The Cucumber Lime Zinger + 5 Years [Giveaway]

Kitchen Konfidence is officially 5 years old!!  Gosh, can you believe it?!

Cucumber Lime Zinger Cocktail

I started Kitchen Konfidence back in 2010 as a way for me to express and share my passion for food through recipes and photography.  And I’m glad to say that Kitchen Konfidence continues to act as my creative happy space 5 years later.  I love cooking, I love photography and I love sharing my recipes.  I love that moment when someone tastes something I’ve made, and their eyes grow wide, the corners of their mouth turn up to a smile, and they exclaim, “YUM!”  These are the things that keep me going.

Another big part of why I still enjoy blogging is YOU!  All of the readers, bloggers, friends and family that continue to check in here, leave comments, send e-mails, tweets and all other manner of communiqué.  Connecting with other passionate foodies is what makes this FUN.  So thank you.

Finally, I’ve really grown to enjoy all of the local San Diego activities that I get to do as a result of being a food blogger.  Events with the San Diego Food Blogger group, restaurant experiences around town, product tastings, local partnerships and my monthly recipe column in Pacific Magazine.  The San Diego food scene has really come up since I first moved here back in 2004, and I love being just a small part of the big picture.

From time to time, I like to look back at my old recipes to see how I’ve grown over the years.  For example, take a look at my original post on Blueberry Ice Cream.  The photos are dark, the focus is way too tight on several photos and the recipe is in an unfriendly format.  Also, remember FoodBuzz??  I do miss that.  Last year, I reposted the same Blueberry Ice Cream recipe, reimagined with an Oat Crumble Topping.  My photos are now bright, vibrant and there’s even an animated gif thrown into the mix!  I’m not saying that these photos are perfect, but they’re definitely improved!  Week-by-week, Kitchen Konfidence allows me to hone my photography, writing, editing, styling, recipe testing/development, and teaching skills.  It’s a challenge, and I love it.

So that’s it for the love fest!!  Now, on to the cocktail.  Continue reading to hear more about this Cucumber Lime Zinger plus a cookbook giveaway.

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Top 14 Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year everyone!!

Meyer Lemon Chia Pudding 2014 was a taaaaasty year.  While compiling the roundup below, I noticed some similar themes and ingredients amongst my most popular recipes.  Particularly:

  • Chia pudding
  • Cocktails
  • Brown butter
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Avocado
  • Grilling

YUM!!  Continue reading for 14 of my best recipes on KK.  What was your favorite recipe from 2014?  Did you make any of the recipes below?

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Brown Butter Old Fashioned + 4 Years

Kitchen Konfidence is officially 4 years old!!!  And I’m celebrating with a cocktail.

Brown Butter Old Fashioned A Brown Butter Old Fashioned to be exact.  This recipes starts with a rapid infusion of bourbon and nutty brown butter.  And by rapid, I mean 24 hours.  In the infusion world, that’s fast.  Toasty, aromatic brown butter is added to smokey bourbon, forming, quite possibly, one of the best things EVER.  The smell is incredible, and the taste is just as good.  I had a hard time keeping myself from drinking it straight up.

An Old Fashioned cocktail is typically made with bourbon, sugar, and bitters; served over ice; and garnished with an orange slice.  The first sip of an Old Fashioned is usually quite strong; however, as the ice melts, the drink becomes pleasantly diluted.  Here, I’ve tweaked the ingredient list just a bit to compliment the Brown Butter Bourbon base.  Black Walnut Bitters are added with Angostura Bitters to add some depth of flavor, and a few drops of liquid smoke compliment the smoky notes found in bourbon.  I’ve also garnished with a slice of blood orange peel, but you can use a regular orange if you can’t find a blood orange.  Continue reading for the recipe, plus my thoughts on 4 years of blogging.

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Roasted Garlic Infused Vodka

I’m keeping things really simple today.

Roasted Garlic Infused Vodka This quick and easy vodka infusion is perfect for anyone who loves garlic as much as I do.  Roasted Garlic Infused Vodka can be made in just 24 hours with only a handful of ingredients.  The sweet-savory aroma and flavor work perfectly in one of my favorite cocktails, the Bloody Mary.  I’ve got a new Blood Mary recipe coming up next, so be sure to check back in soon :)  Continue reading for the recipe!

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Roasted Garlic Oil

Roasted Garlic Oil

I’ve got a quick and easy recipe for you today:  Roasted Garlic Oil.  I started making garlic oil several years ago after watching a number of Nigella Express episodes.  That’s the series where she starts every. single. savory recipe with garlic oil and scissor-snipped scallion.  Although this seemingly forced simplicity bothered me at first (I don’t mind chopping garlic and onions), I decided to give garlic oil a try, because hey, I love the Nigella.  I mean really.  I could watch her all day long.

My garlic oil experimentation had simple beginnings.  Simmer some garlic in olive oil for a short time, steep, strain, done!  Over the years, I’ve tweaked my process, amping up the flavor with toasted black peppercorns and fresh thyme.  I also upped the cooking time and temperature to avoid that whole botulism thing.  The resulting Roasted Garlic Oil is incredibly fragrant and flavorful.

If a recipe calls for chopped/minced garlic, I still like to use chopped/minced garlic.  This infused oil comes in handy when my time is short, and I am looking to add a subtle garlic flavor to my recipe.  For example, I’ll often use this Roasted Garlic Oil when I’m cooking eggs in the morning.  Even I couldn’t imagine chopping garlic at 6am.  I also like to use this oil in a vinaigrette quickly shaken up before work.  Add 2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Oil to a jar with a scant tablespoon of sherry vinegar, a dab of Dijon, 2 pinches of salt and lots of black pepper.  Cap, shake, done.  But really, you could use this oil in any way you’d like.  So simple.  So versatile.  Continue reading for the recipe (plus an animated gif!).

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The Smoking Peach

The Smoking Peach

Intense yet crisp, The Smoking Peach is summer grilling made drinkable. House-infused hickory smoke bourbon is mixed with a fragrant grilled peach puree, sultry maple syrup, bright lime juice, and a few dashes of angostura bitters. This golden-hued cocktail is finished with a wedge of grilled peach patterned with flecks of black and brown.

So I’m very excited to announce that The Smoking Peach is my first article for The Boys Club, where I’ll be crafting up a new alcoholic beverage each month.  The Boys Club is a collection of bloggers who write about beverages, food, history, trips, tricks, stories and DIY all spiked with alcohol.  And as we all know, I love my cocktails.  And infusions!  So it’s a perfect fit :)  Continue reading for some additional photos plus a link to the recipe.

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4th of July Recipes

Beer Marinated Tri Tip The 4th of July was one of my favorite holidays growing up.  Each year, my parents would take me and a few of my close friends to Philadelphia for an afternoon of eating, sightseeing and celebrity spotting.  One year, we saw Rosa Parks!!  She was actually getting on a bus.  I was always so enthralled with the energy coursing through that city on the 4th of July.  You could feel the excitement.

Later in the evening, my friends and I would watch our hometown fireworks from someone’s backyard.  Fireflies blinking in the warm, dark summer air.  The back patio wet with pool water.  Hot dogs sizzling on the grill.  Tradition.  That’s what the 4th of July means to me.  I love the sense of tradition with friends and family.

Since moving to San Diego (far far away from my hometown and Philadelphia), I have had to establish some different traditions.  Summer flavors, backyard grilling, afternoon cocktails and bayside fireworks.  Cooking for friends and loved ones.  I do miss those old traditions, but I am also excited for the new ones.  Below is a collection of recipes perfect for a 4th of July bash.  Some of these recipes are from Independence Day celebrations of years past.  Some are recipes I’ll be making again in a few days.  I hope you enjoy :)

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Cereal Milk Punch

Cereal Milk Punch Last year, I served this milk punch at a Mardi Gras party and it was a smash hit.  A decadent mixture of milk and half-and-half flavored with sugar and vanilla, then spiked with a smoky bourbon.  Sweet and smooth, this cocktail is dangerous.  You can hardly tell that you’re kicking back some serious bourbon!

This year, I decided to put my own spin on Deb’s milk punch.  Rather than mixing in regular milk, I used cereal milk, a staple at the Momofuku Milk Bar in New York City.  Basically this milk tastes like the milk that’s leftover after eating a bowl of cereal!  A jagged landscape of golden cornflakes is baked until toasty and fragrant.  The flakes are then drowned in ice cold milk and heavy cream.  Flavored with brown sugar and salt, the finished cereal milk is a nostalgic treat that will surely remind you of your childhood.  This breakfast infusion lends a complex warmth to the milk punch with notes of corn and caramel.  So, so delicious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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Brandon’s 2012 Top Picks

Frozen Seared Steak

Here’s a brief roundup of my top recipes from 2012.  I’ve really grown to enjoy writing this type of article each year.  Skimming through my archives, I get flooded with all sorts of fond memories.  During the month of February, I posted a number of Mexican recipes that I had prepared for Valentine’s Day.  I had led my boyfriend to believe that he was getting steak and salad for dinner, then surprised him with an entirely Mexican feast (he’s Mexican by the way).  In June, I moved from a beautiful house to a new apartment.  I find it interesting to see how my photography has changed since transitioning into the new space.  In September, I started experimenting with fermentation after enjoying an afternoon with a group of lovely San Diego Food Bloggers.

I’ve found that many of my good memories throughout the year have food associated with them.  I still remember the pickled quince served to a gathering of close friends for Thanksgiving.  The corned beef my mother prepared my first evening back in New Jersey (after 4 years!).  The citrusy walktails consumed during the Coachella Music Festival (a walktail is a cocktail you drink while walking from your car to the venue).  My first bite of caramelized onion and jalapeno-topped, cream cheese-slathered, sriracha-drizzled hot dog enjoyed with an old friend on his porch in Poughkeepsie.  A glorious sip of intensely flavored shrimp broth at a taco spot in Tijuana with my boyfriend.  Like I said above… flooded.  Continue reading for my top picks of 2012.  Also, please share some of your favorite 2012 food memories.

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Butternut Squash Five-Spice Liqueur

Butternut Squash Infused Vodka

Recently featured on Food52, my Butternut Squash Five-Spice Liqueur is a festive libation perfect for holiday celebrations.  I’ve actually consumed this liqueur a number of times over the past several weeks.  On November 18, I was gleefully sipping on a frosty glass of this liqueur to celebrate the completion of a major grand opening event that had come to a close the evening before (more details below).  Then again on November 23, I was toasting to the end of another successful Thanksgiving dinner and Black Friday (once again, more below).  In this recipe, tender butternut squash is steeped in vodka until fragrant.  The infusion vodka is then sweetened with a homemade syrup spiced with cinnamon, clove, black pepper, fennel and star anise.  The finished liqueur is warm, complex and SO delicious.  Continue reading for the recipe.

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