A simple syrup is both simple and extremely versatile. Easy to make, simple syrups typically consist of a base of equal parts sugar and water and then you can get creative! They can be used to flavor cocktails, coffee drinks, or even add a little something extra to a basic fruit salad. I love getting creative with syrups and with such easy and accessible ingredients, the sky really is the limit. A few weeks ago, I had a bunch of strawberries and my basil plants were exploding! I decided to combine the two and make a simple syrup to flavor some basic iced tea and quickly, my easy Strawberry Basil Simple Syrup was born….
As some of you may know, Lane and I have the wonderful privilege of being part of an amazing group of friends and colleagues that also love food and cooking. Almost two years ago, two of those dear ladies started a rotating dinner party that we take turns hosting and cooking and it has been just so much fun. Each quarter the ten of us gather for a multi-course, home cooked feast. The evenings are always filled with the best food and cocktails and hours of great conversation and laughter. Lane and I hosted our first dinner last March (check out the menu and list of recipes here!) and last week, it was our turn again. This time we decided to tackle an eight course Southern themed menu and boy was it a good time.
Over the next few weeks, we will be posting the recipes and full menu here on With Two Spoons. We are so excited to share it all with you! Some of the recipes we developed or adapted ourselves and few others we left to the recipes of foodie icons like Ina Garten, Deb Perleman, and J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. At the end of the series you’ll have a full menu ready and waiting if you are looking to host your own Southern inspired party.
As many good parties do, we started with cocktails. In the interest of keeping things simple, we chose to serve a signature drink for everyone as they arrived and then switch to wine and prosecco (one red, one white, one sparkling!) for the rest of the evening. Our cocktail of choice for this party was the amazing Bourbon Tea from Garden and Gun Magazine and the Apiary event center in Kentucky.
The base of the drink is a simple syrup made with lemon, orange, ginger, cinnamon and mint. A small amount of this flavor filled syrup is poured over ice and then bourbon and an ounce of elderflower liquor (like St. Germain) is added. Top the whole thing with a splash of ginger ale and you have a simple southern drink that everyone will love. A word of caution: these cocktails are meant to be savored so go slow!
Find the recipe (and lots more Southern goodness!) at Garden and Gun magazine, here.
We’ll be back on Friday with this week’s Good Food Reads and next week our moveable feast continues with one of our main courses.
Summer…ah, summer. Sandals and sunscreen, sunshine and summer storms. My kids are finished with school for the summer and although my oldest in on a school trip to Washington D.C., my little is home during the day. On the days I’m not at work we’ve been talking about what summer foods we want to make this summer. I bet you’ll be able to guess which summer foods he picked in this edition of Good Food Reads! Read on… …
Welcome to another edition of Good Food Reads! I don’t know about you guys, but I have had one tough week. I got diagnosed with strep and then my kindergarten aged son got strep as well. I’ve been dealing with a sick one while being sick myself which is doubly hard. But once again, my amazing work family rallied around me and took my shifts at work to allow me take care of myself and my family. This Cocktail Edition of Good Food Reads is dedicated to them-because I owe each and every one of them a drink! …
Oh, friends, do I have some good recipes for you in this week’s edition of Good Food Reads. I’ve scoured the ole internet in search of food inspiration and tricks and have a list that is filled with sweets, treats, and comfort foods! As we amble on towards the holidays, I know we could all use a few recipes for appetizers and cocktails, so you’ll find some of those below as well. And, because all of those holiday festivities are usually bookended by busy work days and weeks, there are a few easy crockpot recipes in there to add to your own collection of Good Food Reads and go-to recipes. Now, let me introduce your Good Food Reads for December 7th!
Carrot Cake Cinnamon Rolls from Joy the Baker. Joy is always an inspiration when it comes to really tasty baked goods and this recipe for carrot cake cinnamon rolls looks amazing. I’m hoping to bake up a pan of these along side my usual Christmas morning cinnamon roll recipe.
Roasted Salmon Glazed with Brown Sugar and Mustard via the NYT. My three year old loves salmon, which I usually serve simply roasted and topped with a dollop of good pesto. This recipe coats the lovely fish in a mix of brown sugar and mustard, which should provide a great blend of sweet and tangy. YUM.
Bacon Blue Cheese Caramelized Onion Tart from Dinner, Then Dessert. Oh, you guys, I need to make these. Bacon is essentially one of my love languages and now that I’m no longer pregnant, I’m back on the Blue Cheese train full time. Bring. It. On.
Holiday Cocktails, featuring an Orange Cranberry Mimosa (yum!) from Wear + Where + Well. No explanation needed for this one. It’s the holidays. Have a cocktail. Or two.
Toffee Apple Eclair Cake from Lemons for Lulu is a great, no-bake take on the classic refrigerator cookie cake. I’m thinking this would be fun for New Year’s Day!
I have had really good luck with a lot of the recipes from Weelicious, which focuses on family and kid friendly food that isn’t “kid food.” Great, right? Next up for our family is this Crockpot Hawaiian Chicken.
A Healthier Take on Starbucks’ Peppermint Mocha Latte from the genius folks at Cooking Light, because we could all probably use a few more dollars and a few less calories right now. Oh, is that just me?!?!
I’m always looking for new options for Meatless Mondays around here and this Winter Vegetable Curry via the NYT might be my next recipe to tackle. I’ve found that often Indian and other southeast asian recipes can easily feel overwhelming with the number of unusual spices but this recipe uses kitchen staples and seasonal produce. It’s already a win in my book!
Roasted Cauliflower with Jalapeño Caper Butter (The Lemon Bowl) is another option for Meatless Monday and also a great, vegetable centric option for holiday meals.
And finally, Weeknight Crockpot Meals from The Gingered Whisk, because I don’t know about you, but sometimes, you just don’t want to cook.
As always, we love to hear feedback on everything we do here at With Two Spoons and we especially love hearing about new to us recipes, blogs, or books we need to check out. Send them our way via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or email!
Is it just me, or do the holidays really sneak up on us every year? I feel like I was literally just celebrating the arrival of fall and pumpkin-spiced-everything season and now here we are, a few days from Thanksgiving and the fun, crazy holiday season. As much as I love all of the fun gatherings with friends and family this time of year, finding the perfect host/hostess gift can be a little stressful. …
Thanksgiving, for me, is always such a great mix of traditional foods and new recipes that push the envelope of classics just a little. In our house, no Thanksgiving is complete without Dixie Pie (find the recipe here) or my mother in law’s pumpkin bread. There is always turkey*, of course, and the traditional sides. Because of distance and job requirements, my husband and I alternate years with our extended family so our food traditions are a little different each fall! While each family does a great job of trying to incorporate those “must have” dishes to make Thanksgiving really feel like home, we also love having something different to look forward to each year. I like to try a twist on a classic side dish each year and with that in mind, I have pulled together a list of Good Food Reads for your upcoming Thanksgiving. You won’t find any traditional turkey or sweet potato recipes here – I trust you have plenty of sources for those – but there are plenty of recipes for classics that push the envelope just a bit. Here’s to a happy and tasty Thanksgiving!…
This past weekend was girls’ weekend at the cabin. No husbands. No boyfriends. No kids. Only lots and lots of relaxation on the dock, good conversation, good food, and of course…cocktails. A summer girls’ weekend cocktail needs to be bold, different, and most of all refreshing. That is where these Lavender Lemonade Tonics come to the rescue! …