MAITAI TRACY’S KITCHEN

MaiTai Tracy’s Kitchen:  Our Favorite Recipes

From Our Kitchen To Yours

“A passion for food is a passion for life” – Old Italian saying

Welcome to MaiTai Tracy’s Kitchen!

Tom and I love to travel … and to eat!  When Tom started Travels With Mai Tai Tom, MaiTai Tracy’s Kitchen was added as a way to help Tom build content.  Somewhere along the way, I realized I enjoyed sharing recipes and really liked writing and taking pictures.  I started by posting some of our favorites recipes from our years of entertaining.  I have kept track of the menus for every single dinner and party we have had at our house since 1999.  We like to host, what can I say?

Our very first party in 1991 was a Blazing Saddles costume party where we served Yankee Bean Soup and Tuna Surprise (food from the movie – not to worry, those recipes are not here).  Our second effort was Thanksgiving, where the turkey erupted in flames.  Apparently, it was a very juicy turkey and the drippings spilled out and caught fire in the oven.  As I recall, everything turned out great despite our beagle snatching a loaf of cranberry bread from the table.

We are much improved since those two efforts.  The recipes I share with you are our favorites; ones that can’t go wrong and that we feel are worth the effort.  Our motto: “Good Food, Great Friends and Fun.” 

On the travel side of things, I am the “Scribe.”  I take copious notes that Tom magically transforms into his trip reports and posts.  I am also his back up photographer; if it is a close up or a panorama, that is probably mine.

I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we like sharing them!

“People who love to eat are always the best people” – Julia Child

Tracy & Tom

 


Apple and Snickers Salad

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This! Apple and Snickers Salad Dessert A few years ago, I read an article in the NY Times regarding the most distinct recipes searched for online in each state around Thanksgiving.  Being born and raised in California, many (who am I kidding?) … most of the recipes I had never heard of — Frog Eye Salad, Pig Pickin Cake, Dirt Pudding, you get the picture.  The big winner in South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska was Snickers Salad. (In case you were wondering, Persimmon Bread was the winner here in California.) So what is a Snickers Salad?  It’s a combination of chopped Snickers candy bars, apples and whipped topping.  YUM, and what a great way to use … Read more…

Bucatini Aglio e Olio

Pasta Perfetta Bucatini Aglio e Olio Main Dish Having just returned from a three week trip to Italy, we are still craving pasta, and our favorite pasta recipe is Bucatini Aglio e Olio. (Here are a couple of teaser photos from the upcoming trip report … The roof of Duomo di Milano and our hometown of La Morra in the Piemente wine country).                       .   Upon our return from our Christmas week 2009 journey to Rome, we started making the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe for Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, which is made with garlic (aglio), olive oil (olio), red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese. We make this all the time … Read more…

Mai Tai Upside-Down Skillet Cake with Hatch Chiles and Pineapple

skillet pineapple upside down cake Edible Mai Tai Mai Tai Skillet Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Hatch Chiles  Dessert: As Hatch chile season drew to a close, my mind was humming on how to use the Melissa’s Extra Hot Chiles we had grilled for the Hatch Chile Butterscotch Blondies.  We made some Hatch Chile hamburgers for dinner one night and when I opened a jar of my Caramelized Pineapple & Ghost Pepper Salsa, a pineapple upside-down cake popped into my mind.  Caramelized Hatch chiles and pineapple?  You bet!  I have not had Pineapple upside-down cake since I was probably in kindergarten.  My mom used to make it in a cast iron skillet.  I whipped one up, but it was kind of bland.  The cake just wasn’t … Read more…

Hatch Chile, Butterscotch & Pecan Blondies with Fleur de Sel

Butterscotch Blondies Recipe Salty, Sweet and … Hot! Hatch Chile, Butterscotch & Pecan Blondies with Fleur de Sel Welcome to Hatch Chile Season, or as Tom calls it, “The most wonderful time of the year!”  We go crazy this time of the year grilling Hatch Chiles and finding new ways to use them.  Tom published a magazine for the produce industry for years and years and one of his favorite clients was Melissa’s Produce.  I credit Melissa’s for getting Tom to eat produce outside his comfort zone.  Now that Tom is retired, Melissa’s continues to include us in events and new products including sending us a big ole box of Hatch Chiles.  Thanks, Melissa’s! Knowing the box of chiles was to arrive soon, I had been … Read more…

Lemon Sorbet, Vodka and Prosecco Italian Cocktail (Sgroppino)

Sgroppino Singing Gondolier Lemon Sorbet, Vodka and Prosecco Italian Cocktail (Sgroppino) Cocktail: Tracy and I were told about this lemon sorbet prosecco cocktail by a drunk Brit (you can always trust a drunk Brit) one evening when we stayed at the Pensione La Calcina in Venice back in 2005.  Since we were sitting next to a canal as we sipped this, I dubbed the drink a Singing Gondolier. When we returned to California, Tracy and I stepped up to the Mai Tai Tom Test Bar in an attempt to perfect the drink to fit our taste, and the following recipe (after many intoxicating iterations) is our favorite variation.  For those of you who don’t like to eat raw eggs, the egg … Read more…

Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos

Excellent Elote! Grilled Steak Tacos with Elote Main Course: Perusing Cooking Light recently, I found a recipe for Grilled Steak and Elote Tacos from skinnytaste.com.   Fast and easy!  Perfect for a weeknight grill fest.  One of my favorite appetizers is the Elote Appetizer from the Elote Café in Sedona, Arizona.   Elote is Mexican street corn, usually grilled and rolled in mayo and cotija cheese and eaten on a stick.  YUM.  The recipe calls for skirt steak which is very thin and cooks quickly.  For our usual tacos, Tom and I prefer flap meat ( which is a tad thicker than skirt steak and our butcher cuts into thinner carne asada-type pieces), but it does take a little longer to grill (but … Read more…

Cadillac Margarita Cheesecake Bars with Graham Cracker Pretzel Crust

Tequila Treat Treasure Cadillac Margarita Cheesecake Bars with Graham Cracker Pretzel Crust Dessert: Tom’s birthday this year falls on National Tequila Day.  Since it is also a work day (for some of us at least), instead of downing some margs, I decided to make him the Top-Shelf Margarita Cheesecake found in Booze Cakes, Confections Spiked with Spirits, Wine, and Beer.  This recipe book was a gift from our friends, Dan and Linda, whose favorite booze cake is Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake.  I have marked many cakes in this book that I would like to try but this is the first one I’ve made.  The recipe calls for a cornmeal crust, but I just couldn’t envision a margarita rimmed … Read more…

Summer Tomato, Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad

Stupendous Summertime Salad Summer Tomato, Strawberry & Mozzarella Salad Starter: In 2014, in anticipation of our 20th Anniversary trip to Paris, Tom and I took a beginning French language class at Le Petite Ecole Française. Our instructor, Caroline, who was French, was excellent and very patient with us (especially Tom).  Caroline also organizes many get-togethers and events for her students and French-speaking people in our area.  One such event which we attended was an unofficial Dîner en Blanc … a secret Dinner in White where the guests must dress entirely in white for a pop-up picnic dinner.                    From Forbes:  “Originated in Paris as a way to celebrate the French ‘art of living’ and the return of sunny summer days, … Read more…

Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Shake Shack’s Buttermilk Fried Chicken Variation Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Main Course: When I read that Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) said the recipe for The Shake Shack’s fried chicken was the best fried chicken ever, I did a double take.  My Nana’s fried chicken is the best ever!   Of course, did anyone bother to get Nana’s recipe? … Mom?   So, if Ina says this is the best ever, I had to give it a try. What I can recall of my Nana’s chicken was that she fried it in an electric frying pan, in Wesson or Crisco, and she used paper bags to shake it up.  Man, that chicken was perfection and even better the next day … but, nothing … Read more…

Watermelon and Yogurt Pupsicles (Frozen Dog Treats)

They’ll Want To Get Their Paws On These Frozen Dog Treats with Yogurt Watermelon and Yogurt Pupsicles  Dessert (for your dog): I wanted to make something special for Frank and Remi’s 10th birthday this year.  They especially like frozen dog yogurt (pumpkin and bacon flavor is a favorite) but it is expensive.  So when I came across a recipe for Watermelon and Yogurt Frozen Dog Treats from Baking Mischief, I knew I was on to something and maybe it would save us some money!  (Well, except for the fact that I ordered paw and bone shaped silicone molds, but that was like $9 so it doesn’t really count, right?)             These are so easy, just puree … Read more…

Chilaquiles with Roasted Hatch Chile and Tomatillo Sauce with BBQ Nopales Salsa

Getting Your Chilaquiles On Chilaquiles with Roasted Hatch Chile and Tomatillo Sauce with BBQ Nopales Salsa Breakfast: My absolute favorite breakfast food is chilaquiles.  If it’s on the menu, that is what I am ordering!  Crunchy tortillas, spicy red or green sauce, topped with an egg and cheese.  Yum!  While watching a re-run of Beat Bobby Flay recently, the challenge was chilaquiles. Bobby made a roasted tomatillo salsa and then topped fried blue corn tortillas with white cheddar, jack and goat cheeses and popped them in the oven on a sheet pan to melt the cheeses.  He finished with the tomatillo sauce topped with chorizo and a fried egg.  Bobby won this round, and I was excited to try his recipe, … Read more…

“Naked” Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (and Strawberry Grand Marnier Filling)

The Icing On The Cake!Lemon Olive Oil Cake Recipe “Naked” Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Lemon Mascarpone Frosting (and Strawberry Grand Marnier Filling) Dessert: I saw this lemon olive oil cake recipe in Better Homes and Gardens in 2015, but only recently got around to making it.  I love this cake!  It is so cute made in the 6” round pans.  Plus it’s super easy and delicious and will wow your friends and relatives. However, as I made the cake, I realized that it’s not a cake that can travel as the whipped cream frosting melts pretty quickly.  It was warm the day I baked it and when I took it outside to photograph I had to keep returning it … Read more…

Chocolate Bacon Bark with Fleur de Sel

chocolate bacon bark Bark Is As Good As Its Bite! Chocolate Bacon Bark with Fleur de Sel Dessert: While perusing the Good Housekeeping at the dentist’s office, I saw this recipe from Delish and just had to make it.  I made it twice because the first time it seemed to me that it needed more of that caramelized sugar layer, and, after increasing the butter and sugar substantially, it was way better.  I finished it with a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel. This dish is too good to have around the house on a regular basis.  Tom and I each ate a few and then I took the rest and offered them to my coworkers. On our first trip to Arles, France in … Read more…

Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Strawberry and Arugula Salad Strawberry Fields Forever Strawberry and Arugula Salad with Fried Goat Cheese and Strawberry Balsamic Vinaigrette Starter: Nothing says spring has sprung more than when those first big, delicious strawberries start appearing in the market.  And, when I saw the strawberry vinaigrette recipe in Southern Living, I knew exactly what I was going to make for dinner.  I dressed the salad up even more with the addition of some edible flowers from my garden.  This dish could be the prettiest I have photographed!                                 Peppery baby arugula is my go-to green of choice for salads.  We first tasted this on a trip to Italy in 2005 where they … Read more…

Uncle Bill’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Grand Marnier Orange Zest

Heavenly Pancakes Uncle Bill’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes with Grand Marnier Orange Zest Breakfast: On those special Sunday mornings when I was a kid (or an adult), my dad (Bill) would mess up the kitchen and make these incredible pancakes that are light as a feather. Why then “Uncle Bill’s?”  My late great cousin John dubbed them that when he stayed with us for a while back in the 60s, and the name stuck. For the past 40 years or so I’ve been messing up the kitchen making my favorite breakfast item. Thanks, Dad!! (I must have bought the tie at the “Clown Store.”) A couple of thoughts:  I use a non-stick electric griddle lightly coated with butter or margarine.  Be sure … Read more…

Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce

Gnocchi … Two Ways Meyer Lemon Ricotta Gnocchi with Lemon, Thyme & Shallot Sauce Main Course: As anyone who has read Tom’s trip reports or Tom’s Dining Out knows, Tom loves his gnocchi.  He has it everywhere we go.  I would say gnocchi is one of his Top 5 favorite foods in the world.  (below photo is from one of our visits to Officine Brera in Los Angeles). The February/March 2018 issue of Fine Cooking arrived recently and there, way in the back, was a ricotta gnocchi recipe with lemon.  Tom BEGGED ME to make it for him.  Have I ever made gnocchi before?  NO, but it didn’t sound too difficult (ha!), and the Meyer lemons from neighbor Pat’s tree … Read more…

“Melt in Your Mouth” Beef and Barley Soup

There’s The Beef! “Melt in Your Mouth” Beef and Barley Soup Soup: In December I went to visit my dad in Northern California for the weekend, I decided to make a batch of my favorite soup to take to him from my favorite soup cookbook, Sunday Soup, by Betty Rosbottom.  This soup really does melt in your mouth as the beef is sautéed and then simmered with the veggies and barley.  Everything we have tried in this cookbook is great.  Tom’s favorite is the Blue Cheese Apple Soup. (photo below). Because I was flying, I froze the soup and took it in my checked bag.  Previously, Southwest has let me take soup in my carry-on because it was frozen, but … Read more…

Cherry ‘N Cream Cheese Pie with Cinnamon & Rice Krispies Pie Crust

Cherry, Cherry Good! Cherry ‘N Cream Cheese Pie with Cinnamon & Rice Krispies Pie Crust Dessert: Recently, I was going through my Nana’s recipe cards looking for some old-fashioned inspiration when I came across a handwritten recipe for Creamy Cheese ‘N Cherry Pie made with Post Toasties or Rice Krispies cereal. For those of you who do not remember Post Toasties, they were the Post version of Corn Flakes. Post Toasties are no longer available so Rice Krispies it is. Neither my mom or I remember this pie, but it sounded intriguing, so I quickly ordered up a deep dish pie pan on Amazon for same day delivery and sent Tom to the store for ingredients. By 3 p.m., my … Read more…

Chocolate Chip Orange Scones with Orange Glaze

Scrumptious Scones! Chocolate Chip Orange Scones with Orange Glaze Breakfast Snack: Traveling backward through time to 2002 via the Wayback Machine, a group of us participated in the Wine Road Barrel Tasting tour in Sonoma County.  We stayed at the Farmhouse Inn, located about 20 minutes south of Healdsburg.  What a great place!  Unfortunately, it became so wonderful that we’re unable to afford to stay there now. For breakfast they served moist, flaky, delicious scones.  My friend, Mary, scored the recipe and has been making them ever since.  She told me they’re easy to make and never fail, plus you can add anything you like to them.  Her family favorites include sliced almonds and chocolate chips; Snickerdoodle (cinnamon with extra … Read more…

Mango, Arugula, Dragon Fruit Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Tracy’s “Chopped” Salad Mango, Arugula, Dragon Fruit Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Appetizer The “Chopped” basket Tom came home with from a Melissa’s Produce event included a box of Melissa’s Coconut Clean Snax with Chia & Flaxseed, Organic Blue Agave Syrup, an Australian Mango and a Yellow Dragon Fruit. What to make that would be a good complement to the Potato, Fennel and Leek Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta and Seared Scallops I made from the rest of the goodies Tom brought home?  I love salad, and I especially love arugula which seemed like the perfect companions for those above ingredients. Australian mangos are small, sweet mangos that are soft and non-fibrous (they are only available here through March).  It was much … Read more…

Leek Fennel Potato Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta, and Seared Scallops

Supper Soup Leek Fennel Potato Soup with Tarragon, Pancetta, and Seared Scallops Main Course Tom came home from Melissa’s Produce event the other day toting, among other things, fennel, Melissa’s Parisian Potatoes, Melissa’s Coconut Clean Snax with Chia & Flaxseed, an Australian Mango, Yellow Dragon Fruit, and agave syrup.  It was all stacked on the counter when I got home from work like some sort of “Chopped” basket (we’re semi-addicted to that show).  “What are you going to make?” were the first words out of his mouth. Fortunately for him, I was in a good mood I was in a good mood because a new(ish) soup cookbook from Betty Rosbottom had also arrived on this day.  My favorite soup cookbook … Read more…

Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top

British Pub Supper (With Help From The Irish & The French) Beef and Stout Pie with Stilton Calvados Pastry Top Main Dish Oddly enough, this recipe started with a diet.  It was New Year’s Eve, and I was purging the refrigerator so Tom and I could attempt yet another diet.  I had a lovely blue jar of Trader Joe’s Blue Stilton Cheese and recalled a recipe I had seen in a Williams Sonoma catalog for a Beef and Stout Pie with a Stilton Pastry top. Be warned. This recipe does take some time: three hours for the stew to simmer, an hour for the pastry to be refrigerated before rolling it out, and then more refrigeration after that.  Of course, … Read more…

Almond Tart with Raspberry Sauce

Just Like Mamma Used To Make Almond Tart Recipe with Raspberry Sauce Dessert Returning from our first trip to Italy in 2001, all the Italian food enamored us, especially the desserts (Pignoli cookies gave me the energy to join in a festival in Siena; Zabaglione in Rome; Panna Cotta in, well, everywhere … yum). I immediately ordered several Italian cookbooks including Dolci Toscani, The Book of Tuscan Desserts, by Anne Bianchi and Sandra Lott.  I have tried a few of these recipes over the years, but the one I keep going back to is the Torta Della mamma con fragole (Almond Tart with Raspberry Sauce), which is equally delicious with or without the raspberry sauce.  Interestingly, I read that the … Read more…

Dorie’s Mincemeat Oatmeal Bar Cookies with Bourbon Glaze

Try It, You’ll Like It! Dorie’s Mincemeat Oatmeal Bar Cookies with Bourbon Glaze Do you have a mincemeat pie fan in your household?  When I first met Tom, I had never even heard of mincemeat pie, let alone tasted one.  But it is a family tradition handed down on his dad’s side of the family who are English, so every Thanksgiving we would pick up a mincemeat pie. Tom’s mom was in charge of the hard sauce (butter, powdered sugar and bourbon); and Tom would eat one slice of that pie, and we would eventually toss the rest.  No one had any interest in that pie except Tom.  I didn’t even know what mincemeat was… for some reason in the … Read more…

Make Ahead: Tom’s Mom’s Sour Cream and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onion and Cognac Gravy

Just Like Mom Used To Make! Sour Cream and Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions and Cognac Gravy Here at the Casa de MaiTaiTom & Tracy, there is only one mashed potato recipe that we serve at every Thanksgiving meal, Tom’s Mom’s Mashed Potatoes.  I love these so much because they are creamy and delicious and best of all, are made the night before so that you can cross one more item off your Thanksgiving ‘To Do List.’  Just bring to room temperature, fluff with a fork, and pop in the oven or microwave to reheat just before serving. Tom’s mom used White Rose potatoes, but we prefer Yukon Golds.  I usually make these with low-fat sour cream, light … Read more…

Cranberry Pineapple Jell-O Mousse

A Side Dish That Fits The Mold Cranberry Pineapple Jell-O Mousse Here is an easy make-ahead recipe for your Thanksgiving menu.  This dessert was shared with me by our friend, Helen, who brought it to Thanksgiving dinner a few years ago, and we now always request she make it.  When I was a kid, my Nana used to make a carrot pineapple Jell-O ring for Thanksgiving which I have to admit I’d never eat.  I’m not sure what I had against carrots as a kid, because I love them now.  I would also never eat the carrot cake that she made, which is DELICIOUS and one of Tom’s favorites (I’ll have to share that recipe someday). Tom, on the other hand, … Read more…

Caramelized Bacon & Apple Coffee Cake with Bourbon Bacon Pecan Glaze

Bacon, Bourbon, Apples and More Bacon! Caramelized Bacon & Apple Coffee Cake with Bourbon Bacon Pecan Glaze Autumn is taking its sweet time arriving here in lovely Southern California (the hottest opening game in World Series history last week at 103 degrees).  Despite the heat, a few weeks ago my thoughts turned to comfort food and what is more enticing than apples, bacon and coffee cake?  Wow!  Just the title of this recipe had me drooling. I came across this recipe from Bacon Nation on the Chew and decided to liven things up a tad by caramelizing the bacon ala Barefoot Contessa from Foolproof.  Ina’s recipe is actually for appetizers, but it sounded so delicious I knew it would work … Read more…

Wedge Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing and Pancetta

Maytag Is Back! Wedge Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing and Pancetta  Long, long ago (before I even met Tom!), I was lucky enough to work with my friend, Gloria.  On Fridays, Gloria and I would lunch at a restaurant in Long Beach called Simon & Seaforts, and we would almost always start with a salad with this rich and creamy Maytag Blue Cheese Dressing.  Although Simon & Seaforts no longer exists (at least not in Long Beach), I have the recipe card from the restaurant, and while the ingredient list is long, it is well worth the effort.  Simon & Seafort’s served it over romaine greens with toasted slivered almonds, but it is equally as scrumptious on an old-school wedge … Read more…

Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

In Search Of The Perfect Chicken Enchilada Hot Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas Suizas What’s a girl to do when her husband brings home a haul of Extra Hot Hatch Green Chiles courtesy of the very generous Melissa’s Produce?  Roast them!  Tom was once again fortunate to be included in an event at Melissa’s Produce, this one featuring La Tortilla Factory.  Not only did Tom score the Hatches and get to taste the scrumptious food, but he also brought home a bunch of La Tortilla Factory’s products, too. If you haven’t had an opportunity to taste La Tortilla Factory tortillas, you must hunt them down.  I love, love, love their Original Flour Tortillas in a quesadilla.  And the Hatch Chile 50/50 … Read more…

Citrus Vodka Martini Delight: The TomTini

A Citrus Vodka Martini With A Twist!The TomTini: Citrus Vodka Martini Delight In my trip reports or restaurant reviews, I mention ordering a TomTini on certain occasions.  I have been asked by more than a few, “What is a TomTini?”  Well, it all started back in 2001 on a warm spring afternoon in Siena, Italy. Tracy and I (along with friends Kim and Mary) had just returned to our hotel after exploring the towns of San Gimignano and Volterra.  It has been a long day. Sensing a cold libation was in our future, we noticed that the bar area of the Palazzo Ravizza was open for four thirsty Americans. I ordered a martini, and a guy (who we later learned … Read more…

Blue Cheese Apple Soup

Soup With Lots Of A Peel Blue Cheese Apple Soup Category: Main Dish or First Course I love apples, but I must admit that when Tracy said she had a recipe for Apple Soup, I was a tad skeptical. However, once I took the first spoonful, I knew she had concocted a winner.  It’s a perfect dinner for a chilly night.  Heck, it’s a perfect dinner any night.  We happen to use a variety of apple called Envy, and it is the best-tasting apple I’ve ever eaten (yes, even better than Honeycrisp).  If they’re in season (and it’s a nearly year-round season now with apples out of the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand) try one, and if you love them … Read more…

Ghost Pepper Salsa & Carmelized Pineapple

Pineapple Paradise  Ghost Pepper Salsa & Caramelized Pineapple  With the last remaining Ghost Pepper from my friend Joseph’s garden, I made a variation of the Caramelized Pineapple Habanero Salsa found in the Best of Ball Home Canning & Preserving book. If you didn’t read my prior post about the peppers in the Ghost Pepper Strawberry Jam, I will repeat a portion of it here… All I knew about ghost peppers (Bhut Jolokia) was that they are HOT, in fact, I believe they are among the hottest peppers in the world as measured on the Scoville Heat Scale.  I originally learned of the Scoville Heat Scale while eating Indian food at the Mint Leaf in Pasadena.  Ghost Peppers clock in at … Read more…

Furry Godmother’s Peanut Butter Banana Pupcakes

Celebrating National Dog Day! Furry Godmother’s Peanut Butter Banana Pupcakes Recently, Frankie and Remi’s Aunt Susan (who is a total cat person) came across a recipe for these Peanut Butter & Banana Pupcakes while reading a cat caper by Julie Chase, Cat Got Your Diamonds:  A Kitty Couture Mystery.  Being the good aunt that she is, she shared it with me, and I made them in honor of National Dog Day on August 26 (of course, every day is National Dog Day at our house). National Dog Day was created by the National Dog Day Foundation in a mission to promote adoption of rescue dogs and to support local pet shelters coast to coast.  Their motto?  “Saving 10,000 Dogs – … Read more…

Ghost Pepper Strawberry Jam

Hot Damn Jam! Ghost Pepper Strawberry Jam For my birthday this year, I asked Tom to get me a galvanized steel watering trough … you know, the kind horses and cows drink out of.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I have coveted one for years.  It took 17 bags of soil to fill it up, and a trip to our local nursery to purchase some veggies including hot peppers and tomatoes.  While standing in line with my jalapeno, Serrano and Habanero plants, I checked out the basket of the guy behind me…. Vipers!  Ghost Peppers! OMG, this guy makes me look like a hot pepper slacker.                                                      I put the thought … Read more…

Shrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta

From The Kitchen of Kim & Mary Shrimp Scampi in a Garlic Butter Sauce with Pasta (Tom and Tracy Note: Two of our favorite places to dine on the road in Southern California or Northern California are at one of the homes of our intrepid traveling companions, Kim and Mary (we were very happy when they added their new location).  Both are wonderful home chefs, plus they don’t charge us a corkage fee. This recipe is their daughter’s favorite and just one of the numerous terrific recipes they have created for us throughout the years.)                     This is a super easy recipe, as long as you do all the preparation before you start cooking.  Once … Read more…

Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas

Bet You Can’t Eat Just One Donna Jean’s Tropical Pork Carnitas Mini Tostadas Appetizer For Tom’s 65th birthday party in July, we decided to celebrate with a fiesta catered by the terrific La Cabañita Restaurant in Montrose (technically Glendale).  Since La Cabañita was only bringing dinner items, I needed to prepare a few appetizers for the party.  In addition to guacamole and chips, I made Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho served in shot glasses, Black Bean Salsa and Salsa Baked Goat Cheese Dip. However, I felt this wouldn’t be enough food to soak up the muchas margaritas, sangria, and cerveza we were also serving.  (Did I mention we were expecting 65 people?)                                      … Read more…

Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin & Lime

Some Like It Cold! Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin & Lime Appetizer or Main Course It’s been blistering hot here in Southern California lately, so scorching in fact, that it’s too hot to barbecue or even turn on the oven.  So, what to make for dinner?  Soup…chilled soup that is.  I turned to my favorite soup cookbook, Sunday Soup by Betty Rosbottom, for a recipe.  Tom wanted a chilled cantaloupe soup, but I vetoed that, opting instead to make the Chilled Carrot Soup with Cumin and Lime.   To make this a little more robust for a meal, I added a garnish of diced radishes, cilantro, lime zest and some crumbled Queso Fresco.  Avocado would be a nice addition too, but … Read more…

Salsa Baked Goat Cheese and Chorizo Dip

Olé! Salsa Baked Goat Cheese and Chorizo Dip Appetizer This recipe is adapted from a Rick Bayless recipe that I found in a Williams-Sonoma booklet in 2002.  It has been a consistent winner over the years, but I got bored with it and decided it needed something …. something to take it up a notch or two.  Hmmm, chorizo! Disclosure:  I am a reluctant fan of chorizo.  Tom loves it, but I don’t like to think about what it is made from, and I also hate cooking with it … too much grease.  But thank goodness for Trader Joe’s.  They sell a delicious soy chorizo (soy chorizo should also be available at your neighborhood grocery store) that has all the … Read more…

Barefoot Contessa’s Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits  

Bone Appétit! Barefoot Contessa’s Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits As some of you may know, we have two Pembroke Welsh corgis named Frankie and Remi.  They are brother and sister from the same litter.  We adopted them when they were two years old. They are joyful and exuberant (although they were quite tired on that long drive home seven years ago). As seen in this Vanity Fair piece, corgis are Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dog. They are also super smart and athletic.  Because they are herding dogs, they need to be kept busy.  We have taken many agility classes over the years and even once took them to a ranch in Malibu to herd sheep.  That experience set us back … Read more…

Borough Market Cheese Toastie

Say “Cheese!” Borough Market Cheese Toastie Main Course Having returned from our London / Scotland holiday (trip report here), we were in the mood for the delicious Cheese Toastie we devoured at the Kappacasein Stall at the Borough Market in London on a previous trip.  We tried this sandwich on our first excursion to London in 2013.  Tom liked it more than I did, but I changed my mind after eating it again last month.                              Biting into the crunchy, toasted cheese goodness, I realized the addition of leeks and onions made for sheer perfection.  As you can see, Tom’s eating manners have not improved in the past four years. The sign that’s hanging over the Kappacasein stall (2017 Cheese Toastie … Read more…

Mom’s Grasshopper Pie

Patience Grasshopper Mom’s Grasshopper Pie Dessert Grasshopper Pie is one of Tom’s childhood favorite desserts.  I make it for him every year on his birthday.  Today, we roll it out early in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, not because it’s Irish, but because it’s green! The easiest way to make this pie is with a 9” pre-made chocolate crumb crust.  However, I find those pre-made crusts aren’t deep enough to hold the entire recipe.  Not to mention, the tin foil pan does not make for an appetizing picture. For today’s pie, I made the pie crust on the side of the box of Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers. This pie is an old-school minty chocolate delicious dessert that will have your guests … Read more…

Skillet Hatch Chile Cornbread with Spicy Cheese and Hatch Chile Honey Butter

Cornbread With A Kick! Skillet Hatch Childe Cornbread with Spicy Cheese and Hatch Chile Honey Butter Category: Side Dish One of my favorite things to eat at Bandera’s or Houston’s Restaurants (part of the Hillstone group of restaurants) is their Iron-Skillet Cornbread.  They serve it as an appetizer, but it really could be a meal with a small side salad.   Cheesy rich and yummy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside from baking in the cast-iron skillet.  I was so excited to see the recipe in Bon Appetite  that Tom and I immediately made it, and it was every bit as good as the restaurant. With all the rain Southern California is (finally!) getting, I decided to make … Read more…

Limoncello Orange Sugar Cookies

When Life Hands You Lemons and Oranges… Limoncello Orange Sugar Cookies Our next door neighbor, she of the fabulous fig tree, also has an incredible Meyer lemon tree (very pretty) that fortuitously hangs into our yard and provides us with lemons nearly year round.  After reading the recipe for Lemon Sugar Cookies in Dorie’s Cookies, I decided to give it a try with Pat’s lemons. I wish you could smell these lemons!  Unlike many of the lemons you buy in the store, these exude the sweetest scent and are really juicy.  To maximize the amount of juice you can get from a lemon, roll it around on the counter with your palm a little bit before squeezing it. If you … Read more…

Steakhouse Spinach Artichoke Dip

Tracy’s “Secret” Recipe Dip Steakhouse Spinach Artichoke Dip There are lots of really good spinach artichoke dip recipes out there.  This one was given to me years ago and allegedly is the “secret” recipe of a famous steakhouse (although the restaurant was never divulged).  This recipe never fails and is a party favorite.  For large parties, I double the recipe and serve it in a crock-pot to keep it warm. The best thing about this dip is it is made ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld and to free up the kitchen and you.  Just bring it to room temperature before baking.   And because there aren’t enough calories and deliciousness in this recipe, next time I am … Read more…

Dorie’s Classic Jammer Cookies

A Hunky “Dorie” Classic Cookie Dorie’s Classic Jammer Cookies In late 2016 you could not pick up a holiday magazine without seeing a cookie recipe by Dorie Greenspan or reading about her new compendium of cookies, “Dorie’s Cookies.”  I had no sooner read a review in the LA Times when Tom was invited by Melissa’s Produce to attend a demonstration featuring Dorie. Despite my Nana’s best efforts, other than the occasional drop cookie and Bundt cake, I am not a baker (nor do I play one on TV).  That having been said, I told Tom to take copious notes and maybe I would give one of these recipes a whirl. Tom came home from Melissa’s Produce with a bag of … Read more…

Italian Wedding Soup With Orzo & Spicy Chicken Meatballs

A Marriage of Pasta and Chicken Italian Wedding Soup With Orzo & Spicy Chicken Meatballs Our New Year’s Eve plans changed at the last minute and as it was an unusually cold and wintry day in Southern California (even rain!), I turned to my favorite cookbook author, Ina Garten, to make her Italian Wedding Soup.  I have made this on numerous occasions and always change it up.  My favorite is to use spicy Italian chicken sausage in the meatballs, pancetta to sauté the veggies and orzo for my pasta.  If you are like me and don’t have the homemade stock on hand, a little trick I like to use is to add 1 t. Better Than Bouillon (reduced sodium) to … Read more…

Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake

Simply Irresistible Tom’s Famous Black Russian Bundt Cake Category: Dessert From MaiTaiTom’s Kitchen baby!  Every great chef has his or her Signature Dish. I’m not a great chef nor do I play one on TV, but this is my Signature Dessert, and the reason is because it is so damned easy to make. I’m nothing if not lazy.  Yet with so little effort, this dessert is so incredibly delicious. I was given this recipe in 1981 from Cynthia Salcido (Cynthia, wherever you are…thanks). In looking online I see many Black Russian Cake recipes that only include 1/4 cup of Kahlua and 1/4 quarter cup of vodka.  They also include 3/4 cups of water.  Well, my thought is if you have … Read more…

Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies

Yuletide Treat Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop Cookies Recipe Type: Cookies This cookie recipe recently made it into the top 10 in the Los Angeles Times 2016 Holiday Cookie Bake-Off Competition. The results are not yet in as to the winner, but as December 4th is National Cookie Day we are sharing this recipe with you now…. It was mid-November and the Christmas candy was out in every store, but no gumdrops!  I spent an entire Sunday afternoon driving around looking for gumdrops to make my Nana’s Old Fashioned Christmas Oatmeal Gumdrop cookies.  Apparently, this candy has fallen out of favor (at least in our neighborhood).  At home, I jumped online and discovered that gumdrops come in various blends.  Who … Read more…

Pumpkin Pie Spice Vanilla Vodka Martini

Spicing Up The Holidays! Pumpkin Pie Spice Vanilla Vodka Martini Recipe Type: Cocktail To help you get through the upcoming Thanksgiving and holiday season, MaiTaiTracy’s Kitchen is rolling out a Pumpkin Pie Spice Vanilla Vodka Martini recipe sure to ease the way.  This recipe was shared by a friend a few years ago, and a quick review of the online recipes show several variations including your choice of vodka or rum and whether to include actual pumpkin.  Although adding actual pumpkin to your cocktail would give you a good dose of fiber, I think for ease of mixing and clean-up this recipe works better. Thank to Tom running into a pretty woman selling Irish Cream Liqueur, we tried one with … Read more…

Cinnamon Pear Jam

A Pair Of Pear Jams (Part 2) Cinnamon Pear Jam While the Pear Vanilla jam was cooling, I turned to using the remainder of the pears for Food in Jars’ Pear Cinnamon jam. If these two recipes are any indication, be sure to check out Marisa McClellan’s Food in Jars blog for lots of good recipe ideas! I love cinnamon and usually am of the opinion that more is better so I was torn between using just ground cinnamon or a cinnamon stick or both. Reviews of various recipes seemed to think it was better to go light on the cinnamon so as not to overwhelm the pears. I decided to go with the original recipe using 1 tablespoon. Also, … Read more…

Vanilla Pear Jam

A Pair Of Pear Jams (Part One) Vanilla Pear Jam Sadly, fig season is over, but I remain smitten with jamming.   Recently I read an article featuring food blogger Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars.  Not only did I learn lots about canning but I was inspired to try her recipes for Pear Vanilla jam and Pear Cinnamon jam.  I would love to attend one of Marisa’s canning classes but Pennsylvania is a tad too far, maybe if Tom and I ever get around to doing our Philadelphia trip I can talk him into adding some time for me to take a class or two. On to the jams …I took a trip to my local market in search of … Read more…

Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo

Corn To Be Wild! Creamed Corn and Pancetta Orzo Side or Main Dish: From the Tracy’s Kitchen archives, here is a recipe that I first came across in Bon Appétit magazine and it was our Recipe of the Year for 2008.  I have made this periodically over the years and had forgotten how really good it is.  Of course, I had to amp it up with the addition of Pancetta (Pancetta could be one of my all-time favorite ingredients).  To save some time you can use a bag of frozen sweet corn, but fresh picked summer corn is hard to beat. We paired this with a BBQ Tri Tip, an arugula salad and Skillet Corn Bread I made using Hatch … Read more…

Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam

Ain’t It Grand! Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam After the success of the Boozy Bourbon Vanilla Fig Jam, I was inspired to try another jam recipe also including a potent potable (Strawberry Grand Marnier Fig Jam).   It was a good thing too, because as I was making the jam I looked out the kitchen window to see a family of raccoons helping themselves to all the fruit from the top of the tree!  If they clean out the tree, this may be the last batch of fig jam I make this season. While researching strawberry jam recipes, many people mentioned that the jam sometimes would get foamy.  I did not experience that, but if you do be sure to … Read more…

Boozy Bourbon, Vanilla and Fig Jam

We’re Jammin’ Boozy Bourbon, Vanilla and Fig Jam Our neighbor has a gorgeous fig tree that fortuitously hangs into our yard (as does her luscious lemon tree).  Never having been a big fig fan, each year I would pick them to take to the office where they are scooped up like hotcakes and, I am told, are delicious. After a friend shared Jill Silverman Hough’s Drunken Fig Jam recipe with me, I decided to give it a try with this year’s crop.  The original recipe appeared in the October 2008 issue of Bon Appetit and calls for brandy although I read reviews of people using sherry, white port and other liquors.  We (that would be me, although Tom did do … Read more…

Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce

Scrumptious South Of The Border Enchiladas Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce Tom Preface:  (About five years ago…when I was gainfully employed…I conducted an interview with my friend Robert at Melissa’s Produce.  I asked him what was new, and he replied, “Well, it’s almost Hatch Chile season.” I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.  Some reporter I was!  Robert went on to say that fresh Hatch chiles from New Mexico…grown in the Hatch Valley…were hitting retailers the second week of August…the season is a short one…and he was nice enough to provide us with a box.  They come in “mild” and “hot,” and, of course I went for the hot. Well, that day … Read more…

Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho Soup

The Perfect Summer Soup Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho Soup Category: Soup While traveling in Spain in 2015, I ordered many versions of gazpacho, and while some were better than others, none were made with watermelon.  When I saw this recipe in Fine Cooking I was intrigued.   Recently we fired up the BBQ and grilled up some watermelon.  The results were delicious, and Tom has declared it his new favorite summer soup (which is amazing as he claims to hate cucumbers!). After following the original directions, I had left over watermelon and cucumber, but no actual gazpacho left over, so I have increased the ingredients a tad  to use up all the ingredients and yield more servings.   With regard to the watermelon, … Read more…

Bacon Burgers with Bacon-Onion-Balsamic Jam

Bringing Home The Bacon (Burger) Bacon Burgers with Bacon-Onion-Balsamic Jam Category: Main Course WOW… what more can you say about this recipe we found in the Fine Cooking Grilling 2016 issue?   We think we make pretty, darn tasty burgers, but this recipe blew them all away and is well worth the effort (actually, pretty minimal effort) of making the Bacon-Onion-Balsamic Jam.  Of course, if bacon is not your thing (subscriber Burt, you may now leave the room) then this recipe isn’t for you.  Be sure to use a high quality, thick cut bacon.  We used Trader Joe’s Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon. Ingredients…FOR THE JAM: 4 thick slices Applewood-smoked bacon cut crosswise into ½ inch strips 1 large red onion, halved … Read more…

Cauliflower, Fennel & Celery Root Soup

Triple-header Soup Cauliflower, Fennel & Celery Root Soup Category: Soup I’m not quite sure why this recipe called to me to give it a try; but I love fennel and it is an Ina Garten recipe (from Make It Ahead), and the Barefoot Contessa rarely fails me.  To begin with, I had to Google an image of celery root as I didn’t know what it was and do not recall ever seeing it in the store.  But this is beyond delicious and fairly easy to make.  It only has 2 tablespoons cream so it is also low calorie, can be made ahead and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months.  Yummy! (Tom’s note: “another … Read more…

Divine Orange Sherbet Jello

The Dish That Helped Save My Life Divine Orange Sherbet Jello This is the ultimate comfort food from your grandmother’s generation.  It is also Tom’s favorite and was an integral part in his recovery from his 105-day hospitalization in 2010, as it was one of the few foods he would eat.  It was a childhood favorite of our friend, Susan, who made vats of this to aid in his recovery.  Jello and orange sherbet…what’s not to like?  By the way, it’s perfect for that Easter (or any day) brunch! Ingredients: 1 large package orange Jello 1 can mandarin orange slices, drained 1 pint orange sherbet 2 c. boiling water                                                   … Read more…

Steak, Chipotle & Black Bean Chili

Some Like It (Really) Hot Chili Steak, Chipotle & Black Bean Chili Category:  Main Dish This is our go to chili when the frozen tundra of winter hits Southern California (or when the calendar says it is winter, otherwise how would we know? Seriously, it is supposed to be 80 later this week). I have listed the ingredients for those of you without a Trader Joe’s. For those of you with a Trader Joe’s, we use their Cuban Style Black Beans (with green peppers and garlic), Diced and Fire Roasted Tomatoes (with green chiles), the canned or the frozen Hatch chiles; and last, but not least, Trader Joe’s frozen garlic cubes and frozen trio of peppers.  It makes for such … Read more…

Cajun Bread Pudding with Jack Daniels Sauce

That’s A Fact Jack! Cajun Bread Pudding with Jack Daniels Sauce Category: Dessert This is my most requested dessert for Christmas parties.  I have no idea why it is called Cajun Bread Pudding, but I do seem to recall it came out of a New Orleans-style cook book, and that Jack Daniels sauce really “kicks it up a notch.”   A 9 x 12 x 4 baking dish works best for this dessert.  When I double the recipe for a party, I use a large tin foil roasting pan.                           This is not really a make ahead dessert as it is best served warm right out of the oven, but if you assemble all the ingredients ahead of time it is … Read more…

NYC Salted Caramel Martini

A Martini Worth Its Salt NYC Salted Caramel Martini Category: Cocktail Here’s a “go-to” drink for your next holiday soirée!  While in New York, Tracy and I stopped by the Bryant Park Grill for a bite to eat.  On the menu was a Salted Caramel Martini, which sounded like the perfect dessert.                                                 At $15 a pop, Tracy and I shared our martini because we had already spent our yearly salary during the first few days in NYC. The martini was well worth the money, and upon returning home we “experimented” with perfecting the recipe (hey, it’s a tough job, but someone needs to do it).  As it turns out, the simplest recipe turned out to be the best.  Plus … Read more…

Tuscan Tom’s Perfect Pumpkin Risotto

Just In Time For The Holidays Tuscan Tom’s Perfect Pumpkin Risotto Category: Side or Main Dish Here is a recipe that Tom and I sent out with our Christmas cards in 2005 having deemed it “Tuscan Tom’s Recipe of the Year.”  We had just returned from a three-week vacation to Umbria, Tuscany, Venice and Rome, so we were in an Italian state of mind.                               We made this again this past weekend, and it’s as good (or better) than we recalled and, more importantly, even worth the two-day effort of making it. Just a couple of notes…with regard to the rice, we have tried many brands and it does make a difference.  If you are using Arborio rice, we like … Read more…

Meat Loaf With A Kick

Comfort Food Extraordinaire Meat Loaf With A Kick Category: Main Dish While lying on the floor with a bad back watching daytime TV last week (a sad tale of water conservation gone awry), I came upon Chef Jeff Mauro making meatloaf on a show called The Kitchen.  Tom happened to be walking through right then and chimed in, “Meatloaf is my favorite!” “What?”  I’ve known Tom for 25 years, been married for 21 and never once in all those years did he tell me meatloaf is his favorite comfort food.  In fact, I have never in my life made a meatloaf (I do, however, make a pretty good Shepard’s Pie).   Now that I am back on my feet again, … Read more…

Sweet Summer Corn Soup

Fresh Off The Cob Sweet Summer Corn Soup Category:  Soup Sure it’s autumn, but in Southern California it’s summer all year long (almost).  I asked Tracy to make this soup after seeing a recipe in the Los Angeles Times from a chef named Gavin Kaysen.   She thought it was going to be really bland and had to force herself to restrain from adding any extra spices.  Once we tasted the final product, we were very glad we tried it (mostly) as written.  It was pure, silky corn goodness.   Enjoy!                                                   Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter 1 cup. thinly sliced leeks, whites only (1 medium leek) ½ cup thinly sliced yellow onion (1 medium onion) 2 cloves garlic, minced 4 … Read more…

Supremely Lemon Bundt Cake

Lemon Heaven Supremely Lemon Bundt Cake Category: Dessert A co-worker shared this recipe with me.  The secret here is the Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake mix and the apricot juice.  It is perfect for Spring, especially as our neighbor’s lemon tree overhangs our driveway full of the sweetest lemons ever.  It is both delicious and easy, exactly what we want at Tracy’s Kitchen.                                 Ingredients: Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix 1/2 c. sugar 1 c. apricot juice (we used Kern’s Apricot Nectar in the can) 3/4 c. vegetable oil 2 t. lemon oil (we used McNess Pure Lemon Oil from Williams Sonoma, but lemon extract works well too) zest of one fresh lemon 4 eggs at room temperature                                    … Read more…

Gruyère Mac & Cheese

Swiss Cheesy Gruyère Mac & Cheese Category: Main Dish When Tracy and I visited Switzerland (Gruyères to be exact), it started pouring down rain in the late morning after visiting the chateau, so we ducked inside a little restaurant for lunch. On the menu was an incredible Gruyère Macaroni and Cheese dish I have tried to replicate for the past 12 years (constantly evolving). This one is pretty close, and on a cold evening, it is the perfect dinner. Be careful, however, after two helpings you might have the urge to yodel! Ingredients : 12 – 14 ounces of Grated Gruyère Cheese 5 large Shallots, diced 12 – 16 ounces of Pancetta, chopped 12 ounces Small Elbow Macaroni 1 cup Milk … Read more…

Bath Soup

Bath Soup Sally Lunn’s Carrot, Lentil & Cumin Soup Category:  Soup A couple of years ago Tracy and I traveled to Bath in jolly old England.  Located in that famous town (which I highly recommend you visit) is a famed tea and eating house by the name of Sally Lunn’s.  According to its website:  “Our kitchen museum is believed to originally have been the bakery of the young Huguenot baker (today our namesake patron) who created the first Bath bun: a regional speciality now known the world over.”   It would have been a nice place to stop in. One problem: I had never heard of Sally Lunn’s before we left, so it was never on our radar.  Fortunately, Tracy … Read more…

Maitai Tracy’s Kumquat Infused Vodka

Homemade Booze…KumQuat May Maitai Tracy’s Kumquat Infused Vodka Category: Cocktail The old adage says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Sure, but what if life (actually a dwarf tree in our backyard) gives you kumquats? Why make vodka, of course. Near the end of February, Tracy and I picked as many kumquats as we could off that little tree and, over a martini, decided to attempt making a Kumquat Infused Vodka. The difficult part of this experiment was that we would have to wait a long, long time until this concoction came to fruition, and waiting is not my forte…but wait we did. See what the verdict is below. Preparation: 1 1/2 month minimum (I suggest drinking to help … Read more…

Picard Martini

A Cocktail That Is Simply Out Of This World! Picard Martini Category: Cocktail I originally was going to call this martini the Star Trek: Next Generation, however I decided on the shorter name because I learned this recipe from a friend named Patrick Stuart (not spelled exactly like the actor who played Enterprise captain Jean-Luc Picard, but certainly close enough for cocktail names). Ingredients: Mint (North Shore Living Herbs Mint, if possible), Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur (with VSOP Cognac), one large Lemon, Bitters, Sugar and Cayenne Pepper. Recipe Directions: Muddle 10 – 12 Mint Leaves in the bottom of a Martini Shaker
.  After muddling, pour in 3 – 3 1/2 ounces French Ginger Liqueur
.  Squeeze in the juice … Read more…