Monday, April 20, 2015

Cookbook Challenge: What's In Your Liquor Cabinet?

After a little bit of a break, I'm back to working on the cookbook challenge. I'm probably not going to finish by the end of 2015 now unless I fo' real hustle, but I needed to cut myself some slack on something, and well, sometimes I'd rather put priority on other adventures. Or, you know, real life. (We had a lot of episodes of The Voice and Amazing Race to watch.) Anyway.

One of my favorite parts of the Bride and Groom First and Forever Cookbook is cocktail recipes! I'm going to have to buy a good amount of hooch to try all the booze-y recipes (and some other recipes that also use liquor as an ingredient), because it turns out a bottle of vodka, two half-empty bottles of triple-sec, a mostly-empty handle of rum from our undergrad days and some mini bottles of German schnapps does not a "liquor cabinet" make.

Sauza Margaritas
As you can see, I did not purchase Sauza tequila. Because I don't like tequila and Sauza only came in large bottles, so I bought whatever non-off-brand I could get in a flask-sized bottle, which happened to be Jose Cuervo. (I suppose whatever is left of it can be donated to a good cause, like my sister's wedding. She is having a dry wedding, kind of against her will, and is already talking about us bridesmaids carrying flasks.) I am typically very "meh" about margaritas, and I felt approximately the same about this one. However, Matt actually does like margaritas, and he said these tasted good. P.S. You should listen to this song while you drink Cuervo margaritas.

Daddy's Oatmeal Cookies
I'll admit, I'm not the biggest oatmeal cookie fan. And I have been wrong all my life for not liking them. These were the most delicious oatmeal cookies I've ever had, and I ate a lot of them, because it made a humongous batch. Also, I cheated a little and didn't actually make these myself. Matt made them. For himself. On his birthday. Because I'm a bad wife.

Lemony Tarragon Crab Dip
I used imitation crab, because that was all I could find at Kroger. I made this dip for a book club potluck, and it was super fast to assemble, and pretty tasty to boot. Only downside is the cookbook said to serve it with salt and vinegar chips, which I don't particularly care for, and apparently none of the people at my book club do either, so now I'm stuck with a big bag of gross chips.

It doesn't look like it, but I did make the layers pretty even. It was just hard to get to the edges.

1-2-3 Mexican Dip
Another day, another potluck. This one was a Mexican-food-themed church potluck, though, so I went to town making this cookbook's version of a seven-layer dip. (It only had three layers, though: beans, sour cream and salsa, with various spices and onions and peppers mixed into the main components of each layer.) It got many compliments, and then Matt was disappointed when I took all the leftovers to work with me and left him with none.

Bow Tie Pasta With Asparagus, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Boursin
I love asparagus, and so I am glad it is spring because the asparagus is fresh and fat and relatively cheap. This pasta dish was good — both Matt and I liked it — but as I was eating it, I thought, "This is not a pasta dish that I will remember a week from now." It's not anything spectacular, but if you're looking to get more veggies in, it's hard to beat the ease of asparagus in pasta. Just boil your pasta and throw the asparagus into the pot for the last two minutes.

Mary's Bloody Marys
I don't like celery, so I didn't garnish these. (The book said you could also garnish with a dill pickle or pickled asparagus, but by the time I got around to making these cocktails, we had just gotten back into town from a weekend away and it was just too-bad-so-sad.) Even so, the celery salt on the rim was tasty, and the drink itself was pretty good, tomato-y with a little bit of a spicy kick at the end. Matt made pancakes and eggs for brenner, and it was lovely. Though I didn't finish my cocktail, and Matt didn't like them at all.

Completed: 75 of 147 recipes.

What's in your liquor cabinet? Do you like salt-and-vinegar chips? What's on your DVR/in your Hulu queue/on your Netflix list?


  1. That's the exact song I thought of when I saw the picture of your Jose Cuervo! Hilarious!

  2. i've never heard the word hooch before - a new term for me :) as for our liquor cabinet? we don't even have wine in the apartment! we drink, but usually when we're out or having people over. so of course we're always running to the market when people are coming for drinks :))

  3. Okay that seafood dip looks amazing!! You are making me so hungry! The cocktails look amazing too. I am not drinking much right now since I am nursing and it makes me sad when I see fun drinks like these!

  4. "I lost count and started countin' again!" haha :)

  5. Heh, um maybe it's a southern thing? Every time I buy wine, it doesn't stick around for very long, so I don't often have wine in the house either!

  6. If I recall correctly, I'm pretty sure the seafood dip was just imitation crab, lemon juice, tarragon, cucumber, red onion and mayo. If you want I can e-mail you the recipe. :)

  7. My liquor "cabinet" takes up quite a bit of real estate in our dining room (thanks in small part to the review bottles I received as a cocktail blogger): a bar cart for the gin, rums, brandy/cognac, and whiskeys, a 3-shelf bookcase (plus the top) for the vodkas, tequilas, schnapps & other liqueurs, and mixers, and a 2-shelf bookcase for wine. Do yourself a favor and ditch the triple-sec and substitute Cointreau for it for now and ever more. Triple Sec is a bully of a cocktail ingredient.

    Love salt and vinegar chips (even if they make my lips feel raw, like I've been swimming in the ocean) and I'm currently devouring CSI Las Vegas through Hulu.

  8. I love salt and vinegar chips!!! We're mostly beer drinkers, but we always keep unopened bottles of red and white wine in case we have people over on short notice or for hostess gifts. As for television, I'm taking a break from Parenthood right now because Mad Men, Call the Midwife (so underrated!!) and the NHL playoffs are on right now.

  9. I love how bar carts look and wish we actually had some grown-up liquor to display! I didn't know that Cointreau was a good substitute for triple-sec, so I'll have to pick some of that up.

  10. I've been drinking beer a lot more lately. On Easter the 20s/30s group at our church did a beer swap where everyone brought a six pack and traded until we all had six different bottles, and it's been tasty to try out some new ones.

  11. Any good orange liqueur would do, so Grand Marnier would if you had it, etc., but my favorite is Cointreau as an all-purpose orange because it's just so smooth!