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Some good stuff for the new year


Swiss cheese toasty: a toasted slice of whole wheat, dijon mustard, walnuts and swiss cheese. Put it under the broiler so the cheese melts on top of everything.

A little toasty makes me an exponentially happier person in the mornings.


This excerpt from Mike Daisey’s show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.


Keeping up with my Google Reader for the first time in months because of these tumblers/blogs:

Old Love

L.A. in Bloom

Southern Foodways Alliance


Resolutions, which include cooking more and perhaps picking up that old, abandoned blog, cooking con booze.


Written by rarface

January 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

Posted in besties, food, promises, recipes

as requested

with 2 comments





Readers, come close. shhhhhh. I am about to reveal something to you. Below you will find the super secret, 100 year old, Garrison family recipe for bourbon iced tea. Passed down to me by my mother’s mother’s older brother’s lover, Miss Maggie B. Known as “the queen of mountain bootleggers,” Miss, sold moonshine out of her home in Harlan County, Kentucky until the day she died, at age 101. Three days later I received this recipe in the mail.

Um. Nah. Sorry folks! This bourbon iced tea is damn delicious, but it’s just something I tore out of a Rachael Ray magazine and spent a long hot Brooklyn summer perfecting (instead of installing my air conditioner). Any bourbon will do here, but I like Jim Beam – because it’s cheap and strong. This makes a pitcher of tea, so don’t be an antisocial alcoholic and invite some friends over to share.




Bourbon Iced Tea

  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup or sugar
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup bourbon
  • ice cubes
  • unsweetened iced tea (this will be way too sweet if you use regular tea, so, omit the syrup/sugar if you can’t find unsweetened)

In a large pitcher, mash up lemon wedges, agave syrup (or sugar) and mint leaves with a large spoon until a thick syrup forms. Add the orange juice, lemon juice and bourbon & stir to combine. If serving right away, fill pitcher with ice, add tea, stir and serve. If not, add 1 quart + 1 cup iced tea, stir and refrigerate . When you’re ready to get your drink on, fill individual glasses with ice, pour in tea, garnish with mint sprig and serve. If feeling so inclined, you can add a splash of bourbon to the top. For good measure.


Bourbon Iced Tea, Georgia Style

Because peaches are in season, and taste fantastic when soaked in bourbon.

Follow the recipe above, except substitute peach slices and fresh peach juice or peach puree for the lemons/lemon juice. I use a bit less sugar in this version, and add some brandy.  Not much, maybe 1/4 cup.

There you have it! Enjoy – but as d. k. mentioned, don’t plan on getting much done after a few of these. I had two last night and promptly fell asleep on the couch. At 8:15.

Written by rarface

July 10, 2009 at 9:44 am

Posted in drinks, recipes

cocktail adventures continued

with 2 comments

ingredients, etc.

ingredients, etc.


Here it is!  My only successful attempt at cocktail-ing (per that hater, the drunken marxist).  I found this recipe on Sloshed – next time I think I will use a bit less creme de cassis – my B.R. was a touch too sweet, but definitely a nice bourbon drink for a hot summer’s day.  I’ve forgotten what those are like – it was so cold in SF last weekend I had to turn on the heater.  No whining from me though.  Ladles and gents, may I present you with


The Bourbon Renewal

2 oz bourbon
1 oz fresh lemon juice
½ oz creme de cassis
½ oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters

Mix ingredients and pour over cracked ice. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


Written by rarface

May 27, 2009 at 3:23 pm

Posted in drinks, recipes

cure for swine flu?

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I’ve been feeling under the weather lately. Eating soup, laying low, etc. But after 3 days – I needed a drink. Enter

The Negroni

better red than dead

better red than dead

  • One part gin
  • One part sweet vermouth
  • One part Campari

Mix together with ice in a shaker. Strain into a cocktail glass.

The Negroni!  So easy a child could make it!

So bad it must be good for you.

Argh! I’m not cut out for this.  My attempt was not anywhere near cold enough. Anyway, I drank it. And I feel much better. So, my Negroni, good for something…

Written by rarface

April 29, 2009 at 9:01 pm

Posted in drinks, recipes

the vesper

with one comment

Here it is – my first cocktail attempt of 2009! Oh, and what a sad, sad attempt this was. But it looks pretty in this picture, oui? Or no?

my poor cocktail
my poor cocktail

The correct answer is (sigh) no. That bottle of gin is pretty. That bottle of Lillet is pretty too. But their powers combined + vodka, stirred together in a jelly jar (no cocktail shaker yet!) by an amateur with a very bad cold and then strained and garnished (ugh, weak little garnish). It was not pretty. It was not tasty. It tasted like medicine. Actually, it tasted like straight gin. Not a hint of delicious Lillet. But I don’t blame the cocktail. I only realized I was having issues with my tastebuds an hour or so later when I rendered a bowl of guacamole inedible with lavish amounts of salt, pepper and lemon. I probably shouldn’t have tried to make the Vesper while sick. I probably shouldn’t be drinking while sick, but what can you do?

The Vesper

  • 3 parts gin
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1/2 part Lillet Blanc or dry vermouth
  • Combine all ingredients in an ice-filled shaker, and shake until icy cold. Strain into a glass and add a large, thin slice of lemon peel.

    Additional Info: The Vesper was invented by Ian Fleming in his 1953 novel, James Bond novel, Casino Royale, excerpted below:

    “A dry martini,” [Bond] said. “One. In a deep champagne goblet.”

    “Oui, monsieur.”

    “Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”

    “Certainly, monsieur.” The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

    “Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,” said Leiter.

    Bond laughed. “When I’m…er…concentrating,” he explained, “I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.”

    Written by rarface

    January 15, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Posted in drinks, recipes

    make not buy

    leave a comment »

    Addictive salty snacks:

    s&p seeds

    s&p seeds

    Toasted, Seasoned Pumpkin (and squash!) Seeds

    They're roasted.

    They're toasted.

    2 cups hulled pumpkin or squash seeds

    1 teaspoon of kosher salt

    2 tablespoons soy sauce


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    2. Combine seeds, salt and soy sauce in a large bowl. Toss to evenly coat seeds and spread them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and let toast for about 12 minutes. If you remember to shake the pan a few times while toasting, good! If not, no worries. Seeds should turn a dark brown (like , say, toast) and will begin to puff up and pop. Toasted s&p seeds will keep for about two weeks. But they won’t last that long. I promise.

    Written by rarface

    January 14, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Posted in make not buy, recipes

    Tagged with ,

    Fruity Risotto!

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    Is a crazy-delicious, rib-sticking, coma-inducing food delight that I enjoyed last weekend.  Perfect for a chilly time of year, I’ve been thinking about this risotto for the past four days (maybe because the pot I used to cook it in is still sitting in my kitchen sink, waiting to be washed).  Anyway.

    This is from Viana La Place’s book, My Italian Garden.  Normally, I’m not sure this recipe would appeal, but since every single thing I’ve made from My Italian Garden, has been downright delicious,  and something about citrus fruit seems appropriate close to Christmas and also because it was a near freezing 40 degrees in SF last weekend and I wanted me some risotto, I wasn’t too worried about how this would turn out.  So while D.M.  finished writing papers and listened to The Internationale on repeat, I stirred up a pot of really very hard-to-describe but really very delicious 

    Risotto with Orange and Lemon.

    1 meyer lemon
    1 orange
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
    1/2 onion chopped
    2 cups arborrio rice
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    6 cups broth (she says beef, I used veggie), brought to a simmer
    1/2 cup Parmesan
    toasted almonds
    mint leaves

    Use a veggie peeler to remove just the zest of the lemon and half of the orange in ribbon-ish strands.  Set aside.  Use a zester to make fine strips of zest from the remaining orange half.  Place the finer zest in about 1 cup of boiling water for 2 to 3 minutes to remove some of the bitterness.  Drain well and dry on a paper towel.

    Cut away most of the white pith from the lemon and orange, leaving a thin layer around the fruit.  Very finely chop the fruit, including the attached pith and membrane.  set aside.
    In a 2 quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, place 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil and warm over low heat.  Add the onion and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, or until very tender.
    Add the rice and stir well until all the grains are all glissy-glossy.  Add the wine.  Pour a glass for yourself!  Raise the heat a little and let the wine evaporate.  Add the ribbonlike strands of citrus zest and stir.
    Add a ladleful of broth and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.  Continue in this way, adding one ladleful at a time, until the rice is al dente but the risotto is creamy.  Halfway through cooking, add the fruit.  Taste for salt and add as needed (I needed lots!  and pepper as well)  When the risotto is the correct consistency, remove and stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and the grated Parm.
    Serve with chopped toasted almonds and mint leaves and orange zest.  Yum.  The leftovers are even better…

    Written by rarface

    December 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Posted in recipes

    Tagged with