The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “alcohol”

Weekly Cocktail: Mulled Wine

And we’re off into another week of snow, cold, and all around grossness.

I know. I know. The snow is beautiful and today it isn’t THAT cold out.

But COME THE F*** ON! Again? Seriously? I would KILL for a garage spot and truck with 4 wheel drive right now.

Mother Nature, we beg of you, “Let the sunshine in, dammit!” Just for the love of you, PLEASE let us creep above 25 degrees.

I’m sitting here, not really sure which of the many meals I made this week to tell you about. I do know that I’m sitting here with a winter weight on my chest, tension seizing my body, and I’m trying not to cry over something as trivial as snow.

I promised myself to work on my blog at least three times a week this year so that it can start to grow and perhaps someday be my source of income, but in this winter I find myself paralyzed, over and underwhelmed, and unmotivated. (SIDE BAR: Does anyone out there in the WordPress community want to help me figure out that whole monetizing thing?)

Excuse the pity party just this once–please and thank you. And now I bring you the only thing suitable for this weather: MULLED WINE.

Start with a nice, but cheap red--preferably a merlot. My go-to: Purple Moon.

Start with a nice, but cheap red–preferably a merlot. My go-to: Purple Moon.

Measure out 2 cups

Measure out 2 cups

And 4 oz of brandy

And 2 oz of brandy

In a small saucepan, put 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 TBS of granulated sugar.

In a small saucepan, put 2 cinnamon sticks and 2 TBS of granulated sugar.

Add peppercorns and whole cloves.

Add peppercorns and whole cloves.

And some orange peel and blade mace (blade mace gives you a nutmeg flavor).

And some orange peel and blade mace (blade mace gives you a nutmeg flavor).

Pour in wine and brandy. Bring to a simmer, and then turn off the heat and steep for ten minutes.

Pour in wine and brandy. Bring to a simmer, and then turn off the heat and steep for ten minutes.

Using a coffee filter, strain the wine.

Using a coffee filter, strain the wine.

See?

See?

Tada! Serves 2 !

Tada! Serves 2 !

Stay warm, kids.

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Beergaritas and More…

Brace yourselves. I’m about to do it. I’m…I’m about to…quote…

Got a fire in your brain, feel like going insane–and you’re thinking of drinking gasoline

Phew. That wasn’t so bad. It’s just Rent.

Silence is golden, isn’t it?  Except when it SUCKS. Even if you’ve asked for it personally. Still staring at the phone, waiting for the silence to be broken–half dreading, half wanting. However, last night I slept for the first time in five days. The past week has averaged at about 45 min-1hr of sleep each night, and my body was taking a serious hit. But finally–last night, I got a few hours. So, even if I end up sleepless and tossing and turning again, and sobbing to songs like We Are Young and Somewhere Over the Rainbow,  I’ll at least have those few hours. I feel like I’ve regained some amount of sanity. Questions still swirling, though–primarily, “So…dude…what happened on Friday that prompted Facebook antics that put me back several days on the healing journey?” But you know, this isn’t a callout. It’s a blog post. About food!

I seemed to be enjoying myself…

BEERGARITAS. What? Anna, you really have lost your mind, haven’t you? No. Well yes. But no. See, CDR makes a killer margarita. A seriously delicious margarita. And the recipe, which is kind of like an all-purpose mix drink recipe, follows. On Sunday, he had planned to make margaritas for us at Miriam’s house–but we didn’t have any sweetener. CDR thought on his feet and found a honey-beer in the fridge. It was sweet and citrusy enough, so he used it in place of triple sec. The result? Sorry, CDR–not the best you’ve ever made. But it actually wasn’t by any means terrible. Totally passable. And foodies, totes worth a shot. But the all-purpose drink recipe is as follows:

3 parts liquor (tequila), 2 parts mixer (lime juice), and 1 part sweetener (triple sec). If you were making something else, like a Cosmo for instance, it would be vodka, cranberry, and Rose’s lime–respectively.

Yesterday, I went to Trader Joe’s to load the house up with some healthy food to keep me and my taste-buds  happy for a few days. I came across a grain mixture (cous cous, orzo, quinoa, and baby garbanzo beans) and I thought I would make a nice salad for lunch/early dinner (rehearsal schedules have our eating habits all effed up). I followed the directions on the bag and in about ten minutes, the grains were done. Chopped up some basil, parsley, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, and tossed in some orange slices. I dressed it with lemon juice, a touch of balsamic, and olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with some shredded cheese (we used cheddar–parm would be great too).

Beautiful!

So, I keep breathing. And keep cooking. I’ll admit, I’m not going to stop staring at my phone for a while–but today, I feel stronger (maybe because I slept).

Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds. Try and keep your head up to the sky. Lovers they may cause you tears, go ahead–release your fears. Stand up and be counted, don’t be ashamed to cry. You gotta be, you gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser. You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger. You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together. All I know, all I know…love will save the day.

…I’m glad you came.

Booze-y Booze and Granola Bars

I’m not calling you a liar…just don’t lie to me.

 Another day, another ride on the roller coaster.

If you could only see the beast you’ve made of me

Oh, right! I’m supposed to be turning the heartache into radiating love. Well…how about turning it into radiating tipsy-ness? I mean, it’s almost as effective as love…right? And if I get a little slap-happy—so be it. I promise I deserve it.

Wednesday feels like yesterday ago—probably because of Friday shenanigans. And yes. I call shenanigans. But anyway—if Wednesday felt like yesterday, then it is only fitting that yesterday involved a little booze. In the afternoon, I ran callbacks for my fall show and that right there was reason enough for alcohol. I relate one particularly excruciating moment between two sopranos.

Soprano 1: Hey, you were really great in Tales of Hoffman.

Soprano 2: Oh, goodness…Yes.

Opera singers. Psh. So, while they sang their little Cendrillon hearts out, I busied myself with feeding my addiction to Facebook and thought about the drinks I would be having later. Well, later—Hannah gave me what could only be described as pure gasoline. It was about five parts tequila, one part gin, and maybe ½ part lemonade. Well—tomorrow’s post will include instructions for mixed drinks—but today—let’s just do the narrative. Post gasoline, I drank a little something called Jamaican Me Happy. And yeah, it was makin’ me happy. I followed that with Bahama Mama. I think I should be the one that gets to name alcohol. I think that would be excellent. But I digress.

Girl, please!

Well, the drinks helped me start to feel like myself again, which was good—even if it was just for a night. But fourteen hours (give or take) later, I am at the end of my sleepless rope and it is taking every ounce of self control not to quote Jar of Hearts. Adele will do.

 And the games you’d play, you would always win…

 Back to no-bake baking (although the oven IS in fact repaired). I finally made those granola bars! Yum. Please note that in no way are these granola bars “healthy.” In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 6 tablespoons of honey, molasses, or maple syrup (or a mixture of the the three), a teaspoon of vanilla, and four tablespoons of butter to a boil. For a little added health benefit, I stirred in a few tablespoons of flaxseed too. While that’s bubbling away, combine 3 cups of granola (go with a low-fat mix), 1/2 cup or so of raisins or dried cranberries (I went with cranberries), 1/2 mini chocolate chips, 1/2 slivered almonds…or really, anything you like. When the butter mixture comes to a boil, stir it in with the granola mixture until combined. Spread out in a 13 x 9 pan like so:

Pre-freeze. Yum.

Then freeze until completely cool (about two hours), then cut into bars. They make a delicious, crunchy treat. Not too sweet either. Thanks, Gina, for the recipe. Sorry that I messed with it a bit. I can’t be trusted.

Oh, also…dig my mani, right?

Have a good day, people. I hope everyone in Chicago enjoyed Mother Nature’s thrashing today.

And sleep well. Someone should. Cherish it.

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