Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Whiskey Ember

This past fall, I ordered a cocktail at a local restaurant that I have not been able to get off my mind. It was basically a spicy Old Fashioned, and the element of heat came from cayenne. It had all the trappings of the familiar classic but with a spicy finish that was a little addictive. Over the next few weeks, I tried to conjure up something similar at home, but I was disappointed every time.

When I purchased a bottle of Royal Rose's Three Chile simple syrup, it seemed time to try again. Success! This whiskey drink has just the spicy, smoky finish that I was after.

Whiskey Ember


makes 1 cocktail
  • 2 oz good whiskey
  • 1/5 oz Royal Rose Three Chile Simple Syrup
  • a couple dashes of cherry bitters
Mix everything in a low ball glass. Give it a good stir. Add ice (I prefer a single big ice cube which melts slowly). Enjoy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts

When it came time to bring a birthday snack to my daughter's preschool, I decided to forgo the usual cupcake and whip up some baked donuts. Baked donuts are really nothing like what you buy at the donut shop but are rather cakey and muffin-like. I have no complaints about that. And when you dip them in butter and roll them around in cinnamon and sugar, they taste like quite the indulgent treat.
Once I bought my donut pan, I started using it all the time. These are a nice basic baked donut recipe (perfect for those finicky preschoolers -- oh, and the rest of us). You can consider this your gateway baked donut.

Baked Cinnamon Sugar Donuts


from Ina Garten
 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 TBs unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

cinnamon sugar topping:
  • 8 TBs (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. Stir the wet mixture into the flour mixture.
2. Fill up your donut pan so that each donut is about 3/4 filled with batter. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, and then tap the donuts out.
3. For the topping: Melt the 8 tablespoons butter in a small pan. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Dip each donut first in the butter and then in the cinnamon sugar. You can do either one side or both sides of each donut.
 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

This chocolate zucchini bread is awesome for a few reasons: it tastes like cake, it’s actually pretty healthy (because it uses applesauce rather than oil), and it uses up 2 full cups of shredded zucchini.  Oh yeah, and it has chocolate chips in it!
I first made this when my neighbor handed me a zucchini the size of a baby’s arm.  I had run out of oil, so I was excited to come across a recipe that used applesauce instead of oil.  I’m not usually into calorie-cutting measures in my baked goods but I thought I’d give it a shot.  Healthy zucchini bread is better than no zucchini bread at all, right?
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
I’m so glad I gave this recipe a chance.  It’s seriously delicious!  Tender and moist, tastes like cake (second time I’ve said that, I know), studded with chocolate chips, and with a hint of cinnamon.   I had to make it two times to use up my baby-arm zucchini, which is how we managed to take pictures of it to share with you!
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Have you noticed we’ve been bad bloggers? Sorry about that.  Remember Colorado Crafted?  It’s been keeping us very busy, but we’re not complaining!  Oh and remember those crazy floods that hit Colorado?  Yeah, those happened in our town.  We live in Longmont (the northern part of Boulder County) and so our city was hit pretty hard. 
Luckily Dulcie & I both live on a hill so our houses were safe.  People were evacuated literally blocks away from us, but we were both just fine.  So many things (our favorite bike trails along the river, the bridge we use to get everywhere, and so many local businesses) were destroyed, but we were very fortunate.  If you’re looking for a way to help out, go check out Colorado Crafted – we’re donating half of our proceeds to flood relief through the end of the month.  Send a box to someone who might need a boost, or remind someone about the best side of our state!Colorado flood relief
Now, on to the recipe!

Chocolate Zucchini Bread

  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350.
Combine applesauce, eggs, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Stir well to combine.
Dump in all the dry ingredients, then mix again.
Lastly, stir in the shredded zucchini and chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan and bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from pan.
Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Negroni

Have you come around to Campari yet? It is bitter red Italian liqueur, and it is most famously featured in the negroni. (Did I mention it is bitter?) It is one of those acquired tastes that is a bit off-putting at first, but once you wrap your tongue around it, you wonder why you ever hesitated at that first sip.
I only recently picked up a bottle, but I knew right away that I wanted to make a negroni. If you have read anything at all about Campari, you will read the phrase "featured in the negroni and other cocktails." The negroni is what always gets top billing. It is a classic cocktail, dating back to 1919, but it still feels quite modern and sophisticated. It certainly is a bitter drink, but it is also sweet and herbal.
But here's a little something that makes me like this drink even more (and also reveals just how lazy/forgetful I am). The negroni involves equal parts gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth. Equal parts! That means I will always remember how to make this drink. Cheers to that.

Negroni


  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Campari
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 orange twist

Stir gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in a lowball glass. Stir in ice. Garnish with orange twist.


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