Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gin Cocktails, Dogs, and Tofu Goulash

Summertime is in full swing in St. Louis and time is flying. What's been up since my last post? I've been keeping up with your blogs. (You all put me to shame with your consistent posting!) Otherwise, a new cocktail book, get togethers, and dogs have consumed my time.

Mix Shake Stir by Danny Meyer makes me want to run away from home to become a mixologist. I could spend hours poring over the gorgeous photos and both innovative and classic recipes in this book. Above you see the Rickshaw, a straightforward gin cocktail with basil-infused simple syrup and lime juice. Created to "make gin fun." (Who says it's not?) The book includes recipes for infusing simple syrup and alcohol, cocktails, special garnishes, and mixers, mostly inspired by the seasonal kitchen.

On the food front, I've relied on some already posted recipes such as Tipsy Soft Tacos for the most recent Supper Club (our friends chose Cooking with Beer as the theme). We had Sweet Tahini Miso Dip with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrots for dippers as well as Cannellini Spread with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil with Crostini for a July 4th get together.

And of course Humane Society dogs such as Maxine and Hailey keep me entertained. (They can be found here, select dogs, then dogs again, and search by names or St. Louis City location.) Maxine is such a goofy girl who loves to play on her walks. She has a special pink stuffed bunny that she brings along. You can catch a hint of her personality and playfulness at the end of this video.

Before I get to a recipe, you have likely heard about the HSMO and HSUS participation in the largest dog fighting raid and rescue in US history. The most recent number I saw was over 400 dogs rescued and being cared for. The HSMO could use money donations or large box fans, sheets, full-size towels, blankets, shredded paper, newspaper, creamy peanut butter and sturdy toys. Donations can be dropped off at the Humane Society of Missouri Headquarters at 1201 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110.

Finally, I did recently try a new recipe when I wanted to get dinner on the table and practically the only fresh vegetable around was bok choy. A variation on a couple of recipes for Tofu Goulash did the trick. This sounded a little weird to me, but turned out delicious. You can't beat vegetable soup with tofu for a filling, one-dish meal. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tofu Goulash with Bok Choy
Serves 6-8

14 ounces firm tofu
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1 head bok choy, leaves sliced and stalks chopped into 1-inch pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Crumble the tofu into a bowl and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the tofu, paprika, and tomato paste. Stir periodically and cook until the mixture becomes mostly dry and begins to stick slightly to the pot.

Add the tomatoes, stock and water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian


  1. I love this post! That tofu goulash would definitely hit the spot right now, thanks for sharing the recipe. Happy summer!

  2. goulash, yum!

    how cute is maxine!!!!

  3. ooh, thanks for sharing all of this. what great recipes for summer.

  4. Yum! Ever since I went to Hungary I've been wondering if there was a good veggie goulash recipe out there.

  5. Mmmm...gin. I used to hate gin cause it tastes a little like Pine Sol, but I've learned to enjoy its piney fresh flavor. I need this book!

    Maxine is a cutie-pie!!!

  6. maxine is absolutely adorable!

    i love the cocktail! and i'm with you - who thinks gin isn't fun?! i love the stuff! very cool on the book giving recipes for not only garnishes & drinks, but for simple syrups, too! mmmmmmmmmmm!

    i still need to make your cannellini spread!

    sounds like you're enjoying your summer! thanks for the tofu goulash with bok choy recipe! it looks awesome!

  7. I love Gin and your cocktail looks so refreshing.

    cute maxine!

  8. Great use for boy choy! It looks delicious! :-)

  9. That top photo is just such a tease! It's cocktail hour here!!!
    I just read a glowing review of that MSS and I'm feeling even more convienced, now.
    Maxine is so precious - hope she finds a home super-soon, and tofu goulash sounds great!

  10. Nice! Love the drinks and well, since Bok Choy is the only farm share veggie left in the fridge today, soup it is!

  11. Oh my husband loves veggie Goulash, I'll have to try this out!

  12. I've been such a slacker this summer :( As usual, your recipe sounds amazingly good! I looove bok choy.


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