Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Bastille Day! Le quatorze juillet!

In honor of Bastille Day (July 14) here are 3 links to my favorite French things!

1.The French Daiquiri! This refreshing cocktail is great for these hot Kansas summers!

2.French Macarons from Bloom Bakery in KC, MO

They have a crunchy shell and a soft inside. Bloom's macarons come in flavors like Strawberry Basil and Lavender and they are delish!

3.Sale on French items at
Au Marché!
Au Marché is the European Food Market in Lawrence which carries many French items, such as l'Occitaine,Ameline mustards, madeleines & more!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Minnesota Beer Tour : Bell's Two Hearted Ale

As most of my friends know, I love microbrews so I love trying new beers when I travel. I also love bringing them home when I can! While I was in Minnesota last week I tried a couple of local beers and I made my own 6-pack based on the recommendations by locals.

Beer #1: Two Hearted Ale by Bell's Brewery, located in Comstock, MI

I first tried this beer white in MN and loved it, so much so, I brought home a six pack! Its a very hoppy beer but still light making this IPA a new fav. It has a subtle floral note that I can't put my finger on. I'm sad that I only have 5 more left!

Bell's has 8 beers available year round, 15 seasonal and 17 specialty beers and i'm sure they are all great. After perusing their website, I discovered that Bell's is distributed in KCMO so be on the lookout at KC liquor stores!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horseradish Infused Vodka

One of my new favorite things to do is to infuse liquors. Some of my favorites are Basil-Infused Gin, Limoncello, Orangecello and now Horseradish Vodka! My Dad grew a hot batch of horseradish this winter and I have been trying to come up with creative ways to use it! With a suggestion from my friend Jay,I decided to infuse vodka with horseradish.

I have to admit, I was scared of this project, because earlier in the day I grated some horseradish for another recipe and man, does it clean out your sinuses!

Above is the horseradish root, it looks a lot like ginger root, but a little woodier. Once the outer skin is peeled, the root breaks down and mustard oil is secreted, giving horseradish the the kick that it is known for. Its an interesting kind of heat, not like peppers, it hits the sinuses and is really enjoyable! I like it on meat in Bloody Mary's!

Horseradish Infused Vodka

2 oz fresh horseradish root, peeled
1 750-mL Vodka
2 tbsp black peppercorns

*Peel outer skin of horseradish to expose the white flesh. Peel horseradish and place in a glass jar or bottle that has a tight seal. (I purchased my jars at World Market HERE.)
* Crush 1/2 of the peppercorns and place in jar along with vodka.
*Seal jar and place in a dark, dry place, (kitchen cabinet) for 3 hrs.

The NY Times suggests to let it infuse for 24 hrs but I checked up on it after 3 hrs and this is what it looked like:

This batch was good after only 3 hrs! I tried the vodka in two of my favorite cocktails and was surprised with the results. I first made a dirty martini with horseradish infused vodka and olive juice and the horseradish was waaaaaaay to strong! I advise you to not make this cocktail! My second was a Bloody Mary and OMG it was the the best Bloody Mary I have ever made and is right up there with the Louise's West Bloody Mary

Barnes' Bloody Mary

Tomato Juice
1.5 oz horseradish vodka
Seasoning salt
Worcestershire sauce
2 Green olives
1 Stalk of celery or Dil Pickle

I typically eyeball my Bloody Mary's so next time I make one, I will jot down the measurements and post them!


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Horseshoe Lake and Cucumber Salad!

Since its an overcast day at the lake, I think its a good time for me to post the first part of our trip!

I am spending the week at Horseshoe Lake in Merrifield, MN with a group of friends and it has turned out to be a much needed vacation!

After driving all night we arrived in Merrifield around 7:30am. After a quick 2 hr nap we opened a few beers and hopped in the water!


On Sunday we went to Nisswa, a cute lake town about 20 miles from Horseshoe Lake, we had delicious ice cream at the Chocolate Ox and dinner at Rafferty's Pizza

They had a wide variety of pizzas including mashed potato pizza, Lucky Chicken which had a lingonberry sauce that was to die for! I had Alexandra's Barbeque Chicken and it was tasty! I loved the thin crust and who could pass up $1 beers!
After dinner a civic organization in Nisswa gave out American flags shortly before the parade
MEAT RAFFLE?! Sign me up! I remember Andrew Zimmer said this was popular in small Minnesota towns, too bad it was last Friday! I would have wanted to be part of that. In case you are not familiar with the meat raffle, you buy raffle tickets and if your ticket is drawn, you win meat!

We watched the sunset in the paddle boat!

The 4th was spent at the beach and grilling, we found out noodles make great flag poles and the guys celebrated their right to bear arms with a super soaker battle on the dock. Oh, and I wish I had my camera but there was a boat parade in the morning! All the boats in Horseshoe Lake were decorated and each boat had a theme. There were patriotic boats, and Star Wars boats.

What would a food blog be without recipes?? One great thing about vacationing with other foodies: great meals! Sarah's parents stocked the kitchen for us so it was easy to whip up lunch! Today for lunch I made my honey poppyseed vinaigrette for salads and also made a cucumber tomato salad, recipe compliments of Jay :)

Cucumber and Tomato Salad
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tomato chopped
2 tsp dill
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
----Mix all ingredients and serve chilled!

Honey Poppyseed Vinaigrette
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp honey
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (sometimes I use apple cider or sherry vinegar)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp poppy seeds
----Add all ingredients in mason jar and shake until emulsified. You may adjust vinegar and mustard if you would like it more tangy.