The Year in Review – Appetizers, Drinks and Light Meals to Bring in the New Year


Well, December 25 is over, and now all we have to wait for is the New Year celebrations. I thought I would make a list of some recipes that have been popular this year, or you might want to make for your New Year’s Eve event.

Every year, I make a special New Year’s Day dish, but I’m going to hold that one for another post, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I think that you might find yourself making some of 2011’s most popular recipes for your own festivities.

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Salmon Croquettes and Martini Caper

Martini Shaker and Glass

Recipes in this Post

Every once in a while, I make too many mashed potatoes.  Yes, it’s true, even Spane and I cannot eat as many as I made the other night with liver and onions!  A long time ago, I discovered that salmon croquettes were particularly good using a left over baked potato as binder.  I had left over mashed, why not I thought?

These turned out so good I didn’t even have chance to take pictures!  Amber and I munched on them while we sat and talked over a Caper Martini.

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Bloody Margarets – Not Your Usual Bloody Mary Recipe

Last night my girl friend Amber came over for girl talk, and since there were no adult libations in the house, we went to our local Armenian liquor store to get something.

Amber likes vodka, and the Armenian store is the place to go, since vodka is very popular with Armenians. It seems that every type of vodka made in the world is available in the Armenian liquor store, with myriad flavors, and whimsical bottles. We got a citrus flavored variety since I had a large can of tomato juice in the refrigerator. I also have a large sweet Italian basil plant.

My friend and former chef at Birds in Hollywood, Chef John Farion, had come over to change the door on the refrigerator. Of course, as I was getting ice and then the tomato juice out of the refrigerator, I kept trying to open it on the wrong side. That made Amber and I laugh.

I had watered my sweet Italian basil plant and it was sitting on the counter. You know where this is going, huh? Me too. These drinks turned out really tasty, and I think you will want to add them to your next get together.

Recipe: Bloody Margarets

Summary: A take off on Bloody Mary and Margarita Pizza. Fresh basil anyone?


  • 8 whole basil leaves
  • 2 cups citrus or other good vodka
  • 1 large can tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Ice


  1. Moisten the lip of four tall glasses, then crust the edges in garlic pepper. If you don’t have garlic pepper, or don’t like pepper rimmed drinks, you can skip this step.
  2. Put ice in each glass, and one whole basil leaf in each glass.
  3. Put the vodka, tomato juice, Worcestershire, Tabasco and remaining ice in a nice pitcher. Rub the basil leaves together in your hands to release the oils, then roll up and slice finely in a Chiffonade. Add that to the pitcher and stir. Check for seasoning, adding more Tabasco or Worcestershire as needed.
  4. Pour this into the tall glasses and serve. There should be more left in the pitcher for refills.

Quick notes

You can make this in a pitcher or in individual tall glasses. The directions here are for a pitcher. This recipe is for four adults.


If you have little ones at home, who would like to have some, put the vodka directly into the glasses and not the pitcher.

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time: 1 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegetarian

Number of servings (yield): 4

Culinary tradition: USA (Traditional)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.


Grapefruit Tiger Martinis

Yesterday, was girls night out.  My friend was coming to visit me and I wanted to make something special for us.  I had seen something on the Internet about the great fruit cocktail made with vodka and black pepper.  I posted to Facebook that I had gin and that I would post back once I had made my cocktail.

There is a wonderful sauce in the same aisle as the Worcestershire sauce, and it is called Tiger Sauce.  This is a sauce that has been around for a very long time and if you haven’t tried it and I suggest you go and do that right away.  It gives our real kick to Bloody Marys!

Here’s my recipe for Grapefruit Tiger Martini.


  •   1 cup gin
  • Half gallon of pink grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon tiger sauce
  • 4 grapefruit sections
  • Freshly grated tri-color pepper
  • Ice
  • Club soda


In a nice pitcher, put in the gin and the grapefruit juice, stir and it add Tiger sauce.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Get four martini glasses and wet the rims with a little grapefruit juice.  Put the pepper on a saucer, and dip the moist rim of each glass into the pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to serve, put ice into a cocktail shaker and add some of the grapefruit mixture.  Put a grapefruit section at the bottom of each glass.  Shake the cocktail shaker until the mixture is frosted over.  Pour into glasses and top with club soda.


How to make a Grapefruit Tiger Martini

Hop, Skip and Go Naked – and Marissa, too

Recipes in this PostMarissa holding Spane

Tonight a red car came down the driveway to the parking lot in the back of our building. For a split second I thought it was Marissa, but it could not have been her, after all she died on April 16, 2007. I miss her a great deal! Spane still calls her Nana. He misses her, too.

I have been thinking about Marissa a lot lately, and the other day I shared a recipe for a drink that an old acquaintance of ours, Kenny Greene, had made for us. Kenny was from New York, so this must be a New York thing, as Marissa and I had never heard of it. Either way, although it sounds terrible, it’s quite tasty.

Recipe: Hop, Skip and Go Naked

Summary: These hit pretty hard, so please remember to drink responsibly.


  • 1 can frozen pink lemonade (hop)
  • 1 can beer (skip)
  • 1 can vodka (go naked)


  1. Mix all in a blender, and pour into tall glasses.
  2. Enjoy!

Preparation time: 1 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 6

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

Copyright © The Good Plate.
Recipe by Adrienne Boswell.
Microformatting by hRecipe.