The Gift of a Bloody Mary with Free Download!!!!

I love love love making gifts for people. I find it to be no more or less stressful than shopping at the store. I’m not saving that much money and I’m *really* not saving any time. I love making gifts because it is an opportunity to be creative and make something and then get it the f*** out of my house. For the holidays this year, we made most of the presents that we gave away. Figuring out what to make for the person who has everything is really hard, so I tend to lean towards food, and sometimes the best edible gift is a liquid lunch.

Enter the bloody mary kit. Each kit had most of the ingredients to make a really yummy cocktail. I included a bottle of infused vodka, a jar of rimming salt, a jar of seasoning blend, a small bottle of Peychaud’s bitters, a big bottle of tomato juice, and a couple of limes. The only ingredients that I didn’t include were Worcestershire Sauce and Tobasco Sauce, since I figured that most people have these in their fridge. Having all the ingredients on hand makes enjoying a tasty bloody mary really easy. Almost as simple as using a mix, but a million time better. After searching the internet for bloody mary recipes I came across this one that sounded pretty tasty and had plenty of elements that would work well in a kit. Here is my version.

1 750 ml bottle of decent vodka (something you would want to drink, but doesn’t have to be the most expensive stuff either)
1 organic* sweet red pepper
1 organic* lemon
5 cloves organic* garlic
2-3 black peppercorns
*I feel that it is important to use organic ingredients when making infusions. The alcohol will extract everything.

I started by infusing the vodka with red bell peppers, lemon zest and garlic cloves. Combine all the ingredients in a clean jar. Then the botanicals infuse the vodka for a few days. I tasted it every day after day two. I liked the way it tasted after about five days. I strained the mixture so the final product would be nice and clear, albeit a golden yellow color.

The original bloody Mary recipe that I used called for a dash of this and two dashes of that. Combining all the spices called for shortens the amount of time between you and your bloody mary.
1.5 T celery salt
1T White Pepper
1T Garlic Powder
1T Onion Powder

Mix all the ingredients together and put in a spice jar. You will only use about 3/4 of tsp per cocktail.

I love the extra kick of flavor that rimming salt adds to a drink. This recipe on inspired the whole bloody mary kit idea.
1/2 ounce sun-dried tomatoes (dry packed, not in oil)
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/2 cup kosher salt (about 2 1/2 ounces)

Preheat your oven to 250°
Slice the tomatoes in thin strips, then mix with the tobasco and worcestershire sauces until the tomatoes are evenly coated. Spread the tomatoes on a baking sheet and bake until they are dry and slightly darker. They should feel dry to the touch. Let the tomatoes cool and then grind in a spice grinder or food processor until the tomatoes pieces are about the same size as your salt flakes. Add the celery seeds and pulse a couple times to combine. Put this mixture in a medium sized bowl and mix with the salt. Store in an airtight container for up to two months.

Rimming Salt
1/2 lime
3/4 tsp Seasoning Blend
6-8 dashes Worcestershire Sauce
4-6 dashes Tobasco Sauce
2-3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
2 oz Infused Vodka
Tomato Juice

Pour some of the rimming salt into a saucer. Slide half of the fresh lime around the rim of a large collins glass. Dip the rim into the saucer of rimming salt. Fill the glass 2/3 full with ice. First add the spice blend, then the worcestershire and tobasco sauces, followed by the bitters and a generous squeeze of lime. Finally, add the vodka and tomato juice. Give it a stir and a garnish and enjoy!

To make the kit cohesive, I branded everything. It was so much fun to make all the labels, and I loved the silliness of putting labels on the limes and tomato juice. I’ve decided to share the label artwork! Download the labels here.

I hope you enjoy your bloody marys!

Tying the Knot

A dear friend of mine got married last month. Her wedding was absolutely amazing and every detail full of love. I helped with many aspects of the wedding which I’ll share later. For now, let’s talk zentangles.

I wanted to make a special card to go along with her shower gift, so I drew up a knot filled with zentangles. I’ve been doing these meditational doodles for a couple years now, but it wasn’t until a few weeks back that I learned they had a name. Which makes looking up new patterns a LOT easier.

I also decorated the outside of the envelope. I love adding quick extra details to things.

Happy New Year! (almost)

These days, I try not to get excited about the start of a new year, but it’s really hard not to. Something about a fresh start and all that jazz. We’ll see what 2012 has in store for us.

Let’s start this blog off with a hand drawn & printed card that I made for new years a couple years back…ahh 2010. We were really looking forward to a fresh start that year. 2009 was a tough one and we wanted to send happiness out into the world. Instead of including a year in review letter to our friends and family (which would have been depressing), we looked forward to what we wanted to do in the coming year. We had grand plans of adventurous travel and other fun things, but ended up making a baby instead. We were so optimistic and 2010 turned out to be a great year!