the Cherry Tootsie Pop

“Can you please make me a dessert drink with a little caffeine?” Heather asked me. “Sure!”  I said… but hmmm, I thought… what am I going to do now? Thus the discovery of a drink that tastes just like a Cherry Tootsie Pop.

The below ratio works out well when splitting one can of Coke Zero. And… it has to be Coke Zero. It doesn’t work nearly as well with any other cola.

Put crushed ice into a tulip-shaped glass. Add 2 ounces light rum, 6 ounces Coke Zero, and  1/2 ounce creme de cacao, then stir. Pour in 1 ounce grenadine and drop in a maraschino cherry. You should have a nice red glow at the bottom. Garnish with another cherry or two, and enjoy!

The Cherry Tootsie Pop, featuring Coke Zero.

Raspberry Linzer Torte

Simply divine. Serve these raspberry linzer torte bars paired with a nice ruby port and your guests will think you worked all day in the kitchen (Note the extra powdered sugar to pull off the homemade look).

It’s better  to spend your time photographing these than making them….especially when you can get them for less than $3! That way you get to eat them sooner!

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

Rasperry Linzer Torte....with port.

A Little Slice of Heaven

By heaven, I  mean Manchego…. a Spanish cheese made in the region of La Mancha. Not just the regular sheep milk Manchego cheese, the raw sheep milk variety. Yeah, it’s a dollar more a pound, but totally worth it.

By little slice, I mean you need to cut it thin. Slicing it thin seems to enhance the subtle nutty, buttery flavors.

Pair it with a Marcona almond, and it goes to a whole new level. The flavors blend extremely well together, and are even enhanced. Both being produced in Spain, that would seem to make sense. If you haven’t had a Marcona almond, it’s nothing like the common California variety. It’s softer, sweeter, and has a slightly buttery flavor as well. They are packaged with a little salt and olive oil.

A little salami, a few olives and a nice Spanish tempranillo and you truly have an exceptional experience!

Manchego, Marcona almonds, and a Columbus Salame Secchi.

The olives make a wonderful addition.

Montebuena 2009, a Rioja tempranillo. Excellent and less than $10.

All paired together it makes a very appealing presentation. Enjoy!


Ceviche!!

Ceviche.  Yeah, I’d had it before.  However… when Heather and I were on our honeymoon a few years ago in Puerto Rico…I realized I hadn’t had ceviche. Just a lame attempt. There was this great little place called Aguaviva, in Old San Juan. We had 3 different types of ceviche that were all fantastic!  The mojitos we had were also an excellent part of that meal, but that deserves a separate post. Soon, I promise.

I perused many recipes and decided to come up with my own that would try and mimic (in one variety), the best of what we had in Puerto Rico. And so…here it is in pictures. Let me know if you want the recipe.

The avocados need to be perfectly ripe, and leave them chunky.

Fresh lime juice and cilantro are VERY important!

Red snapper, jalapenos, sweet peppers, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and red chili olive oil.

Serve with yellow corn tortilla chips.

Breakfast…the yogurt parfait

I was making breakfast in conjunction with writing the chicken dumpling post. So, I figured I’d write a post about breakfast, too. There is just something about fresh berries that makes them hard to resist. (On March 1st that really means fresh from Wegmans). Berries and Vanilla Super Yogurt topped with granola sounds like a good start to me.

Raspberries and blackberries!

The yogurt parfait.

Chicken Dumplings!

While the tomatoes in my previous shot were roasting, Heather and I were dying to eat something. The smell was driving us crazy. So I pulled out the chicken dumplings we had purchased at Wegmans! A quick trip through the microwave and they were ready to go.

Paired with Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer (we call this our house white), and it's ready to share!

A little green onion, a touch of chili garlic sauce, and soy for dipping!