Category Archives: Booze

The Top 15 Posts of 2015


To say so long to 2015, here’s a quick roundup of this little blog’s most popular recipes throughout the year!  Thank you all for your continued support of this endeavor. May the new year be filled with new recipes, full bellies, copious amounts of laughter and some new adventures in this blog space! Happy End-of-2015!


Top 15 Posts in 2015

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#15:   Vegan Chicken and Herb Dumplings

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#14:  Creamy Jalapeño Mac and Cheese

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#13:   Creamy Sweet Corn Risotto

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#12:  Chocolate Ice Cream

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#11:  Ethiopian Mesir Wat

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#10:  Panko Crusted Tempura Shrimp

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#9:  Homemade Falafels

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#8:  Malted Waffles

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#7:  Barbecue “Pulled” Seitan

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#6:  Cowboy Caviar

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#5:  Lavender Vanilla Bourbon Cocktail


#4:  Miso Mushroom Ramen with Vegetarian Wontons and Crispy Tofu


#3:  Purple Sweet Potato Pie

Forbidden Rice Blog | Top 15 of 2015

#2:  Baked Barbecue Panko Tofu
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#1:  Leo’s Limoncello


Happiest New Year to YOU!

Harvest Margaritas


Holiday season is well underway. Thanksgiving came and went. Christmas Eve is tomorrow, followed by Christmas and then the New Year will be here before long. The foods and treats are plentiful, often heavier than other times through the year. And although I enjoy a good drink year-round, it seems that this time of year even the drinks are heavy. Eggnog or hot chocolate, perhaps coffee, laced with liquor. Creamy drinks, whose dairy and alcohol make my stomach hurt more than I desire. Besides, in my ripe old age I much prefer a less-sweet drink.

This margarita is an alternative to the heavy drinks of the season. The spiced simple syrup that is present in these margaritas is steeped with enough spice to leave this feeling more like fall or winter than an any-time-of-year margarita. Should you find yourself in need of a holiday party drink idea, the recipe can also be multiplied and made into a pitcher-style margarita for easy serving.


Harvest Margaritas

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay

Yields 2 margaritas

4 ounces good quality tequila (I like Don Julio Silver or Anejo)
1 1/2 ounces chilled spiced simple syrup (recipe below)
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed lime juice
4-6 dashes bitters
lime for garnish

For the simple syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole cloves
1 -inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped



Prepare the simple syrup: Combine the sugar, water, allspice berries, cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let steep for 1 hour. Strain into a small bowl, cover, then refrigerate until cold.

Prepare the cocktail: Combine the tequila, cold simple syrup, lime juice, bitters and ice in a cocktail shaker and shake for 10 seconds. Serve straight up or on the rocks with a lime wedge for garnish.


Lavender Vanilla Bourbon Cocktail

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It’s not hard to love lavender, with its sweet scent and beautiful soft purple blossoms. We have a huge more-or-less overgrowing lavender bush in our front yard. In June and early July, it’s bustling with bees and the fragrance is intoxicating. As we live right downtown in Ashland, there’s a lot of foot traffic along the sidewalk in front of our home. This particular overgrown, wildly reaching lavender beckons folks to pick a sprig here and there. One new experience this year that our lavender apparently instilled as I looked on from our front porch, included two grown women who stretched their arms wide, crouched to their knees, and took in a full frontal brushing from our [poor] sweet smelling lavender bush. It was very dramatic (although I suppose living in a town known for its nearly year-round Shakespeare Festival, that isn’t entirely surprising).

That aside, one other thing I was excited to learn about lavender not too long ago, was the culinary purposes it could provide. Lavender ice cream was my introduction and it was thoroughly delightful. Fragrant, floral, sweet. Perfect in a creamy ice cream. Most recently I saw a honey simple syrup that had included lavender steeped in it and instantly my mind went to cocktail hour. While I tend to prefer a drink that isn’t overly sweet, the balance of the following syrup and the rich warmth of bourbon works nicely. This is a great drink for the end of the week (or whenever you prefer) and the recipe is easy to double, or triple, if you’re preparing drinks for someone other than yourself (or merely find yourself really thirsty).


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Lavender Vanilla Bourbon Cocktail

Yields one drink, for one lady or sir. Easily doubled.


For the honey lavender vanilla simple syrup:
1 cup water
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
3 tablespoons culinary grade lavender

For the cocktail:
1 ounce of the above simple syrup
2-3 ounces of good quality bourbon (Knob Creek is my preferred)
1/2 a lime, squeezed
4 ounces ginger ale
ice and slice of lime for serving


Make your simple syrup:
In a small pot, combine the water, honey, and sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until the honey and sugar completely disintegrates. Add the vanilla bean (scraped insides and the pod as well) and lavender, stirring to submerge them into the liquid. Bring to a low boil for 10-15 minutes, then cover and remove from heat. Cool to room temperature. Strain the syrup, removing the vanilla bean pod and the lavender. Keep refrigerated in a covered bottle for up to a week.

Cocktail time!
In a highball glass, or your preferred glass, fill with ice. Add the simple syrup, bourbon, lime juice, and ginger ale. Stir until well combined. Add a slice of lime for garnish and drink IMMEDIATELY ;)

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Easy Watermelon Margaritas


When it comes to cocktails, increasingly I find myself of the opinion that minimal ingredients provide a better drink. Especially when I am making a drink at home. There was a time in my life where I didn’t think this was the case. Probably around the same time I concocted “liquor soup” for my roommates and I, served in a bowl with a straw. (Bad decision.)

These days, I enjoy better quality liquor that doesn’t need to be too dressed up or masked. Generally I am a bourbon kind of lady. Knob Creek is my preference, on the rocks or straight. My husband, on the other hand, is a tequila kind of guy.

One of my favorite tequila cocktails is a simple, classic margarita. When using good tequila and fresh citrus, it’s refreshing and delicious. The following is another close favorite and a slightly sweeter take on the classic margarita. When watermelons start showing up in our grocery store, immediately I begin to think about watermelon juice, which is one of my favorite beverages. Turned into an adult beverage? Absolutely.


Easy Watermelon Margaritas

Yields 4 drinks.

4 cups watermelon, cubed
2 tablespoons agave or honey
4 limes, 3 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for garnish
1 small valencia orange, juiced
8 ounces tequila

In a blender, puree the watermelon and agave or honey until smooth. Pour the puree through a mesh strainer, transferring the strained juice to a pitcher. Add the lime juice, orange juice and tequila. Stir to combine.

Fill 4 glasses to the rim with ice then pour the margarita evenly into each glass. Garnish each with a lime wedge and serve immediately.



Meatless Monday : Cinco de Mayo Recipes


We eat a lot of Mexican-style food year-round. For a vegetarian, the possibilities are vast. True, there are many non-vegetarian options as well, but so much of what my love for Mexican food centers around is the flavors. The complexities of heat, taste, depth, spices, and balance of each separate element. This year I’m planning a serve yourself taco menu featuring staples like beans, rice, cheese, guacamole, crema, perhaps a guajillo salsa, a roasted tomatillo salsa, baked tofu “fish,” and homemade corn tortillas. There shall be margaritas, because they’re an essential part of the menu. And Mondays.

Any thoughts on what you’re making or eating this evening? If you’re in need of some entirely vegetarian Cinco de Mayo recipes, here’s a quick round-up of some ideas:

Frychos make a great appetizer or full course on their own.

Some other easy side dishes:

Spanish Red Rice

Cheesy Anaheim and Poblano Pepper Rice

Slow Cooked Black Beans

Some sauces and salsas that can easily accompany any Mexican meal:

Ancho Chili and Pepita Mole

Avocado Green Tomato Salsa

Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce

Roasted Poblano Guacamole

Looking for some main dish ideas? Here are some recipes:

Roasted Poblano Chilaquiles with Fried Eggs (great for breakfast or anytime!)

Crispy Tofu Tacos with Creamy Roasted Poblano Sauce and Grilled Cotija Cheese

Chorizo and Cheese Enchiladas

Seitan Carnitas

Jalapeño Cheese Tamales

Tamale Casserole

Tofu and Cheese Enchiladas

A couple beverage ideas to round things out:

Classic Margarita



Happy celebrating!