Monthly Archives: May 2014

Summertime Refreshment: Tips for Making the Perfect Drink

One of the simple pleasures of summertime is having an icy cold beverage in your hand.

Whether you are just relaxing at home with your family or entertaining guests, learning how to make a fantastic drink is worth the time and effort.

Visit us at Dressler’s Restaurant and choose from our wide array of wines, beers, and liquors. Not sure what to choose? Consult our fabulous bar managers–Brian Lorusso at the Metropolitan and Kevin McNamara at Birkdale Village won’t steer you wrong.

Read the tips below and you’ll be ready to impress your family and friends with delicious drinks at home.

Start with great glassware. Amazing drinks taste and look better in nice glasses: beer/wine, flutes, rocks, highball, martini, old-fashioned, snifters, hurricane, and margarita glasses are a few of your choices.

Use fresh and colorful ingredients. Buy quality alcohol and pay attention to the details. Stock your home bar with plenty of fresh limes, lemons, oranges, pineapples, berries, and mint. Keep straws, stirrers, and lots of ice on hand.

Respect the classics. Always keep some traditional beverages on hand. Beer and wine are popular for a reason.

Learn how to make mixed drinks. Feeling adventurous? Try some new recipes and learn how to make a martinimargarita, mojito, whiskey sour, Manhattan, or sangria. You never know when you’ll stumble upon your next favorite beverage.

Always have nonalcoholic beverages on hand. Not everyone drinks alcohol, so be sure to have several nonalcoholic choices on hand, including ice-cold sweet tea, lemonade, punch, ginger ale, and club soda.

10 Classic Cocktails You Must Try

How to Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables, and Love Them!

How many times were you told as a child to eat your vegetables? How often do you find yourself telling your kids the same thing?

We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with getting enough of them into our daily diets.

Dressler’s Restaurant works with Poplar Ridge Farm and Commonwealth Farms for farm-fresh vegetables and flowers. We also use a forager to source ramps (wild leeks), wild mushrooms, and some bitter salad greens. Because we like to keep our team happy and healthy, our kitchen always serves tasty vegetables at our daily staff meal.

The vegetables listed below are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, easy and inexpensive to buy, and require little or no preparation to eat. According to nutritionists, not only can these foods help you look and feel better, they can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many cancers.

Grow them in your garden at home or buy them at your local store or farmers’ market. Try adding some of these to your diet today.

Apples—soluble fiber lowers blood cholesterol and glucose levels; vitamin C protects your body’s cells from damage; helps reduce risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and diabetes.

Beans—good source of iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, and magnesium; low-fat source of protein and fiber; reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes, breast and colon cancers.

Blueberries—low-calorie source of fiber and vitamin C; loaded with phytonutrients to prevent heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers; helps improve short-term memory.

Broccoli—a great source of folate (B vitamin that prevents birth defects), vitamin A, and C; contains phytonutrients; good for preserving eye health; helps protect against cancer and heart disease.

Brussel Sprouts—another great source of folic acid; fiber, calcium, and vitamins K, A, and C.

Garlic—contains phytonutrients; decreases high blood pressure; lowers rates of ovarian and colorectal cancers; helps fight infection.

Red Peppers—excellent source of vitamin C; great for your skin (less wrinkling and dryness); gives your immune system a boost.

Spinach—packed with vitamins A, C, and folate; magnesium and iron help boost immune system; carotenoids protect against macular degeneration and night blindness; protects against heart disease and some cancers.

Sweet Potatoes—good source of fiber; high in vitamin C, B-6, and potassium; beta-carotene protects eyes, skin, and lining of respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts; helps slow aging process; protects against some cancers.

Tomatoes—high in lycopene; protects against heart disease and breast cancer.

There are so many delicious and healthy ways to prepare vegetables. You can eat them fresh, steamed, sautéed, roasted, or grilled. Add them to soups, stews, and stir-fry.

Top 10 Healthiest Fruits and Vegetables

Add More Color to Your Diet

Tips for Growing and Using Fresh Herbs at Home

Have you ever considered growing your own herb garden at home? Fresh herbs are a healthy addition to your meals. They smell wonderful and add beauty to your patio or deck. Best of all, you have all the herbs you need for your favorite recipes only steps from your kitchen.

Here’s how to get started. First, decide which herbs you use the most when cooking. Then purchase these plants at your local nursery or farmers’ market. Use pots that are a little bigger than the original containers so there’s room to grow after you transplant them. Make sure the pots have holes in the bottom for drainage (small rocks or gravel added to the bottoms of the pots will also help drainage). Buy a potting mix that drains well and fill your pots, leaving some space at the top for your plants. Then replant your new herbs and give them some water.

Most herbs need at least 6-8 hours of full sun per day. Let the soil dry out between waterings (feel it to see if it is dry to the touch), but don’t let the herbs wilt (they will if they get too thirsty).

Many of the herbs listed below are best grown in a hot, sunny location with well-drained soil (except for mint, which grows better in a slightly cooler environment). Some herbs require more frequent watering than others, so get specific care instructions when you purchase them. Be sure to plant mint, rosemary, thyme, and oregano in their own pots or they will overtake other plants. Other herbs can be combined in the same pot.

  • Thyme is an easy-care perennial with lavender flowers. Add it to stock, stews, soups, eggs, and vegetables.
  • Rosemary is a perennial with white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. This herb blooms almost continuously in warm climates and is used in Mediterranean cuisine to flavor stuffing, roast lamb, pork, and poultry.
  • Sage is a perennial with blue/purple flowers. Use it to flavor stuffing, poultry and pork dishes, soups, and tomato sauces.
  • Basil is an annual with lush green foliage. Use it in your Italian and Southeast Asian dishes.
  • Cilantro (Coriander) is an annual plant with white or pale pink flowers. Use it to season Asian, Indian, and Mexican meats, soups, and salads.
  • Oregano is a perennial with purple flowersAdd it to numerous Italian and American recipes.
  • Parsley is a bright green annual plant. It is a staple in Middle Eastern, European, and American cooking and goes well with potatoes, rice, pasta, meats, stews, soups, and salads.
  • Mint is a perennial with white/purple flowers. It is easy to grow and spreads quicklyMint thrives in cool, moist spots in partial shade, but will also grow in full sun. Add it to tea, fruit and vegetable dishes, pasta, desserts, chicken, and fish.

From Garden to Kitchen

For most leafy herbs that have pairs of leaves along the stem such as mint, sage, and basil, cut a sprig just above a leaf pair. The remaining pair will sprout off into two new stems, giving you a fuller plant. For parsley and cilantro, cut entire individual stems near the soil, taking the outside stems first.

When your herbs are ready for harvesting, simply cut and wash. Then add them to your favorite meals and enjoy!

Chef Scott likes to use fresh thyme and rosemary to accent grilled meats (can be cooked with the meat or used in a marinade). He uses fresh basil, dill, and mint to finish seafood dishes.

How to Grow Container Herbs

How to Grow an Herb Garden

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden