Beverages

Tomatoes

September 17, 2020

Red, ripe, sweetly acid tomatoes are certainly one of the most prized of the summer vegetables. Let’s face it, tomatoes are only good during the summer and off-season ones just don’t taste like anything. In season the best solution is to grow your own or to know a gardener nearby. Greenhouse tomatoes are probably your best choice out of season.

Cherry tomatoes often have better flavor than regular tomatoes, and that is usually true out of season because they are greenhouse grown. Keep them at room temperature. Wash them before using, and when cut in half for serving they are certainly easier to eat.

To peel tomatoes, blanch the whole tomatoes. Drop 2 or 3 at a time into a large pot of rapidly boiling water and boil exactly 10 seconds. Cut out the core and peel the skin down from it. You may blanch tomatoes several hours in advance and peel them later. They keep fresher when still in their skins.

Many recipes call for tomato pulp, meaning you must seed and juice your tomatoes. To do so, halve the peeled tomato crosswise (not through the core). Then holding the half over a sieve set in a bowl, gently squeeze to dislodge most of the jelly-like substance, juice, and seeds; finally, poke out the residue with your finger. Press the juices out of the residue in the sieve and use in soups or sauce, or as a refreshing drink.

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2020 All Rights Reserved

Winterize Your Cocktails

December 10, 2018

Now that the colder weather is here and you’ve put away your beach towel it’s time to winterize your cocktails. One way to achieve this is by using amari, the rich, bitter, herbal European-style liqueurs-before–dinner aperitifs and after-dinner digestifs-that have become more popular and widely available. Amari can add structure and backbone to cocktails and is often the secret behind some of the most iconic classic drinks. Amaro is perfect for colder months, to pair with flavors like honey, citrus, and spices. Adding it is like seasoning food because it enhances flavors and gives the drink more character.

This season bartenders are combining them with brown spirits like dark rum, bourbon, rye, and Scotch for autumn and winter drinks. You could make a variation on the Brooklyn cocktail with bourbon, amaro, maraschino liqueur, dry vermouth, blood orange liqueur, and bitters.

Some add amaro and bourbon to mulled wine or change up that Irish Coffee by using single-malt whiskey, two kinds of amaro, coffee, simple syrup, and topped with whipped cream. Change up the Negroni by keeping the gin, but replacing the Campari with amari and adding amontillado sherry.

Be inventive and try adding amari to your holiday cocktails. You may just create a new classic.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Kombucha

February 7, 2018

Kombucha (also known as tea mushroom or Manchurian mushroom) is a fermented, slightly sparkling black or green tea beverage that is usually lightly flavored with fruit, ginger, or herbs. Kombucha is commonly intended as a functional beverage for health benefits (although there is no real scientific evidence to support health benefit claims). Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Many people, myself included, drink kombucha as a source of probiotics, which is the “good bacteria” that are beneficial for digestion. Pregnant women and children under age 4 should not drink kombucha.

“Work With What You Got!”

©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Iced Tea

July 7, 2017

Ice Tea or Iced Tea? It depends on where you live. In the South, it’s called ice tea and everywhere else it’s called iced tea.

Iced tea did not take its current form until the popularity of black tea took off, thanks to the work of the Indian Tea Commission at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904. As the legend goes, Richard Blechynden, the head of the commission, watched the fairgoers pass by his elaborate teahouse as the sweltering temperatures made hot beverages unpalatable. Driven to increase the market for Indian black tea in the States, he hit upon the idea of not only serving it iced, but also perhaps more importantly, giving it away for free. His booth was soon the most popular at the fair as the patrons found his golden beverage to be the perfect refreshment.

Spurred on by his success in St. Louis, Blechynden toured the country, giving away more and more iced tea, quickly spreading its popularity nationwide. Brewing the perfect iced tea at home, complete with sweet and often fruity syrups, soon became the hallmark of a great hostess. Iced tea was mixed with all sorts of flavors in delicious punches; lemon, mint, strawberries, cherries, and oranges, whether fresh, preserved, or in syrup form or, for the more mature palette, brandy and bourbon to give it a little extra kick. And though few still have time for such an elaborate and time-consuming production (early recipes recommend beginning to brew tea at breakfast for service at dinner), iced tea remains an American favorite, available in bottles, cans, and even from a soda fountain.

To make iced tea use double the amount of tea or teabags that you would use for hot tea when you’re planning to chill the drink. And allow the tea to come to room temperature before you put it into the refrigerator. Fill an ice cube tray with tepid tea and freeze for ice that won’t dilute your drink. You could also float some minced mint or fruit in the cubes for a special treat.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Rhubarb

May 31, 2016

Rhubarb

Rhubarb is one of the first delights of spring, and there are many ways to use it. If you have an abundance of rhubarb in your garden, it will freeze successfully. After you have cut rhubarb up and thrown away the leaves, steeping it overnight has several advantages. You don’t need to use as much sugar as the average recipe calls for, the rhubarb will then cook quickly, and you have the dividend of pure rhubarb juice (no water added) to use as a cooking drink.

To cook rhubarb: Use a proportion of 4 cups sliced rhubarb cut in 1/2 inch pieces to 1 cup sugar. Toss the rhubarb and sugar together and let steep overnight (you will be amazed at how much juice the rhubarb gives off). Pour off 1/4 cup of the liquid and use for a drink. Cook the rhubarb slices in the remaining liquid until just tender, but still holding their shape (less than 5 minutes). The rhubarb is ready to eat as is, to freeze in containers, or to use in recipes.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved

Less Stress Holidays

December 19, 2015

Less Stress Holidays

Holiday time is a wonderful time of year, but let’s face it, there is plenty of stress that comes with it. During the holidays, it’s better to keep things as simple as possible.

Appetizers & Hors D’Oeuvres: Keep it simple. Serve a simple, but beautiful cheese platter. Add bowls of dried fruit and nuts, as they’re always very festive. I like to set up a small snack table set with bowls of olives, savory popcorn, and Marcona almonds. I also like to serve a crudité platter for guests who may not want to eat rich foods or are perhaps trying to eat a bit healthier around the holidays.

Plan Your Menu: If you’re having a sit-down dinner, try to make a menu that can be prepared somewhat in advance. Some great options might be a beef Bourguignon, braised short ribs, coq au vin or any other main dish that can be made the day before. I am a big proponent of choosing things to cook that can be prepped ahead of time. I like to start off a dinner party with a nice salad that incorporates some seasonal ingredients like pomegranates, pears, citrus or candied nuts. A winter squash soup is also a nice way to begin a meal. Dessert can be a simple winter fruit crisp or a spice cake served with ice cream.

Get A Head Count: When it comes to a holiday meal, any time of year, depending on the number of guests, a simple yet broad menu works best. For buffet holiday parties with over a dozen people, you might want to offer a couple of different entrees. Add a vegetable and perhaps roasted potatoes or roasted root vegetables. Offering a nice crisp green salad always rounds out the menu as well. Add some delicious small rolls or a sliced baguette and you’re good to go.

Serving A Nice Beverage: Then there are the beverages. Having a festive specialty drink is always welcomed by your guests. If you’re mixing the drinks yourself, keep it simple. Please don’t spend all of your time being a bartender at your own party. That’s no fun! You could mix a nice holiday punch bowl with an adult kick ahead of time. A splash of pomegranate liqueur or elderflower liqueur is a nice addition to prosecco or champagne. A white Christmas cosmo (made with white cranberry juice) is a holiday favorite. Make it in advance and when you’re ready to serve just shake with ice and serve.

Make In Advance: Many things can be done days before the party. Shopping for non-perishable foods like spices, flour, sugar can all be purchased many days before your party. You can also make your holiday cookie dough or pie crusts in advance. All you need to do is to make sure you freeze them until you’re ready to use them.

Keep Calm & Have Fun: The most important thing is to keep calm and have fun. A holiday party of any kind should be a time of joy for everyone, even the host. If you find yourself working way too hard to throw and plan a party then ask friends or family members for help. Perhaps a few good friends could bring a dish or two to help ease the stress on your kitchen. The goal is to have a good time with family and friends.

Happy Holidays From Tiny New York Kitchen!

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Fresh Lemonade

June 24, 2015

Fresh Lemonade

How To Make Nose-To-Tale Lemonade!

Tossing entire lemons, peels and all, into a blender instead of just juicing them results in a frothy, thirst-quenching concoction that may ruin you for the regular stuff. The oil from the skin provides a serious flavor boost. Here’s how to do it: Wash 1 lemon and then quarter it. Remove the seeds and some of the thick pith at the ends and sides of the slices. Place in a blender with two tablespoons of sugar and some ice cubes. Cover with about 1 1/2 cups ice-cold water, and blend on high for a minute or so until smooth.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2015 All Rights Reserved

Table Manners Dos and Don’ts

February 9, 2015

Table Manners Dos and Don’ts

I believe it’s always best to start with the positive so let’s start with the “Dos.”

Table Dos

Do place your napkin in your lap, and use it to blot your lips and wipe your hands.

Do wait for your hostess to be seated before you start eating, unless requested to do so earlier.

Do cut food into manageable, bite-sized pieces, and swallow before you speak.

Do say, “Please pass the…” instead of reaching across the table and igniting yourself on an open flame.

Do place fork and knife diagonally across the upper right hand corner of your plate when you are finished eating.

Do remove hot or inedible substances from your mouth with your fork, not your fingers or napkin.

Do eat drink garnishes after draining your glass, not before.

Do use a fork when sopping up gravy or sauces with chunks of bread.

Do use finger bowls to clean fingers, and hot towels to clean hands and mouths.

Do refrain from making or receiving phone calls at the table.

Table Don’ts

Don’t grasp eating utensils as you would a garden trowel or hammer, or place used utensils directly on the table.

Don’t tuck your napkin into your shirt collar.

Don’t primp or clean your teeth at the table.

Don’t fidget or make loud noises while you eat (slurping, burping, lip-smacking).

Don’t slouch or otherwise lean on the table.

Don’t scoop ice from your water glass to cool hot soups or beverages.

Don’t season your food before you taste it.

Don’t push your plate away from you when you are finished eating.

Don’t leave your spoon in your mug while drinking from it, or wring tea bags with your fingers.

Don’t dunk donuts or scones into beverages.

“Work With What You Got!”

© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen

Did You Know?

September 14, 2014

36 Apples = 1 Gallon Of Cider

Ruby Red Grapefruit Iced Tea

June 12, 2014

Ruby Red Grapefruit Iced Tea

Ruby Red Grapefruit Iced Tea

This Ruby Red Grapefruit Iced Tea is so refreshing. If you want to make ahead then add the ice cubes before serving.

INGREDIENTS

3 Green Tea Bags

3 Cups Boiling Water

2 Cups Ruby Red Grapefruit Juice

1/2 Cup Agave Nectar

1 Cup Mint Leaves

1 Ruby Red Grapefruit (Thinly Sliced)

1 Cup Fresh Sliced Ginger (Thinly Sliced)

Pitted Cherries For Garnish (Optional)

Ice Cubes (To Serve)

Place tea bags and boiling water in a large-size bowl and set aside to infuse for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool completely. Add the grapefruit juice and agave nectar. Stir to combine. Place the mint, grapefruit slices, ginger and ice cubes in a 42-ounce capacity jar and pour the tea mixture over to serve. Pour into ice tea glasses and garnish with a single cherry. Makes 42 ounces.

© Victoria Hart Glavin

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