How to Martini

You would think something as simple as a martini would not be a hard drink to make, but sadly you would be wrong. Out of all the drinks I have ordered, this one is often the most disappointing. This could be because I have been a bartender for many many years and I consider a martini to be one of my specialties, so I hold a higher standard, or it could be that there are more bartenders in this world more interested in Jager shots than a good drink.

pet peeves:

Drinks that are called a martini, but contain more sugar than a soda does not a martini make. They annoy me.  You don’t look “sophisticated” while drinking one, you look like an twit that is trying too hard. I do forgive you, if  you are A) a flamer or B) under 23. Feel free to go on with your business, I promise not to bother you.

When ordering a martini, if you ask for no vermouth… it is no longer a martini, it is Vodka or Gin “up” or  “on the rocks” with a garnish.

Terms you should be aware of:

up- strained through ice

rocks- ice cubes in glass

twist- lemon peel

dirty- olive juice (brine) added

martini- Gin  with vermouth served up or on the rocks with olives or twist

vodka martini- what I will be making

How to make a vodka martini:

you will need:

  • Vodka
  • Dry Vermouth
  • olives or lemon
  • lots of ice
  • cocktail/martini shaker
  • shot glass or jigger
  • martini glass
step one

step one

1. Assemble hardware and ingredients. Fill martini glass and martini shaker with ice, about half the volume of the shaker.

step two

step two

2. Fill martini glass with ice and water. This will chill your glass and it’s very important. Trust me on this.

step three

step three

3. Spear some olives and put aside.

4. Into the shaker: 2 oz. Vodka, .5 oz. Vermouth  (now is the time to add a little olive juice, if you want to make a dirty martini. Bare in mind that a little brine goes a long way)

5. Shake it like you mean it.

step six

step six

6. Dump the water and ice out of the martini glass. Put your olives in and strain your martini mixture into (and over the olives in) the glass.

Vodka martini!

Vodka martini!

… at this point enjoy your martini.

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by the Bedford stop on the L

Bedford Bliss

Bedford Bliss

I had a great time last weekend, despite having my train catch on fire!

Here’s the truth:

Every time I go into NYC I get this shit-eating-grin on my face, totally involuntary, and  when I catch it happening I giggle ever so softly. There is something about NYC that makes me feel at home. Odd, because I grew up in a slow moving small town in Maryland (pop.less than 2,000) None the less, the people are familiar and places make me comfortable. It baffles me that people say  NYC is an alien place, that the people are rude and the pace too fast and loud. All I know know is–> there is a voice telling me never to leave (and I’m not talking about Micha and Dave verbally saying as much).

Now onto the title:

I drug my friend John (totally different, if I drugged him) along to meet up with Chuck, a long time interslice friend and all around awesome guy. Coffee and conversation ensued.  This is a classic meet up combo, because it works. No pressure to be clever or fancy. Just relax and let the words flow as they will!! Chuck was kind enough to to put up with my ramblings 😉 and let me see the practice space for the band he is in, “Hidden People” (NOT  “hittin’ people”). I like seeing little odds and ends that make up the everyday happenings in someones life. You know, details that someone might not feel is THAT important. -insert smile here-

Chuck and ME

Chuck and ME

if you are interested in seeing/ hearing  “Hidden People” CLICK they have a show coming up VERY soon!!

I hope that one day soon I can trick Chuck into  meeting up with me again 🙂

Weee!

A spring in my Salad

This tastes like the memory of spring feels!! Fresh and new with warm undertones as everything comes alive on a sunny day!

This is a very simple recipe. I’m not going to list amounts… don’t think it’s necessary. Combine everything  and top with avocado and Blackberries. The “brightness” of the lemon, cilantro and parsley will have a wonderful contrast to the deep and fatty nature of the avocado.

Baby carrots- grated

Red Bell pepper- chopped

Crimini mushrooms (baby portabella)- chopped

Yellow squash- ribboned

Zucchini- ribboned

Hot pepper-minced

Parsley and Cilantro

Garlic-diced

Ginger- grated

dressing-

Lemon

Lemon zest

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt and pepper

top with:

Avocado and Blackberries

in Travels: Connecticut

I’m in Connecticut!

Red Oak

Red Oak

To  my surprise all the nice parts of Connecticut look like all the poor parts of Maryland. The Maryland I’m referring to is my home town of Hancock,MD (in Western Maryland) and the nice part of Connecticut is…. all of Connecticut I have seen thus far. The difference is, in my childhood as I was running through beautiful forest and playing by the Potomac River on the C&O Canal, in Maryland the muddy parts where crossed by jumping over or skirting around it. Not by man made bridges.

I think the moral here is: ” Everyone loves trees.” or “You can lead a horse to water, but unless you live in a well off neighborhood no one is building a bridge.” or “When you find something beautiful, don’t ask questions, just smile.”

mmmm…pretty (click for pictures for larger options):

pretty trees

pretty trees

bench among the leaves

bench among the leaves

pond with duckies

pond with duckies

circle of moss

circle of moss

I am always amazed at how perfect nature makes everything!

In short: March Madness

This is a  late posting of events, as it happen last Saturday, but I was so pleased with the event that I felt it needed a spread all it’s own. My friends Catarina and Jason held a housewarming/ birthday party! Their new house is super fabulous  and those babies of march parallel their new digs!! I felt honored to be invited and loved every moment.

March maddness

March maddness

click here for all photos

IN short: travels

Looks like i’m going to be out and about for a little while.

This, of course, means that I am not going to be able to post in any real regular intervals. Sadly, I no longer have a working Powerbook.  I will be hopping place to place. Posts will  depend on down time and the willingness of my host or hostess to let me touch their computer. Pictures will be taken and thoughts recorded, so eventually the updates will come.

I spent this weekend with my wonderful friend Matt (shown here being a rockstar), who against all odds and reason loves me. I have known Matt for most of my life and am always amazed at his willingness to put up with my flights of fancy. Honestly, I don’t know what I would do without him.  The past few days and nights have been filled with friend reunions coming complete with smiles, hugs and intelligent ( if nothing else, interesting) conversation. Experiences include (but are not limited to): Having real conversations with long time acquaintances, meeting friends of friends, having a diva dance party and feeling comfortable and loved in a room full of people. I have the most amazing friends in all the world, each equipped with their own brand of wit, intelligence and personality. No cookie cut automatons in this group.

Tonight a small Birthday celebration.

Tomorrow I make my way up to the NYC area. I’m excited and I just can’t hide it!!

what’s bugging me:

…..by request from my good friend Nicola. (you can find her site in the sidebar)

I may have to revisit this particular subject in the near future. Bugs are fun, but difficult going in blind.

Blind contour no.6

Blind contour no.6

Creamy SWEET GOODNESS

I am completely addicted to this. I never thought I would find something I liked more than cream, but this is it!!

Super delicious

Super delicious

2 handfuls raw cashew
1 Big handful raw almonds
1 tsp rounded; vanilla powder (use extract if no powder around)
1 tsp Maca powder
1/2 cup coconut oil (virgin, unrefined)
1/3 cup raw honey
5 dates, pitted
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp rounded; lecithin

  1. Put all ingredients, except lecithin into food processor or blender.
  2. Add enough filtered water to cover ingredients and blend till smooth.
  3. Now add more water and blend until you get the consistency (thickness) you are looking for.*
  4. Add lecithin and blend again.

* Thicker for a coffee creamer and thiner for maybe putting on your cereal, you be the judge.

Tips:

  • Remember to taste as you go along and use common sense when adding sweeteners (less if you don’t like sweet or more if you really like sweet)
  • Don’t have lecithin? You don’t necessarily need it. Lecithin (as I understand it) helps to bind everything together, but without it you will still have a yummy almond/cashew milk. However, I would suggest making a smaller quantity.
  • Be sure to refrigerate!
  • You can also add cinnamon or nutmeg or coco depending on your taste

Check out the original recipe here. Yes, I personally did blend this up today. I feel zero guilt about “stealing” the idea for a post, because I’m in the same house as the author and I do the photographs for the Livenatural site. Yay, qualifiers.

in short: some scribbles and food

no.5

blind contour no.5

no.4

blind contour no.4

I heart goji berries.

I heart goji berries.

https://i0.wp.com/farm4.static.flickr.com/3358/3344596605_d7e5399254_m.jpg

click photo for the "How to"

It’s been fun pretending to be a food photographer! I think I shall continue pretending 🙂

All opinions or comments are welcome regarding my drawing and/or photos.

I prefer positive, but I’ll happily take “otherwise”.

People keep on askin’ me… “Are you Vegan?”

1. Short answer:

The answer is “No.”

2. A simple explanation:

I am not Vegan or Vegetarian. I simply eat what tastes good to me, for me this includes food outside of that particular “box” like cheese, butter, honey and fish. I’ll eat soups with chicken stock in them and (on Easter) Ham potatoes. The only food philosophy that I prescribe to is “Eat what makes you happy and try to eat what makes your body happy.”

3. A bit of my history:

My diet has been primary meatless, by natural design, for my entire life. It is true that when I was younger I was made to eat meat, because it was “good” for me, even though I didn’t like the taste. (I was the kind of kid that would eat the french fries and not the chicken nuggets.) I transitioned into being a vegetarian, in a very natural way, by the time I was 12. I simply choose not to eat what I didn’t find tasty. The same way people who don’t like garlic stray from eating garlic. While the choice to not eat non-tasty things was easy, the application of a vegetarian diet for a girl living in “Small Town America”/ “Meat and Potato Land” was a difficult and confusing one. My family is made up of carnivores, pretending to be omnivores, that where reluctantly supportive (and slightly amused) of my new diet choice. In fact, I am convinced that almost 20 years later there are members of my family that still think I am going through “a phase”. To this day, holidays are lined with “jokes” where in people offer me whatever meat is being served.  In these early years my lack of education about nutrition and diet coupled with a limited exposer to different types of food made me a “pizza” vegetarian for many years.

4. My light bulb moment:

Later in my 20’s I found that being vegetarian was limiting my happiness. The word was defining who I was, putting me in a box with rules the mainstream movement had listed. Being vegetarian came with baggage, constant comments about bacon and the assumption that I was a PETA supporter . Most importantly this existence as a vegetarian was Maryland crab-less*.  One sunny day in July (about 6 years ago) at a family gathering surrounded by bushels of crabs  I pondered why I wasn’t eating something I wanted to eat. I realized it was only because I thought I was bond to this general definition of being a vegetarian. Then I realized i didn’t have to be. That there was no reason for me to be defined. Why I was a vegetarian had nothing to do with mainstream vegetarianism! The light clicked on and I stepped out of the box and into the light. I have been a much happier girl ever since.

*Yes, my “bacon” is Maryland steamed crabs

TA DA!!!

Well, now you know a little more about me. I’ll get into “What I’m up to now?” on a different date. Hope you enjoyed the words above and feel free to ask questions, if you like.

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