Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Great Balls of.........Ice!

 More and more as we order drinks here and there my husband and I noticed that many places are choosing to use ice balls rather than the boring smaller cubes when serving their cocktails.  

You might not realize it, but ice is the most important ingredient to a cocktail.

Ice keeps what you are drinking at the appropriate temperature...and while you might not like the fact that the ice's actually a good thing.  Water seeps into your drink and balances the blend and helps various ingredients to harmonize.

The ice ball is perfect for sipping whiskey....and as many bartenders just looks sexy cool.  

The trend to use ice balls actually started in Japan.  They carve the balls out of mineral water using an ice pick or a very sharp sushi knife.  One of the tasks that must be completed if someone wants to join the National Bartenders Association in Japan is to be able to carve a perfect ice ball quickly.  

So, what do you do if you want to have a drink with an ice ball at home?  Well, my family rarely lets me around a knife due to my "handicap".....being left-handed, but other methods exist besides carving them yourself.

You can purchase an ice ball maker for an insane amount of money.....over one thousand dollars or, you can go to the silcone mold route even though they tend to leave a seam mark around the sphere.

Check out this post from where two types of silicone molds are discussed.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Anatomy of a Shopping Trip

I've been spending most of my shopping time lately in the housewares departments of various stores including HomeGoods.......

Now I like dishes, glassware and linens almost as much as I enjoy shopping for clothes, for jewelry or shoes....but sometimes it's not as much fun when the trip is a "have to go" trip and not just an impromptu "fun" trip.

My trips lately have been to help Dear Daughter purchase things for her first, I did some fun things while shopping to keep my boredom at bay while we looked at basic things she needed.

For example......these lovely martini glasses with a brown tint.     There were six in the set, so I snapped them up.   They now reside at MY house.

Fell in love with these wonderful chairs, but I can just see them with motor oil stains or ink.....or anything else that will head like a magnet in my house.   Even with grown children my furniture is still a magnet.  Still.....they are pretty.   

I snapped a picture and then walked quickly away.


Now this chair is a little more feasible in design, and I like it......Cataloging it in my memory for a hunt at a later time.

I've been wanting to move my dining room lamps on my buffet cabinets to the master bedroom which means i need new lamps for the buffet cabinets.   These might work....but then I decided they were a little too plain.   

 I've only been hunting for lamps for the last year.......

I was drawn to this piece of wall art, but when I tried to think about where it could go I decided I was basically drawn to the arrangement of plants on the steps and decided that's what I really want.

Perhaps the Mister will see this and make it can only hope.   I mean.....I saved him some money by NOT puchasing the the picture, so......

I'm always drawn to black and white art..........again, I wasn't sure where I would put it so I kept walking. real weakness.  

I loved these so much I took two pictures.   I loved the square plates....especially the small plates.    I loved the colors noticing right off the bat how they would match my kitchen/dining room.   

I kept talking myself into getting them.

The good girl in me fought back.....I knew I already had now many sets of dishes?   How many sets of dishes stored all over my house?>   I quickly snapped a picture and posted it on Facebook and instantly had several comments regarding how pretty they were.   

Just goes to show my friends have good taste.    So, then I admitted how weak I was with dishes.   How I buy them on whim and was very, very close.   That's when the Mister zoomed in and commented......"What?  More dishes?   Where are we going to to put them?"

I mentioned how I loved the square plate.......the scalloped edges of the bowl, and the very tall coffee cup..............but I knew I needed to keep walking.   

I mentioned how he had yet to build me those cabinets in the basement to store my various dishes, serving pieces, cutlery, linens, and glassware, but I knew I really didn't need them.

I was proud of myself when I walked away.   I had my martini glasses after all, and I really did need them......

.....But  I wonder now - a couple of weeks later - if those dishes are still there waiting for me.   :)

They wanted to come to my house so, so terribly bad.

I hope they found a good home, but.....if I go back this week, and they are still on the shelf.......

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Best Chicken Marinade Ever

The bad news......I had to wait until close to 9 p.m. last night for dinner.   The Mister wanted to grill some chicken, and he was late getting off the golf course. 

The good was worth the wait.   Seriously.    I've decided our chicken should be marinaded using this recipe from now's THAT good.

Recipe source:    The little old website you will find here.

Put the amount of chicken you want to grill in the bottom of a big bowl. 

In another bowl combine the following using a whisk:

1 cup vegetable oil

1 (10 oz) bottle Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

3 T. Italian Seasoning

1 T. Salt 

1 T. White Pepper

Pour the mixture over the chicken, and refrigerate overnight, or for 4-5 least.

Remove chicken from the marinade to grill......Enjoy!!!!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Strawberry Sangria

8 cups fresh strawberries, halved and trimmed
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 750 ml bottle white wine....such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups sparkling water, chilled
1 orange, sliced

To prepare syrup, in a large saucepan combine trimmed and halved strawberries, sugar and water.  Bring just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat.   Cover.   Cool to warm temperature.

Press mixture a little at a time through a mesh sieve, discard solids (you should have about 3 cups syrup) in a 2-quart pitcher stir together the syrup, wine and sliced strawberries.  

Cover and chill up to 24 hours.

Before serving stir in the sparkling water.  Serve in glasses with orange slices.

Makes 8...8 oz servings
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