We’ve hit a mini heat wave here in the Bay Area the last few days, and by heat wave I mean low 70’s. I know what you’re thinking . . . hardly a heat wave, try 90 degress + humidity. But hey, it still feels like summer to me! In celebration of another successful rhubarb season slowly coming to a close, I wanted to round-up some of my favorites of the year.
After several visits to London, spending afternoons at high tea remain some of my favorite memories. There’s something so comforting about sitting down for several hours to enjoy tea, sandwiches, sweets and conversations. It’s exciting to see that nowadays you don’t have to go across the pond to enjoy a proper English tea – and after this week, I hope that we’ve inspired you to recreate the same experience at home! Just don’t forget these few essentials . . .
When it comes to cocktails, it doesn’t get more British than a Pimm’s Cup. This classic liqueur-based cocktail is built to cool you down on a scorching summer day. Perhaps, while your watching a few rounds of Wimbledon, or even celebrating the Queen’s birthday. Me? I enjoyed a few while tossing my dog Grizzly the tennis ball. Talk about working up a sweat! A few sips revealed subtle herbal and vegetal notes, followed swiftly by spikes of lemon and ginger. Traditionally the Pimm’s Cup gets a cucumber garnish. I opted to spin a ribbon of cucumber around the inside of the glass, as well as adding a little cucumber syrup into the mix. Trust me, try it once and you’ll be craving them as much as Grizzly craves his tennis ball.
A refreshing cocktail with subtle herbal and vegetal notes from the Pimm's and cucumber syrup, followed swiftly by spikes of lemon and ginger.
Add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and stir on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once dissolved, add cucumber slices, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes to continue to soak. Strain and allow to come to room temperature.
For the cocktail
Prep your glass by making the cucumber ribbon garnish. Use a peeler (or sharp knife) to shave off a long slice of cucumber, at least a couple millimeters thick. Carefully wrap the cucumber slice around the inside of your glass, starting at the bottom and slowly turning the glass as the cucumber slice spirals upward. If it helps, use a spoon to press the cucumber against the inside of the glass, using its own moisture as an adhesive. Cut off any extra cucumber. Note: the slice should not be paper-thin, as it will need to hold firm as you wrap it around the inside of your glass. Cut a thicker slice if needed.
Carefully fill your glass with ice, so as not to disturb the cucumber ribbon.
Add each ingredient to your glass, starting with the ginger ale and finishing with Pimm's No. 1. The Pimm's, being a higher density will slowly sink to the bottom of your glass.
Tea sandwiches have always seemed inexplicably sophisticated to me. All you have to do is just pair a couple ingredients with ordinary white bread and you have delicate finger sandwiches. Instead of using two slices of bread, I decided to leave these sandwiches open-faced, making for an even more beautiful spread. The combination of ingredients are endless, but these are just some of my favorites. Simply use good quality butter and the rest is simple.
1 loaf of sliced white bread
1 english cucumber
several slices of prosciutto
1 bunch of watercress
1/3 cup of mayonnaise
sea or kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
1 stick of good quality salted butter, softened at room temperature
It’s time to celebrate . . . British style! As we approach Saturday’s ceremony of Trooping the Colour, in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday (different from her real birthday) we’ve got a few special treats for you this week from across the pond. Personally, when I think England I think tea. My wife’s family is British, and naturally tea is part of our daily lives. So when I had a chance to pay a visit to Crown & Crumpet Tea Stop Cafe in San Francisco, I didn’t hesitate one second. There’s something special about sitting down for a good cup of tea. Maybe it’s the formality of it all: the tea pot, the cup and saucer, the quaint finger foods and decadent sweets, the vibrant colors and elaborate decor. Crown & Crumpet delivers on all of these aspects and more, like Blue Bottle Coffee and a stunning vintage tea cup clock. I’m also really excited to hear they’re close to finishing a new event space upstairs. Think tea + crafting, oh yeah!!
I’m consistently impressed by how many talented people are out there photographing and writing about food and drinks. Seriously. It’s inspiring to say the least, and it makes Fridays all the more fun for me.
I’ve come across a few different Girl Scout cookie donut recipes – I know, such a good idea, right? However, this recent recipe for Grain Free Samoa Donuts by Jenni Hulet ofTheUrban Poser, guest posting for PaleOMG, is probably the most delectable I’ve seen. That coconut caramel sure looks hard to beat.