Impulse Buy: Champagne


It is no secret among my friends and family (and all of you readers who have kept up with my previous posts) just how much I adore champagne. It has a special place both in my heart, and on the tiny shelf in my shared refrigerator. There’s just something magical and classy about the bubbly beverage.

Champagne is used in celebration, to mark something new, something now, something that has the potential to be more than just “something.” January 1st is toasted with a tall sparkling glass, a bottle is broken on the bow of ship about to set sail, and Marilyn Monroe supposedly bathed in 350 bottles worth of the stuff.

While that last tidbit has nothing to do with new beginnings, it shows the other side of champagne that I love: its extravagance.


Review and Giveaway: Edible Cocktails


**Giveaway Closed 5/15/12**

During the summer I buy most of my produce at Chicago’s Green City Market—a fantastic farmer’s market that connects local producers and farmers to chefs, restaurateurs, food organizations, and the public. I love cooking with locally sourced ingredients and find that using seasonal, high-quality blueberries and tomatoes can turn a dish from dull to irresistible.

If seasonal ingredients tremendously improve the quality of food why can’t they do the same for alcohol?

In Edible Cocktails:From Garden to Glass—Seasonal Cocktails with a Fresh Twist, Natalie Bovis proves they can. Natalie gives you tips, …


Dorm Room Bar: The Animal Cell


There are only three things I remember from my high school biology class:

1) I can only successfully dissect an animal if its head has already fallen off;

2) things are exponentially cooler when they’re floating in formaldehyde; and

3) I can make a pretty kickin’ model of an animal cell.

My fourteen-year-old self was so interested by all of the parts of this teeny cell that made up my own body, as well as the bodies of all other mammals (which is kind of unsettling to think about when one’s trying to sear a steak or whip up a


Dorm Room Bar: St Germain Salty Dog

st germain postcard


For college cooks, spring is a particularly tasty renewal. When the thought of another root vegetable recipe makes us quiver, and when a warm crock of soup or creamy comfort food ceases to do the trick, new colors at textures appear at the market, ready to brighten up our meals. For the college mixologist, spring means a chance to experiment with new flavors and lighter cocktails that are refreshing and propel us into the new season.

As a newly legal drinker in New York this winter, I took advantage of all the chances I could to drink inventive cocktails …


DIY Champagne Bar

diy champagne bar

Potlucks are all the rage among the twenty-something crowd, and for good reason: they’re budget-friendly, they save pre-party space, and they’re a fun and creative way to involve guests. If the thought of hosting a party or dinner overwhelms you, but you are dying to get a group of friends together, look no further than the potluck. Why not create your own tradition with family or old college buddies? Fancy something bite-sized? Mix it up with a themed fondue party. Should you find yourself invited to one of these types of gatherings, it is always a good idea to keep …


Dorm Room Bar: The Fountain Pen


Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, and F. Scott Fitzgerald have two things in common. All three men were brilliant authors…and raging alcoholics. In fact, literature and alcohol have gone together like gin and tonic for quite some time. Now, I’m not condoning substance abuse of any sort, but as an English major myself I can see the need to sit back and relax with a cocktail every so often. The life of a creative writer is rough: you have to be inspired, find words to make said inspiration come to life on paper, bear the soul of your inspiration to others, and then get shafted time and time and time again.

In order to ease this career of writer’s block and rejection letters, a few of my creative colleagues and I made a drink specifically targeted at English majors but created for all of-age enthusiasts. It’s called The Fountain Pen. The drink is simple enough to make, cheap enough to afford, and strong enough to delude. The blackberry brandy provides a color that is a cross between ink and blood and the orange liquor adds a bitter edge, mirroring the cynical bite of the starving artist. And the chocolate sauce? Everyone who’s been dumped knows how well it eases a broken heart (or ego). Sit back, sip away, and let your next best-seller unfold.


The Dorm Room Bar: Peppermint Patty Shots

Valentine's Day Shots

Like it or not, Valentine’s day is fast approaching. For college students whose hearts are spoken for, there are romantic dinners, wine, and sushi to look forward to, or, a lovely evening in. For college students not in a committed relationship, there are pints of Haagen Dazs… but let’s rewrite that sad story. There are also Valentine’s day parties!

Like it or not, Valentine’s day is fast approaching. For college students whose hearts are spoken for, there are romantic dinners, wine, and sushi to look forward to, or, a lovely evening in. For college students not in a committed relationship, there are pints of Haagen Dazs… but let’s rewrite that sad story. There are also Valentine’s day parties!

Peppermint Patties are great, but Peppermint Patty Shots are better. They are a sugar-soaked combination of peppermint schnapps, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream, perfect for toasting love or singledom. Note: they must be consumed in a very particular way. See below.


Slow Cooker Challenge: Mulled Wine


I have a confession to make. I’ve become obsessed with English period dramas. I know, I know. How American of me. It seems that every Tom, Dick, and Harry across the pond is a card-carrying Anglophile, but I never counted myself among them. I swore to myself that venturing across the Atlantic would not leave me feigning an English accent and declaring my love for fish n’ chips after four years.

But, to my own dismay, I prefer a strong cup of Earl Grey to coffee. I like a good walk – the English have a thing for trotting …


The Dorm Room Bar: Blind Russian


For some, winter tends to dampen spirits. The bitter cold and grey skies deter them from getting dolled up and heading out for a night on the town. They’d rather rent a movie on Netflix (because who can even be bothered to drive to Blockbuster), settle down with an extra large mug of hot chocolate, and plant themselves on the sofa for the night.

The chilly air has exactly the opposite effect on me. It invigorates me. It refreshes me. It excites me. I am ready to roll in the winter time. If you plopped me down in the …


Cooking 101: Classic Holiday Eggnog (Video Tutorial)


Eggnog is one of those holiday classics that hits stores for one—maybe two— months out of the year. But when you’re craving that uniquely creamy buzz you can only get from a nice glass of eggnog, make it yourself! You can have it on demand, and you can control the alcohol content as an added bonus. Check out Phoebe’s video for the recipe!

If you’re looking for more video tutorials from Phoebe and Cara, check out their YouTube channel here!

— The Small Kitchen College Team