Champagne Punch

For your new year’s party, very appropriate. Also lovely for a summer party, as it is very fruity and refreshing!

Adapted from a recipe from Food.com:

  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate (small can)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate (small can)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate (or 1 small can pineapple juice concentrate)
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle champagne
┬áDump concentrates into punch container and add ginger ale. Stir to dissolve. Dump in a cheap champagne (such as Andre), and then don’t stir anymore (otherwise you lose all the bubbles)! Top with orange slices.
(If you’re lucky, like me, and have a friend named Melanie who can lend you her awesome punch dispenser, you can use that, which will keep everything cool. If not, I recommend freezing your orange slices in advance, and maybe investing in one of those neat ice cube trays that lets you make fun shapes.)

Spontaneous Virgin Mojiotos

On the occasion of needing to prune my mint plant (which is, amazingly, STILL ALIVE):

Virgin Mojitos

Muddle (or use a mortar & pestle) the mint and sugar together. Separate the mint/sugar mixture into two low ball glasses. Squeeze half a lime into each glass and mix. Add ice cubes, and then pour tonic water over all of it. Stir and garnish with a strawberry (if you happen to have one, as I did).

There. A mojito you can feel OK drinking at 10 am.

Easy Summer Dinner

Made an easy summer dinner tonight:

Cucumber Salad: One cucumber, sliced thinly. Dressed with a light vinegar (I used rice and cider), salt & pepper, dill, a dash of olive oil, and about a tablespoon of sugar. Delish.

Broiled shrimp: One pound cooked shrimp at $4.99/pound. Tossed with Old Bay Seasoning, paprika, dill, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Let it sit for a few minutes while I let the oven get to broil. Put it all in a shallow baking dish, broiled for about 10 minutes (until starting to char at the edges). This actually wound up being too much for me with everything else, but if I’d had fewer other things, it would’ve been fine. As it was, I have some for lunch tomorrow.

I also cut a few pieces of quality bread and spread them with butter. Then I cut up a quarter of a watermelon. About half went for tomorrow’s lunch. But the other half was quickly gobbled up. Watermelon is so delicious!

Yay for summer!

ps. For the curious, tomorrow’s lunch will be: Watermelon, shrimp, bread, and maybe some boiled corn on the cob.

Pickles Are Particularly Perfect

I was walking home from work today when I saw the Grillo’s Pickle cart that is often outside the T at Park Street. I’ve walked past it many times, but this time I stopped. For a dollar, I purchased two spears, handed to me wrapped in aluminum foil.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they were fresh, crunchy, and light. Very flavorful but not too sour. Delicious! I can’t wait to hit that cart up on a really hot summer day. Who needs ice cream!?

For a more in-depth review, see this post over at Pickle Freak.

Gordon’s Cup (cocktail)

Summer’s coming. You’re gonna need this.

Gordon’s Cup
adapted from Bon Appetit
makes about four servings

Ingredients:
* 3 limes, cut into small wedges
* about half a peeled cucumber, blended until pulpy (or cut into thin slices)
* 3/4 cup gin
* 4 tablespoons simple syrup (recipe below)
* 2 cups cracked ice (or, you know, ice cubes)
* big pinch of sea salt

1. Place lime and cucumber in cocktail shaker and MASH until lime is juiced.
2. Add gin and simple syrup, then ice.
3. Cover.
4. Shake vigorously.
5. Pour into glass with ice.
6. Sprinkle with salt.
7. Garnish with cucumber stirrers.

Optional: To cut down on the amount of alcohol in a serving (because, let’s face it, you’re going to want more than one), add liberal splashes of tonic water or unflavored seltzer.

To make simple syrup: Stir one cup sugar and one water in small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Boil for one minute. Chill and use!