Tag Archives: lime

Bar Stool Fridays – Mango Citrus Cooler

So, if you caught my post yesterday, you probably understand why I’m avoiding alcohol.  So for the next few weeks, things will probably look different here on Fridays.

That doesn’t mean I don’t still want to enjoy happy hour on Fridays, though.  I can still pull out my cocktail shaker and mix up some drinks for me and the teetotalers I know.  That way we don’t feel like we are missing out on all the fun.  And, if I can get an infusion of Vitamin C, all the better.

Mango Citrus Cooler
Makes 1 drink

5 ounces mango nectar
2 1/2 ounces orange juice
1 Tbsp lime juice
club soda
orange wedge for garnish, optional
lime wedge for garnish, optional

In an ice-filled shaker, combine mango nectar, orange juice, and lime juice.  Shake well.  Strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.  Top off with club soda.  Garnish with citrus fruit.

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Game Day Eats – Chile Lime Peanuts

When my friends and I watch sports we drink beer.  And when we drink beer we like to snack.  And when we snack we crave spicy, crunchy, and salty.

So what do I do about that craving?  Why, I make chile lime peanuts.  And, you can, too.  Have this simple snack ready for your guests by the time they hit your couch or tailgate.

Chile Lime Peanuts
Makes 2 cups

2 cups raw peanuts (skins are okay)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp lime juice (bottled okay)
1 – 3 tsp hot pepper sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir to combine peanuts, olive oil, salt, and sugar and coat evenly.

Scrape mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Roast nuts until fragrant and they begin to darken.

It took me about 25 minutes on a dark-colored baking sheet.  Open the oven and stir every 7 or 8 minutes.  Keep in mind they will still cook a bit once out of the oven.

When done, transfer the nuts back to a bowl.  Add lime juice, hot pepper sauce, and cayenne, stirring to coat evenly.

If you’ve added the maximum amount of hot sauce, I recommend you scrape the nuts back onto the baking sheet so they crisp up and don’t get soggy.

Cool nuts completely before serving.  You can make them  up to a week ahead, just store them in an airtight container.

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Filed under Snacks, Vegetarian

A Cocktail on Whole Wheat Toast

I recently went blackberry picking with friends.  This year did not seem to be a good one for the berries.  They were small and unusually tart.

I was disappointed by the slim pickings, but I still had fun.  I think my friend Jamie had a good time, too.

While I did not bring home a bonanza of sweet berries, I knew they would be great in jam and baked goods.  Last summer I brought in a big haul of blackberries.  My husband and I enjoyed them many ways, including in two luscious cocktails.  When making the drinks again this year, I realized how much I enjoy the flavors of blackberry and gin together.  And then I thought, why not add some gin to my batch of blackberry jam?

Rolling down the street, smokin’ indo, sippin’ on gin and juice
Laid back with my mind on my money and my money on my mind.” 

Let me tell you – this jam is smashing.  Note that I didn’t say it made me smashed.  It was just wonderful on a slice of whole wheat toast…tart blackberries with a hint of herbal, bitter juniper balanced with the sweet of the sugar.   And, I didn’t even get tipsy at the breakfast table.

PS – Humming Snoop Dogg may help as you prepare your jam, but it is not necessary for its success.

Blackberry & Gin Jam
Makes about four 1/2 pint jars

4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
3 Tbsp gin (I used Tanqueray)

Add blackberries and sugar to a large non reactive pot.  Turn the burner on medium heat.  Lightly mash the berries as they cook, I used a potato masher, but a wooden spoon will work.  Stir occasionally.

Turn up to medium high and stir.  Continue stirring as the mixture bubbles and thickens.  Add gin and lime juice.  Take care that the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.  After about 25 minutes of bubbling and cooking, your jam is likely ready.  If you don’t trust your eyes, you can use the freezer test as I describe in my strawberry jam recipe or you can use a candy thermometer to measure when the mixture reaches about 225 degrees F.

Once you are happy with the consistency, turn off the heat and ladle the jam into sterilized jars and seal.  Process in a water-bath for about 10 minutes.  Listen for the pings as the jars cool.  Now, enjoy.


Filed under Preserving

Bar Stool Fridays – Herbal Limeade

This post is due to the influence of two remarkable women in my life.  One, is my sister-in-law Sarah, who gently and without prejudice, pointed out to me that not all of my readers enjoy alcohol quite as much as I apparently do.  Point taken and appreciated, thank you.

The other is my amazing friend Wendy who is one of my biggest champions and always pushes me to be more creative.  Wendy has decided to start presenting me with random ingredients and in Iron Chef style makes firm suggestions of what kind of dish I should make.  In this first example she offered me freshly picked Thai basil and demanded, I mean requested, I make a drink with it.

Okay, ladies, I hope you like the results.  This post is for you.  Thanks for the ongoing support.

Thai Basil and Mint Limeade
Makes about 24 oz

1/2 cup basil and mint infused simple syrup
zest of 1 lime
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 cups water or club soda
Thai basil sprigs for garnish

To make herbal infused simple syrup, combine equal parts of water and granulated sugar in a saucepan.  Heat on stovetop and stir until sugar dissolves.  Turn off heat and drop in sprigs of Thai basil and mint (about 1 to 2 oz) into the hot syrup.

Let the herbs steep until the syrup has cooled to room temperature.  Remove herbs.  Add lime zest.

Measure and pour syrup into pitcher.  Add an equal amount of fresh lime juice, and stir.  If you like it a little sweeter, add only half the amount of lime juice.

Now add water or club soda.  I added twice as much water as juice and syrup, but you may prefer a slightly weaker taste and may want to add more water.

Serve over ice with a sprig of Thai basil or mint for garnish.


Filed under Cocktails

Bar Stool Fridays – Infused Vodkas

I think most commercially flavored vodka tastes like chemicals.  I don’t like it at all.  I do like the concept, however.

So I decided we should just make our own flavored vodka by infusing it with fresh fruit.  We made two different batches – one with lemons and limes and the other with fresh pineapple.  They both turned out beautifully and couldn’t be easier.

You just need fresh fruit, vegetables, or herbs, vodka, a glass container, and time.  You may be tempted to use cheap vodka, but don’t – you’ll be disappointed.  Use a vodka that you don’t mind drinking.  You can also use another kind of spirit, too – be creative.

Lemon Lime Vodka
Makes one 750-mL bottle

3 – 5 limes, thinly sliced
3 – 5 lemons, thinly sliced
1 bottle vodka (750 mL)

Layer the citrus fruit along the bottom of a large glass container.

Pour in vodka.

Cover and store in a cool dark place for 4 to 6 weeks.  Take a sample taste after a month and then try the spirit once a week until it reaches the appropriate flavor.

The citrus oils can be very strong tasting.  You may want to filter the vodka when you bottle it.

Discard the used fruit – all the flavor has been steeped out by the vodka.

My brother and his friend enjoyed this vodka so much on ice that they drank it before I had time to make a cocktail with it.

Pineapple Vodka
Makes one 750 mL bottle

1/2 to whole fresh pineapple
1 bottle vodka (750 mL)

Peel and dice the pineapple.  You can use one-half to a whole pineapple.

Arrange in the bottom of a glass container.

Pour vodka on top.

Cover and store in a cool dark place for 4 to 6 weeks.  Take a sample taste after a month and then try the spirit once a week until it reaches the appropriate flavor.

Once you are ready to bottle, discard the used fruit.

New Orleans is hosting Tales of the Cocktail festival this weekend.  I wish I was there.  Instead, I made a cocktail like something I might sip there.

Tales of the Pineapple
Makes 1 drink

2 oz pineapple vodka
2 oz spiced rum
2 oz pineapple juice
2 oz mango nectar or juice
2 oz orange juice

Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker.  Shake well.

Serve over crushed ice with a pineapple slice garnish.  Goes well with sunshine and good company.

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