Friday, June 5, 2009

A Friday Recipe

Today, Friday, we have another "cooking" post, I guess, but this one is a little different. It's not really a "cooking basic". Instead, it can be used to make today, or any Friday, into the appropriate celebration.

But, before we go any further people, we have another milestone here at the blog. We now have 15 - FIFTEEN - 15 followers. Yes, that's right, folks, your little follower icons now fill up three whole lines. Way to go. WAY TO GO. And, thanks, for stopping by. I appreciate it. I'm pretty sure I have the fifteen most beautiful, talented, wonderfully smart and savvy blog readers on the planet. What more could a girl ask for?

OK, on to today's post - today's post is - - a recipe...for...


A perfect summertime drink. It's cool, light and wonderful. It's called white sangria because typically this drink originating from Spain or Portugal is made with red wine. But this one - it's made with white wine. Either is a tasty fruity summer alternative. I have come to really like this recipe, though, so I thought it would be a good thing to share with you.

Your Friday is looking better already, isn't it? I thought so. Here we go.

I originally received this recipe from a weekly recipe email I receive from Cuisine at Home Magazine, to which I subscribe. But, anyone can get the free weekly recipes here. And, a link to this recipe is here.

Here's what you'll need to stop by the store on your way home and make some when you get there - just copy paste the ingredients list into an email to yourself. Or a text. Or print it off. Take it with you so you'll be ever-so prepared to try some tonight.

The Ingredients.
Mostly. I forgot some of them for this photo.
It also looks like a really bad still life, no?

- water
- sugar
- 1 bottle of decent white table wine - doesn't have to be expensive
(actually, it would be a waste to use expensive white wine for it for another day)
- brandy
- 1 vanilla bean - this one might be tricky - substitute some vanilla extract in a pinch
- 1 lime
- 1 orange
- 1/2 a fresh pineapple, cored and cut into rings (you can buy it in a can if you wish)
- club soda
- ice
- fresh mint sprigs
- raspberries or blueberries or strawberries or some sort of berry to use as a garnish

First up - dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar into 1/2 cup hot water to make a simple syrup.

Then pour it into a pitcher.

Uncork the wine and add it in too.

Then, add this ingredient.

The brandy - I listed it above, but forgot about it when I took the "ingredients" still life. It can be any kind of brandy. That brandy up there - it was most certainly the cheapest brandy they sold at whatever liquor store I stopped at to purchase. That's what I'm sure of. And it works just fine for this recipe.

Measure out 3/4 cups and pour it on in.

Then comes the vanilla bean. Put it in the pitcher.

Now, a vanilla bean was not available at my local grocer. So, I purchased some at Penzey's spices. Penzey's is great - I highly recommend all of their products. If you don't have a vanilla bean, try a teaspoon of extract or something. It'll be OK.

Then get the largest knife in your house and slice up the lime.

I got these cool "film noir" shots of the lime slices.
Very Casablanca, no?

Go on and put those lime slices in the brew.

Then slice up the orange.

I want to point out that in the two top photos of the orange collage I am demonstrating how to hold an orange while slicing and certainly take part of a finger off with it. Don't hold the orange that way. Instead, hold it the way I'm properly demonstrating how to slice without getting your fingers on the lower left. Human flesh is not part of this recipe, unless your last name is maybe Lector. Mwah ha ha. So, leave your fingers on your body, please. Thank you.

Add those bad boy orange slices to the pitcher.
That Canada Dry is a camera hog - tried to get in every photo. Geez.

Then cut up and core your pineapple and slice about 1/2 of it into rings.

You could used canned pineapple rings for this. Or, you could, should you be so inclined, cut up and core a whole pineapple and use half of it. Or, the middle of the road answer - my choice on this given day - was to get the already cut and cored pineapple from the deli area. Fresher but less work.

Put those pineapple rings on into the sauce.

Then stir it up, baby.

Then, chill for two hours. Or as long as you can stand it. Or overnight. Or whatever.

When you take it out, add the ice and the club soda.

Just a little tip - if you're not serving this whole pitcher, just add the ice and club soda to your glass at about 3 parts sauce to 1 part soda. This way, it won't go flat on you before you have another glass. If you're serving to your neighborhood, pour the ice and club soda into that pretty pitcher.

I use a double old fashioned for this drink.
You can use whatever glass you like.

The recipe calls for "cubed ice". I'm pretty sure my drink would have tasted better with cubed ice, but darn it all, my refrigerator turns out those Brazil nut looking pieces of ice, so I had to suffer on with Brazil nut ice. A slight deviation from the recipe, for certain.

The recipe says, "garnish with mint sprig and raspberries."

There were no raspberries at the grocery when I went to purchase my supplies. So, I used blueberries this time. Once I used strawberries and hung them on the side of the glass. The first time I made it I actually used raspberries. I took a photo of that one with my camera phone. That example is below this paragraph. I think any garnish you'd like will do. Even more lime, perhaps. Be creative. Live it up. Garnish with wild abandon to your heart's content.

The first time, with the raspberries.

Whatever you decide, it'll be great.

Now you people who don't drink alcohol, I have no alternatives for you to make this recipe. It's an alcoholic drink. So, maybe you will have liked the photos. Or the link to Penzey's. Or something, I hope. But, if not, come back Monday and I'll have moved on to something new.

For the rest of you, MAKE IT THIS WEEKEND. You'll be so glad you did. It's a keeper.

Cuisine at Home White Sangria
Makes: 6-8 servings
Total time: 2 hours more or less

Dissolve in a Pitcher:
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup sugar

Add; Chill Two Hours:
1 bottle (750ml) white table wine
3/4 cup brandy
1 vanilla bean
1 lime, sliced into rounds
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1/2 fresh pineapple, cored and sliced into rings

Stir in:
2 cups club soda
Cubed ice

Pour into glasses; garnish with:
Fresh mint sprigs
Fresh raspberries

Dissolve sugar in hot water inside a pitcher.

Add white wine, brandy, vanilla bean, lime, orange, and pineapple. Chill in refrigerator for two hours.

Stir in club soda and cubed ice.

Pour into glasses and garnish with mint springs and fresh raspberries.

S and I will ride the short version (33K) of the Mesquite Rodeo Bike Ride tomorrow morning. And I'll tell you about it next week. If we're still alive. It's supposed to be near 100 tomorrow. Of course, not at 7:45am when we start the ride, so this might work out OK.

Saturday night, we're slated to take in an Indy Car race at the Texas Motor Speedway. I'll tell you about that next week too. Sunday, we'll be sleeping, so don't call or write. Just kidding. Sort of.

Best wishes for your own wonderful weekend. I'll see you here again next week, my fifteen beautiful blog readers. Cheers!

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