glasses and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Sweetened Whipped Cream (from Ina Garten)

Ingredients

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

Place the cream, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whip on medium and then high speed until the cream just forms stiff peaks.

Chicken & Cheddar Corn Chowder

A Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn Chowder

I usually keep my soup eating to the fall and winter — there’s an obvious exception like gazpacho, which is served cold — but a warm soup on a warm day? Yes, I have one soup that will make me cross this culinary divide: this fresh summer corn chowder. The original recipe calls for frozen corn (which is what I use when I make this soup in the fall or winter) but with all of the fresh corn piling up at the farmer’s market and grocery store, I substitute some fresh raw corn for the frozen stuff. Another summer modification is the addition of some fresh peppery arugula when I serve the soup. It’s definitely an optional step but it’s one that I love (I might have an arugula addiction, so take this advice with a grain of salt). The arugula wilts a bit when mixed with the warm soup and adds such a burst of freshness to the soup. Give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it!

A Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn ChowderA Feteful Life: Chicken & Cheddar Corn Chowder

Chicken & Cheddar Corn Chowder (adapted from Cooking Light)

Ingredients:

2-4 slices of bacon
1 pound chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup red pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 3/4 cup yukon gold potatoes, skinned & diced
2 cups fresh corn, shucked & kernels removed (about 6 ears of corn)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 – 2 cups of arugula (optional)

Directions:

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Crumble; set aside. Add chicken, onion, bell pepper, and garlic to bacon fat in pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add broth and potatoes; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add corn; stir well.

Place flour in a bowl. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended; add to soup. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Top with crumbled bacon and arugula (optional).

 

 

 



 

I Want It Now: Flat Iron

A Feteful Life: I want it now - GHD Flat IronWith the arrival of the hot humid summer weather come the arrival of my frizzy hair. I have mostly straight hair with a bit of a curl and somehow a decent amount of frizz. Grrr… In order to look presentable I either need to add some curl with a curling iron or smooth things out with a flat iron. Unfortunately my old flat iron just died so I need to get a new one. I really want this one from GHD but is it really worth the $185 price tag? Maybe but I “need” it now! Or let me know what your favorite flat iron is to save me and my wallet. Thx.