Dirty Sue Martini

June 11, 2010 18:26 by Suzy

Remember back when we were on our crazy 2010 Road Trip?  I discovered (and loved) a spicy martini that our friend in Colorado Springs made for me.  I submitted that post to the Diva's Beach Eats Thirsty Thursday Challenge and got some great comments and feedback.

I also got an email from Eric at a company called Dirty Sue, which makes premium olive juice to use in dirty martinis.  He thought that between my Mile High Martini post and the name of my blog, I deserved a care package of Dirty Sue!  I, of course, agreed.

This is a great product!  Instead of straining olive juice out of your olive jar (which is always messy and you end up with dry olives), this is a premium olive juice for use especially for martinis.  Check out their website for more info on the story behind Dirty Sue and some of their products.  Eric was kind enough to send me a cute insulated drink koozie ("My Other Drink is a Dirty Sue Martini") and other goodies in addition to the juice itself.  Check out their logo!

It's taken me over a month (you never realize how crazy it can get after returning from a 2-week vacation!) but I'm finally posting about it!  Not that it's taken me this long to "sample" the product...this is really the first opportunity I have had to properly photograph and document the yummy Dirty Sue Martini.

Dirty Sue Martini
3 ounces gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce Dirty Sue olive juice

Pour all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Strain into martini glass and garnish with an olive.


Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

June 8, 2010 21:35 by Suzy

Until now, I had never made or even eaten a pineapple upside-down cake.  JD has always talked about how much he loved them, so I had to give it a try.  The result?  Very moist, yet light cake, with juicy pineapple in every bite.  Very yummy, but honestly, I don't know what the fuss is about.  I'm just glad it turned out pretty...I was worried about some big mess when it came to turning out the cake.  And JD declared it a hit, so that is a success for me!

Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
adapted from a recipe at allrecipes.com

3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 fresh pineapple, sliced into rings (or canned pineapple rings)
maraschino cherries

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt the butter and brush a 9 inch cast iron skillet with a little of the butter.

Combine 5 tablespoons of the melted butter with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the pineapple juice.  Pour into cast iron skillet. 

Arrange the pineapple slices into a nice pattern over the brown sugar mixture.  Place a maraschino cherry into the center of each pineapple slice.

In a small bowl, comine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.

Separate the eggs.  Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.  Beat two of the egg yolks until lemon yellow.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup pineapple juice, vanilla, and remaining melted butter.

Add the flour mixture and combine.  Gently fold in the egg whites.  Pour batter over pineapple rings in skillet.

Bake at 400 degrees 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and set in the middle.  Mine was a little runny in the center, so watch for this!

Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Cover with serving plate and carefully invert cake so that pineapple slices are on top.  Let cool, slice, and serve.

Red Beans with Sausage

June 6, 2010 20:34 by Suzy

This is another favorite of JD's.  Wonderful flavor.  Not glamourous, but sooooo good.

Red Beans with Sausage
recipe adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

1 pound pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and picked over
sliced ham hocks
1/2 pound Italian sausage (I use sweet, not hot)
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
5 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 cup chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh)

Put beans in large pot and add water to cover.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Add the ham hock slices and reduce heat to simmer.  Cover loosely.  Add more water if necessary.

Meanwhile, put sausages in skillet over medium heat.  Turn occasionally until browned on all sides; remove from pan.  Sausages will not be done in the middle, but don't worry about that.  Cut sausages into chunks.

Add a little canola oil to the skillet and add onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened...about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Return the sausage chunks to the pan and cook over medium heat until browned all over.

Add the onion/peppers, thyme, bay leaves, allspice and tomatoes to the pan.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10-15 minutes.

Remove the ham hocks from the pot of beans, remove bones and chop. 

Return chopped ham to the pot of beans along with the sausage/vegetable mixture.

Cook at a simmer until the beans are very tender.  Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

Serve alone or over rice; sprinkle with chopped parsley.