Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thanks for an Empty Bowl: Grateful Kitchen Thoughts

Because Chef Reiton and I are apart so much, we tend to do that "foodie" thing where we take a picture of our food and text it to the other to show what we are eating.  Sometimes we also take a picture of the "after."

This was last night's "after." It was a salad (with avocado, Cousin Jeff.  That's "what the hell" that green stuff is.):

Before I went to bed, I texted Captain Reiton "good night."  He was somewhere in the air above me, flying a rather delayed flight to Chicago.  As I scrolled back through our typed-up conversation for the day, I looked again at the picture above, and suddenly the following thought came blasting through my brain:

"Thank you, God, that I can take pictures of an empty bowl."

Because it wasn't simply empty.  It was emptied.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Brickhouse Pizza Pub — Fort Atkinson, WI — A Restaurant Recommendation

She's a beauty, isn't she?

Like every other good American would probably say, pizza is one of those five foods that if I was stuck on a deserted island and I had to pick one food that I would have to eat for the rest of my life, pizza would probably be it (besides chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream).  I could eat pizza every day, I think.  What you served on it wouldn't matter hugely to me, although I am definitely more of a traditionalist with my toppings.  You can hold the pineapple and the taco meat, thank you.

What I am particular about is the crust.  I grew up in a town full of amazing pizzerias run by Greek and Italian families.  Their pizza dough was like their bread: yeasty in aroma and flavor, with a crispy exterior, and a bubbly, chewy interior.  Good mandible strength was required when tucking into one of their giant pizza slices.  

When I moved to Chicago at the age of 17, everyone declared that I was moving to the best pizza in the world.  And while I would eventually agree that it was quite good, I missed—no, make that craved—the pizza from home.  There is only so much cheese that one person can eat in a sitting before things start acting a little scary, and who the hell cuts their pizza into squares, anyway? I mean, really.  And the dough? It just didn't even compare.  It was either too bread-y or too cracker-like.  Nope.  My Italian boys were missed.

Almost twenty years later I moved to Wisconsin, famous for its cheese curds and frozen custard.  Unfortunately, it looked like I would have to carry on with my pizza fantasies for another few years.  Pizza was nowhere near being a Wisconsin delicacy.

And then along came Brickhouse.

I was one of the original staff that opened this little restaurant in what became my new hometown.  On the day I interviewed to waitress, I sat across from two men, father and son, and admitted that I had never worked in the food industry in my life but that I loved people and I loved food and I would be the hardest worker they had.  They gave me the job, and I prayed that I would like the food.  Little did I know that their food standards would exceed even my own.

The day before opening all the waitstaff came to the restaurant for a tasting so that we would know some of the foods we would be promoting.  It was then that I learned that everything—the pizza dough, the sauces, the soups, the salsa, the bread, the nacho chips, the croutons—everything was homemade.  The only non-condiment item we didn't make were the desserts and the pasta.  The burgers were shaped by hand, the steaks hand-cut.  I walked into the kitchen and saw a tray full of roasted chickens being pulled out of the oven and soup stock simmering on the stove in a giant pot.  This was a restaurant I was going to be proud to work in.

First I tested the chips and salsa.  Delish.  Crispity chips with layers that shattered when you bit, and salsa that was nicely spicy and lime-y and fresh.

The soup was straight out of grandma's kitchen.  Full of flavor and stuff.  No thin, brothy stock here.

And the pizza?

The pizza.

The pizza...

That pizza that I had been dreaming of for the past twenty years? Right.  There.  The crispy-chewy crust.  The fresh tomato-y sauce.  The perfect amount of melty cheese.  Dear Lord, and I was going to work here!

That was four years ago.  I no longer work at Brickhouse, or "BH" as we affectionately call it in our house, but you can bet that when any of us talk about going out for dinner, it is an unspoken understanding that there is only one place we mean.  

Those two men who were my bosses? They are no longer my bosses.  They are my family.  

And that pizza? That pizza... (Scroll back up there and look at it!)

It's still my favorite pizza anywhere.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fungi Flashbacks: Uncle Fred's Sautéed Mushrooms

My schnozz did it to me again this morning.

I was frying up some baby bellas and yellow onion in butter for a couple of omelettes.

I got a little distracted by the bacon sticking to the cast iron skillet and mometarily forgot about the 'shrooms, when suddenly—

I am standing in Uncle Fred's kitchen.  I am six or seven years old, and my cousins and sisters and I have just run numerous laps around the house in a game of tag.  Uncle Fred, dressed in an apron with a spatula in hand, is hovering over the kitchen stove.  On the counter beside him is a stack of Dixie cups, and in his skillet are sliced mushrooms, sautéing slowly in melted butter.  The kitchen is warm and smells of sweet earth and salt.  When the mushrooms are a glorious golden brown, he scoops a spoonful into a Dixie cup and hands it to the next child in line: a kid-friendly finger food for his kids on the go.

Ahhhhh.  My nose.  My dear U.F.  My memories.

Thank you, dear God, for all three.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Anatomy of a Patty Melt—and Its Recipe

It hit hard.

Really hard.

It started so innocently.  I was putzing around the kitchen, doing this, doing that, when I opened up the fridge and saw a package of raw hamburger sitting there, staring at me—hamburger meant for, well, hamburgers.  I closed the fridge door, and suddenly I saw in my mind's eye:

A patty melt... Ohhhhhh, a patty melt!!!

I desperately tried to shake the image from my mind.  Your guts don't like grain, I told myself.  Just—eat the meat.


I went for a run.

The craving followed.

You don't really have anything else in the fridge to cook, anyway, my craving reminded me.

Oh, good grief.

And I caved.

To assuage my guilt, I hereby give you the four components that make up the patty melt of my dreams.  Now you, too, can taste and see...

You will need:
  • raw hamburger (however much poundage you want to eat is up to you)
  • 2 slices of melty cheese (I love Muenster)
  • 2 soft, thick slices of white bread
  • lots of butter
The only other requirements? A skillet, a metal spatula, a small piece of parchment, and ketchup, for serving.

Heat that skillet over medium heat until it is hot but not blazing. While it is heating, shape your hamburger into a large rectangle that is the shape of your bread but slightly larger (meat shrinks as it cooks, and you want the cooked patty to be the size of your bread).  Salt and pepper both sides of the patty, then cook it in the skillet until brown and crusty on both sides.  (I did about 1/3 lb., and mine took about 4 minutes per side.  Keep an eye on yours.  Different amounts of meat and different stoves make for different cooking times.)

Remove the patty from the skillet and drain it on a paper towel-lined plate.  Pour off the meat fat, wipe out (scrub, if necessary) the skillet, then reheat it on the stove until hot.  Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet and push it around to thoroughly and heavily coat the bottom of the skillet, focusing on the center where the bread will be placed. You want a good pool of butter for that bread to fry in.

Add a slice of bread to the skillet, sopping up the melted butter with the bread before placing it in the center of the skillet.  Lay one slice of cheese on top of the bread, then top the cheese with the beef patty.  Give the sandwich about 2 minutes to brown, then, using a metal spatula, start peeking under the bottom slice of bread periodically.  You want a nice golden crust to your sandwich, not a burnt one (and all that butter can burn quickly, if you aren't careful).

Once your bottom crust is golden, momentarily remove the half-sandwich from the skillet with the spatula and add another tablespoon of butter to the skillet.  Do the same swirling technique as before, then place your second piece of bread in the butter pool, sopping as before.  Lay down your second slice of cheese, then carefully flip the first half of the sandwich on top.

Lay the piece of parchment over the top crusty piece of bread and press down HARD with the metal spatula.  Do this frequently for a few minutes, smashing the whole pile down and making the melty cheese glue all the sandwich parts together into a deliciously compressed mess.

When the bottom crust is browned how you like it, cut the patty melt in half diagonally and plate it.  Squirt a crap-ton of ketchup onto your plate, and get ready to dip and bite away.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Blue Moon Restaurant — Lake Mills, WI — A Restaurant Recommendation

I cannot believe how quickly the summer is flying by.  We are almost to the middle of August, and for the teachers of Wisconsin, that means school is starting in a couple of weeks.  It's kind-of odd for me not to be returning to school at the end of the summer.  It's all I've known for almost 15 years.  Life is calling elsewhere, however; not just career-wise but location-wise, and so last night I got together with one of my best friends and former library aide, Judene, to get ready to say good-bye (but not yet, we are determined.  NOT YET.)

We decided to meet in a town that is about halfway between our two homes in a little town called Lake Mills.  It's an idyllic, American small town: beautiful, old homes line the main streets.  The downtown is quaint and surrounds a central park.  It's a place that I should have visited more often, but, typical of me, I never "found time" to.

Anyway, Judene just found out she is neighbors with the owner of a restaurant there, and since the establishment was already one of Judene's favorite date destinations, we decided to meet there for our girls' night.  The restaurant is called Blue Moon, and Judene described it as it having a very "NOLA" vibe.

New Orleans?!? I was in.

I got to the restaurant first, and, thanks to a rather stressful day, happily hit up the Happy Hour special: a dollar off all tap beers.  I sat at the bar and drank my Blue Moon and took a good look around.  The first thing I noticed was the great music: some seriously classic, old time-y blues. Definitely NOLA vibes. The decor? Deep dark blue walls lined with artwork of all kinds referencing blues or jazz music, New Orleans, or—you guessed it: moons. Stained glass windows hung in the storefront.  A silver pressed tin ceiling finished off the look.  I liked it.

At that moment Judene showed up.  Our evening got rolling, and I have to say: it was delightful.

What made Blue Moon stand out for me was the staff.  The creole was tasty (I did not try their famous pizza) and the atmosphere chill, but the staff are what make me wish I had found Blue Moon a long time ago.  By the time I walked out the door, I felt like I had just been let into a little family.  I know that all waitresses are not created equal, but our waitress, Liz, was genuine, kind, and conscientious.  When Judene, who has celiac, ordered a dish that she believed to be gluten-free, Liz came back a few minutes later to tell Judene that she had checked, just to be sure, and it wasn't.  What waitress does that? Obviously, one who cares.

The chef periodically came out from the kitchen and checked on every single table after their meal was served to make sure that everyone was happy.  We had no complaints, but even if we had, I'm sure we would have had that plate whisked off the table and re-served to our liking with his big, booming laugh to accompany it.

The owner, Sherrie, was there last night, too, and she talked to us for a bit after our meal.  What a darling woman! Another authentic, caring human being whose smile adds the final warming touch to a most decidedly happy place.

If you live in or near Lake Mills, I would definitely recommend giving this little place a visit.  I don't believe you will be disappointed.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Learning to Salt a Margarita Rim: A How-To Video

Being that it is summer, I've been drinking my fair share of margaritas.

A margarita on crushed ice with a lightly salted rim

We even had a margarita taste test on vacation to determine the group's favorite recipe.  In the midst of doing such research, I came across instructions for salting the rim of your margarita glass.  This is what I read: "Fill a pie plate with 1/4-in. of kosher salt..."

A quarter inch??? In a PIE PLATE??? Gee-zoo-weez! How many margaritas are they planning on you making? Enough for the whole freakin' neighborhood? I don't care if it is "just salt."  Waste not, want not, my friend.  (Not to mention how a quarter-inch rim of salt on your glass would taste... Echhhhhh!)

To prevent future heart attacks and to show you how to efficiently salt your margarita glasses, I made—you guessed it! Another cheesy video! Woohoo! Here you go: How the Hell Do I EFFICIENTLY Salt a Rim?

Here's to saving the salt mines!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Mil-ee-wau-KAY: CAF is on the Move!

It's becoming increasingly hard to believe, but within a matter of weeks, we will no longer be residents of the great state of Wisconsin but instead be Beantowners.

While this is a transition that I have been looking forward to for a long time, there are many parts of this move that make me really sad, one of them being: we're losing Milwaukee.

If you have never visited the city of Milwaukee (we can't say that word in this house without referencing Alice Cooper in Wayne's World through the pronunciation), you are seriously missing out.  It is a fantastic little city: beautiful architecture, great walkability, AMAZING art museum, wonderful restaurants, and the best ballpark I have ever been to (yes, better than Wrigley).

To say good-bye properly, Derrick and I surprised Michael with a trip downtown this weekend.  First stop was The Safe House, a super fun restaurant whose spy theme begins with the restaurant signage itself being code named and concludes with a "spy mission" scavenger hunt throughout the entire establishment while you are waiting for your meal.  Here's Derrick reading our list of clues:

The Safehouse in Milwaukee, WI

After eating a tasty lunch, we did a bit of wandering downtown:


Then if was off to the main event:

The highlight of the evening?

Michael caught a game ball hit by Shane Peterson! What a way to end our last home game ever!

We decided to top off the night with one last Milwaukee tradition: Leon's Frozen Custard, easily the best ice cream you will ever eat:

Leon's Frozen Custard of Milwaukee, WI

Despite the fact that I kept getting choked up at the thought of what was coming in the next few weeks, that day could not have been more fun.  

Mil-ee-wau-KAY, you have never let us down.  We will be back, old friend.  Just you wait and see.

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Mel-on a Good Time!: A Kitchen Gadget Video Demonstration

Chef Reiton spoils me rotten.  Like, really.

He just got home two hours ago and handed me a bottle of Johnny Walker Bluuuuuuuuuuuue. 

- - - - - - - - - - -


We see RACHAEL standing with a group of friends who all stare at RACHAEL in disbelief as she pulls a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue out of her liquor cabinet.  RACHAEL looks sheepish as she begins to pour drinks. 

                                                     (almost whining)
All I said was that I was really getting into whiskies... 

- - - - - - - - - - -

So.  Anyone want to come over?

Because then we can pull out the previous gift he gave me, too!

Any takers?

Oh, wait... Gotta run! Someone's at the door!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

A Pimm's Strawberry Shrub: Two Worlds Collided

I've recently discovered the delight of a shrub.  Not the bushy kind.  Oh, no.  No, the alcoholic kind.

Once again, my educator has been Bon Appétit with their rather practical article for the dog days of summer.  I was drawn to the shrub recipe because I had a pound of organic strawberries dangerously close to moving from glorious to gross, so before you could say "shrub, spritzes, and swizzles" ten times fast, I had this going on the stove:

Simmering strawberries for a strawberry shrub.

A little bit of water, a little bit of sugar, and that pound of strawberries simmering away.  It wasn't 15 minutes later that I had this:

Strawberry shrub before straining

Can't you just smell it? Oh, if you have never cooked strawberries, you must.  They smell fake, they smell so good.  (I tried grilling them the other night.  Chopped them up and put them on vanilla gelato.... Not bad. Smoky strawberries are quite interesting!)

These berries were cooled, strained, and then mixed with a bit of vinegar.  The result? A shrub, a.k.a. an elixir to be blended into an intoxicating beverage.

Strawberry shrub

The first concoction I made with my shrub was a blend of the shrub (duh), citron vodka, and club soda.  Refreshing.  Dangerously so.  And just so damn pretty.

Last night I decided to play, and so I muddled a slice of lemon with an ounce of shrub in the bottom of a glass, added an ounce of Pimm's, threw in some ice cubes, then topped it with about 4 oz. of club soda (you could do more or less, depending on how strong you want your drink) and stirred until well chilled.  The result?

A Pimm's Shrub

A Pimm's Shrub, at your service.  Tastes like bubbly flavored tea.

(Now I've got "Two Worlds Collide" by INXS playing in my head...)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Story of My (Kitchen) Life: Thoughts on Dinner and the Making of a Family

The other night as I was preparing dinner, I started thumbing through my worn, warped copy of Well Fed and rereading Melissa's introduction to the cookbook for the umpteenth time.  Melissa tells the story of her childhood and what it was like living with a father who was a cook in a Pennsylvania resort town  (yeah!) and a mother who won recipe contests. Her story started me thinking: a lot of well-known cooks whose books I have read have had very similar backgrounds.  They all seem to have grown up in a family of cooks or a have had a grandma who mentored them in the kitchen as a child, blah blah blah.

I reflected rather ashamedly: I don't have that.  The only time I saw my dad cook was to heat up a TV dinner when my mom was in the hospital having my brother.  My mother cooked, but as for teaching me any specific techniques or recipes, there was none of that.  We didn't come from any particular heritage that felt an urgency to pass down some lauded family recipes (although I wish I did).  

I do remember the smells of my mother's cooking.  I remember the blur of her moving about the kitchen at a rate that would prompt my dad to say, "Slow down, Jane!" (a trait which I have totally inherited, gratefully). And then there was always the miracle of watching her take leftovers from the fridge and turning them into a casserole or a stir-fry or a dessert that was truly delicious.  

Which then made me reflect on this: frugality was always turned on its head in our house, not just by the food, but by the finesse in which it was served.  Dinner was delivered to the family--all of us-- every night.  We ate around the dining room table without fail, and I mean without fail.  There were placemats or a tablecloth on that table, as well as lighted candlesticks in the fall and winter months.  The table was fully set, no matter what the main course or sides, and set according to proper dining etiquette (which my father taught us as soon as we could carry plates to the table).  Bach or Beethoven was usually playing in the background.  Dinner was served from bowls and platters, never directly from a pot, and there was dessert.  Always a dessert.  

Dinnertime was a social event for us, an event that my father thanked my mother for every night.  He probably didn't know it, but hearing those words every night instilled in me the understanding that the time and energy and love my mother put into that meal were an important piece of what made us a family.  My mother's unfailing contribution to crafting and molding that event, night after night, was not just noble.  It was necessary.  Without it, we would not be who we were.

The same night that I was mulling over Melissa's introduction, I took this shot after Chef Reiton and I had finished dinner:

In the moment, I didn't know why I took it.  I just suddenly had the urge to take a picture of the story of our dinner, so I hopped up onto a stool and shot it with my phone.

Studying this picture now, now I see what was in my heart when I took it.

I didn't grow up in a family of super knowledgeable cooks.  I never had my grandma instruct me in ways of food preparation.  I've been (and still am) intimidated like nothing else in certain things regarding the kitchen.  I get it when people tell me, "I don't cook."  They are terrified to mess up.  They are terrified  because when it comes to making a meal for another, it's your soul you are serving on that platter.  

This shot of our table, it's a picture of my soul and a picture of Derrick's soul.  It is an image of what we pour out for the other, just like my mother used to do for us.  It shows love and sacrifice and failure (the burnt-to-a-crisp scallions?) and acceptance (he ate them still).  It displays the culminating event made from all four of those factors.  It shows Family.

And this is why I write this blog.  I know that what I have with my family is special, but I also believe, and believe with all my heart, that what I have is absolutely attainable and absolutely vital to the health of any family.  I know there are reasons why many families don't do what we do; and some of those reasons can't be overcome.  

But most of them can.  Reasons like--well, let's be honest: laziness.  Fear of failure.  Misuse of time.  Lack of knowledge.  Lack of experience.  We've all been there.  But they are all obstacles that can be overcome.  (If you try to tell me money, I am going to disagree.  I know that I spend far less on my grocery bill every week buying just fresh fruits and veggies and meat and milk than those who load their carts with soda and snacks and boxes and boxes of processed foods).

Think of it this way.  Learning to cook is like learning to ride a bike: you want to learn because you want to get somewhere, but you are going to fall over and over and over again until you start learning the mechanics of the ride as well as how it feels.  When those risks are taken, and failure accepted as par for the course, things start to click.  Then it's "Watch out world!" There is nothing to stop you, and the rewards are never ending.  All it takes is the determination and that first push.

So, consider this your big push...

(Don't worry. I'll be here to help and encourage you along the way.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Learning to Pour a Wine Float: A How-To Video

Hee, hee! I have to say, I'm having fun doing this! Here is video #2 in the How the Hell Do I...? video series by Creating A Foodie: How the Hell Do I Pour a Wine Float?

Enjoy! And let me know if you have any questions!

Monday, August 3, 2015

The New York Sour: The Cocktail Recipe of Your Dreams

My apologies to those of you who were waiting with baited breath for this New York Sour post last night.  In the middle of our dinner prep, we were hit with a power outage that lasted for a good five hours.  While I could have posted from my phone or iPad, I am not the type of blogger who likes to write using her thumbs, so instead I spent the evening with my neighbors on their back porch before making my way to bed when it got dark, candlestick in hand.  There was something absolutely delightful about it all, really.  There was nothing to do but be.  (Why do we need a power outage to remind us of how great that is?)

Anyway.  On to the New York Sour...

There are few cocktails that do it for me like the NYS.  It has a bit of everything: a sweetness on the lips, a gentle tartness on the tongue, then a slow, warm burn down the throat.  It is a cocktail that has never disappointed any guest I have served it to--and I've served it to guests with very dissimilar drinking habits.

Not only that, but it is one sexy drink.  I mean, LOOK at her!

A New York Sour, the greatest cocktail known to man

Yow-zaaaah! How do you say 'no' to that???

I first read of this cocktail in Bon Appétit's April 2013 issue.  BA suggests different whiskies and wines when making it.  All variations are delicious, but I'm going to share my own newly crafted recipe here with the hopes that in trying it, you will find a cocktail love you can't let go of...

The ingredients and amounts are super simple to remember.  And no special tools are needed--just a cocktail shaker, a double old-fashioned glass, and a standard silverware tablespoon.  Remember, 2-1-1.

The Sour Ingredients:
  • 2 oz. rye whiskey (I use Sazerac)
  • 1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice from 1 juicy lemon (do NOT use bottled juice)
  • 1 oz. brown sugar simple syrup** (see my super secret recipe below)
The Float:
  • 1/2 - 1 oz. of malbec wine
Place one giant cube of ice or 4-5 regular ice cubes in a double old-fashioned glass.  Pour the sour ingredients into the cocktail shaker.  Fill the shaker with ice, cover, then shake vigorously for 30 seconds.  The shaker should be frosty cold and your bicep bulging when you are done counting and shaking.  Strain the sour mixture into the glass over the ice.  Now, take the tablespoon and turn it upside down so that you are staring at the bottom of the spoon.  Place the tip of the spoon bowl onto the ice and rest the handle of the spoon on the edge of the glass.  Very slowly pour the wine over the back of the spoon, allowing it to flow gently down over the hump of the bowl and onto the ice.  You will see the wine slowly spread itself out in a layer over the top of the sour.  (God, don't you love the science of cocktail making? Beautiful! Just wait and see!)

BA also recommends using bourbon to make a NYS, as well as a shiraz for the float.  Both options are very, very good, so if these are the ingredients you have on hand, by all means, use them.  I just like rye and malbec the best.

Now, as promised, here is how I make the brown sugar simple syrup, the quick and easy way:

**For 1 oz. of simple syrup:
Mix 2 tablespoon of brown sugar and 2 tablespoon of water in a small dish.  Microwave on high for 15 seconds.  Remove from the microwave and stir until the sugar has dissolved completely and there is no sediment on the bottom.  Let the mixture cool to room temperature before using (to avoid melting your shaker ice too much and over diluting your cocktail).  It should be clear if all the sugar has completely dissolved.

There you have it: the recipe for one of the best frickin' cocktails you will ever make.  The only other thing I can think to give you is a demonstration on how to do the float.


Get ready for Video #2 of the How the Hell Do I??? series!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Thing of Beauty: The Aperol Spritzer and Her Recipe

Can you believe it? It is now the dog days of summer.  How did that happen?

Maybe, for myself, because I've drunk too many of these...

Is she not a thing of beauty? Every time I make myself one of these--an Aperol spritzer, to be exact--  I want to whisper those words.  Like, in that dramatic movie whisper, with a vague accent that isn't quite British but isn't anything else, either, and has that creepy lustful quality to it that you sympathize with but don't want to admit...

And don't you love the glass? Vintage.  Sigh.  And super thin and light.  Got a set for fifty cents for each glass at a Lutheran resale shop.  (Great glassware is my fetish, I admit it.)  Did I just go off on a tangent?

For those of you who don't know what Aperol is, here's a pic:

She is a liqueur that is quite bitter.  But she's pretty, don't you think? You can drink her straight in small quantities as a "before dinner" drink, but I generally mix her with other ingredients.

Anyway, there are a variety of Aperol spritzer recipes out there, but I prefer drier to sweeter and stronger to weaker, so this is what I do.  And, no, Barefoot did not pay me to write this:

For 1 serving:

  • 1 oz. Aperol
  • 4 oz. Barefoot Bubbly brut cuvee champagne (if you like sweeter, try their muscato spumante, instead, which is equally as delicious and will make you just as happy) or try an Italian prosecco
Pour both ingredients into a small glass, top with ice, and stir gently for about 30 seconds.

I like Barefoot wines for recipes like this because they are inexpensive and good.  I also use their merlot for an evening of New York Sours.  For $8 I can get my friends wonderfully happy very quickly and inexpensively.  And make a delicious drink.  

What? You've never had a New York Sour? Well.  Check back tomorrow.  And be ready to have your socks knocked off.

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