In the Kitchen

Powell and Mahoney Cocktail Mixer Review

Sponsored post:  Powell and Mahoney gifted me a bottle of the Cosmo mixer  and their Ginger Mixer for the purposes of this review. All opinions are mine.

powell_mahoney_mixer

 

It could be that the classic Gin & Tonic was my grandfather’s drink or maybe it’s the English in me, but I am a gin girl. I prefer gin over whiskey, and vodka. While I enjoy a good G&T in the summer months, my go to drink lately has been the Madras. It’s a classic drink that reminds me of Bermuda, and summer days spent in Ocean Point ME.

So I was thrilled when Powell & Mahoney asked me to review their Cosmo and Ginger mixers. It’s a great alternative to cranberry juice and  is used in the madras and the ever famous Cosmo, a la Carrie Bradshaw.

Priced at around $6.99, it’s a bit more expensive than cranberry juice. The good thing is unlike cranberry juice that could easily be gone when you want to make a drink, the mixer is more likely to be available. I am not sure anyone in your house would opt for the mixer over cranberry juice, just sayin.

Madras Cocktail

Madras Cocktail made with Powell & Mahoney Cosmo mixer

 

Using 2oz of the mixer, 1 1/2 oz of gin ( you can use vodka if you prefer) and 1 oz of fresh orange juice, I mixed it all in a shaker over ice and then served it up in a stemless wine glass. You can use a highball or Tom Collins glass.  You could serve it in a Red Solo cup and it would still be divine. Refreshing, not too sweet, and perfect for sipping on the porch.

I had a little trouble with the Ginger mixer. There are three drinks recommended for the mixer. The Dark & Stormy, Moscow Mule and the Ginger Margarita. I opted to try the Dark & Stormy. It’s a drink made with dark rum, another favorite of mine. It’s very gingery. I like ginger, but this was a little strong for me. That’s saying a lot for me since my favorite snack is crystallized ginger from Whole Foods. Still, I would probably drink it again.

The dark and stormy is made with 2oz of the Ginger mixer by Powell & MaHoney, 1 1/2 oz dark rum and a splash of soda water. It’s spicy to say the least. If you like spice this could be a great drink for you.

 

dark _stormy_powell_mahoney_mixer

Dark & Stormy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit infused water…

fruit infused water

Great combinations for fruit infused water…..

I don’t drink enough water, there I admit it. I tend to reach for soda or sugary juices when I ought to be reaching for water.  Therefore, in an effort to find a palatable way to drink more water I started looking up recipes for fruit infused waters.  During my research, I read that women should drink 2.7 liters of water a day and men need 3.7 liters. That seems like a lot of water to consume in a day. Bland water is ok if you’re working out hard, or really thirsty, but if you are just drinking it throughout the day, bland water would be unappealing I think.  Mixing up some fruit infused water would make drinking the recommended 2.7 liters a lot easier.

The one fruit combination that most people think of is lemon or lime. While that is a great combination, it can get old after a while.  Instead, infuse water with a host of other fruits and veggies. One of my favorite combinations is cucumber and mint but even I can tire of it. That of course led me to find new recipes.

I discovered certain combinations help with certain ailments making them just another reason to indulge. Water alone is good for you, but fruit infused water is better.  Infuse 12- 16 ounces of water with any of these combinations for a deliciously flavored water.

Mix green tea + mint + lime for a water that aids in fat burning, digestion, and headaches.

Strawberry + Kiwi + Cucumber helps with blood sugar support and digestion.

For help with hydration and appetite control infuses water with cucumber + lemon + lime.

Lemon + lime + orange infused water aids immune defense and heartburn.

There are many other options too.  Blackberries and raspberries can be muddled and infused with water. For a little fizz add in club soda.

I have taken to using several mason jars with lids and filling then with water and fruit before beginning my day.

 

The Lemonade Slushie

Happy Thursday! We are one day closer to the weekend. To celebrate I have been playing around with a new drink. Ok, it may be a variation on a drink that already exists and I just don’t know about it.  Regardless…. I give you the Lemonade Slushie……

I was looking for an alternative to the Margarita as well as the proverbial summer drink – the gin and tonic.  I love the crisp taste of gin and prefer it over tequila, so opting to create a cocktail featuring gin seemed like a good idea.

I had a little bit of lemonade left in the refrigerator and a bunch of crushed ice.  I gathered the ingredients together and pullout the Vitamix.  Of course you can use a regular Waring blender, but I use the Vitamix for everything. It blends smoothies leaving no pulp, and reduces crushed ice to nothing.

I poured 8 ounces of lemonade into the Vitamix along with a few ounces of gin and a bunch of ice. I blended it well, creating a slushie if you will.  It was simple and refreshing.

gin_lemonade_slushie

This can be made without the gin as a treat for the little ones…. You could also replace the gin with either tequila or rum for another variation.

 

 

spicy cheddar crackers

Spicy Cheddar Crackers from Scratch

People are always amazed when I take the time to make anything from scratch, such as brownies, cakes or even crackers. The assumption is it takes too long or is just too cumbersome.  I’ll admit baking from a box seemed the norm for me when I first learned to bake. Then I realized that baking from scratch was easy and it actually tastes a lot better.  While there is nothing wrong with opting for the ease of a box cake,  brownie mix, or even mass produced crackers,  there is also no harm in testing your skills with a few scratch recipes.

Since then, I have learned to make many things from scratch. Now, cookies, cakes and brownies are easier and of course make more sense, but why not try crackers.  A while ago, I decided to give them a shot. I made Parmesan crisps then and decided to try spicy cheddar crackers this weekend.  And wow! They are amazing!

ingredients for spicy crackers

ingredients for spicy cheddar crackers

 

The recipe is super easy.  It only has six ingredients and requires just a few tools.

You will need:

1 ½ cups of grated cheddar

4 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces

¾ of a cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon either milk, cream or ½ & ½

In a food processor, combine first five ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms crumbles. Then add the liquid and pulse until a ball forms. In some cases a ball won’t form but the dough becomes wet enough to form a ball by molding it with clean hands.

On a floured cutting board with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 1/8th inch thickness.  Then, using a small biscuit cutter, cut out as many small rounds as will fit. Lift the rounds carefully and place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.

spicy cheddar crackers

I found the recipe on the blog Smitten Kitchen, and it was originally for cheese straws.  I altered it just a little, replacing the red pepper flakes with cayenne pepper and cut them into a cracker rather than into strips.  You can use any spice you’d like with these. I’ve used onion powder and garlic powder on occasion.  I’ve also changed up the cheese and used a Monterrey Jack or Colby.

This can also be made gluten free with a small tweak. Instead of rolling the dough out and using a small biscuit cutter, wrap the dough in plastic wrap form a log with it and chill overnight. You can then cut rounds and and bake for 12-15 minutes on 350.

I’ve baked these up many times and each time they don’t last long.  Kevin gives them a rave reviews every time, commenting that the cayenne gave it a little kick of intense flavor.

If you can make pie dough from scratch, then this is a piece of cake. Actually, it is easier then pie dough and only took me 30 minutes from start to finish.  If you want to impress your friends, whip up a batch of these for the next book club.