The Paloma Cocktail

It’s grapefruit season!


In my family, January means one thing: grapefruit. And lots of it. I’m talkin’ huge bags from the local warehouse stores. Each morning from the days after Christmas to just before summer, my father splits a grapefruit at breakfast. He methodically scores each segment with a paring knife, and sets each half in a small bowl along with the special grapefruit spoon for himself and my mother. And after scooping out all the meat, they have what I can only describe as a competition to squeeze their half to death to capture every last drop of juice left with their tiny spoons. A sweet, yet tangy ritual to start their day! Preciousness obviously runs in my blood.


I’ve always loved grapefruit, but seriously, all that work to score and scoop, only to have like half the meat left behind in the shell!? Talk about inefficient. So imagine my happiness upon discovering I could get my grapefruit fix in cocktail form!


Paloma Cocktail

serves 2 – adapted from Annie’s Eats

1 large grapefruit, halved and juiced
2 limes, halved and juiced
1 tablespoon white sugar (superfine or bakers sugar works best)
2 jiggers silver tequila
1/2 cup club soda, divided
1/4 cup sugar or kosher salt for rim (optional)

If rimming the glasses, pour 1/4 cup of your choice of sugar or kosher salt onto a salad plate and set aside. Gently swipe the rim of the glass with a wedge of grapefruit, then dip the wet rim into the sugar or salt. Fill rimmed glasses with a few ice cubes and pop into the freezer to chill while you prepare the cocktail.


Fill a cocktail shaker to the half-mark with ice and add in juices, tequila, and the 1 tablespoon of white sugar. Cap the shaker and shake for 30 counts. Strain into prepared cocktail glasses, top with club soda, and enjoy!


The Old Fashioned

Did you know Mad Men has a cookbook? We discovered it  this weekend and have been living in the 60’s ever since – which basically means eating roasts, jello, and drinking copious amounts of gin and bourbon.

The first cocktail I ever had was a Dirty Sapphire Martini. It is, to this day, my drink of choice. Second? A Sapphire Gimlet. Can you tell who’s the fan of gin around here, eh?

But GamerMan… he’s more of a bourbon guy. Which is why when I found the recipe for an Old Fashioned in the Mad Men cookbook, I immediately ran to the cupboard and whipped one up!

Old Fashioned

(makes 1 drink – per The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook)

1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry
1 teaspoon sugar
Few drops of Angostura bitters
A splash of soda water to muddle ingredients
2 1⁄2 ounces rye or bourbon

In a mixing glass, muddle orange slice, cherry, sugar, bitters, and a little soda water: push around and break up cherry and orange until flavor is released.

Add soda water so cherry is wet and sugar is melted.

Add rye or bourbon and serve over rocks, if desired.


Avocado Ice Cream

It rained Sunday.

It was 80 degrees last week, people. I was wearing shorts and flip-flops, and then it rained.

I also bough a boatload of avocados.

You see, my plans this weekend were to lay out in the back yard and fill my face with tall margaritas, snacks, and bowls of ice cream. Oh yea. That was SO the plan.

But then the weather changed and it rained for like an ENTIRE DAY. Ugh. But, but, you know what? I totally still made the ice cream (and like 4 margaritas, but that’s another post…)

And it was the

Avocado Ice Cream

(adapted from Alton Brown – Makes about 3 cups)

12 ounces ripe avocado meat, approximately 4 medium
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream

Do ahead: Freeze your ice cream gel-bowl at least 24 hours prior to ice cream making madness

Halve and pit the avocados, and harvest the meat. Add the avocado meat, lemon juice, milk, and sugar to a blender and puree. Transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl, add the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and chill completely, approximately 4 to 6 hours.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions. This mixture sets up super fast, so count on it taking only 5 to 10 minutes to process. For soft ice cream, serve immediately. If desired, place in freezer for 3 to 4 hours for firmer texture.

Trust me on this one.


Cinnamon Sugar Pull Apart Bread

I’m a pretty serious procrastinator.

No, really. If you even knew remotely how long it took me to finish college, you’d understand.

Or even how long it took me to actually MAKE this recipe. A year, people. A whole, solid, 365 days.

For the life of me I can’t recall why it took so long for me to whip this up, but I can tell you it took about half a second for me to stuff my face in the pan. No lie.

This bread can’t wait another year to be made. It’s simple and delicious, and that’s really all you need to know ;) Now GO!


Grand’s Cinnamon-Sugar Pull Apart Bread

(adapted from JoyTheBaker – serves 4)

1 package Grand’s Flaky Layers Buttermilk Biscuits
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2/3 cup casters sugar (superfine baking sugar if possible, but plain granulated white sugar won’t kill ya)
1/8 teaspoon salt
Enough Crisco to coat the inside of a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan + AP flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350F.

Grease the inside of your loaf pan with Crisco. Tip: Don’t want to get your hands super greasy? Use the baggie method! Turn a zippy sandwich bag inside out and place over your hand. Using your bagged hand, scoop out a tablespoon of Crisco from the tub and smear around the inside of your loaf pan. It may take more than one tablespoon to ensure even, thorough coverage – be liberal because you do NOT want this bread to stick to the pan! To remove Crisco-laden baggie from hand, simply pinch your bagged fingers together and using your non-bagged hand, pull up on the zippy end of the bag. This turns the bag inside out, keeping the Crisco inside and your hand clean to tackle other tasks! Like… Dust with AP flour and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside

Carefully open your Grand’s biscuit package. Pull apart each biscuit and place on a sheet of wax or parchment paper.

Using a pastry brush (or fresh nylon paint brush!), brush the top of each biscuit with melted butter. While still wet, sprinkle cinnamon mixture. Flip biscuits over and repeat the butter-cinnamon ritual until all surfaces of the biscuit are covered in goodness.

Turn your loaf pan on it’s short end and stack sugared biscuits in a staggered pattern. Return pan to it’s natural orientation, biscuits up, and pour any additional butter over the top of the biscuits. Follow with any remaining cinnamon mixture before popping in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until puffed and golden (looking too golden? cover with foil for the remaining time!)

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before inverting pan over a dish towel to pop-out bread. Pull apart warm bread and serve with a tall glass of chilled milk!