Bloody Sundays

It must be Sunday, as I find myself parked on a barstool at my favorite spot down the street to partake in what I believe to be the best bloody mary on the planet.

I know, I know, you’re thinking it’s just because it’s garnished with a big o’ piece of bacon, but no. The bacon is the just icing on the cake. Without it, this drink easily holds it own the world of breakfast beverages. And that’s saying something because I have long been searching for the perfect bloody mary and, for me, this is it.

The key to this–and any good bloody mary–is the balance of spices and flavors. Often times, I find that in an effort to not taste like tomato juice and vodka, the barkeep will load up on the Tabasco sauce and call it a day. While I appreciate a good dash or two of Tabasco, I don’t want to just taste “hot” in my drink and sit there with my mouth on fire just for the fun of it. I want to taste flayvah. And this one from The Craft House on little ol’ Staten Island packs a punch. It is well worth the ferry ride over or paying the exorbitant tolls on the Verrazano or Goethals Bridges to get to the Island of Staten. Thankfully, I just have to walk down the hill.

According to the menu (so I don’t think I’m giving away any trade secrets here), it is:

signature spiced tomato base over Tito’s vodka, topped with BBQ rubbed rim, pickled cucumber, string bean, and smokey applewood bacon

And now you’re thinking Texas vodka + bacon…that’s why she loves it, but again, no. Although I will always take a moment to say GOTEXAS!

Basically, it’s the whole drink. Which I know you’re probably thinking is a cop out, but it’s true (that it’s the whole drink, not that it’s a cop out!). “Signature spiced tomato base” does not accurately describe the layers you get in this drink. It is bold, yet smooth. It is spicy, yet the tomato sweet. And when you drink from the BBQ rubbed rim, it adds yet another layer: smokiness. Plus the pickles and string beans have a bit of kick to them and the bacon adds a bit of crunch (plus bacony goodness!). The overall effect is a deliciously flavorful, smooth drink with a nice hearty kick at the end.

Also, it pairs well with their cajun seasoned shrimp and parmesan grits with garlic butter…just sayin’…

The Craft House is located at 60 Van Duzer Street, Staten Island, NY 10301. For more information and their menus, click here. And if you make the trek out, you never have to worry about drinking alone: I will happily meet you there!

Cheers!

More Than One Way To Devil An Egg

I don’t know about you, but there are a handful of required food items at any given social gathering in my family.  Vying for the most important are: queso and deviled eggs.  Since tomorrow is a holiday and I haven’t shared any recipes in awhile, I thought now might be a good time–you know, in case you’re stymied for ideas of what to take to the obligatory July 4th BBQ you’re invited to attend.

In trying to pick which of the two VIP food items I wanted to talk about, I decided to go with deviled eggs because I was chatting with Christi the other day about side dishes for her July 4th BBQ and since then I’ve been pondering all the ways you can make them.  If you google “deviled eggs,” Google will kindly return with “about 3,460,000 results” in 0.42 seconds (Google is a bit of a show-off) and if you search for “deviled eggs” on Pinterest, you could scroll down for 3 days and not run out of pins from which to choose!

I know that I’ve already shared my recipe for deviled eggs with you.

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But as both Google and Pinterest show, there is more than one way to devil an egg.  Probably the only thing harder than keeping your self control in check, is picking a recipe.  I mean, do you want classic or something more creamy or something with a kick or something eye-catching and holiday-themed?  The possibilities are endless!

Here are a few that caught my eye (note: few is a relative term, as you’re about to see):

Since tomorrow is the 4th of July, I feel like I should definitely start with these Fourth of July Deviled Eggs from Kathryn at Singing Through The Rain.

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The recipe that sounds the best to me are the Bacon Jalapeño Deviled Eggs from Aubrey at Real Housemoms.  Hellllllo bacon + jalapeño!  In fact, they sounded so good to me, I actually pinned them twice!! 🙈

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Another recipe that sounds tasty are the Chorizo Deviled Eggs from Kevin at Kevin Is Cooking.  Like the bacon in the recipe above, the chorizo adds a nice bit of crunch.

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Of course, if you want reeeeeeeeeally creamy eggs, add avocado–like Gina at Skinny Taste in her Guacamole Deviled Eggs.

If you really haaaate cilantro, I guess you can leave it out…. 😉

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Looking for a good brunch deviled egg?  McCormick has a recipe for Spicy Bloody Mary Deviled Eggs!

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If you wanna be extra faaancy with your deviled eggs, how about these Uptown Caviar Deviled Eggs from Chef Kenny Giambalvo at the Bluehour Restaurant in Portland, OR?  Shared by What’s Cooking America

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If you’re looking for a completely different flavor profile, perhaps you might like these Deviled Eggs with Beets and Smoked Salmon from Katya at Little Broken?

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If salmon/beets/dill aren’t you thing, how about Mexican street corn? Melanie at Melanie Makes combines the fun of Mexican street corn with the deliciousness of deviled eggs in her Mexican Street Corn Deviled Eggs.

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And finally–while it’s still 4 months away–it’s never to soon to be planning your Halloween party food with the Deliciously Rotten Deviled Eggs from Stephanie at Parenting Chaos.

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Any pique your interest?  Honesty I could probably spend another 4 hours sharing deviled eggs recipes, but I’m starting to get hungry and for some strange reason, eggs sound good 😉

But before I leave, I want to hear from you.  Which recipe sounds the best?  Vote below!  And if you can’t decide between two, I’ve left you the option to pick’em both! 😉

Happy deviling!

BYOBM

I feel like I have quite a few Boozy Brunch posts.  If so, this tops them all!

I luuuuuuurve me a good bloody mary, but it needs to be the right blend of spice and kick and delicious! Enter in Southernmost Beach Cafe with their Build Your Own Bloody Mary!

That’s right build your own!

BUILD. YOUR. OWN!  I don’t think ya’ll are grasping how amazing this is.  Apparently, they used to have a Bloody Mary cart that traveled from table to table.  I say BYOBM is a much better option.  Sure, table side bloody marys are cool and have a whole lot of flair.  But in my humble opinion, when it comes to booze fast is much better than flair and why should I have to wait for some dilettante to make up his/her mind while (s)he is hogging the bloody mary cart at his/her table?  It’s like getting stuck behind the newbie at your favorite coffee shop–it takes all of your concerted effort (and before coffee, mind you) not to shove them aside while yelling “if you don’t know, go to the back of line!”

La la laaaa…perhaps you see why BYOBM is the better option for me.  So how do you build your own?  Well, you pick your vodka, how spicy you want your tomato juice, your garnishes, and your rim.

EVERYONE STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND PAY ATTENTION:  Old Bay Seasoning.  Just do it.  Get the Old Bay rim.  You’ll thank yourself.  You’ll thank me.  You’ll thank everyone who ever even thought of such a wonderful accompaniment. It’s even better than (I can’t believe I’m actually saying this–and no, I’m not sick, delusional, or drunk) the Bacon rim.  That’s right.  There I said it.  Old Bay Seasoning.

So, you pick all your stuff and magically this appears:

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or this

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Or I guess other boozy brunch drinks of your choice.  I mean, I’m not going to name names **cough cough*SissyandJames*cough cough** but some at our table chose not to participate in BYOBM. Fine. Whatever.  They’re missing out.  Especially on the wonderfulness of Old Bay!  This bloody mary was sublime–nearly as good as Aunt Kathy’s (and that’s saying something!).  Although–I’m just sayin’–that if Aunt Kathy aka The Bloody Mary Queen added an Old Bay rim to her bloody marys the gap would be a lot wider (hint, hint).

Oh wait a minute before you go: let’s not forget the other (but less important part of brunch): the food!  Which of course, was very tasty.  They had several versions of eggs benedict from which to choose, but once I read the words “asparagus and cilantro hollandaise,” I just knew that i had to have the Key West eggs benedict.  They did NOT disappoint.  I mean, how can you go wrong with eggs and asparagus and cilantro hollandaise?  In a word: you can’t (okay, that’s two words, but still).

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All the other items that were ordered looked good.  James had the breakfast tacos, which looked and smelled amazing.

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I’m not sure what Sissy and TK had–I know one of them (or perhaps both) had the corned beef hash, but honestly I had my BYOBM and my Key West eggs benedict, I was a happy, happy, happy girl and off in my own little boozy brunch world!

Although a bit of warning, if you don’t like birds this is NOT the place for you, as it’s beachside and an open air restaurant, so there were pigeons everywhere.  Of course, I say just build yourself a few more bloody marys and you won’t care!

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Back on Track with Thirsty Thursdays!

In trying to find pictures for Throwback Thursday, I realized I have a lot of pictures of adult beverages (that is said with pride, by the way). As such, I’ve decided rather than share pictures of me with bad 80s hair and glasses that legitimately covered half my face, I could easily share glasses of a much tastier kind.

Where was I before interrupted by Thanksgiving and tryptophan-induced laziness (hey, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!)? Oh yes–Key West!

It is only fitting I resume my Key West tales on a Thirsty Thursday, given the copious amounts of adult beverages consumed…

Here James & I pose with our brunch drinks. While the restaurant (more about it later!) no longer offered its Tableside Bloody Mary Cart, we were allowed to build our own Bloody Marys–well, TK and I, that is. James & Christi had piña coladas and mimoas respectively.

A tasty start to brunch, indeed!

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