Spanish Fashion

Spanish Fashion
  • 2 Parts Maestro Dobel Tequila
  • .5 Parts Sweet Vermouth
  • Dash bitters
  1. Pour into an iced mixing glass
  2. Shake and strain
  3. Add a Maraschino cherry garnish

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

When Jennifer Reese lost her job, she was overcome by an impulse common among the recently unemployed: to economize by doing for herself what she had previously paid for. She had never before considered making her own peanut butter and pita bread, let alone curing her own prosciutto or raising turkeys. And though it sounded logical that “doing it yourself” would cost less, she had her doubts. Reese began a series of kitchen-related experiments, taking into account the competing demands of everyday contemporary American family life as she answers some timely questions: When is homemade better? Cheaper? Are backyard eggs a more ethical choice than store-bought? Will grinding and stuffing your own sausage ruin your week? Is it possible to make an edible maraschino cherry? Some of Reese’s discoveries will surprise you: Although you should make your hot dog buns, guacamole, and yogurt, you should probably buy your hamburger buns, potato chips, and rice pudding. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

Make the Bread, Buy the Butter has 120 recipes with “make it” or “buy it” recommendations. I love this book. I can honestly say that I haven’t ever seen anything like it. The recipes are fairly easy and if they do require something you wouldn’t normally have in your kitchen, the book tells you exactly where to get it! I love that they do a cost comparison too, so you can see your savings if you do make it at home. Sometimes it is just pennies, but other times we are talking a lot of money! My husband loved that they even have a sauerkraut recipe (and yes, you should make that at home!)

If you want to save money in your kitchen, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter is a must have book. There is a lot of humor with fairly easy instructions. Plus, you can figure out how to save money on some of your favorite things (homemade chocolate pudding here I come!)

Best Bourbon Cocktails

As any good Kentucky girl should, I have always appreciated a good bourbon.  Perhaps even more so, I appreciate a good cocktail made with bourbon.  Bourbon has such a distinct and strong flavor that it is sometimes difficult to stir in mixers that enhance, rather than cover or utterly destroy the lusty bouquet of bourbon.  In my experimental days in college, I mixed a few bourbon drinks that resulted in something comparable to turpentine, which is decidedly not a refreshing or inviting flavor.  There are a few bourbon cocktails, however, that really hit the mark.

The Old Fashioned, mixed and beloved since the 1880s, is a concoction of bourbon, sugar, and bitters, and if mixed correctly, comes out tasting warm and wonderful.  The mixture calls specifically for two ounces of whiskey, one lump of sugar (or a teaspoon of simple syrup), and two dashes of bitters.  If you use a lump of sugar, mull it in the glass with the bitters.  Then stir in the whiskey, add a few cubes of ice, and enjoy.  You may also choose to add a maraschino cherry and/or a little orange zest.  You can simply drop in the cherry, or mull a few with the bitters and sugar before adding the bourbon.  The resulting cocktail will leave you more than satisfied.  Others have loved it so much they named the glass it’s served in after it!

A Haymaker should be saved for a celebratory occasion, as it is sure to leave you in good spirits.  This drink is sweet and a little tart, but definitely packs a punch.  You will need an ounce of bourbon, an ounce of triple sec, an ounce of dry vermouth, and an ounce of sweetened lime juice.  Add all these ingredients, plus ice, to an Old Fashioned glass, stir, and love it.

Though there are several different accounts of the exact origin of the Manhattan, we do know that the drink was first served and named in Manhattan in New York City, and that it is absolutely delicious.  Begin with two ounces of bourbon and half an ounce of sweet vermouth.  Add two or three dashes of bitters and a few cubes of ice.  You may choose to shake or stir, at this point, depending on your taste and opinion of James Bond, and then strain into a martini glass.  Top with a maraschino cherry, and feel fancy.

A Bourbon Sour has been a wonderfully comforting stand-by drink for years.  You’d be hard-pressed to find a bar that doesn’t have all the accoutrements necessary to create this outstanding cocktail.  First, pour two ounces of bourbon into a shaker with ice.  Add an ounce of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of superfine sugar, and shake well.  Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and add a maraschino cherry and a slice of orange.  This tart drink is delightful for all seasons and occasions.

If you’re a lover of good whiskey, you will also love these cocktails.  They all deliver the flavor of bourbon, perfectly complemented in different ways.  Try them all and find your favorite!

This article is contributed by Stephanie Parker, a preschool teacher and freelance writer based in Kentucky.  Stephanie is also mother to one wonderful dog.  Stephanie loves being a food critic, and regularly contributes cooking articles, such as cooking recipies for alligator meat.