Hello again, Bloody Mary lovers! I hope your summer is going gangbusters. If not, you’re in exactly the right place, because what I have to share with you today is going to completely turn that around. If it is, hold onto your garters; it’s about to get even better.
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Better stock up on vodka. It’s shaping up to be a busy month!
Family Fun Month – (I know booze makes MY family seem more fun)
Romance Awareness Month – (refer to page 40 in my book, but get the children out of the room first)
National Picnic Month – (page 150 has that all handled for you)
Week 1: National Simplify your Life Week – go garnish-free!
Week 2: National Smile Week – don’t run out of liquor.
Week 3: Friendship Week – meet a friend for happy hour.
Week 4: Be Kind to Humankind Week – share a favorite Bloody Mary recipe with someone in need. Let me know if you need inspiration.
August 2014 Daily Holidays
2 National Mustard Day – in a Bloody Mary? Why not? See page 184 in my book.
3 Friendship Day
3 Sisters Day – a good reason to drink, for sure…
8 Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day – makes a perky garnish, or grill some and blend it into your tomato juice mixture.
9 Book Lover’s Day – preferably mine. Hey, mama’s gotta eat.
12 Middle Child’s Day
13 Left Hander’s Day
15 Relaxation Day –
21 Senior Citizen’s Day
25 Kiss and Make Up Day
26 Women’s Equality Day
27 Just Because Day
29 More Herbs, Less Salt Day – try muddling basil leaves and cherry tomatoes in a shaker, then add a couple ounces of cucumber-infused vodka and your spices. Heaven!
I’ll be making a pilgrimage to the St. Regis Hotel to sample the original American Bloody Mary, August 1-5
BLOODY MARY OF THE MONTH – MAMA’S LI’L HELPER
If you’re anything like me, you love a good Bloody Mary. You’d drink them all day long, if you could. But pesky things like jobs, family, and other obligations keep getting in the way. What if I told you that there’s a way to keep the goodness going without abandoning your wholesome life choices?
This month, rather than highlight one extra-special Bloody Mary, I present to you 5 recipes featuring Bloody Mary mix that you can whip up in minutes. They’ll help ease you through the hours from one morning eye-opener to the next. DIY, made-to-order mix is wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes premade, bottled Bloody Mary mix is truly mama’s li’l helper in the kitchen.
Bloody Mary Dip
Combine 1/2 cup Bloody Mary mix with 1/3 cup mayonnaise, a package of softened cream cheese and a handful of chives. Serve with celery sticks.
Bloody Mary Gazpacho
Blend Bloody Mary mix with a little olive oil and a handful of celery, peppers, and a little garlic. Serve chilled.
Bloody Mary Salad
Whisk a little Bloody Mary mix with olive oil to make a quick salad dressing. Toss it with some chopped celery, cucumber, bell peppers and red onion. Mix in some chopped green olives or crumbled blue cheese.
Put together skewers of mushrooms, peppers, onions, and your choice of meat, then marinate in Bloody Mary mix before grilling. Grill and serve with warmed tortillas.
Bloody Mary Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne
1 can tomato paste
½ cup Blue Collar vodka
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp Frank’s Red Hot (or whatever hot sauce you have on hand)
1 Tbsp Demitri’s Bloody Mary Seasoning (I used the Classic Recipe flavor, but it also comes in Extra Horseradish, Chilies & Peppers, and Chipotle-Habanero! Go nuts!)
8 oz or 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups powdered sugar
8 oz or 2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tsp celery salt
1 Tbsp creamy horseradish
3 Tbsp Blue Collar vodka
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cayenne
Bacon bits or other fancy toppings
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease up a muffin tin, or get out some little fancy paper cupcake liners.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper into a regular-sized bowl, and set that aside. In a different bowl, combine the tomato paste, vodka, lemon juice, hot sauce and Demitri’s. Set that bowl aside too. Now get out the biggest bowl you got; you’ll see why in a minute. Using your electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, about 5 minutes. Add 1 egg at a time, and keep on beating while you do. Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed and dribble in what’s in the first 2 bowls, alternating between the two, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Now that everything’s in the same big bowl, mix it up good, but stop as soon as it’s just combined.
Fill each of the cupcake liners or muffin tins three-quarters full with batter and bake until a toothpick comes out clean; 15 to 18 minutes, give or take. If you have little ones around, they’re gonna want to lick the beaters, but you tell ‘em they’re just for grownups this time.
Now, here’s how you do the frosting. Cream the butter and celery salt together for about a minute. Then add the powdered sugar and vodka, alternating between the two. Beat until it’s nice and creamy. Add the lemon juice, horseradish, vanilla and cayenne pepper, and beat it some more. Then turn your mixer up to high until the frosting looks light and fluffy, 5 or 6 minutes.
Wait until the cupcakes are nice and cool before you frost them. I like to pass the time out on the porch with my beaters (if you’re lucky, now you’ve got 4 to lick!) and a Blue Collar vodka tonic. Speaking of frosting, you can use one of them icing bags with the little funnel on the end, if you go in for that sort of thing, or use a butter knife like I did. After that, sprinkle a few bacon bits or a little black pepper on top for decoration. Makes anywhere from 12-15 cupcakes.
Of course, if you prefer to simply drink your Bloody Marys (and who could blame you!), save extra mix by pouring it into ice cube trays and freezing. Then you can do one of two things. 1) Use the Bloody Mary ice cubes in place of the regular kind, so your drinks don’t get watered down; or 2) Fill a glass with the Bloody Mary ice cubes and just pour vodka over the top. That’s called an Inside Out Bloody Mary, and is quite the conversation-starter!
FOR SALE: Bloody Mary books make great gifts, and they help solve the problem of what to do with all the tomatoes popping up in your garden right now. Get one here.
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