Showing posts with label homefries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homefries. Show all posts

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Buvare: Green Leaf

One year and 25 episodes later, The Table Set and HomeFries Media are celebrating our first anniversary! It's been an exciting and challenging road, fraught with liquid courage, dinner parties, blog neglect (xo..) and plenty of recording bloopers. But hey, we're just getting started!

On our 25th episode, we received a call from a pregnant cocktail lover asking how she can make a mean "mocktail" (pardon the term) that lives up to the meticulous craft concoctions on your local speakeasy counter. Andy, Greg and I all tried our hands at the task with enlightening results. Check out the full episode, and my liver-friendly cocktail recipe below (hint: it's good with kumquat-infused London Dry Gin too!).

Listen to The Table Set: Where's the Party?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Buvare: Gilded Cava Punch

It's awards show season!
On the Table Set we have been discussing how to gussy up your next plain ol' TV party into something to remember. This honey-kissed sparkling punch that I created for Homefries U would make a classy sipper for an Oscar party, or an upscale afternoon with Oscar the Grouch.

Listen to The Table Set: Stay Tuned

Gilded Cava Punch

1 pint Krupnik Honey Liqueur
1 cup Dolin Blanc Vermouth
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup rich simple syrup*
4 bottles Cava Brut
1 liter club soda
Fee Brothers Plum Bitters

In a pitcher, combine honey liqueur, vermouth, lemon juice, rich simple syrup and 10 dashes of bitters, cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. To serve, pour the mixture over a large block of ice in a punch bowl and slowly add chilled Cava and club soda. Garnish with lemon wheels.
Serve in wine goblets.

*Rich Simple Syrup

1 cup demerara sugar
1/2 cup water

Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until a rich syrup develops. Remove from heat, cool, and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Homefries U!

If these ladies look like they're up to something... That's because they are.

Joy the Baker and Tracy Shutterbean Benjamin are the stars of the Joy the Baker Podcast on a little network I sometimes talk about called Homefries. They like to have fun, talk about doughnuts, relationships, cookies, travel, sticky buns, and wombats. But what if for one weekend they could [literally] share the fun with their listeners?

One house in Palm Springs, some help from some friends, and a freezer full of ice cream later and Homefries U was totally in session!
Guests were greeted Friday night with - what else? Punch! I made up this batch of deliciousness with Krupnik Honey Liqueur, Dolin Blanc vermouth, fresh lemon juice, soda, Fee's Plum Bitters and a healthy dose of Cava Brut. Yowza!
Joy and Tracy made everyone addictively edible soup for dinner - vegan coconut carrot ginger heaven or chunky delish tomato situation. Winners.
After dinner there was, well, more punch to finish! And nails to paint. That's right. Not your average food blogger gathering. SEO? What's that, a sparkly blue?
Morning meant coffee cake, choco-studded banana bread, fresh fruit and lots of coffee.
An informative photo workshop led into the really good stuff - A brunch cooking demo. Joy and Tracy worked out a killer how-to brunch menu from A to Z. Then we ate it, of course.
Frittata time. Tracy doesn't mess around with bell peppers. Lady's got skills.
Breakfast pizza: the way into any sane person's heart.
After brunch everyone took a break for fizzy cucumber spritzers and pool time. Even Joy!
Craft hour included making herbal and fruit sugar infusions. And friendship bracelets. What else?
Happy hour is when things started getting REAL. Spiced nuts, cured salumi, and fresh-popped corn whet everyone's palate for a LOT of booze tasting.
Whitney from The Crush came out to teach everyone how to be a sexy sparkling wine dilettante in four tasty steps. And a frugal one at that, each wine is available for under $20 at DomaineLA.
Trust me, Whitney knows her stuff. And this Grotta del Sole Gragnano rules.
Cocktail time! Still a little loopy from the bubbles, I wasted little time getting everyone in a tizzy about one of my favorite and oft misunderstood spirits - Gin.
And you really can't talk about the history of gin without addressing its grandaddy, Dutch Genever, a malty juniper spirit back on the market thanks to Lucas Bols, the oldest Dutch distillery still in production. A distilled malt wine, Genever resembles a malt Scotch or white whiskey more than gin, and is great on its own, sipped out of a tulip glass alongside a beer (the traditional way) or mixed in an old-fashioned.
We also talked about London Dry, Plymouth, and New American styles of gin. And you can't leave out Hendrick's. If anything will convert a room of skeptics, a chilled sip of Scottish Hendrick's Gin with a cucumber slice does the trick. To lead into dinner we mixed up a bevy of Aviation cocktails with Plymouth Gin, the most winning of the pack.
What would a Sunday morning be without doughnuts? Joy and Tracy couldn't disappoint, and absolutely did not with their chocolate glazed and powdered perfect confections. (Not kidding, this chocolate doughnut was the best I've EVER had. EVER, people!)
After breaky, Tracy raided the spice rack for a expose on the real what's what and when to use it.
And what would a "conference" be without gift bags and a raffle? We wrapped up some goodies for our new friends so they could relive the best weekend ever once they got home. But the Real Housewives DVDs? Those were Joy's, sorry y'all.
Keep an eye out in early 2012 for Homefries U Spring Break! We're just getting started...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gala Parfait: Pool Party

I've never been good at juggling.
At some point I guess I just stopped trying because after bruising so much fruit, I thought hey better to just eat this apple.
But in life I grew pretty adept at it. An over-achieving high school student who opted for a full college course load plus three jobs, sometimes a band... to a full-time career, a food blog, busy lifestyle... and sometimes a band. But age and energy are funny things. I remember when five hours of sleep was enough, and hangovers lasted but a few pesky morning hours. I recall lightning quick reflexes and prose that spilt from the pen with ease.

You may have noticed the Chocolate of Meats lightening in load. I suppose that's natural. Sure, life gets in the way sometimes, but also it's become a saturated market - The numbers don't tug at my conscience to use this forum to keep my public up to date with every happening about town (but that's what Twitter is for, right?). I enjoy it when I can, or when the experience rings with a truth I am called to share. I'm looking at blogger responsibility in a new light.

So back to juggling. If you follow ChocoMeat then you've also probably noticed me increasingly mention my podcast The Table Set with Greg of Sippitysup and Andy of Wind Attack. We were invited to participate in this venture by the venerable Joy the Baker, which in all honesty is when I threw out the analytics and stopped questioning whether I had something to offer the world or not. Of course I did, and no longer just through my bourbon-stained blog. Thank you, Homefries.

The point of all of this, really, was to express that The Table Set has been allowing me to explore ChocoMeat's interests on a larger scale. Now once a week I get to talk about parties. Thoughtful entertaining, from small to large scale. Creating experiences. And of course what drink to pair it all with.

Our premiere podcast was about throwing a winning pool party. So when we discussed actually throwing a first-ever Table Set event to tie up summer, what better way?? Check it out.

For the party, I whipped up this version of the San Francisco prohibition classic Pisco Punch, made by infusing Pisco (a strong Peruvian spirit made from distilling fermented grapes) with fresh pineapple in place of traditional pineapple gum syrup. While you can discard the pineapple after infusing the Pisco, if you want a REAL party, toss them in the punch bowl like I did. Just warn your guests!

Pisco Punch
Adapted from Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club via New York Magazine

2 (750-ml) bottles of pisco capel
2 pineapples
4 limes, zested
32 oz simple syrup, chilled
2 white grapefruit
32 oz fresh lemon juice
2 l club soda
mint sprigs for garnish, optional
fresh hibiscus blossoms for garnish, optional

Make the pineapple Pisco: Cut pineapple into 1/2-inch chunks, and put into a large covered jar. Add the Pisco. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 3 days.
Make the lime syrup: Add the lime zest to 16 ounces of cold simple syrup. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain away zest and store in refrigerator.
Make the grapefruit syrup: Add the grapefruit zest to remaining 16 ounces of cold simple syrup. Cover, shake to agitate, and refrigerate for 24 hours. Strain away zest and store in refrigerator.
Make the punch: In large bowl, combine pineapple infused Pisco and all of the pineapple chunks, lime syrup, grapefruit syrup, and lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Pour in the club soda and add a large ice block into bowl just before serving. Garnish with mint sprigs and fresh hibiscus blossoms.

Listen to the Table Set here!
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