Founded by Ariel Meadow Stallings, the evil schemer who brought you Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama, Offbeat Home is coming to break down your door and fill your home, apartment, trailer, or yurt with awesomeness.
When I think of Offbeat Home, I’m inspired by all the different kinds of living spaces I’ve experienced:
• Funky, hand-crafted spaces
I want to celebrate things like:
Offbeat Home would NOT be about:
I’m beyond excited about Offbeat Home because unlike Offbeat Bride and Offbeat Mama, Offbeat Home is both un-gendered AND non-relationship-based. That second one is a kicker: on a certain level the Offbeat Empire is all about women in relationships with others, whether it be a partner or their families. Offbeat Home is just about YOU and YOUR SPACE. Not other people … although I do envision a category dedicated to Offbeat Entertaining, full of fabulous dinner parties and brunch potlucks and girls nights in.
When my dear friend Lila sent me a link to Kitchen Play’s super beefy February recipes sponsored by Canadian Beef, I knew immediately I was going to have to make the Moogarita. A cocktail made with beef stock and garnished with a piece of beef jerky? Um, yes please.
The Moogarita is made with beef stock, tequila (we used Patron), homemade ginger lime syrup, thinned tamarind paste (tamarind is a sweet, date-like fruit used in Asian and Latin American cooking) and homemade beef jerky. It does take some effort– making the syrup, thinning the tamarind paste, marinating the jerky and then drying it out in the oven. Here’s the thing, though- it’s totally worth it. I know the thought of a cocktail made with beef stock is enough to make many of your stomachs turn, but hear me out for a moment.
Several classic cocktails combine stock or bouillon cubes with liquor, and while I’ve seen recipes for these cocktails before, I’ve never really felt the desire to make one. What drew me to the Moogarita was the combination of sweet and meaty. Reading the recipe, I could actually picture it tasting good. And you know what? It was delicious. The beef stock was barely detectable, but added a slight meatiness under the tangyness of the lime, the spiciness of the pepper and the sweetness of the tamarind. And the beef jerky made the perfect garnish the cut the sweetness of the drink.
The Moogarita (makes 1 drink) via Communal Table
1 oz tequila
1 oz good quality beef stock (unsalted and as pure as possible)
½ oz ginger-lime simple syrup (see recipe below)
½ oz thinned tamarind paste
To thin tamarind paste, put about a tablespoon of it into a bowl and whisk in about a tablespoon of warm water, a little bit at a time until you get a smooth, thin, syrupy consistency. Set aside.
Put 3 or 4 ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Add tequila, beef stock, ginger-lime simple syrup and tamarind. Shake well. Pour into a highball or margarita glass and garnish with jalapeno-lime beef jerky and a slice of fresh lime.
Ginger-Lime Simple Syrup:
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
Bring lime juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Add sugar and ginger, and lower heat. Simmer and stir for 5 minutes, or until sugar dissolves and ginger infuses syrup. Let cool and strain.
Jalapeno & Lime Beef Jerky
3/4 lb flank steak
1 jalapeno, half of seeds discarded, chopped
1/3 C fresh lime juice
1/2 C tequila
¼ C tamari soy sauce (or regular soy)
4 Tbs brown sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Slice beef against the grain, into long, thin strips.
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice, tequila, tamari soy, brown sugar, salt and pepper until the sugar dissolves. Stir in jalapeno.
Place beef strips in a glass baking dish (or other non-reactive receptacle) and pour marinade overtop. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).
Preheat oven to 175 C. Remove marinated beef from the fridge, and place slices on paper towel. Remove any jalapeno seeds stuck to the beef if you want a milder beef jerky. Using more paper towel, pat the pieces dry to remove excess liquid.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange beef slices flat on sheet without overlapping. For a more stylish-looking jerky, twist the slices of beef before placing them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven.
After 1.5 hours, remove the baking sheet and flip each piece of meat over. Put back in the oven for another hour.
After another hour, check to see how dry the beef is, flip slices again, and put back in the oven for an additional half an hour if needed. The goal is for the jerky to be as firm and dry as possible, without getting too brittle.
When sufficiently dried, remove jerky from oven and let cool. The beef will dry further as it cools so make sure not to overcook/over-dry in the oven.
I rarely watch a movie without a snack and in the movie-watching-while-eating arena, I’m pretty traditional. If you ask me, there’s nothing like sitting on the couch with a big old bowl of popcorn and Netflix instant streaming.
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup fine sea salt
For the chile elixir:
- 5 small hot chiles, such as red jalapeños, cut into long, thin strips
- 16 ounces distilled or tap water
For the vanilla elixir:
- 8 ounces pure vanilla extract
- 8 ounces distilled or tap water
For the Azteca:
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup coconut sea salt
- 2 tablespoons sweetened cocoa powder
- 2 ounces chile elixir, or more to taste
- 2 ounces vanilla elixir
- 2 ounces simple syrup
- 9 ounces soda water
Make the coconut sea salt:
In a food processor, process the coconut flakes and salt until fully combined, about 1 minute—the mixture will be light and fluffy. DO AHEAD: Coconut sea salt can be prepared in advance and stored, in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 weeks.
Make the chile elixir:
In a small saucepan, bring the chiles and distilled or tap water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. DO AHEAD: Chile elixir can be prepared in advance and refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Make the vanilla elixir:
In a small saucepan, bring the vanilla and distilled or tap water to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer, uncovered, until reduced by half—note that this reduces very quickly, in about 5 minutes. DO AHEAD: Vanilla elixir can be prepared in advance and refrigerated up to 2 weeks.
Make the Azteca:
Pour the lime juice onto a small plate and spread the coconut sea salt on a second small plate. Dip the rim of a 12-ounce glass into the lime juice, then dip it into the coconut sea salt to lightly coat.
In a cocktail shaker, combine the cocoa powder, chile elixir, vanilla elixir, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously until well combined. Add ice to the prepared glasses, then strain the Azteca into each glass. Add enough soda water to fill each glass, then stir to incorporate.
I had a great time teaching Social Media for Writers for the Knoxville Writers’ Guild this weekend. We had a great crowd– numerous, diverse and very interesting! We talked about everything from how to tag photos on Facebook to finding the best ways to get people to read your blog. I myself got some great new ideas and came out of the workshop ready to be a better blogger and social media user.
Alan Sims attended the workshop and afterward wrote this great post for his Knoxville blog, Stuck Inside of Knoxville W/ the Urban Blues Again. I’ve been spending the last few days reading his past posts and am loving it- the blog is full of great and well-written information about what’s going on around downtown Knoxville. Check it out!
I was in the mood for something tangy and sweet (but not too sweet), so I consulted my trusty tome, Vintage Spirit and Forgotten Cocktails by Ted Haigh, and found the recipe for La Floridita Daiquiri. This is not the syrupy sweet, Slurpee-like daiquiri you get at American resorts in Jamaica. This is tart and fresh with the perfect amount of kick. It’s more of a summer drink, but I’m enjoying it now and letting it fuel my fantasies of spring’s impending arrival…
- 2 oz rum
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon sugar or simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Blend with crushed ice, serve in a champagne glass, garnish with lime wheel and maraschino cherry, if desired.