Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cranberry Pear Mimosa

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to share this perfect holiday concoction I whipped up this morning:

Since we're all busy stuffing our faces today, I'll make this post short and sweet. I know that Mimosas are typically reserved for brunch and we've past that point in the day, but as far as I'm concerned, brunch should be enjoyed all hours of the day. So try one this afternoon, or wait til tomorrow morning for a nice post-turkey pick-me-up! Although you don't actually taste any of the rosemary, you get a fresh whiff of the garnish with every sip, which tricks you into thinking you're tasting it! Can I just good.

Cranberry Pear Mimosa

* 1 ripe pear, small to medium in size (will be enough for about 6 drinks)
* 4-6 dried cranberries, per drink
* 1/2 cup orange juice
* Champagne
* 1/2 Rosemary sprig, per drink


1) Place dried cranberries in a bowl of hot water. Allow to rehydrate for 15 minutes.

2) Core the pear and cut into inch-thick pieces.

3) Toss chopped pear and orange juice in the blender and puree until almost no lumps remain.

4) Fill your champagne flute 1/3 of the way with the pear/orange mixture.

5) Fill the rest of your flute with champagne.

6) Remove cranberries from water and pat dry. Stick 1-2 of the plump cranberries on the bottom of your rosemary sprig (this will make it float) and garnish.

7) Add the rest of the cranberries to the drink and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homemade Ginger Beer

Last summer I discovered a drink that I'd never had or heard of before. This drink would subsequently change my life. Forever.

Okay, that's a little dramatic. But for real, once I had a Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer and lime) I found myself asking for it at every bar I visited. It is honestly my favorite drink....ever. Any drink that involves ginger beer: I'm all over that. If you've never had a ginger beer drink before, do yourself a favor and make that your next cocktail.

So you can imagine my elation when one of my super awesome birthday gifts from Tony (bar tools and cocktail books) included a recipe for homemade ginger beer. Needless to say, I tried making it right away and it was a huge success!

It's super easy and super cheap. And, it'll keep in the fridge for up to a month. But if you're like me, there's no way it's lasting that long!

So without further adieu...

Ginger Beer

(Makes just over 4 cups)

5 cups of water
1 large ginger root, minced
2 tablespoons of light brown sugar
1 table spoon fresh squeezed lime juice


1) Bring the water to a boil. Turn off heat.

2) Add minced ginger and cover. Let infuse for 1 hour.

Tip: if you have a food processor, mince the ginger in there. It'll be a lot faster. If you're like me and your food processor broke...cut up the ginger into inch-thick pieces and pulse chop in a blender. Remove and continue to mince by hand.

3) Strain the mixture through a fine strainer. Use the back of a large spoon to press on the ginger chunks and squeeze out all the yummy liquid.

4) Add lime and brown sugar, sir and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.


Now, the difference between this and ginger beer you buy at the store is that it's not carbonated. This makes for an awesomely smooth flavor. But, if you find you're missing the bubbles in your drink, just add a few splashes of club soda. Makes up for it without changing the flavor.

Now get concocting!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fall into Winter

We had our first snow here in Durango this weekend.

Unfortunately, it melted pretty quickly. But fortunately - after raking for three weekends straight - we got up all the leaves just in time!

Here was the before (this is only about a third of the backyard):

After the first weekend and only getting the front yard done, we decided to rent a leaf vacuum. We rented it for 4 hours, and only got about half of the backyard done.

Here is Tony's after:

Then finally, 50, 50-gallon bags later (we used every last one):

Just in time for the snow!

It had stayed in the upper 50s, lower 60s right up until the snow fall. Now, highs are in the 30s. And just like that, winter is here. And winter in this house means PROJECTS!! I'm really excited to get started. Here's what's on the list for this season:

1) New kitchen light fixtures
2) Turn a Craigslist tea cart into a fabulous bar cart
3) Paint the kitchen
4) Refurbish an old bench

And I've already started the organizing part. We have a bad habit of forgetting what food we have, especially dry goods, which seem to get lost in the cabinets. So after a little Pinspiration, I decided to make good use of all those Mason jars we have acquired.

The next step is to buy (or make) some chalkboard paint to label each of the jars.

More to come! What are your winter projects in the pipeline??