Monday, October 30, 2017

Cooking and Entertaining: Whiskey Sour

Brady Graham's Whiskey Sour

When I was in my 20s, my go-to drink was an amaretto sour. At the time, craft cocktails weren’t popular, so it consisted of amaretto liqueur mixed with bottled sweet and sour mix. At the time, I enjoyed them. Feeling the need to branch out, I tried a whiskey sour, but the combination of well-drink whiskey and bottled sweet and sour mix didn’t appeal to me.

Because of my previous experience, I was a little disappointed when Kevin and I took a cocktail class and I learned we were making whiskey sours. After tasting a good whiskey sour, I realized there is a HUGE difference, and this has become one of my favorite drinks. Cheers!

the ingredients-for food safety reasons, I used pasteurized
egg whites, but have also had the drink made traditionally.
There didn't seem to be a difference in taste or texture
either way

fresh squeezed lemon juice is best

ready for shaking

squeezing the zest over the drink for a hint of orange

Whiskey Sour
Recipe courtesy of Brady Graham

2 oz.  whiskey
½ oz.  lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
½ oz.  simple syrup*
1-½ oz.  pasteurized egg whites or 1 egg white
orange twist

Dry shake (no ice or citrus) the whiskey, simple syrup and egg white for about 30 seconds. Add the lemon juice and ice and shake for an additional 30 seconds. Pour into a glass (over a giant ice ball if possible), squeeze the orange twist over the drink and garnish with the peel.

*To make simple syrup, heat equal parts water and sugar in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool

Friday, October 27, 2017

Four Star Finds: Health-Ade Cayenne Cleanse Kombucha

Click here for more information on Health-Ade products

These days, I’ve been reading a lot about the importance of gut health and how fermented foods can promote it. Because I can only eat so much sauerkraut, I starting drinking Kombucha (fermented tea) for its health benefits. I’ve read that Kombucha is high in probiotics and antioxidants and provides the same benefits as green tea.

Instead of making it myself, I buy it because improperly made Kombucha can be dangerous to consume. In fact, most websites encourage purchasing this product commercially made and storing it properly.

Right now, my favorite is Health-Ade’s Cayenne Cleanse. Spicier and a little less vinegary that others I’ve tried, this drink is downright tasty. Plus, it makes me feel good to consume things that taste good and are good for me!

As always, I receive no compensation for endorsing this product.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Movie Review: “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” & "Professor Marston and the Wonder Women"

   Kingsman: The Golden Circle
   Rated R

The Kingsman is a discreet British intelligence agency that keeps the world safe. After their headquarters are destroyed, they team up with a U.S. intelligence agency, the Statesmen, to capture a common enemy.

While seeing this movie isn’t going to change your life, it’s almost 2-1/2 hours of pure entertainment. The fight sequences are phenomenal, the story is entertaining, there’s just the right amount of humor and romance and all-star cast will amaze you!

   Professor Marston and the Wonder
   Rated R

Harvard psychologist Dr. William Marston, his wife and their research assistant live an unconventional life, which leads to the creation of Wonder Woman.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was one of those movies that snuck up on me-I went in expecting a so-so movie and was surprised by how much I loved it. Not wanting to give anything away, I’ll just say the story is much different than portrayed in the preview. It’s probably not a film for those with ultraconservative beliefs but this movie will expand your definition of love.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Travel: George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia

George & Martha Washington's home
For more information on Mount Vernon, click here

A National Historic Landmark, Mount Vernon is President George and Martha Washington’s plantation home. Though the property belonged to the family from 1674, construction of the Palladian-style home began in 1758, and guests are able to walk through this magnificent place.

The estate is open year-round and for an entrance fee, visitors are able to tour the mansion, grounds and museum. Even if you’re not a history buff, visiting Mount Vernon is an educational delight!

Goofing around in the Visitors' Center
Photos in the home and museum weren't allowed, so I only have some
from other areas

a period carriage

shearing a sheep

We visited in the spring and the grounds were beautiful!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: “The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye”

The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
David Lagercrantz

Imprisoned Lisbeth Salander is in peril because while protecting a defenseless woman, she provoked the prison queen bee. Investigative journalist Mikhael Blomkvist makes inquiries to help both women, and soon all find themselves endangered by people trying to cover up the past.

The fifth book in the Dragon Tattoo series and the second by author David Lagercrantz, The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye stays true to the original series and is superb. I was so engrossed that I stayed up way too late, way too many nights reading this book!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Home Comforts: Flatware Dividers

I love how tidy and organized this drawer is

A while ago, I posted about a system I used to separate our flatware (Click here to view it).  It worked well for a while, but because flatware is heavy, the dividers ended up moving and tilting.

I wanted a permanent solution that would nicely compartmentalize the flatware and cooking utensils. A local handyman who has as many great ideas as MacGyver came up with the perfect solution.

He cut a thin sheet of plywood that could tightly fit into the bottom of the drawer. Then using a wood strip as a divider, he applied glue to the edge that would be on the plywood, placed it on the plywood and nailed it in place from the bottom. He repeated this process until we had the right number of compartments.  After this, he placed the whole piece into the drawer.

The result is outstanding! The flatware is nicely separated, and the dividers stay in place! Every time I look into this drawer, I feel just a little happier to have everything organized and aesthetically pleasing!