Roast and Toast

Hey guys. What’s that? Where have I been for almost 10 months? Wrapping up my 20’s, that’s what. And this weekend we hosted a “Roast & Toast to 30” party to celebrate me and my cousin, Ellis, turning 30. We roasted 400 Eastern Shore oysters , toasted marshmallows and, of course, raised a few glasses.

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A crowd favorite of the evening was an Apple Cranberry Sangria I had dreamed up that was festive, but refreshing; sweet but not sugary. Everyone kept asking for the recipe, but as usual I didn’t have one – I just sort of thought of it and mixed it up with what felt right. However, I think I can reverse engineer it enough to give you an idea so that you can mix it up for your next festive feast or casual get together (or Sunday afternoon).

Apple Cranberry Sangria

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • two fresh apples (we used Fuji)
  • 1 bottle of Dr. McGillicuddy’s apple liqueur
  • 1 liter Ginger Ale
  • 1.5 liter bottle of pinot grigio
  • 1 large bottle of cranberry juice

Method:

  1. A few days ahead of time, put the bag of cranberries in the freezer and chill the wine, juice and ginger ale.
  2. A few hours before you want to drink the sangria, mix it up in a large decanter (I have a big one I use for parties that has a spigot – it’s great. Every consummate hostess should have one). Cut the apples into rounds and put in first, then top with the frozen cranberries. After you’ve put in the fruit – no matter what size container you’re using – whether it’s a large pitcher or a decanter – fill it up with about 2/3 of the way with equal parts wine and liqueur, then top it off with equal parts ginger ale and cranberry juice.
  3. Mix well and let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. Then serve in glasses filled with ice and/or garnished with more apples and cranberries.

I hope you all enjoy this fun, fruity drink with your friends and family this holiday season.

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Back with the Beets

Hey, so it’s been awhile. And I apologize. But I’m not going to pretend like it’s a new year and I’m going to be better about blogging and make resolutions or promises about this, because then we would both be disappointed. See, around May of 2014 I turned my freelance career into an actual business: The Content Chop Shop. And since then I have been overwhelmed and overjoyed by the amount of business I’ve had. Quite a bit of this business is blogging….for other companies. This leaves very little time for blogging….for myself.

But this past Christmas I was gifted a new kitchen appliance . . . one that, unlike the uninspired toaster or a microwave, has basically spawned a cult of loyal followers. That’s right – someone gave me a juicer.

Breville Brothers. AKA - the gateway between me and 90% of my food.

Breville Brothers. AKA – the gateway between me and 90% of my food.

Why Juice?

I’m not going to go into a long, scientific, Alton Brown-esque explanation here like I usually do, but here’s the gist of it:

It’s hard to eat a bunch of fruits and veggies. It’s much easier to just drink them and get the same nutrients in one glass of juice than five or six whole foods. 

Yes, ideally I would eat two apples, three carrots, a nub of ginger, half a kohlrabi, a pear and a handful of parsley, but I’m not going to, so instead I juiced them all and had that for lunch. Simple. I like simple.

I’ve only been juicing for a couple of weeks, but so far I love it! I have so much energy when I do and the juices are really so much more filling that you would think. I really did have that juice I just mentioned for lunch today and it kept me satiated until 5:30 when I had a handful of pistachios while getting dinner ready.

But as you can imagine, it didn’t take me long to incorporate my all-time favorite food into my new juicing obsession: beets.

Blood-Red Beet Juice Martini

beet juice

Ingredients:

  • 2 honeycrisp apples
  • one raw beet, scrubbed and trimmed
  • four medium carrots, scrubbed
  • handful of baby kale

Method:

  1. When/if possible, choose all organic ingredients listed above. Wash and trim any greens from carrots and beets
  2. Process all ingredients through your juicer
  3. Pour juice into a martini shaker full of ice and shake for several seconds
  4. pour into chilled martini glasses and enjoy!

So why the martini shaker? 

Because it’s cool. I mean, really – when juice comes out of a juicer it’s basically just room temperature, so if you like your juice a little chilled, shaking it in a martini shaker is actually a kind of brilliant way (if I do say so myself) to bring its temperature down without diluting it too much by pouring it over ice. This juice was just a bit sweet from the apples and beets with a nice earthiness from the carrots and kale. It was a really good balance and when sipped during dinner, kept my appetite at bay, meaning it kept me from over eating, which is a common problem for me . . .

So while I can’t commit to blogging on a regular basis, I can commit to juicing. Because it’s easy, it’s good for you, and the other people in my cult tell me it’s cool.