Breakfast, Drinks, Recipes

Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie

I've been making smoothies non-stop these past few weeks. Maybe it's in anticipation of all the ripe late spring and summer fruits that will soon be in the markets. But lately my breakfasts have been looking more like the smoothie above instead of this or this. And that's a very good thing.

Until blueberries are in season, I'm making do with the the frozen kind. Frozen berries can often be too bland, so I was pretty happy to come across these, from Stahlbush Island Farms in Oregon. They're incredibly plump and tasty for frozen berries, plus the packaging is biodegradable to boot. Win win. 

Drinks, Recipes

Avocado and Coconut Smoothie

A few years ago I spent two weeks traveling through Vietnam and became hooked on a drink called sinh to bo, or Vietnamese avocado shake. When I got back to the US, I experimented with recreating the shake and wrote a recipe for my other blog Appetite for China.

Traditionally, Vietnamese avocado shake is made by mixing together mainly avocados and sweetened coconut, sometimes with a bit of ice and coconut milk added. As good as it tastes, the shake is also pretty thick and sweet, more of a spoonable dessert than a refreshing sip. So yesterday I decided to make lighter version of the avocado shake I loved from that summer.

Cocktails, Drinks, Recipes

Blood Orange Rosemary Gin Fizz

What do you do with a big bag of blood oranges hauled back from the market?

The choices are endless. With their sweet flavor with hints of berries and cherries, blood oranges naturally lend themselves to sweet and savory recipes. I could make a pound cake or muffins or a salad or sauce for chicken. But there's something to be said for just squeezing the heck out of them for a tall glass of juice. Or any refreshing drink.

Cocktails, Drinks, Recipes

Pink Gin

Some days, when I get back home after a long day of prepping for and teaching a class at night, I just want to collapse on the couch with a glass of wine. And inevitably of course, some days I get back home and realize I don't actually have any wine around the house.

Yesterday was one of those days. I got back home close to 10pm with a slice of pizza and just didn't feel like trekking back out again, especially in the wind and snow. So I did the next best thing: make myself a gin cocktail.

Drinks, DUMBO, DUMBO, Restaurants and Cafes

The Mexican 75 at Gran Electrica


Earlier last year my friends Max and Barb found a great new Mexican restaurant in DUMBO and couldn't stop raving about their Ensenada-style fish tacos. And to be sure, when I finally went with them, the tacos did turn out to be really great, the likes of which are almost impossible to find on the East Coast.

But the tacos aren't the only reason to go to Gran Electrica. They also have amazing cocktails. We tried many over the course of the evening, but the one that stood out was the Mexican 75, modeled after the French 75. Made with Tesoro Reposado tequila instead of gin, the drink also contained Lillet Rose, Cava, lime juice, and agave nectar. It was slightly fizzy, slightly sweet, and surprisingly potent for such a small amount.

It was definitely a new favorite cocktail, and this is coming from someone who is not normally a fan of tequila.

Gran Electrica
5 Front St.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Neighborhood: Dumbo

Cocktails, Drinks, Recipes

Rosemary Salty Dog Cocktail

Well, it has been quite a week! Since turning in my edited galley pages for my cookbook, I've been busy testing out new recipes for both Brooklyn Galley and Appetite for China. And celebrating the end of a long project usually means a cocktail somewhere in the mix.

I've been trying out this Rosemary Salty Dog cocktail for the last couple of day. If you've never had a Salty Dog, it's basically a drink with grapefruit juice and vodka or gin in a glass with a salted rim. It was likely concocted in the early 1950s by the same man who came up with the Bloody Mary.

This cocktail just screams summer to me, possibly because of the icy grapefruit flavor, or possibly because "salty dog" word association brings up nice thoughts of saltwater, beaches, and playing with dogs. My brain works in mysterious ways.

Drinks, Recipes

Blueberry Mint Iced Tea

It’s the start of iced tea season chez Diana. The past few days have been so muggy that in the afternoon I’ve been dying to take a nap instead of sitting at my computer editing photos or sending invoices to clients. Which is where the need for icy caffeinated drinks comes in.

During the summer I usually keep a liter of iced tea in the fridge. If I’m feeling lazy on tea-making day, I just steep and chill some black tea. If I need to satisfy my sweet tooth, I whip up some bracing Southern-style sweet tea. And if I happen to eye some very nice-looking berries at the market, which is what happened this time, I’ll make a fruity tea concoction.