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I recently had the pleasure of starring in a social media campaign for a new beauty brand, Kiss NY Pro. It was such a blast to shoot. Hope you enjoy the video below!

hot toddy with ginger + lime

hot toddy with ginger + lime

hot toddy with ginger + lime
hot toddy with ginger + lime

The other day, I was in a cab with friends and I was going on about how there's something about New York in the wintertime that makes me want a glass of red wine pretty much every night. I'm not sure if it's the cold weather, or the need to wind down from the hustle of the city - probably a combination of both. And for me, it's also probably got something to do with the fact that I'm loving the city so much right now ... sort of like I'm celebrating that each night with a glass of wine. Why not, right?

Then, I get to thinking about hot winter cocktails. Naturally.

This is an arena of imbibement that I've never been able to fully explore as a born-and-raised Florida girl. Red wine is wondrous - it really is - but how about concocting something that's truly designed to be drank in the winter?

The first thing that pops into my mind is a hot toddy. I don't know much about it - other than the fact that the name is pretty adorable - so I look it up; when I see that bourbon, honey, and lemon are the main ingredients, I'm sold.

Let's not forget about the fact that a hot toddy is a cocktail that, supposedly, one drinks when one is sick. It's an old-school cold and flu remedy, which makes sense considering the honey and the lemon. I think the alcohol gets thrown into the mix to make you forget you're sick, or at the very least, make you feel a little better in the moment and maybe even put you to bed sans NyQuil. All of this I like.

I love the idea of adding ginger to a hot toddy even more, and if you're really going to start tossing back bourbon when you're sick (in which case, can we be friends?), I would think the kick from the ginger would knock out a cold twice as fast. And for those of you just looking for a way to warm those cold winter bones, the ginger does the trick there, too.

Hot Toddy with Ginger + Lime

Recipe Type

:

Cocktail

Author:

Sarah Ashley

Prep time:

5 mins

Cook time:

15 mins

Total time:

20 mins

Serves:

2

Ginger, honey, and lime work so perfectly together - and when you add bourbon to the mix? Fuggedaboutit.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces bourbon, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons honey, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Boil water and ginger for 15 to 20 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about 1-1/2 cups.
  2. Meanwhile, divide bourbon, lime juice, and honey among two serving mugs.
  3. Strain ginger and pour half of the liquid into each mug. Stir to combine and taste, adding more bourbon, lime juice, and/or honey if necessary. (You can also add more boiling water depending on the size of your mugs.) Enjoy!

3.1.09

brown butter {holiday} blondies

brown butter {holiday} blondies

brown butter blondies Here it is: The solution to all of your holiday baking needs. Potluck party? Check. Cookie exchange? Yes, please. Something to munch on while decorating the tree? Done and done.

Rich and gooey brown butter blondies studded with white chocolate chunks, pistachios, and dried cranberries. These babies were made for the holidays, right? It's such a great mix of sweet, salty, and tart ... And the best part is, these blondies are healthy - as healthy as a blondie starting with brown butter can be. You've got white whole wheat flour going on, and sucanat - which is the most raw and unprocessed form of sugar there is. If you've never used sucanat before, it has sort of a funky smell in the bag and it has a different texture than brown sugar - but I promise, the flavor and texture is totally uncompromised. You can, however, go for regular brown sugar if that's what you've on hand.

That's the difference between a blondie and a brownie: A brownie is all about the chocolate, and a blondie is all about the brown sugar ... Or in this case, the sucanat and brown butter. And because blondies typically use - like brownies do - melted butter anyway ... it's like, why not brown it first? That way, you get even more flavor-bang for your buck.

What you might like the most about this recipe is that you can do it all in one pan. It all comes together super-fast either way, but I know some of you will prefer to skip the dirtying of extra mixing bowls - and you totally can, because I tested it both ways. I wrote the instructions out the technically correct way, according to traditional baking rules; they did come out just slightly more perfect in appearance this way, but the flavor is the same - so the choice is yours. Whatever you do, make sure to take them out on the earlier end of the baking time if you prefer gooey blondies ... And really, who doesn't? :)

Brown Butter {Holiday} Blondies

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Sarah Ashley
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Brown butter blondies studded with chunks of white chocolate, pistachios, and dried cranberries make for a festive holiday treat. Note that instead of following the instructions as stated below, you can use just one pot for this recipe: Simply allow the brown butter/pan to cool a bit before carrying on with the rest of the recipe. You can add all of the other ingredients right into the pan, and forget the separate whisking of the dry ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups organic sucanat or brown sugar
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 3 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) block high-quality white chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 3/4 cup roasted and salted shelled pistachios
  • 3/4 cup premium whole dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil (giving yourself extra length on all side to pull the blondies out later) and hit it with nonstick cooking or baking spray.
  2. Slice butter into pats and place in a stainless steel saucepan (you don't want to use nonstick because it will be hard to see the color of the butter on the darker surface) over medium heat. Whisk the butter as it melts; after the foam subsides, you will notice little brown specks starting to form in the bottom of the pan. When the butter has browned has smells nutty, remove the pan from the heat. (Be careful not to burn the butter - if you do, you'll have to start over.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Whisk sucanat into browned butter. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into the wet until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chunks, pistachios, and cranberries.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing the top with spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is crackling and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

roasted sweet potato + kale salad

roasted sweet potato + kale salad

Roasted Sweet Potato + Kale Salad

Roasted Sweet Potato + Kale Salad It's time to fall in love with greens and grains, in salad form.

I'm excited to share this recipe with you because it's what I'm eating all the time. Super-real life eating! We all know the importance of greens by now, but it's also important to get our whole grains/complex carbs in everyday. A salad like this is an easy, delicious way to do it, and the options are endless: Pick a green and a grain and then add your favorite vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Beans are a good addition here, too!

This version I particularly love because all of the flavors just jive together. Bitter kale and caramelized roasted sweet potatoes are a perfect pair - throw in some apples and walnuts for crispness and crunch and tie it all together with a tangy bacon-balsamic vinaigrette.

And if you've never had barley, you're in for a treat. One of my friends who tried this had never had it before, and she fell in love - it has a toothsome quality, and it feels much heartier than quinoa or brown rice.

I know a lot of you like to rock out salads in the summer, but this is the move in the fall and winter - when you need something more satisfying.

Roasted Sweet Potato + Kale Salad

Recipe Type: Main Dish Salad or Side Dish
Author: Sarah Ashley
Serves: 4 as a main, 6 to 8 as a side
Tangy balsamic-bacon vinaigrette is one easy way to get them to eat their greens and grains, don't you think? Vegetarians can opt for straight olive oil instead.
Ingredients
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 5-ounce container baby kale
  • 1 Honeycrisp apple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • Bacon Vinaigrette:
  • 2 slices thick-cut bacon (preferably applewood-smoked), diced
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring barley and 2-1/2 cups salted water to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until water is absorbed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sweet potatoes with thyme, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a sprinkling of pepper. Spread onto a baking sheet in an even layer and roast 30 to 35 minutes, turning once halfway through cooking.
  3. To make the vinaigrette, cook bacon until crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon; pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat. Add shallots and cook until softened. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon; slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toss barley and kale together in a large serving bowl with half of the vinaigrette; fold in sweet potatoes, apple, and walnuts. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary, and serve with remaining vinaigrette.