SWEET + SPICE = Niiiiice

The majority of people think a good party starts with something savory to eat and a great libation. We agree, but let’s face it – who can resist a plate of cookies? (Did your sweet tooth just say ‘Hello!’?) The distinctive flavor of ginger, cloves and cinnamon add character and make these tasty treats more of a grown-up cookie. You probably have all the ingredients you need already and now what you need is about 15 minutes from start-to-baking. That’s it. When was the last time you made a batch of cookies? So take a chance, break your routine tonight and surprise your family, friends or co-workers with an irresistible plate of cookies!

GINGERSNAPS

TOOLS ::  Big mixing bowl, non-stick cookie sheet, hand mixer
EXTRAS :: Small bowl of sugar
OVEN :: 375 degrees

The perfect balance of spicy + sweet ~ Gingersnaps are a classic!

INGREDIENTS ::

2 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. packed brown sugar
¾ c. cooking oil (or shortening if that’s all you have)
¼ c. molasses
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ c. sugar

HOW TO MAKE IT ::

In your mixing bowl, combine about half of the flour and the rest of the ingredients in the top list. Don’t add the ¼ c. sugar yet – that’s for later.

Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed till thoroughly combined.
Beat in remaining flour.

Cookin’ old school with my wedding gift from 20+ years ago! Now that’s a classic!Shape dough into 1-inch balls.

Roll each in sugar.

Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or till set and tops are crackled.

HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR means CHAMPAGNE

The Oscars have so much hype and publicity around them that we figured everyone was a little tired of the “Oscar pre-game”. Of course, we’ll be watching the Oscars tonight, cocktail in hand! But this year we decided to keep things simple, and what could be more classic than an elegant glass of Champagne? So before the Red Carpet shows start, here’s a little prep for you to thoroughly enjoy that lovely bottle of bubbly.

Champagne – always delicious and always makes you giggle

Champagne should be served in a long-stemmed flute or tulip shaped glass. These are designed to enhance the flow of bubbles. Interestingly, since the surface texture of crystal is rougher than ordinary glass, you’ll get more bubbles if you bring out your beautiful crystal for the occasion. Live a little! Next, make sure your bottle is chilled to perfection to fully appreciate the taste and smell of the wine. Champagne should be served between 43 to 48°F. Since that isn’t easy to measure, the best way to obtain the temp is to place your unopened bottle in an ice bucket – filled with half water, half ice – for about 20 minutes.

Now you’re all set. Sit back with your champagne and watch another year of Oscar history unfold.   Cheers from G+LaR!

HAPPY HOUR No.1 ~ GINGER PEAR GIMLET

We’ve all been in the situation where we heard someone shout out “It’s happy hour somewhere!” haven’t we? Well, here at Gidget + LaRue we love the energy and fun surrounding that burst of excitement. We’ve decided that HAPPY HOUR cocktail recipes are essential, so here’s our first one.

Since we started the week with winter citrus, we’re ending the week with a twist on the classic lime-based Gimlet :: The GINGER PEAR GIMLET. Check the recipe and swing by your favorite liquor store for the essentials. You’ll be happy you did because you’ll be stocking your bar for future Gidget + LaRue cocktail recipes.

It’s Happy Hour right HERE!   Love, G+LaR

Citrus and spice – so nice!

GINGER PEAR GIMLET

TOOLS ::  Shaker, ice
GLASS ::  Old Fashioned
EXTRAS ::  Lime wedge, crystallized ginger for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

4 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Absolut Pear Vodka
1 oz. Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
¾ oz. Trader Joe’s Pear Cinnamon Cider juice ++
1 ½ limes – fresh squeezed (save the last ½ for your garnish)

Pour all liquid ingredients into the shaker with ice. Shake it like you mean it! Strain the shaker contents into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass. Garnish with lime wedge and crystallized ginger chunk and serve.

++This cider is a nice addition but if you can’t find it, sub out a shot (+/- to taste) of Simple Syrup instead. This change-up makes a great no-ice martini version so switch up your glass and serve it neat!

THROWBACK THURSDAY – DOTTIE STYLE

Let’s get something straight about us right off the bat. At Gidget + LaRue we are committed to bringing back the classics. For our first Throwback Thursday, we thought it appropriate to launch with a treasured classic, the Onion Dip. Our version is called “Dottie’s Dip”, named after a cherished Grandma who made the best onion dip around and always served it up with Ruffles potato chips. Classic. Love Dottie. All you need now is a packet of french onion soup mix, sour cream and some chips. Have fun. TBT – G+LaR style!

 

Easy and fun, all on one platter!

DOTTIES CLASSIC ONION DIP

TOOLS ::  Your favorite chip ‘n dip bowl + small glass mixing bowl
EXTRAS :: Potato chips (we like Ruffles) and/or matchstick veggies like carrots, celery, etc.

INGREDIENTS ::
1 envelope Onion Soup mix (we go old school and use Lipton’s)
1 – 16 oz. container of Sour Cream (don’t go fat free – live a little)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
In your small bowl, mix together all ingredients
Chill until ready to serve
Transfer sauce into your fancy bowl and surround with chips or veggies

BLACKBERRY FRESCA – Fun with Vitamin C + Antioxidants!

Gotta love the citrus that’s surrounding us during these winter months, right? Everywhere you look there’s lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits. It’s a virtual powerhouse of Vitamin C at our fingertips. While these tart little wonders are great for a simple Lemondrop or a Gimlet (Gidget+LaRue’s Gimlet version coming later this week!), we decided to test drive a less-traveled citrus – the Pink Grapefruit. Grab a pink grapefruit for this ‘delish’ little cocktail and while you’re there, you’ll need some antioxidant-rich Blackberries too. Here at G+LaR we love that you can have a great cocktail and be healthy at the same time. Besides…it’s purple and we love that!

 

Grapefruits, Blackberries, Vodka + Port…oh my!

BLACKBERRY FRESCA

TOOLS ::   Shaker, ice, muddler, fine metal strainer
GLASS ::  Coupe
EXTRAS ::  Lime wedge, blackberry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

2 oz. of fresh squeezed Pink Grapefruit juice
.5 oz. of fresh squeezed Lime juice
6 fresh Blackberries
4 oz. Vodka
1.5 oz. Port Wine (we used a Zinfandel)

Pour the first 3 ingredients into the shaker with no ice. Use your muddler and smash up the blackberries to mix them into the other juices. Add some ice, then add the Vodka and Port.  Now, shake it like you mean it! Hold your metal strainer over your coupe glass and double strain the shaker contents. Garnish with one blackberry and lime wedge and serve.

FISH FRY FRIDAY

Some people are heading into the Easter season (no meat Fridays) while some of us are just so tired on a Friday night that we want something simple to munch on before dinner. In bringing back the classics, we at G+LaR are re-introducing FISH FRY FRIDAYS. We aren’t actually going to FRY anything, but there’s history to the catchphase so we went with it. Did you know that during the Prohibition era story has it that restaurants and taverns created a “Fish Fry” weekly social event as a catchy marketing concept to attract and keep customers? Interestingly, boasting a Fish Fry is said to have originated in Wisconsin where it became very popular and the Fish Fry phenomenon is still a fun time for families everywhere. Besides being a tasty meal, it creates a festive party culture and friendly ambiance where friends, family and neighbors mingle and exchange stories while sharing comfort food and drinks (see why we love this concept?!).

Here at G+LaR we keep things simple yet elegant, so our version of the Friday Fish Fry couldn’t be any easier. It all starts with a quick trip to Trader Joes. We hope you enjoy this simple hors d’oeuvre to kick start your new Fish Fry Friday tradition.

 

Delicious + easy, try this ‘appie’ any time!

TEMPURA SHRIMP AND COCKTAIL SAUCE

TOOLS ::  Your favorite platter + small glass bowl

INGREDIENTS ::
1 box Trader Joes frozen tempura shrimp (enough for 2-3 people)
6 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons of horseradish
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco sauce (adjust to taste)

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Cook the shrimp according to package directions
In your small bowl, mix together remaining ingredients
Chill until ready to serve
Transfer sauce into fancy bowl to match your platter

Enjoy!

Sugar + Champagne + Gin = Romance

At Gidget + LaRue we think there’s nothing more romantic than all things French. Champagne, the Eiffel Tower, chocolates and the perfect perfume. Oh la la! So for this Valentines Day, we’re giving you a French spin to celebrate the holiday. Get ready for the delicious French 75 cocktail, partnered with the perfect (and easy!) pastry.  The pastry is ready to serve in 5 minutes so get those in the oven and while you mix up your cocktail.

Cheers to LOVE from G+LaR!

FRENCH 75

The French 75 – Oh la la!

YOU’LL NEED :: Ice, shaker
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Maraschino cherry  + lemon wedge and garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 oz. Gin (Hendricks or Bombay Sapphire work great)
2 teaspoons of powdered sugar
Bottle of chilled Champagne

Pour the first 3 ingredients into the shaker with a little ice and shake it like you mean it! Fill your Collins glass to the top with ice. Strain shaker contents into glass. Top with your Champagne. Garnish with cherry and lemon wedge and serve. Straws recommended just because they’re so fun.

 

LOVE Cookies

TOOLS :: cookie sheet, heart shaped cookie cutter

The perfect nibble to go with your French 75!

INGREDIENTS ::
1 frozen pie crust, softened
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon

HOW TO MAKE IT ::
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together the cinnamon and sugar
Unroll dough onto a lightly floured surface
Cut hearts into the dough using a cookie cutter
Brush butter (we use a paint brush – new of course) over the hearts
Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top of each

Bake for 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned

A Treasured Classic Mocktail

We hope you all enjoyed Mardi-Gras yesterday. Was it filled with Zydeco music, jambalaya and our featured Hurricanes? Based on the many stories we’ve heard about the Hurricanes, let’s hope you didn’t have more than 2 because after that, the stories and the headaches get pretty interesting! While we haven’t found the perfect remedy for a hangover yet, we do have a classic Mocktail that will help you enjoy all the pomp and circumstance of making a cocktail tonight, without any of the lingering “effects” of having a few too many. And in true Gidget + LaRue style, this one’s a perfect balance of easy and elegant.

One of our favorites is a time-tested recipe every bartender on the planet knows to make and you’ve probably got some cherished childhood memories ordering it. Interestingly, its namesake is one of the biggest child stars in history: SHIRLEY TEMPLE. She danced, sang and smiled her polka-dot clad way right into the hearts of America in the ‘30s.

Gidget and LaRue know this might be a kid cocktail memory, but even without alcohol*, you can enjoy this thirst quenching classic any time and still look cool drinking it.

YOU’LL NEED :: Ice
GLASS :: Collins
EXTRAS :: Maraschino cherry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 1 cocktail

1 oz. Grenadine
7up or Ginger Ale soda

Pour the grenadine into the glass. Fill to the top with ice. Top with either the ginger ale or 7up. Garnish with cherry and serve!

*If you feel like revving up your Shirley Temple, we recommend adding 2 oz. of vodka before topping off with the soda. 

 

HAPPY FAT TUESDAY!

As we get February into full swing, we wanted to help you celebrate Fat Tuesday with a classic Mardi Gras cocktail – The Hurricane! The creation of this passion fruit-flavored libation is credited to New Orleans tavern owner Pat O’Brien who poured the concoction into hurricane-lamp-shaped glasses and gave it away to sailors. Here’s a taste-tested Gidget + LaRue twist on the classic. Our recipe is enough for 2 drinks because we don’t like to drink alone!

TOOLS YOU’LL NEED :: Ice, shaker
GLASS :: Hurricane shaped or large Collins
EXTRAS :: Orange slice and cherry for garnish
SERVINGS :: 2 cocktails

2 oz. Dark Rum (or Dark Spiced Rum if that’s all you have)
2 oz. Light Rum
1 oz. Galliano*
4 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
4 oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
2 good tablespoon scoops of “Hawaii’s Own” Paradise Punch frozen juice concentrate*
1 oz. lime juice
4 shakes of bitters – Fee Brothers or Angostura is great

Fill shaker with ice. Add all ingredients above. Shake it like you mean it! Strain into your ice-filled glasses, garnish and enjoy!

++ Here’s your Gidget + LaRue “make it easy” tip ++
If you don’t have Galliano in your bar, no worries. We sub-ed out a tiny dash (less than 1/8 teaspoon) of Anise Extract (from Safeway!) and it worked great. Also, the “Hawaii’s Own” juice is great, but if you’ve got Passion Fruit Nectar around (we couldn’t find it easily), use 2 oz. of that instead. I couldn’t find it and we like the frozen juice because it’s EASY!

Celebrate Fat Tuesday G+LaR style