cocktail

the love list

the love list on millys-kitchen.com

Hello!

This week I’m working on some new features for the blog. My friend Kyle stopped by yesterday to cook up an amazing dish I’ll be posting next week. I’ll also be announcing the dates of the pop-up dinner I’ve been talking about for what feels like ever. Kyle and I will be teaming up to bring you a menu of bright summer fare served under the stars. I’m thrilled it’s finally happening! Stay tuned for details.

the love list on millys-kitchen.com

I’ve been having so much fun collaborating up with other cooks, photographers and creative souls lately, I’ve decided to make that more of a regular occurrence around here. So I’ll be sharing more recipes and stories from some of my creative friends here on the blog.

If you are interested in working on a food, photography or travel project together, shoot me a mail. I love getting to know new folks and sharing knowledge and inspiration with each other!

While I edit the pile of images I shot with Kyle, here’s a little Love List to brighten your weekend!


- First up: The delightful instagram feed of Elie Obeid. I met Elie at Fragments coffee shop the last time I was in Paris. Not only does he make a perfect cup of coffee, he also takes beautiful pictures of his favorite spots in the city. Following along via his feed, I feel like I’m taking a little walk through the streets of Paris every day!

- As long as we're on the topic of photography, there’s an Eggleston exhibit at the Portland Art Museum until August 21. I’m super jazzed to take a little road trip down the coast and check it out. Also, it’s a great excuse to go eat at my favorite spots in Portland. (Hello, Blue Star Donuts!) All my PNW people: see you there!

- If you’re looking for a great recipe for your next bbq or summer shindig, check out this Potato-less Potato Salad. (Is your brain hurting yet?) Sherrie over at With Food + Love made this little gem of a salad from lightly blanched, perfectly tender radishes. It has all the classic flavors of potato salad, without all the carbs. Even if you aren’t trying to lay off the simple starches like me, this salad is a refreshing reinterpretation of a classic that’s delicious in its own right.

- I love, love, love this article on scruffy hospitality my friend Lillian posted on Facebook! Scruffy hospitality entails: “Not waiting for everything in your house to be in order before you host and serve friends in your home.” I’m definitely guilty of feeling like I can’t have friends over if the house isn’t in perfect order. This was a good reminder that inviting friends into our home is first and foremost about connecting with the people we love.

- And no Love List would be complete without a cocktail! Check out these Golden Raspberry Lillet Cocktails Heidi Swanson posted over at Quitokeeto. Lillet cocktails, always and forever.

photo:  Heidi Swanson

Happy Weekend, friends!

Olaiya

the love list on millys-kitchen.com

grapefruit-sage margaritas

grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com
grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com

Every March, Beau and I pack ourselves off to Palm Springs. To my mind, the main selling point of this desert oasis is that there isn’t anything to do there. I mean, there are some things. But not many. The restaurants worth visiting can be counted on one hand. The shops are mainly full of touristy kitsch. There are two small museums. 

I’m sure the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism would enthusiastically point out that there is a tram that scales the side of a mountain, there are numerous golf courses and pristine tennis courts, there are mid-century modern architectural gems scattered over the valley. And all of this is true. But somehow, none of it is very compelling. 

palm springs on millys-kitchen.com
palm springs on millys-kitchen.com

Maybe my Seattle brain becomes addled by the rays of desert sunshine beaming down on my head. Maybe the temperatures in the mid to high eighties induce a sort of stupor I am incapable of resisting. Whatever the cause, when I arrive in Palm Springs the desire I feel in Paris or Lisbon or San Francisco to explore and seek out the latest and greatest simply evaporates.

Which is why I adore this sleepy resort town.

palm springs on millys-kitchen.com

It is the perfect venue for what I like to call the Total Unplug. The Total Unplug involves going to bed when I’m tired and waking when well-rested rather than when an alarm on my phone tells me to. It involves early morning hikes on several of the Coachella Valley’s many gorgeous mountain trails. It involves road trips to Cabazon past the dinosaurs made famous in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure to eat at In-N-Out Burger (which, by the way, is as amazing as everyone says). Most of all, it involves lots of lounging by the pool while reading, napping and sometimes even just staring at the palm trees swaying overhead. 

palm springs on millys-kitchen.com
grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com

Our hotel has a no-cell-phones-by-the-pool-policy, which forces me to stop checking my email and social media every two seconds. Getting enough sleep allows me to recharge in a way that feels unattainable at home. Everything about Palm Springs conspires to promote a magnificent laziness in me. And this laziness allows me to reflect on the state of affairs in my Seattle life and realize that staying up until 3am obsessing over which of the hundreds of rugs I’ve pinned will be just right for our new living room (for example) might not be the best use of my time. 

palm springs on millys-kitchen.com

Palm Springs itself is a balm for the overworked, overconnected, urban soul. But should one require a more powerful mental palliative, I recommend a visit to the Saturday farmers market to pick up a basket of fragrant citrus and a stop at the Rite-Aid for a bottle of tequila. Once back at your hotel room, you can mix up a first-rate margarita that should dispel any lingering stress or desire to check your Feedly. 

grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com
palm springs on millys-kitchen.com
grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com

Luckily enough, you don’t even have to be in Palm Springs to enjoy a margarita and a moment of relaxation. Though I highly recommend the Total Unplug, even a Mini Unplug should lift your spirits. To help you on your way, I’m sharing a recipe for Grapefruit-Sage Margaritas. Now that I’m home, this drink reminds me of the bright Southern California sun and the desert lavender that was in full bloom during our trip. Despite its name, it smells to me like a heady mix of ripe grapefruit and dusky sage. When I first smelled it, I immediately knew I needed to translate it into a cocktail that would transport me back to desert hikes among the wildflowers and a Palm-Springs state of mind. I’m hoping that as I transition back into the day-to-day, mixing up a pitcher of these margaritas once in awhile will help me remember to sit down, unplug and just watch the trees swaying in the breeze.

grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com
palm springs on millys-kitchen.com

grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com

Grapefruit-Sage Margaritas

  • 4 tablespoons mild honey
  • 10-15 large sage leaves, sliced, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 cup tequila (preferably reposado or añejo)
  • About 2 tablespoons medium-coarse sea salt, for the rim
grapefruit-sage margaritas on millys-kitchen.com

First, make the honey-sage simple syrup: Place the honey, sage and two tablespoons of water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. (Alternately, you can heat the honey, sage and water in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until it bubbles.) Set aside to steep for 5 minutes then strain to remove the sage. Set aside to cool.

When you are ready to assemble the margaritas, dip a q-tip in the honey-sage simple syrup and run it around the rim of your glasses (or use your finger). Place the salt on a small plate then roll the honeyed rim of your glasses in the salt. Fill the glasses with ice.

In a large shaker, combine 1/4 cup of the simple syrup, the grapefruit juice and the tequila. Fill about halfway with ice. Shake for 30 seconds then strain the margaritas into glasses. Garnish each with a sage leaf and serve immediately.

Makes 4 drinks. 

 

palm springs on millys-kitchen.com

bourbon-peach fizz

bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com

I don’t know what’s happening where you live, but in Seattle fall is in the wind. As we round the corner into September, summer has pretty much decided to call it quits. 

Amazingly, I don’t mind at all. We’ve had the summer-of-all-summers here in the Pacific Northwest. I’m talking a glorious, sun-filled, resplendent season fit for picnics and sunbathing and plunging into the surf. 

Also, the hardcore-nerd piece of my brain is permanently programmed to love back-to-school season. A chill in the air will forever trigger dreams of pristine notebooks and the smell of freshly-sharpened pencils and hours spent hiding away in the library. 

bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com

There’s one thing I’m sad to be saying goodbye to though: the unbelievable peaches we’ve had all summer. I’ve never in my whole life tasted peaches as good as these. They are the platonic ideal of a peach: downy-skinned, juicy, heavy in the hand and with the lingering smell of peach blossoms still about them. Perfection.

These, I will miss.

So in these last days of the season, as the afternoon shadows get longer and we transition to sweaters and boots and bags heavy with books, I’m going to hold onto a little piece of summer with this peachy bourbon fizz. 

bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com

The classic combination of bourbon and peaches is jazzed up with a subtle cardamom syrup and brightened with fresh mint and a little lemon. The soda keeps it light. It’s my perfect summer-into-fall cocktail.

Mix one up this weekend and let me know what you think in the comments!

Happy almost-Friday!

Olaiya


bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com

Bourbon-Peach Fizz

  • ¼ ripe peach, thinly sliced, plus additional to garnish
  • 4 teaspoons cardamom simple syrup (recipe below)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 dash bitters
  • ½ cup chilled soda water, or to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh mint

*Note: This drink is pretty light. If you're in the mood for a boozier cocktail, add a splash more bourbon. 

In a heavy pint glass, muddle the peach slices. Add the simple syrup, lemon juice, bourbon, bitters and ¼ cup of the soda water. Stir for 10-15 seconds then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a rocks glass filled with ice. Top with the remaining ¼ cup soda water (or more, if desired). Garnish with a peach slices or two and the mint sprig.

Makes 1 drink.

bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com

Cardamom Simple Syrup (double-strength)

  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water

Place the cardamom in a mortar and pestle and pound just to break the pods open and crush the seeds a little. Transfer the seeds to a small saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to the boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. When the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear, turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature then strain.

Since this simple syrup is double-strength, it will keep for up to 6 months covered and stored in the fridge.

Makes 1 cup.

bourbon-peach fizz // millys-kitchen.com