Cooking with Cocktails (A Book Report)

Cooking with Cocktails: 100 Spirited Recipes...

Now here's a cookbook after my own little alcohol-pickled heart. Kristy Gardner needs to just go on and get out of my head. Not only does she lead into the entire thing with some awesome (and easy) cocktail recipes, she has based every. single. recipe. in the book around alcohol. That's right: the appetizers, the salads, the soups, the entrees, the desserts, the sauces...if they don't actually have alcohol in them (most do), they feature cocktail-inspired flavors and ingredients. Ok, YES. SO MUCH YES.

I decided that a cocktail would, indeed, help my cookbook-analyzing skills, so I went with her "Moscow" Dark & Stormy (straight outta Page 36).

Fresh lime, ginger beer, dark rum, and salt...but yeah...you gotta buy the book for the exact recipe. Tee-hee.

I always seem to have too many cooks in the kitchen.

I always seem to have too many cooks in the kitchen.

So now that I have my reading juice, it's time to really crack that spine.

You guys. This book is fantastic. And it ain't the rum talking. Well, not just the rum talking. Kristy's writing is so damned relatable and entertaining, and, like her blog, just a real good time to read. And then there's the cold, hard, delicious fact that her culinary creativity is off the charts. And she manages to capture all these brilliant recipes with the most lust-worthy photography. It's a truly gorgeous book.

I'm gonna just go ahead and tell you all my favorite things. Like I'm five years old. Because this is a book report and now I'm on my second Dark & Stormy.

'K, first of all, the whole cocktail section is my favorite. Obv. 

Moving on: Appetizers. If you didn't know this about me, I have never met a Pommes Frites that I didn't like. But hers? They feature a Madeira Balsamic Reduction. *whisper-screams: WHAT?! I want to bathe in them. Also of note: Strawberry Chambord Whipped Stilton Cheese Toasts. I die.

Salads. Let's put rum on them. Like Kristy's Mojito Watermelon Chopped Salad. This is basically watermelon, mint, feta, and almonds with a legit mojito drizzled over it. And olive oil. Because salads are healthy. Side note: all of her dressings and sauces sound SO ridiculously good. Not to mention most of them have booze in them. Her guacamole has tequila in it--HOW AM I ONLY JUST HEARING OF THIS?!!!

It's around about the third Dark & Stormy that things start to get a little odd.

It's around about the third Dark & Stormy that things start to get a little odd.

So now I'm feeling pretty pressured to pick a favorite from Kristy's unbelievable collection of entrees. I cannot. I am utterly overwhelmed. I mean, Tequila-soaked Ceviche (adorably called 'One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Ceviche!')? Maple Whiskey-Laced BBQ Meatballs?  Sauvignon Blanc Brussels Sprout & Mushroom Risotto? COME ON!!!! I think I need another Dark & Stormy to help with the decision-making process.

And then the desserts. Oh geeeeeeez, the desserts! Between the Bourbon-Soaked Cherries Tiramisu and the Grilled Salted Dulce de Leche Chocolate Kahlúa Coffee Sandwiches, I am fit to be (hog)tied. Seriously.

In conclusion, I would like to point out that your cookbook shelf conveniently has a Cooking with Cocktails-sized hole in it. This can easily be remedied by going here. And if your IG feed needs some gorgeous, inspiring recipes running through it, I highly suggest you give Kristy's Instagram a follow. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on her fab blog She Eats. Go to there. Go to there now.