Thursday, June 12, 2014

Whiskey Watermelon Cocktail

Remember way back in March when I made my big blogging comeback after a long 7 month absence?  Well I believe I failed to mention that just because I was "back" didn't mean that I would be back to blogging as consistently as I used to. might have already figured out by now.  Considering that it is indeed June.

I'm still in that settling phase (even though I've been in Nashville for 7 months) with work, a new house, and so many lovely visitors.  With so much going on it's been a bit hard to carve out time specifically for blogging BUT I'm working at it...And I think I'm slowly getting better!

Other than being a busy busy bee, there is another major reason for the delay.  I haven't had my own space to take pictures, write, and do all of the wonderful things that are associated with putting up these posts.  However, two weekends ago a magical thing happened.  Momma Bear swooped down to Nashville for a last minute surprise visit and helped me create that space I had been so desperately needing.  And guess what?  I'm totally in love with it.  The room sits at the back of the house and is completely filled with windows and a gorgeous view of the back yard and garden.  With so much light, quiet, and coffee back here I have a feeling it will be so much easier to finally sit down and share more recipes with you.

In fact, I have TWO more recipes that have been made and photographed that are just sitting on the back burner waiting to be devoured.  Exciting right?

Moral of this story?  Don't give up on this thing yet.  I'm coming back to you.  Slowly but surely.

Let's move on to the cocktail.

It's purely coincidence that my last two posts have come about after a bloody mary or two.  Sunday = day off = bloody marys = blog posts.  At least it's productive.

This cocktail is for the bourbon lover (me) and was concocted by a good friend and cocktail making connoisseur (who I've promised not to name for fear of an overwhelming amount of fan mail/drink requests).

I completely understand that the whole watermelon/cucumber/basil combination is screaming to be mixed with vodka...BUT this little drink knocked my socks off.  The muddling of the watermelon, basil, and cucumber adds some flavor to the overall simple drink without taking away from the bourbon.  It's light, refreshing, and the perfect non-sweet drink for summer.

So make yourself a cocktail, sit back, and relax.  I'll be back soon!

Makes: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

2 ounces bourbon (I used Bulleit)
2 small chunks watermelon
1 slice cucumber
2 basil leaves (I used rosie basil)
2-3 dashes bitters
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth                                                                              

Muddle the watermelon, cucumber, and basil with a couple dashes of bitters.  Add bourbon and sweet vermouth.  Add ice and stir.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Stone Fruit and Blackberry Cobbler with Cornmeal Drop Biscuits

*Awkwardly clears throat...*

Oh goodness.  Where should we even begin?  Do we need to re-introduce ourselves?

I'm Emilie.  And I'm a blog neglecter, deserter, sideliner, shunner....It's horrible.  But true.

The first step is admittance right?

As some of you will know, I've been away from this sweet little blog for almost seven months now. Good lord.  As I counted the months (on my fingers) just then, I realized I've surpassed the 6 month mark.  And that's just no good.  But today is my birthday and I decided that finally publishing a post would be the best present I could give myself!

So let's catch up a little bit shall we?

Last you heard, I had made the (tearful) move out of Boston and was on my way to Nashville via a little trip to Missouri.  Fast forward half a year and I have fully settled into Nashville and I'm soaking up every wonderful moment of it.

I must admit, this move to Nashville has turned out to be more than I could've ever hoped for.  Upon arriving I was immediately surrounded by a community of amazing people.  I don't just mean cheerful hospitable southerners.  I mean a mind blowing community of artists, musicians, name it Nashville has it.  And I know, I know.  Those people are everywhere.  But there is something about Nashville and its attitude to come together, collaborate, and create amazing things that has me reveling.

In the five short months of being here, quite a few wonderful things have happened with thanks to the aforementioned community.  1) I've landed a job at two fantastic restaurants. 2) We've created a house venue at our home called The Mad Valley Lodge (We're going to have to talk more about this later.  It's my shining star at the moment.  I'm so so proud of it's creation.)  3) I've built a garden, which I've been daydreaming about for nearly 3 years.  After that amount of time cooped up in a 450 square foot apartment my hands were dying to play in some dirt. 4) I've finally started to make some (preliminary) food truck plans.  (I'm sure we will also talk about this later.)  And most importantly 5) I've finally settled in and gotten my schedule under enough control that I can slowly immerse myself back into this whole blogging thing.

It's a huge relief.  This blog has been sitting at the back of my mind constantly poking and begging me to get back to it.

So here I am.  Here you are.  It's time to talk about food.

This past Sunday, after a bloody mary (or two) I decided I needed to bake.  After a few suggestions/requests shouted from the backseat, the first being cornbread and the second being cobbler, I decided a combination of the two would fit the bill.

And what a good decision I made.  After a failed attempt to find rhubarb, I set out for some peaches.  As I was grabbing a peach, my hands started darting around on their own and I ended up throwing a of couple apricots and plums into the bag.  And at that point I thought "Why stop now?"  So...I picked up some blackberries.  And thus the Stone Fruit and Blackberry Cobbler was created.

The combination of a sweet fruit cobbler under some big cornbread "biscuits" is just what you need.  It's basically a cure all.  Or a you're the new favorite at the BBQ type thing.

It's still a little early for mouth watering fruit...but if it was this good this early in the year?  I can only imagine the deliciousness that will come from this cobbler in the coming months.

I think I'll just make one every few weeks in order to test my hypothesis.

Oh, and remember when I was talking about collaboration?  Well, all of these beautiful pictures you see below are the work of a sweet friend.  She made this post possible and made me excited to finally do it.  So thank you Molly!  I hope you're content with food as payment.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes: 10-12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

for the fruit-
4 cups stone fruit (I used peaches, plums, and apricots) pitted and cut into slices
2 cups (1 pint) blackberries, rinsed and dried
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons minute tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, sliced thin

for the biscuit topping-
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.  Toss the stone fruit with the blackberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, tapioca, cinnamon and salt.  Pour into the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Spread 2 tablespoons of thinly sliced butter over the top of the fruit.
  2. Make the biscuit couch by stirring together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Cut 6 tablespoons of the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers or a pastry blender.  Stir in buttermilk with a rubber spatula until a wet tacky dough comes together.
  3. Drop spoonfuls of the biscuit dough over the filling until evenly covered.
  4. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes or until the cobbler is bubbly and the biscuit tops are golden brown.
  5. Scoop into bowls and serve with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye to Boston and Tuna Tartare

Deep breath.

It's official.  I physically and emotionally survived (part) of the big move.

And life feels almost back to normal.  No more packing.  Or boxes.  For now anyway.

Last Saturday after so many tearful goodbyes we packed the u-haul and the car to the brim and set out for Nashville.  And I have to admit...watching Boston fade away was one of the most heart wrenching things I've ever had to do.  The city of Boston I love, but it's the friends and people that I'll miss the most.  It's hard to find the right words to tell you how wonderful those people are.  Mainly because I'm not good at that, but also because I still feel like I'm on a short vacation and I'm going back to them really soon.  So Boston friends, just know that I adore you all and miss you like crazy.  Okay?  Okay.

**Chokes back any feelings of sadness.**  Because now I'm in Missouri enjoying time with my family and friends before all of the new adventures begin in Nashville!  Whew.  I made it to the other side.

Since it's been so darn long since I've posted a recipe I figured that now would be a good time to post the last true meal I made in Boston.  And I couldn't have asked for a better one.  While the dish itself was to die for, I think that the best part is that it was photographed by one of my good friends.  The pictures are amazing and so is he.  So thank you Evan!

**Make sure you check out all of Evan's other amazing pictures on his tumblr!**

Fish lovers.  Prepare yourself.  It's possible that this dish is the easiest, most delicious, beautiful thing that was produced from my Boston kitchen.  Seriously though.  That presentation?  Gorgeous.  And easy as pie.  Oh and guess what?  It's DELICIOUS.  The smooth, melt in your mouth tuna.  The crispy shallots and crunchy red onion.  The sauce.  Just a wonderfully harmonious dish all around.

These would make for a great dinner party dish.  Or a random Wednesday dish.  Whatever makes you happy.

Adapted from the James Beard Foundation

Makes: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: None 
Total Time: 20 minutes

{Printable Recipe}

1 lb fresh sushi grade tuna, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 avocado, pitted and diced,
1 small red onion, diced
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon + 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 shallot, diced
several sprigs of cilantro
salt and pepper

  1. In a small pan heat one tablespoon of olive oil.  Drop in the shallots and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy.  Using a slotted spoon remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel.  Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, peanut oil, and sugar until sugar dissolves and set aside.
  3. In another small bowl combine the avocado, red onion, and juice of one lime.  Set aside.
  4. In the final small bowl combine the diced tuna, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt and pepper.
  5. Place a circular mold or a biscuit cutter (which I used) onto a small plate (I used a saucer) or wide bowl.  Press several spoonfuls of the avocado/onion mixture into the bottom of the mold and press down.  Then top with the tuna mixture until the mold is full.  Carefully remove the mold so that the tartare keeps its shape.  Top with crispy shallots and a bit of fresh cilantro and then pour the sauce around the tartare.  Serve immediately.

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