Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Summertime Cocktail - Ginger Juno

Yep. It's summer. Hundred degree weather is here and while some folks don't like it, I get excited to be warm, to not have to carry a sweater or a jacket and to have a tan, a pool and an adult beverage.

I recently went to the River City Marketplace and saw some cool stuff and learned some new things and met some clever people.

One of my favorite vendors there was a gentleman named Gabriel Aiello. Cool dude, makes cool stuff. Since we are in the farm to fork capital he has capitalized on the foodie nature of our town. He makes shrubs, soda mixes, syrups and cocktail mixers under the Burly Beverages title!

I brought home my very own Burly Beverages Ginger Soda Syrup and Gabriel and I had a lovely talk about the Feverfew herb.

The Ginger Juno
 It was a delicious thing. I say was, because it was gone in just about 2 days. In that 2 days, though, I was able to make a serious cocktail from the Ginger Beer Syrup; I call it the Ginger Juno. It's a "burly" girly drink, hence the nod to Juno (protector of women), it's pretty, it's tasty and it's easy to make.

Burly Beverages Ginger Beer Syrup
Sparkling Water
Strawberries (for muddling and for garnish)
Gin (I like Hendricks) or
Vodka (some people do not like gin)
1 vanilla bean

In a cocktail shaker-
2 oz. gin or vodka
1 oz. Burly Ginger Beer Syrup
Shake well with lots of ice

In a large glass, muddle strawberry
Empty the seeds from a vanilla bean but keep the seeded bean for garnish
Add a huge ice cube to the glass and pour shaken mixture over ice and muddled strawberry and vanilla.
Add a splash of sparkling water - I mean it's like giggling water - what's not to like?
Garnish with a cut strawberry and the vanilla bean.
Drink it and follow it with another and then another.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Cow Girl Creamery at the Ferry Building

Charlene and I went to san Francisco recently. Because of the BART strike we thought it would be better to park in Vallejo and take the ferry over. It turned out to be a great idea!!! It was $50 bucks for both of us round trip and it was painless, hassle free comfortable travel and it dropped us off exactly where we wanted to be!!!

Our first stop was Cowgirl Creamery...Cheese is a macro nutrient right? It is when you spend $25 on it!

The first cheese we tasted was Casatica Di Bufala - soft and ripe but citrusy. Totally oozy and gooey and completely palatable all on its own or on a toasty piece of crusty bread and a sliced fig. Easy eating and delicious rind too! Its Buffalo cheese from Lombardia, Italy made from water buffalo milk - a super richly creamed milk which contains twice the cream of cows milk...needless to say this cheese is velvety rich and little goes  along way.


The next and perhaps my favorite is the easy eating goat milk Detroit St. Brick from Michigan.. It's spicy but not chili pepper spicy. It's black pepper spicy and it imparts a truly unforgettable flavor. My mother cooks with pepper. She has always been a supremely sensational chef and her dishes are never lacking in flavor. She hails the black pepper and touts it often as her "secret ingredient." Though it's no secret for me, I can't seem to get enough of the stuff! I bought a sliver of this cheese and savored it every day. I ate it on flat bread I made here myself and coupled it with a hardy (and local) Crispin cider. The black pepper paired with the spiky cider was unmatched! I reccommend trying it. This pair is more my speed. It reminds me of a summer evening bike ride to fireworks or a crispy spring morning when you can smell the dew drops or a breeze coming through your window on a hot night bellowing the curtains in the get the picture. I have romanticized this Michigan cheese with this California cider. It's a superb match!

This whirlwind of cheeses brought us to a yummy smear of Harbison. A creamy, ripe cheese that tastes of the country side and mustard flowers. It's wrapped in bark and Hails from Vermont. And when I say mustard flowers I mean it! I saved this creamy cheese and made a pork roast. I served the pork roast on home made sweet rolls that I smeared with the Harbison and grilled onions. Talk about a hit! There were people at the party who asked why I would waste a fine cheese on a sandwich...let me assure you, this was not any sandwich and certainly not just any cheese and they paired delightfully well and don't try to tell me that your mouth is not watering right now!!!


Challerhocker was the only hard cheese we tasted. It was delish! A swiss cheese that is creamy and dense with some tooth to it. A bright, intense flavor, great all on its own or paired with a buttery chardonnay. It's a washed rind cheese. By the way...this was a lovely cheese but not my favorite on this list.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Street Style - The Shady Lady

Although, Kelly McNair is definitely not a "shady lady" per se - she can be found being persuasive to customers to try a couture cocktail that they have never tried or talking with subtle gesticulations about the fried green tomatoes - at the Shady Lady Saloon! She is a hip cat. Just look! It's clear she's a well styled young woman from coif to heel; she can put an ensemble together. And she is so cool. Not the kind of unapproachable cool you remember from high school. She is real cool - the kind of girl that has an exceptional sense of humor - someone with the kind of confidence to say, "My name is Kelly - but you can call me Kiki!" Of course she would say this in coyness with a lilt of her should and turn of her toe and let's face it - she's uber delightful and could totally pull it off.

The Shady Lady is, perhaps, my favorite watering hole in Sacramento. But it's not just that Chris Tucker is mixologist among men - no - it's the whole place. The artwork, the collectables, the painted walls, the "Shady" photos and the cuisine. It's gourmet libations take "The Shady" from kitschy class to absolute destination spot. It's a place I love to take clients, friends from out of town and girlfriends for a night out. Jason, Alex and Garrett have done a sensational job of marrying old time speak easy with modern gourmet. These charms are ever so evident in their staff, their menu and their creativity. Oh, and did I tell you about the performances?

You can articulate Kelly's sweet Street Style yourself. Be sure to visit the links and credit where credit is due!

Urban Outfitter's leather lace up oxfords. Here are others you might like. These too!

Cable textured tights from Forever 21 but you could go a different direction for originality, like this. They have a metallic finish!

It's a lace skort! If you love this then you'll like this!

The lace is so pretty. And the taupe color is so soft. If you could do this these would great with it!

This necklace is so cute. The pearls with the chains and the flowers - love! If you like that perhaps, this might do? Or you could do this! And carry this!

Detail of flower embellishment on Kelly's necklace. She pilfered that necklace from her sister's closet. That is the way to shop!

Gorge! A hair detail. She gets her hair done here in Sacramento by Jessica or in San Francisco at the Grasshopper Salon by Lena.

See! Can't you just hear her saying, "Kiki!"

The entire ensemble. I love that dotted swiss, peach top from forever 21. Here is an alternative. And if you admire kelly as much as I do, then perhaps this is a better choice?

I wish this had come out better. It's difficult to take a very professional photo while you gush over your subject. But this ring really is super cute. It's made by Little Rooms.
My local. The corner of 14th and R Streets.

The repro tin ceiling are among the greatest details. These guys have thought of everything. I wish we had to enter through a phone booth with a password!

Detail of painted wall.

Good old timey saloon stools. Comfortable enough to languor the day away with a cocktail.