I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer! Mine is ok. Nothing fantastic. This is the first summer in about seventeen years that I work. Now that my kids are grown there was really no point to staying home for the summer and besides the extra money does come in handy! I do miss sleeping in though…you know how I love to sleep in. We do go out to eat and such but nothing too big this summer. But before you know it I’ll be back on my school year schedule.
Who likes rhubarb? I do and so does my husband. It has a kind of sour-tangy taste to it so turning it into something sweet is the perfect use for it. Years ago we had a rhubarb plant and I would make strawberry rhubarb pie. Then my plant died…which is weird because you pretty much just let it grow on its own…I think! Anyhow, we bought rhubarb plants when we went to the Flower and Garden Show and they are gorgeous! They have the big green leaves and the beautiful ruby red colored stalks. It is actually a vegetable but is usually thought to be a fruit because it’s mainly used in desserts.
Of course I had to go online and find out what else can be made with rhubarb. I found a super simple recipe for rhubarb syrup.
Isn’t the color beautiful? I chose to make a drink (non-alcoholic) with the syrup and club soda. It’s so refreshing and pretty. Because of the color it would be such a pretty drink for bridal and baby showers.
- 4 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.
Set a fine mesh strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth) over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.
Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle . If pouring into a glass jar make sure it will hold hot liquids. I let it cool a bit before funneling into my jar. Cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.
I did keep the solids from the strained liquid and used it as a jam on toast. It was so good and nothing goes to waste. There are so many ways to use the syrup…over ice cream, on pound cake and of course in alcoholic drinks. Enjoy!
It’s finally spring break! It’s the first spring break that I have ever had without kids…and it’s weird!
Since we have no kids right now (my youngest is at Disney with the choir) we decided to go to Milwaukee for 2 days. We went on two beer tours and had so much fun!
Lakefront Brewery was amazing. The tour guide was hilarious and was very knowledgable. The Miller tour was great too—that place is huge! I am not going to lie—the beer samples were sooo good. We are panning to go back when we might have an additional Designated Driver. We didn’t do any tours on the second day because we did not want to drink then drive home. The thing I found weird about Milwaukee was that there was absolutely no traffic! We stayed downtown and it seemed like a ghost town. Nothing like the hustle and bustle of Chicago!
What can I say about the food? WOW! If you are in Milwaukee you must eat at the Red Rock Saloon. I had the absolute best burger of my life there! The hamburger was juicy and messy…just like a hamburger should be!
Another place to eat is the St. Paul Fish Market at the Public Market. The Crab Cake Sandwich was delicious!
Needless to say we didn’t have anything healthy really! Next time around we’ll go when hopefully there are more visitors so we can check out more brewery tours and some nightlife.
Since Milwaukee is all about beer I figured this is a good post to share a simple wine packaging idea. A friend of mine graduated with her masters in December. She loves wine so what better gift than that?
I had gone out to buy the wine and get this—the cashier put the wine in the wine kraft bag used for wine and accidentally left a few bags stuck to it. I get so excited about the weirdest things. I decided to decorate one of the kraft bags for gift giving.
The decorating was easy-no directions needed. I also decided to dress up the wine bottle with a wine tag.
Can it get any easier? I think not!
Have a great day!
Suplies: Stampin’ Up!, free wine bag, Michaels
I am in count down mode to winter break! I have been finishing up some Christmas shopping and trying to wrap gifts so that I don’t need to do all this once my break starts! I am almost done!
How many of you have tried atole? I don’t even know how to describe what it is so I looked it up on Wikipedia and this is what it says:
Atole (Mexican Spanish a’tole (help·info), from Nahuatl ātōlli /aːˈtoːlːi/) is a traditional hot corn and masa based beverage ofMexican and Central American origin (where it is known as atol). Chocolate atole is known as champurrado or atole. It is typically accompanied with tamales, and very popular during the Christmas holiday season (Las Posadas).
The drink typically includes masa (corn hominy flour), water, piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar), cinnamon, vanilla and optional chocolate or fruit. The mixture is blended and heated before serving. Atole is made by toasting masa on a comal (griddle), then adding water that was boiled with cinnamon sticks. The resulting blends vary in texture, ranging from a porridge to a very thin liquid consistency. Atole can also be prepared with rice, flour, or oatmeal in place of masa. In northern Mexico, there is also a variation using pinole (sweetened toasted corn meal). Although atole is one of the traditional drinks of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead, it is very common during breakfast and dinnertime at any time of year. It is usually sold as street food.
I have to admit that I have never been a big fan of atole. I don’t even know why I wasn’t a fan. My son really likes it so now that he is home for break I will be making it for him in different flavors. One of the only things my mom has been able to drink/eat while she has been sick is atole. So I figured I would try making one that I might like too. So why not try making one with the most famous Mexican cookie ever? Galletas Marias (by Gamesa)!
This was so good! I believe I may have not liked my mom’s atole (sorry, mom!) because she has always made the same one…oatmeal. There are so many different flavors to make! This drink (any flavor of it) will warm you up and actually fill your belly! And that mug? Love it! I brought about four of them from Mexico this summer and I wish I had brought more.
Atole de Galletas Marias
- 1 pkg. (4.9 oz) Marias cookies (I use Gamesa brand)
- 8 cups of milk, divided
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2/3 to 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Break the Maria’s cookies into pieces and let soak in 3 cups milk in a blender cup for 5 minutes; puree until smooth. Heat the 5 remaining cups of milk and the cinnamon stick in a 3-quart pot over medium heat until very warm. Pour in the cookie puree and stir to combine. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes or until the atole has started to thicken slightly. Sweeten with desired amount of sugar. Ladle into mugs.
I am loving this fall weather in Chicago. I am gearing up to decorate my house next weekend!
I had been waiting for this weekend for a couple of weeks now. Why, you ask? Well, I have been waiting for the Bloody Mary Competition to come around! And it was yesterday!
So fun! If you don’t know that the Bloody Mary is my most favorite drink ever you know now! There were about 15 (I think!) restaurants in the competition with their Bloody Marys. It was great tasting all the Bloody Marys and eating the delicious garnishes.
This little sandwich was delicious. The venue was great and it was kind of dark which I must say made the event pretty sexy even though it was the afternoon.
There was people walking around offering Quiche, tortilla rolls and some absolutely delicious cupcakes! This helped to keep everyone sober. After tasting every single Bloody Mary we cast our ballots!
There was even iced coffee after the event which I must add was divine!
And the saying on the cup it is so true!
Since I have brought up “sexy” I might as well talk about Creme Brulee. I don’t know about you but I think that Creme Brulee is one of the sexiest desserts around! It’s not just the name but the creaminess and exquisite sweetness that makes this a sexy dessert. This was the first time I made Creme Brulee. I was always afraid to make it but I did it! It may not look too sexy here, but once you break through that sugar topping…
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup sugar
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 quarts hot water
- ½ cup sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a medium saucepan, combine heavy cream, and vanilla. Stir constantly over medium heat, for about 7-8 minutes until mixture starts to bubble, close to a simmer.
- Remove saucepan from heat. Cover and let set for 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together ½ cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually until all is combined.
- Pour the liquid into 6 (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
- Bake at 325 degrees F, just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center. Bake approximately 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove the ramekins from pan and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 3 days.
- Remove the creme brûlée from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top.
- Divide the remaining ½ cup sugar equally among the 6 dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy and browned top. The Creme Brûlée needs to sit at least 5 minutes before serving.
This is one of the best desserts ever! Next time I am going to make it sexier by adding some whipped cream on it and possibly wearing something nicer than exercise pants while making it!
Recipe Source Chef in Training
Happy Memorial Day! How lucky are we to live in such a great country? We enjoy many liberties that many other people in foreign countries don’t have. We owe that to all the men and women who have fought and died for freedom…our freedom. Thank you!
It has been an awesome weekend. Saturday was spent just hanging out at home cooking. Yesterday we celebrated my Dad’s 75th birthday by taking him out for his favorite meal…a big juicy steak!. This man is the most important man in my life. He has always been here for me. He has led a hard life and I am so lucky to have him. I wish him many more years of life.
What better way to celebrate things in life than with a toast! How about a toast with a delicious Strawberry Margarita?
This was so good! I made it one day after work last week and it just hit the spot!
I always thought that there were tons of stuff in some drinks and this one is so simple. It’s a great time to make these with the abundance of strawberries right now.
- 2 cups fresh chopped strawberries
- 6 ounces tequila
- 2 ounces triple sec
- 2 ounces Rose’s sweetened lime juice
- 2 heaping handfuls of ice
- Sugar for rimming the glasses
- Whole Strawberries
Blend chopped strawberries, tequila, triple sec, sweetened lime juice, and ice in blender until smooth.
Dip the rim of serving glasses into lime juice and then sugar for a sugared rim and garnish each rim with a whole strawberry.
I am not a fan of very sweet drinks so I used 2 0z. of fresh lime juice and I didn’t rim my glass with sugar. It turned out perfect for me!
Have a great day!
Recipe Source The Cook A Mama
It’s seems like I’ve just been drinking since Friday but I haven’t! Saturday just happened to be National Margarita Day and I am no stranger to tequila!
A Margarita can be prepared in three ways: neat (like the one I made), on the rocks or frozen. I am not a big fan of sweet drinks. I find that the Margaritas that are made at bars are way too sweet because they are made from the commercial mixes. Those taste nothing like a Margarita made with fresh lime.
When I made this Margarita I was in the middle of cooking and was wearing a sparkly sweatshirt…the only thing missing was the DJ and the guests! It was my own little party! Please remember whether your party with friends or by yourself…drink responsibly!
- 1 1/2 ounces tequila
- 1/2 ounce triple sec (Cointreau is recommended)
- 1 ounce fresh lime juice
- lime wedge for garnish
- Salt or sugar to rim the glass (optional)
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes.
- Shake well.
- If desired,salt the rim of a chilled margarita glass
- Pour contents, with ice, into the glass.
- Garnish with the lime wedge.
Recipe source cocktails.about.com
This has been the weirdest week of weather! Monday we had snow. Tuesday it was about 43 degrees. Wednesday it was about 50 degrees and sunny. Yesterday it was rainy all day and then foggy as heck. What is going on?
Regardless of the weather I always try to have the ingredients to my favorite drink on hand. The Bloody Mary is an amazing drink. I have had Bloody Mary’s almost at every place I go (that serve liquor of course). I have taken many, many pictures of Bloody Marys. Every place makes it differently. The best one I have ever had was in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin at a bar we had lunch at last year. That particular drink had a sausage stick and a pick with a pepperoncini, olive and pickle. It was practically a meal!
Since we have had a crazy weather week I thought I would share a Bloody Mary recipe that makes my taste buds sing!
- 3 ounces tomato juice
- 1 1/2 ounces vodka
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Celery salt
- Ground pepper
- Hot pepper sauce to taste
- Horseradish to taste (optional-I never use it!)
- Celery stalk and/or pickle spear for garnish
- lemon and/or lime wedge for garnish
- Build the liquid ingredients in a highball glass (or whatever you have!) over ice cubes.
- Stir well.
- Add the seasonings to taste.
- Garnish with a lemon or lime and celery or pickle.
AMAZING! I love lemon in my Bloody Mary. It adds a great freshness to the drink. You can make this drink as spicy as you like too.
To check out pictures of some of the other delicious Bloody Marys I have had follow me on Facebook or on Instagram
Have a great Friday!
Recipe source Cocktails.about.com