Thursday, July 14, 2011


Summer means berries.
Burnt's Blueberry Vodka

I have been noticing all the blueberries on sale as well as all the great recipes other blogs have been posting.  I usually make blueberry muffins or cobbler but I wanted to try something different.  I saw Bon Appetit's blog, Infuse Your Booze, and I wanted to make blueberry vodka.  In addition to the blueberry vodka, I also made strawberry vodka, pineapple vodka and watermelon vodka.  You have to try this.  It is so tasty and so much better than those infused vodkas you buy at the store (so long Absolut Acai Berry aka vomit inducer)
Bon Appetit also featured Blueberry and Cream Cookies by Christina Tosi of Momofuku.  The same cookie was also the Cookie of the day on Martha Stewart.  I am obsessed with all things David Chang so I had to make these cookies.  They. Are. Awesome. I love chewy, thin cookies and these are exactly that.  The recipe calls for dried blueberries but you can use fresh. 

Hank wants the cookie

Here is a list of my favorite blueberry recipes:
Infuse Your Booze
Blueberry and Cream Cookies
Thomas Keller's Blueberry Cobbler
Banana Muffins with Blueberries -this recipe doesn't call for blueberries but I add them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Coconut Water Cure-All

Fourth of July weekend means lots of things: patriotism, BBQs, block parties, fireworks.....besides all the USA pride, the true common theme this weekend is getting shitfaced.  Three days in a row of total inebriation. Maybe in my college days, this is something I could handle but now that I am in the ripe age group of 30+, my body can only tolerate so much hangover.  My go-to cure for hangovers or when I'm feeling crappy is coconut water.   I swear this stuff is a miracle.  It is so good you can LITERALLY streamline it into your veins.  (True story, in WWII, coconut water was used in blood transfusions because of its electrolyte content, pH and viscosity are similar to blood plasma. Besides blood transfusions, coconut water has a multitude of medical uses).  

So when you're hungover, you are supposed to recover by drinking a Gatorade and eating something greasy.  But if you're like me, Gatorade tastes like radioactive piss that has been fermenting in the sun for several years. Coconut water tastes good. Coconut water is a natural sports drink.  Coconut water is loaded with natural occurring electrolytes, B vitamins and more potassium than a banana so it's actually better than a sports drink.  If you compare them side-by-side, you will notice that a sports drink like Gatorade will have double the amount of sugar, less potassium and no protein.  All the sugars are natural in coconut water while commercial sports drinks sweeten their products with high fructose corn syrup or other artificial sweeteners. Bleh. 
I also live in high altitude (8000 ft above sea level).  For people coming from sea-level, it's very important to stay hydrated.  When I'm really dehydrated at altitude, I sometimes find it hard to drink enough water to stay hydrated.  That's where coconut water is the cure-all.  Altitude sickness symptoms include headache, dizziness and nausea and I swear coconut water fixes them all.  Within 15 minutes of drinking a coconut water, I always feel better.
There are lots of brands of coconut water available but my favorite brand is Vita-Coco.  I think it tastes the best out of all the competition.  It even won the Bon Appetit Supermarket Standoff.  Vita-Coco advertises itself as being all-natural and not from concentrate. "It's like sticking a straw in a coconut." is their slogan.  It REALLY does tastes like sticking a straw in a coconut.  What consumers don't know and what the Supermarket Standoff failed to do was differentiate the fresh coconut waters from concentrate but the taste test does show the preference for the fresher coconut water.  Vita-Coco and O.N.E. are both fresh but the brand Zico is made from concentrate, which means they juice all the coconuts and mix the juices together.  It goes through a pasteurization process which in my opinion ruins the fresh taste.  I also think the plastic bottles make the coconut water taste funny.  I prefer the Tetra Pak which is like a juice box.  Also coconuts from different places will produce different tasting juice.  Vita-Coco uses coconuts from Brazil while O.N.E. uses coconuts from Thailand.  

Vita-Coco has been getting lots of media attention as well.  Madonna, Demi Moore, Anothony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers are investors in Vita-Coco.  If you Google "Vita-Coco" and "celebrities, over 900,000 results pop up, including this one from E! "Why is every celebrity drinking coconut water".  Just recently, Vita-Coco signed Rihanna as their spokesperson and Kelly Slater as a sponsored athlete.  A copy of US Weekly is endorsement enough for Vita-Coco. 

But who cares about the celebrities and super athletes that drink coconut water.  Try it for yourself. Next time you are hungover and feeling completely shattered, reach for the coconut water.  You will thank me. 

This was supposed to be posted by July 1 but due to hangovers and such, it got delayed. 

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