Tonight is the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones, and after this season and especially after the last few episodes (no real spoilers, I promise) I think we all need a drink. The Night King, with his steely gaze, has been quite the busy boy lately. I’ve always been a fan of blue drinks anyway, so I thought a cocktail in his and the other White Walkers’ honor (or to sip while we hate-watch him) sounded like the perfect beverage to enjoy at the close of the season.
The juices in this drink are not tropical, as that seemed inappropriate with the White Walkers inhabiting the snowy land beyond the wall, but they still combine to make a delicious mixture that might make even the Night’s Watch jealous.
- 2 parts Vodka
- 3 parts Hypnotiq
- 1 part Apple Juice
- 1 Part White Cranberry Juice
- Splash of Lemon Juice
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 2-3 cubes of ice and shake until the outside of the shaker gets uncomfortably cold to hold.
- Strain into a martini glass rimmed with sugar or frosting if you desire (although no lining needed to enjoy!). You could even add a rock candy javeli— *ahem* –stirrer if you’d like.
- Get ready to watch Game of Thrones and pray your favorite characters make it through the night.
When Amanda was kind enough to come and visit me this summer, I knew we’d have a weekend with plenty of kitchen time, and lots of wine. Since I wasn’t sure how energetic we’d be feeling in the mornings, I wanted to have something easily prepped ahead of time and low maintenance for breakfast just in case all we wanted to do was lay on the couch and watch Netflix.
The beauty of this casserole, which is my go-to dish for any brunch hosting occasion, is in both its potential for customization as well as its ability to be assembled the night previous, minus the egg mixture. Then, even on the groggiest of mornings you can whisk up those eggs and pour over everything else, stick it in the oven and take a nap until the timer buzzes. You will be rewarded with a delicious and low maintenance crowd pleaser!
- 12 oz of shredded cheese (I like to go 4 oz of velveeta and 8 oz of sharp cheddar but you do you)
- 2 cups frozen homestyle hashbrown potatoes
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 10 oz ground turkey or pork sausage meat
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the seasoned ground meat. Use your spatula to make sure it cooks into sausage crumbles. When fully cooked, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes (can be done in advance).
- In a 9″x9″ pan, add 8oz of the cheese, potatoes, bell pepper, onion, (cooled) sausage meat, and 1 tsp of salt (you can also add extra pepper if you’d like). Mix all these items together so there is an even distribution. If you do this with your hands, this is where the sausage meat being cool is kind of important.
- In a separate bowl, whisk your eggs, milk, remaining salt, pepper and garlic powder together until combined.
- Pour egg mixture over your other ingredients in the baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45-55 minutes until the eggs are set. For browning, remove the foil in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Enjoy!
Wine pairing: Well, I mean you’re probably eating this before noon right? I’d stick with a mimosa to be “socially acceptable” but again, you do you. Also, stay tuned for Amanda’s Bellini recipe if you’re not feeling the orange juice!
Well, it’s the middle of summer and it…is…HOT! As if the outside temperature weren’t enough, my giant kitchen windows face west. While having the setting sun’s rays streaming across my prep areas is aesthetically pleasing, it certainly raises the temperature of the kitchen noticeably. This, combined with the fact that the oven loves to radiate heat in any way it can makes for a sweaty dinner preparation. After a long day, any recipe that allows me to keep my cool is welcome in my house in the peak of summer for sure.
While my spring rolls are also a great choice, I do like to look towards sushi in times of serious heat. While it does involve cooking the rice, those of us lucky enough to automatic rice cookers (you’ll have to pry that appliance from my fingers–I’m never living without one) means that we can push the button and run away.
Since my palette has not quite graduated to raw fish, and living in a landlocked state hardly places confidence in any fish available, I love to make this fruit sushi as inspired from DK Sushi in Austin. About once every few months I get a craving for these flavors that can only be quenched by bringing out the sushi mat. For a more savory version, I have also made a cucumber and turkey roll that showcases the regional favorite, provel cheese.
If this post has ignited a need for sushi but you’re still craving that fish, I’d suggest checking out Amanda’s too-hot-to-cook post, the Poke Bowl with Avocado Rice, for some fish marinade suggestions that can easily be incorporated into a roll of your choice. For now though, enjoy these alternative options!
Yogurt Drizzle Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup of strawberry yogurt
- 2 tbsp pineapple juice
- 1 tsp sugar
- Stir together the yogurt, pineapple juice and sugar until you have a smooth consistency and sugar is dissolved. Chill until ready to serve.
Sushi Rice Ingredients:
- 2 cups of uncooked, short grain white rice
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- Rinse the uncooked rice in cold water until the water is clear (this is very important!). I usually like to add rice and water to the pot in which I’ll be cooking and then use my hand as a claw to agitate the starches. Then drain the starchy water and repeat until the water is clear.
- Add 2 cups of fresh water to the rice pot and either cook using a rice cooker or the traditional method (bring to boil over stove, cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes and fluff).
- Add the sugar, rice wine vinegar and salt to the rice and stir until well incorporated. Traditionally these are heated together to form a syrup but we’re trying to use heat as little as possible here and I find the residual rice heat can help dissolve the granules.
- Allow rice to cool for 15-20 minutes. It can still be slightly warm when you are ready to assemble.
Sushi Assembly Ingredients:
- Fresh Pineapple, thinly sliced
- Apple, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- Avocado, sliced
- Fresh Mango
- Strawberries, sliced
- Nori Sheets
- Black sesame seeds
- Sprinkle the black sesame seeds over your sushi mat and then spread 1/3 of your rice evenly onto the mat it in a square, about 1/4″ shorter than the nori height. Then add the nori, shiny side down.
- Place the slices of avocado, apple and pineapple about 2/3 of the way down the nori sheet trying to fill in as many gaps as possible. However, try not to overfill.
- Roll your mat over the filling ingredients and continue to roll. s you complete a rotation, press to make sure the roll is coming together. Pull the mat away from the roll as you keep going.
- Slice the roll into 8 equal portions.
- Using a vegetable peeler, peel slices of mango so you have a small 1 inch sheet of mango.
- With a pastry brush or your finger, brush a little bit of your yogurt drizzle onto the mango sheet and lay it over the top of one of your sushi pieces. Place a slice of strawberry on top.
- Once all pieces are assembled, drizzle the yogurt over top and enjoy!
Quick Cucumber and Turkey Sushi
- Sushi Rice
- Nori Sheets
- Cucumber, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
- Provel cheese (can also use cream cheese)
- Sliced turkey, deli meat.
- Place the nori sheet, shiny side down on your sushi mat. Spread a thin, even layer of your sushi rice over the nori sheet and leave about 1/4″ of the nori visible at the top.
- Place the cucumber, turkey and cheese about 2/3 down the nori sheet avoiding gaps.
- Roll your sushi; when you get to the top, brush some water onto the nori to help it seal itself.
- Slice into 8 equal portions and enjoy.
Wine Pairing: Obviously, we’re going for refreshing here so a chilled white or rose wine sounds fitting. Something like a riesling is an excellent choice!