Kumquat Margaritas

Kumquat-Margaritas

We have a Kumquat tree in our backyard and I honestly never know what to do with them!  Now I do.  As they say about lemons, when life gives them to you, make lemonade…well, apparently kumquats and tequila are a thing too!  Who knew?

Kumquat Margaritas

  • 1 Pint Kumquats (About 40)
  • 2 Medium Limes
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Silver Tequila
  • 1/4 Cup Grand Marnier
  • 3 Cups Crushed Ice
  • 3 TBLS Kosher Salt
  • 4 wedges of lime (for serving)

Pressing down, roll the limes on your counter, or a cutting board, to release the juice.  Cut your limes in half, remove the seeds, and put 3 of the halves in your blender container.  Cut the remaining half in half again, then use the wedges to wet the rims of your margarita or old fashioned glasses, dip the rims in the salt, and set aside.  Drop the lime wedges into the blender container.  Slice the kumquats in half, remove the seeds, and add them to the blender container.  Add water to the blender and puree until mostly smooth.

Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a medium saucepan, pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible.  Discard skins and pulp.  Add sugar and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy, 20-25 minutes.  Let cool to room temperature, about 15 minutes, then refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Mix tequila and Grand Marnier with 1/3 Cup of the kumquat reduction.  Serve over crushed ice in the salt rimmed glasses with a wedge of lime.  Makes 3 Drinks (about 2/3 Cup each)  #ThisGirlLovesToEat

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

1985domwboxWhile we all love a bottle of something bubbly on New Year’s Eve, I’m a girl who likes to start the evening’s festivities off with something fun.

It’s even better when I can make that something fun by the pitcher to share with my like minded girlfriends, so I don’t have to pause during the fun of the evening to play bartender!

The fun of this big batch Cosmopolitan / Martini is that it gets made in the blender (my Vitamix) and strained into the pitcher.  No messy cocktail shaker to deal with and no sticky counter from prying the shaker lid on and off for each individual drink!

Pomegranate Cosmopolitanpomegranatemartini

  • 1 Cup Vodka (I prefer Grey Goose L’Orange)
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Liqueur (Grand Marnier / Cointreau / Triple Sec)
  • 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Juice
  • 2 limes, peel removed in strips and retained.  Fruit cut into quarters, seeds (if any) discarded.
  • 1/2 Cup Ice Cubes

Peeled lime, close-upScrape the lengths of lime peel so that no bitter white pith remains.  Slice into 1/2″ wide lengths and wrap around a straw to shape in a curl and put into the refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes.

Put everything, except the lime peels, into the blender (or Vitamix) container, and blend on High (10) for about 30 seconds.

Pour through a fine sieve into chilled martini glasses or into a chilled pitcher to serve later.  Recipe makes 3 large drinks and can easily be doubled to make a pitcher.

pomfruitsUse the lime strips to garnish the glasses and drop a few pomegranate arils, coated in sugar, into the bottom of the glass if desired.

**TIPTo coat the pomegranate arils, in sugar, put a tablespoon or two in a zip bag with a tablespoon of pomegranate juice and a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar.  Close the zipper on the bag and shake vigorously until the arils are well coated.

**TIPIf you like your martini sweeter, add a tablespoon of simple syrup (a tablespoon of sugar dissolved in a tablespoon of hot water – I make a cup at a time in the microwave to keep on hand).

**TIP If you like your martini with no evidence of the muddled lime in it, pour it through the sieve again when you pour it from the pitcher to the chilled glass.  #ThisGirlLovesHerCocktails

Adapted from the Vitamix Cookbook

Boozy Hot Cocoa

Last year the weather reports for California promised the El Niño was coming which was supposed to mean many many opportunities to stay in, warm and dry, and sip on hot drinks.  The weather reports couldn’t have been more wrong!  Instead of rain filling up our reservoirs, lakes, and packing our mountains with snow, it was one of the hottest years on record!  I barely had to wear more than a sweatshirt and my Uggs stayed clean and dry, unworn, in my closet.  Hardly the kind of weather for enjoying hot drinks.

This year the weather reports predicted a La Niña, an unusually dry winter.  Thankfully, once again, the forecasters have been completely wrong.  We are just 3 weeks past the official start of winter and already we’ve had more cold days & nights, more rain than we’ve seen in years, and there’s more to come.  Instead of bone dry reservoirs, we are seeing them refilling to levels of 75-80% of capacity.  Thank you #PineappleExpress!

That also means that I can finally whip out the recipes I have been sitting on for boozy hot cocoa.  Yes!

Mint Cocoa Hot Toddy

  • 1 oz Kahlua
  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnappsmintchocolatetoddy
  • 1 envelope hot cocoa mix
  • 6 oz hot water (or milk, if that’s what pkg calls for)
  • Miniature Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Shavings
  • Cinnamon Stick
  1. Make 6 oz. of hot cocoa in a 10 oz mug.
  2. Add the Kahlua and the Schnapps.
  3. Place 8 or so miniature marshmallows on top.
  4. Grate some chocolate over the marshmallows, and stir with a cinnamon stick.

Toasted Bailey’s Hot Cocoa

  • 3 cups Milk
  • 1/3 cup Half and Halfbroiledbaileyshotchocolate
  • 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Marshmallows
  1. In a small saucepan, add milk and half and half. Turn on medium heat and let mixture warm up. Add chocolate chips.
  2. Let chocolate chips melt in milk mixture, whisking frequently. Once the chocolate has fully combined, add Bailey’s. Stir to combine and transfer to mugs.
  3. Place marshmallows on top of hot chocolate and toast the tops of your marshmallows with your mini-torch. Once your marshmallows are browned and melty it’s time to enjoy!

Chocolate-Orange Hot Chocolate

  • 2/3 cups Milk
  • 1/4 cup Heavy Creamchocolate-orange-hot-chocolate
  • Zest of 1/2 and Orange
  • 2 oz Dark Chocolate chopped
  • 1 oz +/- Warmed Grand Marnier
  1. Heat the milk, cream and orange zest together in a saucepan until simmering then remove from the heat and pour through a sieve into a jug to remove the orange zest. Pour the infused milk mixture back into the pan and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted and is really smooth.
  2. Put the pan back on the heat to warm through then add the orange liqueur. Pour into a mug and serve.

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