About the Negroni

Have you ever had a Negroni? No? Well you should get on that, because it is the perfect cocktail for summer. But you don’t have to take my word for it; Tim Carman totally agrees. I’ve been drinking my own bastard cousins of the Negroni for the past three or four years, but on this hump day I thought I’d give you this year’s slight variation on the classic.

For one delicious drink you’ll need this stuff:

Which, more specifically, is:
  • 2 tbsp. gin
  • 2 tbsp. Campari
  • 2 tbsp. vermouth
  • a couple shakes of bitters
Normally you're supposed to shake up your ingredients with ice and then strain the concoction into a martini glass to be enjoyed straight up, but it’s HOT AS BALLS (sorry for the imagery Manmaw!) outside, so I just pour it all into a jelly jar and garnish it with a slice of lime.

Because that’s how I roll.


About Cold Noodle Salad

Somethong (okay, I could fix that typo but COME ON) about the words cold, noodle, and salad together in a row like that strikes me as... funny? Odd? Somethong? Anyway, let’s get on with it, eh?

How about that thunderstorm, hey? That was some insane shit, I’ll tell you what. Winston was mesmerized by everything blowing around all over the place, and spent the majority of yesterday afternoon with his nose pressed to the window. But I guess that’s what happens when a (relatively) cold front smashes into HOT AS BALLS. (Incidentally, I tried to sit out by the pool on Saturday but my skin melted off after 37 seconds. True story.) Thankfully it’s no longer HOT AS BALLS, but it’s still pretty damn hot out there, so we’ll continue with our tour of dishes that do not require much if any use of heat-creating kitchen equipment. Hence the aforementioned cold noodle salad.

This is a recipe in two parts. We’ll tackle the noodles first. For four, healthy-sized servings you’ll need:
  • A little more than half of a box of whole-wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. While that’s boiling, mix up the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl to make your dressing.

When the pasta is cooked, drain it, then rinse it in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again and toss the noodles with the dressing in your big bowl.

Then pop that big bowl in the fridge while we tackle the “salad” portion of our cold noodle salad, which consists of approximately 3 cups of whatever veg you like.

This is what I brought home from the farmers market: carrots, cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, and scallions. Other veg that would be good: baby bok choy, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc., etc., etc. BASICALLY, you just want to make sure your approximately 3 cups of veg is cut pretty thinly so that twirling everything onto a fork is no big whoop.

Now toss all that together with your big bowl of dressed spaghetti.

Now you have a choice: you can either serve it right away at room temperature, or you can park that baby in the fridge for an hour or so for it to chiiiiiiiill. Either way, you probably can’t go wrong.



About Margaritas!

Hello, gentle readers. My name is Kat and I’m a boozeaholic. I’m addicted to boozeahol. And why wouldn’t I be, dammit? Booze is DELICIOUS. Or rather, DELICIOSO. Because today we’re making margaritas! From scratch! And you know why? Because it’s HOT AS BALLS out there right now, and I could really go for a nice cold margarita. Or two, for which you’ll need:

The juice of 3 limes
6 ounces of tequila
2 ounces of triple sec or Cointreau

First up, your PRO TIP of the day: If you zap your whole limes in the microwave for about 15-20 seconds, you’ll be able to extract waaaaaaaay more lime juice out of them.


Mix together all that stuff I said you’ll need.

Muddle some fruit in the bottom of your chosen drink receptacle and salt the rim (but not in that order, and only if you like).

Divide your boozy concoction between the two glasses, give it a stir to incorporate your optional fruit, and fill ’er up with ice.

Dude, margaritas! (Someone bring me one now please kthxbai.)


About Moroccan Tomato Soup

It’s too hot to cook. (If you’re reading this out loud, this is how you should say that sentence: “It’s toooooooooooo HOT to cooooooooook.” And throw in some pathetic wimpers and sobs in there while you’re at it.) Seriously, I don’t know if you’ve stepped outside any time in the last, oh, TWO MONTHS, because if you haven’t (LUCKY!), let me tell you, it is HOT AS BALLS out there. So the very last thing I want to do when I come home at the end of a long commute, deliriously meandering back to Chinatown in the 100-degree heat, is turn on the stove. (The first thing I want to do is jump in a swimming pool full of ice and unicorn tears, but that is neither here nor there.)

So, if I get around to it (shit’s busy all up in here, yo), I think I’ll try and feature some coooooool summertime recipes over the next couple of weeks. Because it is HOT AS BALLS out there.

First up: a cold tomato soup that is NOT gazpacho. I like the idea of gazpacho, and Santa knows I order gazpacho a whole heck of a lot for someone who hates gazpacho, but that’s just it; I HATE gazpacho. But this I like. It’s an old New York Times recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years, and now that tomatoes are showing up in the farmers market in full force, I (literally) crank out a batch once a week. So, let’s get started, hmm?

For four servings you’ll need:
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Large pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 1/4 pounds tomatoes, cut into chunks (unless you don’t have a food mill, in which case, see below)
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
  • 2 tablespoons water

One more thing before we get started. This soup is super fresh, so if your produce doesn’t look like this:

don’t bother. Your soup will taste like crap. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also you’ll probably need a food mill to smash up your tomatoes and remove the skins. If you don’t have a food mill, you can always use this technique, to peel your tomatoes before blending them up in a food processor, but that just sounds like a giant pain in the ass to me.

Okay so I guess that was two more things. SUE ME.

Now, in a small skillet, stir the garlic, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and olive oil together. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook the spice mixture, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. This will remove the bite from the garlic and bloom the flavors of the other dry spices. It’ll also make your kitchen smell like Marrakesh, without all the incense and b.o. Anyway, this is what it will look like:

Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Next, pass the tomato chunks through a food mill fitted with a large disk.

This is the hard part.

When your tomatoes are all milled up, stir in the cooked spice mixture, cilantro, vinegar, lemon juice, salt, cucumber, and water. (What I'm saying is, stir in the rest of your ingredients.) Give it a taste, and add more salt if you need it. Refrigerate until cold, then serve, garnished with more cilantro.

And enjoy the antioxidant rush.