Books and Cooks

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Sunday Supper Movement

Drinks

Chambord was the first high quality liquor that I ever drank. A black raspberry liquor, my mom (yes, I was legal drinking age and yes, I was a good girl) introduced it to me in the form of a Chambord Sour. The sweet-sour drink worked for my young palate, but as I got older and was introduced to a much larger variety of good quality liquors (not the junk we drank in college), I grew to appreciate a nice glass of Chambord on the rocks.

I’ve always loved the liquor and am immediately drawn to drinks that feature it when we’re out to dinner. So when this week’s #SundaySupper theme was announced as Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer, I immediately knew that I wanted to make a cocktail with Chambord as the star.

Sparkling Chambord Sangria

After tossing around a few ideas, I decided upon some sort of Chambord sangria, with a light white wine as a base. At first, I attempted a straight sangria recipe – Chambord, white wine, and a few muddled raspberries. However, I found this far too sweet for me. I envisioned something lighter, which I planned to solve with the addition of tonic or soda water. I went with the former, which mellowed out the flavor nicely. I was apparently on the right track with the recipe I’ve presented below, as just a day or two after making it, my Pinterest feed was filled with Chambord recipes, one very similar to the below, the Chambord Spritz.

Sparkling Chambord Sangria
By Books n’ Cooks
Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Chambord black raspberry liquor
  • 4 oz. white wine (I used pinot grigio but a chardonnay would work well as well)
  • tonic water
  • fresh raspberries

In a cocktail glass filled halfway with ice, add 1 oz. Chambord followed by 4 oz. white wine. Top with tonic water and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Serve immediately.

Thanks to Christie at A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures for hosting this event. Be sure to check out the recipes below for more refreshing summer cocktails and mocktails! 

Classics with a Twist

Make Mine a Mocktail

Simply Different

Tasty and Tropical

Very Vino

For even more inspiration check out these Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer by Sunday Supper Movement
Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Sweet and tangy pomegranate combines with bright grapefruit to make a refreshing summer cocktail that is just slightly sweet.

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

By now, you must be realizing that there’s a foodie holiday for everything. Last week’s National Iced Tea Day, National Doughnut Day earlier this month… These holidays are a lot of fun for bloggers who use them as inspiration for their blog and social media posts. After all, who wouldn’t love to drool over the over the top recipes that come out for National Ice Cream Day?

Welcome to #NationalMartiniDay!

Whether you enjoy your martini with vodka or gin, shaken or stirred, we’ve got some libations for your happy hour.

This is one foodie holiday I couldn’t wait to celebrate. While I’m usually a wine drinker, I increasingly enjoy experimenting with new cocktails when we go out for dinner or at home in my own kitchen. This foodie holiday was perfectly timed this year, as I had recently had a wonderful cocktail at a local restaurant, The Wine Kitchen on the Creek, that I was anxious to recreate. You see, they had a spin on the classic cosmo – one of my go-to cocktails of cranberry juice, vodka, orange liquor, and a splash of lime – that featured pomegranate juice and grapefruit juice instead of the cranberry and lime. So good!

My recreation took me a few times to get right. It needed to be a little bit sweet but not overpowering. Take 1 was definitely too sweet. Take 2 was better but still not the perfect balance of flavors. Take 3 was it. I made sure by having two cocktails. The things I do for you… 😉

Cheers to the start of a good week!

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

Pomegranate Grapefruit Vodka Martini

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 oz. good-quality vodka
  • 1/2 oz. Cointreau
  • 1 3/4 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 1/2 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
  • grapefruit wedge and/or pomegranate arils for garnish

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add vodka, Cointreau, pomegranate juice, and grapefruit juice. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds. Pour into a martini glass and serve immediately.

Save

Save

Save

Check out the collection of martinis that our bloggers have created for you!

And big thanks to Ellen at Family Around the Table for hosting this one!

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Disclaimer: Thank you to our #IcedTeaDay Sponsor: Adagio Tea for providing the prizes free of charge. This company also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #IcedTeaDay. All opinions are my own.

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

It’s #IcedTeaDay! Are you ready for some fun?

Welcome to #IcedTeaDay hosted by Sue from PalatablePastime. We are so excited to have you join us as we cool off with drinks and treats made with Adagio Tea. Thank you so much, Adagio Teas, for generously supplying the bloggers with product for development and providing a prize package for our readers! We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!

Adagio Tea

Bloggers are hanging together today to share their favorite iced tea recipes using gourmet teas. In addition to the giveaway below, you can also find a collection of recipes that bloggers have created using Adagio Teas, inspired by Iced Tea Day. There are some great recipes for cold beverages and even a popsicle recipes, so be sure to check it out!

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

I am a long-time hot tea drinker and usually have a couple of cups a day. But I have never been one to drink a lot of iced tea. I’ll drink the occasional glass of unsweetened iced tea, but by comparison to my sweet-tea-loving hubby, I drink very little. Iced Tea Day was a fun experiment, and I completely loved the results.

I knew pretty quickly that I wanted to create an iced tea with a black tea. The Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea, a black tea that is much lighter in flavor than my favored Earl Grey, was the perfect pick. It has subtle floral white grape notes, making it just sightly sweet. As a hot tea, I enjoyed it on its own, or with a touch of orange blossom honey (also available from Adagio – I might have gone a little nuts shopping!). As an iced tea, it’s light floral notes paired with a touch of a strawberry basil simple syrup were right up my alley. The Darjeeling Sungma Summer Tea was killer with a couple teaspoons of the simple syrup – just enough to add a sweet berry flavor. I loved this so much that I was seriously thinking about running back to the grocery store for more strawberries to make another big pitcher of this tea and more simple syrup. I couldn’t get enough of it.

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

As promised – some more great #IcedTeaDay recipes created for you using Adagio Teas:

And now for my own recipe…

Strawberry Basil Darjeeling Iced Tea

By Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients for the Iced Tea:

  • 8 c. water
  • a heaping 1/4 c. Darjeeling Sungma Summer tea from Adagio Teas

Ingredients for the Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
  • 12-15 large basil leaves, roughly torn

Optional Garnish:

  • sliced strawberries
  • fresh basil

Make the Iced Tea: Add water to a large pot. Add tea – either loose or within a paper tea filter. Bring to a boil. Turn off and allow to steep at least 10 minutes, or until cool enough to transfer to a pitcher. When cool enough to handle, remove tea filter (or strain over a fine mesh sieve or through cheesecloth, if you used loose tea) and transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until real to server.

Make the Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup: In a small pot set over medium-low heat, combine all ingredients. Bring to a rolling boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off and allow to cool.

Strain out solids with a fine mesh sieve. Discard solids. Transfer syrup to an airtight glass jar and store in the refrigerator.

To Make Tea: Fill a glass halfway with ice. Add iced tea and desired amount of simple syrup, to taste. (I use 2 teaspoons – from my everyday silverware – for a 16 oz. glass.) Stir and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes:

  • I like to make the iced tea and flavored simple syrup and keep the two separate. This allows everyone to mix up their own flavored iced tea, adding more or less per their preference.
  • Simple Syrup will keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight jar in the fridge.

Save

Adagio Teas is giving away a gourmet teas gift pack (valued at $92)

Prize Package

Enter the Contest~Giveaway

Giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Winner will be announced and the prize package sent after the giveaway ends on June 16, 2017. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Save

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This post was created for entry into a Food and Wine Conference contest sponsored by Wish Farms. I received no compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

The sun is shining, the weather is beautiful, and I’m dying to get out of the office and onto vacation. Our summer vacation isn’t for months, but I have a mini getaway planned, and the date is in sight…

I’m super excited to be attending this year’s Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, FL, especially after seeing all of the amazing food photos from previous years. But it’s more than just the food that I’m excited about. The 3-day conference begins on May 19th and brings together bloggers, small business owners, winemakers, chefs, public relations professionals, both new and traditional media, authors and brands. So many opportunities to mix and mingle with such an awesome set of foodies! In particular, I’m looking forward to learning more about social media and the business end of blogging… what I need to take Books n’ Cooks to the next level (besides more time, that is!). Be sure to check out their website for more information on the conference, the schedule, and the sponsors, as there’s still time to register.

This recipe was created for Wish Farm’s Craft Your Favorite Cocktail/Mocktail contest, open to all attendees at this year’s Food and Wine Conference. The challenge is to create a cocktail or mocktail using Wish Farm berries, one of the sponsors of the conference. For me, creating the cocktail wasn’t the challenge – it was creating the cocktail before someone (in this case, my children) ate the berries.

When I learned about the contest, I immediately knew I wanted to create a cocktail around some sort of roasted berry. If you’ve never had roasted berries before, try them. Roasting the berries bring out even more of the natural sweetness of the berries. The roasted berries give the classic gin and tonic a bit more sweetness than is traditionally in the drink, making it a bit difficult to stop at just one. 🙂

Roasted Berry G&T

By Books n’ Cooks

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. Wish Farms blueberries, rinsed
  • 1/2 c. Wish Farms strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
  • 1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 6 oz. gin
  • 24 oz. cold tonic water
  • ice
  • additional berries for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roast the Berries: Place berries in a small oven-safe dish. Sprinkle with sugar and salt. Stir, and then spread into a single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until berries are roasted and fragrant. Blueberries have likely burst and strawberries are softened. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Puree the berries when cool enough to handle. From here, you can refrigerate the puree until ready to serve. If you prefer a smoother drink, strain puree with a fine mesh sieve, discarding large pieces of fruit and refrigerating puree. (I enjoy the pieces of fruit, so I do not strain the puree.)

Assemble the Cocktails: In a rocks glass or an old-fashioned glass, place 1 heaping Tbs. of roasted berry puree. Add 1 oz. of gin. Stir briefly. Add a couple of ice cubes. Top with tonic water, about 4 oz. per glass. Stir gently.

Garnish with fresh berries, either on mini skewers or fancy toothpicks, or on the rim on the glass.

Serve cold.

Make Ahead Notes: The roasted berries can be made ahead, pureed, and kept in the fridge until serving. Roasted berry puree will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What better way to end a week of #MexicanRecipes than with a margarita?

We don’t make margaritas often but when we do, we prefer them homemade. And I’m not going to lie, this margarita is probably the best we’ve made in a long time. It has the perfect balance of sweetness from the blackberries and tartness from the lime juice. I used a traditional salt rim, but you can certainly use sugar if you prefer. All in all, my hubby, our guests, and I all agreed – this margarita was simply perfection.

Blackberry Margaritas

Rewritten but not really adapted from Cooking Light, June 2011

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. 100% agave blanco tequila
  • 3/4 c. Grand Marnier
  • 2/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • 12 oz. fresh blackberries
  • 1 lime (for coating the rim and for garnish)
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt (for coating the rim)

Make the Simple Syrup: In a microwave-safe bowl, heat water and sugar for 2 1/2 minutes. Stir, ensuring all of the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Prep the Glasses: While syrup cools, prep 6-8 cocktail glasses. Spread salt evenly on a plate. Cut lime into 7-9 wedges or rounds – the number of glasses + 1. Use one wedge to rub the rims of glasses. Set remaining lime wedges/rounds aside. Dip glass rims into salt. Fill glasses halfway with ice and set aside.

Make the Cocktail: Add syrup, tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and blackberries to a blender. Process until smooth. Strain through a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a pitcher. Discard solids.

Pour margaritas into prepared glasses and garnish with a lime wedge.

Serve immediately.

#MexicanRecipes
Happy #MexicanRecipes
Let’s have a fiesta of Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes all week long!

Check back each and every day for new recipes by following along with the hashtag #MexicanRecipes on social media.

Are you a food blogger interested in posting within our blogging community? Find out more by joining us online: Holiday Fun with Our Blog Friends.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Wow. Ok. So February was a bit more hectic than I had guessed. Not only was work busy and we had family visiting, but most of our household was sick at least one, if not twice, during the month.

Things are starting to settle down now. The house is almost put back together after visitors, birthday presents for Miss. Hazelnut, and a number of sick day sick days stuck in the house. The end to my big project at work is in sight, so hopefully no more long days and weekends in the office. I’m looking forward to being able to enjoy the nice weather with the kiddos, get back in the kitchen, and resume blogging and crafting.

This past weekend, I savored an hour to myself. After working all morning, the naptime hour was glorious. I made myself a cocktail – a glass of this Blood Orange-Sage Vodka Soda – which I photographed just for you, and enjoyed a whole, uninterrupted hour savoring the cocktail and watching Fixer Upper. It was amazing.

I’ve got one more week to go until my big deadline, and I’m counting down the days until I have free time again. I’ve got a whole list of recipes to make for you, and I’m counting on this weekends to get blogging again. In the meantime, enjoy this very simple cocktail recipe.

I saw this recipe – or a similar version – online a few years ago and have been making it ever since. It’s made with ingredients I always have in the pantry and the freezer. (Tip: If your sage plants grow wild every year, freeze the whole leaves for use later in the year. The frozen leaves work particularly well in this drink.) And I love the use of sage to contrast to the sweet soda. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cheers!

Blood Orange-Sage Vodka Soda

By Books n’ Cooks

Makes 2 drinks

Ingredients:

  • 6 large sage leaves, plus more for garnish (if desired)
  • 4 oz. good-quality vodka
  • 1-12 oz. can Blood Orange San Pellegrino
  • ice

Place 3 sage leaves at the bottom of two old-fashioned glasses. Muddle. Add 2 oz. vodka to each glass. Stir gently and allow to sit for a minute so that the vodka absorbs some of the sage flavor.

Fill each glass halfway with ice and top with San Pellegrino. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf, if desired.

Serve immediately.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A few months ago, my parents came to visit with a gift – a bottle of liqueur in a lovely shade of pink. It was a grapefruit liqueur that they had (on the rocks) at a friend’s house and instantly fell in love with it. They promptly convinced the owner of their local liqueur store to order a case, one bottle of which made it down to my house. My parents raved about how light and sweet the liqueur was, my mom asking me to see if I could find a fun cocktail recipe to try it in. However, their visit passed before we were able to open the bottle.

Fast forward a few months, I decided to crack open the bottle and try it for myself. It was as deliciously light and sweet as my parents said, but I knew immediately that I would enjoy it more as a compliment to something else. Adding just a little bit to Prosecco created a slightly sweet cocktail that was perfect to enjoy with brunch. (Add 1 oz. for just a touch of sweetness, 2 oz. for a sweeter cocktail.)

Easy to make and something so very different than most cocktails that appear on brunch menus, I know that I’ll be serving this cocktail this week, as I entertain a gaggle of out of town relatives for Christmas.

Sparkling Pamplemousse

Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 oz. Pamplemousse grapefruit liquor
  • 3-4 oz. Prosecco
  • Grapefruit wedge or peel for garnish

Add 1-2 oz. Pamplemousse to a champagne flute. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a slice of grapefruit or a grapefruit peel and serve immediately.

More easy recipes to make your holiday entertaining a bit easier. Thanks to Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking for hosting such a fun event, perfect for this time of year!

Appetizers

Beverages

Desserts

Finger Foods

Mains

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One of my favorite things about summer and early fall is all of the fresh produce – from fruits and veggies to fresh herbs, which are so incredibly easy to grown in a little pot on the front stoop or back porch. Last year, my herbs were thriving well into December. I can’t tell you how many times I had to attack the plans to get them back to a more reasonable size, leaving me with loads of fresh herbs to cook with, give away, or save for later. I tend to preserve (usually freeze or dry) a good bit for out of season cooking, but I do enjoy trying new recipes that highlight the fresh ingredients while I have them around. Fresh herbs in light, slightly sweet cocktails has become one of my favorite ways to experiment with fresh herbs.

Hang Thyme

This particular cocktail has been rewritten from the below book, but not really changed. The cocktail has a strong citrus flavor with just a touch of sweetness from the sugar and subtle thyme undertone. It takes just minutes to mix up, and is a cocktail I’ve enjoyed more nights that I should admit.

Hang Thyme

Adapted from Mix Shake Stir (p. 128)

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • ice
  • 5 springs of fresh thyme
  • 2 oz. Citrus-flavored vodka (I use lemon)
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz. sugar

Muddle 4 sprigs of fresh thyme in a cocktail shaker. Top with ice, vodka, lime juice, and sugar. Shake well until combined.

Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with remaining spring of thyme.

Serve immediately.

Save

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

For me, summer time is all about fresh fruit, cool beverages, and as much relaxation as possible. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve really been enjoying making cocktails this summer, instead of my usual glass of wine. I’m enjoying the range of different flavors from bursts of bright fruit flavors to more subdued refreshing beverages.

When Drizly reached out to me to create a recipe on their behalf, I immediately knew I wanted to do a spin on a gin and tonic. For those of you who have never heard of Drizly, the company is an alcohol delivery service operating in roughly two dozen cities throughout the U.S. For a busy, working mama of two, you can imagine how excited I am about the possibility of having one less errand to run. Seriously. Genius idea.

So if you don’t have gin in your house, head over to Drizly now to order up a bottle and mix yourself up a refreshing honey thyme gin and tonic. The sweet honey in this version is balanced by the savory thyme. If you’re worried about it being too sweet, don’t – the honey doesn’t completely dissolve in the room temperature alcohol, so there’s just a touch of sweetness.

What are your favorite gin and tonic variations?

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic with Drizly

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

By Books n’ Cooks

Ingredients:

  • ice
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, divided
  • 2 oz. gin
  • 3 oz. tonic water

Muddle 2 sprigs of thyme in a cocktail shaker. Add honey and gin, shaking well. Top with ice and shave vigorously to chill.

Strain chilled gin mixture into a glass (I recommend a highball glass or a rocks glass) about halfway full of ice. Top with 3 oz. tonic water. Garnish with remaining sprig of thyme.

Serve immediately.

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Drizly. All opinions are my own.

Drizly

Honey Thyme Gin & Tonic_Pint

Save

Save

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pomegranate Gimlet

It’s no secret that I don’t really drink beer. Once in a blue moon, I’ll have one, but you can usually find me drinking wine or a cocktail. A well-made cosmo – not overly sweet – is my go-to drink, but I enjoy trying new drinks. I generally choose a vodka or gin-based drink with a touch of sweetness.

I’ve got a couple of recipes I’ve been super excited about lately, two of which are from a new cookbook that recently came recommended to me – Mix Shake Stir. There are a TON I want to try, but my limited bar can’t store all of those liquors, so I’m slowly working my way through the recipes. This one has been one of my favorites (no surprise since it’s similar to a cosmo). It took me a few tries, but I finally managed to hold off on drinking it so that I can get a photo for you.

Pomegranate Gimlet

Adapted from Mix Shake Stir: Recipes from
Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants
(p. 51)

Makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

  • ice
  • 1 1/4 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 oz. simple syrup
  • 1 1/2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • lime slices and/or pomegranate seeds for garnish

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and pomegranate juice. Shake vigorously.

Pour into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with a lime wedge and/or pomegranate seeds.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Amazon Associates

I buy lots of my books and cooking supplies directly from Amazon nowadays. You can shop my favorite books and kitchen supplies directly through the Books n’ Cooks Amazon shop (<- link) or through affiliate links on relevant blog posts. Books n' Cooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.