It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere…

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere…

I tried this cocktail on Thursday (because all cocktails need a test run, right?) and it was just kind of bland and I did not think the tequila was really the best in this application. But I thought the idea had potential. So, I worked on it Friday and found that my “fixes” made a much better beverage!

So, I thought I’d share my recipe with you all, in case you want to try it out… say like tonight, non?

Step One: Make a blackberry-thyme simple syrup

  • 1-pint blackberries
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • lemon zest (I used 4 strips from a very small lemon)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme

Combine berries, water, sugar, and lemon zest and bring to boil. Stir to ensure sugar has dissolved and to mash berries a bit. Add thyme and bring heat down and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes to steep. Strain mixture and cool before refrigerating. Will last approximately 10 days.

Step Two: Make Cocktail

  • 2-ounces Dry Gin (I used London Dry Gin)
  • 1.5-ounce blackberry-thyme syrup
  • 1-ounce fresh lemon juice
  • Sparkling water

Combine gin, syrup, and lemon juice over ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Serve over ice in tall glass and top with sparkling water and enjoy!

I found this to be an incredibly delicious and refreshing cocktail.

AND, totally unrelated but incredibly awesome!!

Yesterday, the mail carrier brought a lovely little surprise to my doorstep from Washington D.C. Yes, my dear friend Honoré sent me the loveliest little gift! It is a mouse pad that you can take notes on! And, it is so wonderful! As you can see, I am already using it (although – no notes…yet!) Thank you so much, Honoré for this lovely gift! Even the Roald Dahl quote is perfect – and it reminds me of her!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Winner, Winner, Roast Pork Dinner

Winner, Winner, Roast Pork Dinner

One recipe that really grabbed my attention when I read Ruth’s book this past summer, was a recipe for an apple cider braised pork roast.

Ruth calls for a big bone in pork shoulder roast – and a recipe that feeds 6-8 people.

Now, for a household of two this might not be the best choice, however a pork tenderloin would be just about right!

Now to adjust the recipe to work for such a small cut of meat.

picmonkey-collage

Serves: 2 with leftovers!

  • 1 pork tenderloin
  • 1 onion, halved and then sliced in slivers
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, sliced into slivers to insert into the pork
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Hard Cider (I used Angry Orchard)
  • 1-ounce Crown Royal Maple Whisky™
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

This is finished in the oven after browning the meat on the stove top, so I used my Staub™ all purpose pan.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Cut several slits in the pork loin and insert the garlic slivers. Salt and pepper the meat on all sides

Place the pan on the stove over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil and the pork loin. Brown the meat on all sides and remove from the pan. Add the onion to the pan and sauté to soften a few minutes. Add the cider and the whisky stirring to loosen the fond from the bottom of the pan. Add back the pork loins, cover and place in the oven.

Cook approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the pork has reached an internal temperature of 145° F.

(Cook’s note, in the last 15 minutes of cooking I added about a cup of halved Brussels Sprouts.)

I served this with a nice big dollop of oven roasted applesauce and it was fantastic! The meal and the applesauce! I had about 8 lbs of apples. I used minimal sugar and butter (1 1/2 tsp and 2 tbsp butter) and it turned out fantastically! I finished it with 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

I highly recommend both recipes!

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Tuesday’s with Ruth

Tuesday’s with Ruth

Leaves turning. Early fall farmers’ market. I’ll buy apples, pork, kale, squash, and spend the weekend dancing in the kitchen. Cant’ wait. ~ My Kitchen Year, Ruth Reichl

Last summer I was fortunate to have read Ruth Reichl’s book, My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life. To say I loved it is an extreme understatement. And, inspired by Ruth – Tuesdays here at Casa del KatKnits are going to have a new focus.

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Each week I will share with you a recipe from her book, or a recipe inspired by her book. Because that was what really came through for me in My Kitchen Year – being inspired.

To kick it off this week is the perfect Ruth Reichl inspired fall supper:

Pumpkin Ravioli with Turkey Mascarpone Sauce

Now, if you want easy – this is it. I get my pumpkin raviolis from a small local market and they are so good and are only available in the fall. However, if you are inspired to make your own – please, by all means do!

Turkey Mascarpone Sauce:

  • 24 – 36 pumpkin ravioli (I used 6 raviolis per serving)
  • 1.5 pounds ground turkey (I used 93-7 Turkey)
  • 1.5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 – 8-ounce container of mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 to 1.5 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, minced (reserve 1 or two leaves for topping the pasta)
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Serves: 4-6

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to prepare the ravioli.

Brown the ground turkey, seasoning it with the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. When the turkey is almost browned, add in the fresh sage and cook for a minute, until it begins to soften a bit. Once the turkey has browned add in the mascarpone, stirring to combine. Add in the half and half and the grated nutmeg – stir to combine and simmer over low heat a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together.

While the turkey sauce simmers, cook the ravioli – following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Drain the ravioli well before dishing up and topping with the sauce.

Sprinkle the pasta with the reserved minced sage leaves and some grated parmesan cheese.

This is really such a super easy dinner to make. It is done in less than 30 minutes! I hope you enjoy! I would love to know if you try this!

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Monday Lines

Monday Lines

It was a quiet weekend in my corner of the world. Quiet, hot, and muggy. Relief is in sight however, which is ironically forecast to arrive on Thursday – September 1st.

I think the weather gods are having a good laugh over this. But, really. I am so ready!

We picked volumes from our little garden – we picked some things that were not quite ripe, which turned out to be a very good thing when the deluge of rain hit last night. It was nice (not!) to leave us with a foggy steam bath this morning.

PicMonkey Collage

My list seems long today, however, I was up bright and early. Yogurt is at work in the Instant Pot, quick Roasted Raspberry Jam is done and cooling in a jar, and in moments these lovely tomatoes will be on their way to the most delicious jam ever.

I hope your weekend was filled with good things! Here is to lots lines crossing things off my list for this week… how about you?

When Summer is Over

When Summer is Over

Hello, 10 on Tuesday fans! Carole, our fearless leader, is having a bit of a vacay this week, but I thought it would be the perfect time to share some ideas for preserving the best tastes of the season to enjoy when summer is gone!

Now, you may notice that tomatoes kind of steal the show, however, there is a reason for that. I am in the TOMATO OVERLOAD ZONE.

Note to self, there is no reason to plant more than one Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato next year. (What on earth was I thinking planting 4!!)

  • I am seeing some plums in the markets right now and Plum Butter is so good on toast, or in yogurt with a bit of granola, or swirled through vanilla ice cream (you could make your own, but really store bought is just fine!) and (P.S. The cardamom is such a great addition to the butter!)
  • This recipe calls for apricots, but it is so perfect with peaches. It is so good on English Muffins and stirred into yogurt.
  • I think that in a few weeks, when the temperatures have cooled off a bit again, you will find good radishes in the markets again and nothing tastes better than Pickled Radishes. Really, I love them and they are a welcome addition to Happy Hour!
  • Cucumbers are everywhere at the markets right now, and this Quick Sweet Pickle recipe is my favorite!
  • Now, let’s get to the tomato recipes; shall we? I love to have jars of Tomato Basil Sauce in the pantry, and I think I will try this one this year!
  • Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes are such incredible pops of flavor. They are so easy to do and they last a long time in the refrigerator. I have made one batch, and will be making another soon! (P.S. I cut them in half before roasting)
  • Homemade Rotel-Style Tomatoes are so good!
  • This recipe for Lazy Cherry Tomato Salsa looks so good!
  • Now for the Tomato Jams – I have not made this before, but these recipes look so amazing! And, see above – 4 Sweet 100 Cherry Tomato Plants means I have Cherry Tomatoes in bulk!! I found two versions, and I will be trying both; Tomato Jam and Golden Cherry Tomato and Ginger Jam.

There you have it, Gentle Reader, summer in a jar for you to enjoy when summer is just a fond memory! What is your favorite way to preserve the season’s bounty?

The Living is Easy

The Living is Easy

We have some much-needed rain in the forecast today – the skies are cloudy and it smells like rain.

It’s the perfect day to make a batch of Salsa Verde and a jar of Sweet Pickles.

And…by week’s end I think I will have enough little tomatoes to make a batch of Roasted Cherry Tomatoes.

The only other thing on my agenda today is a wee bit of letter writing!

What’s on your agenda today?

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