Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Manners Rule #20: Equal Pours Please

Just recently I was out for drinks with a friend and noticed that the pours on our cocktails were considerably different. I ordered Bookers neat with a twist of orange; he ordered the same. Yet his pour was obviously more generous than mine. Was it an accident? Was it because I wore designer heels and dangly earrings? perhaps pegging me as a light-weight fashionista?

Regardless, I said something. A nice glass of bourbon should be consumed in more than two sips. Two sips equals one ounce. One ounce equals a weak pour. A weak pour is insulting. Especially when the person sitting next to you clearly got more.

I know I sound like a greedy Bourbon-monger complainer person. But seriously. It was uncomfortable noticeable. Anyway, the bartender did nothing when I brought it up. He thought I was joking. Enter, Rule #20.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Film Day for

Can you imagine a better way to spend a day than sipping delicious cocktails made with the best ingredients? I definitely cannot, so it was a blast to shoot drink videos during an entire day for the new ModernMom YouTube channel, which will launch in April. I made all sorts of creations for every kind of occasion. And because of the prep work involved and the multiple camera angles needed, we ran out of time and will need to shoot more!!

Thanks to a great crew and fantastic direction, I think these videos will turn out great. I can't wait for you to see them!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blog = Book = Business

This week the catalog for our book, T-Shirts, bar ware, and accessories lands on the desks of buyers across the country. This was all in the master plan, we just didn't expect the plan to be executed quite so quickly! I can't help but think back to some of the naysayers we came across a few years ago when the final draft of the book was finished. It was always unsolicited, expressed by someone who had not read a word I'd written, and as some of you may remember from my tweets after the last quote, occasionally tear-provoking.

"I just don't think women are that interested in bartending."

"If I were you, I'd consider writing a women's book about life instead. This just seems too specific."

"You should rewrite your book to be about women and alcohol. Like the history."

Luckily we didn't listen to any of that advice...we listened to you! Thanks for wearing our T-Shirts, buying our books, and just being the amazing (drinking) community that you are!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tell It Tuesdays: Vagabond World Cafe | South Park San Diego

Right in the heart of South Park, San Diego sits the fabulous Vagabond World Cafe. The bar is gorgeous, the drinks are strong, and the food is out of this world. And speaking of the world, this restaurant brings their patrons dishes from different cultures around the globe. Menu items like Asian Kung-Pao Style Calamari, Singapore Street Soup, and Pommes Frites Provencal will have you back several nights in a row without believing that you are actually in the same restaurant.

But let me back up. Before I even tasted the chicken satay with peanut sauce I had a wonderfully refreshing Basil Mint Martini. This cocktail isn't always easy to pull off but the bartender did it with ease. Which means I had two!

Vagabond World Cafe
2310 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92104

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Flea Market Cocktailing Treasures

Sunday I had my first flea market experience at the Long Beach Antique Market. I expected a cross between a giant, junky garage sale and a farmer's market but it was neither. Vender after vender offered a collection of carefully selected items for the home and garden that may have been secondhand or even eleventhhand but that were tasteful and interesting. Any object with a good story behind it makes it that much more desirable in my mind.

My sister had a mission: lamps and a small table. I was just along for the ride...or so I thought. After getting a hot cocoa and a salted pretzel, and cruising down the long aisles of random goodies, I was determined not to leave empty handed.

Not long into our visit I came across a gorgeous set of vintage Tiffany champagne glasses. Next I found a pair of crystal decanters in perfect condition. Then I discovered some fun retro bar signs, followed by a few prohibition-era flasks. The latter I couldn't pass up and plunked down a whopping $6 for a 16-ounce sterling silver hip flask.

Now that I know what to expect, I can't wait to go back. My home bar is going to be updated with a few used treasures from the past.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Easy Entertaining: Tortilla Lasagna

This easy-to-make tortilla lasagna will be a hit with your guests. It's easy to make, extremely tasty, and looks like it took a lot more effort than it actually did.

Serve with Margaritas, Mexican beer, or dry white wine.

2 pounds of ground beef, turkey, or chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can of corn, drained
3 tablespoons of chili powder
2 bottles of medium to spicy enchilada sauce
1 can chopped, roasted tomatoes
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bag shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup of chives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bag of tortillas, plain, spinach, or tomato

With a little butter or olive oil, cook the meat, onions, and spices together until the meat is cooked through. Add all the other ingredients and stir until well mixed.

Use butter or oil to coat a casserole dish and then put down a layer of tortillas. Spoon in half of your meat sauce, and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese. Please another layer or the meat mixture and repeat the cheese and tortilla steps. Cover the top of the lasagna with the remaining cheese and the chives.

Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Regular Cocktail Show in my Kitchen

Tune in every month for a mini cocktail show in my kitchen with Patch's Amanda Salem. Our next segment will feature skinny drinks for the new you in 2012! Stay tuned...and subscribe by email to get daily blog posts!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Perfect Gift for a 21 Year Old!

What better gift for the newly turned twenty-one year old than her own bartending and home mixology guide? This Girl Walks Into a Bar will complete her home bar and teach her skills that do not include opening beer bottles with her teeth and tying cherry stems with her tongue.

Chapter 12 will prepare her for a bartending job in 3 days, Chapter 13 will guide her to throwing her first (legal) cocktail party, and the entire back section of the book includes 100 drink recipes that double as flash cards. To make it even MORE special, you should order a signed, limited edition full color version of the book here which comes with free bragging rights for when she creates the world's best cocktails. 

Happy wrapping!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Your Year on a Mug

Year in Status compiles your words from twitter or facebook and somehow selects a group that represents...well, er...this is where I get confused. But it's interesting none-the-less and I suggest that you give it a whirl yourself, just for the entertainment factor alone. And the conversation starting coffee mug.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Toscana and the Perfect Negroni

Saturday night I had the privilege of tasting one of the best Negronis I've ever had. Served with a curled sliver of lemon skin and orange skin, and a flawlessly round ice cube the size of a tangerine, the flavors of this cocktail were expertly balanced to create an exemplary drink.

By its lonesome, I'd only consider using Campari to sterilize combs. But with the right blend of ingredients, Campari can be tamed and used to subtly enhance the company it shares a glass with. A traditional Negroni is made with Campari, sweet vermouth, gin, and a lemon twist. This version included a little sugar and soda which in my mind are now mandatory components.

Our bartender took such care while making my drink...I'm certain he spent five minutes putting it all together. When he set it down he said in his Italian accent, "I just love when people order this drink," and stood nearby while I tasted it to ask what I thought. I think he knew what I'd say. "It's perfect."

Toscana Restaurant - Brentwood
11633 San Vicente Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Friday, January 6, 2012

A College Student's Guide to Boozing

We just couldn't pass up posting this twist on the periodic table for the 21 and over college crowd. It won't help you study, or make you mix a better drink, but it will be entertaining, which is a lot more than I can say about the science classes I had to take. It is from the Best Colleges Online website, which is worth a visit.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This Girl's HOT PICK of the WEEK

Thanks @NotJune for the heads up on this graffiti shaker. I will be buying it for:

1. my cousin as an April Fool's gift
2. any police officer friends I make in the future
3. my mom who is a painter and wouldn't get it but I would so it would be worth it
4. my third grade teacher when I find her one day because she hated me and this would send her to an early grave
5. myself because there may sometimes be a fine line between junk and creativity but not humor. If I can have a laugh and a drink at the same time then I'm golden.

Posted by Jordan Catapano

Monday, January 2, 2012

Vegas Baby.

Well folks, I braved New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas this year. I think the last time I visited sin city was about 10 years ago for a bachelorette party. I’d forgotten what great people watching that town has to offer, and what a mix of people are drawn there. We saw sad looking folks slumped over slot machines with cigs-in-hand, suit wearing high rollers, women stuffed into tiny cocktail dresses sipping on gallon sized daiquiris, 60 year-olds dressed to the nines, infants in strollers, and one man who was at the same slot machine for 24 hours, having won $1,000...twice.

Food and drink were definitely the weekend’s highlights. We were impressed by Yellowtail at the Bellagio, Craftsteak at MGM, and discovered that the Tropicana has had an impressive face lift, and boasts an excellent breakfast buffet. Our casino gambling was limited to Black Jack and video poker, and fortunately the free drinks we were served while playing helped take the edge off our losses.

There’s a general dark quality about Las Vegas that is both intriguing and depressing. Although it was a fun trip filled with novelty, two nights there is my max. I was happy to be back in my coastal town on New Year’s Day replenishing my smoke filled lungs with ocean breezes.

Posted by Jocelyn