But all bicycle chases aside, I cooked two dishes yesterday: fried okra and pot roast with onions, cabbage, carrots and potatoes (ah, cravings). I broke out the new crock pot for the latter occasion. (I'm quickly becoming obsessed with the slow cooker, so expect to see it make frequent appearances on the blog.)
However, I made multiple mistakes this time, the first being I suck at cooking and the second being that I am encouraged by Andrew, who equally sucks at cooking, to wing it instead of following recipes. He tends to hover. "There's no exact science to frying okra," he said yesterday, while leaning over my shoulder in our tiny kitchen. Our okra definitely needed some sort of method to the madness, even though we ate all of it, even the burned pieces.
We've never made a bad roast," he said, as he encouraged me to forgo recipes and just buy things that looked good at the farmer's market and Kroger. Keep in mind we've only made one roast. By "we," I mean not me. This roast turned out a bit flavorless and rubbery, but again we ate all of it since I obviously starve my husband.
So it's only fitting that the first successful recipe I share on this blog is a.) not made by me and b.) a cocktail. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Bobby Flay's Cucumber Cocktail, brought to you by Andrew, cucumber connoisseur (starting yesterday). I tweaked it a bit based on what Andrew did, which turned out quite delicious.
- cucumber vodka (recipe below.)
- tonic water (to taste)
- 3 small cucumbers
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- small dollop of simple syrup (equal amounts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves; cool)
- Handful fresh mint leaves (we forgot these, but you shouldn't. They sound delish.)
- Ice cubes, for serving
*For once Andrew is right about measurements, and this isn't an exact science. He just played it by ear and didn't really measure anything out.
1. Make the cucumber vodka by chopping one small cucumber and submerging it in just enough vodka to cover the slices. You want your cucumber vodka to fill about half of the container you're mixing in. (Depending on how strong you want it you can use more or less vodka.)
2. Mix up the simple syrup on the stove, bring to boil and allow to cool. (Andrew put it in the freezer. It wasn't quite syrupy when he added it but it still tasted fine. If you let it sit longer it will get syrupy.)
3. Juice two whole cucumbers. You can probably do this in the blender (since you'll strain the juice later) but we used a juicer we got as a wedding gift from the Fashionable Wife's fam.
Notice the crock pot slowly simmering the failed pot roast.
3. Mix the cucumber juice and cucumber vodka together in one container. (If you have fresh mint, I assume you add it here. The recipe isn't very clear, but a little mint never hurt anything!)
4. Transfer half of the mixture into a cocktail shaker and shake to combine.
5. Pour over ice and top off with tonic water.
Contrary to how this picture may look, it came out a nice light green color and the cocktail mixer strained it so it was smooth too. Garnishing with a cucumber and fresh mint would be a nice touch too.
5. Enjoy a cooling cucumber refreshment! (I swear it doesn't look as gross as the pictures in real life!)