Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label happy hour. Show all posts

Monday, January 30, 2017

Baba Ganoush Muffins #MuffinMonday

Roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and a little cumin give these baba ganoush muffins all the flavor of that wonderful dip, in small portable packages. They are perfect with a cold beer, red wine or even something sparkling.

I am a firm believer that you can make pretty much anything into a muffin. It just requires some imagination and the creation of a fusion recipe, taking the ingredients of one dish and turning it into something completely different, but just as delicious.

As we munched on these with a glass of Prosecco the other evening, I share my theory with my husband. He’s learned over the years not to doubt me on matters of the kitchen, but he cocked his head to one side and gave me that little smile where he turns up just one corner of his mouth. “How about banana cream pie?”

If you’ve been reading along here for a while, or follow me on social media, you might know that banana cream pie is his favorite dessert, his special request on his birthday or Father’s Day. Interesting idea. Banana cream pie muffins. I’m not even going to google it because, in all likelihood, someone’s already done one.

But check back next month to see if I succeed. Meanwhile, roast youself an eggplant and make some savory Baba Ganoush Muffins. They are really rather special too.

Butter, oil or baking spray for greasing muffin pan
1 small eggplant about 8 1/2 oz or 240g
1 1/2 cups or 190g flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Black pepper
1/2 cup or 130g tahini
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
1 egg
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed in a garlic press
Parsley for garnish, if desired

Preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C and grease a 12-cup muffin pan with a little butter or oil.

Poke the eggplant all over with the tines of a fork. Using a carving fork, hold the eggplant closely over the flame of your gas stove, turning it until it’s charred all over, about 5-7 minutes. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can just to all the roasting in the oven - it may take up to 25-30 minutes.)

Put the charred eggplant on a baking sheet and put it into the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s completely cooked through.

Remove the eggplant from the oven and set it aside to cool.

Meanwhile, you can be getting the rest of the muffin ingredients ready.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your flour, salt, baking powder, cumin and a few generous grinds of fresh black pepper.

In another bowl, measure out your tahini and milk and add in the egg.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the peelings and discard.

Mash the flesh with a fork.

 Add it to the wet ingredient bowl along with the garlic. Stir well to combine.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just mixed. Divide the thick batter between the 12 muffin cups. Top with a little chopped parsley for color, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven about 20-23 minutes or until the tops and sides are golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes in the pan. Then removed them from the pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.


Check out all the lovely muffins my Muffin Monday bakers have created for you:

#MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all our of lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board.

Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday, can be found on our home page.

Pin it!

Baba Ganoush Muffins - Roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic and a little cumin give these baba ganoush muffins all the flavor of that wonderful dip, in small portable packages.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Red, White and Blue Sangria

Crisp dry white wine, mixed with a little lemon vodka and Grand Marnier, then topped up with lemon-lime soda and lots of pretty fruit, makes a refreshing libation for summertime. 

This week Sunday Supper is remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our armed forces, just ahead of Memorial Day tomorrow, by showing off our red, white and/or blue recipes. Even as you feast and enjoy the extra day’s holiday – if you are living in the US, that is – we hope you will be inspired to honor military personnel from every country who died to preserve our freedoms, including those who put themselves in harm’s way to bring aid to the needy and try to ensure safety and peace in troubled regions worldwide. (Did you know that there are more than 30 countries whose flags are red, white and blue?) Unlike Veteran's Day, which honors the service of all soldiers, Memorial Day is especially to recognize those who gave their lives.

Many thanks to this week’s host, the great DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts. Make sure you scroll on down to the bottom of my post to see all the colorful recipes we are sharing today.

Let me introduce this sangria ingredient list with a disclaimer. When I told my husband that I was making sangria and, did he want some, he said, “Nah, thanks. I’ll just have a cold beer.” Well, I’m all for taking one for the team, particularly my Sunday Supper group, but drinking an entire one-wine-bottle batch of sangria seemed ill-advised, so the amounts you see here photographed are for half of the recipe I share below. And, yes, I did drink the whole darn half pitcher over the course of a hot afternoon! It was refreshing and delicious.

1 bottle dry white wine (My favorite white is Sauvignon Blanc, both for sangria and drinking in general.)
1/3 cup or 80ml Grand Marnier
1/4 cup or 60ml lemon vodka
3 cups or 710ml lemon-lime soda (Two of the 12 oz or 355ml cans.)
6 oz or 170g raspberries
4.4oz or 125g blueberries
1 dragon fruit

Starting at least a day ahead, wash some of the blueberries and raspberries and put three blueberries and one raspberry in several of the holes of a muffin pan. For a more decorative look, I used the Nordic Ware one known online as the Bundt Brownie pan. <affiliate link Add a little water, until you see the blueberries just barely start to float.

Put the pan in the freezer and leave until the water freezes enough to hold the fruit in place.

Top up with more water and freeze until solid.

When the fruity ice is frozen, release by running some water over the back of the pan and store in a airtight container in the freezer. If you want to skip all these steps and get straight to the sangria, just use normal ice cubes.

When you are ready to serve, peel and slice your dragon fruit and cut it into pieces about the size of your raspberries and blueberries. Wash the berries and drain well.

In a pitcher, combine your wine, vodka and Grand Marnier.

Add your fruity ice (or just some normal ice) and then top up with the lemon-lime soda.

Add in more raspberries, blueberries and some of the cut dragon fruit. Put some berries and dragon fruit and ice in each glass and fill up with sangria.


And make sure to check out all the other great red, white and/or blue recipes we have for you today.

Food Using One Color

Red Food

White Food
Blue Food

Food Using Two Colors

Red and White Food

Blue and White Food

Red, White and Blue Food

Sangria outside on our new-to-us outdoor sofa set.  Doesn't it look refreshing!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Irish Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail #BloggerCLUE

Muddled blackberries release their precious juice to mix with Irish whisky, sherry and simple syrup over crushed ice for a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for Happy Hour. 

This month’s BloggerCLUE is berries and the blog I am supposed to be poking around in, looking for berry recipes is none other than girlichef, written by my friend, Heather, fellow lover of garlic and margaritas. You might remember our celebrations of National Garlic Day 2014 and 2015 and this year’s National Margarita Day. Good times!

Anyhoo, I searched through Heather’s blog and found myriad recipes with berries like her tasty Chicken Strawberry Tarragon Salad or her creamy Mixed Berry Gelato and her sweet Rosewater Raspberry Meringues, just to mention three. There were just so many too choose from!

But the title that really caught my eye was the Irish Cobbler. The name conjured up a big pan of juicy berries topped with a batter or biscuit crust, so you can imagine my surprise when I clicked on the link and discovered it was a cocktail! Well, we love a good cocktail and it’s great to get out of the rut of always mixing and drinking the same old thing so I abandoned all thoughts of ice cream and salad and baked desserts for Happy Hour.

Make sure you scroll down past the Irish Cobbler to see what other special berry recipes my fellow BloggerCLUE members have found on their assigned blogs this month!

Ingredients for two cocktails
16 ripe blackberries
3 oz or 90ml Irish whiskey
3 oz or 90ml simple syrup (I used simple syrup made from demerara sugar.)
1 oz or 30ml cream sherry (Heather says: optional. I put it in. Hey, go big or go home.)
Ground cinnamon (Heather used nutmeg. You can choose.)
Crushed ice for two glasses
2-3 ice cubes

Divide the blackberries between two short cocktail glasses and muddle until you have a lovely mush of blackberries and juice at the bottom. Heather said to leave some chunks, which I duly did but that did make the drink harder to sup through a straw.

Add crushed ice to fill both glasses, right on top of the muddled berries.

In a cocktail shaker, over a couple of ice cubes, vigorously shake the whiskey, simple syrup, cream sherry (if using), and a good pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Pour over the crushed ice in your glasses.

Stir well to mix the muddled berries throughout the cocktails and finish with another pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.


Have you been hunting for berrilious recipes too? You are in the right place then! Here's a list of the other BloggerCLUE participants this month.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Paloma Naranjada Cocktail #BloggerCLUE

This refreshing cocktail is made with sparkling orange soda, tequila and fresh lime juice, served over ice. Add a rim of salt crystals and an extra slice of lime and it’s party time. 

It’s funny what you find out you have in common with folks when you just meet them through the internet – and no, I’m not talking about the dating sites – but through blogging and social networking. If you’ve been reading this space for a while, you know that my friend, Heather, of girlichef is fond of garlic. I mean, really, really fond of garlic. We cohosted the National Garlic Day celebration last year and gave away a few sweet (and smelly) prizes. We have bonded over raising multicultural children as well, discussing the challenges we face trying to make sure that they know where they come from, on both sides of the family. And, we love cocktails! When she posted this Paloma Cocktail,  I was determined to make it because I love grapefruit but I struggled to find grapefruit soda. I finally decided that for Blogger C.L.U.E. this month, I was going to use orange soda and drink these babies as I watched the glamorous folks saunter down the red carpet at the Grammys. So I did. You should make them for Oscar Night! Or because it’s Wednesday.

2 oz or 60ml tequila
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
6 oz or 180ml real juice orange soda (I used San Pellegrino Aranciata.)

Optional: For the rim and garnish
Coarse salt
Slice of lime or wedge

Wet the rim of the glass with lime juice and press it into some coarse salt spread on a small saucer then fill your glass with ice.

Mix tequila and lime juice together and pour into the glass.

Top off with orange soda.

Garnish with a slice or wedge of lime.


Check out all the other Blogger C.LU.E. participants this month!

If you'd like to stalk - I meant meet -  Heather on the internet too, check out these links:

Facebook    Twitter   Instagram   Pinterest

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Strawberry Champagne Cocktail #BloggerCLUE

This twist on the classic peach Bellini uses strawberry simple syrup and strawberry puree to create a deliciously fresh Champagne cocktail, perfect for any celebration.

This month for Blogger C.L.U.E., my assigned blog is one that I am very familiar with and love. It is written by one of the most popular ladies on the interwebs because she is sweet, friendly, kind to a fault and makes the most sensational recipes. Despite all the deliciousness that comes out of her kitchen, she stays remarkably slim. Yep, my blog this month is That Skinny Chick Can Bake, written by my sweetheart of a friend, Liz.

Skinny Chick

Our theme is sparkles, so despite all the great recipes with shiny things, like her beautiful vanilla cupcakes sprinkled with silver balls or the glistening sheen of barbecue sauce on her Asian Baby Back Ribs, I had to go with the Strawberry Bellini Cocktail. Any excuse to open a bottle of bubbly, right?

Liz had been sent some simple syrups to use in cocktails when she made this originally and they looked great, but unfortunately I didn’t have any, so I made my own strawberry simple syrup from this recipe online, halving the ingredients. It was super easy and still made plenty! Or head on over to Liz’s post and check out the syrup she used. Also, Liz says this makes only two drinks but we had plenty enough strawberry puree for four or five drinks. That is to say, we drank the whole bottle of Champagne. Hey, we didn’t want it to get flat and go to waste, right?

7 oz or 200g ripe strawberries, stems removed (plus a few for garnish)
2 tablespoons strawberry simple syrup

Puree the strawberries in a blender with the simple syrup. Strain mixture. (I forgot this step so we were left with tiny little strawberries seeds at the bottom of our glasses. Not a big deal though.)

Put a couple tablespoons of puree in each glass.

Just look at that gorgeous red color!

Pour in some Champagne. It will bubble up so just wait till the bubbles subside and pour in a little more.

Stir to combine.

And then top up with more Champagne. Make sure to garnish each glass with a strawberry.

      CLUE logo
This Month’s Blogger CLUE Participants are

Find That Skinny Chick Can Bake online:


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Watermelon Jalapeño Cocktail

Fresh sweet watermelon chunks blended with ice and the double kick of jalapeño and tequila make a refreshing summer drink that will heat you up and cool you down.

Today I am pleased to share a refreshing concoction I make with sweet Texas watermelons and farm fresh jalapeños for our watermelon Foodie Extravaganza event.

Growing up in the South, I learned to put salt on my watermelon and eat it with a sharp knife straight out of the rind. The salt brings out the sweetness in the watermelon somehow so I’ve also added a little bit to this summer drink. It’s hot, cold, sweet and salty, in the best possible way. Hope you find it as refreshing as we do!

Ingredients for one 1 1/2-quart or almost 1 1/2-liter pitcher
1/4 15-pound or 6.8kg sweet summer watermelon (preferably seedless)
1-inch or 2cm fresh jalapeño or to taste
4 oz tequila
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Optional garnish – watermelon wedge, sliced jalapeño and flakey sea salt, if desired, but highly recommended

Cut your watermelon off the rind and into small chunks. (Remove the seeds if you couldn’t find a seedless one.)

Finely mince the piece of jalapeño.

Put the watermelon and jalapeño in the blender. Add the tequila and salt and top with ice.

Blend until smooth and frothy.

Pour into pretty glasses.

Garnish with a watermelon wedge and one thin slice of jalapeño, to alert your guests that this will be spicy.

Add an extra sprinkle of flakey sea salt, if desired.

Put the pitcher in the freezer between servings.  It’s even better when it gets a little frozen.


So refreshing in the summer heat!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Rosemary Nectarine Sparkling Cocktail

Herb-infused simple syrup is an easy way to make a cocktail special, adding flavor and freshness to the original mix in this Rosemary Nectarine Cocktail.

Food Lust People Love: Rosemary simple syrup adds a refreshingly fresh flavor to this  rosemary nectarine sparkling cocktail.

Every summer I go for what I call the Annual Mashing. I lost one precious maternal aunt to breast cancer and my paternal grandmother was a survivor so I know there is potential from both sides. If you are my friend on Facebook, you’ll know that I always post a message when I go, reminding everyone to make an appointment too. If only one person takes heed and gets a mammography in time to catch something before it gets bigger and less treatable, then the message is worth sharing. (In case you weren’t paying attention, here’s my public service announcement: Make your appointment NOW. Your family will thank you.)

One upside of the Annual Mashing is the nice magazines in the waiting room. This year I thumbed through a beautiful issue of Saveur while I waited for my turn and came across an article on a peach farmer in California, complete with recipes using fresh peaches. I couldn’t wait to get home to try the sparkling cocktail. And, after the mammogram, I figured I deserved it!

This week Sunday Supper is sharing picnic food and this lovely cocktail is perfect for serving outdoors. You make up the rosemary simple syrup and nectarine puree and transport them in clean jars in a cooler with the bubbly, mixing each glass as needed. Many thanks to our host Jane from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner and Heather from girlichef for her behind-the-scenes help.

For the simple syrup:
4 sprigs rosemary
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

For the nectarine puree:
2 medium nectarines
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1 bottle (750ml) sparkling wine or Champagne

In a small pot, heat the water, sugar and rosemary sprigs until the sugar completely dissolves and cook for a further few minutes at a low boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely.

Once cool, discard the rosemary sprigs and pour the simple syrup into a clean jar. Yield: about 1 1/4 cups or 300ml of rosemary simple syrup.

To make the nectarine puree, simply cut the nectarines up in chunks.

Mash with a hand blender until smooth. You can peel them if you want to but I like the pink shade that the peels add and don’t mind the little bits of peel in my drink.

Pour the puree into a clean jar and add the lemon juice.  Shake to combine. Yield: Just over 1 cup or 250ml nectarine puree.

To serve the cocktail, add 1-2 tablespoons nectarine puree and 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup to each glass.

Top up with chilled cava, sparkling wine or Champagne.

Food Lust People Love: Rosemary simple syrup adds a refreshingly fresh flavor to this  rosemary nectarine sparkling cocktail.


Are you planning a picnic for Fourth of July or just to celebrate summer? Check out the fabulous list of picnic friendly recipes we are bringing to the Big Virtual Picnic!

Sandwiches and Wraps

Pin this Rosemary Nectarine Sparkling Cocktail!

Food Lust People Love: Rosemary simple syrup adds a refreshingly fresh flavor to this  rosemary nectarine sparkling cocktail.