Archive of ‘Food & Entertaining’ category

Lemon Basil Gimlet

Last week’s recipe post was for Chili Lime Cashews (link here) that I brought to a friend’s cabin, along with a specialty cocktail. I had a few people ask for the cocktail that I referenced paring with the spicy sweet snack – so here it is! This is from my good friend that is pretty much amazing when it comes to choosing (and making) the perfect drink, and she assured me this was a favorite of all her guests. When asked to bring a specialty cocktail to a dinner (or a weekend outing), picking a cocktail that incorporates a flavored simple syrup is a nice way to bring a drink that is a bit more special than the traditional summer vodka lemonade, yet doesn’t involve a lot of fuss when mixing, since the “work” can be done ahead of time. I also like a recipe that is conducive to preparing a pitcher of the drink, so I don’t have to measure each time. See below for recipe and a few preparation notes.

Chili Lime Cashews

We switched things up this past weekend and were guests at our friends’ lovely lake cabin instead of hosts at our own. My list for food prep was a lot shorter in that role, as I was only to bring a summer cocktail and some snacks. I went the easy route with some tortilla chips and a couple of good salsas, but also wanted to bring something fun to pair with the relatively sweet cocktail I had planned. These chili lime cashews were easy to whip up, and a perfect accompaniment for a drink before dinner. If you are uncertain of the spice sensitivity of the group, this is a great option as the spice is mild, especially when mixed with the sweetness of the brown sugar.


Herbed Summer Squash Pasta Bake

At a recent get together of friends, I found myself trying to think of a menu for lots of different tastes, including a few vegetarians. I asked my mom to help me come up with a summertime dish to serve a large crowd – one that would pair nicely as a side to the protein but be hearty enough to work well on its own. As usual she came through with the perfect dish, fitting for the occasion. When hosting I prefer to have dishes that I can prepare the evening in advance and simply pop in the oven – especially if we have to pay attention to something on the grill just prior to serving.

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