Thursday, June 20, 2013

Writer's Block, Sentiment, and Sangria

    Can't write- have summer writer's block. I know I know it's a cheat to say but it's totally true. My brain is absorbed elsewhere with other things. The number one thing being how my kids are growing and how I feel like the time is slipping away from me. So two things will happen here. The first is that I will spend that time this summer with them cherishing every little word they say and every little hilarious thing they do. The second is that I will drink. ha ha ha... really I will. Heavily- to ease the pain and to slow my roll. Ha- I need to chill a little I know on the sentimentality of it all. At 9, 7, and 4 I still have them and I just need to enjoy the now. J's cleaning up the fort mess of a room he made, Fi's following his every move and hanging on his every word. C's designing jewelry for her Yia Yia. My kids are awesome. 
     In other news my job stopped paying me for the food blog which is sort of fine. But now what to do with it? So since I'm dismantling it and since I need a drink and since I can't write, I'm cheating. I'm going to take a few of those posts and put them here. Just the ones I wrote about my own recipes and my own food feelings. So sue me if you are bored with it but I think every mommy needs a sangria recipe. So here you go! Eat, DRINK, and enjoy your summer of kids moms. I am sure going to try.

     Gin and tonic’s are my usual fall back summer drink of choice but a few years back, when we traveled to Spain I got a little bit “hooked” on Sangria. Light crisp and slightly fruity if it’s done right, red or white, it can be the most easy to drink summer cocktail out there. I have to take a min to add a note here. Rick and I found a tree at the top of the "mountain" in San Sebastian Spain. We carved our initials into it's trunk. We got wasted on blush wine and ate cheese and bread. It was one of the greatest days of my life. So this recipe brings me to summer, to love, and to Spain. I hope you love it as much as I do! Most people think that it’s as simple as adding some chopped fruit to a glass of iced wine. They’d be wrong. There is a trick, and a secret ingredient that most miss. Without it, it’s a total miss. Bet you can’t guess?

I’ll wait…

Brandy! Who knew? And it really can’t just be any old Brandy. It needs to be something elegant, sophisticated, and fresh. Cardenal Mendoza Solera comes with my highest recommendations. Slightly dark fruit waves rush over crisp orange notes, giving a glass of sangria exactly the perfect flavor. Added to a light red that is not to acidic, like a Rioja. Hailing from North Central Spain this wine is primarily made from the Tempranillo grape.  Marques de Caceres is my brand of choice because it’s usually very inexpensive. No sense in spending a lot of money on a wine when you should be saving those extra pennies for the Brandy. Finally a slight hint of fruit juice is needed. You can really go with just about anything here; orange or pineapple,  but I prefer apricot. I know it’s unusual but I think it makes the drink. I have seen recipes that add sugar. I do not. I think the apricot juice does that for me. A splash of 7-up and then diced apples and sliced oranges. An additional trick I use is to freeze grapes and then use them instead of ice cubes. It leaves less chance of a watered down beverage. Try this with red or white, you can even use a rose. The specific measurements are listed below. I dare you to find a better recipe anywhere!

  • 1 Bottle of Rioja
  • 1 Apple cut into wedges
  • 1 Orange cut into thin slices
  • 1 Cup frozen grapes red or white
  • Splash of apricot juice
  • 3 Shots of Brandy
  • 2 cups 7-Up          

  P.S.- I also was on the crew that helped open La Bodega here in KC. If you love their Sangria.. pssssst...lean in close now...... this is pretty much it. I think I remember distinctly going through about 12 recipes before we settled on this one. Oh what a night that was....