My husband is not a fan of fish. I’m still baffled by his distaste to this day – I mean, if there was a single food group I couldn’t bear giving up, it would hands down be seafood. So I knew I was onto something good when I recently tried converting him (for the umpteenth time) with an uncomplicated yet impressive branzino recipe, stuffed with lemon and thyme and baked in a crust of salt. He loved it. Score! The pure simplicity of this recipe brings out the delicate, fresh flavor of this European sea bass. And the method of baking it in a salt crust seals in the juices infusing just a hint of saltiness. Yum.
Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year since we launched HonestlyYUM. Seriously, it feels like just last weekend we were all gathered around the table for brunch. There were popovers and pom poms, and plenty of bloody marys to go around. Of course, I’ve enjoyed all the food (thank you Karen) and the cocktails, but I’m not gonna lie, what I’ve enjoyed most of all is you! That’s right . . . thank you so much for all your support this past year. For the lovely comments; for the tweets, pins, and other kind words; for taking the time to make the recipes, and for sharing them with your friends and family. Honestly, that’s what it’s all about.
Goodbye winter, it’s been real. I hate to say you didn’t try, but those two days of rain a couple weeks ago really didn’t fool anyone. Maybe next year you can go easy on all the polar vortexes (vortices?) back east, and show us a little California love. In the meantime, I suppose I’ll keep mixing up cool, refreshing drinks. Sound good? Good. That being said, while the Ancho Reyes was fun to sip on its own, I knew it would shine in a cocktail. I kept it chill and made a simple highball. The Ancho Reyes and the Jarritos are both sweet, but are balanced by the heat of the ancho and the pop of fresh lime. And just like a California winter, these will disappear quickly. Almost as if they never existed . . .
If you’re like me, you sometimes find yourselves hypnotically wandering the aisles of your local liquor store. But then again, you’re probably not like me. Occasionally, these boozy adventures end up being quite productive. For example, the day I stumbled upon Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur. As you know, I’m a huge fan of chiles, so I had to give it a try. As it turns out, the label isn’t the only thing that packs a punch. Two words: sweet heat. But just like an ancho chile, the flavors are spicy but also complex. When sipping neat, cinnamon and tamarind are prevalent as well as notes of the raw pepper. The sweetness is reminiscent of honey, and is balanced nicely by the heat. I enjoyed it even more when I popped in a large ice cube for a little chill factor. But what I’m most excited about is its potential as a cocktail ingredient. Stay tuned . . .
Saint Patrick’s Day would not be complete at my house without a little Irish whiskey. And by a little, I mean a lot. In preparation for this year’s holiday, I decided to combine three of my favorite guilty pleasures: ice cream, coffee, and alcohol. That’s right, a boozy affogato! Whether you prefer Jameson or Bushmills (why not use them both) I promise this will become a new St. Patty’s Day tradition. Oh, and a word of advice . . . best if not eaten right before bed. I learned that one the hard way. Sláinte!