Frozen Pineapple Cilantro Mojito

Cilantro Mojito

One of the most refreshing beverages I had last summer was this Frozen Pineapple Cilantro Mojito. (Just brought home the ingredients to make a batch this weekend… and yes, I know it’s only Wednesday… some things are worth the wait. ;)

Now that our temps have soared to 100º F, I’m ready for more. (Cocktails, not heat!)

Credit goes to “Baking A Moment” and this recipe. Many thanks! Ahhhhh…

Enjoying a lil’ heat relief,

~ Kim

A Toast To Trucking

Martini 1

In case it seems odd to propose a toast to trucking, I did it on purpose.  Drinking and driving don’t mix!

(Please bear with my mini-soap box.)

Back when I maneuvered an 80,000 pound vehicle down the freeway, highway, byway, or city street, I was mindful of the responsibility of having a CDL (Commercial Drivers License.)  The same goes when I’m driving my Jeep nowadays; on four wheels or eighteen, I value human life — mine included.

Please celebrate responsibly!

Ok, nuff said… I enjoy a good cocktail or a great wine now that I’m off the road.

To everything there is a season…

Speaking of which, it’s almost summer here and cocktails, beer, wine, and/or alcohol-laden concoctions are often a part of it.  For those of you who don’t imbibe, you have my utmost respect and permission to skip this post — but you’ll be missing out on a trucking story or two later. :)

For those of you who do tip a glass now and then, Martinis are on my mind.

Martini 2

I searched high and low for the perfect Martini recipe (mostly on Google) and was confounded by what I found (mostly controversy!)   Gin or vodka?  I prefer the latter.  To stir or not to stir?  I like the James Bond version — “Shaken, not stirred.”  Olives or lemon peel?  I enjoy the former.  How much Vermouth?  A splash does me fine.  (Have I lost you yet?!)  Just call me “The Queen of Parenthetical Thought!” (Lol.)

Anyway, to add to the ambience of this classic cocktail, I recently went in search of a Martini-making set and “spied” one (pardon the James Bond pun) at Libbys in Eufaula.  That’s where I got my very cool red double boiler, too.  I love the stores in this town!  By the way, Libbys features Picasso-like clothing combined with vintage cooking items and antiques — one of the many delights of shopping local, when I have occasion to shop.

Okay, I might as well throw in those trucking stories now, since one of them relates to being thirsty. :)

Martini

Martini 3

(Excerpted from an August 2006 letter)

Livingston, Tennessee was the place I heard my first genuine, bonafide “HOOO-EEEEE” from a Southern fellow by the name of Robert.  He came to unload our trailer, took one look at the huge generator we were delivering, scratched his head, and let out a Jed Clampett sounding expression that tickled me pink!  It was 100+ degrees outside, and humid, and by the time he was done unloading, Robert worked up a powerful thirst.

He went inside the office building, scrounged up the largest “water glass” he could find, and came out drinking ice cold H2O from a flower vase.  Driving around is a pleasant part of our job, but it’s the PEOPLE who really touch our hearts.

HOOO-EEEEE!

There’s another fellow I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention him (excerpted from a January 2006 letter.)

This past week our trucking trip was an adventure from the start.  We left early Thursday morning to pick up a load headed to Salt Lake City and the first person we encountered was “The Kissing Bandit.”  We hadn’t been in the terminal more than two minutes when this grizzly-looking fellow climbed up to Russ’s window and asked, “May I have permission to kiss your wife?”

Russ’s answer was: “You’d better ask her.”

The gentleman ambled over to my window, held out his hand, and revealed two Hershey’s kisses.  As it turned out, The Kissing Bandit carried a pocketful of chocolate kisses and enjoyed handing them out to the ladies. ;)  That’s one of the reasons I love trucking — ya never know when you’re going to meet a character, and God provides such a variety of people along the way.

Martini Set

Well, I’ve worked up a powerful thirst… and it’s time for a cocktail.

Like trucking stories, one (or two) will do.

Have a great week!

Enjoying vintage storytelling (and Martini sets),

~ Kimby

Not Your Average Joe (Two Tone Chocolate Mocha)

After my last post, it rained for two days straight (hallelujah!), and with the rain came a renewed sense of purpose… and a whole lot of coffee drinking.

Bear in mind, I admire folks who can contain themselves to a single cup per day — an early morning jolt, a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, or a post-dessert accompaniment.  I also marvel at those who partake of coffee now and then — truly a matter of self-controlled savoring.

As for those who abstain from it altogether, I have nothing but the deepest respect.  Coffee isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. :)  I also believe our differences are what attract us to each other — seeing how the other half lives, eh?  (Cause for celebration, not condemnation!)

As for moi… well, I grew up drinking the stuff.  It’s part of who I am.

After all the years The Man Of Few Words and I spent over-the-road drinking “mud,” we’ve pretty much adapted to the constant influx of caffeine.  Addicts?  No.  Acclimated?  Yes.

So as not to bounce off the walls with our near-IV consumption of java, our “home brew” falls somewhere between strong enough and weak enough.  We’ve also worn out three or four coffeemakers in the course of our eleven year or so marriage.  Who’s counting?

(Coffeemakers or anniversaries.)

So as the recent rain fell, coffee was brewed and cups were refilled.

Again and again.  Ahhhh…

It seemed appropriate to mark the occasion with something out of the ordinary — something more than just cream and sugar (which I enjoy once in a rare while) — or, at least cream and sugar in a different form.  In other words, not your average Joe.

I decided on a variation of my White Chocolate Mocha.  Made with a chocolate ganache base, it settled into an amusing (and quite satisfying) two layers.

(Three, counting the chocolate sludge on the bottom…)  But again, who’s counting?

Not nearly as sweet as the typical coffee-house version (with the addition of unsweetened chocolate), drinking it was rather like a duel between coffee and chocolate in my mouth.  Both of them won.

Two Tone Chocolate Mocha

Freshly brewed black coffee (whatever strength you desire)*

Chocolate Ganache, divided (recipe to follow)

Whipped Chocolate Ganache, for garnish

Chocolate chips, for garnish

For each 6 to 8 ounce cup of coffee, stir in 3 tablespoons of chilled chocolate ganache mixture.

Whip remaining chocolate ganache (see below.)

Top beverage with a dollop of whipped chocolate ganache.

Sprinkle randomly with chocolate chips.

(Note: most of the whipped ganache melted on contact, but that’s okay — I was going to stir it in anyway.  Also, all but one of the chocolate chips sank.  Oh well.)

*If coffee doesn’t tickle your fancy, try preparing this with hot milk for a grown-up Hot Chocolate.

Chocolate Ganache

1/2 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. milk chocolate chips

1/2 oz. (1/2 square) unsweetened chocolate, chopped

In a small saucepan, heat cream just to boiling; remove from heat.

Add chocolate chips and chopped chocolate; let sit for several minutes until softened.

Whisk until combined.  (I was in a hurry; mine had residual chocolate “flecks” — not a bad thing.)

Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled.  (I chilled the beaters at the same time, too.)

Reserve half the ganache mixture for stirring into coffee.  Store “leftovers” — if any — in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Whip remaining ganache with an electric mixer ’til soft peaks form.

Average Joe, meet Empress Josephine… love at first sip.

Technical difficulties aside, this treat did the trick.  I feel right as rain.

Enjoying java in all its glory,

~ Kim

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