Limes, Martinis, and Bourbon
November 30 7:46 PM

Fresh Lime Vinaigrette with Tilapia or Citrus Salad

Here fresh lime juice, instead of vinegar, serves as the acid for a dressing.


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a small bowl mix the first five ingredients, and whisk to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Next slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.
  3. Add cilantro just before serving. (Note: adding 1 scant teaspoon of Dijon mustard to the first five ingredients and then whisking in the oil would help make an emulsion. It’s up to you.)

Spoon some of this vinaigrette over baked Tilapia or Salmon. Or make salad with Avocado slices, fresh Orange segments, chopped bell peppers, sliced cucumber, diced red onion, and lettuce of your choice and toss with the lime vinaigrette. I bet the dressing would taste great drizzled over sautéed garlicky shrimp. Personally, I’d double this recipe!!

Gin Rickey Cocktail

Here is a classic cocktail which uses the juice of one lime per serving.


  • 2 oz Seagram’s Gin
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Club soda or seltzer
  • Lime wedge for garnish


  1. Fill a highball glass (9 oz to 11 oz size tall glass) with ice.
  2. Pour the Seagram’s Gin and lime juice over the ice.
  3. Top with club soda.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Gin Mikey: I think an interesting variation on the Gin Rickey would be to use 1/2 club soda and 1/2 7-Up or Sprite lemon-lime soda and call it a Gin Mikey.

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach and Feta

No Recipe: It’s oven ready in our butchers case. With the Spinach and Feta this reminds me of Spanakopita with chicken breast instead of phyllo dough. Yum.

Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese

Smoked Gouda is wonderful and it’s on sale this week in Deli case. On sale, too, are Skinner Elbow Macaroni and Robert’s Butter. That would make a good side dish to go with a steak or a pan roasted Center Cut Pork Chop. Or you could make a comfort meal out of just the Mac and Cheese.

Martinis for the Season

Did you know that Martinis were originally made with sweet vermouth? Now they are made with dry white vermouth, with vodka instead of gin, and little if any vermouth.

It may be interesting to try the Original Gin Martini which used sweet vermouth and a dash of bitters.

Ingredients - Original Martini

  • 2 oz Seagram’s Gin
  • 1 oz sweet vermouth


  1. Stir with plenty of ice, then strain into a chilled martini glass.

Jim Beam for Manhattan Weather and for Egg Nog!

It’s that kind of weather and season for Jim Beam Bourbon. Have some on hand to add to egg nog, and to make my favorite cocktail---The Manhattan.

My birthday is next week and I am going to treat myself to one Manhattan. I prefer it up so the ice doesn’t dilute the drink. Sip very slowly and enjoy.

Manhattan Cocktail


  • 2 ounces Jim Beam Bourbon
  • 1 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 3 to 5 shakes of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 Maraschino cherry


  1. Stir with ice and strain into a well chilled martini glass and garnish with a Maraschino Cherry. Or, serve on the rocks. Your choice. You can serve this on the rocks, or stir with ice and strain into a chilled Martini Glass.

Bourbon Presbyterian a.k.a Bourbon Press

The spiciness of some ginger ale adds depth of flavor to a highball and complements the bourbon. My own twist is to add a twist of orange or lemon because I think the citrusy notes add so much to a bourbon drink.

It’s also nice to have a big tall drink to drink at a slow pace while chatting with friends and munching on munchies.


  • 2 oz Jim Beam Bourbon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Club soda or seltzer
  • Ginger ale
  • Orange or lemon wedge or zest


  1. Fill a highball glass (9 oz to 12 oz size tall glass) with ice.
  2. Pour the bourbon over the ice.
  3. Top with off using equal parts club soda and ginger ale
  4. Garnish with a wedge of citrus or some orange peel (just the orange part, not the white pith.)
  5. Note: Don’t be afraid of topping off this drink with only ginger ale and no club soda.

So many uses for Bourbon besides drinking: Bourbon is a great flavoring agent for Whisky marinade for steaks and pork chops; for whisky maple glaze for salmon, pork chops and steak; for bourbon sauce on bread pudding; and at Christmas time to make Bourbon Balls which are like round Russian Tea cakes rolled in powdered sugar but these have a deliciously pronounced, but not overpowering, bourbon flavor in the dough which mellows with a few days age to the cookies.

Bourbon: must be aged at least 4 years in new American oak barrels which are charred with fire on the inside. You’d think the char would make the bourbon taste smoky, but it doesn’t. Charring the barrel brings out the vanilla flavors (vanillin) from the oak and creates a caramel like flavor both of which are imparted to the bourbon. (After the oak barrel is used it often goes to Scotland or Spain where they age Scotch or Sherry in the used barrels, or so I’ve been told.)

Final note

Mike had some Michele Chiarlo Babera d’Asti wine for Thanks giving and told me it was “really good!” Barbera is a medium-bodied dry red from Italy, and the Michele Chiarlo has always tasted “really good” to me, too. Great with pork, beef, and even chicken. It would make an excellent gift if you looking for something a bit out of the ordinary and something special for its price point. Alternatively, it is a great wine to expand your own wine palate and get yourself out of a rut of the same old varietals.

January 10 8:21 AM
Yay for Vlogs! I LOVED it! You need to do more! I'm definitely intsreeted in that Steampunk series now I've seen it at Chapters before but had never heard any reviews of it so I passed it by. Knowing that it was recommended to you by two different people though means it must be good! Can't wait to see your review on The Fault in Our Stars! :)
January 29 11:02 AM
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