Monday, August 31, 2009

A Peek inside my crazy mind -

Here are some of the thoughts I've had through the course of today. Yep, I'm weird and I know it.

- I'm only 5' 3 1/2" but I wear a size 9 or 9 1/2 shoe. Shouldn't your shoe size be proportional to your height? I was an 8 1/2 before the weeone....dang kid.

- When I eat m&ms I like to make lines of each color and then eat the shortest line first....sort of my own personal survival of the fittest.

- I was folding sheets this afternoon and although I technically know HOW to fold a fitted sheet, I think the process is ridiculous and a feat of cortortionism. I was talking to myself about this (out loud) when the weeone twirls her finger in a circle by her ear and says "Mommy's having 'crazy time'!" Poor girl, raised by a nut.

- Does anyone actually watch "The Rachel Zoe Project"? How does this crap get on tv. My life is infinitely more entertaining and it's boring!

- Sometimes when I'm sitting in traffic I wonder would the problem be solved if everyone would just count to three and hit the gas pedal?

- Summer, Winter and Spring all have only one name. Why does Autumn get a nickname?

- Does Jon Gosselin really think these young chicks are hanging out with him because he's a great guy? Helllllllooooo!?!?!?

- 2nd grade spelling words for this week include the word "Spelling". I'm assuming that's not a title of a bulletin board somewhere in the classroom, otherwise, what's the point?

- My front brakes will not stop squealing no matter what - they're only about 2 months old, but I really dislike taking my car into the dealership.

- I have fallen in love with flat iron steak...I'll share why in the coming days.

- I wasted about 15 minutes today trying to remember the poem "30 days have September, April, June and November. All the rest have 31, no wait! February has 28, except in 4 years time when February has 29." Please don't ask why...I have no idea.

I think it's going to take me a few days of not making cocktails for me to get my "blogging legs" back. =)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 30 - A Sweet, Sweet Ending!

Today is it - the big day - the last hurrah - the end of the line. *cue "Bittersweet Symphony" by the Verve* I halfway expected my friends to stage an intervention today, so I was nervous when the weeone and I walked into Max's Wine Dive for brunch with Sherri and Zoe....I figured if there was a large group of my friends and family, I would turn quickly and make a run for it. I'd leave the weeone to fend for herself. After all, it wouldn't be her they were trying to toss into rehab. "They tried to make me go to rehab and I said 'No, no, no!" If I start to act like Amy Winehouse, I hope all of my friends DO have me locked up!

Anyway, as fitting a tribute as you could find for an end to 30 Days of Beverages would be brunch at a wine bar, right? Right.

The weeone and I met Sherri and Zoe there after church (Will was tied up with his fantasy football draft - you know how urgent that is - but he finished in time to join us for the tail end of brunch). The girls had Sprite and colored and played games as Sherri and I ooooh'd and awe'd over the freshly squeezed orange juice that was sharing space with our champagne! =)

Yep, a mimosa....does anything say "Brunch" quite as well? It's kind of a perfect last drink for these 30 days. It's a toastable cocktail, a fun cocktail or a pedicure kind of cocktail. By the way, the next time the Texas legislature introduces bills - which is in 2011 - I think a law should be passed requiring spas and nail salons to offer mimosas to anyone receiving a pedicure. They just make the world a brighter and happier place.

The mimosas were tasty, the company fantastic, and the food amazing. I would have taken a photo of my omelet of applewood smoked bacon, prosciutto and gruyere if I hadn't devoured it so quickly, but I did manage to get a shot of the weeone's french toast (from the Junior Max's $4 Menu they have for brunch only). YUM!

So, thanks for joining me for 30 Days of [Blank]. It was an adventure, that's for sure! I'm glad it's over and sad it's over. But never fear, I have other crazy ideas lurking in the wings - waiting to show their face and take flight. But for now, I'll just go back to showing you what I ate for dinner and how cute the weeone is getting each and every day!

30 Days of Beverages - Day 29 - Beer Buster!

What can I say...I've lost my sizzle, I've lost my umph, it's been getting harder and harder to come up with a drink that I want to make each day. So, when I saw something as simple as the "Beer Buster", I figured why not!?!?!

Well, here's why's not really that great. It's a spicy beer, so if you're in the market for a spicy-ish beer - have at it!

Beer Buster

1 1/2 oz Vodka
12 oz beer

Pour chilled vodka into a tall glass, add the beer and 2 shakes of Tobasco sauce. Mix. Serves 1.

So, are you inspired by that? Nah, me neither.

Friday, August 28, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Days 28 - College Flashback

Do you remember in college how there would be a scramble on Friday or Saturday night to order a keg, pick up a keg, ice down a keg, and then float a keg? Those were great days. You collected what you could to cover the $65 it was going to cost because that was a LOT of money to us then.

A week or so ago I got an evite from my friends, Bobby and Rhiannon, for a Happy Hour / Swim Party / Keg Party for tonight. It was such a great idea since this was the first week of school. Everyone needed to blow off some steam by 5pm today. So we headed over there tonight to hang out with good friends, have a beer / wine / cocktail, melt in the heat a bit, have some yummy food and just generally have fun.

So, the drink of the day....

Yep, a keg. But this wasn't the keg of my college days - it wasn't Milwaukee's Best or Lone Star - it was Dos Equis (XX). A keg of good beer. Oh what a night. The kids swam and played until they were exhausted. The parents milled, mixed, mingled and cocktailed until they were delirious and a great time was had by all.

Thanks Bobby and Rhi!

I interrupt these 30 talk about Twitter.

Do you tweet? or twit? or whatever? I was completely intimidated by twitter. It was so odd. What was the point of updating people of what I was doing every moment of the day? Then, I found that people say some pretty darn funny and entertaining things on twitter. And people say some pretty darn dumb and still funny things on twitter. So I decided to give it a whirl.

What have I found? It's entertaining. When I have a moment or some down time I check and see what the world is up to. I might find Caroline is standing on her head at the beach or that Ree is making Strawberry Jam or that Jennifer is stressing out over her schedule. Sometimes they have a great deal they've found that they share or a link to an interesting article or the like. You can even post a photo!'s a waste of time. But's pure genius.

And so, I tweet...or twit...or whatever.

You can follow A Girl in the South on twitter - or you can read the twitter updates over there -----> in the sidebar. Choice, it's what's good about America. Let's keep it that way. =)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Days 26 and 27 - The Best Laid Plans

Yep, I got behind. I made the drink, but was exhausted last night and couldn't find the strength to tap keys long enough to string a coherent sentence together for you. We'll call it first-week-of-school-itis. It's a newly diagnosed disorder that consists of symptoms such as extreme fatigue, muddled thoughts, inability to lift your arms at the end of the day and the overwhelming need to run away. Did I WANT school to start? =) You always want what you don't have....true, true, so true.

For yesterday's drink I stayed on my theme of Russia. Perhaps the delightful thoughts of frozen tundra and how nice it would be to be cold right now have lured me there these past few days or maybe I just got stuck in one section of a cocktail recipe book. I'll never tell.

The Moscow Mule was my cocktail yesterday and this one was a WINNER! I really liked it. It's fizzy, a little fruity, and lot vodka-y (again, me and the making up of words!). This is a great one for a hot day.

The Moscow Mule

2 oz vodka
2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
8 oz ginger ale

Mix and serve over ice. Serves 1.

Today's drink was a bit of a boondoggle. I was given the idea of making a B-52. I've never had one and it seemed like a good idea...pretty layers of booze that all make up one nice little drink.

Oh, the best laid plans.

Turns out, my Irish Cream had not been refrigerated after opening. Did you know that you had to refrigerate it? I didn't, so I had a bottle of curdled Irish Cream. Ick. Thanks Staci for not letting me drink it. =)


3/4 oz Kahlua
1/2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
1 oz Grand Marnier

Pour the Kahlua into a glass. Add the Bailey's by pour over the back of a spoon so the liquid hits the side of the glass and gently layers onto the Kahlua. Repeat the same process with the Grand Marnier. Serves 1.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 25 - Russian Literature

Pushkin, Tolstoy, Lermentov were all great writers. Yeah....I don't know anything about Russian literature. Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm more of a chick lit kind of gal. Give me some Jennifer Weiner or Patricia Cornwell - Oh - or a good James Patterson novel, but I'm going to say "nyet" to the Russian literature scene. At least, I think that's what I'm going to say since I don't have a cyrillic keyboard to type it right. Heavens....this suddenly became complicated!

Today is the 25th drink we've shared together. Shouldn't you have bought me dinner by now??? =) Sorry, it's the vodka talking.

So, quite a few of my friends know about my 30 days of [blank] and have chimed in along the way - either begging for an invite to happy hour or just showing up! Others have commented on drinks or suggested drinks that I try. Others are planning an intervention and rehab... Today is a day when a friend made a suggestion.

I work with this guy who, although I've known him for a few years, I really didn't get to know until the company did a little "re-orging" at the end of last year. Javier and I are now part of the same District and our territories back up to one another so we share some accounts. We've discovered over the past several months that we share several interests as well. We both love football - of course, he's twisted and cheers for the hometown Texans while I'm grounded in reality and good family history and cheer for the Pittsburgh Steelers! We both have daughters who hung the moon. We both also enjoy a good drink (or two!) on occasion.

So, today when I was chatting about work, life and weekends with Javier, he suggested a White Russian as today's drink. I have not ever tried a White and cream never sounded like a great combination....but people seem to like it, so what the heck - why not!

I have to say that it was different than I expected. It was better than I expected too. I might have made mine a bit stronger than intended, but it was still tasty. I can see now why people like these! It seemed like a perfect drink for a rainy day....a White Russian in hand while you're wrapped up in a blanket on the couch with a good today's blog title is making sense to you, isn't it?

Next rainy day...find a good book and blanket and give it a try! Thanks Javier...good idea.

White Russian

2 oz vodka (you can use vanilla if you prefer)
1 oz Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
1/2 - 1 oz light cream

Mix the vodka and Kahlua over ice then fill with cream and serve. Serves 1.

Monday, August 24, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 24- The "Back to School" Edition

Yep, today was the big day....the first day of school. The weeone's got this first day routine down pat now. Up and dressed early, fed herself breakfast and was ready to be there early since I was helping to walk new Kindergartners to class. She even posed for a photo by the same tree she's posed by each year. She's cool. She's big. She's in 2nd grade. It was pretty amazing how there were no nerves, no sadness, no need to even kiss me goodbye (although she understood MY need for a kiss goodbye and kindly obliged me). I really realized how far she's come as I watched little 5 year olds cry, cling and worry all the way to their new classrooms.

I'm glad we're at this point. I'm glad she's feeling secure and independent and sure of her place in this building called school. It's a good thing.

In honor of her first day of school, I made a dinner that I loved. =) Is that mean? teeheehee...she liked it though so that should count. But, she did get to play this evening with her friend, Little Mama. Little Mama is Staci's middle child and only girl. She doesn't start school until Wednesday, but could appreciate the excitement of the "first day of school". She stayed to eat dinner with us and was delighted when I revealed that the drink of the day was a treat for THEM!!!

Shirley Temple
for the kid in everyone!

6 oz Ginger Ale ( you can sub Sprite if you'd like )
1 1/2 teaspoons Grenadine
2 cherries

You know what to do, right? =)

I think this is my favorite part of the night....the determined look on their faces as they were digging cherries out of their glasses and the utter delight when they finally succeeded. Cherries....they're one of the great things in life, at least when you're 6 and 7 like these two!

For those of you who are wondering, dinner was Grilled Flat Iron Steaks with Chimichurri Sauce, Seasoned Red Potatoes and Creamed Spinach with Asiago. I'll share it all with you when these 30 days are up....I promise!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 23 - Citrus Bonanza!

Day 23 brings you two drinks!!! One is compliments of me (and another of my brother's recipes) and the other is compliments of the weeone who hates to be left out of happy hour! Is it odd that my 7 year loves a good happy hour? If so, you can blame it on my mother - yes, the same woman who claims "there's never enough vodka" and is an addictions counselor!!! When the weeone was pretty small, my parents would include her in happy hour. She'd get an acrylic wine glass full of cranberry juice and little bowl of puffy cheetos to share with Pap (my dad). She's loved it ever since. Rarely are drinks of any sort (milk included) poured in my house where she doesn't say "Cheers!".

So, this afternoon, something amazing happened. Since I started my 30 days of beverages all of my friends hound me about when I'm going to have them over for the drink of the day. I've told them all the same thing - get your butt over here and I'll mix you a drink. So far - no one's taken advantage of my "bar-a-pa-looza" event...that is, until today.

I was on my way home from the Astros game when my phone rang. It was my friend Sherri asking what plans I had for this evening. "None at all!" I replied. She wanted to come have the drink of the day with her husband, Will, and their new Kindergartner, Zoe. My reply? "Come on!"

I was so excited to have someone to drink with - finally, I would not appear to be a raving lush!

So, the Sakson family joined the weeone and I for Happy Hour tonight, followed by dinner at my fave little mexican dive, Don Jose's. It was a blast all around.

The upside of this for you? 2 drinks. I made Orange Crushes as the drink of the day, but the weeone also made homemade lemonade for herself and Zoe! So just for today, one for you and one for the kids.

Sherri took over the camera duty...she was excited to photograph "the process".

It turns out that what Sherri really wanted was an "action shot", so here it is...are you amazed yet? What you should be amazed at is all the stuff on my refrigerator and kitchen counter!!!

The end result? A tangy refreshing cocktail that is PERFECT for the next time you're poolside..

Orange Crush
(compliments of my big brother, Doug)

1 1/2 shots orange or citron vodka
1 shot triple sec
3 ounces orange juice (fresh is best!)
2 ounces Sprite or Ginger Ale

Mix it all, garnish with orange slice and serve. Serves 1.

The Weeone's Lemonade

2 lemons, juiced
3/4 cups sugar
water to taste

Juice the lemons and add the juice to a pitcher. Add sugar and then water until the taste is perfect! Serves 2-4 cups.

30 Days of Beverages - Day 20 - Mary, oh Mary!

I first fell in love with Bloody Marys in college. There was something about the spice, the heat, the tomato and the hair of the dog that made them very desirable. My first Bloody Marys consisted of a Bloody Mary mix, vodka and little piece of celery sticking out.

Over the years, I've upgraded my Bloody Mary recipes. I'm still known to use a GOOD mix from time to time (I like Red Eye's Horseradish is my fave!), but the best Bloody Marys are still the ones that start with tomato juice and build up the flavors until you get that spice and depth of flavor that calls you back again.

This Bloody Mary is best served with a pickled green bean as the garnish, but I was out, so I didn't garnish at all. You can salt the glass or not and garnish with you favorite Bloody Mary side item....enjoy!

Terri's Bloody Mary

6 oz tomato juice
1 1/2 ounces vodka
1/3 - 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
4 shakes of Tabasco (or more if you'd like!)
3 turns of a pepper mill

Mix all ingredients, pour over ice and garnish with a pickled green bean. Serves 1.

30 Days of Beverages - Day 19 - South Side!

Let's start with this....yes, I know that I'm 4 days behind. Vacation does things like that to you. =) I tried to keep up, but some days were just not possible and some days I just didn't wanna. So, we'll stay a little bit behind.

Today, an interpretation of a favorte cocktail from the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle. Nope, never been there, but I came to it via a cocktail recipe book and thought it sounded awfully good. I'm a sucker for a recipe that includes orange, lemon and mint! It's a bit shocking we haven't had a mojito yet this month!

South Side Fizz

1 slice orange
1 slice lemon
4 large fresh mint leaves
1/4 ounce gin
1/8 ounce Cointreau
4 ounces Champagne brut or sparkling wine brut

In a shaker, muddle the citrus clices, mint, gin, and Cointreau. Shake vigorously with ice. Stain into a chilled 6-ounce sparkling wine glass and top slowly with the chilled bubbly. Serves 1.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 18 - Boat Drinks

As many of you know, I've been on vacation since the end of last week. The weeone and I spent last Saturday and Sunday on the Chesapeake Bay onmy brother's big boat, Me & Mrs. Jones. We arrived back at the boat last night after spending a few nights in Lancaster, PA. So, in honor of our time on the Chesapeake, I thought we should salute Boat Drinks - one of my favorite Jimmy Buffet songs. =)

The day we arrived my sister-in-law, Colleen, introduced me to a new-to-me drink, Twisted Tea. It starts with a Sweet Tea Vodka and then you add iced tea and lemonade to your liking. For instance, last night I had the Sweet Tea Vodka with just lemonade - ala Arnold Palmer. There's several far every one I've had has been good. Really good. So good there's a trip to Spec's in my future when I return home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 17 - The Morning After

There are lots of old sayings about the morning after a night of drinking. Everyone knows a little "hair of the dog" will help a hangover and in Texas we're told that Menudo is the ultimate hangover cure. I've always felt that some good cheesy enchiladas help...or anything greasy for that matter. Those that drink the day after in hope of a moment's relief from the headache, queasy belly or exhausting dehydration from a night of "too much" need look no further than a bottle of bubbly.

For the morning after try a Corpse Reviver. Corpse Revivers are a morning after drink made to snap the bleary-eyed back to attention. I've read that this particular drink recipe is based on that from a Ritz Paris classic. It has an air of licorice without being to licorice-y (is that a word?). Try it the next time you are spending quality time with your bathroom tile. =)

Corpse Reviver No. 2

1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces absinth, Pernod, or other pastis, chilled
2 ounces Champagne brut or sparkling wine brut, chilled
2 real maraschino cherries for garnish (optional)
2 sprigs fresh thyme for garnish (optional)

In a shaker, combine the lemon juice, absinthe and Champagne and shake virgorously with ice. Strain into 2 chilled 2-ounce cordial glasses. If you like, place a maraschino cherry and thyme sprig in each glass to awaken and round the anise-heavy tipple. Drink it while it's cold.
Serves 2.

Monday, August 17, 2009

30 Days of Beverages - Day 16 - Sweet!

For the past 5 years or so the trend toward fancy-schmancy flavored martinis has been on the rise. Generally I steer clear, but as you saw with the Key Lime Pie Martini, sometimes you come across a winner! So every now and then I'll hear about a martini that sounds so good that I can't resist....Day 16's drink was just such a cocktail.

I really thought this would be a sweet drink, but was pleasantly surprised to find that it was not particularly sweet and was absolutely delish! I don't think this is one of those cocktails that you could drink all night, but one or two to finish an evening would be divine!

Without further ado....let me present....The Snickertini -

It all started with this -

And one of these -

And ends up looking like this -


recipe compliments of my big brother, Doug

1 1/2 shots Vanilla Vodka
1 shot Frangelico
1 shot Godiva Liqueur

Mix with ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a prechilled glass. Garnish with bite sized Snickers.


30 Days of Beverages - Day 15 - You asked for it...

When I posted the sangria by the pool the other day, I mentioned that I really like to make my own white wine sangria. It's true. I do. I got a recipe years ago from my mom's friend Mabeth, so in my little world it's always been know as "Mabeth's White Wine Sangria". I have no idea where the recipe originated and frankly, it doesn't matter to me. It just good.

The first time I drank this sangria I was at a wedding shower for either my friend Ellen or Sally, who is Mabeth's daughter. Several of us were all drinking it and at some point in the evening this group of girls that I'd grown up with and I all sat on the edge of the fireplace giggling and having a good time when we suddenly look up and saw a beer can move. Yep, move. That only sent us further into uncontrollable laughter. My father finally revealed to the group of us that there was actually a bug under the empty beer can....but this sangria will always be known as the drink that made me think a beer an could dance. Consider yourself warned.

I started with a good array of booze and fruit...

First you have to marinate the fruit in the hard liquor and sugar.

Marinating is an overnight event, so plan in advance on this one (although I've done it as little as 4 hours and had success).

I generally serve this in a big pretty glass container, but this particular night we were headed to a pool party that was a farewell for some friends who are moving to Indonesia, so I needed to use something "poolside friendly", hence the plastic iced tea jar! It's great to have some cut fruit for the individual glasses as well!

Mabeth's White Wine Sangria

1/2 cup Cognac
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon
1 lime
1 orange
4 bottles dry white wine
1 quart ginger ale

Mix the cognac, grand marnier, sugar and the sliced fruit and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Combine fruit mixture with the wine and gingerale and serve over ice.