Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash | @athoughtforfood

I wrote the below text shortly before word began to spread about the attacks in Paris. I was about to put my computer away when notifications started popping up on my phone. My first thought: “Please, not again.” The next hour was spent compulsively scrolling through feeds, but at a certain point I decided to disconnect. I deleted Facebook and Twitter and kept the news off the TV. Periodically, I’d look at the New York Times for updates, all of them devastating.

That evening, I just wanted to be with Eric. We hadn’t seen each other in a few days since I was down in New Jersey visiting my family earlier in the week, and so we curled up on the couch, had dinner and put on some mindless shows. While he did the dishes, I went over to Maki’s bed and lay beside her and she gave me a few licks with her tongue. She knew what I needed.

Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash | @athoughtforfood

Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash | @athoughtforfoodI’m not the DIY type. As a blogger, I feel like I’m in the minority. I’ve seen the posts featuring cool labels and homemade this and that, stared at them admiringly, Pinned them and thought, “That’s so beautiful! I should make those for our next party.” But then, when I’m cooking for 20+ people, I quickly forget about all of that and focus on just getting the meal on the table.

If there’s anyone who could get me into DIY, it would be Maggie. I’ve known her for years, not just through her site, Eat Boutique, but on a personal level… she lives a few towns over from us and we try to get together about once a month. Maggie is an inspiration, not just because she’s created a wonderful, hugely successful brand, but because she’s a lovely person with a beautiful heart. When she first told me about her book, Food Gift Love, I was absolutely ecstatic. I know it was a tremendous amount of work… but the result is pure magic. It’s a fabulous resource for recipes to make for family and friends (or, you know, to just treat yo self).

Eric and I have been playing around with homemade liqueurs. We picked up a handle of grain alcohol when we were in New Jersey a few years ago with the mission of making limoncello (at the time, grain alcohol wasn’t sold in Massachusetts). The bottle sat in our cabinet for years, untouched. This past summer, I decided to try my hand at some homemade ginger liqueur. If we could, we’d put ginger in every cocktail, so it made sense to make our own. We pulled out our handy dandy sous vide and used that to speed up the process (this allows you to heat the liquid to a temperature where you won’t burn off the alcohol).

So, here we are… a recipe for homemade ginger liqueur, a twist on the whiskey smash (perfect for all your holiday parties), AND a giveaway of Food Gift Love.  Could it get any better? I don’t think so!

Ok, so here’s the deal with the giveaway:

To enter: Leave a comment on this post. It can be anything, but I’d love to hear what you’re all doing to celebrate the holidays.

Rules: This giveaway will end on Friday, November 27, 2015 at 12:00 PM EST.  I’ll pick one (1) winner via and that person will be contacted via e-mail.  One (1) entry per person and entrants must have a US mailing address (sorry international friends) and provide a valid email address. Best of luck!

Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash | @athoughtforfood

Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash | @athoughtforfoodView full post »

  • November 16, 2015 - 9:19 am

    Danielle - I love the concept of this book and that drink looks divine – so festive! We will be travelling to Eastern KY to celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband’s family. Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • November 16, 2015 - 11:31 am

    Janice - Gathering with my family and a few friends, and making this cocktail!ReplyCancel

  • November 16, 2015 - 3:30 pm

    Lauren - I plan to see my 18 month old niece who I haven’t seen in so long. I may have to plan to make one of these drinks as well… looks delicious! I love cranberries.ReplyCancel

  • November 16, 2015 - 4:30 pm

    Kimberly - Normally for the holidays my boyfriend and I boycott family and spend that day together cooking up a storm. We make enough food for a party, but since its just the two of us, end up eating it for a week! Its has been great, such great food, and such an easy day.

    But this year we are going to Park City UT with family, for thanksgiving. No Christmas plans yet, except for the Balboa Island boat parade the weekend before!

    I love the idea behind Food Gift Love, I always try to give homemade food/drink gifts for the holidays and would love to branch out from caramels and granola!ReplyCancel

  • November 16, 2015 - 8:22 pm

    Bianca - this holiday break will officially mark the END of my didactic part of med school!! after that, it’s on the rotations. it will be the happiest winter vacation of my life! no more tests and classes!ReplyCancel

  • November 17, 2015 - 11:16 pm

    Anth - Two Thanksgivings! The families live close so we do big traditional thanksgiving and then small coastal quirky thanksgiving, all in one day.
    Also, I’m kind of surprised I’ve never made it to your blog before since I follow you on Insta/fb.ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 7:36 am

    Dawn Shelton - i am DEFINITELY making this drink! YUM!!!
    for Thanksgiving i am bringing dinner to my 93 yr old grandmother’s house and some of her friends. i don’t know how long she will be here so i am spending as much time w/ her that i can <3 Happy Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 8:43 am

    Mary - Going to my brother’s in Seattle to visit with him and his wife. Looking forward to daily walks in the Seattle drizzle with the beautiful vistas.ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 9:21 am

    Drisdy Kee - i love ginger, and in a liqueur? smashing!ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 10:05 am

    Becky C. - This looks delicious and will have to make an appearance at our Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 11:27 am

    Philip V - This Christmas, instead of giving gifts to my brother and sister, we are all getting together to cook a huge meal for our family. We are spinning off of a Persian theme, trying something new and having fun along the way! The most important gift for us in the past few years has been each other, as we have gone through some unimaginable losses. I am lucky and blessed to have two incredible siblings, three amazing nieces and and nephews, and my parents all around me.ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 11:41 am

    naomi - This is so my kind of drink! Love it.

    As for the holidays – family, food and Planes, Trains and Automobiles (the latter is a tradition I love more than anything, even though we’ve all seen it numerous times).ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    Mary - We plan on going to our friends’ house for Thanksgiving but I will bring the stuffing!ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 3:20 pm

    Buffy - We have everyone over for the holidays and this year we are through 2 more parties into the already chaotic mix. My husband turns 40 on the 5th so I am working a surprise party into the mix of holiday celebrationsReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 3:26 pm

    Wendy Becher - We’ll be Thanking together with traditional fare, but this year, I’ll add a smoked turkey to the menu. The crew, will be a gathering of family (smaller this year as our Scottish framily is at home in Stirling). We’ll enjoy overindulgence in food and drink, watch American Football, and then begin decking the halls..or at least the trees and doors. We’re the Christmas sort, but we’re not at all adverse to throwing everyone into the mix, because, joyousness does not come wrapped in strictly red and green. There will be food donations and local toy and coat/mitten delivery. There’ll be baking and citruscello-concocting (like the lemon version, but with orange and lime peel thrown in for good measure). Eggnog and Christmas Cake and Christmas dinner will be consumed. Gifts will be shared in red velvet Santa bags and overstuffed stockings. Our kids are in their 20s, but stockings are a must! We’ll go as a family to an art center and create blown glass ornaments this year, and attend the annual Yuletide Celebration. With any luck there’ll be snow, and we’ll go sledding during the week of Christmas. Our dogs will get new sweaters and yummy homemade treats..and loads of tennis balls in crazy colours. All-in-all, this should be another jam packed (Ooooo, Jammie dodgers!) chaotic, comicical, emotional, brightly-coloured holiday season…with some singing and swearing and ‘remember whenning’ all thrown in for good measure. New Year will be rung in at the local pub. New Year’s Day will bring more American Football, a traditional meal of Hoppin’ John, Corned Beef and all the trimmings, and a wish for peace in the coming year. Peace, joy and thanksgiving to you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 10:29 pm

    jacquie - never thought of using ginger in a cocktail before – sounds like a great ideaReplyCancel

  • November 18, 2015 - 11:29 pm

    Heidi @foodiecrush - Beautiful pics as always and great job on your DIY, even if you THINK you can’t do it. We’ll be celebrating turkey eating conch salad in Turks and Caicos and then coming home to rush to put up the tree. Christmas is my favorite time of year and I hope to sop up every minute of it. As a big fan of whiskey, your cocktail will be making an appearance. XOReplyCancel

  • November 19, 2015 - 6:48 pm

    Shelly E. - The drink looks divine! Although I am not a big ginger fan (weird, I know), I am a big fan of cranberries. I will be traveling to Arkansas with my husband, 2 year old daughter, and our 5 year old pooch. Our families live in the same area, so it makes it so easy and just plain wonderful! Nothing like going to your parents house for the holidays! To make it even more convenient, my parents and in laws get along wonderfully, so we celebrate together!ReplyCancel

  • November 20, 2015 - 1:41 am

    Joan - Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday for us. Bought 3 turkeys today and probs will need one more, yikes! But having family all around will be so amazing. So happy!ReplyCancel

  • November 20, 2015 - 6:01 am

    I'd Eat That - - […] Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash–with homemade ginger liqueur!! […]ReplyCancel

  • November 20, 2015 - 11:39 am

    Grace - I am off for Thanksgiving for the first time in years so I will be traveling to my moms house for the holiday. Of course I have to work the day before and the day after so it will be a short trip, but worth it!ReplyCancel

  • November 20, 2015 - 6:59 pm

    Catherine - My family and I are just having a small get together. I will have to make this for my dad though. He would love it!ReplyCancel

  • November 22, 2015 - 9:57 am

    our thanksgiving menu | brooklyn supper - […] // Brooklyn Supper Persimmon Collins // Brooklyn Supper Boulevardier Cocktails // Brooklyn Supper Cranberry Ginger Whiskey Smash // A Thought for […]ReplyCancel

  • November 22, 2015 - 5:48 pm

    Lindsey - Spending time with family in Arvada, Colorado. This cocktail is delightful, I cannot wait to bring it along!ReplyCancel

  • November 22, 2015 - 11:33 pm

    heather haggard - this will definitely make an appearance at our Thanksgiving with my family and friends here in Nashville… I’m the one to bring the new, fun cocktails to try!!
    that book has got my name all over it!!!
    sure hope I win a copy 🙏🏻
    thanks for sharing and gobble gobble.. ))ReplyCancel

  • November 23, 2015 - 7:36 am

    kimberlydt - I spend xmas eve with my father, sister and brother-in-law. They usually have a revolving door of friends and their kids and we all bring a dish to share.
    Christmas day is all mine. I pick out a new recipe to make for the day and make sure I have shopped for all pertinent ingredients. I sleep in, cook, eat, (sipping a wonderful adult cocktail) and taxi it to a movie.
    I hope your Holidays treat you well. Thank you for the recipe for my 2015 Xmas bevvy. I have a brand new bottle of some lovely local bourbon that was meant for it.

  • November 23, 2015 - 12:01 pm

    Becky G - Sounds absolutely lushest. Visiting my son, his fiancé and her family for the holiday. Her dad’s a chef – what a thanksgiving treat!ReplyCancel

  • November 23, 2015 - 2:44 pm

    Anna - We’ll spend Thanksgiving in Tahoe, hoping for a cozy, snowy holiday. And we’ll be making fancy cocktails after the kids are in bed!ReplyCancel

  • November 24, 2015 - 2:09 am

    mrs.charlemagne - Friends, potatoes, Swedish meatballs, and apple cake!ReplyCancel

  • November 24, 2015 - 2:09 am

    Liren - Maggie is a gem, and so are you, Brian. This holiday, I’m blessed to have my sister and her husband up – and you know what, this drink is perfect for them. My sister loves whiskey, I know she’ll love it.ReplyCancel

  • November 24, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    rachel - After I pinned this drink my niece suggested (strongly!) that maybe I should make a pitcher for Thanksgiving Guess I better get shoppingReplyCancel

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger | A Thought For Food

As a teenager and newbie pescatarian, veggie burgers never did much for me. I consumed them when I first stopped eating red meat and poultry 16 years ago, but only so that I’d feel included while everyone else chomped into hotdogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken. Over the years, I’ve learned that veggie burgers can be so much more than what I was served back then.

The joy of making them at home is that you can tailor them to your preferences, giving the patties some spice and all the textures you desire. When Negra Modelo reached out about partnering with them on their “Perfect Complement” campaign, there was no doubt that I was going to do a sweet potato burger. Working off the caramel and brown sugar notes in the beer, I roasted the sweet potato to bring out similar flavors.  A beer like Negra Modelo goes well with spicy food, so chopped jalapeño and a bit of smoked paprika felt like a natural fit. But, really, it wouldn’t be a burger without some messy toppings. While you could easily throw blue cheese on there (and I fully support that), I went with a creamy, zingy avocado spread to brighten things up and purple cabbage slaw for crunch.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger | A Thought For FoodSWEET POTATO QUINOA BURGER-0288Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Quinoa Burger | A Thought For FoodSWEET POTATO QUINOA BURGER-0202 copy

Disclaimer: Thank you to Negra Modelo for sponsoring this post. It’s a pleasure working with brands who support my style of cooking.  All opinions expressed on my site are my own. View full post »

  • November 8, 2015 - 9:31 am

    Katrina - I absolutely love the sound of these burgers! So tasty and healthy all at once :)ReplyCancel

  • November 8, 2015 - 9:19 pm

    Tieghan - I am basically dying for these burgers. I prefer veggie burgers to beef any day…well, it has to be a GOOD veggie burger, but these look and sound top notch! I clearly need them in my life! :)

    I also love the beer pairing, it sounds simply perfect!ReplyCancel

  • November 10, 2015 - 12:30 am

    Kevin | Keviniscooking - These look exceptional, love the nice jalapeño bite in them and the outside loos so crunchy. Fantastic photos and while I don’t drink, I’d gobble this up in a heartbeat.ReplyCancel

  • November 10, 2015 - 10:37 am

    Liren - With the passing of time, as much as I like a burger, I am loving veggie burgers more. The sweet potatoes here are the winner for me! And it’s a perfect pairing with Negra Modelo – this is one of my husband’s favorite beers, and a staple when we’re entertaining!ReplyCancel

  • November 10, 2015 - 8:26 pm

    Heather Mason @NuttyNutrition - This burger looks awesome! Love that it is sweet potato based. And that avocado spread, yum! I love cilantro on almost everything!ReplyCancel

  • November 11, 2015 - 10:22 am

    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious - As much as I love a meaty burger, I do sometimes order a veggie option just for the awesome flavors and this looks like one I want stat!! Great pairing :)ReplyCancel

  • November 12, 2015 - 2:37 pm

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - I love everything about this scene – the sweet potatoes + jalapeño + avocado + slaw. AND. That Negra Modelo!ReplyCancel

  • November 14, 2015 - 6:51 am

    Currently Crushing On. | How Sweet It Is - […] away by this sweet potato quinoa burger. […]ReplyCancel

  • November 15, 2015 - 3:43 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Gorgeous photos and burgers Brian!! Love all the spices inside the burger, and the homemade fixins on top. I would love one of these with a Negra Modelo!ReplyCancel

  • November 15, 2015 - 5:06 pm

    jessica - These look amazing. Do you think the patties can be made ahead of time and frozen? Then maybe just put in fridge to thaw in the morning and cook them up in skillet in evening for a quick after work meal?ReplyCancel

    • November 16, 2015 - 6:14 pm

      Brian @ A Thought For Food - Absolutely! I didn’t freeze them, but I can definitely see them doing pretty well if they’re wrapped, defrosted, and then maybe heated in a skillet or toaster.ReplyCancel

Curried Shrimp and Noodles

We leave for Hawaii in just over a month. I haven’t mentioned it here because I’ve been trying not to think about it too much. You see, I’ve come to learn that anticipating, even something as wonderful as a vacation, doesn’t do me any good. I get all excited and plan every moment. I start to dream about how great the whole thing will be. Before I know it, the trip has come and gone and I didn’t really enjoy it because of these totally crazy expectations. So, I haven’t planned a thing yet. We have our flights, our hotels, a car… but that’s it. I plan to do a little work on things over the next couple of weeks, but unlike other trips, I’m just going to go with the flow. I’m even ok if there are days where we just sit on the beach, drinking cocktails and reading books. No need to schedule every second of our stay.

Of course, I do have a few things on the list. While we don’t have a lot of hikes or other excursions planned, we do plan to go snorkeling. We’ll also be spending a day driving the Road to Hanna, which we’ve heard is stunning and there are lots of stops to make (and pictures to take) along the way. I also want to go to a luau. But, really, besides that, we’re going to just enjoy the warmth and try to decompress a little. I’m leaving my camera behind and will just take pictures with my phone. Maybe… maybe… I’ll even leave my computer behind. We’ll see.

It’s fitting that we’re ending the year with a big trip, since we began it spending a week in New Orleans. It was my first time and I totally fell in love with the city… the food, the people, the ability to walk around with a cocktail (oh, and Happy Hour!  Come on, Massachusetts, get with it!). We dined at a number of spots (though missed a ton of big ones too). Our favorite was Peche, which took the seafood restaurant concept to a new level. Every dish was inventive, but familiar. We both went nuts for their curried shrimp and agreed it was one of the best dishes we ate during our multi-course lunch there (they don’t do a pre-fixe… we just kept ordering things). Shortly after we returned home, I was going through an issue of Bon Appetit and to our surprise, there was the recipe for the curried shrimp! I really can’t believe it took me as long as it did to make it… but here it is. A perfect dinner for a cool fall night.

Curried Shrimp and Noodles Curried Shrimp and Noodles

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  • October 28, 2015 - 8:46 am

    Tieghan - Hawaii! That sounds amazing, but I totally get the no planning thing. I do that same thing, so i totally get ti!

    Love these curried noodles! Great meal for these busy months ahead!ReplyCancel

  • October 28, 2015 - 12:47 pm

    Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence - Hawaii!!!! So exciting. And kudos to you for just going with the flow. My trips are often so planned! I need to do that on my next trip :) I also need to make this noodle dish. Love that the shrimp is ground with all of those flavorings. The finished sauce seems like a ragu?ReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2015 - 9:42 am

    Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles - Hawaii…fabulous! I have yet to get there. Have such a great time! This shrimp and noodles recipe looks addictive. :)ReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2015 - 3:10 pm

    Kevin | Keviniscooking - I hear you on the anticipation aspect of upcoming vacations. I booked us a trip to India 6 months ago and we don’t leave until next March!
    Beautiful photos here. This looks like a wonderful seafood bolognese!ReplyCancel

  • October 29, 2015 - 8:46 pm

    TidyMom - Have fun in Hawaii!! we’ve never been, but it’s on my wish list for next year!!
    The Curried Shrimp and Noodles look and sound amazing!ReplyCancel

  • October 30, 2015 - 4:13 am

    Sylvie - You are making me jealous! Maui is my happy place so if you need any info on where to go, eat, etc… before you go you know who to ask.ReplyCancel

  • October 30, 2015 - 10:32 am

    gilbert - Looks deliciousReplyCancel

  • November 3, 2015 - 5:04 pm

    Meredith - Can’t wait for you to go to Hawaii! I’ve never been so I’ll be living through your pics! This looks amazing, by the way! I’ll need to give it a try sooner than later!ReplyCancel