Blue Cheese and Bacon Arugula Salad Recipe

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Blue Cheese and Bacon Arugula Salad Recipe

This homemade blue cheese and bacon arugula salad recipe is one of my favorites! I can literally eat this salad for lunch every day of the week without tiring of it. It’s basically a spin off a blueberry and bacon arugula salad recipe at one of my favorite restaurants. However, as I am unable to find a blueberry vinaigrette anywhere and am not talented enough in the food department to make my own, I used a raspberry vinaigrette instead.

This recipe is also great with a mix of power greens – and I do eat it both ways depending what’s on sale – but I love the mustard like taste of baby arugula without any other greens or lettuces.

Homemade Blue Cheese and Bacon Arugula Salad Recipe

To create this Blue Cheese and Bacon Arugula Salad Recipe simply fill a bowl with organic baby arugula and top with real bacon bits – preferably you’ve made them yourself – blue cheese, and just enough raspberry vinaigrette to lightly coat all of the arugula. I typically combine the ingredients in a plastic bowl with a lid and shake to coat. Remember less is more when adding the vinaigrette. Depending on the size of your salad you’ll likely only need one to two tablespoons of vinaigrette.

Now that your salad is made, enjoy!

For more food recipes be sure to follow my Recipe Pinterest Board as well as my Divine Desserts Pinterest Board.


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Homemade DIY Gin Recipe and a Simple DIY Gin Kit

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Homemade Gin Kit and DIY Gin Recipe

I’ve been trying lots of new DIY projects lately and one I’m super psyched about is this homemade DIY gin kit. It’s available for sale at Amazon (Amazon Prime eligible) as well as Darby Smart, where I’ve been purchasing a lot of my DIY craft kits lately.

I’ve been tempted for a while to buy the entire kit, but I instead opted for simply purchasing the homemade gin refill kit available from Darby Smart which is essentially a tin of the botanicals you need to infuse vodka to taste like gin. It’s $15 with free shipping and makes sense if you want to try this out before buying the botanicals in bulk for your own recipe blend. And since you have to buy the vodka anyway, you can simply re-use the same vodka bottle for the gin without having to fork out a lot of extra money for fancy vintage styled bottles. (Or if you want to get fancy, use a Bormioli Rocco Giara Bottle With Stopper.) Then simply use cheesecloth to drain the botanicals out of the final product.

Running your homemade gin through a Brita Everyday Water Filter Pitcher five times will remove any remaining sediment. (Be sure to start with a new filter and soak it in water for fifteen minutes before using.) This is optional of course depending on the end product you’re looking for. If you used cheap vodka I highly recommend not skipping this step.

Now use your homemade gin to make a classic French 75. (A French 75 is the same as the French 95 but it’s made with gin instead of bourbon. (Check out this popular recipe here.)

If you’re ready to make your own botanical blend – and get more bang for your buck – give this DIY gin recipe a go. Then feel free to punch it up with other botanicals of your choosing.

DIY Gin Recipe

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons juniper berries
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons dried chamomile flowers
1/2 plus 1/4 teaspoons dried lavender flowers
5 cardamon pods, broken into pieces
6 whole allspice berries
1 bay leaf
1 Tablespoon dried grapefruit peel

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in large glass jar with 3 cups of vodka and tightly close lid. Shake well then allow to steep for 36 hours. Strain through cheesecloth and then use a funnel to fill up your final bottle of choice.

Experiment with making your own homemade DIY gin recipes by adding or subbing some of the ingredients with a small amount of other herbs and botanicals such as but not limited to Star Anise, whole cloves, Thai basil, cherrywood, whole nutmeg, and cilantro leaf.

Also be sure to follow my new-ish Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest for homemade cocktail recipes for all occasions. Or follow Soap Deli News via Blog Lovin’ and never miss a post!


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

Disclosure: Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.

Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

While the fourth of July has come and gone, it did inspire me to try a new vodka. I’ve been on a huge gin kick lately but after seeing the Spud Ginger Lemongrass Vodka at the ABC store I just couldn’t resist. A fifth of this flavored potato vodka was a reasonable $20 and it’s distilled five times so I decide why not. In the end I was pretty pleased with this vodka though I wish they had more recipes on the Spud Vodka website for this one as I’m not a great mixologist. I generally go out for my drinks but I did really enjoy the one Spudtini recipe they had.

The original recipe for this martini cocktail recipe called for honey syrup. However, I had no idea what honey syrup is or where to find it so I subbed this ingredient for some mighty delicious agave syrup instead. I hope you like this one. I know I did. And please, if you have other ideas for this awesome vodka, share them so I have more reasons to keep it in the freezer on a more regular basis. I’m kind of also wanting to try their pumpkin spice vodka come fall as well for a grown up Halloween treat.

Ginger Lemongrass Martini Cocktail Recipe

The Ginger Lemongrass Spudtini Martini Recipe

Adapted slightly from Spud Vodka’s Spudtini Recipe

Ingredients:

2 oz. Spud Ginger Lemongrass Vodka
1 oz. lemon juice
.5 oz. Madhava Light Agave Nectar (or other light agave syrup)
1 egg white
dash Angostura Aromatic Cocktail Bitters

Directions:

Combine all ingredients but the bitters in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into a martini glass, add a dash of bitters and stir. If you’re using a whiskey glass simply double the recipe.

Also be sure to check out this great recipe for a French 95 from my favorite local bartender. You can find that bourbon cocktail recipe here. Or for even more great cocktail recipes follow my Cocktail Hour board on Pinterest.


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Homemade White Bean Salad Recipe

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Homemade Lunch Recipe - Easy White Bean Salad in Mason Jars

Looking for a healthy, nutritious and crazy delicious lunch? This simple to make white bean salad bean recipe from Nature Box has got your number and it gives you yet another use for your fantastic collection of mason jars! Grab the recipe via the Nature Box blog here.

Interested in getting your favorite healthy snacks in the mail once a month? Try the Nature Box subscription program. I’ve been a member for several months now and am totally in love. Not only are the snacks delicious and cost conscious, but you get to choose what goes into your box each and every month so you always get the products you love! Each monthly box contains five snacks for $19.95 with free shipping. Add extra bags of your favorites for just an additional $3 each. Sign up here and get $10 off your first order.

Or if you prefer smaller snacks, give Graze a try. They send small boxes of snacks for just $6 twice monthly with free shipping – although you can choose to receive the boxes less often. Plus the first and 5th boxes are free! Visit Graze here to sign up and use friend code:THPXHL7MP to join. I also like that I can send one off boxes as gifts.

For more great food ideas and recipes, be sure to follow my Recipes board on Pinterest!


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.


Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe

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Hunter's French 95 Cocktail Recipe - A delicious custom version of the 1920's cocktail made with bourbon and champagne!

Bourbon has never been my drink of choice, however, Hunter – the man behind the scenes and behind the bar at a local restaurant called Lucky – was able to bring me around.

Hunter is without a doubt the best mixologist I know. While he’s only been bartending for 4 1/2 years, he has a unique knack for not only mixing drinks to perfection, but has also mastered the skill of inventing his own great cocktails. Key ingredients are house made like the lemongrass infused tonic, simple syrup, maraschino cherries and even smoked apple ice cubes that are paired with small batch bourbon. Other ingredients are simply fresh from the source like the shaken egg whites that go into my favorite drink, the Silver Fizz, and seasonal drinks made using fresh watermelon or cucumber. Finally, you’ll only find top shelf liquor behind this bar.

How to Make Hunter's Version of the French 95 Classic Cocktail

Of course, with such devotion to the drinks, you can’t leave out the food. The menu at Lucky is also chosen and invented with the same care as the cocktails as Hunter strives to bring the best of both worlds – food and drinks – together for a phenomenal experience.

DIY Homemade French 95 Cocktail Recipe

The drink that brought me around to bourbon is the French 95. Hunter of course has put his own twist on the recipe that has fans around the city asking bartenders at other bars, both locally and while traveling, to make a French 95 like Hunter does. I’ve yet to find another local establishment that can meet the expectations that Hunter has set, but then not everyone stocks the same bourbon or creates their simple syrup and garnish from scratch.

How to Make a French 95 Cocktail

Still, Hunter was kind enough to share his love of bourbon with us, by sharing his cocktail recipe for the French 95. First created in the 1920s, the French 95 is quickly rising in popularity in Roanoke much in the way Cosmos took off again after Mad Men first aired. Here’s his version of the recipe.

French 95 Cocktail Recipe

Hunter’s French 95 Cocktail Recipe

Ingredients:

1 oz. Evan Williams Black Bourbon
1 oz. lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
2 dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters
3 oz. Cava Sparkling Wine
Maraschino Cherry

Instructions:

Combine the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup and orange bitters in a shaker with crushed ice and shake well. Now strain into a champagne coupe – a delightful glass rumored to have been patterned after Marie Antoinette’s breasts for all of you Jeopardy fans – then finish by pouring the champagne or sparkling wine on top and adding a cherry.

Should you live in Roanoke, VA or are simply visiting, I highly recommend you add Lucky to your “to do” list. It’s definitely an experience you’ll love to have again and again. You can find Lucky online and on facebook. They are open six days a week Monday through Saturday for dinner starting at 5pm.


Blog posts may contain affiliate links for which I receive a small commission when you make a purchase. Full disclosure can be found here.