Category: Vodka

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Podcasts + A Giveaway

Hey people of the internet..I know, it’s been a while… it’s been a pretty shitty start to the year. 

My step father passed away a couple of weeks ago and it’s been a horrible, weird, grief filled couple of weeks.  Maybe I’ll talk about it more in time but at the moment….it’s still all a bit too raw. I had written most of this post on the Peter Piper cocktail before all the shit got real.  So, here it is, pretty much unedited because I just want to get something out to resume some semblance of normality….

Don’tcha just love it when two three of your favorite things come together in a perfect storm of awesomeness?  Of course you do!  Which is how I came to find the Peter Piper cocktail. 

Peter Piper2The original Peter Piper Cocktail comes from a recipe by Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward.  So, here are some things you need to know about Georgia Hardstark.

  1. She can make a mean cocktail
  2. She loves vintage clothes
  3. Along with Karen Kilgariff she is the host of one of my favorite new podcasts, My Favourite Murder

One of which would be reason enough to like her.  All three combined? OMG….massive girl crush!

Peter Piper 5

Also, here are some things you need to know about the Peter Piper cocktail.  Actually, no just one.

The original recipe requires dry vermouth.  Do not assume that just because you had dry vermouth the last time you made a cocktail, that you will still have dry vermouth.  More specifically, do not wait until you have your vodka on ice in the damn cocktail shaker to realise that the dry vermouth has either disappeared into some Bermuda Trianglesque worm hole surrounding your bar cart or you drank a damn sight more of those Lord Suffolk cocktails on NYE than your memory has so far allowed you to admit. My money’s on the worm hole.  Because you know, a lot of things go missing from that area of the dining room.  And the stuff that is left?  The levels also mysteriously change.  Spooky..

Also, the girls used pepper vodka, I made my own chilli infused vodka and used that.  That is super easy to make – I just chopped up a Bird’s Eye Chilli and put it into a 100ml jar filled with vodka and left it for about a week.  And  there you have it.  Spicy vodka, perfect for mixing with pickle juice, and because you have no dry vermouth, a splash of Fino sherry.   With a kick of heat from the vodka, briny sour from the pickle juice, a hint of sweet and nuttiness from the sherry….the Peter Piper is truly a thing of beauty!  Perfect to drink with some salty chips whilst listening to your favourite podcast!

Peter Piper4As far as I am concerned one of the best things to come out of 2016 for me was a new found love for the podcast.  I have always been a big pod listener but l feel that last year raised the bar.  So, whilst we sip our Peter Piper’s I’m going to take you through my Top 5 of the pods I discovered and loved in 2016. 

These are vaguely in order of my discovery of them and not necessarily my love of them.  Except the first three are probably also my top three in terms of love too.

1. The Black Tapes

It’s kinda X Files with loads of creepy children, music that will make you die within a year of hearing it, missing wives, and villain who looks like a Sexy James Bond.  Not to mention evil monasteries and people having their faces ripped off.

Start with:  You really need to listen to these in order.  Start with S1, Episode1. 

Standout Episode:  The creepy knocking on Alex’s sleep tape gave me chills

2. Tanis

What have I not already said about my love for Tanis.  (Brought to you by Pacific North West Stories who also produce The Black Tapes?).

Oh yeah – Both The Black Tapes and Tanis have been on  hiatus for a while but The Sandy Island episodes which are for Patreon subscribers only?  Totally amazing and made me fall in love with Tanis all over again.  Also see my Tanis inspired cocktail posts:

Here for The Black and Tanis

Here for the Eld Fen Martini

Here for the Navigator

Here for the Sex on The Breach

Start With: As with The Black Tapes you need to listen to this in order

Standout Episode: I really liked S1 E3, The Girl in The High Tower which touched on the death of Elisa Lam.  And anything with Geoff Van Sant.  Or MK.  So all of them.

3 My Favourite Murder

Who thought a podcast about murder could be hilarious?  Well, let Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff change your mind. And just in case you are wondering, never disrespectful about the victims.  They may not be the best researched of all the true crime pods that I will list but they are by far my favourite.  I love these gals!

 

And OMG, the memes that have come out of this.  From the catch cry “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered” to “You’re in a cult, call your dad” to “Here’s the thing, fuck everyone”

Don’t Start With: The Canadian Greyhound Bus Cannibal.  This one scared the crap out of me.  I was almost too scared to go on public transport for weeks after listening to this one!

Start With:The Alphabet Killer.   This is absolutely what fascinates me about these things.  No spoilers but how did that thing become his thing?  Also the one on Israel Keyes.  He looks like a guy you would see at a beachside pub wearing a polo shirt and boat shoes and talking too loudly to his bros.  Not a serial killer, rapist, bank robber and arsonist.   The Israel Keyes episode also spawned the now famous rules of hiking:

  • Go in packs of five
  • With knives
  • With fucking Rottweilers
  • With knives taped to your hands
  • And knives taped to your Rottweilers
  • And then just tons of guns
  • And just start shooting at any sound you hear
  • Anyone who fucking approaches you – shoot them

Other: They also have the best fan made merch. I  just ordered one of these “Stay sexy, don’t get murdered rings” off Etsy. I feel it’s my version of the WWJD bangle.

4. Casefile

This is also true crime but from Australia.  And if  MFM is  entirely personality driven, Casefile is the facts ma’am just the facts. The host is even anonymous.  This is not exclusively Australian content but there is a lot of it on here, proving that when it comes to nutters and psychopaths, we can certainly hold our own with the rest of the world!

 

Start With: Peter Falconio. I remember this case so well.  I also remember how they demonised his poor girlfriend in the media.  

Standout Episode: Snowtown.  OMG.  Find out what happens when a group of people who individually were only ever going to be losers and fuck ups meet up.  Spoiler – it ends with bodies in barrels.

In Adelaide. 

Of course.

5. The Sofa King Podcast

These guys started following me on Insta so I gave their pod a listen and have not stopped.  It’s a mix of true crime, cults, conspiracies, mysteries, and things that go bump in the night. 

 

Start with: Their take on Dahmer.  Because no one else will tell you that they found a painted preserved penis in his work locker.  For real.

Standout Episode:  The 411.  This is about people going missing in National Parks.  I laughed so hard whilst listening to this that I had to pull my car over to the side of the road because I was no longer capable of driving.  Believe me, you will never see Gary Coleman in the same light!  

Peter Piper2

Peter Piper Cocktail
A delicious savoury cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 125ml chilli / pepper vodka
  2. 60ml pickle brine
  3. Splash fino sherry or dry vermouth
  4. Cornichons, pickled jalapenos, green olive to garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the vodka, pickle brine and sherry to a shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake it like a polaroid picture.
  3. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a sliced cornichon, a green olive and a pickled jalapeno.
  4. Enjoy!
Adapted from Georgia Hardstark and Alie Ward
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Okay so I have a couple of 1990’s magazines and a 1990’s cookbook on pasta and risotto, all from my personal collection to share with readers.  Point me in the way of your favourite podcasts or let me know if you share my faves and these can be yours!  Leave a comment here, on facebook or instagram or tweet me.

Have a wonderful week! And give someone you love a big hug….

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Halloween Cocktail – Bloody Sundress

Hey Hey,

How’s your weekend coming along?  I’ve been adding some final touches to my costume for a Halloween party next Friday.  Meaning I now have red glitter glue all over me, the dogs, my dining room table and the good Lord only knows where else!  Time to chill out with a Halloween appropriate cocktail, the Bloody Sundress.

bloody-sundress-1

This comes from the book True Blood Drinks and Bites by Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball:

The cocktail celebrates the scene in one of the early episodes where Sookie, goes to Fangtasia wearing this adorable white sundress:

sookie-sundress

And ends up like this:

Yeah, I know, we’ve all had nights like that right?

It does lead to this very memorable line from Pam: 

Ok, so maybe we haven’t all had nights quite like that!

And now for the Bloody Sundress Cocktail.  If this is what vampire blood tastes like then give me more!  It combines the tartness of pomegranate juice with zinginess of limoncello and fresh lime so it is quite tangy   I loved it!  If you really do not like sour flavours just add more simple syrup until it is sweet enough for you!  I also really liked the touch of rosewater in this too!

This could very easily become my go to summer cocktail.  It’s very refreshing and a gorgeous rosé wine colour.  So pretty!  Perfect for a day with the girls!

bloody-sundress-2

Bloody Sundress Cocktail
A delicious tangy cocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 oz of vodka
  2. 1 oz limoncello
  3. 1 oz unsweetened pomegranate juice
  4. 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 1/2 tsp or more (or less) simple syrup
  6. 3-4 drops rosewater
  7. ice cubes
  8. lemon twist
Instructions
  1. Place a cocktail glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Pour all the ingredients except for the lemon twist into a cocktail shaker.
  3. Shake until well chilled.
  4. Remove the glass from the freezer, add some fresh ice cubes.
  5. Strain the cocktail into the glass.
  6. Garnish with the lemon twist.
  7. Enjoy!
Adapted from True Blood Drinks and Bites by Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball
Adapted from True Blood Drinks and Bites by Gianna Sobol and Alan Ball
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
bloody-sundress-3

And now for my costume.  Want a hint?  Here you go.  These will be in my hair:

dorothy-bows

Not ringing any bells?  Well, these need a couple more coats of glitter and they will be good to go!

dorothy-shoes

Have a wonderful week.  I’ll be following a yellow brick road somewhere.  What are you up to?  Are you dressing up for Halloween this year?

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Tanis Inspired Cocktails 2 – Eld Fen Martini

There are wondrous things….

I conjured up the Eld Fen Martini based on a Twitter suggestion by the Tanis Podcast.  And here it is:

Eld Fen MartiniBut first….

What Is Eld Fen?

 Eld Fen also known as Old Fen or King Wurm is a….presence.  And it’s seriously fucking creepy.  Eld Fen sleeps in the darkest part  of the deepest forest. But it’s waking up.  And it’s coming…..

Ever walk alone in the woods and all of a sudden the hairs on the back of your neck prick up and you know something else is there?  You can’t see it or hear it….yet…but it’s there?  Just waiting? Now imagine doing that in the dark.  And you walk into  a circle of birch trees and the crisp smells of the forest fade into something that is sweet and swampy and rotten all at the same time. 

You thought you would be safe in the circle but you’ve turned around a few times trying to find the thing that is out there and now you have no idea which direction is home.  Which is scary because you’re out there in the dark all alone. 

Now multiply that fear by a thousand.  Because the truly frightening thing is that you’re not alone.  Because you’ve woken it up. And it’s coming. 

And when it does?  There will be blood. And madness.  And unspeakable horror. 

That’s Eld Fen.

There are magical things….

Sweet hopscotching Jesus!  I was trying to give you all the Tanis-y creepy chill and managed to scare myself!.  Good thing I’ve got a lovely martini to calm me down!

Eld Fen Martini5

What Is The Eld Fen Martini?

It’s an Eld(erflower) and Fen(nel) Martini with a splash of Chartreuse. So it’s sweet from the Elderflowers, anisey (Tanis – y?) from the fennel and herby from the Chartreuse. Delicious.  The perfect pick me up after a hard day’s work searching for a place that may or may not exist.  And may make people crazy when they find it. 

The hardest thing about making the Eld Fen Martini was trying to walk the line between making something that conveyed the swampy, sickly  aspects of Eld Fen without making it so disgusting that no one would ever want to drink it.  I felt my first attempt, which did not have the Chartreuse, was too pretty, this did not at all convey swampy, hint of pus look I wanted. 

Eld Fen Martini2Hmm….

I bet you never read that last sentence in a food blog before. And now you know why I chose Eld Fen over Hint Of Pus Martini. 

What do you mean you don’t want to have a drink with me?  It’s not real pus.  It’s Chartreuse. Made by Monks.  And not those spooky Order of Cenophus Monks from The Black Tapes.  These are proper French Monks who are far too busy tending their garden of 130 herbs so they can make lovely, delicious Chartreuse to:

  1. Kidnap an itinerant
  2. Rip someone else’s face off. 
  3. Sew said face onto itinerant
  4. Push itinerant off a monastery tower.

Oh FFS, as if I hadn’t already scared myself enough with Eld Fen.  Now I’m freaking out about murderous monks!

There are dangerous things….

Eld Fen Martini 7I wanted the garnish on the Eld Fen to maintain the dark edge.  My favorite maraschino cherry was just a little bit too perky for this.  So I went with a blueberry /blackberry garnish.  And OMG, if you give these a teeny squish?  They start to release little lines of juice which look like veins or splashes of blood! Perfect!

Eld FEn Martini 8

You Get What You Deserve

Here’s the recipe.

Eld Fen Martini
Serves 1
A delicious and refreshing cocktail inspired by the Tanis Podcast
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For The Fennel Syrup
  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1 tsp fennel seeds
  4. 1 medium bulb fresh fennel, roughly chopped
For The Eld Fen Martini
  1. 30ml Fennel Syrup
  2. 30ml Vodka
  3. 30ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur
  4. Juice of 1/2 a lime
  5. Splash of Chartreuse
  6. Ice
For The Garnish
  1. 2 blueberries
  2. 1 blackberry
For The Fennel Simple Syrup
  1. Give the fennel seeds a few good whacks with a pestle or heavy rolling pin.
  2. Place the water, sugar, fennel seeds and chopped fennel in a small pan.
  3. Bring to a boil, then simmer for around 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  5. Strain to remove the fennel and fennel seeds.
  6. Place in fridge until required.
For The Cocktail
  1. Chill your martini glass.
  2. Pour the vodka, St Germain, fennel simple syrup, lime juice and Chartreuse into a shaker filled with ice.
  3. Shake, baby, shake.
  4. Pour into your martini glass.
  5. Garnish with blueberries and blackberry that have been slightly bruised to release some juice.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You will have enough Fennel Simple Syrup to make plenty of these!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
 Eld Fen Martini9

To find Eld Fen, you need a Navigator. 

Why you would want to find Eld Fen is utterly beyond me.  Is your tv broken?  Play some Words With Friends, read a book, write a blog, take up yoga…there are so many things you could do with your life that do not entail pushing you to the brink of sanity and life itself.  But if you must find Eld Fen…you’ll need a navigator.  And that’s where we’ll go next time….

In the meantime, keep looking.

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

Future Classics – Australian Table – August 2001

Remember how I said I had a fab idea for a whole new series of blog posts whilst on holiday?  Here’s the thing, along with hundreds of cookbooks, I also have a huge collection of food magazines, most of which sit on shelves in my back room doing nothing.  Once a year, I grab a handful of the oldest, take them on holiday and cut out the recipes I want, throw away the magazines, and cook the recipes over the next 12 months. 

Vodka With Crushed Limes2

Crispy Duck with Green Pancakes2jpg

Currently I have a few mags from the late 1990’s but they are most from the early noughties onwards.  So they are not quite but well on their way to becoming formally vintage.  My thought on holiday was….”These are the things that will shortly become the vintage recipes of the future.  So, instead of ripping them up, I’m going to start cooking from them.  Once a month, I’ll revisit one of these magazines, cook a thing or two and decide if these are future vintage classics – or just junk taking up space in my backroom.  Here are the early years to 2013:

Magazines1And here are 2014 to the present day:

Magazines2so, to start, we are stepping back in time 15 years to the August 2001 edition of Australian Table:

Australian Table August 2001 I also thought it might be fun to revisit some of the content of these magazine as well as the recipes, so without further ado, here are the:

Flavours of The Month – August 2001

This section spoke about what was in season.  I thought I might give it a little Retro Food For Modern Times Twist!

Sweet Potatoes

Huh….my plan here was to insert a recipe or two from the blog.  However, apparently I have made nothing with sweet potatoes. I’ll link to some recipes  below.

Baby Bok Choy

Or anything with Bok choky.  What have I been cooking in for the last four years? 

Cumquats

Hooray – Finally!

Click here for my Four Kumquat Canapés For Four Food Heroes recipes

Pineapples

Melbourne Cup Crab and Pineapple Appetizer and MC Cocktail

Pineapple soufflé

Movies of The Month

Oh man.  August 2001 was a GOOD month for movies!  I would quite happily watch Bridget Jones’s Diary or Along Came a Spider today.  I don’t recall ever seeing Evolution but I am definitely putting that to rights, pronto.  I know it’s probably a little late with the picky picky however, Australian Table, I would like to point out that the chocolate-voiced, sloe-eyed maverick investigator is actually called Alex Cross.  The ACTOR is Morgan Freeman.  And what a difference a letter makes.  Slow-eyed which I typed at least a dozen times in the above paragraph makes you sound like you should be taking special classes.  Sloe-eyed…hello sexy!

Movies - August 2001

Music Of The Month

Well, I guess you can’t have it all.  I listened to none of these at the time nor do i have any real desire to seek out any of these.  Maybe the Elvis Costello.

Music August 2001

The Food

I chose two recipes from an article on fool proof party food starting with:

Vodka with Crushed Limes

Australian Table August 2001These are my flavours…this was so good!  Tangy, sweet delicious!

Crispy Duck with Green Scallion Pancakes

Crispy Duck with Green PancakesNo, these are my flavours!  Spicy, seductive!

Australian Table August 20012

Berry and Rhubarb Crumble

This recipe came from an advertisement for a 3 in one hand blender.  Crumble is pretty much already a classic but the addition of rhubarb instead of the more traditional apple?  Genius!

Rhubarb and Berry CrumbleRhubarb and Berry Crumble Recipe

Everything I made from this mag was SUPER! My view is that this is a definite future vintage classic!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little walk down memory lane!  I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a mag from September 2001.  I hope it’s as good as this one!

Have a great week!

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Cowboys, Caviar, Casseroles and Cocktails

Dear readers

I had such high hopes for this post.  Then they were totally dashed by a twist of fate that…well…I guess if I’d seen it coming it wouldn’t be a twist would it?  But I’m jumping ahead of myself.  First, I was totally delighted when Greg from Recipes4Rebels asked if I would join in a cookalong for Cowboy Day!  This event occurs on the fourth Saturday of July each year and is celebrated all over the world! 

Cowboy Caviar 1Obviously, this is not the fourth Saturday in July, however, as I will be sunning myself on the beach at Sanur in Bali that day, with Greg’s blessing I am posting my ventures into Cowboy Cookin’ early!  And it’s a three course meal y’all. (Because 1 that’s how cowboy’s talk and 2 cocktails are a course aren’t they?  This one is almost a meal!  But again, getting ahead of myself!)

So now onto my foiled grand plans.  My idea was that I would find a cocktail called a Bali Cowboy – possibly a more tropical version of this cowboy cocktail and I would make it for my post and then, on the day itself, I would tweet another picture of me in Bali with with my Bali Cowboy and it would in a glass as big as my head and it would be blue and loaded with umbrellas and pineapple wedges and all the other tropical cocktail paraphenalia. 

Cowboy Caviar 2A quick google soon showed me that there is such a thing as a Bali Cowboy.  It is NOT a cocktail.  Turns out that a Bali Cowboy is a male prostitute who hangs around Kuta Beach willing to sell his services to any rich (ie all) Western women who care to pay for them. So, whilst I’m not 100% ruling out a photo of me with a Bali Cowboy on Cowboy Day, the likelihood of it happening has dropped significantly!

So, new ideas had to be found.  Starting with some caviar.  Because we’re classy cowboys!  It’s Cowboy Caviar of courseCowboy Caviar 4Where has this salad / dip been all my life?  If this is what cowboys eat, then I want to be a cowboy.  It’s all kinds of beans and corn and tomatoes and avocado . Truly delicious!  I loved this! 

So, for the second course, I went straight to the top.  And by that I mean Mr John Wayne himself.

John wayne casserole recipeTurns out The Duke and I share a love of eggs, cheese and chillies.  Now, just one thing about the John Wayne casserole…. To my mind, when you combine egg yolks to beaten egg whites with other stuff, in this instance cheese and chilli and you them put that in an oven and cook until it’s all puffed up and golden, that’s not so much a casserole as a soufflé. 

You be the judge:

John wayne casserole1I’ll sit quietly over here and let my case speak for itself. 

By the way, cooking this for an hour would be way too much.  You are seeing about 35 minutes and I think it was over.  I would cook this…half an hour max.  Also, the tomato didn’t do much.  I would actually leave it out and cook this for 20 minutes total. 

John Wayne casserole2The soufflé casserole was good but I think I was so blown away by the Cowboy Caviar that it kind of paled by comparison.  I will definitely make it again though!

John Wayne casserole3And now for my grand Cowboy finale, I am turning to to person who started all of this, yep, Greg.  This cocktail /dessert  is A-MAZING!  So, so good.  Cowboys and cowgirls, can I present, the Giant Martini! 

Giant Martini2There is no other word for this but absolutely divine! The giant in the Giant Martini doesn’t refer t to it’s size (but you could scale it up very easily)  but to the fact that it was created on the set of Giant by Liz Taylor and Rock Hudson.

Git along little doggie, this cocktail is all mine!

Giant MartiniAnd you too!

Giant Martini3jpgAh yes, Greg’s site on the PC, a cocktail in front of me and The A-Z of Cooking behind it.  Just a regular day round these parts!

Many, many thanks to Greg, this was so much fun!  Thank you so much for including me!  I always say this but you hear so much about the internet being a a horrible vicious place, I am always delighted and totally honoured to make new friends, like Greg, on here. 

Ok, I’ve gotta go, 5:30am start tomorrow!  But I’m loving and leaving you with some some super rhinestone cowboy singing!

Find out all about the Cowboy Day Cook A Long here.  Hopefully my attempts will inspire you to bigger and better things on the day!

The recipe for Cowboy Caviar I used came from Cookie and Kate.

The Giant Martini recipe is here.

Kiss me and smile for me, I’ll be back here in a couple of weeks but if you can’t smile without me, I’ll be tweeting and instagramming from Bali throughout.

Loving you, leaving you, now!

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