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August Recipe Tasting

Summer foods are all about fresh fruits and vegetables and the August issue of BH&G is full of fresh-from-the-farm recipes. Before our podcast taping, Chef Tim whipped up three iterations of inspired creations from the magazine’s pages.

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Top: Spinach Dutch Baby. Middle: chilled corn soup. Bottom: crostini topped with gruyere and garlic-onion jam.

First up: quick garlic-onion jam served on toasts with gruyere cheese for some contrast. Tim said it was incredibly easy and his favorite thing this session. How else can you use it, besides on these appetizers? We quickly decided it could be used almost anywhere–on burgers, BLTs, other sandwiches, a roast beef and horseradish French dip…it’s a very versatile (power vers!) condiment.

Next: a chilled corn soup topped with lots of mix-ins: feta, more corn, lemon zest, dill. We both agreed that it’s light, summery and would make a perfect cocktail shooter soup. It’s made with yogurt, not cream, so it’s not as heavy as you would expect, and not as overtly corny as imagined, either. Tim served it in the family’s vintage Currier & Ives china bowls but the blue-and-white pattern works perfectly for a summer’s afternoon.

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Chef Tim plating our Spinach Dutch Baby through the pass-through window. What service!

Tim whipped up a last-minute addition: the Spinach Dutch Baby. This is also a fairly simple recipe, with an egg dough pancake cradling fresh spinach and farmer’s market tomatoes. It would make a wonderful weekend lunch with a salad, or even a light weeknight dinner. Plus it looks impressive (it’s a grower) enough to serve to company.

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The Salty Be-otch: peach puree, rosemary simple syrup, Tito’s, a pink Hawaiian sea salt rim, and rosemary for garnish.

As for our signature cocktail, the magazine left us thirsty (only one beverage recipe–for iced tea, and iced tea cocktails are so 2010) so Rob invented something original: a take on a Salty Dog. He swapped in a fresh peach puree (made from fruits provided by Clarkes Family Farm) for the customary grapefruit, and called it a Salty Be-otch. A rosemary-infused simple syrup melded nicely with a scoop of peach sorbet, and plenty of Tito’s Vodka gave it a kick. J. licked off his salty rim job right away but others in the group said that you can take or leave the salt rim (Rob used pink Hawaiian sea salt for color).

Check out our YouTube channel for videos of these tastings and tune in to our August podcast episode coming soon!

 

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Poolside Recipe Tastings

Recipe tasting, signature cocktail drinking and episode taping on a hot summer day. Berry Lemonade martinis (based on this recipe but with citrus vodka of course), chickpea flatbreads, and strawberry chicken panzanella all from the July issue of Better Homes & Gardens. Our July episode comes out later this week! Happy summer, y’all.IMG_7481IMG_7482IMG_7485IMG_7489Rob_shaker_yall
We also enjoyed the ginger-lime icebox cake but were too sloshed hot to remember to take photos.
Episodes · Show News

Mini Episode: The New Victorihemians

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The new what? In this segment from the June 2018 episode, Rob and J. own up to confused feelings about “The Natural Life” feature on page 116 of the Better Homes & Gardens June 2018 issue. Meet the forager family behind the Insta account Fox Meets Bear and decide for yourself if their style is 1980’s “Country Living,” an update on Victorian naturalism, trapped-in-the-70’s-Woodstock–or do we have it totally wrong? (J. provides a little corrective at the end of this mini episode.) By the end, we crack the code and determine that swingers, open relationships, sex dens and far away husbands are soooo gay pride. Suggested signature cocktail for this episode: a sparkling wine with a shot of an herbal aperitif, such as Aperol, St. Germain or Cap Corse, garnished with a shasta daisy.

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It’s National Martini Day!

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Today is National Martini Day! Do you like it dirty? Or straight up? Or are you like us: “If I can pour it into a martini glass, it’s a martini.” Let us know how you’re celebrating on this most important national holiday!

For some cocktail inspiration, check out these resources:

Could Be Better’s monthly signature cocktails, of course

Tales of the Cocktail’s Top 8 Martini Recipes

Craft & Cocktails – Ashley Rose Conway’s insanely beautiful cocktail blog

The Best Cocktail Bars for Celebrating National Martini Day

Welcome To My Bar Blog – Recipes and garnish inspiration from Fede’s home bar

Episodes · Show News

The June 2018 Issue: The Gay Pride Episode

CBB_June18_1200x1200In this episode of Could Be Better, it’s time for Gay Pride Month, but something’s a little amiss. There’s only one rainbow in the whole issue, the recipes feature low-alcohol cocktails, and the Editor’s Letter leaves us filled with regret. We’re determined to make it #werk, however, so we plow on while sipping this month’s signature cocktail, the Tito’s Smash (courtesy of the back cover…we’re making a real difference, girls). We take a trip back to the mid-80’s for color trends, swoon over Reese Witherspoon’s new Draper James line, tour a garden we’ll never have, and choose between summer tablescapes.

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Plus: peach emojis, hookups who linger for the photoshoot, and the long-awaited launch of our lifestyle brand! (It’s OK to launch a brand with no products, right?) Go behind the scenes and check out video of us tasting rose-flavored recipes while on vaca in Provincetown.

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The Tito’s Smash: muddle grapes, serrano pepper, a sugar cube and lime. Add vodka (we doubled it, of course) and orange bitters. Voila. A Tuesday night party!

Music by Bensound. Credits and baking by Tim Lawton. Welcome to your better life and Happy Gay Pride Month!

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June Episode Coming Soon!

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Heads up, CBB fans! We’re taping a new episode of the show TONIGHT (Tuesday, May 22nd) and spilling the tea (and a cocktail or two) on what we think about the June issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Drinking on a Tuesday night–what could go wrong? Be on the lookout for a full episode by the end of May.

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Plus, we’ll both be traveling over Memorial Day weekend (to the same place!) so there will be some super-special travel bonus content coming to our Instagram Story, YouTube and this site soon.

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What did you think of the June issue? Are you down with more #pink? What’s your signature cocktail for the month? Let us know in the comments or share on our Facebook page!