&#^@%, we left the wine opener in Florida.
I could have taken it as a sign. But I didn’t.
Because it was almost 10am. And I was alone in the house with a bag of plums and a $6 bottle of wine that I was surprised to discover wasn’t a screw top. The odds…
But Jason owns one of those multitool thingamajigs that has a flip-out corkscrew in it, a corkscrew which promptly broke the second that I pulled on it turning my $6 bottle of wine into an unwieldy, high class shiv.
A pair of pliers and several “mommy words” later, I poured myself a glass of wine. At 10am. I kinda earned it.
And when that first sip confirmed that 10am was far too early (even for me) for a glass of $6 wine, I simply dumped it straight into a casserole dish with beautiful red and black plums, cherries, apples and citrus zest and I called it cobbler.
I’ve had worse ideas. But few go as great with a scoop of ice cream as this one.
The best parts of sangria - sweet and ripe plums, cherries, citrus, and red wine - come together in cobbler form.
- 1 lb ripe red and black plums, sliced
- 1 cup cherries, pitted
- 1 medium apple, diced into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 medium orange, juiced and zested (1/2 tsp of zest reserved)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup red wine (I used Llano Sweet Red)
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar, divided
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (which I "made" with 1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup 1% milk)
- 2 Tbsp melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375 and arrange your racks so you can bake in the center of the oven.
- Place a 1 1/2 qt baking dish on a baking sheet.
- Put the fruit in a medium bowl with the orange juice and zest (reserving ~1/2 tsp of zest), lemon juice and zest, and sugar.
- Whisk the wine and cornstarch together and pour over the fruit, tossing to mix everything.
- Transfer the fruit mixture to the baking dish, scraping everything from the bowl.
- Whisk the flour, 2 Tbsp of sugar, baking powder, and salt in that same bowl, making a well in the dry ingredients.
- Add the egg, butter, and buttermilk (or my favorite, a yogurt-milk sub), and mix with a spoon until smooth.
- Taste for sweetness - I *really* try to skimp on the sugar where I can so if you want a sweeter biscuit topping, add another Tbsp or 2 of sugar.
- Spoon the topping over the top of the fruit, don't worry about covering everything.
- In a small bowl (or just on a dry spot on your cutting board), mash with a spoon (or just massage with your fingertips) the reserved orange zest with the remaining 1 Tbsp of sugar.
- Sprinkle the heavenly orange-scented sugar over top of the dough.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes - the top should be nicely golden and the now-thickened cobbler filling should be bubbling at the edges.
Yields: 6-8 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour
The night before a big barbecue, when I had a house to clean and a birthday cake and 4 other dishes to make, I was standing around my kitchen island with a notepad, shot glasses, and a bunch of bottles from the liquor cabinet. My to-do list for the party less than 24 hours away included a bunch of “fun” stuff like mop floors and hide laundry. Instead, I chose to focus on 2 pounds of raspberries and a bottle of Sauza.
One of my girlfriends orders her margaritas frozen, topped with a shot of Chambord. Swirled together, the tart lime and raspberry liqueur make for a very happy hour. With the abundance of fresh (and super cheap!) raspberries available, I set out to make a raspberry margarita that she would enjoy. And one that would make me forget about my to-do list
We tried versions with raspberry liqueur, those were boozy but they didn’t taste very fresh and the color wasn’t very impressive. We tried versions with fresh raspberry puree, those were prettier and fresher but still fell a little flat. Ultimately, we decided upon a very happy mixture of both raspberry puree and raspberry liqueur – plenty of raspberry flavor to pair with the tart lime drink.
I worked the recipe based on the value that made the most sense – a 6 oz clamshell of raspberries. You might find that your mileage for the raspberry puree might vary when cooking down the raspberries, but don’t worry if you’re a little heavy or maybe just a bit short. It won’t matter after you finish the first one anyway. I promise
And I finally buckled down and mopped the floor and the barbecue went off without a hitch. With two carafes of pretty red raspberry margaritas that were as big a hit as the birthday cake.
Fresh raspberries and raspberry liqueur turn an ordinary margarita into a very happy drink.
- 6 oz fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 9 oz lime juice
- 9 oz water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 oz raspberry puree
- 3 oz orange liqueur
- 6 oz raspberry liqueur
- 6 oz silver tequila
- Heat raspberries and 1/4 water over medium heat.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to break down the berries.
- Pour into a strainer set over a bowl and press the pulp and juices through the stainer, into the bowl.
- Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup water and heat until sugar is dissolved and the water is clear.
- Add puree, simple syrup, lime juice, liqueurs, and tequila in a small pitcher or carafe.
- Serve over ice.
Yields: Yields 6 servings
Estimated time: 20 minutes
Some other delicious margaritas that are sure to make you forget the 104-degree heat outside:
Mango Margaritas (My Life as a Mrs.)
Watermelon Jalapeno Margaritas (Domestic Fits)
Blackberry Thyme Margaritas (Pink Parsley)
Fresh Cherry Margaritas Annie’s Eats
Pineapple-Chile Margaritas (Apple a Day)
The only thing better than a frosty beverage is… okay, there’s nothing better than a frosty beverage. But a grown-up popsicle is darn close
Sangria popsicles. Sangria on a stick. We had such fun with the margarita popsicles that instead of drinking the pitcher of White Sangria, we poured it into small cups and froze it.
They’re cold and refreshing. And like any other popsicle, they melt quickly in 103 degree weather. So maybe sit in the shade when you eat them. Or enjoy the view of summer from an air-conditioned room instead?
If popsicles aren’t you’re thing, grab a glass. This is my favorite white sangria recipe. I add 2 cups of sparkling water just before serving.
And instead of pouring it over ice, I use frozen peach slices as ice cubes. It keeps the sangria from getting watered down. And they’re delicious after they thaw
White Sangria Popsicles
Fresh fruit-studded White Sangria popsicles are the perfect summer treat.
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 1/2 cup simple syrup
- 1/2 cup orange liqueur
- 2 lemons
- 2 cups chopped fruit (I used strawberries, green apples, peaches, and blackberries)
- Combine wine, simple syrup, and orange liqueur in a large pitcher.
- Juice 1 lemon into the pitcher.
- Slice the other lemon thinly and then halve the slices. Add to the pitcher with the remaining fruit.
- Pour into 3-ounce paper cups and freeze for ~2 hours until it starts to ice over.
- Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for another 2-3 hours until solid.
- To serve, carefully peel the paper cut away from the sangria pop starting with the seam.
- Eat immediately.
Yields: ~24 popsicles
Estimated time: 5 hours
174 bottles of wine…
We’ve started on the second, and final, phase of our kitchen expansion and remodeling project. Goodbye 1970’s bar complete with smokey mirrors. Hello huge eat-in kitchen complete with cabinet space! We’ll be back later this summer!