Archive | July, 2012

Cocktail of the Week: Beet Dirty Martini

31 Jul

One of my favorite things about Kitchen Play is that it challenges cooks to use ingredients in new and different ways.  Who would think you could make a delicious cocktail using beef?  I wouldn’t have, until I tried my hand at the moogarita.  Similarly, I would not have thought pickled beets would necessarily be a great addition to a stocked bar, the dirty beet martini that Denise of Chez Us created for Kitchen Play’s Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets menu is unexpectedly nice.  It’s an earthier, slightly sweeter twist on your classic martini.

Beet Dirty Martini

Fill your martini glass full of ice.  In a shaker add ice, vermouth and vodka.  Shake.  Empty the ice from the martini glass.  Put a splash of the beet juice, swirl around the glass, then pour out.  Stain the shaken vodka into the glass.  Add a dash of bitters.  Garnish with the beet and orange peel.  Serve.  Sip.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity Page.


Make Pickled Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese

31 Jul

For my final stab at the beet-centered recipes from Kitchen Play‘s July menu sponsored by Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets, I thought I’d try the Pickled Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese created by Lana of Never Enough Thyme. She had me at beets. And goat cheese.

I couldn’t find any kumquats, so I substituted candied tangerines, and used their zested peels in place of lemon zest in the herbed cheese mixture.  These look lovely, so they’d be great for a party, but are also quick & easy enough for solo snacking.

Pickled Beets with Herbed Goat Cheese


  • 1 tangerine, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 large basil leaf
  • 4 oz. goat cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 tsp. tangerine zest
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of ground black pepper
  • 1 jar Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Baby Beets
  • 2-3 fresh basil leaves, julienned


Make the candied kumquats:
    1. Slice tangerine into thin slices (about 3-4 per fruit) removing all seeds as you work, then cut slices into fourths.
    2. In a small, heavy-bottomed pan place the water, sugar, basil leaf and prepared tangerine slices. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat swirling the pan occasionally to help the sugar dissolve. Reduce heat to a slow simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
    3. Remove pan from the heat and allow the tangerine to cool completely in the liquid.
    4. Drain the slices and set aside until needed.
Make the herbed goat cheese:
    1. Combine the goat cheese, tangerine zest, basil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined.
Prepare the beets:
    1. Drain the liquid from the beets and place them on absorbent paper towels to drain briefly.
  1. Prepare one cracker for each serving.
  2. To each cracker, add approximately 1/2 teaspoon of herbed goat cheese. Top with one whole Aunt Nellie’s Baby Pickled Beet (or half of a regular sized pickled beet) and a slice of candied tangerine. Garnish with a sliver of finely julienned fresh basil.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.

Make a Rainbow Salad

26 Jul

You might think it’s time for me to post something besides recipes from Kitchen Play, but it’s not.  It’s not at all.  It’s time for me to post one of the most delightful things I’ve ever eaten- a rainbow salad.  Sponsored by Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and dreamed up by Amy at, this salad is beautiful AND delicious.  I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients on hand, so I made a few substitutions that turned out quite well.



Rainbow Salad:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 jar of Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Whole Baby Beet
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey and pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red tomato, chopped
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • handful pea shoots and sunflower sprouts (if available)
  • 1 cup green or purple kale
  • 1 cup red cabbage, roughly chopped

In a medium saucepan filled with cool tap water, place the eggs in the pot before heating on the stove.  Make sure the water covers the eggs by at least an inch.  When the water comes to a full boil, cover and remove from heat.  Let the eggs sit for 10 to 15 minutes.  Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl of ice water until completely cool to the touch.  Remove the shells.  Separate yolks from whites and toughly chop both and set aside.

Cut lemon peel off lemon, careful to get only the yellow and not much for the white at all.  Heat canola oil over high heat in a skillet, drop lemon peels in skillet and fry until crisp.  Remove and toss with honey and salt.  Set aside.

Drained the baby beet and reserve 1/4 cup of the pickling liquid.  Place the pickling liquid back to the jar; add olive oil, thyme leaves, salt and pepper.  Close the lid and shake the vinaigrette until well combined. Set aside.

To assemble: on a large platter or serving plate, spread sliced beets along bottom of plate in a horizontal line, leaving at least an inch between the beets and edge of platter on the right and left.  Follow by tomato mixed with red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, egg yolks mixed with sugared lemon peel, romaine and sprouts, kale, and red cabbage.  Place egg whites on right and left ends of the “rainbow” and enjoy.  Serve with pickled beet vinaigrette on the side.

Make Apple Beet Goat Cheese Dip!

24 Jul

Another Kitchen Play recipe today!  Sorry- I’m on a kick.  The July menu features Aunt Nellie’s whole pickled beets, which is great for me because I love beets, and I love pickled things.  I was first intrigued by Megan’s Cookin’s apple beet goat cheese spread because of its color– bright fushia!  Since I prefer savory foods over sweet ones, I omitted the candied peacans, upped the goat cheese from Megan’s original recipe, and added a clove of garlic as well as salt & pepper to taste.  We ate the dip on pitas and tortilla chips all weekend long.


Apple, Beet and Goat Cheese Spread with Fresh Mint and Candied Pecans

  • 1 jar (16 oz) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 1 lg apple, cut into large chunks
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Pitas and/or tortilla chips

Pulse beets, apple, garlic and goat cheese in a food processor  until combined. Stir, add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve on pitas or tortilla chips.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.

Make Thai Cabbage Salad

23 Jul

I spent this weekend on the lake with friends, and thought Kitchen Play‘s, thai cabbage salad from CUTCO‘s summer dining menu would be great to bring along.  Courtesy of Shockingly Delicious, this salad is fresh, cool and flavorful- and one cabbage made a TON, so it would be especially good for picnics or potlucks.  I didn’t have any peanuts on hand, so I substituted roasted pine nuts and they worked well.

Thai-Style Cabbage Salad


  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon juice because I had it)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Thai fish sauce  (see note below)
  • 1 green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 5-6 leaves kale (I used Redbor magenta kale, but use your favorite variety)
  • 1 small red onion, sliced extremely thinly (see note below)
  • 3 peeled and grated carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Honey-roasted peanuts


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the lemon juice, oil, sugar and fish sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cabbage, kale, onion, carrot, mint and cilantro and toss well. The dressing will coat the ingredients very lightly; there will not be a pool of dressing in the bottom of the bowl. Throw in a handful or two of peanuts, toss again, and serve.
  2. Serves 8-10.

For more recipes like this one, check out the Domesticity page.

Make a Truck Pool

20 Jul

Have you ever heard of a truck pool?  Neither had I, until two magical years ago, when I was visiting friends in Asheville, NC, and one of them whipped out her phone and showed me pictures of a pool she and her friends had made by lining the back of a pick-up truck with a tarp and filling it with water.  As someone who loves water, and making things into other things they were not intended to be, I was smitten. I thought she was brilliant for having thought of it. Little did I know making trucks into pools is a thing. Just google “truck pool” and you’ll see.  There is clearly some stigma surrounding truck pools- the prevailing notion seems to be that they are pretty much the epitome of trashy.  Well, trashy or not, I’m a fan.  They’re cheaper than kiddie pools, but much deeper and sturdier than most.  And you don’t have to find room in the garage to store a truck pool. All you need is find a tarp that is heavy weight, won’t tear easily, and is much wider that the bed of your truck.  Then simply line the bed of the truck with the tarp, letting the sides hang over.  We secured the excess tarp to the sides of the truck with a strap, just to be safe.  HAPPY TRUCK POOLING!

Cocktail of the Week: Summertime Sangria

17 Jul

I’m a big fan of Kitchen Play, which posts menus each month and challenges bloggers to try new recipes and write about them, which just happens to be one of the things I like to do most.

They recently featured a recipe for summertime sangria courtesy of Nutmeg Nanny, sponsored by CUTCO, which I thought would be perfect for our 4th of July gathering, but haven’t gotten around to posting until now.  I’m not a big fan of chunks of fruit in my sangria, so I strained it out after it had enough time to sit and let the flavors get to know each other a little bit and opted instead for a simple apple garnish.  This stuff was delicious- sweet, but not cloying, and quite refreshing!

Summertime Sangria


  • 1 bottle dry red wine (750 milliliter)
  • 1/4 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1/4 cup triple sec liqueur
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar (depending on your desired sweetness)
  • 1 apple – cored and cubed
  • 1/2 orange – thinly sliced (peel on)
  • 1 lime – thinly sliced (peel on)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries – hulled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherries – seeded and cut in half
  • 1 liter seltzer water

Combine all ingredients except seltzer water. Let sit in large pitcher for at least two hours until flavors have combined. When you are ready to serve add seltzer water and enjoy!

For more recipes like this one, check out my Domesticity page.