It’s the time of year when the sun warms up the city streets and things start to smell a little more like the sewer. I might be the only person who feels nostalgic for my NYC when there’s a hint of eau de trash bag-ette in the air. And the smell of cigarettes and hot boardwalk reminds me of the summers of my youth on the Jersey Shore. Fist pumping a thing of the future, we flew kites, snarfed PB&J&Sand and body-surfed with jellyfish along the shores of Avalon and Wildwood, NJ.
Now, I’m all growed up. And I prefer a bit of kick to my snack time. Today I’m sharing my favorite guacamole recipe and a new twist on an old friend: mojito.
Thirst things first! This recipe is from my favorite Italian chef, Giada De Laurentiis. I don’t care what she’s making, it(aly) always looks fun.
– 1 1/2 cups mint simple syrup (recipe follows)
– 1 cup vodka, chilled (I used Monopolowa because it’s distilled from potatoes as opposed to grain)
– 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3-ish limes)
– 1 cup club soda, chilled
– Ice and fresh mint sprigs for garnish
What to do: In a pitcher, combine the simple syrup, vodka, lime juice and club soda. Pour into ice-filled glasses and garnish with mint sprigs!
MINT SIMPLE SYRUP (for Vodka Mojito)
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 cup water
– 1 packed cup fresh mint leaves
What to do: In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar and mint leaves, over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes until sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from heat and cool for 20 minutes. Strain, pressing the mint leaves to extract syrup.
Minty! This is really easy. Even a weenie like me can do it! I love this mojito recipe because there’s none of that muddled mint getting stuck in your teeth as you try to strike up a conversation with the hot stranger at the party. You can make a big pitcher ahead – and down the hatch!
NEXT, a snack. Cilantro-philes, mount your chopping blocks.
– 4 Roma tomatoes
– 1/2 white onion
– Bunch of cilantro
– 1 Serrano pepper
– 4 avocados
– Juice of 1 lime
– Dash of extra virgin olive oil
– Salt + pepper to taste
– Trader Joe’s spicy soy and flaxseed tortilla chips (or any chips)
What to do: Dice onion, put in a big bowl with lime juice and a sprinkle of salt, to cure (Got time to leave it for an hour? Do it. Otherwise, keep going). Dice tomatoes (I remove the juicy insides), cilantro and pepper (remove seeds!). Mix with onion. Scoop out avocado (I half it, then score it with a butter knife into square-y bits), throw it in the bowl, then add a little oil and salt + pepper – til you think it rocks. A good chef tastes what she’s cooking. A lot…