Happy Halloween! Let’s drink #REDRUM @NIXSHartford

Happy Halloween friends!  As a huge Halloween and horror story fan, I recommend Nixs Hartford this holiday for all your festivity related needs (as long as they are alchohol and party related – that’s what they do best after all).

Rich Clemens has been featured here before, and is an amazing mixologist, came up with a #redrum cocktail which is both delicious and an amazing reference to The Shining –

brady twins

Cue creepy Brady Twins, hello ladies

It’s a delicious libation, and it involves hand carbonation:

ze carbonation process

Hey, thanks Anthony!

And then it’s served in a VERY crowd friendly glass bottle, oh yaaas

red rum oh yeah

Soo into it

The ingredients are as follows:

hallo my beauty

Pyrat Rum, Sloe Gin, Coconut Water, Amaretto, lime juice, pineapple juice

Oh yeah, and it’s only $6.  So there’s that.  Nixs has a whole slew of Halloween activities planned – a Pyrat (rum) party tonight, with $500 in prizes (for sexiest costume and best pirate costume).  Tomorrow, there will be a “Dia de los Muertos” party with an additional $500 in prizes (wow yourself)

And last, but certainly not least, Sunday will bring a “Day of the Drag,” hosted by the one and only Amanda Lepore and Maritat Bonita, music by International DJ Producer, Scotty Thompson, and an additonal $500 in prizes!

 

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Jalapeño #errathang and #TGIF mixology @NIXSHartford

I have two current obsessions – one is the word “errathang” – the other is jalapeños – and both are in this blog title.  “Errathang” I discovered whilst writing the Fall Arts Preview.  It’s an imaginary word from the imaginary world of Frowhawk Two Feathers – which will be on exhibit at the Wadsworth shortly.  ERRATHANG.  I love it.  Thankfully my love of jalapeños is shared by one Rich Clemons – of Nixs in Hartford.  He showed be a step by step tutorial on how to prep one of my favorite Nix’s cocktails – the Jalapeno Business – and here’s the video for your viewing pleasure:

jalapeno business

Ze Jalapeño Business, yaaas

Ingredients: 1.75 oz. Tanduay Silver Ru, 1.75 oz lime juice, .75 oz jalapeno simple syrup, coconut water

In addition to drinking my jalapeños, I’ve been eating them.  Lots of and lots of them, thanks to my CSA with The Garlic Farm.  Fresh jalapeños are a delightful, crisp addition to our meals – plus they are organic.  And it’s fun playing “Russian roulette” with them, as the heat level varies wildly with each individual pepper.  Hehe.  Here’s a really simple corn, jalapeño, and bacon side dish.  I’ve also made it with goat cheese – and if you want to add a tablespoon to this recipe, it will blend all the flavors together nicely.

bacon

Begin by sautéeing several slices of bacon in a frying pan.  Drain the excess bacon fat.

corn in pan

Add fresh raw corn.  Just slice it right off the cob and you’re good to go.  Salt and pepper to taste!

jalapeno and corn

Select your jalapeño

jalapeno corn and bacon

Slice and add to the pan.  Cover and reduce heat slightly – cook for 5-10 minutes or until corn is juicy

fish tacos

I served mine with fish tacos and more fresh, sliced jalapeños on top.  Because I can’t get enough.

So there you have it.  Hot pepper season is almost over, so get out there and enjoy the fresh jalapeños while they last!

 

A Taste of the Good Life @CarbonesCT for #TasteofHartford #TGIF

Carbone’s. What can you say? They are basically the ‘godfather’ of Italian restaurants in Hartford – and they also have a bit of a personal connection to my husband’s family – as my husbands’ grandfather was friends with one of the original owners. Also, they have REALLY, really good food.

So when hey invited me in for Taste of Hartford, I was modestly thrilled. Ok, really thrilled. Ok, absolutely delighted – and so was my husband
date night x

Cheers!  Hopefully this pic gives you a feel of the old school, classy Carbone’s vibe

But let’s back up a bit.  This was actually  my second trip to Carbone’s this week.  The first was to film a cocktail segment with the delighful Paul:

Breaking down a Black Cherry Mojito – excellent for summer

Carbone’s was kind enough to provide us with an entire comped meal, and naturally we went for their Taste of Hartford menu – three courses for a fixed price of $25!

hartford has it

Seen here hanging out with my #Hartfordhasit notebook – thanks Erin!

I am, of course, still doing my 21 day fix (currently drinking a vegan breakfast smoothie and it’s yummy) so I was happy to see very healthy menu options – Italian places can be a little nerve wracking for eating clean, but there were plenty of vegetable and protein options to choose from!

orange martini yaaaas

I did cheat a bit though.  A wee bit.  A delicious wee bit.  With a Blood Orange Martini (House made Blood Orangecello with a splash of Clementine Vodka and fresh lime)

So… yeah – there were non approved cocktail.  How can you turn down house made orangello though?  I mean, really.  It would have been wrong not to drink it….  and also, to balance it out… my salad was delighful, healthy, and crunchy:

chickpea quinoa salad

Delicious, bright citrusy accents of chickpea and quinoa on the Summer Quinoa Salad (grilled seasonal vegatables, quinoa, barley, lemon vinaigrette, toasted garbanzo beans, feta)

Michael opted for a more traditional garden salad:

garden salad

Carbone’s Garden salad (crisp greens, garnishes, red wine vinaigrette dressing)

For his main, Mike ordered the shrimp scampi:

mike w his pasta

So Italian and so handsome!  Both the pasta and the fella that is, haha (Shrimp Scampi: fresh linguini, tomatoes, capers, white wine, lemon)

Again, the #21dayfix actually worked in my favor in selecting an entree, because I chose the Veal Medallions vs. the Chicken Picatta which was calling my name.  With a veggie hash, the veal appeared to be the ‘cleanest’ entree on the menu, ingredients wise, and it was also very, very delicous

omg veal medallions

Check the brussel sprouts! (Veal Medallions: summer vegetable hash, mushroom brandy cream)

The brussels were the highlight of this dish for me (go figure).  I typically over roast my brussels to caramelize and remove the cabbagy flavor, but the Carbone’s ones were all dente AND also not overly pungent.  Well done chefs.  The rosemary added a nice punch to the veal, which was also cooked to perfection:

close up veal medallions

Hallo beauties.

I may or may have not ordered a glass of merlot (Raymond R Collection, Napa Valley).  Part of the 21 day fix?  Probably not, on top of the martini.  A full bodied, balanced pairing for the veal?  Most definitely.  It’s also wonderful to find a glass of Napa wine priced at $10 – very reasonable (the martini was also in the $10 price range, for anyone whose looking for price points).

Our server, Alex, was quite delightful, attentive, and kind enough to pose for a picture with our desserts:

smiling w desserts

Thanks Alex! Pictured left: Summer Berry Pound Cake (house made butter pound cake, mixed berries, whipped cream).  Pictured right: Cannoli Duo (traditional chocolate and vanilla filled miniature cannoli)

The cake portion of my berry pound cake was nicely soaked with fresh berry juice, and I would have loved to have eaten more then the small bite I enjoyed (again – le fix)  But Michael happily polished off his own dessert as well as the remainder of mine – so it worked out well for him I guess!  What a lovely meal.  Thanks again to the Carbone’s staff for inviting us in and comping the check – it was very much appreciated, and as any new parent knows, date nights without the little one are a precious commodity.  So it’s best to mangia buono when they do happen!

 

One more quick note – Carbones Kitchen is offering a prixe fixe also – and the special “taste” menus are available at both restaurants until August 3rd – so check them out too!

Heat got you down? Try a Painkiller @trumbullkitchen with @vintagevino for #TGIF

 

Ah, summer, summer, summer.  I’ll hate myself for saying this in January, but some days are just too hot to bear.  Unless you can get to a nice pool with a rum based cocktail to cool you down, of course.  And a little coconut certainly doesn’t hurt.

On a side note – I’ve made these several times since Brian originally demo’d the cocktail recipe for me (this is the last in a series we filmed consecutively several months ago at Trumbull Kitchen).  It’s a very simple crowd pleaser – everyone who tried it loved it – and because it’s got few ingredients and simple prep, it’s good for parties as making multiple batches won’t slow you down.

But of course, we do recommend drinking it poolside if you possibly can.

painkiller

Painkiller

3 oz rum

1.5 oz coconut cream

1 oz fresh pineapple juice

.5 oz fresh orange juice

Dry shake and pour over ice. Garnish with fresh grated nutmeg

 

 

#TGIF with @AChangeofEatery + the @CTMusicAwards

Hello friends!  Let’s start with an inspirational picture from Penelope:

rue lala

No matter what obstacles you find today – believe in yourself and you will overcome!

And, because it’s FRIDAY, let’s talk cocktails with Emily Cahill, Community Manager for Yelp in Hartford.  She is mixing up one of her own creations, which she collaborated with Onyx Moonshine to create.  Catch her, Onyx, and a whole cache of wonderful local charities at The Society Room in Hartford on Wednesday, June 18th, for Yelp Helps!

limes

Wow yourself

belmont elderflower

This was my second chance to hang with Emily this week (yay) as she also attended the 3rd annual CT Music Awards, which is our very own event produced by the one and only Chip McCabe

Chip caito photo

Photo by Nick Caito

This is a very special, red carpet, Emmy style awards ceremony which celebrates the local music scene in CT (and also, let’s face it, attracts one of the largest native crowds of hipsters to be found anywhere outside of Brooklyn).  The bands are all voted on by the local community at ctnow.com – and the full results of the poll can be viewed here.

Naturally, for a red carpet, a girl’s gotta dress.  I had lots of help thanks to one of our generous event sponsors: Blo West Hartford

before

Before

haha yaaaas

During

pretty hair

After!

angie!

Angie of 1974 was in at the same time as me to get her hair styled.  She is delightful

After my hair was properly buffed and bounced to shiny perfection, I headed over to Venom Vintage, where Dina was awaiting me with several dress options for the evening

dina brass

She also had her hair styled by Blo and it is fierce so I have to share

Dina carries several decades worth of vintage looks, and she was kind enough to loan me an enormously kick ass dress to rock on the red carpet.  Thanks Dina!

kat venom vintage

I could be on the set of Dallas in this dress.  So sparkly

I arrived early at the Bushnell to assist with some last minute set up of the swag bags – which was a less than enjoyable, frantic experience.

swag bags

Hello, 500 swag bags.  How nice to meet you

Almost anyone who works events knows that the couple of hours before things kick off are sweaty and awkward and terrifying and stressful – and then suddenly – it’s “go” time, and everything is perfect, and it’s all so very worth it

red carpet 1974

Honestly, I didn’t do very much compared to the rest of our events team, which set up among other things this red carpet and step and repeat.  Pictured: Sean Fowler photographing 1974

nick ciato and crew

Mr. Nick Caito, Emily, myself, and Carolyn Paine, who was also performing that evening!

ct music awards carolyn

That’s an action shot of Carolyn doing her hipster ballet thing with 1974 during one of the three live musical performances of the evening (Elison Jackson and Fight the Fear also took to the stage)

I was, I’ll admit, a bit disappointed that one of my local favorites, Little Ugly, didn’t take any awards home this year.  But it was nonetheless cool to yet again be part of this event and feel the energy of so many talented musicians and artists.

ct music awards

Including some behind the scenes folks like Kat Mizla, who designed all the graphics.

So rock on, Hartford.  Rock right on.

Strawberry rhubarb infused vodka lemonade with @DishBG – oh yes please! #TGIF

This is a great summer cocktail. It’s easy, it’s good, and the vodka infuses in just three days! I think when I make this at home, I’ll actually swap out vodka for Onyx Moonshine, as the flavors would soak into it so well and also, it’s a nice local spin on this cocktail.

Enjoy!

IMG_2557

Ingredients:

2 oz strawberry rhubarb infused vodka (infusion method: chop up raw strawberries and rhubarb and place in jar with the vodka for 3-5 days)

4 oz lemonade

Fresh basil

#TGIF with @Vintagevino @TrumbullKitchen prepping a classic Campari Cocktail

I’ll be honest. I was a bit (VERY) skeptical about this cocktail. I’ve been burned by moscato in the past, you see. But Brian Mitchell – aka the Beverage Director at the Max Restaurant Group – aka @vintagevino – assured me that a good, high quality moscato can be a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Naturally, he was right. This is a great ‘sangria’ trade off for that early afternoon cocktail – on a Friday perhaps? – when you want a little something, but don’t want to pony up for the hard stuff too early on. It’s light and summery and oh so easy to make. Cheers!

campari

Campari Cocktail

3.5 oz moscato
2 oz fresh orange juice
1 oz Campari
Dry shake in tin, pour over fresh ice in a highball glass