July 2012

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 71 of 83

play with your food Simple Sips Beating the heat By Karen Eigenberger The heat is on, which means it's high time to quench your thirst with a few refreshing summer cocktails. For something new at your Fourth of July picnics, backyard barbeques, or sum- mer dinners on the deck, try one of these mixes: Aperol Spritzer This cocktail is all the rage in Italy! Aperol, a unique Italian liqueur with a bright orange color, is perfect with an array of appetizers, salads and light dishes. Plan your menu to keep with the Italian theme and serve melon wrapped in prosciutto…yum! 3 parts Prosecco 2 parts Aperol Splash of soda or seltzer Ice Garnish with half an orange slice Kentucky Mule Healthy Picnic Fare with Flair Unpacking a scrumptious summer tradition By Michael and Jean Muckian Does it surprise anyone that the French, with their flair for food and wine, would have originated the picnic? Opinions differ, but the etymology of the word "picnic" dates back to 1692. In its original form, "pique-nique" was thought to have referred to a restaurant meal to which the diner brought his own wine. It first appears in English during the 18th century as a reference to socialized dining to which everyone brought a contribution, as well as elegant meals served outdoors after an organized hunt. Today, the primary characteristic of any picnic is the outdoor element. After that, anything goes when it comes to the make- up of the meal. "Keep picnic food simple and elegant," scrubbed and basted in olive oil and rose- mary and then grilled, offer a delightful alternative for your picnic starch. For the meat course, a nice cut of firm fish—such as swordfish or mahimahi—are eminently grillable, as is marinated chick- en breast seasoned with lemon grass or rosemary. Serve alone, or cut and skewer kabob-style with fresh vegetables before tossing on the grill. Salads and fresh fruit are always appro- priate as side dishes and desserts, Fgaier adds, recommending a salad of cubed wa- termelon tossed with feta cheese and fresh mint as the perfect way to end an outdoor repast. Add the right chilled wine—a bright rosé advises Sami Fgaier, who has catered more than his share of outdoor affairs as owner of Le Personal Chef, a Madison-area in-home cooking and gourmet catering service. Some foods fare better than others in the picnic setting, Fgaier says. Potato salad with mayonnaise could cause problems if not kept cool, but baby red potatoes, 70 BRAVA Magazine July 2012 or fruity Viognier—and you will have a picnic to make even the French proud. Find culinary connoisseurs Michael and Jean Muckian on the Culturosity blog at, where this month, Fgaier will share his favorite grilling recipes! An all-American take on the Moscow Mule (vodka and ginger beer) is fresh, spicy and refreshing. This drink is es- pecially tasty when paired with grilled meats or tangy barbeque sauces. 1 part bourbon whiskey (such as Bulleit) 3 parts ginger beer (extra spicy ginger ale) Ice Squeeze of lime Garnish with a lime wedge Margarita—no guilt style! I recently discovered Sinless Margarita Mix. Made with fresh lime juice and sweetened with Stevia, you can sip this low-calorie drink while enjoying tacos, smoked pork, or any of your summer favorites! 2 parts Sinless Margarita Mix 1 part 100 percent agave blanco tequila (such as Avion) Ice Splash of seltzer for a bit of bubbles Add your own flair to any drink by garnishing with various fruits (go red white and blue with cherries, blueber- ries and apple on a toothpick) or mini American flags to celebrate the upcom- ing holiday. Cheers! Karen Eigenberger is partner at STEVE'S Wine-Beer-Spirits on Mineral Point Road. Visit Photo by Bobbi Peterson

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Brava - July 2012