New Year’s: Alejandra’s Complete Guide to Gettin’ All Liquored Up

New Year’s Eve. Synonymous with champagne, kisses and that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

For the cynics among us, New Year’s Eve is just another night — a night with unreasonably high expectations for merriment and finding someone at the bar to smooch with. Yet, for the hopeful, it’s about new beginnings, good times with friends and making memories. No matter which side of the coin you fall on, we can all agree on one thing: New Year’s Eve is all about the booze.

I mean, really people, those memories aren’t just going to make themselves, now are they!?

For starters, make sure you’re all set up and ready. The Bon Appetit Cocktail Party Manual has all the golden rules for throwing a boozey party — and more. Don’t forget food, Stephanie has you covered with tons of easy recipes to make, and, in some cases, make-ahead treats that you can serve. But now, on to the reason we’re all here.

Read the full run down of punch, cocktail, wine and champagne recommendations over at Borderstan. 

New Beer: Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

A couple weekends ago at the beach Jonah came home with two six packs of this:

I had no clue what it was and I’d never heard of it. But, in honor of DC Beer Week, I thought I’d share this summer-only gem of a find with you.

It’s a wheat blend beer with natural lemon flavor in it. It’s a hefeweizen mixed with lemonade. It’s a beer Arnold Palmer. It’s Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.

And with a name like that, how can you resist. Ladies, indulge…it’s only 130 calories and zero fat. Guys, get your koozie. I realize Summer Shandy isn’t necessarily the most masculine name in the world.

Enjoy! But enjoy soon – distribution stops at the end of August!

An Ode To Diner Coffee

Oh diner coffee. Your mug so thick, off-white and heavy in my hand. Your taste so reviving. Your smell all-encompassing.

When I was little, and living in Tucson, AZ, my mom used to take me to Village Inn. (Which, at the time, did not feel like an over-commercialized schlepy Denny’s.)  She would get a cup of coffee. I would get a hot chocolate (lots of whipped cream, please!). And we would split of a piece of pie.

This is when my love affair with those big, thick ceramic mugs started.

Sometime in grad school I got hooked on black coffee. That’s when I fell in love with diners. The coffee at diners is always better. Better than Starbucks. Better than Filter Coffeehouse. Why? Because something about diner coffee warms my soul. It’s where I go on cold, winter nights after hours of cramming for exams. It’s where you go with your mom to talk about life. It’s where you go for brunch with girlfriends.

Over diner coffee, I have made the best memories, had the best laughs and cried my best tears.

Cheers, diner coffee.

It’s Friday: I’m Sorry Edition

Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Hi folks…I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a week. Lotsa travel…lotsa work…lotsa I’m too tired to make dinner so how could I possibly write a decent post.

But I promise… I have at least three new recipes to share with you.

You’ll just have to wait until next week.

Since my brain is numb, I’ll leave you with this Eric Asimov Bourbon Sidecar for two recipe. The bourbon sidecar is one of my most favorite drinks in the world. I can thank my Great Great Boss (that’s my boss three times removed) for introducing me to this classy, classic cocktail.

Enjoy!

Bourbon Sidecar for Two

From Eric Asimov of the NYTimes’ Diner’s Journal

Bourbon (a sweeter style like Maker’s Mark is ideal)
Cointreau (other triple secs are not as good but will do in a pinch)
1 Juicy Lemon (or 1 Meyer lemon)
Ice
Large cocktail shaker with strainer
2 Martini glasses

Fill the shaker halfway with ice. Add four shots of bourbon, two shots of Cointreau and the juice of one lemon. If you want to be exact about it, the lemon juice should equal the two shots of Cointreau. Shake it up, and don’t stint on the shaking. I count to 100 as I shake, though I tend to count fast because that shaker gets cold! Sometimes wrapping it in a dish towel helps. Strain into the two glasses and serve immediately.

Iced Coffee (Cause Damn, It’s Hot Out)

I’m blogging from New York City today…I’m at the World Innovation Forum. I’m getting all inspired and letting my creative juices flow and I’m thinking about how I can be more innovative at work. (I think I heard a collective groan from my colleagues back in DC.) I realize this isn’t food related, but if you’re interested in more on the subject, check me out on Twitter…I’m annoyingly live tweeting the event.

Is it just me, or did it get damn hot out of nowhere? DC has been experiencing some particularly sticky weather…and my Mom in Phoenix tells me they’ve already broken 100 degrees! My parents also had the unfortunate experience of their air conditioner breaking at exactly the wrong moment. Oh. Yay.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a coffee addict. But it’s too hot out to really enjoy my cup of joe all hot and steaming. The last thing I want to do in the morning is cozy up with my Starbucks cup…it’s more likely that I want to hold a cool, icy cup to my forehead somewhere around 8:30 in the morning cause it’s already so freakin’ hot I’m gettin’ dewy!

So I’m going to share with you how to brew some kick-ass iced coffee at home.

Enjoy!

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