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Boozie Friday: Hangover Cures & Bitchin’ Brunches!

IMG_3661This week as all the kids went door to door in search of confections and mischief, many adults made use of the evening for for treats of a more intoxicating nature. Imbibing alcohol can make for a wonderful and fun evening in many cases. However, when overdone, it will definitely lead to very unpleasant side effects. There is a laundry list of physiological and psychological symptoms associated with the over consumption of alcohol but all you really need to know is it’s no fun.

Hangovers are like snowflakes in that everyone has a slightly different experience and preferences surrounding recovery. Although many people say they have a a “cure” it may not do diddly-squat for you, so you might as well start coming up with your own or slow down on the hooch. While the latter seems like the best option when hungover, many of us lose sight of the idea when a party is going on.

The “hair of the dog” as it’s called refers to drinking more in order to temporarily relieve the symptoms of your hangover. This is a particularly popular remedy since it seems to work, and a bloody Mary also happens to go great with steak and eggs. mimosas, bellinis, greyhounds, and micheladas all weigh in as popular hangover cocktails as they also go well with food and are relatively light in alcohol content which helps (you want to ease into your hangover buzz). For some “the hair of the dog” is a shot of whatever they were drinking (and usually a beer) after a light breakfast.

Some prefer coconut water, Gatorade, RC cola, various juices, or even plain old water but recent studies from the New York Post and others are saying that Sprite has a chemical content that’s the most effective. Another commonly used method particularly popular amongst restaurant workers is soda water and bitters. This beverage is sworn upon by many bartenders, servers and others in the industry as a go-to cure. What ever you choose to sip on just know that you are definitely dehydrated and may be fairly nauseous so you might want to stick with water and a low fiber BRAT diet until your symptoms have eased.

Any way you stack it, hangovers are no fun, but may be a necessary evil in the fight for your right to party. So drink reasonably and be safe when you are out raising cane on Saturday and it may make for a gentler Sunday morning. Remember to have a glass of water between drinks and start out the evening with a good meal. The war may rage on between the drinkers and their bodies but once in a while we may win a battle. Be safe!
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Foodie Friday: Brunch Basics – Part 4

The first meal of the day has historically been needed to be both inexpensive and hearty. The settlers would commonly compose it of the most basic ingredients available.

While this did the trick, I imagine there was something left to be desired in the flavor department. Most commonly, settlers would serve some sort of gravy made from whatever meat was available and would need to soften the twice baked and very tough biscuits that were a staple on the wagon train.

Thanks to modern technology we not only have the luxury of soft flaky biscuits fresh out of the oven, we also no longer need to make our gravy with salt pork, bacon, or someone’s goat. It feels good to have the luxury of fresh meat and an electric oven and I feel we should be sure to make the most of what we have.

This week I have kept with our Brunch Basics theme of the last month and wanted to share a recipe for biscuits and gravy. Although my recipes are much different than the ones used on the wagon trail they ought to do well for you. For those of you that don’t eat meat feel free to use a vegetarian sausage and or different types of milk etc. The basic components of gravy are fairly forgiving most of the time. And of course this same gravy can be served on toast or just about anything else you can dream of. Enjoy!
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Foodie Friday: Brunch Basics – Part 3

8248930619_a1e9fe73c4_zWelcome to the third installment of Brunch Basics. To be fair I could easily dedicate the entirety of Foodie Friday to the subject but then I wouldn’t be able to share all of the other great stuff with you from week to week.

This week I wanted to focus on the simple art of egg cookery. This subject can be very delicate for some of us that cherish a perfectly cooked over easy egg or a light, fluffy omelet and there are a few tricks to getting the results you are looking for. If you have ever been to a restaurant and got eggs that were over cooked, rubbery, or just bad, do yourself a favor and stop going there.

You can make the perfect egg in your own kitchen every morning with just a little extra care, a couple of tricks of the trade, and the right equipment. This week I will try to cover what I think to be the two most common ways people like their eggs. Enjoy!
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Foodie Friday: Brunch Basics – Part 1

brunch3Some of the most simple and basic recipes also sometimes the hardest to get right. As it is for most things in life, the road to perfect over-easy eggs is paved with shell fragments and broken yolks. But you shouldn’t let that stop you, or even slow you down. With practice and a few tricks of the trade you will be inviting your friends over for a nice Sunday brunch in no time.

In the next few Foodie Friday posts, I thought it might be a good idea to share some of my favorite brunch recipes for you all to try. This week, I thought I would start with a definite staple to any brunch menu: hash browns. These crispy little shredded potato disks have made it onto more than a few of my brunch plates over the years and I hope they do the same for you. Enjoy!
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Foodie Friday: Pack a Picnic Brunch with Gravlox!

Oh, August! A great time to spend with your friends and family, and brunch is a fantastic daytime, community meal: breakfast for some, lunch for others, but always delicious and on everyone’s schedule.

Instead of having it inside or scrambling to find a brunch spot with a patio, why not bring the party outside? Laying down a blanket on the beach or in the park is as good a spot for brunch as any. While you’re at it, why not enjoy some great bluegrass music or live Shakespeare or perhaps some French Opera? Here’s a list of some outdoor events around the Northwest that would be perfectly complimented by a little picnic brunch action:

Saturday, August 4 I Bluegrass On The GreenMountlake Terrace, Washington

Saturday, August 4 I The 2012 Skagit River Shakespeare Festival’s IronmanMount Vernon, Washington

Saturday, August 11 I 4th Annual PEPSapaloozaWoodinville, Washington

Sunday, August 12 I French Opera Pique NiqueSeattle, Washington

Here in the Northwest, fresh salmon is bountiful, especially this time of year, and we find any excuse to eat it whenever we can. This Gravlox recipe, from our resident foodie Patrick, is a little less salty than your standard cured salmon, letting the flavor of the fish shine through. The whole process takes around 36 hours, but you can make it in advance, as it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
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