in celebration of friday: pomegranate cosmopolitan

While it may not be the most sophisticated drink, I have a thing for the cosmopolitan. When we’re having dinner out, I usually order a glass of wine since I’m more comfortable navigating a wine list. However, if I do order a cocktail, I’ll usually go for a cosmo or some other jazzed-up martini with some sweetness to it. And on beach vacations, I love a great piña colada.

But, alas, we are not at the beach and there is not a piña colada in sight. It is Friday, though, and that’s enough reason to celebrate. Let’s have a pomegranate cosmopolitan, shall we?

In the interest of full disclosure: I was sent samples of Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice by the good folks at Pom Wonderful. I accepted because I loved the product long before they offered to send me some, and I always have a bottle in my refrigerator.

Yield: 1 drink

Pomegranate Cosmopolitan

There are lots of recipes out there for the cosmopolitan, and almost all of them have four basic components - vodka, orange liqueur, lime juice, and cranberry juice. For this one, I just substituted pomegranate juice for the cranberry juice. Very simple to do.


1 1/2 ounces citrus vodka
1 ounce Cointreau
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice (juice from about 1/2 of a lime)
1/2 ounce pomegranate juice
1 cup ice
wedge of lime, for garnish


In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, and pomegranate juice. Add ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish glass with a wedge of lime.

the experiment: avocado and mango salsa

I’m always on the hunt to find foods that I think my kids will eat – and eat happily without a lot of whining and complaining. Of course, that stipulation makes it very challenging to be successful. I heard recently that a friend of mine had some luck with getting her kids to eat mango, so I decided to give it a whirl – a little experiment, you might say. We don’t typically buy mango, and I can’t say my kids had ever eaten the fruit prior to this. It’s not a fruit that I grew up with, so I don’t gravitate towards it in the grocery store.

Instead of just chopping up mango as a snack, though, I wanted to use it as a side dish with dinner. I found a recipe from Bon Appètit for an avocado and mango salsa, and I decided to go for it. My son loves guacamole, so I figured this would be a no brainer.

I mostly followed the recipe as it was written, but to make it a little more friendly to the children’s palates, I reduced the amount of jalapeño in the dish. Instead of dicing one entire jalapeño, I used a little less than half of the jalapeño. I threw this together relatively quickly while I was preparing and cooking some grouper to serve the salsa with, so my diced vegetables were more on the lines of coarsely chopped. Unfortunately, the avocado was a bit too ripe, so the pieces of avocado didn’t keep their shape as much as I would have liked.

But, when it was completed, I thought it was a delicious salsa. Not pretty, but very tasty – with a nice balance of sweetness and some kick from the jalapeño.

I served the salsa over some sauteed grouper. And, just on the off chance the kids decided they didn’t like the avocado and mango salsa, I made some oven fries to go along with it.

Turns out that it’s a good thing I made those potatoes. Madeline took one bite of an avocado piece in the salsa and refused to eat any more of it. And in his typical 3-year old fashion, Oliver refused to eat it because it was green.

So, while the salsa was not quite the popular side dish I’d hoped it would be, the grouper and the oven fries were the clear winners of the meal. I’m not giving up on getting the kids to eat mango and avocado yet, though. I can’t be beaten that easily.

Avocado & Mango Salsa

Only slightly adapted from this recipe from Bon Appètit on Epicurious. I used less jalapeño than the original recipe called for, and I also forgot the mint. It tasted just fine without it, actually.


1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt


Mix all ingredients in bowl and season to taste with salt. Cover and chill. Can be made up to two hours before serving.

how we spent our vegas vacation

Well, we spent it EATING of course. How else?

Okay, we may have done a little gambling (my husband did, anyway), and perhaps a little shopping. I did come home with a cute pair of heels to add to my closet. We had a wonderful time, but Vegas isn’t a place you go for down time – it really IS a city that never sleeps.

It’s nice to be home.

(For more information on each photo, clicking on the photo will take you to my Flickr photostream.)

drinks at encore

encore suite

iberico ham

perfect scallop

in the kitchen

five tarts

wolfgang puck's spago


lamb chorizo pizza

pizza oven at spago

vegas at night


pasta at b&b ristorante




bubbly x 2

beet salad

scalloped potatoes

desert at botero