More Amusing Than Mangoes: A Tequila Cocktail For Your Solo Fun Times

I invented a cocktail! When we get to storytime I’ll explain where it’s name came from, but let’s go, first through, let’s go through how to make it.

Ingredients

2 Shots of Tequila
1 Shot Triple Sec
2 Shots Mango Puree
1 Shot Lime Juice
1 Shot Pineapple Juice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add all ingredient and shake. Strain into a glass over ice.

Storytime

So last week I ordered online some mango puree to make Vegan Richa’s Mango Chickpea Curry.(Very good, recommend the recipe and Richa’s recipes in general.) But I ordered wayyy too much of it. I do not intend to make a full catering portion of Mango Chickpea curry.

I immediately thought, “Let’s make a cocktail!”

So, wrapping up my work last Wednesday reasonably early (around 2 PM) I got right to experimenting.

I landed on the above recipe, which I realized I couldn’t quite call a margarita, so I went to facebook to ask for help naming it. There were a few really good ones, but it was Katie who called it a “More Amusing Than Mangoes” which is a line from Once On This Island which is my favorite musical that isn’t Les Mis, and that we produced together 10 years ago. (EWWWW)

When the gods are mocking our heroine, Timoune about her dreams of racing off in a car with a rich boy, they sing a whole song about hitting her on the head with a mango, and um, yeah, it makes sense with context, I promise, anyway, Katie suggested it and I immediately latched on to the idea.

So that’s what we’ve named the cocktail. I recommend them for when you’re feeling the socially distant blues and also just want to get so tequila drunk that you keep forgetting to eat the dinner you’ve been preparing for hours. (It was shrimp tacos!) (They were yummy!)

Weirdest Summer Ever Heatwave Rum Punch

My nearly six month long quest to teach myself to bartend recreationally, (I’m not good enough at customer service to be a pro bartender. And I’m pretty good you guys.) is coming to a head in teaching myself to make stuff I can scale up.

Sure I probably won’t actually be entertaining for a while, but when I do, I want to be able to give my guests fun cocktails. If there’s more than ten people, which given the size of my social circle is possible, I want to be able to handle it.

Hence, realizing I need to learn a rum punch.

Here’s what, after a few test runs, I’ve come up with. The NJ/NY/CT tri-state area is currently in a serious heatwave, and if you can think of a better time to play around with rum than that, I can’t! (Maybe literally living on an island?)

Weirdest Summer Heatwave Ever Rum Punch

Ingredients

1 Shot Dark Rum
1 Shot Gold Rum
1 Shot Malibu
2 Shots Pineapple Juice
2 Shots Orange Juice
2 Shots Cranberry Juice
1 lime Juiced

For serving:

Pint Glasses Chilled
Ice

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add all ingredients and shake

Pour into a chilled Pint Glass over ice

Drink and pretend you’re at the beach. (Or be at the beach. I don’t know your life.)

Story Time!

The first thing I do when I look for a vacation spot is make sure the hotel has a bar, especially when I’m travelling alone. There’s something about spending the weird space between wrapping up your day of activities and dinner at a bar chatting with the bartender that I really love.

And, my mom taught me an excellent trick for starting that conversation. Ask, “Hey, do you have a rum punch?”

If there’s one on the menu it’s probably pre mixed, and well tested and delicious. If there isn’t, the bartender probably has one in their back pocket and will happily make it while chatting. Also, rum makes me friendly. (Sometimes too friendly as many men in Brooklyn bars ten years ago will likely tell you)

Some of my beloved people have them too, that are excellent for parties, as they make them in huge batches, enough to libate large groups of people at a house party. Juli, my cousin Suzie, and my brother Mike have my favorites, in that order. Though Juli and Mike would be offended at not using their preferred names of “Juli Buckets” and “Boat Drinks”. Juli Buckets go great with drinking games, and Boat Drinks will kill you. Suzie’s Rum Punch is more refined and belongs at the kind of yacht club party described in Taylor Swift’s “Starlight.”

But those big batch rum punches do me no good when I’m stuck by myself in my apartment and it’s 90 degrees out and I want to pretend I’m on vacation.

So, I started playing around, with the expressed purpose of creating a rum punch that I could both enjoy on my own and scale up when I’m around people.

The portions here are easily scaled up for a pitcher or larger, this recipe yields two pint glasses full.

Mostly though, I was glad to come up with my own rum punch. I’m looking forward to a dinner party next summer where I get to make a pitcher to go with like, fried rice and some grilled fish. Which I think this would go perfectly with.

It’s Movie Season Shrimp Rolls & Moscow Mules

Movie season was one of my favorite traditions that I was happy to also say a complete goodbye to this year. It’s not that I didn’t love and don’t love going to the movies. I absolutely adore it, it was just the routine and way I was doing it for six summers was starting to feel stale.

Also it’s a pandemic and movie theaters are closed ya dope.

Anyway, last Thursday I settled in to watch The Old Guard and decided to make an approximation of what I’d have eaten before seeing the movie if it had been released in theaters and I’d met up with Kristi and Aless before.

That meant, basic sea food, fries and a simple vodka cocktails.

Shrimp Rolls

1/2 lb Easy Peal Shrimp

1 Cup Vegetable Broth

1 Tbl Mayonaise

1/4 Cup Cole Slaw Mix

Salt, Pepper & Old Bay to Taste

Brioche Hot Dog Roll

1 table spoon butter

Garlic Powder to Taste

Heat the broth to steam the shrimp, I use the instant pot steam setting for 3 minutes, but you can also boil the broth and steam for about 5.

Place the shrimp in the ice bucket to cool down and then peel.

Chop the shrimp into smaller pieces and combine with mayo, slaw mix and spices.

Melt the butter with the garlic and brush onto the roll, toast in toaster oven to medium.

Place shrimp salad on the toasted bun.

Enjoy!

Moscow Mule

1 Shot Vodka

Juice of 1 Lime

1 can or Bottle Ginger Beer

Take a large glass (or a copper mug if you’ve got one, I do not own one…oddly enough) and fill with ice.

Squeeze lime directly into the glass

Add Vodka

Add Ginger beer

The fries on this plate where frozen and baked in the toaster oven for 30 mintues.

Story Time

I mentioned back in Marvel and Margaritas that after we outgrew Lucy’s, Aless and I moved our movie night hangs to PJ Clark’s at Lincoln Center. When Kristi started joining us it made even more sense for us to stay there, Aless heading uptown, Kristi back to Connecticut and me to Jersey.

It shifted the way we ordered too. Seafood sandwiches, and steaks and vodka cocktails replaced the margaritas and tacos and tortas. I actually usually get a martini, and the Moscow Mule is Aless’s go to. But I wasn’t quite feeling up to the martini, which I’m still struggling with (I CANNOT get my vermouth balanced. I’m getting better.)

So on Thursday, I settled in to watch The Old Guard with this very nostalgic meal, and missed my friends but managed to feel normal for a little while, which was nice.

REENIE’S RAINY SATURDAY I’VE BEEN DRINKING SINCE 11 AM PANDEMIC RAMEN!

Introducing “Fangirl Recipes” In Which I Publish What I’ve Been Eating these days.

I’m working on learning how to write recipes in an entertaining and useful fashion. I’m not a great cook, but I’ve come really far from three years ago when I could basically only make Ortega tacos and a halfway decent Chicken Parmesan.

I do know I hate a whole story BEFORE a receipe so I’ll get the recipe in and THEN there’ll be the story at the bottom:

Recipe Assumes It Is a Lazy weekend. Hence the title. (Also maybe you’re social distancing and working from home, as I currently am, so you can make it whenever)

Ramen

For Egg:

1 Egg – Room Temp
1 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/4 Rice Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
Ground Ginger, Garlic Powder, Kosher Salt and Onion Powder to taste

For Protein (I used Shrimp):

1/2 lb Protein
Same marinade as egg
1/2 Shallot 
1 clove garlic
1/2 inch ginger
Olive Oil 

For Broth & Noodles

1 Package Dried Ramen (Any flavor, I used chicken)
1/2 Bell Pepper
1/2 Carrot
1/2 Shallot
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 inch ginger grated
2 Cups Chicken Stock (Veggie or Seafood would probably also work)
1 Tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 lime, juiced

Ramen Egg:

Soft boil egg for 6.5 minutes

After peeling sit in marinade of soy sauce, rice vinegar, Hoisin sauce, ground ginger, garlic & onion powder, until you’re ready to eat. (If you have Sake people recommend throwing that in as well, I don’t keep Sake in the house, and I wanted to create this recipe with just stuff I had around)

Protein

Pick a protein, I went with shrimp this time, but I’ll probably try with chicken and tofu at others, and use the same marinade as the egg, let sit for about an hour

When you’re ready to eat pull out pepper, carrot, shallot, ginger, garlic 

In a frying pan Sauté half shallot, half inch of ginger and one clove garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute before adding shrimp sauté for a minute or so and cover to keep warm

Broth And Noodles

In a medium sauce pan sauté veggies, other half of shallot another half inch of ginger and a clove of garlic for about 5 minutes.

Add 2 cups of chicken stock, Ramen flavor Packet, 1/2 tbls of brown sugar, 1 tbls of sriracha sauce and the juice of 1 lime to sauce pan, bring to boil and add noodles.

Once noodles are cooked add shrimp and aromatics from frying pan to broth and noodles. 

Transfer to whatever bowl you’re eating out of. Slice egg in half and place on top of bowl. 

Slurp the noodles down with chopsticks, picking your protein out at it hits. Drink the bottom of the broth. It will have been sitting for about a half hour by then and be absolute heaven.

OK, so here’s the obligatory, Food Blog Recipe Story.

Like I said, I hate nothing more than having to scroll to get to the recipe through the story, but also, I wanted to write one and they can be useful for figuring out if the recipe is right for you. (I once avoided disaster when looking for a bolognese recipe by reading the story and seeing the blogger recommended putting the sauce over zoodles or steamed veggies. YES I AM GOING TO WASTE A SAUCE THAT TAKES ALL DAY TO MAKE AND HAS SOME OF THE MOST INDULGENT SHIT ON THE PLANET IN IT ON STEAMED FUCKING VEGGIES. I kept searching and found another)

Anyway, Saturday was really gross, so my initial plan of order a pastry and coffee someplace downtown, pick it up and walk around went down the tubes, so I instead decide to approximate some restaurant food and watch romantic comedies all day, and made breakfast tacos. (That recipe coming soon too!) And then, after two couch bound, still in my nightgown mimosas, remembered a conversation with my friend Jon a few weeks ago where we discussed missing Ramen. 

Not instant ramen, the kind you ate out of the microwave in college, but real, bowl as big as your head, packed with spice and umami and veggies and meat ramen, usually eaten after waiting for a table at least 20 minutes in a restaurant not much bigger than my apartment.

We also both miss bars with live music and karaoke and vowed to do all three in one night as soon as we’re allowed. (I’m holding you to this one Jon!)

So, I read a few Pinterest recipes to get the gist of the order I should do things. I really didn’t know whether to cook the protein and veggies separately (protein yes, veggies no), what to use to add spice to the broth. (Next time I might scale back on the Sriracha. It was HOT.) And specifically how to do the egg. 

Every version of the egg marinade called for Sake, but I didn’t have any so I skipped it. It was still delicious. 

But my general plan of “eat brunch at 11 and then eat whenever I got hungry” was a little iterrupted by the inaugaral meeting of The Nerd Girl Book Club (You’ll hear about them tomorrow) and also I drank all of the Cava I was using for Mimosas and switched to Rose. 

Hence the name of the recipe. By the time I was actually cooking (except the eggs) I was good and sauced.

Also, I maybe put too much Sricacha in the broth, because I had to go grab a sleeve of crackers to cool my mouth down. But otherwise I was thrilled with the whole dish. Or bowl in this case. I’m going to try it with both chicken and tofu instead of just shrimp but the shrimp was EXACTLY the right amount of protein. 

Also, I cooked and ate this ramen while watching Notting Hill and Four Weddings And A Funeral which are great movies for cooking to, if you’re wondering.