Thursday, June 28, 2012

Michigan Blueberry Smash Cocktail

It's Cocktail Week! A special thanks to Allison (that was hard to type, I really want to say Mrs. Powell) at Decadent Philistines Save the World for letting me join in the "week" games. Mrs. P was the young, hip teacher at my high school a few years back. I loved hanging out in her classroom talking shoes and gawking at her mad cake decorating skills. 

Now for some libations. . .

Despite enjoying several new cocktails over the past year, this was my first adventure in cocktail making. I decided to make a cocktail featuring Michigan berries. I've been fortunate to enjoy several Michigan fruits this season already - black cherries, raspberries, and blueberries - despite the damage the fruit crop here has incurred.  I settled on a half pint of itty bitty blueberries at the Farmer's Market and was able to snag some locally grown mint as well for this Blueberry Smash cocktail from Bon  Appétit. 

I halved the original recipe and swapped Elderflower soda for the pricier Elderflower liqueur, using equal parts soda and vodka.

To make this unbelievably easy drink, you'll need lemon, lime, berries, mint, and the aforementioned, vodka and soda. 


As the name implies, you'll need to smash the fruit and mint together (best part, aside from drinking it) before adding vodka, soda and ice. Voilà!

My taste testers and I found this drink incredibly refreshing on a hot Michigan afternoon! I have plans for another batch this weekend. Perhaps I will switch up the berries? I may also add a pinch of sugar or drizzle of agave - the early season berries seemed a little tart.

Thirsty for more? Check out what the other lovely ladies of Cocktail Week have stirred up:
- Megan @ Wanna Be A Country Cleaver: Raging Aztec Frappe
- Allison @ Decadent Philistines Save the World: Peach Pie Prosecco "Palmer"& Radlermass
- Kat @ Tenaciously Yours: Amaretto Sours
- Carrie @ Bakeaholic Mama: Raspberry Thyme Tom Collins
- Kristen (Fellow Michigander!) @ Comfortably Domestic: Traverse City Cherry Mojito
- Katie @ Hill Country Cook: Watermelon Mojo
- Lauren @ Climbing Grier Mountain: La Paloma

Be sure to visit La Petite Pancake to see what Mads has made today, and tomorrow visit Jeanne at Inside NanaBread's Head.  

Blueberry Smash Cocktail (serves three 20-something girls)
adapted from Bon Appétit
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 lime, sliced
- 1/2 cup of blueberries
- 1/4 cup of loose packed mint leaves
- 3/4 cup of vodka
- 3/4 cup of elderflower soda 

Muddle lemon, lime, blueberries and mint in a large pitcher. Stir in vodka, soda and 1 cup of ice cubes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Good Food Jobs Day: Ann Arbor

I'm sure I'm not the only one out there obsessed with Good Food Jobs. A clean site design, good interviews with food folk, an awesome Tuesday newsletter and tons of foodie dream jobs - what more could a girl ask for?

Recently the site's founders suggested hosting meetups worldwide on June 16th to celebrate three years since the site was thought up and launched. They made it really easy to organize a meetup in your own community via I decided to organize the Ann Arbor meetup and pushed the information out through a few local foodie groups (in hindsight, I should have pushed more!). The day had an ice cream theme as the site's founders conceived the idea of the site over ice cream three years ago.

On Saturday I headed over to Iorio's Gelateria near campus to celebrate Good Food Jobs Day with some tasty gelato and food system talk. I was expecting about six people, one person came (and Carrie - an Iorio's employee - jumped in for a bit). Iorio's is really the perfect place for an event like this one. The business started exclusively as a catering business in 2004 and last year they opened their Ann Arbor location (there is another in Lansing, MI). The young owners really seem value the opinions of both their customers and employees; new gelato flavors are concocted from customer and employee suggestions. In addition, Carrie and I discussed briefly how the employees have the opportunity to jump into projects that both interest them and benefit the business.

Salted carmel, chocolate and fig, and chocolate ginger gelato all snuggled together. 

I indulged in a vanilla hazelnut cappuccino and a little gelato while there and jumped into talking with Aaron about our interests in working in the food systems. Ironically, Aaron and I took a class together and he grabs lunch at my work from time to time but I never knew of our similar interests in food issues. We talked about things going on in our community that are creating a stronger local food system and discussed creating a food book club for recent grads, young professionals, etc.  Finally, we talked about easy things everyone can do to change the food system.

I'm tentatively planning on organizing a similar event in the near future. I know there were people out there who couldn't make it and I would love to talk to them more about this topic. Are you in the Ann Arbor area and interested in talking more about building a better food system? Reach out!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

We'll now return to our regularly scheduled programming. . .

There's just no good way to start a blog post after a six month hiatus (I guess this is a start). I'm just going to let that first sentence be satisfactory and provide short description of the past few months, in no particular order, so we can get back to munching on here.

  • I graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Michigan! (I also happen to be on the lookout for a job with an environment-food-sustainability-people kind of focus. ;))
A cold, rainy Ann Arbor morning with lifelong bestie, Abby!
  • Visited my older sister in DC with my younger sister and our friend whose name is also Madeline. 

  • Met Jenna of Eat, Live, Run in Ann Arbor. . .twice. First at a meet-up she organized and then the following day when she wandered into my workplace. 
  • Speaking of workplace, I now know significantly more about cheese, wine and the like since the last time we talked.
  • I had cereal for dinner tonight, again. I promise breakfast and lunch have been better.