Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I'm moving on, I want the world to know, la la la laaa....

My motto right now should be boxes, upon boxes, upon boxes! If you were me right now, sitting here in our TriBeCa apartment, you would look at boxes and more boxes, no matter what direction you would look in.

I like being organized and having every little item in its very own, little place and home. Needless to say that this disaster of an apartment is driving me a tiny bit (A LOT) insane!! So right now, I'm taking a little break from speaking to realtors on the phone, assembling boxes, wrapping things in bubble wrap, stacking more boxes and creating a somewhat organized chaos. Btw - I LOVE popping the bubbles in the bubble wrap. What is it that is so satisfying about popping bubbles?? It makes no sense - but it's completely addicting, isn't it? Anyway, moving on... as I am packing I get an email from a friend asking me for the Julie's Thanksgiving 2010 Cocktail recipe. And a light bulb went off in my head. It suddenly dawned on me! A good old Happy Hour or "Packing Day" cocktail would make this entire process so much more fun :)! Let's be honest here, this cocktail is fantastic ANYTIME, and as far as I'm concerned it doesn't have to be Thanksgiving. It is so refreshing, so delicious, simply tastebud-tantalizing. Heck, if you find yourself packing one day, have this drink and think of me :)! I promise you, packing will be more fun. I still have all the ingredients left over from Thanksgiving; packing-day-cocktail time it is!
All you need is:
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mint
  • Sugar
  • Club Soda or Tonic Water
  • Ginger syrup
  • Your choice of vodka
Here is what you do: In a glass add (2) slices of lemon, (2) slices of limes, a handful of mint leaves and (2) tablespoons of sugar and muddle them together. If you don't have a muddler, just use a spoon, that's what I did. Or anything that you think is good for smushing all the ingredients together (I know I'm getting quite technical here LOL). The sugar will start dissolving during this process. Add (2) shots of your choice of vodka (any citrus vodkas would be delicious too) and some ice cubes and top with club soda or tonic water and finish off with a splash of ginger syrup. Ginger syrup is quite easy to make. Take (1) cup of water, (1) cup of sugar, a few slices of ginger and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Don't bother peeling the ginger. It's only there for flavor and won't end up in the drink anyway. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes and voila, you have ginger syrup. Let it cool completely before you add it to your drink.

Garnish and drink!! Happy Packing-Day or Doing-Laundry-Day or Whatever-you-are-doing-at-the-moment drinking!!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving dinner for 4

Turkey Day this year is going to be a little unusual for us. Normally we would fly to Hilton Head and Pappa Dukes would make his fabulous turkey on the grill. We would then sit down, say grace and have a feast, with all the Thanksgiving trimmings, with SB's family and his extended family.

We would then probably pass out in a food coma to only wake up to go back for seconds or thirds (but who's counting). Well, this year around, things are a little different. With our pending move to the Windy City and all that goes along with an out of state move, time is of the essence. As sad as it is, we won't be able to make it to see SB's family :(. Fortunately, my brother and his lovely wife are driving down from Boston to spend their holiday with us. Therefore, this year around, I will be cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Now, if I were cooking dinner for a large group of people, I would definitely go with turkey because - well - it's Turkey Day, right? In this case however, since it's only going to be the four of us I feel like making a big ole turkey is just a huge undertaking. Having said that, I still want it to feel like Thanksgiving and I don't want to go without all the traditional trimmings. So I asked myself what would feel festive and go well with the cranberry sauce, the apple compote and all of the other lovelies. I concluded: pork roast!

Julie's Meltingpot Thanksgiving Menu 2010

Boneless Pork Loin Roast
marinated in a garlic, olive oil, lemon, thyme, sage mixture; wrapped in bacon

Julie's Garlic Mashed Potatoes
with cream and butter

Julie's Stuffing
with apple, bacon, celery, carrots and a hint of maple syrup

Julie's Cranberry Sauce
with orange juice, maple syrup and lemon zest

Julie's Apple Compote
with caramelized onions and a touch of maple syrup

Oven Roasted Vegetables
Carrots, fennel, onion and garlic

Green Bean Casserole
prepared by E.S.

Golden-Crusted Brussels Sprouts
prepared by E.S.

Julie's Homemade Sweet Rolls

For Dessert:

Julie's Tart Apple Pie
served with homemade whipped cream

Bourbon Orange Pecan Pie
prepared by E.S.

Julie's Thanksgiving 2010 cocktail
muddled lemon, lime, mint, with sugar; topped with Grey Goose vodka, club soda (or Tonic) and homemade ginger syrup

On a concluding note, I wanted to say Thank you to my wonderful boyfriend SB. You are the love of my life, my best friend, and my rock and I am deeply thankful that life has brought us together because I simply could not imagine it without you in it. Thank you to my mother, without whom I would be nothing and have nothing. Thank you for your love and all the sacrifices you have made (and there are many) to give me a chance at a wonderful life. Thank you to SB's parents for your unconditional, unwavering love and support. Thank you to the rest of our families, extended families and friends for always being there for us. Lastly but not least, I give Thanks to all of you, my readers who keep coming back and supporting my blog. It truly means the world to me. I hope that all of you have a spectacular Thanksgiving with your families and all your loved ones.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Eating!!

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