Posts Tagged ‘vodka’

Review: OXO Mini Measuring Beakers & Funfetti Cake Shots

Until now, all the liquid measuring cups I owned were larger and the smallest volume they could measure was a 1/4 cup. But with the new 4 Piece Mini Measuring Beaker Set from OXO, I can now measure out more than one tablespoon at a time. The best part for my nerd-self is that they are shaped like little beakers and are designed specifically for measuring and pouring smaller amounts of ingredients such as food coloring, extracts, lemon juice and more. No more food coloring stained fingers – let’s rejoice!

The beakers stand on their own, with fill lines below the very top, making it easy to set out ingredients before you start cooking or baking.  The funnel shape and spout on the top of the beakers make filling and pouring simple. They are also brightly colored, top-rack dishwasher safe, and nest together for compact storage – an extra bonus for my crammed micro-apartment kitchen. The set includes 2 oz, 1 oz, 1 T and 1 tsp beakers. And just a little knowledge for you: 1 oz = 2 Tbsp

OXO Mini Measuring Beakers

Now let’s talk about what I decided to make with these, and speculate on why the first thing I thought of was alcohol. Have you ever taken a shot by yourself? I would assume not as I had not either until I made this Funfetti cake shot. I didn’t think it through prior to it’s preparation, and mixed it up around 2pm… well now what am I supposed to do with it? So I shot one and dumped the other down the drain after feeling like an alcoholic drinking by myself. Although I felt a little guilty tossing a perfectly good cake-flavored shot down the drain. Somehow pineapple juice and vanilla vodka creates a yellow cake batter flavor, who am I to judge?

Funfetti Cake Shot

One year ago: Stromboli

Two years ago: Grilled Three Cheese Sandwich
Read the rest of this entry »

Pasta with Vodka Sauce & Chobani Giveaway

I am always on the lookout for fun food items. When I found heart-shaped pasta from World Market (while in east TN since the store no longer exists on my end) I snatched them up – perfect for a Valentine’s Day themed meal! Which lead me to think about vodka sauce (don’t ask why this holiday perked thoughts of alcoholic food).

Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen lead me to this recipe. It’s not to thick, but not runny either, and has great flavor which I am sure has many thanks to the full cup of vodka. But I did try something new and used a cup of Chobani‘s 2% plain Greek yogurt in place of the heavy cream. I’ve been enjoying finding new ways to substitute in Greek yogurt for other ingredients in order to add protein and reduce fat. In this instance it made the sauce a bit tangier but thought it paired very well with the already present vodka tang.

While I am on the subject of Chobani, how would you like to win some!? One of you will be the lucky recipient of a bundle three 32 oz. containers including plain in 0% and 2% and 0% vanilla. This giveaway is open to US and Canada (but a Canadian resident will just receive three of the  32 oz. 0% plain containers as vanilla & 2% plain aren’t available across the border yet). To enter, please leave a comment sharing your favorite way to use Greek yogurt. Giveaway ends Monday, February 20th. Winner will be contacted via e-mail and has 48 hours to respond. **GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED** Samantha from The Little Ferraro Kitchen is the winner!

PASTA WITH VODKA SAUCE

Serves 4 to 5

Ingredients:

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, diced

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1-1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 cup vodka

2 (28 oz) cans peeled plum tomatoes

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 pound pasta

4 Tbsp fresh oregano

3/4 to 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large oven proof saute pan over medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent. Add the red pepper flakes and dried oregano and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vodka and continue cooking until the mixture is reduced by half.
  3. Meanwhile, drain the tomatoes through a sieve and crush them into the pan with your hands (be careful and crush slowly because the juice will squirt*). Add 2 teaspoons salt and a pinch of black pepper. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and place it in the oven for 1-1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, and set both aside.
  5. Place the tomato mixture in a blender and puree in batches until the sauce is a smooth consistency. Return to the pan. Or blend in the pot if using an immersion blender.
  6. Reheat the sauce, add 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and enough yogurt to make the sauce a creamy consistency. Add reserved pasta cooking water if the sauce it too thick. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss the pasta into the sauce and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan. Serve with an additional sprinkle of Parmesan and a sprinkle of fresh oregano on each plate.

*The first one I squeezed resulted in an explosion of sauce all over my (thankfully already not-perfectly-spotless-clean) kitchen.

Source: Adapted slightly from Ina Garten on Food Network. Discovered by The Little Ferraro Kitchen.

Beermosa

Hope everyone enjoyed a labor-free weekend! Or at least a reduced amount of labor. I certainly took advantage of some lazy-time on Saturday, watching every college football game I could find on TV starting with my Buckeyes at 11 am.

I am so glad college football is back in season. And to celebrate I kicked off the day with a beermosa. Initially I thought it sounded really gross to mix beer with liquor, and then orange juice. But don’t knock it until you try it! I was pleasantly surprised by this beverage, and it may be a staple for every 11am game. It’s the mimosa for football fans!

BEERMOSA

Serves one

Ingredients:

2 oz orange flavored vodka

6 oz light beer, of your choice

4 oz orange juice

Directions:

  1. Pour vodka into a large glass, followed by beer and then orange juice. Stir and enjoy!

Source: Taylor Tailgates

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I have had the luxury of baking with Mexican vanilla in the past, and it forever ruined me for anything that can be purchased in the States. So when I saw the homemade vanilla extract on My Baking Addiction, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Finding myself at the Beanilla website I ordered 25 Mexican vanilla beans, a half gallon bottle for extracting, and a slew of 4 oz bottles for dispersal. Dispersal for what? Christmas presents!

The Beanilla package came expertly wrapped. I was so relieved to see the package on my doorstep as opposed to the salmon colored slip indicating that the parcel could be picked up at the post office (which is so very much not fun). The aroma that wafted out of the Mexican vanilla beans upon opening the vacuum sealed package was intoxicating – a scent which lingered on my hands after handling them as well. After splitting 15 vanilla beans down the middle lengthwise, leaving 1/2 inch at the end intact, I let them swim with 40 oz of vodka in the half gallon bottle. Although tempted to stare at it as though watching grass grow I stashed it away in a cool, dry place for the next 3 weeks, and only took it out to shake around about once a week.

Typically you are supposed to let it sit for 6-8 weeks. Unfortunately this project was not known to me until the first week in December. Thankfully I found advice to include a vanilla bean in each bottle when divided up into their respective 4 oz bottles. I advised the giftees to refrain from using it for another couple weeks. As an added bonus with the bean in the bottle, when the vanilla stock dwindles a little more vodka will replenish the supply! Of course this will occur again after waiting at least a few weeks. Patience is a virtue, but it is a gift that keeps on giving!

I also used labels which can also be found on My Baking Addiction, and copied the decoration with similar twine and snowflakes. It made for a great touch!

Ingredients:

Sterilized Jar or Bottle with a tight, secure lid

Vanilla Beans in your favorite variety (rule of thumb is st least 1 bean per 1/3 cup of alcohol)

Vodka (I used Three Olives, but you can also use Bourbon, Rum or Brandy)

Directions:

  1. Use a knife to split the bean in half, leave about 1/2 inch at each end intact.
  2. Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka.
  3. Close jar or bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 6-8 weeks. Give the bottle a shake every week or so.
  4. As you use the vanilla, simply add in more liquor to replace what you have used.

Source: My Baking Addiction

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