Monthly Archives: July 2015

Climb Aboard the Lush Car

I have a thing for Sidecars. Not the kind you find attached to a motorcycle, but rather the liquid kind. My first Sidecar was in a bar many moons ago and it was my first introduction to Cognac. It’s now my “go to” cocktail when we’re out and about. They’re still rather uncommon, so I often have to tell the bartender how to make them –
¾ ounce Cointreau
¾ ounce lemon juice (keep the lemon to rub along the rim)
1½ ounces of Cognac
Martini glass
Rub the lemon along the rim (I sugar only half the rim) of a chilled glass and dip in sugar. Shake above ingredients with cracked ice and pour. Drink. Swoon.
We had a friend in from MN last night. We began our evening with a cocktail at home before heading to dinner. I was perusing through my “Food and Wine Cocktails” book (from 2011) and found a drink that gives a nod to my favorite classic, the Sidecar. It’s called the Lush Car. Don’t you just love the name? It’s so good that I am concerned that’s exactly what I’ll turn into: a lush. Or is it too late already? Well, enough about me, here’s the drink-
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1½ ounces vodka
½ ounce of cognac
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
½ ounce Simple Syrup
5 blackberries
1 orange twist, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add the vodka, Cognac, lemon juice, Simple Syrup, and blackberries and shake well. Strain this into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a twist. Drink. Swoon.

If you don’t have Simple Syrup on hand, make your own! It’s super inexpensive and easy. Add 1cup water and 1 cup sugar to a pan. Bring this to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Vuola, you now have Simple Syrup. Cool and store for your next cocktail.
Drink well,
“Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” – Ernest Hemingway

Power Salad


How great is it that you can now find prepared green lentils in the markets? They’re such a time saver, which makes them the perfect quick addition to many meals. Because they carry an earthy taste profile, I love to pair them with a decent amount of acid to brighten them up.

This is a no fuss, no muss, and nutritional powerhouse salad. It’s ready to eat within 10 minutes of your first chop. Here’s what you’ll need to feed 3 to 4 –


9 oz. steamed lentils

4 oz. curly kale

Zest from 1 lemon

Juice from 1 lemon

2 tbsp. finely chopped mint

½ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. EVOO

1 avocado

Goat cheese or feta (how much is up to you)

Trader Joe’s Sweet & Spicy Pecans (optional, and amount is up to you)


Remove the ribs from the kale. Chop the kale small and squirt the lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt all over the cut up kale.


Massage and squeeze the kale for a minute or two minute. This step breaks down and softens the leaves. Your kale will love you for this.

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Add the lentils, EVOO, mint, and avocado to the bowl with the kale. Add goat cheese and nuts and give the whole thing a toss.

Had I had some strawberries at home, I would have also tossed a few of those in the bowl. Next time!



Eat well,


“I have the green juice, which is like drinking a really delicious lawn.” – Lisa Kogan









Crying Tiger


I vividly recall the first time I tucked into a plate of Thai food. It was from the Siam Café (sadly, they don’t exist anymore) in the Charles River Plaza in Boston. It was spicy, bright, juicy, and, dare I say, almost healthy?! I fell in love and immediately developed a disturbing dependency on Thai basil chicken (extra spicy) that my wallet couldn’t afford, but my brain couldn’t live without. Because I like my food teetering on the edge of spontaneous combustion, my Thai food habit eventually grew to include Crying Tiger (Suea Rong Hai). I’ve never been a Pad Thai kind of girl…too sweet for me.

Several years ago my husband and I visited Thailand, and the food we ate on our visit only intensified my existing addiction. On the Scoville scale, U.S. Thai food is mere child’s play compared to the real thing. We were eating, sweating, and in sheer ecstasy. Thai restaurants in this country definitely dummy down the spice for us Westerners.

The following recipe for Crying Tiger (from Simple Thai Food by Leela Punyaratabandhu) will have you falling in love with this dish, too. I used flank steak for the protein, which I marinated with ¼ cup soy sauce, ¼ cup oyster sauce, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and 2 cloves of minced garlic for 6 hours (I had a lot of meat to marinate). Here’s what you’ll need for a dipping sauce to serve 4 –

Here’s the recipe for the dipping sauce –

4 ounces cherry tomatoes

3 large garlic cloves

1 large shallot

1 tbsp. fish sauce

1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 tbsp. red pepper flakes

½ tsp. light or dark brown sugar

2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Place the cherry tomatoes, shallot, and garlic (shallot and garlic remain unpeeled) on a baking sheet and broil until charred and soft. Remove from the broiler and cool.

Once they’re cool enough to handle, peel the shallots and garlic. Mince the shallot.

Add the garlic to a bowl and squish with the back of a spoon. Add the tomatoes and squish those, too.


Add the lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.


I chose to drizzle the sauce over our meal, and I put the remainder out for those who wanted extra. It didn’t last long.

This sauce would also make a great addition to your July 4th picnic table. Wishing you a safe and fun holiday weekend

Eat well!


“Like lime without juice – dull.” Thai Proverb