Not Martha

links: cocktails

Pimm’s explained by a real British person, in this case our beloved Paola of mirrormirror. At Shelterrific.

Benedictine Caviar and Cherry Heering Caviar recipes for the Singapore Slingshot, at Spirits and Cocktails. I think cocktails might be the thing to finally get me to learn to use that sodium alginate stuff.

Classic Cocktails? at Ask Metafilter.

The best wine importers, at Slate.

· comments [6] · 05-22-2009 · categories:drink ·

thing I like: simple champagne stopper

champagne stopper on a bottle

Our upcoming nuptials mean we’ve been popping champagne corks more than usual. The last time we visited the lovely Kay she showed off this little champagne stopper that had little arms that grab underneath the rim on the neck of the bottle (where the twisted bit of wire grabs). So far, it’s worked great. We’ve even managed to keep the champagne bottle cold using our Vacu Vin ice pack, though at this rate we’ll have to invest in an attractive champagne bucket soon.

I found this champagne stopper at the grocery store in the wine aisle, but you can find them on Amazon, along with a few that are more expensive but have a bit of a nicer design: WMF Clever and Blomus.

· comments [11] · 03-26-2009 · categories:drink · shopping ·

thing to try: St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram

St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram label

A bottle of St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram caught my eye the other day and I made a note to look into it. From the importer: “The allspice liqueur, known in classic cocktails as “Pimento Dram,” brings together the fine pot-still rum and classic allspice berries of Jamaica. Enjoy St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram in classic cocktails, Wassail and other punches, mulled wine, continental and island cuisine.” (ed. note: Wassail!) Two At The Most has a recipe that uses it in Black River Sidecar. Drink Boston calls it a lost cocktail ingredient that is being found again and includes recipes from various sources for Passenger Pigeon, None But the Brave, and Lion’s Tail. I’ll have to grab that bottle when we go back.

· comments [7] · 03-12-2009 · categories:drink ·

Starbucks VIA ReadyBrew instant coffee

Earlier today I had the luck to attend a brunch held by Starbucks where they were going to present a Big New Thing. News of the thing, a new form of instant, or soluble, coffee called VIA Ready Brew, broke a little early so there wasn’t much surprise to what the news would be. The brunch was held at the Boat Street Cafe and of course the food was outstanding (reminder to self: make that kale gratin). I was so happy to have Mary T. from Shelterrific there with me.

update: Mary is holding a gift bag giveaway over here at Shelterrific and has more pictures from the brunch, some featuring my hands.

So here’s what I learned. The process of extracing the coffee took 20 years to perfect and was done by Don Valencia, who wanted to be able to drink good coffee on camping trips. The VIA name is in honor of him. It comes as a fine powder in the familiar skinny packet, you dump it into a mug and pour hot or cold water on top and stir. It’s 100% coffee, no additives. VIA will be available in Starbucks stores in Seattle, Chicago and the UK on March 3rd, and afterward everywhere. You can purchase it online at Starbucksvia.com, it will ship starting March 3rd. A pack of three will be $2.95 and a pack of 12 will be $9.95. Apparently samples were available at Fashion Week and will be included in the Oscars gift bags. There were free samples and those who heard about them early from Starbucks on Twitter grabbed them very quickly. They have not yet cracked the code on making a decaf version. The pack of three comes in this tidy package, which opens like a matchbook:

During the meal we got to try two varieties of VIA, the Italian Roast and the Colombian. I’m not a coffee snob but I did spend a summer working in a coffee shop (the critical early morning shift) and I can honestly tell you the coffee was delicious. There was no hint of bitterness or off taste to me and I was instantly thinking of all the ways having a few packets of this around would be ideal, mostly traveling. I was also thinking back to all the unfortunate past trips where we stayed with non-coffee drinkers and the touchy mornings because these people just didn’t understand and no peppermint tea won’t stave off my need for caffeine. Having a few of these would have solved all those problems. Anyhow, Ad Age reporters tried the coffee (note: video) alongside coffee brewed in the store and called it “virtually indistinguishable”. (That link is via The Food Section.)

At the end of the meal waiters brought around carafes of hot water and we were able to make our own coffee, but I had already taken the opportunity to dump a packet into my glass of ice water:

It dissolved (mixed?) quickly and didn’t have any bitter or sourness. I am completely taken with how easy this will make having a glass of iced coffee in the summer.

We were sent home with a swag bag with a few samples and this amazing I Am Not A Paper Cup from the MoMA store. Thanks Starbucks!

(I suspect, or like to think, that had the news of VIA not been so thoroughly leaked early the brunch would have included a reveal at the end of the meal that we’d been drinking instant coffee all along. As in, “we’ve secretly replaced their coffee with…”. That would have been awesome, no?)

I also wanted to say hello to the people I bumped into or met for the first time: Melody from Crave Party, Keren from Frantic Foodie, Ronald from Cornichon and Orangette‘s own Brandon, who reports his restaurant Delancey is set to open in April. Delancey is located in the neighborhood that Scott and I lived in for a year and a half and I really wish our time there had overlapped. Excellent pizza made by excellent people within walking distance? That would have been great.

· comments [27] · 02-19-2009 · categories:drink · food · things I think are neat ·

inexpensive sparkling wine recommendations from people who know

I got a chance to catch up on some podcasts recently and, since New Years is approaching, my ears perked up when I heard two recommendations for inexpensive sparkling wines.

The first was in the October 18th episode of Good Food in an interview with Robin Goldstein, founder and editor-in-chief of Fearless Critic Media and whom you might know as that guy that got his fake restaurant and award from Wine Spectator. The second half of the interview talks about some of the things he found while writing The Wine Trials. He talks about the fact that the $12 bottle Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut consistently scored higher than a $150 bottle of Dom Perignon. Domaine Ste. Michelle is a Washington wine so I’ve been seeing it in my regular grocery stores for $9.

The other was a recent (Dec. 8th) Fresh Air interview with Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, the husband-and-wife team behind the wine column Tastings. They recommend the Cristalino Brut Cava as a good budget bottle for celebrating small things, like getting home on time. (I recognize this name because a friend once declared it was what you buy when you’re too poor to get Cristal.) You can read their column on good bubble for celebrating the New Year here.

· comments [16] · 12-19-2008 · categories:drink ·

links: food

Hungarian Paprika Chicken at Joy The Baker

Moist Yellow Cake at Bakerella (oh my god those pictures are gorgeous).

beef and cheese noodle bake at Shelterrific, yay for comfort food

Caramelized Shallots at Pink of Perfection

Turkey Pad See Ew at Chow

Royal Dilemma: Why is the Princess Cake Green? at Cakespy

Upon discovering there is a Trader Joe’s that isn’t too difficult for us to get to we’ve started shopping there again. So, Trader Joe’s Fans and Tracking Trader Joe’s might come in handy.

mushroom and barley pie at Smitten Kitchen, that is so darn pretty

searching for the elusive one-hold single-cup drip-filter, and finding a solution, at Super Eggplant

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cakes, oh my goddness, at Erica Mulherin

Cookstr, a new online food thing, via Cool Hunting

I have a few couple holiday parties coming up and I’d like a great dish to bring. I’d like it to be not to difficult, not too expensive, possible to make/assemble ahead, and travel well. at Ask Metafilter

When asked for dessert recommendations, my friend’s 8-year-old son suggested “chocolate chip cookies with chunks of chocolate chip cookie dough in them.” How on earth can I pull off this fantastic treat? at Ask Metafilter. Brilliant kid.

pie crust 103: rolling and crimping at Smitten Kitchen

pumpkin cupcakes with links for how to make icing roses, at Smitten Kitchen

Fall’s Modern Cocktail at Modern Cottage

Wine or cider mulling spice bags, using a wine cork to float it, smart. At Eating Well Anywhere.

OMG, homemade Bacon Magic Shell, at Cooking With Tits. Via Brownie Points.

· comments [5] · 12-2-2008 · categories:drink · food · recipes ·

public service announcement

Did you know that Starbucks sickeningly lightly sweetens their iced coffee and iced tea? And that if you don’t want it sweet you have to specifically order it as unsweetened? I didn’t know this until we were blocks away from the drive through window. We went through the line at the next Starbucks with a drive through, not too far away, and they replaced it no questions asked, which makes me think it wasn’t the first time they got this request. Still, though, yuck.

· comments [59] · 08-7-2008 · categories:drink · links ·

Victoria Gin

If you happen to find yourself in Victoria, BC and like gin it’s worth seeking out Victoria Gin made by Winchester Cellars. It’s an organic gin made with local ingredients in a beautiful copper still, and it’s very, very good. I had it in a martini at the Empress Hotel on a Saturday night, and was sad the next day was Sunday because it meant I wouldn’t be able to buy a bottle of the gin to bring home with me. The martini itself was made with a spritz of orange blossom water, and I don’t recall if there was vermouth. One tip, order it with a twist, olives overwhelmed this particular martini.

The gin was released just this past May, and for the moment is only available at the Empress Hotel, The Straith Spirit Merchants in Victoria and the tasting room at Winchester Cellars.

You can read more at the Victoria Times Colonist and Vagablond.

· comments [2] · 08-5-2008 · categories:drink ·

what I learned last week

If you place a quarter over the cap of a bottle of beer before you open it, the top of the cap won’t bend and you can put it back on the bottle so the beer will keep overnight. In our case a 22 ounce bottle of Elysian Avatar Jasmine IPA was still good when we returned to it after two nights had passed. Thanks to the good people at Full Throttle Bottles for the tip.

Shown above is my lizard bottle cap opener whom I’ve had since my very first apartment. You can also see him here in all his woefulness.

· comments [22] · 07-29-2008 · categories:drink · links ·

links: food

onion goat cheese tart and perfectly puffy popovers at Shelterrific

Hydrox are coming back, perhaps temporarily, at Chow

jim lahey’s potato pizza and 10 paths to painless pizza-making at Smitten Kitchen

I’d like to bake eggy-stink-free biscotti, but how? at Ask Metafilter

Bicicletta, a refreshing looking summer cocktail, at Hedonia

Simple, easy and elegant recipes that are always crowd pleasers: What are yours? at Ask Metafilter

Recipe: Cold Peanut Sesame Noodles at The Kitchen

Citrus Basil Cocktail at the Seattle PI

Sloe Gin Is Back, but Hold the Fizz and recipe for a Ramos Gin Fizz at the NY Times

Note to self: go try the Bitter End cocktail at Artemis

Homemade Ice Cream Drumsticks at Baking Bites

thing I want: ice princess, straw and ice mold from Fred & Friends

Safer than teflon, lighter than cast iron, it’s Ceramcor to the rescue, at Chow.

best supermarket cabernet picks, at The Kitchen

· comments [7] · 06-25-2008 · categories:drink · food · recipes ·

links: food

Gordon’s cup, at Orangette. It includes lime, cucumbers and a pinch of salt, sounds perfect.

chocolate covered bacon! at Strange Fruit

really pretty meatloaf cupcakes at Fine Furious Life

Vietnamese-Style Coffee on a Stick, oh baby, at Yum Sugar

Easy Pb&J Jar at Baking Bites, who finds the greatest stuff

Eat Drink or Die, videos on food and drink

Oh! A Rickroll birthday cake! at Craftzine

The Art of Sculpting a Watermelon at Chow

summer cocktails, at The Kitchen

Recipe: Easy Ricotta Gnocchi, at The Kitchen

Chard, Ricotta and Hazelnut Pasta Sauce, oh that sounds good, at Domicile

Rehabbing the Whiskey Sour, at Seattle Weekly

We’re going camping for a few nights in Tahoe. The gf and I are both foodies. I’d like to come up with some fun, more-interesting-than-average campfire food. at Ask Metafilter

at The Food Section:

how Yelp works

the Blumenburger, 30 ingredients, takes a day to make, I’m intrigued

touch your tomatoes

DIY candied peanuts

specialty ice cubes, including the Muji molds that I love

· comments [9] · 06-17-2008 · categories:drink · food ·

links: food

Harold McGee investigates how germs spread when someone double dips a chip into a bowl after seeing an episode of Sienfeld! Via Kottke.

movie popcorn recipes at Might Foods

Slice trys the pizza in a cone!

tpod at swiss miss

chicken chilaquiles at Shelterrific

How do I get that tea glow? at Ask Metafilter

Bittermens Bitters at The Cocktail Chronicles, I really hope to try the grapefruit.

A List of Regional Pizza Styles at Slice.

candied grapefruit peels at Smitten Kitchen

Rose and Chocolate Marshmallows at Chocolate & Zucchini

edible rings! at Chow. The Candyglam rings are lovely.

An Insider’s Dessert Guide at Chow

Domicile on bread, lovely bread.

I would like to build an outdoor wood fired oven similar to the one Jamie Oliver uses on his cooking shows. Can anyone suggest how/where I could find plans for this sort of structure? at Ask Metafilter

Tasty Veggie Dips at Cook & Eat

How To Make The Perfect Caramel at David Lebovitz

Matzo Ball Soup at Smitten Kitchen

Q Tonic, created by someone who was dismayed to discover tonic water was made with high fructose corn syrup. at Food Chronicles.

stack and fill pancake molds! at Williams-Sonoma

· comments [6] · 02-5-2008 · categories:drink · food · recipes ·

links: food

Eight Salty, Sweet, Mouth-Puckering Licorices at Cool Hunting

How do I get the first piece of cake out of the baking dish without wrecking the first piece itself? at Ask Metafilter

I want to make pasta, but it’s oh-so-complicated… Making pasta in a college dorm kitchen, at Ask Metafilter.

Recipe: D.I.Y. Hummus at The Kitchen

Spicy Black Bean Dip at Recipe Bazaar

Trader Joe’s Spicy Black Bean Dip recipe? at Ask Metafilter

grapefruit is making a cocktail comeback, via The Food Section. Bring on the Salty Dog!

Pretzel Pralines at Brownie Points

Zombie Punch at NY Times

real life test kitchen: jamie oliver’s lemon chicken at Shelterrific

food pyramid to remind you to eat more whole foods at Miss Ginsu

Silicone cupcake liners arent nonstick, at Ask Metafilter

The high-tech Clover, and two affordable alternatives, at Chow. See the map of coffeeshops using a Clover, there are a number here in Seattle!

too late for Christmas:

peppermint marshmallows at Serious Eats

Food-in-a-jar gifts at How About Orange

Cook’s Talk: Short and Long Caramels at The Kitchen

jar cakes! at Super Eggplant

a slice-and-bake cookie palette at Smitten Kitchen

too late for New Years:

My Darling Clementine a nice champagne cocktail, at Imbibe

Meyer Lemon Champagne Cocktail at Bake and Shake

· comments [6] · 01-14-2008 · categories:drink · food ·

it’s Repeal Day!

Today is Repeal Day, so pop out and have a drink tonight to celebrate the anniversary of the day the United States repealed the Eighteenth Amendment and gave Americans the constitutional ability to consume alcohol.

· comments [3] · 12-5-2007 · categories:drink · things I think are neat ·

links: food

spicy chickpea stew at The Kitchen

The new rules of cocktails, via The Food Section. Gosh, I love these rules.

Paula’s Pot Roast at What’s for Dinner Gina.

at Ask Metafilter:

Help me replicate my beloved Miami cafe con leche.

I’m searching for recipes from the future of the past.

What’s your fave eggnog?

Help me make the most of my new Le Creuset Dutch oven.

’tis the season for hot alcoholic drinks

I’ve been introduced to Trader Joe’s Spicy Black Bean Dip and I absolutely love it; problem is that I live in Canada and can’t buy it! So, I’ve decided the best alternative is to make it.

· comments [1] · 12-4-2007 · categories:drink · food ·