Tag Archives: blood oranges

blood orange whiskey cocktails + taking stock | 02

Earlier this week, I popped over to the Victoria Vitale’s lovely blog, Scissors & Sage, to share a blood orange whiskey cocktail recipe I developed. When she asked if I’d guest-post on her lifestyle blog, I couldn’t resist. She posts weekly DIY tutorials, crafting projects, recipes, and design ideas. It’s pretty much a one-stop for all things pretty, fun, and crafty. I was happy and honored to grace her pages!

As you well know, I have kept a bowlful of blood oranges at the ready, over the past few weeks. So, I have obviously also kept my cocktail glasses filled to the brim with citrus-y drinks. This one is a perfect balance of sweet, savory, acidic, and bitter notes. Even if you don’t have blood oranges on hand, any kind of orange will work perfectly with the cocktail’s components. So, head over to Victoria’s blog for the original post or skip down for the details on the recipe.


Scissors & Sage – “Cocktail Concocting with Jayme Henderson”


blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora


blood orange whiskey cocktail


  • 1 1/2 ounces whiskey or bourbon {I used Bulleit Bourbon}
  • 1/2 ounce Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
  • 2 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about two blood oranges)
  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice (about a quarter of a lemon)
  • 1/2 ounce agave nectar
  • 2-3 dashes orange bitters
  • Sprig of thyme
  1. Juice the citrus and set aside.
  2. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the whiskey, amaro, blood orange juice, lemon juice, agave nectar, and bitters.
  3. Shake until nicely chilled. Strain and pour into a cocktail glass filled with fresh ice.
  4. Finally, squeeze the thyme sprig a few times to release its aroma and garnish!
  • This recipe can be easily doubled, and tastes great served up shaken and strained.
  • If you have trouble finding blood oranges, navels or other types can be substituted.
  • Depending upon the sweetness of the blood oranges, increase or decrease the amount of agave nectar, to taste.

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora

Wishing you a very happy Friday!! I know there are only a couple of hours left, so make them extra happy ones. That’s what I will be doing. I never could get into a groove until around 5:30 today {that’s PM, by the way}, despite imbibing two-thirds of a French press and one Venti iced soy latte from Starbucks. That’s a little disturbing.

Maybe it has to do with staying up way too late last night, debating with my boyfriend whether or not that damned striped dress was blue-black or gold-white. Well, for the record, I was right. It was blue. We did end up agreeing that the entire thing was ridiculous and wound up dying laughing at this scene, another battle of colors, from Liar, Liar. Remember when Jim Carrey’s character can’t lie and tries telling himself that his blue pen is red?

More realistically, it has to do with the workload and stress level this past week. I mentioned in an earlier post that our restaurant participates in Denver Restaurant Week, along with over 250 other restaurants, offering a prix fixe menu, modestly priced at $30 per person. We have about 700 on the books tonight, but somehow, I managed to get the night off. I am not complaining at all! Two more days of the craziness, and we are back to normal.

Here’s round two of my monthly check-in of what I’m into, what I’m focused on, and what’s currently striking my fancy. This little series is inspired by Keira, who was inspired by Sydney, who was inspired inspired by Pip.

Have an amazing weekend!

XO,

Jayme

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora


taking stock | 02


Making  |  lots of shrubs! Ever since buying the book, Shrubs, by Michael Dietsch, I have made a blood orange shrub, a raspberry-mint shrub, and a strawberry-peppercorn shrub. #nomoreboringdrinks
Cooking  |  …actually, baking weekly granola batches.
Drinking these blood orange whiskey cocktails and sipping on this White Zinfandel. Yep. White Zinfandel. And it’s goooood.
Reading  |  Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel and Marathon by Jeff Galloway. The books are actually related. I am going to need a lot of zen to finish both the 1/2 and the full marathons I’ve committed to running.
Wanting  |  for my glass jars to arrive in the mail, so I can fill them with dried, organic herbs from my garden and put them up for sale!
Looking  |  at my to-do list and hoping to check off some seriously procrastinated tasks this weekend.
Playing  |  that stupid game, where if you look at a friend’s hand, while they are making the “okay” sign with their fingers, they can punch you. Pretty mature, huh? Somehow, it is my ultimate goal to win this game against our sous chef. Does this game even have a name!?
Wasting  |  time researching tips on organizing my desk and not actually putting them into action.
Drawing  |  upon my amazing resources and finally amping up my SEO, thanks to my talented friend, Kristy.
Wishing  |  I could just get up, when my alarm rings. I am so trying to get up at a consistent 9:00. It is tough, sometimes.
Enjoying  |  the fact that I planned ahead and got tickets to both Hot Chip and Belle & Sebastian. First shows of the year!
Waiting  |  patiently for March 19th, when I can have a delicious glass of wine again. I have given up alcohol until then {I’m almost three weeks in!}, so that I can focus on my running regime.
Liking  |  all of these recipes for blood oranges. My blood orange sherbet made the list, annnnd it’s spiked with a little Campari.
Wondering  |  why I chose to run a half-marathon the day after I get back from vacation in May. A wine-tasting vacation. I am seriously a sucker for pain.
Loving  |  the nine inches of snow in our backyard! I think I might build a snowman! And now I have that song in my head. And now you do, too.
Hoping  |  for some inspiration to start sketching again. I’m still stuck on geometric shapes and flowers of the basic variety.
Marveling  |  at these beautiful, watercolor botanical letters and pinning this tutorial on how to make them! Smitten.
Needing  |  this t-shirt and seething that it is not in stock!!
Smelling  |  victorious. I made it through 6.55 miles on the treadmill today! That’s exactly halfway through the distance I’ll run on May 17th at the Colfax Half-Marathon.
Wearing  |  a tacky pink hair clip from the late 80s, mismatched socks, my Asics, a sweaty, black Nike tank top, and hot pink Nike basketball shorts. It’s my day off.
Following  |  the lovely ladies at Hooch & Home. They make amazingly rad cocktails.
Noticing  |  that there is always a positive angle that you can find from any situation.
Pinning  |  lots and lots of baked goods, especially this macha layer cake. That’s right.
Thinking  |  I should finally upgrade to a Garmin running watch, but is it worth the nearly $200 price tag that accompanies it?
Feeling  |  super excited that Steve and I are going to Cali for almost a week in May! He’s turning 40, and we are celebrating in wine country! #duh
Listening  |  to Beck, Sea Change, especially “Lost Cause.” And I just turned it off because it was too depressing. Time for some Belle & Sebastian! I still need their newest album…
Learning  |  how to make this whipped coconut oil and rose body butter.
Giggling  |  at Maria Bamford. So, I’ve had Amazon Prime for a couple of years but never knew about all of the videos, movies, and shows that are available for streaming! Lately, I’ve been addicted to True Blood, old X-Files episodes, and so much stand-up.
Feeling  |  hungry for these adorable mini shortbread cookies. They will go perfectly with all of the lemon curd I made. And that is why I run! 😉

XO,

Jayme

blood orange whiskey cocktails | holly & flora

a little hanky panky | gin + blood orange + fernet-branca cocktail

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is upon us. My boyfriend and I don’t really celebrate the holiday. We figure it’s one of those made-up holidays to make you spend money, feel guilty if you don’t participate, and think something’s wrong with you, if you don’t get anything. Plus, I usually have to work at the restaurant on the 14th, so it never feels really romantic anyway.

My mom, however, is my biggest Valentine to date. On Valentine’s Day, when I was growing up, she would always wake me with pretty hearts filled with chocolates, occasionally with bouquets of flowers, and always with a big hug and a warm smile. Back in high school, I actually never received a Valentine’s Day gift from a guy, so I kind of took a bitter stance on the holiday, despite the generosity of my sweet mom.

I figured I’d make a bittersweet cocktail to celebrate. Something that has a bright, slightly sweet finish, with a feisty, little bite, provided by a dash or two of Fernet-Branca. This is a perfect mid-winter cocktail, appealing to Manhattan-lovers and those with a penchant for all things savory. And celebrating with a cocktail is something we can all agree upon.

blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora

I have a limited, on-again-off-again relationship with Fernet-Branca. A little goes a long way, and if I overdo it, I’ll hide the bottle for a month or so. It eventually makes its way back into my life. This bitter Italian amaro is not for the faint at heart. Its aroma is laced with minty overtones; a hefty dose of bitter, herbal notes; and deep, rich spices. It has quite the strong personality.

I first learned of Fernet-Branca, when I worked behind the bar in a small Italian restaurant several years ago. The waitstaff would take a shot of the stuff together at the end of a shift, whether it was good or bad. I’d quickly down my small portion, and I’d end up making the most hideous face. Let’s just say that Fernet and I didn’t really start out on the right foot.

It was only when I visited Italy that I gave Fernet another chance at being delicious. One morning, after a rather intense evening of wine-tasting, I wandered down the cobbled streets in Alba to a small coffee shop. I must have looked kind of tired {hungover?} because the gentleman behind the bar raised his brows and asked me, “Caffè corretto con Fernet?” My friend assured me that “yes” was the right answer. I was handed an espresso with a shot of Fernet, I took a small sip, and I immediately felt a little better.

Fernet was growing on me.

blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora

Fernet, in fact, is categorized as a digestivo, a bitter, stomach-settling liqueur consumed at the end of a meal. I had many a caffè corretto on that trip, and since then, I’ve enjoyed Fernet after many a heavy meal. If the intensity is too much for you on its own, try adding a little into an espresso or a dash of it into a cocktail, like this one.

One of my favorite cocktails that incorporates Fernet-Branca is a classic cocktail, the Hanky-Panky, invented by famed female bartender, Ada Coleman, in the early 20th century. Her original recipe calls for 1 1/2 ounces of dry gin, 1 1/2 ounces of sweet vermouth, and one bar spoon of Fernet. I put a little twist on this bitter-sweet martini by adding seasonally available blood oranges and a touch of orange bitters.

I’m pretty partial to my rendition.


the $10 greeting card | a twist on the hanky-panky


  1. Juice the blood orange{s}.
  2. In a cocktail mixing glass filled with ice, add the gin, sweet vermouth, blood orange juice, Fernet-Branca, and orange bitters.
  3. Stir for about one minute.
  4. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass.
  5. Garnish with an orange peel.

blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & floraBack to the topic of bitterness, I’m pretty bitter that I didn’t even get to take a sip of these drinks, when I photographed them. Along with committing to running a half-marathon in May, I also gave up alcohol and refined sugar until my birthday in mid-March. It makes my job rather tricky with the whole wine-tasting thing and all. I just might have to sneak a little bubbles tonight. We have almost 600 {as. in. people.} reservations this evening. I am thinking I’ll need a nightcap.

Or two.

Well, happy Valentine’s Day to its lovers and its haters! I’m curious – do you have a favorite cocktail that incorporates Fernet-Branca? What are you planning on sipping this evening? I am a lot of talk, but I’ll most likely behave and have some sparkling water with a splash of one of the shrubs I’ve been making – probably the blood orange shrub. More on that project later!

Cheers!

Jayme

PS – Mad props to Andy of Liquorary for scouting out the amazing vintage Libby coupes I used in these photos! I have been coupe-less for several years, and they arrived just in time for this shoot. Check out his Etsy shop, as its barware contents change all the time. He also makes some pretty neat cocktails every Friday over at Oh So Beautiful Paper.

For now, yay for new glassware!!

blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora blood orange + fernet cocktail | holly & flora

marmalade on cutting board

mixed citrus marmalade + thoughts on goals

My sister and I have an eight-hour record for one phone conversation. I know. It is a little extreme. I don’t even know how that was possible, and it was so long ago that I don’t quite remember the topics discussed. A couple of nights ago, we held another lengthy phone conversation, which turned into a Skype conversation. No new records were set, but we covered a lot of territory.

Over the course of about two and a half hours, we caught up on our daily happenings, shared a few tough stories, and even held a meet-and-greet for our cats. I’m so glad that we can be so open and silly with each other. Heather and I even completed some chores while chatting. She finished folding her laundry, and I managed to make some preserved lemons and Meyer lemon curd.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

– Chinese Proverb

Lately, both of us have felt compelled to do more of what we want to do, cultivate more confidence, and stop procrastinating the procrastination cycle. Together, we made lists of positive habits we desire in our lives, along with the action plans to accomplish them. One of our goals is a shared one: running a half-marathon this spring.

There’s something rather permanent, when you put a goal in writing. It is no longer just an idea. It is one step closer to a reality. So, we signed up for our races and made a pact to cheer each other on and hold each other accountable. To make it public, and seal the deal even further, I drafted a post on Facebook, cringed, and finally pressed “post.” It was out there. It was no longer a thought in my mind that could be rationalized away by fear or lethargy.

marmalade with citrus peels on cutting board

You might be asking, “What does this even have to do with marmalade!?

Marmalade is something I’ve always enjoyed and have wanted to master. I have messed up my last two batches of marmalade, and I seriously wanted to conquer this preserve. I needed redemption. Getting marmalade to set can be a challenge. Those last two batches were incredibly tasty but lacked a thicker consistency. They didn’t go unused, however. I used the thin marmalade as a glaze, an ice cream topping, an addition to yogurt and granola, and even a base for a cocktail.

I broke my losing streak and finally nailed a batch. Classic marmalade recipes call for Seville oranges, an acidic and bitter variety. Their seeds and pith provide a lot of pectin, which facilitates the setting of the marmalade. I can’t ever seem to find them, so I have always swapped the Sevilles for varieties that are less bitter and pithy, but I never made up for the lack of pectin. It finally made sense to me, and this time, I made the proper amendments. The resulting marmalade was delicious!

close-up of marmalade toast with tea and marmalade plate of toast with marmalade and tea tea with orange slices stack of toast with jar of marmalade

According to Marisa McClellan of the website, Food in Jars, there are three styles of marmalade: whole fruit, cut rind, and citrus jam. The method that I describe below is a cut rind method. This method requires removing the citrus pith by supreming and segmenting the citrus. Since removing these components decreases the amount of thickening pectin, it is important to make up for that loss by either adding purchased pectin or simply reserving the pith and seeds and infusing them, while cooking the marmalade.


mixed citrus marmalade


  • 4 pounds of oranges, any combination of blood orange or navel {depending up the size of the oranges, 7 or 8}
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice {about 2 large lemons}
  • 3 cups cane sugar
  1. Bring a large canning pot to a boil and sterilize your canning jars. For more detailed steps on the canning process, read this post by Kaela at Local Kitchen Blog. Also, place a small plate into your freezer. You’ll use this to test for proper setting later on.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the peels of the oranges {kind of like zesting – you’re wanting just the orange part} in long ribbons. Stack several of the ribbons of peel and cut them width-wise to your desired thickness. I cut mine into 1/8″ strips. Set aside.
  3. Using a sharp knife, remove the outer white skins of the oranges and segment the oranges. Do this over a bowl to catch any juice that may drizzle out, and reserve the membranes, along with any pith or seeds. I found this video extremely enlightening.
  4. Take the orange segments, along with the peels, and place them in a large, wide preserving pan. I use my trusty Le Creuset 7 1/4 quart Dutch oven {it’s “red flame”, in case your curious!}.
  5. Strain the collected juice in your bowl into a large measuring cup and add enough water to bring the liquid to 3 cups. Pour this into the pot.
  6. Cut the tops and bottoms off the 2 lemons and slice them in half, lengthwise. Slice each of those halves width-wise. Place the lemon pieces, peel-side down, on a cutting board and slice into 1/4″ strips, leaving the flesh attached. It is okay if they aren’t perfectly sized. Toss all of the lemon pieces, along with any juice, into the preserving pot.
  7. Now is the time to put all of those reserved membranes, pith, and seeds to good use. Here is where your pectin comes into play. Take all of these bits and wrap them in 2 layers of cheesecloth. I firmly secured the makeshift bag but didn’t pack the pith and seeds too tightly. You want to give the pith and seeds a chance to infuse the marmalade mixture. Place this bag into the preservation pot.
  8. Bring the juice and zest {along with the cheesecloth bag} to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, taking a spoon and squeezing the cheesecloth bag a few times along the way.
  9. Turn off the heat. Once the bag is cool to the touch, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the bag and compost the remaining pith, membranes, and seeds.
  10. Over high heat, bring the citrus juice to a boil again and add the sugar. Stir along the way and bring the temperature up to about 220 degrees Fahrenheit. My mixture never reached this temperature, but it DID pass the “freezer test.” Remember that plate you placed in the freezer? Place a small amount of the mixture on your chilled plate, return it to the freezer for 1 minute, and check if it wrinkles when you touch it with a spoon.
  11. Ladle the marmalade, once it gels properly, into the sterilized jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace at the top. Wipe the rims with a damp cloth and seal the jars gently, just until closed, not too tightly.
  12. Place the jars into the boiling water bath, bring to a boil, and process for 5 minutes.
  13. Remove the jars from the canner and set on a heat-proof, flat surface. Do not disturb for at least 12 hours. Make sure that the cans have sealed. If they haven’t, just place the unsealed ones in the refrigerator and use them now. Store the properly sealed jars and use within a year for optimal flavor.

marmalade with slices of citrus


a few tips for better marmalade


  • Always purchase organic oranges. Pesticide residue is only measured by the amounts in the flesh of the fruit; the pesticide levels are not measured on the skins. Play it safe by always buying organic fruit and thoroughly scrubbing the skins.
  • Read this post on getting marmalade to set and always save your seeds. Like I mentioned earlier, I have seriously battled getting my marmalade to set. Don’t let that deter you from trying a recipe. I can’t remember where I saw this tip, but always save your citrus seeds whenever you’re juicing in the kitchen. Simply collect them in a bag and store them in the freezer to use in your next marmalade-making session.
  • Process your jars for the correct amount of time. If you are at a higher altitude, like I am, the processing time might be a little longer. Use this calculator to make sure you process for the correct amount of time. I processed mine for 15 minutes, since I live at 5,280 feet above sea level.
  • Juice your citrus at room temperature. It is much easier to do, and obtain more juice this way.
  • Read up on your canning and marmalade basics, before you begin. Here are a few resources that I have referenced, myself:

 


some recipes to pin for later


marmalade with wooden spoon

I’m curious about your thoughts on jam- and marmalade-making. What are your current challenges? Do you have any tips to share? Do you have a favorite recipe or resource?

And back to what I was talking about earlier, it is never too late to start something you’ve always wanted to try or learn something new. I seriously wonder why it takes a breakup, a diagnosis of a disease, or the loss of a job to spring us into action. Why can’t we just jump out, go after what we want, and make that change? Is it any less noble to start something new simply because we want to?

So, go make that marmalade, run that race, start that business, climb that mountain {literally or figuratively}, learn how to sail, or tell that person you love them. And wish me luck on that upcoming half-marathon!

Cheers to a beautiful and inspired week!

Jayme

three books on preserving stacked in a row

two bowls of sherbet on a cutting board

blood orange + campari sherbet {vegan}

I’ve been in a seasonal slump lately. It’s definitely a product of the cold weather and shorter days. I’m doing all the usual advice, like getting up earlier, going outside for some Vitamin D, lighting candles at night, and listening to cheery music. I’ve also been filling up my kitchen with bowls of lemons, oranges, and limes. I will say that their pungent aromas and punchy colors do pick me up quite a bit. The fact that citrus season falls in mid-winter is kind of like a love letter from nature, letting me know that longer days, warmer weather, and summer are on their way.

My citrus obsession has led to a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes and means of preserving these prime winter fruits. I’ve dabbled with lemon curd, preserved  lemons, and a few versions of citrus salads. I even managed to make a tangy orange marmalade, despite the fact that I let the preserving pot boil over. Cleanup was not fun. Not too proud about that moment. And then I came across a recipe for orange sherbet, via the Brown-Eyed Baker.

Right then, I knew exactly what I was going to do with my last basketful of blood oranges.

And if I accidentally type the word, sherbert, instead of sherbet, please don’t scold. Does anyone else feel the need to add the “r” to the word? I don’t know if it is a southern thing or just an accidental pronunciation that caught on, but I still slip up and add the “r.” I suppose worse things could happen, right?

overhead view of blood orange sherbet with orange slices blood orange sherbet with orange slicesNo, I am not 100% vegan, yet. I do, however, consume copious amount of veggies and eschew products that promote animal cruelty. I have slowly been reducing the amount of dairy in my recipes and meals. Giving up cheese has proven to be a futile effort, since the likes of Manchego, the Drunken Goat, and anything Haystack Mountain permanently reside in my refrigerator. It is always tougher to avoid your favorite foods, if your housemate isn’t on board with you. I blame Steve.

Dirty confession? I have wound up on the floor of my kitchen, at some ungodly hour of the night, either shoveling cheese and crackers into my mouth or cutting to the chase and eating a slab of the stuff, like you would a chocolate bar. It’s my vice, my current addiction. It will be the last animal product to go, if/when I do commit to the vegan lifestyle.

Vegan or not, I swear you’ll go crazy for this sherbet. It has just the right about of creamy texture, fruity sweetness, and tart-y punch. The best part about this recipe? You don’t even need an ice cream maker. David Lebovitz told me so.

close-up of spoonful of sherbet overhead view of sherbet and flowered towel


blood orange + campari sherbet {vegan}


  • 1 tablespoon blood orange zest
  • 1 cup cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups blood orange juice {about 5 oranges}
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons Campari
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream {see notes}
  1. Wash and zest your blood oranges, until you have a firmly packed tablespoon of zest. I used my new Microplane zester that my mom sent me. It is amazing.
  2. In a food processor, combine zest with sugar and salt. Pulse until the zest is well-distributed and mixture is slightly damp.
  3. In a juicer, juice five or six oranges, until you have 2 cups of liquid. If you don’t have a juicer, you can peel and purée the oranges in a blender and run them through a sieve, if you’d like.
  4. Add the blood orange juice, lemon juice {I used a hand-squeezer for this small amount}, vanilla extract, and Campari to the sugar mix. Process for about a minute or until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  5. In a blender, whip the coconut cream until light and airy. How do you make the coconut cream? This is the best tutorial I’ve found.
  6. Add the coconut cream to the mixture and pulse until incorporated. See bullet below on how to obtain coconut milk needed for the coconut cream.
  7. Pour mixture into a deep baking dish or a large plastic container. I used a Tupperware-like rectangular pan, and it worked out perfectly. Place this in the freezer and set the timer for 45 minutes.
  8. Take the pan out of the freezer and stir or whisk the mixture vigorously or use a stick blender, breaking up any clumps. Place it back in the freezer. Repeat this step every 30 minutes, until the sherbet is frozen. The sherbet will be ready within 3 hours.
  • Freeze it right. Okay. Want to know what I did? Yes, this recipe incorporates David Lebovitz’s suggestions, but I actually didn’t stir the sherbet, after I placed it in the freezer. I wanted to see if it was even necessary. I have found that the texture is improved, when you whisk or blend the sherbet every 3o minutes; however, if this seems a little much for you, feel free to skip it. It still makes a great sherbet anyway!
  • Buy only organic. Always use organic citrus fruits, especially when incorporating zests.
  • Keep the zest! I apply a great tip from Local Kitchen on zesting. Anytime you have to juice or squeeze citrus, always zest your fruit before cutting it. Use any leftover zest and combine it with sea salt to make citrus-infused salts for seasoning. Here is the recipe.
  • Find the right coconut milk. Look for the cans of unprocessed and unsweetened coconut milk. Place a can in the refrigerator overnight, making sure to not disturb it. The next day, invert the can and open the top. The coconut cream will have separated from the water, and you can spoon it straight from the can! The Kitchn has a great breakdown of differences among canned coconut milk, coconut cream, boxed coconut milk, and coconut water.

close-up of sherbet two bowls of sherbet two bowls of blood orange sherbet with thyme sprigone bowl of blood orange sherbet with flowered towel

I have been researching wines for an upcoming series at the Kitchn on dessert wines, so I had a bottle of Moscato already open in the fridge. What a coincidence! It just so happens that sorbet and sherbet pair perfectly with this sweet, bubbly, low alcohol wine. And it’s absolutely perfect for brunch, since the alcohol sits comfortably around 8%. Steve and I have a tradition of starting a vacation off {a day off?} with a bottle of Moscato d’Asti, usually Michele Chiarlo’s “Nivole”. So, every time I open a bottle of this peachy nectar, I am reminded of vacations and taking it easy.

{Big thanks to my helpful wine colleagues, Sam Folsom, Bridget Witzell, and Steve Mason, for always keeping me in the loop, suggesting Mondavi, and keeping me stocked up!}

robert mondavi moscato d'oro


Robert Mondavi, Moscato d’Oro, Napa Valley, 2013


  • On the eyes  –  This lightly sparkling wine is a pale, golden straw color.
  • On the nose  –  You’ll immediately notice bright floral notes, with aromas of ripe peaches, and orange blossom. This wine will transport you to summer in an instant.
  • On the palate  –  It showcases notes of honeyed peach, lychee, and a serious mouthful of orange blossom. The acidity is medium in intensity and provides a refreshing contrast to the sweet style of this wine. Its gentle bubbles also pair well with the sweetness of the Moscato di Canelli grape.
  • On the table  –  I’d pair it with this blood orange sherbet, of course! The Moscato d’Oro would also go perfectly alongside a citrus semifreddo, a fruit tart topped with lemon curd, lemon meringue pie, a lemon olive oil cake, or a bowl of summer berries.
  • On the shelf  –  This bottle sits around $25 for a 375 mL {half-bottle} size.
  • On the ears  –  Of course, I paired it with some music. This album has been out since 2013, but I have recently gotten into it. And by “into it”, I mean playing the album on repeat a few times through. The Stroke’s Comedown Machine has gotten me out of a winter funk on a couple of occasions this year. I would definitely say the personality of this wine and dessert exemplifies the track, “One Way Trigger.”

If you are ever out in Napa Valley, visiting the Robert Mondavi Winery is an absolute must. It is a rite of passage for any wine lover. Mr. Mondavi revolutionized the wine industry in California and brought Napa Valley to worldwide acclaim. Plus, the facilities and property are just plain gorgeous. The barrel room is one of the most pristine examples I’ve seen. And the winery is more than happy to schedule a tasting and tour.

blood orange sherbet with moscato

For a decadent and easy treat, pour moscato over the blood orange sherbet.

I have to share some of the gems I’ve found from the internets on preserving and preparing blood oranges. At least pinning these recipes and dreaming about them has brightened up my week:

empty bowl of sherbet with spoonsI’ll close with a few Instagrams from the past week. One of my New Year’s goals was to start seriously studying calligraphy and hand-lettering. My foray into calligraphy has proven to be a challenging, yet incredibly fun, process with a very steep learning curve. Learning to ebb and flow with the pressure-release action of a calligrapher’s pen is not a task one perfects within a few months’ time. I have a great respect for letterers, who have mastered this graceful technique.

My original goal was to practice daily throughout the month of January, but I’ll continue to practice an hour a day, since I’ve basically established the habit. I am already seeing progress and have a better feel for the pen. I’ve also been dabbling with the medium of a digital pen to produce some fun hand-lettering pieces. The one below was prompted by a hand-lettering challenge, hosted by Miranti, of the blog and company, Pen and Peplum. Her work rocks, and her once-a-week challenge keeps me focused on my practicing.

What resolutions or intentions have been sticking for you?

Have you used the no-ice-cream-machine method for making sorbet, ice cream, or sherbet?

Do you have a recommendation for a machine?

And please send me a link to whatever citrus projects and recipes that have been inspiring you. As if I needed another excuse to go out and buy a bag of citrus!

Cheers!

Jayme

hand-lettered winter words

jalapeño-infused blood orange margaritas + savoring the goodness of winter

Although it has been nearly three weeks since my last post, believe it or not, blood oranges are still showing up at my grocery in vibrant form.  Aside from recently attempting blood orange marmalade for the first time, making blood orange vinaigrette for a winter salad, and enjoying a few Sunday blood orange mimosas, I have also been dreaming up renditions of blood orange margaritas.  They’ve kept me quite busy on my evenings off and have quenched the thirsts of a couple of friends, who have stopped by.  The conversations lingered, and the juicing continued long after the first sip.

Margaritas are a rather simple cocktail to craft.   Traditionally, the classic recipe calls for 2 ounces Tequila, .75 ounces Cointreau, .75 ounces lime juice, with the option to add simple syrup for additional sweetness or balance.  This is a great place to start.  You can always add different citrus juices, change up the style of Tequila, or even infuse the simple syrup or the Tequila for some interesting iterations.  I had some jalapeño peppers from last season’s garden waiting for me in the freezer, so I placed one of them, sliced and unseeded,  in a jar, and filled it up with a cup of silver Tequila.  I let it sit and mingle over night in the refrigerator.  By morning, it was a beast of a spicy spirit, perfect for pairing with tart blood oranges and fresh limes.  Seeding the jalapeño is probably a good idea, for those who are rather faint at heart.  I tend to walk on the wild side.

Jalapeño-Infused Blood Orange Margaritas

  • 2 ounces jalapeño-infused Tequila {I use a silver or blanco Tequila for a clean taste}
  • 1/2 ounce orange liqueur {Leopold Bros. makes an excellent example, #coloradorepresent!}
  • juice of one lime
  • juice of one large blood orange
  • agave nectar, to taste {you may need more, if your Tequila is super spicy}

Build the ingredients in a shaker tin, filled with ice, and shake it like crazy to integrate.  Pour the liquid, along with the ice into a salt-rimmed highball and grace it with a slice of lime or blood orange round.  I love the balance of spicy, sweet, citrus in this particular margarita.

Closing with some photos and Instagrams from the past couple of weeks.  Denver never leaves you bored, as far as weather patterns go.  After a few snow-filled days, balmy afternoons hovering around the upper 60s returned, thankfully.  I took full advantage of them and visited one of my favorite local parks, Castlewood Canyon State Park.

The south trail of Castlewood Canyon is an excellent cardio session first thing in the morning, with a nearly vertical rocky stairway. The park covers 12 miles of trails.

The lower trail that follows the creek, boasting views of waterfalls and fallen rocks. I’d wait until mud season is over before braving the snow-covered shadowy trail along the creek. Cleaning my car from all of the acquired mud on my shoes was a lot of fun.

Another impromptu blood orange cocktail, made with Prosecco, thyme simple syrup, Solerno blood orange liqueur, and Campari.

The first pops of green in our garden about a week ago! Crocuses have arrived.

Giant alliums have emerged, as well, signalling spring’s upcoming debut.

My wish came true this week, and I was able to taste a portion of the Egly-Ouriet Champagne portfolio, one of the best grower Champagnes around. I seriously thought about it the night before, and the next day, one of our representatives brought a bottle by. Talk about instant gratification!

They follow us, wherever we go…corks outside our house. The neighbors must think we have a serious problem.

Sweet Ash cat, sharing some tea and sleeping beside me, while I study up on Argentine Malbec.

Enjoy your weekend and make some margaritas the right way, with freshly squeezed juices and quality products.  You’ll thank me in the morning!  If you need further inspiration for what to do with your overabundance of blood oranges, look no further than here: