Friday, October 29, 2010

Gastronomy: Menacing Mixes

Don’t let the kids have all the fun this year! Whether you’re throwing a soirée or spending a simple evening at home passing out candy, take time to whip-up a batch of menacing mixes. To please the inner-child in you, sample the Jade—this day-glow, pucker-punch of a cocktail easily satisfies any Skittles craving. If something a little more restrained is your style, try the Scary Screwdriver. Fresh juices paired with black vodka provide both the trick and the treat. Happy Halloween!

Scary Screwdriver

1/4 c ice
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz black vodka
1 gummy worm for garnish

Place ice in tall glass with juice. Pour vodka over the back of a spoon so it sits on top of juice. Garnish with gummy worm.

Jade Cocktail

2 oz pineapple juice
1 1/2 oz vanilla vodka
1 oz fresh lime juice
1/2 oz Midori
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. And add all of the ingredients. Shake, strain, and serve.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Gastronomy: Compliment Fall with Classic Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon is a well-known French stew made of Burgundy wine-braised beef. What was once a traditional dish for peasants has become classic haute cuisine and a staple in many restaurants around the globe. For many, it is a favorite dish to offer for special holiday occasions, as it's rich on flavor, warm in comfort, and wonderfully festive.

There is no better time than fall to share this recipe, when comfort foods compliment the change in season. The next time the air is crisp and you search for your worn-out, winter chili recipe, put on a fire, crack a bottle of red wine, and try Bourguignon instead. This rich, flavorful dish is sure to bring warmth to the coldest of fall days.

Beef Bourguignon

4 lbs large-cube stewing beef
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 bottle red wine (preferably Burgundy, like Pinot Noir)
4 c beef stock
4 thick slices bacon, cubed
1 T olive oil
6 large carrots, peeled and roughly cut
4 T unsalted butter
1 large pack button mushrooms, sliced
2 T flour
3 large garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs Thyme, chopped
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large, cast iron pot brown bacon; remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Pat beef dry and brown batches in bacon grease and 1 T of butter, making sure not to over-crowd the meat; reserve meat with bacon. Add olive oil to pot and sauté onion and carrots until onion is translucent and carrots soften, about seven minutes. Mix in beef and bacon. Add wine, 2 cups stock, garlic and thyme. Bring to a simmer and transfer to oven for approximately four hours. Check liquids after 2 hours and add reserve stock as needed.

Sauté sliced mushrooms in 1T butter about one hour before serving; add to pot.

Combine remaining butter and flour in a bowl. When meat is tender, remove from oven and place on stovetop over medium heat. Add flour/butter mixture and bring to simmer to thicken sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over boiled, buttered potatoes or with crusty bread. Garnish with parsley. Serves 8.

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About Mod City Mom

After becoming mothers, sisters Sarah Romine and Leah Weyandt wanted to marry the activities and interests that they experienced before motherhood with their new found lives with children. This was not always an easy task—traveling to obscure places, shopping at off-beat boutiques, and sipping lazy-afternoon cocktails doesn't always fit neatly with parenthood. Stemming from their frustration, they meticulously searched, and continue to search, for activities, establishments, and entertainment that they take pleasure in and their families benefit from. The result? Mod City Mom.

About Sarah

Sarah is a passionate cook, fashionista, writer, actor, and mother. Like all actors, she ended up working at many-a-restaurant to make ends meet and shopping at countless bargain boutiques to maintain her sense of personal style. Her culinary journey, love affair with fashion, and desire to remain true to herself after becoming a mother are the inspirations for this site. Sarah lives with her husband and two sons in Chicago.

About Leah

A polymath wannabe, Leah loves books, films, music, cooking, and travel. After co-starting a writing and editing shop in 2002, Leah has spent her spare time frequenting her favorite cities, hangouts, and haunts. Her obsession with finding the new, innovative, and quirky is the impetus behind this site. Leah lives with her two sons and husband in North San Diego County.
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