Category: Recipe

Sour Bitter Smash

Sour Bitter Smash Drink

If you plan to attend Culture, Cocktails, and Culinary Creations at Buns and Roses 2020 with Tracey Livesay, Priscilla Oliveras, and me, please hop between us, pick your drink, and make it with us during the live virtual session. My drink pulls on my Caribbean heritage and my need for things to be perfectly sweet–not too sugary, not bland, but perfect. Below are my recipe and a little history tidbit.

One of the greatest contributions to the modern world is Trinidad’s Bitters.

Angostura bitters are an aromatic staple that can often be found in your local grocery store. In 1824, Dr. Johann Siegert opened a business to sell bitters as a medicinal tincture, but the surprising tasty concoction found its way into beverages. The secret bitters formula is more closely guarded than Coke-Cola’s. The Angostura Company produces batches in unmarked bags of ingredients. The production schedule is irregular and only happens when the stock in the Port of Spain warehouse is low.

Sour Bitter Smash is a drink that speaks to the fun one can have when sweet fruity flavors blend with perfect hints of bitters.

Sour Bitter Smash

1 cup soursop (guanabana) juice* or pineapple juice

1/2 cup strawberry lemonade

4 dashes of angostura bitters

1 1/2 teaspoons blue curaçao liqueur

Ice cubes

Non-alcoholic

6 tablespoons of good seltzer water

Alcoholic

6 tablespoons of good gin

Garnish: Edible flower or burnt lemon rind.

Choose the your version of my smash,  load all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice. Cover and shake well. Strain and pour into two fancy glasses. Garnish and enjoy.

Sour Bitter Smash Drink
Sour Bitter Smash – a Drink that salutes the Islands

Hop to my buddy’s drinks:

Priscilla’s Drink

Tracey’s Drink

4 Ingredient Christmas Cookies

It’s four ingredients. Yes, four and these gems are so good. I love to cook, so you’ll often find me in the kitchen. I like elegant great tasting easy to create recipes. So this is one of my personal favorites.

Ingredients:
1 cup of peanut butter, the crunchy type with peanuts
1 egg white (You need to cut the cholesterol somewhere.)
1 cup of sugar (I use raw cane sugar, sounds healthier, but you may eat so many that this doesn’t help)

1/2 of Christmas Candy or Chocolate chopped to be peanut size.

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a baking tray with parchment or a silicone mat. They will stick to your tray if you don’t, not good eats, a big mess. No one has time for all that cleaning.
Combine all the ingredients together mixing until you have a smooth dough-like consistency.
Take a scoop of it and form a small ball. Flatten it out onto the tray.
Get fancy and make crisscrosses with a fork’s tines. Place the cookies at least an inch apart.

When your tray is full and your oven is ready, pop these into the oven for about 7 minutes. Be careful not to overbake and adjust your timing based on your oven. The cookies should be a light golden brown. You want these to be chewy.
When you take them from the oven, let them cool on the tray for about 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack. I usually just pick up the parchment and set it on the rack to cool completely.

Your patience will be reward with chewy yummy goodness.

My Favorite Christmas Novel: Frederica is quite the hostess and loves to make sure her guest has the right treats. Find out more about her in The Butterfly Bride:

New Year, New Day, New Ketchup

Vanessa here,

First I’d like to start by saying Happy New Year and thank you. Thank you for reading my romances. Thank you for all the notes, tweets, and emails of encouragement. Thank you for telling your friends and aunties about by stories. You gave so many smiles this past year, on days where I couldn’t lift my head. The year of Lord, Two-Thousand and Sixteen was a very difficult year for me personally, loosing two important people in my life to cancer and heart disease. These two helped shape my life. I pray their influence continues. I know the love will.

Nonetheless, 2017 is a year of new beginnings. I am taking back power this year. My first battle is on salt. Yes, salt, sodium chloride. Those little delicious crystals are in everything. Why does the good tasting bread have to have over 150 mg a slice?

I digress. My goal is to improve my health, so I have to reduce the salt. Currently, I’m on salt punishment, and I am limiting my intake to 300 mg. Sadly, that means limiting my intake of the lovelies: Cheese, Bread, Ketchup.

Ketchup, that yummy sauce of wonderfulness can have over 150 mg of salt per a tablespoon. First, I can eat more than a tablespoon of ketchup on a small portion air-fried french fries.  Secondly, why Hunts and Heinz, why?

I tried to drown my sorrows in Hunts’s salt-free ketchup. Ummm, no. Facing life with no ketchup was not an option so I decided to make my own. I did, and I am in hog heaven.

Vanessa’s Low-Salt Ketchup

1 Large can (28 oz) of no salt tomatoes, diced

1 Small bottle (187 ml) of Cabernet Sauvignon

Blend the tomatoes until smooth in a blender and add them with the cabernet into a sauce span. Simmer the two on low heat, almost boiling. Add the following:

1 Tbsp of Garlic Powder

2 Tsp of Ground Celery Seed

1 Tbsp of Ground Mustard

1 Tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar

2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste (This is the only salt of the recipe. The amount you add should be 30mg of salt.)

1/2 to 1 Jar (13.8 oz) of Pepper Jelly (This must be salt free.)

Add as much of the jelly as you want to your taste. It add a smokey sweet heat to the ketchup. Add black pepper to taste.

When the sauce has reduced by 1/3, use a stick blender and blend the sauce (the remaining 2/3) to make smooth the spices and any thickened bits of the sauce. Continue to simmer sauce for another 30 minutes. Cool the sauce then put in air tight containers. Keep in the refrigerator.

You have yummy low salt ketchup which is down to 3 mg of sodium per tablespoon. I love it. It was even great baked on trout. 

Enjoy!!!