My summers can be defined by either songs, boyfriends or drinks...I still remember the summer that Foreigners "Urgent" was number one on my list. And there was that summer of that guy from Yale. And oh, I do remember the summer of Kamikazes at The Black Watch but maybe I should just forget about that.
This summer I thought that my favorite drink would be a Mango Sour. It had all the makings of what I love about a good summer drink. Easy to make. Works well in the heat. Has a bit of fruitiness that I love in summer drinks (hey, I'm a chick, I may like shots of tequila, but I like a nice chick drink every now and then too). Or I thought the drink of the summer of 2010 was going to be a traditional Sangria. Some friends of ours had us over in the Spring and served us the best Sangria. Since I have a cookbook entirely devoted to Sangria's, I thought I'd give them a try.
But then I came across this recipe on The Bitten Words blog. I stopped in my tracks. Really? Just a bottle of Shiraz and some sparkling lemonade? Could it taste that good? Could it be that simple? The answers were yes and yes. A quick summer drink, perfect for hot days with that bit of fruity that seems to work so well in the summer. The Bitten Word guys were obsessed with this drink. I am too.
Now mind you, summer IS over...but I'm still hoping for that Indian Summer weather, and quite frankly I'll be drinking this until I start to wrap my cold hands around a cup of hot chocolate.
This is also a PERFECT drink to serve to unexpected guests. You can keep bottles of the lemonade and wine on hand and if someone pops over with some fried chicken or steaks for you to grill (I keep hoping....) you can whip this drink up in no time.
You may need to experiment with the ratio. Though it says equal amounts wine and lemonade, some of the wines we used needed more lemonade in the mix. I usually start with half and half and add more lemonade to taste.
Bottle of Cheap Red Wine Bottle of Sparkling Lemonade
Pour equal parts over ice. Yep. That's it.
Note: I tend to use a Shiraz that costs anywhere from $5 to $8. The Bitten Word says that any cheap red wine will do so feel free to experiment.
Simple. Easy as could be. Perfect for last minute guests. Really nice for sitting out on the porch while hubby is slaving over a hot barbecue and you're kicking back, enjoying the view, reading a good trashy novel and you have that glass of 10-Second Sangria in your hand. Just sayin...
I realize for some, cold weather has already hit and fresh berries at the farmers market are long gone. But I'm holding steady to the fact that after this weeks rain, we'll have our annual "Indian Summer" and some warm weather is right around the corner. More excuses to make this dessert.
When I first saw the recipe for Summer Berry Trifle on the Yumsugar site, I almost passed it by. The recipe called for day old French bread. I'm not a fan of bread pudding or desserts made with bread of any kind. But then I realized you could substitute pound cake or angel food cake for the bread so I thought I'd give it a try.
Thankfully the pre-made poundcake in the deli section of Lunardi's is
only 12 -oz. Since the recipe called for 16-oz, I had to buy two packages to get enough cake. Having that extra poundcake on hand was a good thing because one of the packages of cake was so moist that it immediately just kinda crumbled when I
cut it (and stuck to EVERY THING). The second poundcake was still a bit
moist but at least it waited to disintegrate after I'd put the Grand Marnier on it.
Do let this sit for the required four hours or honestly, more. We ate
it just about the four hour mark and the Grand Marnier was still pretty
strong. After a few more hours the alcohol mellowed a bit and made this
very tasty. Very tasty indeed. It was a great summer dessert (we actually had this the first time during the July 4th holiday). I wasn't sure about the ginger in the recipe but it wasn't overpowering or noticeable at all.
I didn't get out my nice trifle bowl for this dessert as it's packed away in the garage (a sign I need to use it more). Instead I just used a clear bowl that I had handy. Didn't make for that nice of a presentation but it didn't effect the taste any, so don't let the lack of a proper bowl stop you from making this. Check out the recipe on Yumsugar for a great photo of what the dessert is supposed to look like once it's layered in a real trifle bowl.
SUMMER BERRY TRIFLE
1-1/2 quarts mixed fresh berries (hull and quarter strawberries), plus extra berries for garnish 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. granulated sugar 4 tsp. minced fresh ginger 1 lb. day-old French bread, crusts removed, crumb cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (5 to 6 cups) 1/2 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
Heat the berries and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan
over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to
release juice but are still whole and intact, about 5 minutes. Stir in
the ginger and pour the mixture onto a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the bread with 5 Tbs. of the liqueur.
In a chilled metal bowl with chilled beaters, whip the cream with
the remaining 3 Tbs. liqueur and 1 Tbs. sugar to almost-stiff peaks.
In a 2- to 2-1/2 -quart clear glass bowl, layer in the following
order: 1 mounded cup of bread cubes, 1 cup of berries and juices, and 1
cup of whipped cream. Repeat 3 times—you should have 12 layers total.
For the final layers, use all the remaining bread, berries (and their
juices), and whipped cream.
Cover and refrigerate until the juice has completely softened the
bread, at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with fresh berries before
serving. Serves 10-12
Note: I used six cups of berries and it really wasn't enough. Not sure if it was the size of the bowl (slanted sides) but I ended up with less berries than I would have liked.
Note: I used a pound of store bought poundcake from the deli section of my grocery store (came in a tinfoil container that was plastic wrapped and was way to moist for the dish).
Note: I used Grand Marnier.
Really enjoyed the Grand Marnier flavor in this, especially in the whipped cream. Alas, the next day, the dessert was complete mush as the pound cake had been too moist at the start. But it was a really tasty mush and believe me, not a bit of it went to waste.
No, Gators is not a hockey team, but it was the best photo I could find of this product actually in use. See the Gators logos aren't painted on the vehicle, it's a logo "skin".A removable material you can take on or off with ease. Doesn't damage your car. Does tell you that the folks inside are big Gators fans.
And the company has hockey skins available. All teams. Yes, they even have San Jose Shark skins.
You can find them here. No, we don't have them for our cars...yet :)
The above is what you get with the Sharks package.
These were good. Seriously good. Awesome in fact. Yes, I realize to call a recipe 'really good' or 'awesome' is bad blogging. But...these Chipotle Glazed Baby Back Ribs were really that awesomely good.
The recipe for this came from the Rick Bayless Fiesta at Rick's cookbook. I found the dish pretty simple to make though you do have to plan ahead as there is some time spent overnight in the fridge. The rub takes just a few minutes to put together. The sauce takes just a few minutes to put together. Put the rub on the meat, some time in the fridge, some time in the oven and then just a quick grill with the sauce. These would be great to pre-do for a BBQ. I can see baking these and then taking them to a party to finish on the grill.
There is also some heat in these ribs. I didn't find it very hot at all though Mr. L had a bit of trouble at first (he said his mouth was on fire when he started but the heat mellowed). I saw one review online that stated these had way too much heat for their palate, so I'd be careful if you have trouble with heat from chipotle peppers.
As the recipe states, you'll probably end up with some leftover rub and sauce. No worries. Grab some chicken and grill those. I bought some chicken legs, put some of the leftover rub on them, put them in the fridge for a couple of hours and then grilled them with the leftover sauce. The chicken was as yummy as the ribs!
CHIPOTLE GLAZED BABY BACK RIBS
FOR THE DRY RUB
4 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped 1/3 cup ground ancho chile 4 teaspoons brown sugar 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 4 teaspoons ground black pepper 5 teaspoons salt
FOR THE RIBS AND GLAZE
4 large slabs (about 6 1/2 pounds) baby back ribs 1 7.5 ounce can chipotles en adobo 3/4 cup honey
1. Season the ribs. Combine all the dry rub ingredients in a food processor and run until thoroughly blended. Sprinkle the mixture on both sides of each slab of ribs, rub it in to ensure even coverage, then cover and refrigerate overnight. You'll probably have a little dry rub left; in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator it will last several months.
2. First rib cooking. Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Lay the ribs in a single layer on two rimmed baking sheets and bake for about 1 1/4 hours, until the meat is tender when tested with a fork. (This cooking may be done early in the day you're serving. Cover and refrigerate the cooked ribs until an hour before serving).
3. Second rib cooking. Turn on a gas grill to medium or light a charcoal grill and let the coals burn until medium-hot and covered with a white ash. In a food processor, blend the can of chipotles with the honey. Scrape into a small bowl and carry to the grill, along with a basting brush.
Lay the ribs on the grill, convex-side down. When hot and well browned, about 3 minutes, flip them over and brush liberally with the chipotle glaze. Cover the grill and cook about 7 minutes for the glaze to set and begin to brown a little. There will likely be leftover glaze, which can be covered and refrigerated for a week or two.
Cut the ribs apart (that's my preference) and serve right away. Serves 8
Note: Chefs note says "the ribs are best when baked the same day you eat them and grilled within a few minutes of serving. They will hold well in a very low oven for a half hour or so before serving". We had these for several days afterwords and they were fine.
Note: We used ribs from Zanottos that came out very tender. We used Mexican oregano (came in the little green square box spices at our grocery store).
Note: We had the butcher cut our two slabs of ribs in half so that they fit better in the oven and on the BBQ. We used a gas grill.
Did I mention how seriously good these were? I thought that maybe we liked them so much because the actual 'ribs' were what was tasty, but after using the rub and sauce on the chicken, we realize it really is this recipe. This is now our 'go to' rub and sauce for chicken and ribs on the grill. The success of the Chipotle-Glazed Baby Back Ribs makes me excited to try more recipes from the Fiesta At Ricks cookbook!