Recipe Inspiration

Happy Happy Hour: Dirty & Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktail

A happy hour Dirty, Spicy Bloody Mary with yum snack garnishes

A happy hour Dirty, Spicy Bloody Mary with yummy snack garnishes

I’m a bit of a late comer to the Bloody Mary party. I always thought it was a bit strong for a breakfast beverage what with the vodka and all (meanwhile, champagne- totally ok! :)). I have been seeing creative versions of the Bloody Mary pop up on drink menus here and there and once I started sampling them them I could not believe what I had been missing! One of my favorites to date was the “Caesar” Bloody Mary garnished with celery salt and pickled green beans enjoyed at Perla’s in Austin. Fun garnishes are the extra enjoyable part! (Pretty sure this is what drew me in).

"I don't know if that's a drink or a salad but I want it!" xo Spot Fiori

“I don’t know if that’s a drink or a salad but I def want it!” xo Spot Fiori

Tomato juice is very good for you (thank you, lycopene!) but the consistency was always a bit too thick for me. This recipe thins the tomato juice down nicely using fresh lemon and lime juice and my favorite drink mixer of all time- olive brine– making it salty, spicy and dirty and therefore an instant cocktail favorite. Then there’s the garnishes… salty, pickled, spicy, crunchy… all are welcome here…

Dirty & Spicy Bloody Mary Cocktail
(adapted from The Seven Stars Cookbook) Makes 2 to 3 Cocktails- depending on glass size

1 1/2 Cups Tomato Juice (organic preferred)

1 Cup Tito’s vodka (this is my new favorite vodka- “handmade in Austin!”)

1 1/2 TBSP Fresh Lemon juice

1 1/2 TBSP Fresh Lime juice

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning

1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire

2 tspns hot sauce

1 TBSP Horseradish

1 to 2 TBSP olive brine (how dirty do you like it?)

I'm obsessed with stuffing these green Castelvetrano olives with Stilton or Gorgonzola- YUM!

I’m obsessed with stuffing these beautiful, bright green Castelvetrano olives with Stilton or Gorgonzola- YUM!

Garnish Suggestions (go with 2 or 3 for best effect):
Green Olives stuffed with Stilton or Gorgonzola
• Radishes
• Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
• Cauliflower (pickled or raw)
• Celery (this is traditional)
• Cocktail Shrimp
• Cajun Cocktail Shrimp
• Lemon wedge
• Salt & pepper rim
Celery salt rim
What did I miss?
Fill your drink shaker with ice and the tomato juice- this is especially important if your tomato juice is not pre chilled. Mix all spices, hot sauces, horseradish, and brine with the lemon and lime juice- whisk together to combine. Add spice ingredients to shaker and shake for a good minute. Rim glasses (optional), add ice to your glasses and pour over ice.

And now for the best part, add your garnishes and enjoy!

For the brunch version, I added an additional 1/2 Cup of Tomato Juice and changed up the garnishes

For the brunch version, I added an additional 1/2 Cup of Tomato Juice and changed up the garnishes…

... I lightly salted the skewered baby heirloom tomatoes and sliced radishes

… I lightly salted then skewered baby heirloom tomatoes and sliced radishes. So pretty and yummy.

Are you going to eat that radish?

Are you going to eat that radish?

Happy Wednesday hump day everybody… I hope this recipe inspires you to pick up these delish ingredients and make yourself a customized Dirty & Spicy Bloody Mary this weekend! Cheers! Xo Dani

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Green Tea Sugar Cookies

Woohoo! A green tea shamrock!

Woohoo! A green tea shamrock!

I love a good “cookie coincidence”. Earlier in the week I was working on a project that required a green cookie… Of coarse I could have just added a bit of green food coloring to my sugar cookie dough but I really wanted to try something different and having this cookie be a bit more organic fit the assignment very well.

Kelli Bishop: art director, foodie, caffinated beverage connisoiur

Kelli Bishop: art director, foodie, caffeinated beverage connoisseur

I immediately thought of my friend Kelli who is a fellow foodie, a pimen’a cheese, ‘nanner puddin’ and sweet potato soufflé expert (in case you were wondering about all the apostrophes, she’s from Alabama 🙂 ). Kelli also loves a good coffee or tea beverage more than anyone I know. Back when we were working on The Martha Show, she made one of the best, most perfectly frothed cappuccinos of the entire staff. It wasn’t long before she began experimenting and came up with her signature drink the matcha tea latte.

The Republic of Tea's Japanese Matcha Green Tea- prettiest green ever!

The Republic of Tea’s Japanese U• Matcha Green Tea– the prettiest shade or green and filled with antioxidants!

I researched some green tea recipes and sure enough found one from foodchannel.com that makes a green tea cookie dough to roll out. The tea flavor is distinctive but delicious. I changed it up a slight bit to make it easier to roll and a tad bit sweeter.

The tea adds beautiful color to the dough

The matcha adds beautiful color to the dough…

I tried topping them with course sanding sugar and raw sugar- both were delish! The sanding sugar adds sparkle that the raw does not.

I tried topping them with course sanding sugar and raw demerera sugar– both were delish! As you might imagine, the sanding sugar adds sparkle that the raw does not.

Chilled, sugared, the chilled again and ready to go in the oven...

Chilled, sugared, the chilled again and ready to go in the oven…

Green Tea Sugar Cookies

• 1 1/2 tablespoons matcha green tea powder (for less intense tea flavor use 1 tblspn only)

• 2 sticks room temperature unsalted butter

• 3/4 cup granulated cane sugar (white sugar is fine too)

• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

• 1/2 teaspoon of honey

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• Sugar for sprinkling- course sanding or  raw demerera

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; cream the butter, green tea powder, and sugar and beat until fluffy, blended, and the color is fully mixed. Add the honey and vanilla. Beat until combined.

Add flour and salt and blend on low scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula, as needed. Form mixture into a dough ball, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 10 to 15 minutes.

Place dough ball on parchment paper or a silpat and roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, or until firm, remove negative space of dough and re chill to re roll.

Add sugar to a paper plate. Press cookie into sugar to evenly distribute. Return to refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 325°F for 14 to 18 minutes or until light golden brown at edges. Keep your eye on the first batch to determine the proper cooking time. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.

Baking Tips: 

• This dough will become darker as you roll and save it. For prettiest color results, use all dough at once.

• We tried a few shapes but small cookie cutters work best- shamrock and heart are especially cute. If you dont have a cookie cutter, you can roll 1 tablespoon of dough in your hands to form a ball then press it flat into the sugar before chilling.

This cookie is delicious and shortbread like... the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea!

This cookie is delicious and shortbread like… the perfect companion to a cup of coffee or tea!

I hope this inspires you to give matcha green tea cookies a try… shamrocks for St. Patrick’s Day and hearts for beyond!  Xo Dani

 

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