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Horchata

May 13, 2012

Sonoma County may be a culinary destination for other reasons, but in my family we are most grateful for the abundance of fantastic taquerias.  Within walking distance of our house there are many places to enjoy a tasty taco, crunchy tostada or a big @#* burrito. Our kids share our love of Mexican food (which is a family requirement along with love of pizza).  They generally gravitate towards a simple bean and cheese burrito with a Horchata to wash it down.  My husband and I recently discussed that we need to branch out a bit, or our children will think that every restaurant features the cuisine of Mexico!

Horchata is a sweetened rice drink infused with just enough cinnamon to make it interesting.  It is served cold, over ice, and is the perfect balance to a hot and spicy meal.  Given that we often make our own Mexican-inspired food at home, we decided it was time to make horchata as well.  After researching several recipes, I settled on one adapted by David Lebovitz.  It is so incredibly simple that I have happily made it many times already.  Long grain white rice is ground into a powder and soaked with cinnamon over night.  The bits are then strained out and the liquid sweetened and mixed with milk. Done.  I love that by making it at home, I can control the amount of sugar that is in the drink.  Our kids love it and so do we.  According to myth, this drink is also quite the hangover cure, though I can not personally confirm that.  Horchata is a  refreshing drink for any spring or summer day.

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Cranberry Daiquiri

December 30, 2011

It is time to toast the end of another year.  If your year was like mine it was full of a myriad of experiences and emotions.  Looking back on 2011, I would like to accept the challenges I faced and hope to gain strength from them, celebrate the happiest of moments that my family and I shared, and give thanks to all my friends and family that share my life.  I raise my glass to all of you and wish you a 2012 full of health, happiness, and prosperity!

Cranberry Daiquiris are a festive way to toast the new year.  Cranberry and lime juices are balanced with a cranberry infused simple syrup and a shot of rum.  Not to sweet, not too strong, you will want to make these by the pitcher full.   For an unexpected touch, float a couple of slices of jalapeno in each glass.   Happy New Year!

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