Clifton Sunset Martini

Clifton Sunset Martini. Don’t you love a gorgeous sunset? When I was designing a name for this beautiful martini, it was obvious that Clifton, Virginia would be a part. Clifton is a tiny quaint town near our home. Our favorite Trummers on Main restaurant with fabulous martinis is located in Clifton, as well as our favorite sweet-treat Cupcaked Bakery. And I picked “sunset” since it’s the time that most people would enjoy a martini.

The Clifton Sunset Martini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The Clifton Sunset Martini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sometimes you are waiting for a “sunrise” and other times you are looking for a “sunset”. Usually a sunrise makes me energetic. For years, I’ve taken photos of sunrises and even would get up early on weekends to watch the sun come up. One of the best places to view the sunrise is on the beach in Bethany Beach, Delaware. When we can, my husband and I like to spend early mornings walking on the beach and watching the sun come up.

Sunrise at Bethany Beach, Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sunrise at Bethany Beach, Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sunsets can also be spectacular. Sunsets can symbolically mark the end of an event. It could be the end of a relationship when two people have grown apart. It could be a sudden or long expected death of a loved one or a pet. Or a sunset could just mark the happy ending to a particularly enjoyable day. I’m picking the latter to describe this refreshing new martini. Some of my favorite sunsets have occurred over the Indian River Inlet in Delaware.

Sunset with thunderclouds - Indian River Inlet, Delaware (Image courtesy indianriverinletcam.com)

Sunset with thunderclouds – Indian River Inlet, Delaware (Image courtesy indianriverinletcam.com)

Sunset at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Sunset at Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gorgeous sunset over Indian River Inlet in Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Gorgeous sunset over Indian River Inlet in Delaware (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Since my husband and I remodeled our 1970s bar in our basement, we’ve enjoyed many evenings with friends while sitting at our fancy bar. My Pomegranate Pear Martini, my Blue Hawaiian Cocktail and my Christmas Cheer Cocktail have all graced our bar. It wasn’t until we had a particularly pleasant day with some dear friends that I created the Clifton Sunset Martini. I enjoyed a few Clifton Sunset Martinis at Delaware House prior to its sale last year.

The Clifton Sunset Martini at Delaware House marking the end of a busy day and also the future end of the fish mural  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

The Clifton Sunset Martini at Delaware House marking the end of a busy day and also the future end of the fish mural (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Grapefruit vodka, regular vodka, Campari, cherry liqueur, orange juice, and simple syrup are shaken with ice in a cocktail shaker and strained into a martini glass over a Tillen Farms Bada Bing cherry. It’s a favorite martini to end the day. I hope you’ll try it.

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries made without red dyes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries made without red dyes (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Clifton Sunset Martini

Ingredients:

6 ice cubes
1 oz. Absolut Ruby Red grapefruit vodka
1/2 oz. plain vodka
1/2 oz. Campari liqueur
1/2 oz. Heering cherry liqueur or Grand Marnier Cherry Orange liqueur
2 oz orange juice
1/2 oz simple syrup (combine equal parts water and sugar, heat in a saucepan until sugar has dissolved, cool and store up to a week in the refrigerator)

Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherry, stem removed, to garnish

Method:

Place the cherry at the bottom of a martini glass. Put the ice into a cocktail shaker. Add the remaining ingredients to the cocktail shaker. Securely replace the top on the cocktail shaker. Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously, holding the shaker closed tightly, until you can hear the ice cubes breaking up. Strain the contents of the cocktail shaker into the martini glass and serve.

Makes one delicious martini.

Variations: Use a regular maraschino cherry to garnish. Swap out the grapefruit vodka for grapefruit juice. Substitute tart cherry juice for the Heering or Grand Marnier cherry liqueurs if you can’t find them.

PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY.

Order some Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries from Amazon.com:

And you’ll need some gorgeous martini glasses from Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Hubby’s Split Pea Soup

Hubby’s Split Pea Soup. I hated split pea soup until I met my husband. The canned Campbell’s soups that are prevalent in the grocery stores taste oversalted. And even prepared according to the directions on the can, the consistency is far too thick for my taste. It wasn’t until my husband started making his version of split pea soup with bits of Niman Ranch ham that I started to really like split pea soup — and request it often.

Hubby's Split Pea Soup with Niman Ranch Ham bits (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Hubby’s Split Pea Soup with Niman Ranch Ham bits (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

My husband is like me — in that we don’t usually cook with “measurements.” I can easily tell you how much I’m using of an ingredient for a recipe. My husband doesn’t measure. So in order to document this recipe, I had to follow along with his preparation of this soup. Don’t worry, it’ll come out just fine for you as it did for me!

Hubby's Split Pea Soup accompanies a Shiitake Mushroom Havarti Cheese Panini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Hubby’s Split Pea Soup accompanies a Shiitake Mushroom Havarti Cheese Panini (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

This is a really rich split pea soup. Carrots, onions, thyme, chicken stock, white wine and garlic compliment the split peas to make a very flavorful soup. Hubby likes to use a chunk from a Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Petite Ham. Niman Ranch products are all natural, humanely raised meats. He cooks the soup with a big ham chunk until the peas are soft. He removes the ham chunk and dices it. Then he purees the soup and stirs in the diced ham.

Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Petite Ham (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked Petite Ham (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Hubby’s Split Pea Soup is one of my favorite soups. I serve it with some crusty baguette slices for dipping. One of our favorite weeknight meals is a bowl of split pea soup served with a grilled panini sandwich.

Swiss Cheese and Maple Ham Panini served with a bowl of Hubby's Split Pea Soup (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Swiss Cheese and Maple Ham Panini served with a bowl of Hubby’s Split Pea Soup (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

If you also hate(d) split pea soup, I hope that my husband’s rich and tasty split pea soup makes you a convert!

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Hubby’s Split Pea Soup

Ingredients:

2 T olive oil
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t dried thyme
1/3 c dry white wine
1 c chicken broth/stock, more for thinning if necessary
1 c water
2 c split peas, picked over for pebbles or other debris
1 4-inch square chunk of ham (I like to use Niman Ranch ham)
salt and pepper, to taste

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.
2. Saute the finely diced carrot and onion until soft.
3. Add the garlic and the thyme and saute and stir for a few more minutes.
4. Add the white wine, chicken broth, water, split peas and the chunk of ham. Stir to combine.
5. Cover and simmer for 2 hours or until the peas are tender.
6. Remove the chunk of ham from the pot. Dice the ham into small pieces and set aside.
7. Use a hand blender or regular blender to puree the soup.
8. When the soup is pureed, return the pot back to the stove and stir in the diced ham. Thin to desired consistency with additional chicken broth.
9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Warm through and serve!

Serves 8 as a soup course, and 4 as a main course. Offer with a grilled ham and cheese panini or perhaps my Favorite Chicken Salad Sandwich. If you prefer a salad with your soup, serve it with a side Caesar salad or my tomato and cucumber salad with peppered goat cheese. This soup freezes well.

Variations: Use vegetable stock and omit the ham for a vegetarian version. Add some shredded cheddar cheese on top for extra decadence. Serve this soup hot or cold. It gets better if left a day or so in the refrigerator before reheating.

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Tex Mex Menu Ideas

Tex Mex Menu Ideas. Anyone who follows this blog knows that a lot of my favorite foods are “Tex Mex” based. Here’s a list of my favorite Tex Mex recipes for your Cinco de Mayo celebration or just a Friday night Taco Party.

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce served with Refried Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce served with Refried Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Start by thinking about a Tex Mex Buffet with Taco Bar. Also, many of these recipes can please a hungry table of diners on a casual weeknight.

TexMexBuffetTacoBarLayout

Set a festive table with coordinated napkins and plates and party favors. Use a fancy sombrero or cowboy hat as your table’s centerpiece. Offer an assortment of desserts of your choice to accompany my recipes.

Tex Mex Tortilla Pizza smothered with Arugula Salad with my Lime-Cilantro Dressing!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Tex Mex Tortilla Pizza smothered with Arugula Salad with my Lime-Cilantro Dressing! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Traditional Pork Carnitas Taco (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Traditional Pork Carnitas Taco (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Nachos with Black Beans  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Nachos with Black Beans (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Baked Chicken Enchilada Stack  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Baked Chicken Enchilada Stack (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Black Bean Chili smothers a Taco Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Black Bean Chili smothers a Taco Salad (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Guacamole, Chili con Queso, Chips, and a Cosmopolitan Martini!  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Guacamole, Chili con Queso, Chips, and a Cosmopolitan Martini! (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Baked Roasted Corn, Mushroom, and Arugula Enchilada with Creamy Salsa Verde Sauce  (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Baked Roasted Corn, Mushroom, and Arugula Enchilada with Creamy Salsa Verde Sauce (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Enjoy!

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…from the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Tex Mex Menu Ideas

Appetizers

Cinnamon Pecans
Hot and Spicy Black Bean Dip
Richard’s Party Salsa
My Favorite Guacamole
Chile Con Queso with Smoky Chipotles
My Favorite Nachos

Salads

Cowboy Smokehouse Salad with Pulled Smoked Pork and Chipotle Cream Dressing
Festive Chicken Taco Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

Main Courses

Smoky Chipotle Chicken for Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas, Tostadas….
Pork Carnitas
Fish Tacos
Shredded Buffalo Tacos
Smoked Pork Tacos
Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Tacos
Tequila-marinated Skirt Steak Fajitas
Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas with Green Chile Sauce
Baked Enchilada Stack
Roasted Corn Enchiladas with Creamy Salsa Verde
Smoked Pork Enchiladas
Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Award-Winning Black Bean Chili
White Chicken Chili
Red Chicken Chili with Beer

Pizza

Tex Mex Tortilla Pizza

Sandwiches

Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Black Bean Brown Rice Burrito
Spinach and Mushroom Quesadillas
Garden Vegetable Quesadilla
Smoked Pork Quesadilla with Green Chiles

And of course, to drink, serve your favorite beer, wine, sangria, and margaritas!

Order some party supplies from Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Kitchen Wear

Kitchen Wear. I’m loving all of the garden and food themed kitchen wear that are available in the marketplace this year. For my birthday, I purchased a gorgeous apron with huge red cherries on it.

Black Cherry Apron from Michel Design Works (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Black Cherry Apron from Michel Design Works (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Generally, I don’t wear an apron in the kitchen. It’s pretty silly because I am always spilling on my clothing. Just like gardening, can you really have fun cooking and baking and not get messy? I love my new black cherry apron. Hope it keeps me neat and tidy in the kitchen.

BlackCherryApronMichelDesignWorks

Mother’s Day is coming up. Mom might like a new apron, chef’s coat or hat, or some footwear. Aprons are always nice to wear to protect your regular clothing.

Don’t you just love all of the aprons from Michel Design Works? Hyzrz also sells some cute aprons. Check them out on Amazon.com. They’ve got a lot of food and garden themed aprons and even some matching potholders for some aprons.

Order my black cherry apron from Michel Design Works for yourself:

Or check out some other aprons from Michel Design Works including themes of lemons, pears, birds, the woods, the seashore…:

Here are some cute aprons from Hyzrz:

What about a chef’s coat or chef’s hat? You’ll feel like a professional chef while wearing them!

And what about some chef gloves?

What about footwear? You’ll need to be comfortable while standing in the kitchen!

And how about a comfort mat for the floor?

What’s your favorite kitchen wear? Leave a comment and let us know!

As mentioned on my “About” page, I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link to an advertiser. That fee helps cover the cost of hosting and upkeep for A Food Lover’s Delight and A Gardener’s Delight. Thank you in advance for helping to support two of my loves: Cooking and gardening!

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

Chorizo Breakfast Tacos. Saturday morning breakfasts are usually more filling at my house than the quick weekday on-the-go breakfasts. On the weekends, I like to cook a hearty breakfast since we’re usually busy and don’t always find time for lunch. My Chorizo Breakfast Tacosflour tortillas stuffed with scrambled eggs, chorizo, cheese, green chile salsa (salsa verde), sour cream, cherry tomatoes, and scallions — meet our “stay-full longer” challenge.

Breakfast Tacos: Flour Tortillas stuffed with Spicy Chorizo, Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile, Shredded Cheeses, Cherry Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Scallions (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Breakfast Tacos: Flour Tortillas stuffed with Spicy Chorizo, Scrambled Eggs, Green Chile, Shredded Cheeses, Cherry Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Scallions (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

These breakfast tacos are simple. I like to use Niman Ranch Chorizo sausages which I slice into rounds and then slice each round into quarters. You can use fresh ground chorizo as well. Saute the chorizo in a non-stick pan until it’s cooked and browned. Remove the chorizo from the pan to a small bowl and keep warm. You can find Niman Ranch Chorizo sausages in the refrigerated meat section at Whole Foods Markets.

Niman Ranch Chorizo (Photo Credit: Niman Ranch.com)

Niman Ranch Chorizo (Photo Credit: Niman Ranch.com)

Scramble some eggs and cook them in the same non-stick pan. When the eggs have set into curds and are cooked, add the chorizo to the eggs and stir. Add a little shredded cheese to the mixture, stir, set aside, and keep warm.

Trader Joe's Salsa Verde is a versatile salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde is a versatile salsa (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Cut some cherry tomatoes into quarters and slice some scallions. Warm some fajita-size flour tortillas in foil in the oven for 3 – 4 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When the tortillas are warmed, remove them from the oven and divide amongst serving plates. Spoon some of the chorizo egg cheese filling onto each tortilla. Top with additional shredded cheese, salsa verde, sour cream, cherry tomato quarters, and scallions. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Fold over the tortillas into tacos, and serve!

Spicy Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Tacos (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

Spicy Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Tacos (Photo Credit: Adroit Ideals)

If you have leftover chorizo, egg, and cheese filling, just refrigerate it for up to two days for another meal. I like to use leftover filling in a burrito-size flour tortilla and roll it up like a burrito. Also, you can use the filling to stuff enchiladas. Just smother with my Red Enchilada Sauce and bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Enjoy!

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From the kitchen of A Food Lover’s Delight….

Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

Ingredients:

8 fajita sized flour tortillas
2 Niman Ranch chorizo sausage links or 6 oz fresh chorizo sausage
1 T butter
8 large eggs
1.5 c shredded Mexican cheese mix, divided
1/2 c green chile salsa (I use Trader Joe’s Salsa Verde)
1/2 c sour cream
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 scallions, sliced thinly, using white and green parts
2 T chopped cilantro (optional)

Aluminum foil for tortilla wrapping for the oven

Method:

1. Warm your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil, two per foil package. Set aside.
3. Slice the chorizo sausage into rounds and then slice the rounds into four quarters.
4. In a non-stick skillet, saute the chorizo sausage until cooked through and browned. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.
5. Scramble the eggs in a bowl.
6. Melt the butter in the same non-stick skillet that you used to cook the chorizo. You’ll also use the bit of grease left from the chorizo which adds extra flavor to the eggs.
7. Cook the eggs in the butter in the non-stick skillet, stirring until they are set.
8. Warm the foil-wrapped tortillas in the oven for 3 – 4 minutes.
9. While the tortillas are warming, dd the chorizo to the eggs and add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese mix. Stir to combine and warm through.
10. Remove the tortillas from the oven and divide amongst serving plates.
11. Divide the chorizo egg mixture amongst the tortillas, piling down the middle of each tortilla.
12. Divide the remaining shredded cheese mix over the chorizo egg mixture.
13. Divide the green chile salsa, sour cream, quartered cherry tomatoes, and sliced scallions amongst the tacos.
14. Sprinkle with the (optional) chopped cilantro.
15. Fold over the tortillas into tacos and serve!

Makes 8 breakfast tacos. Serve with my Minty Fruit Salad or my Fresh Fruit Platter on the side. These tacos should be eaten immediately. Leftover filling can be refrigerated and reheated up to two days later. You could add all of the ingredients to a Breakfast Taco Bar and let your guests assemble their own breakfast tacos.

Variations: You can use Egg Beaters in place of the eggs. Try a red salsa instead of the salsa verde. Add some sliced or diced avocado and shredded lettuce to the tacos. Substitute cooked ground meat with taco seasoning for the chorizo. Add some black beans to the chorizo egg mixture while warming in the pan. You could use the hard corn taco shells for this dish if you like a crunchy breakfast taco. I don’t recommend the soft corn tortillas because they tend to fall apart easily even if they are doubled per taco. Use the chorizo egg filling to stuff enchiladas, cover with my Red Enchilada Sauce and shredded cheese, and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Get a baked taco rack to keep your tacos warm in the oven, prior to adding sour cream, tomatoes or scallions. At Amazon.com:

www.afoodloversdelight.com (Copyright Adroit Ideals 2016)

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