Stupid Good Summer School Week 8: Gin Mint Lemonade

The idea of being known for a cocktail is pretty cool. I served these at my Stupid Good Tasting Event and people went bonkers. Super fresh, fizzy and clean- you can barely taste the gin, which is dangerous but serves its purpose. This drink is the ideal for the end of summer, even if the weather doesn’t know it yet. Plus, you don’t have to squeeze fresh lemons for this. That is pure nonsense, just get some grocery store lemon juice and call it a night. Check out the video for this cocktail here.

gin mint lemonade

Gin Mint Lemonade

This recipe includes simple syrup, which is essentially equal parts sugar and water, simmered until the sugar dissolves. For awesome flavor, I steep mine with mint leaves overnight in the fridge.

  • 1 part simple syrup
  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part lemon juice
  • 1 small handful mint leaves
  • Fizzy water of choice
  • Ice
  1. In your glass, stir together simple syrup, gin and lemon juice.
  2. Tear up the mint leaves, put them in the glass and muddle with a wooden spoon. Or if you’re fancy, a muddler. I’m clearly not that fancy.
  3. Add ice. Top with fizzy water of choice! Enjoy! A few…

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday. 

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Stupid Good Summer School Week 7: Pimento Grilled Cheese

I think I live in the real south now. Florida, it doesn’t count. Even Tallahassee is pushing near-Georgia status, but Birmingham, AL is where sweet tea flows through most water fountains and my accent is weird. There a few things I am still getting used to, but there is one thing I am finding easier to love than others: pimento cheese. For those who aren’t familiar, pimento cheese spread is essentially peanut butter to Southerners in terms of familiarity and versatility. It starts with shredded cheddar cheese and is then introduced to mayo and pimento peppers. Mine also incorporates cream cheese, which most would scoff at, but I promise it’s all for the sake of the melty, gooey cheese sandwich. Hooked? Read on.

grilled-cheese

Pimento Grilled Cheese

DISCLAIMER: I am aware this isn’t your normal pimento cheese spread! A lot of these ratios and ingredients are for the sake of gooey grilled cheese so please don’t judge me too hard, Birmingham natives! Makes: 2 sandwiches

  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tbs mayo
  • 1 tbs chopped pimento peppers
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 4 slices of good bread
  • Butter
  • 2 slices of tomato
  1. In a bowl, combine cheddar, cream cheese, pimentos, paprika and cayenne. Work the spread with a spoon; it’s going to be difficult to completely incorporate everything, but that’s ok! Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low. Butter one side of the bread slices and spread cheese on unbuttered size. Top with another slice of bread, butter side up.
  3. Place sandwiches into the pan and cover with a lid to steam-melt the cheese. Once the bread has browned and the cheese has melted, take your sandwich out of the pan. As soon as it is cool enough to touch, take off the top bread and place the tomato inside. Once you return the bread, you have a beautiful, decadent, southern-style sandwich!

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday. 

Stupid Good Summer School Week 6: Easy Marinara Sauce

Stop. Put down the jar. It is not your friend. That jar of pasta sauce right there in your hand? It’s filled with sodium and preservatives and junk. Well, the real reason you should put the jar down is because you can totally make a better sauce with less than $3 and 30 minutes. Yes, I understand that opening a jar takes 3 seconds but hear me out. This sauce freezes really well, but also you can impress guests with homemade sauce. Pasta sauce isn’t super impressive, but if you make your own, you’re a culinary hero. Make them bring wine because it’s gonna be a hell of a spaghetti dinner!

marinara-sauce

Preparing a tomato (watch Tuesday’s video here)

 

Easy Marinara Sauce

  • 1 28-oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs basil, chopped
  1. In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high.
  2. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minutes.
  3. Add whole can of tomatoes to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Bring to a boil, gently crushing the whole tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Don’t worry about the giant chunks, they will break down during the cooking process. Add oregano and salt.
  4. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook covered for 25 minutes.
  5. You can continue to break down the tomatoes with a spoon, but I am a fan of a chunky sauce. You can also put the sauce in the blender for a few minutes, depending on how smooth you like it. Enjoy over fresh, hot pasta!

Stay tuned for next week’s Stupid Good Summer School!

Stupid-good-summer-school

School may be out for the summer, but it’s time to get your kitchen game onto the honor roll! ‘Stupid Good Summer School’ features a technique every Tuesday, and a recipe using that technique every Thursday.