Archives for February 2007

Kid Friendly

Fun refresher

While on the subject of cocktails, I just saw this post on Gastrokid, a blog co-authored by Bon Appetit magazine feature editor Hugh Garvey.

Around the holidays, I created a drink for the grown-ups, and my daughter immediately requested her own “special” drink. Of course!

I poured her some of my favorite blood orange soda from Target, added some fresh tangerine juice, an orange slice and a real maraschino cherry. She was thrilled to have a big-girl glass that wasn’t plastic, and to join the circle of grown-ups. Our kids don’t drink soft drinks of any kind (because we usually don’t have it in the house, because we’re mean, mean foodie purists) so the little bubbles in her glass were especially fun. Things only got of hand when she soon tired of the charm school sipping technique and began lapping the drink out of her glass like a kitty cat.

Anyway. On my next trip to the grocery store, I thought I’d pick up a bottle of grenadine to have around for any future “mocktails”. Why was I surprised to find that the brand most widely available, Rose’s, is mostly high-fructose corn syrup and food coloring? Real grenadine derives its color and flavor from pomegranates; the stuff you get for $3.99 is totally artificial.

That partly explains why I purchased Sonoma Syrup Company’s pomegranate infused simple syrup the other day – it’s a mixture of cane sugar, water and pomegranate juice. Simple syrup! I know that you and I could make this at home for about two cents, but I guess that explains the other reason I was taken in by this product: I’m a sucker for a pretty package. Yes, I will gravitate toward an overpriced bottle of sugar water like a wasp to a popsicle if there’s a nicely designed label stuck to it.

However, since my intent is to allow my kids to develop a taste for real food whenever possible, I feel it’s a worthwhile investment.

Sparkly Pom-Pom

For one drink, put some ice cubes in a small glass. Add about a teaspoon of grenadine syrup, or some pomegranate juice. Top with sparkling water or real fruit soda, stir and garnish with orange slices and a cherry.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Friday Night Cocktail Hour

Mommy Needs a Drink

This past week has depleted me in various ways.

There have been intense hours devoted to a fitful fourth-grader’s book report project, struggles with a five year old and his obstinate desire to play endless Star Wars video games, and one emotional family anniversary. And it’s all wrapped up in my daily struggle to find the time to pursue my own creative ambitions. Sound like the sweet life of a forty-something mother?

So tonight, I hired J’s very favorite sitter and we’ll be leaving the house. Yes, we’re having an away-from-home date, our first in I don’t know how long. Before we go, I think I’ll make a batch of Juniperotivos. I first heard about this drink on egullet. Apparently, it’s a “proprietary” drink created by bartender Jerri Banks at the Pegu Club in Manhattan. It’s tangy-sweet and utterly refreshing.

Junipero is a gin made by the Anchor Steam brewing company, an example of the many artisanal gins currently saturating the trendy cocktail scene. T fancies gin, and we just happen to have a bottle of this stuff in the house. But, you know, I’ve made it with other brands of gin, and it’s still absolutely delicious. Erielle of Fancy Toast made a sparkling version of this recently that looks especially festive.

for 2 drinks

4 ounces Junipero or other premium gin
2 ounces fresh lime juice
2 ounces simple syrup*
1 ounce pomegranate molasses**
2 sprigs of mint or very thinly sliced lime wheels

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into 2 chilled cocktail glasses and garnish with mint leaves or lime.

Note: one ounce = 2 tablespoons
* I always have simple syrup in the refrigerator these days – because you never know when Mommy will want a fancy drink. To make it, just dissolve 1 cup sugar in 1 cup boiling water and cool.

** Look for pomegranate molasses in specialty food stores and some supermarkets in the middle eastern section. Substitute pure pomegranate juice if you can’t find it.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food

Salad Day

Greens & Apple Salad with Avocado, Goat Cheese and Walnuts

I was browsing through another new cookbook the other day, At Home with Magnolia, and saw a recipe that inspired this salad. It’s easy to throw together and has lots of good things to crunch on. Perfect for Mommies Who Lunch!

Greens and Apple Salad with Avocado, Goat Cheese and Candied Walnuts
Serves 4 Moms

4 cups mixed salad greens – I like to use red and green leaf lettuce, baby spinach, and some butter lettuce for a pretty combination
1 crisp apple, such as Granny Smith, sliced thin or into chunks
1 or 2 ripe avocados, pitted and chopped
4 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup candied walnuts or pecans ( I used some from Trader Joe’s)
5 ounces crumbled soft goat cheese

Apple Cider Dressing:
2 tablespoons apple juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put the salad ingredients through goat cheese in a large bowl. Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing until blended. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently to coat.

Copyright (c) 2007 FamilyStyle Food