Tag Archives: lemon

Thirsty Thursdays | Kentucky Saint |La Petite Grocery

18 Sep

Happy Thursday again, friends! I hope the upcoming weekend holds promise for being fun and relaxing for you. I am here to tell you about another ingredient that may fit right in to said weekend.

 

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This beverage is called the Kentucky Saint and the recipe is courtesy of La Petite Grocery, a James Beard award-winning restaurant on Magazine St. in New Orleans. Mr. Homemaker and I took a day trip to NOLA earlier this summer (for fabric shopping and eating), and this is where we chose to have a late lunch. Thank goodness we did because the service was friendly, the drinks were refreshing, and the food was delicious.

That afternoon, I went and purchased the ingredients that were listed on the menu. But no matter what ratio I tested, it didn’t taste quite right. So I sent an email to their bar manager, Julia (who happens to be from my hometown), and she graciously provided me with the official recipe. And the missing ingredient? A splash of orange juice.

As I mentioned last week in the Thirsty Thursday post, this is the recipe I originally purchased the St. Germain liqueur for. So now you have two excuses to buy some ūüôā

This cocktail makes bourbon taste good even to the bourbon-averse among us. It has just the right amount of sweetness and citrus to compliment the bourbon. I didn’t think I would like this one but surprisingly, it is now a favorite.

Give it a try and let me know if you find it as much of a palate-pleaser as I do.

 

Looking for a few other refreshing cocktails? Try one of these:

La Recolte

Meyer Lemon Drop Martini

Cuba Libre

Absolut Stress

Blood Orange Martini

 

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Kentucky Saint

  • 1 ounce¬†Noah’s Mill bourbon (or other bourbon of your choice)
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Aperol
  • 1/2¬†ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice (original recipe called for 1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 ounce simple syrup

Combine all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside surface of the shaker is frosty.

Strain into a martini glass straight up or pour over ice in a rocks glass.

Garnish as desired and enjoy!

 

Courtesy of La Petite Grocery.

Thirsty Thursdays | La Recolte | Pear and St. Germain Martini

11 Sep

From what I hear, some parts of the world are starting to show signs of fall — autumnal leaves, crisp evenings, and don’t forget all the Christmas decorations in the stores (ugh!).

Here in the Deep South, Fall hasn’t even scheduled his airfare to our area. Highs are still in the 90s and humidity is always 100% (or close to it). We have rain showers most days.

Although I have not dusted off my boots or pulled out my sweaters, I would like to keep the spirit of the changing seasons and bring you an appropriately flavored cocktail that is still palatable and refreshing when your backyard is a sauna.

 

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Enter La Recolte (The Harvest en anglais). This is a cocktail that evokes thoughts of golden leaves, holiday gatherings, and cuddling up by the fire. It is also a cocktail that isn’t too sweet or too tart and has a refreshing effervescence that you can enjoy after swimming in from the mailbox or melting while carrying in your groceries.

 

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I love the styling of this bottle!

 

I found this recipe while searching for things to do with St. Germain liqueur — a French libation flavored from elderflowers. I had purchased a bottle for another recipe I will share with you later, but I like for things in my pantry to do double or triple duty if possible. Enter the Pear and St. Germain Martini.

This cocktail is a nice clear drink that is great made 1 or 2 at a time but would also work well mixed up as a punch for a cocktail party or bridal shower (consider adding a bottle of ginger ale to the mix to bring down the potency). The lemon juice and champagne help balance the sweetness of the St. Germain and pear vodka.

So if you find yourself with this random assortment of ingredients in your pantry, or if you just fancy a new, refreshing cocktail, give La Recolte a try and let me know what you think!

 

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La Recolte

  • 1 ounce pear vodka
  • 1/2 ounce St. Germain liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Champagne or sparking wine
  • Thin pear slices

Combine the first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously until the outside of the shaker is frosty.

Strain into a martini glass and top with enough sparkling wine to fill.

Garnish with a pear slice and enjoy!

 

Adapted from St. Germain website.

King Cake Cupcakes and a Winter Weather Bulletin

29 Jan

Hi, friends! I hope you are warm and toasty wherever you are today. Here in the Deep South/Alabama Gulf Coast, we are freezing our little tushies off! It has been quite an adventure with below freezing temps for the past 2 days and various types of wintry precipitation all around (only sleet and ice at our house, sadly). The weather has been so “extreme” by our standards, that most businesses, including my office, have been closed since yesterday afternoon and will remain closed until at least tomorrow.

After this little experience, I cannot start to imagine how people survive in the far northern states where it regularly drops 20-30 degrees below zero during the winter. We Southerners wouldn’t know how to function! I have to admit, I would take 95 degrees and 100% humidity any day of the week.

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Our little house with its dusting of ice/sleet.

But don’t you worry, all this down time has given me the opportunity to sew and bake like crazy. Over the past two weeks, I have baked 4 loaves of bread, 1 batch of dinner rolls, sewn 5 (!!!) garments (more on those to come), and made these delicious King Cake Cupcakes. What else can you do when it is “Snowmageddon” outside? (As sarcastically dubbed by a local radio station in response to the media frenzy.)

Growing up near Mobile, Alabama (the home of Mardi Gras), I have eaten my fair share of King Cakes. I have had cakes shipped in from “authentic” bakeries in New Orleans, local grocery store King Cakes, and even homemade King Cakes (yes, yours, Catherine). I have always been a fan of the yeasty delight reminiscent of cinnamon rolls with cream cheese filling and sweet icing and tri-colored sugar on top. And being the baker that I am, I have never tried to make my own King Cake until now. Boy, am I glad I did! These little delights are tasty! And not that hard to pull off. I will walk you through it below but first a little more history on the King Cake (and if you want to see my other post about Mardi Gras traditions and a delicious drink recipe, click here).

King Cake, as we coastal Southerners know it, first originated in French Louisiana in the 1700s, where it was introduced by colonists from France and Spain. Many European countries still have their own versions of King Cake but it is different from ours. I am only going to highlight the Southern Coastal variety in this post but you can read more about all types of King Cakes in this Wiki article and on the blog, Joe Pastry.

First of all, you are only supposed to make King Cakes after Epiphany (January 6) and before Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday). Some people might say it was a sacrilege to make them at other times of the year but many bakeries have started adapting the King Cake idea to other holidays.

The simplest King Cake is cinnamon roll-type dough with sugar glaze icing and purple, green, and yellow sprinkles. Most varieties, though, will have a filling (cream cheese — my favorite, praline, cinnamon, or strawberry). All are topped with some form of glaze and traditionally should have a plastic baby trinket inside. This little baby represents the Baby Jesus and the legend goes that whomever gets the piece of cake with the baby has to buy the next cake. When I was a child, I remember the excitement and anticipation surrounding this little toy that might be hidden in your cake (so you had to eat carefully according to your mom, as not to choke on said baby). Nowadays, though, most places will not put the baby in the cake because of the risk of choking — or should I say the risk of a lawsuit. Instead, the baby will be cradled in some excess icing in the center of the cake.

The recipe I am presenting here is a simple brioche-type dough with a brown sugar studded cream cheese filling. The simple powdered sugar glaze has a hint of citrus to balance the sweetness of the cake. While baking with yeast dough can be intimidating, it really is quite simple if you follow the directions given.

I originally found this recipe on the Garden and Gun blog. I would not recommend following the directions on their website, though, because they are not complete. After a little research, I realized their recipe was just a scaled down version of Emeril’s recipe here, but both are apparently variations of the 1983 Southern Heritage Cakes Cookbook. If you want to reference a source, please use the Food Network recipe, not the one on the Garden and Gun website.

To make the King Cake Cupcakes, you start by mixing up an enriched yeast dough.

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After it has doubled in size, you punch it down then roll it out into a rectangle.

 

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Next, you spread the dough with the softened cream cheese mixture, then roll it up into a log.

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Slice the log into 15 even pieces and place in paper-lined cupcake pans.

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Let the cakes rise one more time,

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Then bake them at 325 for 15-20 minutes.

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Once they are cooled, drizzle the glaze on top and sprinkle with purple, green, and yellow sanding sugar.

 

King Cake Cupcakes

Yield: 15 cupcakes

Dough:

  • 2 ¬ľ teaspoons yeast
  • ¬ľ cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon, plus ¬ľ cup¬†sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon lemon zest
  • ¬ľ cup warm milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 ounces (or 6 Tablespoons) melted butter

Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • ¬Ĺ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Icing:

  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Decorations:

  • Green, purple, and yellow sprinkles or sanding sugar
  • Small baby trinket

Whisk together yeast, 1/4 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon sugar until the dry ingredients are completely dissolved, then let rest until the yeast is foamy, bubbly, and active, about 5 to 10 minutes. Combine flour, salt, 1/4 cup sugar, nutmeg, and lemon zest in the bowl of an electric stand mixer (or you can also mix by hand). Fit mixer with dough hook attachment, turn on low speed, and add milk, egg yolks, and melted butter, a little at a time, until all ingredients are combined; continue mixing on low about 10 minutes (or knead by hand).

At this time, if the dough has not formed a sticky ball in the bowl, add 1 tablespoon¬†of flour at a time, no more than ¬Ĺ cup total. ¬†Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixer and let mix again for another 10 minutes. Turn onto an oiled surface and knead by hand into a tidy little ball, 5 minutes or so. ¬†Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until it doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours. Stretch and roll your dough into a long rectangle, approximately 12″ x 18″.

Combine the filling ingredients and the spread mixture onto the surface of the rectangle. Roll the dough up starting on a short end, and slice into 15 equal medallions.  Place medallions flat side down in lined cupcake tins. Cover, set aside, and let rise again until double, about 30-40 minutes. Bake at 325 for 15 to 20 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Cool completely.

Combine icing ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix until it achieves the desired consistency (adjust with more liquid or more powdered sugar if necessary). You can do this easily with a whisk.

Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cupcakes, hiding a baby trinket or charm inside one of the cupcakes before icing, if desired.  Decorate with Mardi Gras beads or yellow, purple, and green sprinkles.

Thirsty Thursdays — Strawberry Mint Lemonade Two Ways

6 Jun

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Happy Thursday, everyone! ¬†One more day until the weekend!! ¬†Since you all seem to like these Thirsty Thursday posts so much, here’s another one. ¬†I found this recipe inspiration from Jessica on How Sweet It Is — she has¬†tons of great drink recipes so hop over there if you get a chance… or get thirsty.

I am providing both an alcoholic and an unleaded version of this beverage because I think it works perfectly both ways. ¬†I could see this being incorporated into your next summer cookout, bridal/baby shower, picnic, day at the beach, etc. ¬†We all know strawberry lemonade is a divine thing but adding mint gives it just a hint of herbal freshness — definitely not over the top, though, so don’t worry!

My only modification from the original recipe was to add a bit more water because I found it to be a little concentrated (but I didn’t strain mine). ¬†Feel free to adjust it according to your own tastes and depending on how sweet your berries are. ¬†Enjoy!

 

Strawberry Mint Lemonade Two Ways

Yield: About 4 cups

 

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

Variation:  citrus vodka (optional)

Combine sugar and water in a microwave safe measuring cup and microwave on high at 1 minute intervals until sugar is completely dissolved.  Or be fancy and heat it in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar is dissolved.  Regardless of your method, cool the simple syrup in the fridge for about 10 minutes.

Put the strawberries and mint in a blender and ¬†puree until liquified. Add in the lemon juice and simple syrup and puree until combined. At this point you can choose to keep the mixture thick with the fruit puree, strain half of it to lighten it a bit or strain all of it to remove the strawberry pulp. It’s up to you! Pour the mixture into a pitcher and refrigerate for 20 minutes until cold. Serve over ice.

For variation, add 1-2 shots of citrus vodka to each serving (depending on size of glass and stress level of consumer).  Enjoy!

 

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Thirsty Thursdays — Vanilla Lemonade

21 Jun

I have decided to start my first regular installment — Thirsty Thursdays — and will be posting some of my favorite drink recipes each week when I have one to share. Check out some of my previously posted favorites such as Meyer Lemon Drop Martinis, Strawberry Wine Coolers, Hurricanes, and Pina Coladas. ¬†I came across this tasty refresher this week via a newly discovered blog and couldn’t wait to test it out. Fresh homemade lemonade is a treat by itself, but add the subtle hint of vanilla bean, and it transcends to a whole new level. Try this lemonade this weekend — your family will thank you ūüôā

VANILLA LEMONADE
A fun twist for your lemonade!

Yield: about 12 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
Total Time: 20-25 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

For the Simple Syrup:

1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
3 slices of Lemon Peel
1 Vanilla Bean
1 generous pinch of Kosher Salt
Cheesecloth, to strain syrup

For the Lemonade:

Juice of 6-8 lemons, strained
8-10 cups of water
1 cup of vanilla/lemon syrup
Lemon slices to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

Slice the vanilla bean in half and with the back of your knife scrape out all the seeds.

Bring sugar, water, vanilla bean and pod, lemon peel and salt to boil on your stove.

After sugar dissolves I gently simmer mine 5-10 minutes to really get the lemon peel flavor in there.

Remove from heat, strain through a few layers of cheesecloth set over a large measuring cup and cool. You can speed up the process by placing the measuring cup in a large bowl surrounded by ice.

Once the syrup has cooled; add it to a large pitcher along with the 8-10 cups of water and strained lemon juice. Garnish with a few lemon slices.

Pour in a tall glass over ice and sip.

Adapted from Simply Scratch via How Sweet It Is.

TGIF! — Meyer Lemon Drop Martini

9 Feb

It's been a long week! You've worked hard! You deserve a Meyer Lemon Drop Martini!!

If you’ve never met a Meyer lemon before, let me introduce you.¬† Meyer lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges that were imported from China in¬†1908. See Wiki for more info. Meyer lemons are shorter and rounder than grocery store lemons and have thinner and usually more golden skin and flesh. The best thing about them is their gentler bite. They are less acidic than regular lemons, making them perfect for desserts and cocktails. Some people will even eat them plain.

Looking a little ragged by the end.

This year I went crazy buying plants and trees for my garden but the combination of a hot, dry summer and a husband working lots of overtime meant that my abundance of plants didn’t get the TLC they deserved. Luckily my Meyer lemon tree had quite a few green lemons on it when I bought it so all I had to do was keep it watered to make sure I got to enjoy its fruits. And enjoy them I did. In 6 batches of martinis to be exact ūüôā

When my friend Catherine and I were whipping up the last batch of cocktails from the Meyer Lemon Drop Martini Tree (as we have dubbed it), I decided I should snap a few photos and share this delicious recipes with y’all. If you can’t find Meyer lemons at your local grocery, don’t panic, you can still enjoy this recipe by substituting regular lemons without any other modifications. As an added bonus, this recipe utilizes the simple syrup recipe I posted earlier.

I hope you have a fun and relaxing weekend and enjoy a lemon drop for me while I am on call.

 

Meyer Lemon Drop Martini
Yield: 2 martinis, or 1 if you’ve had a bad day

1.5 ounces simple syrup
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
juice of 2 Meyer lemons, reserving one lemon to rub on rim of glasses
3 ounces vodka
Granulated or superfine sugar

In a small microwave safe container, heat simple syrup and zest in 20 second intervals until syrup is hot but not boiling. Cool completely, then chill.  This process will help release the oil from the zest and give your simple syrup more citrusy flavor.  (Alternately, if you are making a fresh batch of simple syrup, you could include the zest when combining the water and sugar before heating.)  Make sure all ingredients and martini glasses are well-chilled before proceeding.

Fill martini shaker with crushed ice. Pour in simple syrup, lemon juice, and vodka. Shake well. Rub outer rim of martini glass(es) with lemon to moisten. Dip into sugar to coat. Strain martini into glasses. Serve immediately, relax, and enjoy!

Recipe inspired by food.com