I’ve created probably a hundred catchy cocktails for MadeMan.com, but this one, a Thanksgiving-themed tipple, is one of my all-time favorites.
The Old Sage has a hint and scent of sage, thanks to a super-easy sage simple syrup. It’s mixed with Old Overholt Rye Whiskey, lemon juice, and Peychaud’s Bitters — which very subtly mimics some of the spices associated with the holiday.
The Old Sage
2 ounces Old Overholt Rye Whiskey
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ½ ounces sage simple syrup
3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
Lemon slice for garnish
Sage leaf or sprig for garnish
To make the sage simple syrup, combine 1 cup white granulated sugar, 1 cup water, and ½ cup of loosely-packed fresh sage leaves in a saucepan over high heat. Mix well, and as soon as the mixture reaches a boil, remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Strain out the sage leaves and store in a bottle or jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To assemble the cocktail, add the Old Overholt, lemon juice, sage simple syrup, and bitters to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well, and strain into a double rocks glass filled with a handful of ice cubes or one large cube. Garnish with the lemon and sage, and enjoy!
The famous New York Times Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is nothing new to the culinary world; it first hit the web in 2009 but has had an increase in interest among internet “foodies” (as much as Emily doesn’t want me to use that word) and stay-at-home bloggers. This is partly due to how much hype it has behind it, repeatedly billed as “the best chocolate chip recipe in the world.” It only took one mention of it in the studio for me to want to make the recipe. Jeff brought it up early one Monday morning and once I finished drooling over the photos on the Times’ website, I set out on my cookie-making task.
These aren’t just any chocolate chip cookies. You won’t find this recipe on the back of a package and you definitely won’t find it tucked away in family recipe cards. The first unique thing you’ll notice is that the recipe uses both bread flour and cake flour, not just that basic all-purpose stuff. This combo gives the cookies the perfect consistency — not too cakey, not too crispy. You also need some (read: a lot of) dark chocolate discs. The recipe does in fact list discs instead of chips (I don’t understand it either but it makes for good cookies; we get them from our client French Market). You will also need sea salt to sprinkle on top. This is not optional, it is highly necessary.
This all sounds great right about now. You might be digging through your pantry to see if you miraculously have bread flour and cake flour. But hold up just a minute if you’re dreaming of eating these cookies tonight. Another kicker to this recipe is that the cookie dough has to (HAS TO) chill in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours. Chilling the dough helps the ingredients really get used to each other and essentially marinate in the goodness. It helps to make a thicker cookie, which makes us very happy. There are forums full of people who say they waited 48 hours and even 72 hours to let this dough chill. That’s great for them. You don’t have to wait that long. The New York Times recommends 36 hours but we caved and baked them after 24 hours, and we don’t regret it one bit.
Whenever you do get these cookies into your life (and in turn your mouth), whether it be in 24 hours or much, much longer, you will understand why they’re so popular. They’re as big as your hand and full of chocolate-y, sea salty goodness. It’s necessary to eat them while they’re still toasty warm because that’s how you get the full cookie experience. The recipe even suggests eating them with a big napkin, which is also necessary if you put in the right amount of chocolate. Have we convinced you yet? Check out the New York Times recipe for yourself and watch our video of the delicious process down below.
Last month, I took the interns for a late lunch at Boulevard’s new Beer Hall. To be honest, I really just wanted to snap some photos (since, full disclosure: my husband worked really hard to create the menu there and I wanted him to have some pretty pictures of his food) and get away from the computer for a while. We ended up stuffing ourselves silly with meats, cheeses and pretzel dogs, and of course, we each had a Tank 7.
Beyond the beer, there’s so much local goodness to be tasted at the Beer Hall.
Next, we tried the chicken andouille pretzel dog with a mustard-relish combo for dipping. The Beer Hall has a few pretzel dogs to choose from, but this is my favorite. The dog is from Fritz’s Meat and Superior Sausage in Leawood, wrapped with a Pale Ale pretzel. Farm to Market makes the dough and the cooks at the Beer Hall wrap the dogs each morning, allow the dough to rise, and then they bake them fresh when you order.
While a veggie platter may sound like the lamest thing to order at a beer hall, it’s not lame at all. It features potato chips made by The Rieger (potatoes are vegetables, thank you very much), and an onion dip that might just change your life. It’s called Wild Child Onion Dip and it’s made with Love Child (a Boulevard wild ale) Vinegar. It’s the best onion dip you’ve never had.
The meat board features meat, of course — La Quercia American Salami, Leoncini Mortadella and Bayonne Jamon, a French Ham — plus Boulevard’s Pale Ale Mustard, KC Canning Company’s Hoppy Pickles (another collaboration with Boulevard) and Farm to Market crackers.
The Big Board ($29) serves a crowd. Because it’s, well, really big. It’s piled with a fantastic sampling of meats, cheeses, and veggies. And again with that veggie dip and those Rieger potato chips.
You guys, this place is amazing. And I’m not just saying that because I’m married to one of the guys who run it. It’s huge, the design and decor are amazing, and it’s a great place to go with friends or family (yes, you could even take your kids as long as they’re cool), or even your laptop if you want a change of scenery during the work week.
Earlier this month we took our new photo intern, Grace, to lunch at Café Sebastienne — the wonderful cafe in the atrium of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Café Sebastienne feels like a hidden gem since it’s tucked away in the museum, but it’s full of wonderful natural light, amazing art, and fantastic food.
Of course, we ate a lot of the latter.
We started with the grilled asparagus, made with pancetta, a poached farm egg, Cremini mushrooms and sherry vinaigrette. It was perfectly rich and satisfying. Then we moved onto an order of fish tacos for the table. Because isn’t that what normal people do?
I’d be lying if I tried to pretend this wasn’t my idea. I always get the fish tacos at Cafe Sebastienne. They’re damn fine fish tacos: roasted white fish, avocado sauce, and pico de gallo with Rancho Gordo Vallarta beans.
Then it was time to move onto our entrees.
Grace had the Cafe Trio, which featured an Italian charcuterie sandwich, spicy potato and eggplant stew, and a mixed slaw salad with kale, bell peppers, and green beans.
Jeff had the fish of the day — grilled salmon with fingerling potatoes and a prepared salad of cherry tomatoes, onions, blue cheese and other good stuff (we were all in love with that salad). The fish was topped with chermoula (which was like a fresh, minty chimichurri).
I opted for another fish dish: Grilled rainbow trout, served with roasted baby carrots, spinach, asparagus, and a mustard-tarragon butter sauce. So. Good.
As if we hadn’t had enough to eat, we ordered two desserts for the table: A hefty slice of bread pudding with whipped cream and caramel sauce AND the Poppy’s Ice Cream trio of lemon, goat’s milk caramel, and candied ginger-vanilla.
Confession: We still haven’t figured out exactly what we want to do with this blog. And clearly, whatever we’re doing, we’re not doing often enough. So, we’ve decided to try eating lunches out in Kansas City more often and posting pictures here. Because we know we’re good at those two things: eating and taking pictures of food. (Plus, people taking pictures during lunch are way less annoying than those taking pictures during dinner.)
Our first stop on this new, hopefully regular journey was Jasper’s Italian Restaurant — which bills itself as “a Kansas City Tradition in Excellence.” And it really is. Everything at Jasper’s is top notch, from the old-school service (Jasper is probably the nicest guy in the Kansas City restaurant world) to the decadent dishes. Because of both the experience and the food, it’s really hard to have a light lunch at Jasper’s. I mean, I guess if you tried really hard you could. But why would you?
So, here’s everything we ate last Thursday. And, yes, two of us really ate almost all of it.
Jeff started with the spinach salad, I got the caesar salad AND the ridiculously rich lobster cappuccino — it’s a creamy lobster soup topped with whipped cream and bacon and it’s so good the recipe is featured on the James Beard Foundation’s website.
Next, we moved onto the table-side mozzarella. Jasper and his nephew roll a cart right up to the table and make amazing, fresh mozzarella from scratch, then serve it as a Caprese salad.
And because asparagus is in season, we had to try some of that. But just a little; we were clearly there for the carbs.
Next came our entrées. Jeff thought he wanted to be healthy so he ordered the St. Peter’s fish (tilapia) — which I promptly ate half of because it was the best pan-seared fish I’d ever tasted. After sharing a few bites with Jeff, I also cleared my plate of the carbonara (hey, I’m breastfeeding!). It’s not actually on Jasper’s menu, but it should be. And if you ask nicely, they’ll make it for you. I might have also ordered some baked ziti because it’s one of my favorite things, ever.
You’d think we were done, right? Well, pro tip: If you really don’t want dessert, don’t have your server come by with the dessert cart “just to have a look,” because cheesecake happens. It always happens, doesn’t it?