By now you’re probably sick of hearing me boast about how magical shrubs are. I apologize, it’s just that when I start talking drinks I tend to go a bit overboard. Guilty as charged. While I won’t go into all the reasons why I’m in love with this beautiful elixir (we’d be here all day) I would like to highlight just one: cocktails. Shrubs are the perfect cocktail ingredient – sweet, tart, bold, delicate, complex, fruity . . . ok, ok, you get the idea. They’re just begging to be stirred and strained. Today I mixed you up something special to put that apple shrub to good use. The acid in the shrub plays nicely off the sweetest of the applejack and the nocino, not to mention keeps you coming back for more. And we both know there’s nothing wrong with that!
Autumn has arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited. Like many food and drink bloggers, my enthusiasm for the seasons often revolves around the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies. In the case of fall it’s apples . . . always apples. Apple pie, apple slaw, apple cider, and of course this apple shrub!! This stuff is magical I tell you. I can’t wait to use it in a cocktail!!
You’re welcome to use your favorite type of apple for this recipe. Just keep in mind that the sweetness of apples can vary quite a bit. I chose fuji, as I feel they are fairly balanced between tart and sweet. The standard shrub ratio is equal parts fruit, sugar, and vinegar. However, if you happen to choose a sweet variety of apple, maybe try cutting back the sugar a bit. Likewise, if your apples are extra tart, try increasing the sugar. As I always say, feel free to adjust your to suit your taste.
To say that I’m jealous of Erica and Karen’s adventures in Spain would be an understatement. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a well deserved trip, after months of studying for the Bar exam. And while I’ve never studied for the Bar, I’ve studied in several bars in my life. Just sayin’ . . . Anyway, I suppose if I’m not off with the ladies in Spain the least I can do is fake it, right? I present to you the kalimotxo, aka, red wine and coke. Hey, don’t knock it ’til you rock it! This curious combo is a Spanish staple, and frankly just what I look for in a drink: namely, simple and delicious. Plus, it’s got sort of a Dr. Pepper thing going on – nothing wrong with that. Give it a go, and tell me what you think!!
Add equal parts red wine and coke into a glass full of ice and serve. Don’t forget the tapas!
There are the kinds of places you travel to that turn out to be better than you could expect just from reading about the place. Seville is one of those cities for me. It’s everything people say it is: a charming city with narrow cobblestone streets and a unique mixture of medieval and Moorish architecture and an intense passion for Andalusian culture. But after spending a few days in Seville, I can see why people fall in love with this city and why you just have to experience it for yourself. Sure, I may have fallen for the sorta touristy horse-drawn carriages and the orange-tree shaded sidewalk cafes, but the fall was good. Seville charmed the pants off of me and fed me some of the best food I’ve had in Spain– a winning combination in my book.
Traveling to Spain has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember. So many opportunities came and went through high school and college to study abroad, but I never went. Now, I’m finally in Spain! My trip started in Barcelona and before I left for my vacation I spent many hours researching the best things to eat in the city. My conclusion? Barcelona has far too many good eats to squeeze into four days. So with not a minute wasted, not a meal squandered, I took to the city and tried to fit in as many tapas and glasses of cava as possible!
This week has been an exploration of saffron, hands-down my favorite spice. It’s application in food will take you all over the world and if you’ve never used the spice before, I hope you give it a shot!
What is saffron?
Saffron is a spice but unlike many spices that are derived from seeds, roots or bark, saffron is the red-orange stigma of a flower called the saffron crocus. The stigma are then dried and are either crushed into powder form or left in strands. Saffron is used all over the world from Morocco to Iran to India to Spain and even to Sweden!
Why is it so damn expensive?!
Each strand of saffron is handpicked from the saffron crocus, which makes this a labor intensive spice to source. It can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 a pound, and it takes 150 flowers to yield one gram of saffron. However, just a little goes a long way, so don’t let that the price scare you away from giving it a try. READ MORE