Casino Cocktail

The Casino Cocktail is a pre-Prohibition-era gin cocktail. The recipe can be found in the classic The Savoy Cocktail Book, originally published in 1930. It is a light, dry, gin-forward cocktail served with a lovely cherry garnish. One note about the garnish… I have used fresh, pitted Bing cherries when they are in season, but you can also use any preserved cherries. I don’t particularly care for the neon-red Maraschino cherries that you use to top an ice cream sundae, but you can also opt for the high-end Maraschino cherries from Luxardo. At $20 a jar, I’m not sure they are worth it. But, maybe you think it’s worth a splurge. I know people who soak their own cherries in brandy. You can do this with dried cherries if fresh aren’t in season. That seems like a a great alternative to me. Homemade is always best!

The Casino Cocktail

2 oz gin (Plymouth)
2 dashes orange bitters (Fee Brothers)
1/8 oz maraschino liqueur (Luxardo)
1/8 oz fresh lemon juice
a fresh cherry, pitted

Stir all the ingredients with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a skewered cherry and serve.

Happy Friday! Cheers!



Making Pizza At Home

Making Pizza at Home

Within walking distance from our house, there are probably three or four amazing pizza places, with another 3 or 4 within a short driving distance. So there is no shortage of fantastic pizza options for us on the nights that I don’t want to cook. But making pizza at home is so easy and so gratifying, that it is in my regular “cooking dinner at home night” repertoire. Once you can make a good crust, it’s just a matter of deciding what crazy things you want to put on top. It’s easily one of my family’s favorite homemade dinners. Continue reading »

Mushroom Brie Pizza – Recipe

Mushroom Brie Pizza with White Truffle OIl

Here is one of our Pizza Night variations – Mushroom Brie pizza with white truffle oil.

I love the combined taste of mushrooms and truffle oil. It has an unbeatable earthy, savory flavor. For this pizza, I use a combination of fresh baby portabello and dried porcini mushrooms to pair with the white truffle oil.

Continue reading »

Baked Potato Pizza – Recipe

Here is one of our Pizza Night variations – Baked Potato pizza. 

My family loves the Baked Potato pizza made by one of our local pizzerias, so I thought I’d try to recreate it at home. It’s essentially a good crust topped with sliced boiled potatoes, crumbled bacon, a bit of swiss cheese, chives and sour cream. No pizza sauce! What’s not to love, right?

Continue reading »

Fig and Goat Cheese Pizza – Recipe

Fig, goat cheese and prosciutto pizza

Here is one of our Pizza Night variations – fig and goat cheese pizza. My friend Carolyn offered up the idea and the toppings for this pizza. She started by making a Fig/Onion Jam, adapted from a recipe she found on The Food Network website. She modified the jam by leaving out the goat cheese and adding it at the end, directly on the pizza. Continue reading »

Making Pizza Dough at Home – Recipe

Making your own pizza dough at home is really not that complicated. It just takes a little ahead-of-time planning. If you are planning pizzas for dinner, you will need start your pizza dough in the afternoon. For my Pizza Night entertaining, I started my dough 2 1/2 hours before my guests arrived. I used Deborah Madison’s dough recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Here is her recipe, which I doubled to make 4 large pizzas. 

Continue reading »