Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Hour Friday

Happy Friday!  It is the end of a long week and we need to kick back and relax.  Now as I said yesterday I do have a party to plan since grandma has a big birthday this weekend (at 98 every birthday is big).  Though this little party plan may work for a Happy Hour, it will work for any party you may have.  

I think that a great Friday Happy Hour is totally in store for this week, I may not be able to partake, but I want to see everyone have fun.  So if I can help lay the ground work for our team, I think we could have a really fun Friday Happy Hour ahead of us.  

But to get us started we have to realize Happy Hour should have a few basic elements to be truly fun.  You need good friends, a relaxing atmosphere, you so need to have really good tunes, some amazing cocktails, and of course some tasty treats to eat.  

I think our team can provide the good friends, best part, no need to throw the tux on for this event.  As for the rest, I can offer a few drink suggestions, but use your imagination and go wild.  The great thing about Hawaii it does seem to lend itself to a relaxing atmosphere, which I might say is very important for this kind of event.  So go ahead, light some candles, and blast some tunes. The idea is make everyone feel welcome, like they are the ohana they are.  

There is one, thing don't over due it on the signature cocktails, maybe one or two, then stock your bar with a few of the old standards.  Just remember that a little preparation before your get together will mean you won't have work as hard later on.  The kind of items you should have on hand are beer, bourbon, whiskey, vodka, gin, one of my favorites tequila, rum and wine.  Don't forget some mixers, soda, juices, and of course plenty of ice.  

Now if you can mix up some of these drinks in pitchers for when your friends arrive,then all you need do is ask what their pleasure is and pour away.   Most important thing is to kick back and enjoy.

Mai Tai

1 1/2 oz. light rum
1 1/2 oz. gold rum
1 oz. Curacao (or orange liqueur)
1/2 oz. orzata or almond syrup
juice of 1/4 lime
1 oz. dark rum float

  1. Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice. Add all ingredients, except dark rum, and stir. Drizzle dark rum on top. 
  2. Garnish with an umbrella and triangle of fresh pineapple and a Maraschino cherry.  

Now for the James Bond in the crowd how about a very special martini, okay maybe you should break out the tux....

Vesper Martini 

2 parks vodka
1 part gin
1/4 oz white Lillet ( an apéritif )

  1. Pour into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. 
  2. Strain into a martini glass. 
  3. Add long lemon twist and serve

White Wine Sangria

One bottle of Viognier white wine
1 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
½ cup simple syrup (pour slowly and adjust to taste) recipe follows
Fruit: fresh chopped peaches, pineapple, apples, white grapes, and mangoes
1 bottle seltzer
Several mint leaves

  1. In a pitcher mix the first 4 ingredients, and refrigerate for about an hour. 
  2. Just before serving add seltzer and mint leaves.  Fill glass with ice and pour.
Simple syrup:  rather easy measurement equal parts sugar to water.  So 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water, cook until until dissolved let cool and refrigerate.  will keep for a week. 

Chile and Goat Cheese Dip

1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese, drained
8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2- 4-ounce cans chopped green chiles
2 Tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
1/4-1/2 tsp ground chile pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. 
  2. Coat a 8 or 9 inch round casserole or glass pie pan with cooking spray. Mash together ricotta and goat cheese in a medium bowl. Drain chiles in a colander, make sure to press to remove as much liquid as possible. Then stir into the cheese mixture. Spread evenly in the prepared dish. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and chile pepper. 
  3. Bake until the dip is bubbling at the edges, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.  
  4. Serve with tortilla chips.

Ginger-Marinated Shrimp 

1/4 cup fresh mint

1 Tbsp grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp grated ginger

3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp  salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 pound cooked medium shrimp

  1. Chop the mint. Combine it in a medium bowl with the lemon zest, lemon juice, ginger, olive oil,  salt and pepper. 
  2. Stir in the shrimp and marinate for 10-15 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

Marinated Mozzarella

3- 8-oz) blocks mozzarella cheese
1-jar kalamata or oil cured olives, drained and halved
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Tooth pick or fresh rosemary stem

  1. Cut blocks of cheese into 1-inch cubes. Arrange cheese cubes and olive halves in a dish deep enough to marinade in.  
  2. Whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, chopped parsley, then add and next 8 ingredients; pour evenly over cheese cubes and olives. 
  3. Cover and chill at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. Transfer mixture to a serving plate. Spear cheese with tooth pick or short rosemary stems, even add a tomato halves.  Drizzle with marinade, if desired.

Hope you enjoy your weekend, I know I will enjoy mine.  As always if you make any of the recipes take a picture and share it with me either here or on Twitter @cherylhofmann or by email I will share them here with everyone.  I also want to thank everyone who has been following my blog it means so much to me.  If there is anything you would like to see or a recipe that might be interested in seeing here on the blog.  I so look forward to hearing from you.  Happy Weekend!!!  

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