Sunday, June 16, 2013

Grapefruit & Basil Soda

Happy Father's Day to all the papa bears out there! I got to have breakfast with mine and Mr. Vittles (who just celebrated his first, yay!)

Soon we will be leaving for a barbecue to celebrate with my father-in-law.  Didn't get to see my stepdad today but hopefully I'll see him this week.

Hope you all got (or have plans) to celebrate with your favorite dads in your life!

Mr. V and I usually don't get too crazy with the presents, especially now that we're married.  But his first dad's day is a special one, so I thought he deserved something really neat.

It's tough to find gifts for him that do not involve tools (something I know nothing about) or fishing/hockey equipment (something I might know even less than nothing about).  But I do know that he loves Adirondack chairs, and loves rocking chairs, and has been talking about both of them for our deck.

I didn't even know they made this, but I was actually able to find him a rocking, adirondack chair.  How cool is that?

Perfect place to sip a nice, refreshing Grapefruit & Basil Soda this summer!

Grapefruit & Basil Soda
  • 1 oz. basil simple syrup (see recipe below)
  • 5 oz. plain seltzer
  • 3 oz. grapefruit juice (I used the refrigerated, 100% juice but freshly squeezed would be great)
Mix ingredients in a tall glass.  Add ice to fill, and garnish with additional basil leaves if desired.  Serve immediately.  Makes one drink.  **Feel free to experiment with the ratio of ingredients here- I happen to like my soda a bit less sweet than others may enjoy.  You can adjust to your liking.  (Can also add a little vodka or other liquor to make this a tasty "adult" beverage!)

Basil Simple Syrup

  • 1 C. water
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 6 large basil leaves, torn in half horizontally

Place ingredients in small saucepan over high heat.  Bring to a boil, and stir until all sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat, let basil steep until syrup has cooled.  Strain out leaves.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Original Recipe, inspired by Club Monaco's Culture Club Blog

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Honey Garlic Chicken Kabob Marinade

Hello, Rabbit!

(You can thank me later... according to my grandma, that phrase brings good luck on the first of the month.)

I seriously cannot believe it's June 1st already.  I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend - I know we did!

After Superstorm Sandy, it's awesome to see that so many places along the shore here in Jersey are open for business.  There's still a lot of rebuilding to be done, but we've come a long way in a short period of time.  Gives a whole new meaning to Jersey Strong - I am so proud of my home state!

This week, President Obama met with our governor, Chris Christie, to see the recovery efforts at the Shore.  He visited my hometown of Point Pleasant Beach, and also Asbury Park (where Mr. Vittles and I lived before we bought our house last year!)

I really never thought I'd see photos of the President of the United States on the boardwalk I've been going to since I was a little kid.

Yup, in this one they were right in front of the Aquarium Gift Shop, where I worked my first summer job at the age of 14.  Surreal!

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Now as I've told you before, despite what the calendar may say, Memorial Day weekend is the official start of summer around these parts.  And with summer comes not only visits from The Prez but also GRILLING!

On Sunday, we attended a wonderful barbecue at our friends' house nearby.  (Remember Pauline, who so generously shared her recipe for Pumpkin Tiramisu with us at Thanksgiving?)

She and her husband Bryan made a fabulous meal of pulled pork, potato salad, grilled pineapple, and a corn salad which I will hopefully share with you soon (a-mazing!).

Then on Monday, we took the Mini for her first day at the beach...

... and marinated some kabobs for the grill!

Yup, summer's back and so is Jersey.  Take that, Sandy!

Honey Garlic Marinade for Chicken Kabobs

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag (or large glass bowl/dish with cover) and mix well.  Add 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of cubed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and marinate at least 3 hours or overnight.

Thread chicken on skewers and grill (or broil) until cooked through and no pink remains.

Recipe Adapted from Thriving Home


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