Drinks, Recipes

Friday Happy Hour: Pear Cosmopolitan


“Sex and the City” may have made the Cosmo famous, but, newsflash, according to People magazine, Sarah Jessica Parker (aka Carrie Bradshaw) never actually drank one until this summer. (And hey, she liked it!)

Here’s another trivia tidbit: The Cosmopolitan cocktail made its debut way before the 1980s TV show, in a circa 1934 book titled “Pioneers of Mixing Gin at Elite Bars.” As the title would suggest, however, it was originally made with gin, not vodka.

These days, ordering a Cosmo at a hip cocktail bar might cause the bearded, tattooed gent mixing drinks to raise a bushy eyebrow.

But just as old-timey drinks like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned have made a solid comeback, I think we can expect the Cosmo to eventually become popular again.

In the meantime, we found our inspiration for this version in a neat little book, “Market Fresh Mixology” by Bridget Albert and Mary Barranco (Agate Surrey, March 2014). We changed the book’s recipe by using Cointreau instead of Triple Sec and “regular” vodka instead of citrus flavored. I like that it has more than a hint of cranberry juice (Cosmos in “Sex and the City” were always just barely pink), and a a little extra sweetness from the muddled pears.

Just right for the colorful season now upon us.

2 pear slices
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce cranberry juice
Pear slices and fresh cranberries for garnish

In a cocktail shaker, muddle the pear slices with the lime juice.
Add vodka, Cointreau and cranberry juice.
Add ice, shake to blend.
Strain into a martini glass.
Garnish with cranberries and pear slices.

Mains, Recipes

Linguine with lobster and crab: A Jersey Shore tradition recreated in Maine


There are many things I prefer to forget about my college boyfriend, but one fond memory remains, which, perhaps not surprisingly has to do with food. Thanks to his kind, long-suffering mother — whose heart was Irish, while her kitchen was Italian to please her husband — I was introduced to a dish largely unheard of outside South Jersey and Philadelphia: Spaghetti with crabs.

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Mains, Recipes

Tuscan-style Veal Chops

Finished veal chops with potatoes

Because of the horrific way they are raised commercially (which I won’t get into, but you can look it up), we have long been opposed to eating veal. Until we discovered that such a thing as humanely raised veal exists, thanks to Ted’s photography work for the specialty meat purveyor, D’Artagnan.

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Desserts, Recipes

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Bourbon Glaze

Zuccini Chocolate Cake_111

There’s something fine and wonderful about a chocolate cake. I much prefer the sturdy, yet tender, straightforwardly deep chocolate kind — the sort that begs for a glass of cold milk – to a cake with any more embellishment than a lick of frosting.

Come to think of it, that’s how I like my chocolate bars, too: dark and plain. Ted, on the other hand, goes for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Cadbury Dairy Milk Fruit & Nut bars. Food for thought, there …

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Drinks, Recipes

Friday Happy Hour: The Dock Holiday

Twenty Boat_25

In the mid-to-late 1700’s, New England had more than 150 rum distilleries, supplying sailors and stevedores with what was then America’s favorite tipple. By the early 1900’s, they had all but disappeared, whiskey having replaced rum as the most popular spirit.

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