May 2, 2013

It’s May and summer’s knocking at the door.  Let’s welcome her in and offer her a drink, shall we?

Hound Dog | bourbon, peach puree, ginger syrup, lemon, & mint - Blue Jean Gourmet

This one is simple and strong—a little on the sweet side, and perfect for sipping on a warm night.  Make a Hound Dog (the awesome name is a bonus) this weekend; I think it would work equally well as a Derby Day or Cinco de Mayo accompaniment.

Me, I’ll be celebrating the four-year (!) anniversary of this blog.  Hard to believe it’s been so long, and hard to imagine my life without this little piece of the internet—and all of you—in it.

It’s fascinating and so entertaining to look back over past blog entries, kind of in the same way that it’s fascinating and so entertaining to read back over old journals.  I decided to pull some favorite posts and list them here, a kind of “Greatest Hits,” if you will, of things I’ve said and foods I’ve made:

MOJITO POPSICLES—Apparently what the people want is boozy popsicles, because this is my most popular post of all time.

DUTCH BABY—Because what’s not to love about a giant pancake?

MY LIFE IN OKRA—A fantastic guest post from Jill in which she shares her killer family recipes for fried & pickled okra.

CHEESE GRITS—They’re just so damn good, and will heal what ails you.

SHAKSHUKA—Fun to say, delicious and dead-simple to make, this has become a house favorite breakfast/brunch/lazy dinner.

STEAMED MUSSELS IN TOMATO BROTH—A dish that represents the kitchen risks I’ve learned to take and ways I’ve grown since starting this blog.

CARDAMOM SHORTBREAD COOKIES—If I were a cookie, this is the kind I would be.  Pairs well with a cup of chai.

TOMATO-CORN PIE—Still one of the best things I have ever put in my mouth.


SAAG PANEER—Everyone’s favorite Indian dish, and a post that’s about more than just food.

Thank you all for four years of encouragement, readership, and support; I look forward to many more adventures to come!  xx—Nishta

recipe courtesy Grub Street

A few weeks ago, I clicked through the fantastic slideshow “Cocktail Country: Outstanding Drinks from All 50 States,” which featured beautifully styled drinks and many, many enticing recipes.

Naturally, I was pleased to see that the featured Tennessee cocktail was from Memphis restaurant Alchemy!  I knew I had to try it, and the Hound Dog did not disappoint.

Hound Dog cocktail - recipe from Alchemy restaurant in Memphis


1 ½ oz. bourbon
1 oz. peach puree*
¾ oz. ginger syrup**
¼ oz. lemon juice
4 springs of mint

Combine the bourbon, peach puree, ginger syrup, lemon juice, and 3 springs of mint in a shaker filled with ice.  Shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice, and garnish with the remaining sprig of mint.

*I can’t wait to make this when peaches are ripe and glorious, but for now, I just used frozen peaches instead.  I thawed a few slices and pureed them with a little bit of water; leftover puree was blended with a few strawberries and plain yogurt and became a baby smoothie for Shiv.

**The original recipe’s instructions are to sleep slices of fresh ginger in warm simple syrup to create the ginger syrup.  I already had a jar of ginger syrup on hand, leftover from the process of crystallizing ginger a few months ago, so I just used that.



  1. Four years, really? Where does the time go? It has been a joy and an honor to peek into your life (and your kitchen) through this blog. So very, very proud of you! Hugs, Moe

    Comment by JenK — May 3, 2013 @ 9:02 am

  2. Happiest of birthdays. Just wanted you to know your blog is being read from Hilton Head to Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ruth and I are traveling to Greenville, SC next weekend and eating at a top-rated Indian food restaurant. My comment to her, “It will make Nishta proud.” Love you.

    Comment by Mikie — May 3, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

  3. Happy Blog Birthday, Nishta! I believe I discovered your blog not long after you got it going. It was the post on June 12, 2009 “Make-Your-Own Hummus” that got me reading and subscribing. It’s still my go-to hummus recipe when I want to brush up on quantities and method (I admit in subsequent years that I pretty much just guess at the quantities and sometimes have thrown in additional ingredients, like tamari, to twist it up a little).

    I am so happy that you have continued this blog. It has been great to watch your family grow and also to know you not only as a cook/foodie/gourmand, but also as a person. Thank you especially for the personal essays you have written here. I have been touched by them all!

    Thank you, Nishta.

    Comment by Karin B — May 4, 2013 @ 3:32 pm

Leave a comment