Saturday, July 8, 2017

The First Drink!

The recipe said to use a large wine glass, but 1/4 cup of liquid doesn't fill it up very much.
The first drink we tried was Bataan Royale which calls for gin, white rum, cherry liqueur, triple sec, grenadine and lime juice.



Those first four ingredients contain alcohol, so we made some substitutions and came up with this.

Virgin Bataan Royale 

1 tablespoon juniper berry infusion (see here)
1 tablespoon white grape juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon cherry syrup (from a can of cherries)
5 dashes grenadine (or 5/8 oteaspoon)
3 dashes triple sec* (or 3/8 of a teaspoon)
Orange slice

Mix everything except the orange slice and shake to combine well. Serve over ice in a large stemmed glass and garnish with an orange slice.

*I found a non-alcoholic version (basically water, corn syrup, and orange extract) at the grocery store, but you could also use orange juice.

It would be nice to have a back stories for these drinks, but the cook book doesn't include them. All I know is that Bataan is a province in the Philippines. I guess we'll have to imagine our own story for how this drink got its name.



Wayne felt like he was doing a science experiment, and he looked like it, too, with all the different jars and measuring cups and spoons. It turned out to be a pleasant experiment, definitely a taste combination we've never had before, kind of light and refreshing, and we're looking forward to seeing what the next drinks taste like. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Clam Linguine

We first tried this recipe over 15 years ago. That's how long we've been trying to improve our diets and do more "low-fat" cooking! It's a good one, and quite festive if you use red peppers. (Today I'm using yellow ones.)

Linguine with Clam Sauce

3-4 ounces uncooked linguine, cooked and drained
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper (or yellow or orange)
1 teaspoon flour
1 can minced clams, drained and liquid reserved
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Cook garlic and pepper in oil until crisp-tender, then stir in flour. Add clam liquid, salt, pepper and oregan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then stir in clams and peas. Heat through. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with cheese. 2 servings.

P.S. Did you notice from the picture that we used fettucini instead of linguine this time. It really doesn't matter!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Garlic Basil Tortellini

We had some tortellini in the fridge, and here's the recipe I decided to use. It turned out well.

Tortellini with Garlic Basil Sauce

32 ounces chicken broth divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 (16 ounce) package frozen cheese tortellini
4 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic minced
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese for garnish
Minced fresh parsley for garnish, optional

In a large pot, bring 2 ½ cups broth to a boil. Add cheese tortellini. Return to a boil and cook about 5 minutes. The tortellini will float to the top when cooked and the internal temperature should be 165ºF for at least 15 seconds. Drain completely. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 ½ cups broth with corn starch. In a large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Stir in garlic and basil and cook about 2 minutes. Add broth-cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil; simmer until the mixture thickens. Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet and toss to coat. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley, if desired.