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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 


Entries in happy hour (5)


Happy Hour: The LH-ish Boilermaker

I thought boilermakers require the following:

  1. A shot glass full of liquor plopped into a pint of beer
  2. A bunch of frat boys chugging as fast as possible
  3. A lot of high-fiving and howling

That is until last week. Mr. Mari and I went to Laurel Hardware and on their tidy list of cocktails was the LH Boilermaker. Intrigued, Mr. Mari ordered one, and then another. Fantastic. Their boilermaker comprised of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Luxardo Apricot, lemon juice, and Magic Hat #9 Ale. Mr. Mari and I both noted that our bartender snuck some other brown elixir into the mixing tin that’s not listed - but no matter. I was converted. It got me thinking about all the drinks one could make with just the simple concept of liquor + beer. Endless. No wonder there’s so many high-fives and woop-woops.

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A Proverbial Fork in the Road & French 75s

When you come to a fork in the road, take it! - Yogi Berra

It’s been about a year since I made Marivelous Me my fulltime gig, and while it’s been an absolute blast, I’ve come to the realization that I really miss people. Working on a blog day in day out is pretty much a solo effort. Often, days go by and the only human I see and talk to in person is Mr. Mari. While I love Mr. Mari with all my heart, it turns out I need a bit more in-person human contact on a day-to-day basis. Who knew?

I find myself at a proverbial fork in the road. I love working on Marivelous Me, but I’m itching to get back into the food world, physically. What does that mean exactly? I’m not entirely sure yet, but for now at least, it means I won’t be posting here everyday. I gotta get back out there. For starters, I enrolled in a bartending course a few weeks ago, just passed my tests and got my diploma. Woo hoo! So, for now, I’ll leave you with a recipe for one of my favorite classic cocktails: A French 75.

A big shout out and hand clapping to my readers - for your encouragement, funny comments and practical questions. I'm on a new adventure so wish me luck! I’ll keep you posted on where this road takes me…

FRENCH 75 - serves one (but at least double the recipe!)
Adapted from Eben Freeman

1-1/2 ounces London dry gin
1 lemon, rinsed
2-teaspoons simple syrup
2-ounces dry sparkling wine or Brut champagne

Put a champagne flute in the fridge to chill while you get your drink together.

Using a channel zester, remove the lemon rind in a continuous spiral. Don't worry if it breaks, just try and get pieces that are at least 6-inces long. Juice lemon into a non-reactive container. 

In a shaker, add gin, 3/4-ounce lemon juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake until really chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into chilled champage flute and top with champagne. 

Twirl 6-inches of lemon zest around your finger to make a spiral. Carefully place into champagne flute. À votre santé!


Furikake & Cocktails

One of the foods Japanese people love is furikake. Furikake translates to shake + cover. It’s a condiment that’s made up of salt, sugar, teeny bits of seaweed, and dried fish. In other words, it’s an umami salt bomb. It’s traditionally sprinkled over white rice (at breakfast) to make white rice more interesting. Frankly, looking at the types offered, I think its origin was as a substitute for actual proteins. Some options include dehydrated egg (sounds weird but Japanese people eat eggs with rice so…), seaweed, salmon (again, Japanese people eat salmon for breakfast), wasabi, bonito, shiso, and so forth.

I’ve been putting shiso furikake on my eggs in the morning but thought that it must have other uses. Here’s a thought: cocktails! It can be used in lieu of salt on cocktail glasses, like on my 'hiso-hito (see recipe after the jump).

Happy holiday weekend, Everyone! Have fun, be safe with that grill and see you back here on Tuesday!

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Watermelon Margaritas - ¡Muy Refrescante! 

Last week, Hilary and Will, two of our good friends from New York were in town. They wanted to see our place before heading to dinner so of course I needed to make a snack. Having just come off of my avocado high, I thought it only appropriate to make guacamole for them. We needed something to drink too so how about some watermelon margaritas? Exactly. 

I took advantage of the simple syrups I made from my wacky candied fruit project but for this recipe I included an easy and clean tasting simple syrup. It makes more than you need for the recipe but depending on how many rounds you’re drinking or serving, you may need to double the syrup! You'll also have to add more or less simple syrup depending on the sweetness of your watermelon. I strained the blended watermelon juice but you don’t have to, but by taking out the blended seeds, which add bitterness, I think makes the drink that much better.

Makes 4 servings

1/2-cup sugar
1/2-cup water
Zest from one orange
Zest from one lime
1/2 small seedless watermelon, chilled
2-3 limes, juiced (about 1/2 cup) + 1 for garnish
4 ounces Herradura Blanco or any unaged tequila
2 ounces Combier L’Original or triple sec
Coarse salt, optional for garnish

In a small saucepan, heat the sugar, water, orange and lime zests over medium high heat. As it starts to boil, wash down the sides of the pan with a clean, water-wet pastry brush. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. 

While the simple syrup is cooling, remove the rind from your watermelon and cut into one-inch pieces. In batches, blend pieces in a blender until smooth. Line a strainer with some cheesecloth and strain the liquid into a pitcher. When it stops dripping, toss the remnants, rinse the cheesecloth and repeat if necessary.

Strain the simple syrup and press on the zest to extract as much of the flavor as possible.

Add the lime juice to the pitcher; stir with a wooden spoon. Add 3 tablespoons of simple syrup. Taste and adjust syrup to your liking. Put it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. Slice the remaining lime (zest’s still attached!) into 1/8-inch slices. Cut through the rind on one spot. Set aside.

For salt rimmed glasses:
Pour a teaspoon simple syrup into a small dish. Add a teaspoon of water and stir to combine. In another small dish, add some coarse salt. Take a glass and dip it into the simple syrup dish. Let any extra drip off and then dip the glass into the coarse salt dish. Tamp the side so any excess salt falls off. 

Fill glass with ice. Add one ounce of Herradura Blanco and 1/2-ounce of Combier L’Original. Top with watermelon juice. Add a lime wheel garnish. Make the other three and enjoy!

Note: You can easily make this into a non-alcoholic refresher. Simply omit the tequila and triple sec. Fill the glass with ice, 2/3-full of watermelon juice and top it with some soda water. Add a lime wheel garnish, presto! Muy refrescante! 


Pickle Martinis

We have a new tradition: As part of our Easter trip to Florida (and Christmas for that matter), every night we have a pre-dinner snack of stone crab claws and pickle martinis at The Seafood Bar at The Breakers. I never tire of it. The crab claws are amazing, especially during Christmas but it’s the pickle martini that’s super wow. I love a good Dirty Ketel on the rocks but some days the olive brine can be well, too briny and honestly, I’d take pickles over olives any day.

The waitress said they use Effen Cucumber vodka and Claussen pickles. I’ve gone to four supermarkets in my neighborhood and haven’t been able to find these elusive pickles. Perhaps it's an East Cost thing. Mr. Mari shook us up a couple batches using Target's Kosher Dill pickles. They were definitely close (especially with the added pinch of salt), but there's something about the Claussen brine that makes this drink fantabulous! I’ll keep hunting for Claussen pickles since there’s nothing like a good tradition.


Makes 2 thumping good drinks

4 ounces Effen Cucumber Vodka
2 ounces kosher dill pickle juice (adjust to your liking)
2 pinches of kosher salt
2 pickle spears, for garnish

Pour one ounce pickle juice into each martini glass. In a cocktail shaker, fill with ice, salt, and add the vodka. Shake vigorously for one minute. Pour into glasses and garnish each with a pickle spear. Enjoy!