All Posts By:

Kate

cocktails/ tipple

Spritz for a Crowd

By Kate Davies

It may only be Wednesday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t already be thinking about Friday! This is also a great recipe to stick in your pocket for Valentine’s Day. <3

Meet the Spritz, a festive, quaffable winner of a cocktail that is the essence of easygoing and stylish. In Italy, the Spritz has seen a surge in popularity during the last decade, and it’s catching on among cocktail lovers everywhere. Low in alcohol, refreshing and colorful, the Spritz is a basic combination of ingredients that lends itself to exploration and experimentation. Aperitivo (plural Aperitivi) and Amaro (Amari) are two of the terms used to describe the many bittersweet liqueurs that form the foundation of Spritz, along with fizz and a bit of citrus.

We have found that some Spritz style cocktails lend themselves well to big batches, which can be prepared in advance and kept at the ready when your guests need a refill. Low-alcohol batch cocktails are a great choice for big gatherings, where guests can help themselves without over-indulging. When the weather is warm, it’s lovely to have a pitcher or a punchbowl of something colorful and refreshing to pour over ice and top off with bubbs. Here’s what we’ve learned after extensive, delicious recipe testing.

Aperitivo style liqueurs such as Aperol, Campari, and Cappelletti (or Amari like Cynar and Amaro Nonino) have complex, nuanced flavors along the spectrum between bitter and bitter-sweet. Don’t let that turn you off; paired with prosecco and fruit juice these liqueurs can make incredibly refreshing cocktails. We love fresh grapefruit and blood orange juices, in addition to the typical lemon and orange. Fresh citrus gives drinks a tart, refreshing quality without being too sweet.

When you choose your fizzy component, try to keep it simple. Good-quality prosecco (you don’t need top quality, just avoid the cheaper stuff) or club soda have a clean, crisp quality that allows your other ingredients to shine.

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, you can combine the Aperitivo and fresh citrus in equal parts to form the basis of your Spritz. Grab some bottles of bubbles, and you’re ready to party! I’ve shared a recipe for our favorite Spritz to give you an idea, but much of the fun can be found in trying different combinations and discovering something new.

Seattle Spritz

Print Recipe
Serves: 1 Cooking Time: n/a

Ingredients

  • Rocks glass filled with ice
  • 1 oz Cappelletti
  • 1 oz fresh squeezed orange juice (Cara Cara if you can)
  • Prosecco to the brim
  • Half an orange slice

Instructions

1

Combine the Cappelletti and orange juice in equal parts.

2

Add 2 oz of the mix to a rocks glass with ice

3

Top with Prosecco

4

Garnish with half an orange slice

If you’d like to dive into the world of Amaro, here are some fantastic resources to guide you:

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons

Spritz: Italy’s Most Iconic Aperitivo Cocktail, with Recipes by Leslie Parizeau and Talia Baiocchi

baking/ pie/ thisishowwedoit

This is How We Do It: Flaky Pie Dough

By Kate Davies

Pie evokes some strong feelings for many of us. Whether it conjures memories of summer fruit, christmas dinners, or childhood happiness, pie can pack a lot of emotional punch. When a gorgeous pie comes to the table, everyone is anxious for that first bite. How often have you taken that bite, only to be disappointed by soggy or tough crust? Too often, this is the weak link. A dull, chewy crust can be a frustrating distraction, especially when your recipe turned out perfectly last time! There are some variables that are typically to blame, and these are easy to minimize with a few good habits. Continue Reading…

lentils

Lentils with Farro

By: Kate Davies

I discovered the joy of these savory lentils in my early twenties. In addition to being a simple, affordable meal, stewed lentils and rice topped with fried onion is pure comfort. Mujadra, Mejadra, and Mujadara are all names for the middle-eastern dish, which typically has warm spices and is sometimes served with yogurt sauce. Mejadra (as I’ll call it from now on) is like chicken soup. There are many ways to make it, and those of us who have developed our own version regard it as a warm and satisfying staple when comfort food is required.

Some versions of Mejadra are ‘one-pot’ meals (Hungerpot, anyone?) however I love pairing my lentils with Farro (a hearty, ancient form of wheat). Farro requires a longer cooking time than rice, which can complicate the timing if you don’t want your lentils to turn to mush. This is a marvelous opportunity to use chicken or vegetable stock instead of water to increase the rich, savory profile of this dish. Continue Reading…