Posts for March 20th 2009
Last month YumSugar and I attended a cocktail competition hosted by the drinks-based social networking website, Nirvino. We were a little worried about the contest, not because we were competing, but because each of the five cocktails had to use No. 209 Gin. Normally, I'm not a fan of the strong, intensely botanical flavor of gin, however the concoctions created by San Francisco's bartending elite were surprisingly well-balanced and drinkable. The winning drink, The Grey Lady, created by Greg Lindgren, the owner of one of my watering holes, Rye, was particularly memorable. A mixture of gin, fresh lemon juice, and Earl Grey syrup, this drink is innovative (who would think to use breakfast tea in a cocktail?), light, airy, smooth, and delicious. Although one of the ingredients, bergamot, is incredibly hard to find, the tipple can be enjoyed without it. To watch a video of Greg making the concoction at the party and check out the recipe, read more
It took a couple of days, but we finally recovered from this year's St. Patrick's Day festivities — just in time to enjoy some of the early wonders of Spring, buying up bunches of dandelion greens at the farmers market and reading Alice Waters's eloquent new book, Edible Schoolyard. Judging by the new White House garden breaking ground today, others — including the Obamas — have been feeling the same spirit!
Are you up to speed with all the fun from this week? There's only one way to find out!Take the Quiz
A few weeks ago, I found myself with a large party at a Manhattan restaurant. As soon as we sat down, our hostess pointed us to the mandatory coat check. The restaurant and bar was by no means formal, and we weren't out at a club with a dance floor, so in this case, I really didn't see the point of it being requirement. Add to that the dilemma of tipping at a coat check. But the worst part of it all? It was the dead of Winter, and the restaurant was bone-chillingly cold, so all of us were shivering at the table.
As I sat there covered in goose bumps, I worried whether I would catch a cold, and wondered how this could be legal. After all, it's no different from built-in tips!
Have you ever been forced to give up your coat and tip on a mandatory coat check? Do share your thoughts and stories below.
If you love enchiladas, you'll flip for this recipe. It takes all the classic chicken enchilada components and transforms them into layered dish-like lasagna.
Corn tortillas are covered with chicken, salsa, chilies, and cheese. A rotisserie chicken and purchased tomatillo salsa make it uncomplicated and quick to put together.
If you have them on hand, fresh tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and minced jalapenos are welcome additions to the dish. To look at the recipe — that both feeds and pleases a crowd — read more
At any party that involves being creative, set up several stations to create a smooth flow and promote mingling. There should be an area for Bedazzling, a place for food, and a bar with drinks. If necessary, bring in a folding table and use this as the crafting station. Cover with a plain tablecloth and Bedazzlers. Fill bowls with different colored rhinestones and studs.
On another table, serve the food on silver trays. Arrange glasses and champagne buckets near the cocktails. Don't forget paper napkins and a beautiful floral arrangement. Sprinkle turquoise drops in between the platters and on the tables.
Last week, in a frustrating turn of events, the European Union passed a law that bans the sale of any American wine with one of the following words on the labels:
Chateau, classic, clos, cream, crusted/crusting, fine, late bottled vintage, noble, ruby, superior, sur lie, tawny, vintage, vintage character
The legislation comes as a follow-up to a 2006 agreement that limited the American use of terms like "Champagne" or "Chablis." Because it preserved certain wine growing regions, this pact was widely accepted. However, the new stricter ban is not related to protecting a specific region. The law will affect American growers of port and sherry, and many large American wineries, like Washington's popular Chateau Ste. Michelle and Napa's famed Chateau Montelena, will no longer be able to sell wine in Europe.
Like many wine enthusiasts, I think this is an absurd regulation and hope that the Europeans will reconsider the terminology ban. How do you feel about it? Are you surprised to hear that Europe is prohibiting the sale of American wine?