Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursty Thursdays - Preserved Cherry Sangria

Saying goodbye to summer is bittersweet, less so since I live on the West Coast, where we are blessed with year-round sunshine (most of the time). However, there is something to be said about the end of the lazy(ish) days of the summer months and their transition into the hustle and bustle of a new season.


To celebrate the advent of cooler days, it's best to toast with a glass of something just as bittersweet as the passing of the time. A combination of the rustic and earthy summertime fruit with the dark, syrupy notes of the liqueur in which it is soaked is an unexpected complement to the crisp bite of an effervescent rosé wine. At my house, we like to take the syrup of preserved cherries, drizzle it at the bottom of a tall glass, dilute it with some water, and enjoy the deeply satisfying cocktail that develops. This recipe is a little funner and a great way to add something new to a tired sangria recipe.


Cherry Sangria

2 bottles rosé wine
8 fl oz cherry brandy
2 fl oz juice from preserved cherries (cointreau)
1/2 cup cherries preserved in cointreau (or any liquor)
15 halved and pitted fresh yellow/pink cherries
2 tbsp honey
  • combine all ingredients, stir well. Let sit for about half an hour in the fridge before enjoying.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Other People's Words

On one hand, I'm glad the week is over. On the other hand, I wish I could go back and be more productive. Some weeks are rollercoasters. Some days I feel invincible, limitless, and energetic, and others I feel down, helpless, and defeated. Hopefully, this weekend will bring a new sense of energy and inspire me to

Weeks like this, I try to find inspiration in anything. I often look to other people's words to help me feel like I'm not alone in my struggle. Why is that? Isn't it funny that words spoken or written by other people about their feelings can so accurately describe your own? Happiness, sadness, fear, loss, disappointment, shame, and every other stupid/crazy/fun/awful/delightful emotion is universal and connects all of us in some way. I hope these reach you whether you've had an awesome week or just an OK one (the last one's kinda my favorite). Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursty Thursdays - Corona Margaritas

Last month, I was invited by a friend (thanks, Meghedi!) to attend a fabulous event hosted by a very fabulous lady. At this fabulous event, we were greeted with the evening's specialty cocktail that was so incomprehensibly delicious, that I had to share it with all of you! It was fresh, fizzy, and perfect for a warm Los Angeles night. And, it's so easy to recreate at home--you should all try it and tell me what you think! I will definitely be whipping this up at my next barbecue or backyard fiesta. What is your favorite summertime cocktail?


--Beer Margaritas--

(recipe from The Table Set podcast)

1/2 can frozen limeade mix 
Tequila (2/3 of the empty limeade can)
Triple Sec (1/3 of the empty limeade can)
1 bottle light Mexican lager (I prefer Corona)

Blend limeade mix, tequila, and triple sec in blender. Pulsing and being careful not to overflow, pour in beer. Let the foam settle a bit before pouring into 3 highball glasses over ice.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Style Envy - Minka Kelly's Airport Style

Wasn't it just the weekend? Maybe I'm alone in thinking this, but this week FLEW past me in a huff. The nerve!

My weekend will consist of movie-watching, dining, and working on finishing up some work projects (fun, right?). I can only hope that everything will be as easy and breezy as Minka Kelly's cool airport outfit. I fall into the category of that certain brand of air traveler who you, upon spotting me, are unsure whether I am in my bed, sound asleep, or flying. In an airplane. In public. That one. If only I could convince myself to look like a decent, well put-together, relatively fashion-conscious jet-setter for once. Alas, I choose comfort over couture and bum it. Perhaps this photo will inspire me to reach greater heights with my airport attire. Puns!

Happy weekend!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Midi or Mi-don't?

My layout sucks. Click to enlarge!

I've always considered myself a mini girl. What can I say? I like showing a little leg. My thighs? They like a bit of a breeze. When the midi skirt exploded onto the scene and sucked the life out of my leg-baring career, I was caught in a fashion pickle (note to self: must find aforementioned posh pickle): dare to bare my now passe pins or be a slave to the man and don a hiney-hiding midi skirt? I caved and bought one. In a silhouette similar to #4 (gotta give my girls some love) and in a bold and bright ikat print. What? Sometimes you gotta take a few fashion risks no matter what the consequences! Photos to follow. In the meantime, tell me: would you rock this too-long-for-me-but-trendy-enough-to-try trend?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursty Thursdays - No, Really.

Hello, blogger friends. I come to inform you that I have contracted the disease most often found in celebrity circles. No, not the herp. The dreaded DEHYDRATION. Who knew that the code word for "rehab" or "drug overdose" is an actual, diagnosable condition?? This is right up there with "exhaustion!" Oh, wait, I'm told I have that, too.

In an effort to drag me down and ruin my work week (and looming deadlines), the big D has done me good and kept me in bed for the past two days (damn you, thirsty organs!). I have been nursing my parched parts with a non-stop supply of good ol' H2O along with a sip or two of tea. So, since I have been given strict orders to avoid anything caffeinated or alcoholic, I attempted to indulge myself with photos of said sinister beverages. Well, that just made me sad. So, here's a cool, refreshing, non-alcoholic, decaf beverage that I hope will whet your appetite and stave off my impending doom.

Strawberry Blood Orange Iced Tea


3 Cups water
2 black decaffeinated tea bags (such as Earl Grey or English Breakfast)
1 Cup blood orange juice, strained
20 strawberries, hulled
1 Cup regular orange juice, strained
3 TB agave syrup (or sweeten to your liking)

-Bring the water to a boil. Allow the tea bags to steep in the water 3-4 minutes. Chill the tea.

-Put the strawberries in a blender and pulse, on high, to puree into a sauce. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds.
-Combine the chilled tea, strawberry puree, orange juice, blood orange juice and agave syrup in a large pitcher. Stir to mix thoroughly. Serve in chilled glasses and garnish with an orange slice.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Saturday Style Envy - Desert Rose

There is nothing more beautiful than feeling the hot California desert sun on your skin when you're feeling tired and run down by the stresses of your regular life. This weekend, my sister and I are setting off to Palm Springs for some much needed R&R, which translates to "hours spent lounging by the pool, shopping, and imbibing throughout."


Since it's going to be just the two of us, I plan on whipping up a fun desert-inspired menu incorporating fruits and vegetables native to Palm Springs (does tequila count?). Grilled and smothered corn-on-the-cob awaits us, along with shrimp tacos, avocado dip, and prickly pear margaritas. I can't wait to share my adventure with you!

Currently envying: Amanda S.'s desert rose style. Serene, chic, ready to soak up the sun. I'm in!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursty Thursdays - Spiked Limonana

You didn't think I would let the day end before I posted a cocktail recipe now, did you? Well, you would almost be right. So, here I am, just in time for happy hour, proving all you skeptics wrong (kind of). I couldn't think of a cool, original, never-before-heard-of cocktail recipe that would wow and amaze you, because sangria is so yesterday and spiked lemonade has been done to death. When I think of summer, I can't help but remember the month I spent in Lebanon (mostly eating) two years ago and the familiar-yet-not-so-familiar foods and drinks I tried while there. It feels like it was just yesterday when I was indulging in sweet and syrupy knafeh (I spent about 8 minutes staring at this picture longingly), feasting on the freshly prepared kebabs, and strolling through a busy boulevard lined with pastry shops, sampling a bit of this and that as I passed.

What I also remember from my first night in Beirut, was the refreshing and radiant green granita-like beverage that most restaurants served called "limonana." Limonana (a compound word linking limon and nane/nana, which means "mint" in Arabic) combines freshly squeezed lemon juice with sugar and crushed mint leaves and blends it with ice. You caught me: I'm spamming your homepages with a spiked lemonade recipe. BUT, you will never have one that is this fun to look at while you sip. Enjoy!

Iced Limonana

Yield: 4 cups (one liter)

2 heaping cups of ice
1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 large lemons)
1/2 cup spearmint leaves (from about 40 stalks), plus a few more to garnish
4-6 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
4 jiggers/shots of vodka

Juice the lemons, and remove the mint leaves from the stalks. Dump all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Serve garnished with mint.

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