Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Recipe: Green Tomatillo Bloody Mary – 2 ways

I’ve been living in my house for 9 years next week, and one of the best things about owning a house with a nice yard is the ability to have a garden. Besides the “regular” veggies like tomatoes and peppers, I usually plant broccoli, green beans, onions, and cucumbers – even though they are evil and I hate them. Once in a while I plant tomatillos, the main ingredient in salsa verde and other Mexican cuisines. My first foray into tomatillos was an heirloom purple variety I had picked up while visiting friends in Toronto. At the time, no one local was selling started tomatillo plants, and I don’t have good luck with starting seeds on my own, so they were my only choice. They did well, but the fruits tended to fall off before completely ripening into purple, so anything made with them turned into a kind of yucky brown. But they tasted good! They reseeded on their own the following year, but after having so many, and little to do with them, I took a few years off from growing any. This year a local nursery was selling seedlings of the more common green variety so I picked a few up.

Tomatillos (and the last of the beets)

I still don’t know of many things to do with them aside from salsa verde, and a few recipes for soups and stews from Pinterest, but I’ve heard of people using them for Bloody Mary mixes, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. If you haven’t had tomatillos before, they have a bit of a tart taste, which should make for a delightful mix.

The internet provided me with some guidance, and I built my own recipe combining 3 (here, here and here). Some had cucumber (again, evil!), some had cilantro (also evil!), but the basic ideas were the same, and I decided to take 2 approaches – one roasted, and one “plain”.


Tomatillos have husks that begin to peel back when the fruit is ripe. Under the husks, the fruit has a stickiness to it, which you probably want to wash off (I did). I cut 5 tomatillos in half horizontally and combined them with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl to prepare them to grill. Then came the hard part – starting the charcoal. I don’t think I’ve used my grill since the last grilled bloody mary I made, and I always have trouble. I used the charcoal chimney and got it going pretty quickly. While the chimney did it’s thing, I focused on the non-grilled mix.

Lemon Drop cherry tomatoes

I prepped the rest of my ingredients, including lemon drop cherry tomatoes from the garden. It’s best to use yellow or green tomatoes in the mix, so your coloring doesn’t turn into that blah brown I spoke of before. When adding all my ingredients into the blender, I couldn’t find my horseradish. I know I had some, I’m POSITIVE I bought a jar for the last recipe, but it seems to have disappeared. D’oh! So off to the store I went, while the charcoal chimney did it’s work. Once I got my last ingredient, the mixing is easy, and it was time for some grilling.

Grilling veggies

Starting with the cut sides down, I roasted the tomatillos and jalapeno 5 minutes on each side. The tomatillos got pretty soft, so in the end I lost some of the “guts” of the smaller ones. Once time was up, I just threw them all straight from the grill into the blender with the rest of the ingredients and mixed them up.

Gorby and Boris enjoying some tomatillo bloody mary mix.

As you can see, the coloring between the roasted mix (in the Gorbachev shot glass) and the non-roasted mix (in the Boris Yeltsin glass) is a bit different, with Boris being more green. I taste tested them without any alcohol, since I had to go to work.

Non-roasted: Very tart with a good hit of horseradish, and nice tongue tingle from spice.
Roasted: Still tart, but with a sweetness to it brought out from the grilling. Given the rest of the recipe is the same, the spice level is comparable.

The non-roasted mix produced more, filling 2 medium size mason jars, while the roasted mix only produced slightly more than one jar, and it was less thick. I didn’t lose that much tomatillo to the grill, so I’m not totally sure why they were so different. Both mixes are fairly thick, and there are a lot of little seeds in tomatillos (and tomatoes of course), so they could stand to be strained, but that’s up to you (I will be straining it eventually).

In the garden

In the end, I prefer the roasted version. The non-roasted version is much more tart, and the grilling cuts that nicely. The grilled version is much more trouble to make, so if you’re short on time, or you’re like me and often fail in grilling, the non-roasted version is still tasty. You could probably roast the tomatillos under the oven broiler too, if you don’t have a grill.

Either way, it’s nice and refreshing and you can alter it however you like. If you like cucumbers or cilantro, go for it, but remember it’ll taste quite a bit different. Add more peppers or hot sauce if you love the heat, or leave them out completely. When you make your own mix, you can do whatever you want! Enjoy!

Tomatillo Bloody Mary – 2 ways


  • 5 tomatillos – husked and cut in half horizontally
  • 7oz yellow or green tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp celery salt/celery seeds (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp favorite hot sauce (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup water

For the roasted mix: Halve the tomatillos and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast with the halved jalapeno for 5 minutes per side.

For the roasted and regular mix: Combine all ingredients in a blender, and puree. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. If the mix is too thick, add more water, and/or strain through a fine mesh strainer. Chill mix before serving. *Remember* grilled items WILL BE HOT, so BE CAREFUL and let cool before blending.

Garnish as desired, and enjoy!

Grilled beets

Since the grill was going, I grilled the beets as well. Why not?

Bloody Mary Infused Vodka

If you’ve gone into any liquor store in the last few years, you’d notice an explosion of flavored vodka. From the “standards” like citrus and orange, to crazy things like fruit loops, birthday cake, sriracha and Swedish Fish (sorry, renamed red licorice). Some are good (Swedish fish), some I personally didn’t like (blueberry) and some can’t possibly be good (cucumber watermelon – aka what they will serve me in hell). For bloody mary purposes I have bottle of sriracha vodka, a few different brands of hot pepper vodka, and some chipotle vodka as well. I’ve had some bloodies made with bacon vodka and I’ve seen tomato vodkas at the store which might be tasty as well.

But it’s more fun to make your own.

Enter the internet. It’s super easy to infuse your own vodka in whatever flavor combinations you might want. Some bars, like the 2 Russian bars we visited in NYC, even infuse and serve their own, although apparently this practice is illegal in California according to The Home Distiller’s Hand Book, or at least was when the book was published. But it’s totally cool to do it on your own at home, as long as you’re using already created spirits.

With my bounty of garden produce, I thought I would attempt a Bloody Mary Infused vodka from a “recipe” I found on pinterest. I filled up a small-ish jar with 1 jalapeno, 1 Portugal hot pepper, 1 tomato, 1 clove of garlic, and some peppercorns, and then filled it to the top with vodka (no celery for me!). I didn’t want to go overboard and make a giant amount in case it was terrible. I let it sit in the fridge for 2+ weeks, shaking it every once in a while.

Bloody Mary Infused Vodka!

Bloody Mary Infused Vodka!

To be honest I was sort of scared to try it. The recipe page suggested drinking it on the rocks, so that’s what I’m doing right now! And it’s pretty good! It definitely has a fresh garden smell and flavor to it, like a bloody mary lite. It turns out my jalapenos, though the biggest I’ve ever seen, are not very hot so I’m glad I threw in a Portugal pepper as well. The infusion ended up with a nice spice kick to it, though not overwhelming. I’m not one to drink liquor straight, so I probably would not consume it this way again, but it’ll definitely be good in a regular bloody mary. I don’t know how long it’ll keep, with the veggies still in it…I suppose a brave soul could eat them, but not I!

Try it, add celery if you like, the choice is yours! Cheers!

Bloody Mary Pizza

2 posts in one day!

I was feeling creative after searching Pinterest for things to do with all my tomatoes. Tomato tarts, pies and pizzas kept showing up, and I thought, can I make those into a Bloody Mary dish?

I’ve mentioned my lack of cooking skills, but I figured even if what I create isn’t great, it will surely still be edible. So I gave it a shot.

If you’ve made a homemade Bloody recently you probably have most of the ingredients you’ll need already in your cupboard. And since I’m not a cook, the process is fairly easy.

Ingredients for our pizza

Ingredients for our pizza

Prepared pizza crust, like Boboli
6-7 medium size tomatoes, sliced
4oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp Horseradish
1 tbsp Hot Sauce of your choice
1/4 tsp Celery Salt
salt and pepper

Suggested Garnishes/Toppings

I had a precooked pizza shell in the freezer from a previous pizza night, so I thought I’d use that. But it turned out to be far too freezer burned and dry so I had to go to the store for something else. I picked up a precooked shell from Tops, whole wheat on accident but that’s ok, it’s still tasty. You could use a Boboli, or even roll out fresh dough if you so choose but cooking temps and times may vary.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and don’t forget your pizza stone if you have one. Leave your cream cheese out to soften a bit, so it’ll be easier to mix together with the other ingredients. Meanwhile you can start slicing your tomatoes. Man, it’s so hard to slice ripe tomatoes thin, but do the best you can. I didn’t even attempt to use the mandolin slicer, I figured it would just massacre the tomatoes. When you get to the stub of the tomato, that you can’t slice anymore, throw some salt and pepper on it and eat it! Yum!

Place the slices on some paper towels and sprinkle lightly with some salt, and let sit for at least 15 minutes to soak up some of their moisture, or your pizza will be a bit moist. I used 6 medium tomatoes, depending on the size of the pizza shell or dough you rolled out you may need more or less. I ended up having 3 extra slices, so I ate those too!

For the sauce I used about 4oz of cream cheese, because that’s what I had. I stuck with my standard favorite ingredients for a good Bloody, but of course you can add whatever other kind of flavorings into the cream cheese that you want. Once it’s appropriately softened add the Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, hot sauce, celery salt and some peppper and mix together until combined. Taste to make sure it’s to your liking and adjust as necessary.

Spread the sauce onto your dough and lay the tomato slices on top, overlapping a bit as you go. I had extra sauce, which I just dumped, but you could use it as a dipping sauce for the crust if you like. Once the tomatoes are all in place sprinkle some pepper over the top of the pizza. At this point you can add some other toppings based on your favorite Bloody Mary garnishes. I sprinkled some precooked bacon on top of mine but you could also use olives, onions, hot peppers etc. You could also make it into a more traditional pizza by adding cheese but I didn’t think it was necessary.

Once your pizza is ready and the oven is hot, bake for 15 minutes. The tomatoes will start to shrivel up and your dough will brown nicely. After the 15 minutes I turned the broiler on and let the pizza sit under it for another 2 minutes. The dough got a little more brown, but it crisped up the bacon nicely. Remove from the oven and let sit a bit before cutting.

Before and After

Before and After

The sauce had a good spice level with a hint of horseradish, the crust was crispy and the tomatoes nice and soft. All in all I think it was a pretty good attempt, try it sometime.

Bloody Mary Bombs

I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s nearly October and I am still drowning in tomatoes from the garden. I’ve already frozen a ton of cherry tomatoes, both roasted and whole, and I started freezing the Early Girl tomatoes now as well. Mostly I use them throughout the winter when I attempt to cook something, but I still have some from LAST year’s harvest in my freezer so I need something to do with these fresh ones.

Since I don’t entertain too often I’m not sure I’ll ever end up trying this (plus I don’t have many friends who like Bloodys – the horror!) but it was too good not to pin and share.

Bloody Mary Bombs! Soak your cherry tomatoes in a vodka, worchestershire, and hot sauce mix and serve.

Check out the full recipe here:


Grilled Bloody Mary

It’s August and that means an overload of home grown tomatoes. I was scared I wasn’t going to get any this year, as early on my plants appeared to have gotten diseased but after cutting off the diseased parts, they’re going strong. What to do with all these tomatoes? I thought it was about time to try to make my own Bloody Mary Mix, and a complicated one at that – a Grilled Bloody Mary.

J found this video last year, and I immediately dismissed it as being too much work. 1. Because it is and 2. I can’t grill. I joke around about not being able to cook, but thanks to Pinterest I’ve been able to successfully follow recipes and make some tasty dinners. But grilling is a different story. I just don’t understand it. I have a charcoal grill, and I have finally mastered using the chimney to start the coals, but after that I don’t understand. I don’t understand how to keep the grill hot enough to cook things like meat, and I don’t understand how you keep it going. I see people add more charcoal to a started grill, but they don’t light and they don’t get hot when I tried in the past (when I was trying to grill pizza). So my grilling experience, besides the pizza which amazingly turn out OK, is usually just grilling some summer veggies for some recipe, or to freeze for winter.

But I thought, I’ve been feeling productively lately, I’ll give it a shot. So I harvested my Early Girl tomatoes, a few jalapenos, an onion and some garlic, and picked up some citrus and a poblano pepper from the store (since the squirrels dug up my poblano plant) and went to town.

(mostly) home grown ingredients

(mostly) home grown ingredients

I altered the recipe a bit from Chef Megan Mitchell’s website and video, but the original can be found here.


  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 2 pounds (7-8) tomatoes on the vine, cut in half
  • 1 small onion, cut in fourths leaving the root intact
  • 2 jalapenos, left whole
  • 1 clove of garlic (I used 2 small)
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 3 lemons, halved (2 are for the juice, one is for garnish so you could skip the 3rd if you like)
  • Vegetable oil, for oiling grill
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. prepared horseradish
  • 1 tsp. celery salt
  • 1 tbsp. salt (the original recipe calls for 2, but I thought that seemed like a lot, and I’m glad I cut back)
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Vodka


  • Grilled lemon, wedges (from above)
  • Pickled Green Beans
  • 4 celery stalks, inner stalks with tops
  • Whatever else you like

Fire up that grill, and get all your ingredients ready as it heats up. The tomatoes should be cut in half, and the onion cut in 4ths with the root intact to prevent the onion from falling apart on the grill. The recipe called for a red onion, but I didn’t grow any this year since they never keep well, so I used a regular small white onion from the garden. Halve the lemons and lime, but leave the peppers whole, with the stems. I added in garlic, because it seemed necessary. I used 2 small cloves of the Japanese garlic that I grew because it’s spicier than regular garlic, and I like spice. I also used chili infused olive oil to oil the grill, because, why not.

Once the grill is ready, start with your poblano pepper. You want the pepper to get charred and soft, about 10 minutes. Once you think it’s ready, you want to steam it by putting it in a bowl covered in plastic, or a paper bag, so that you can easily peel the skin off later. I left it on most of the time I was grilling, flipping it occasionally so that all sides charred. After a few minutes I added all the rest of the vegetables, starting with the cut sides down. I used a disposable grill pan since some of my veggies were small and would fall through the grill.

Veggies on the grill

Veggies on the grill

Grill until the downsides are charred and soft, 12-15 minutes, and flip and grill for 5 more. Here’s a tip: grilled tomatoes get very very soft, the skins start to fall off, and the guts fall out. They’re slippery and hard to grab with giant tongs like I have. I probably could have grilled everything a bit more, as you can see, they’re not super charred.

Grilled tomatoes!

Grilled tomatoes!

I shifted some of the tomatoes around, as the grill did not seem to be heating evenly. Do what you gotta do. Once everything is grilled to your satisfaction, pull everything off and let cool slightly before continuing. At this point, I ate dinner.

Grilled citrus!

Grilled citrus!

Once you can handle everything, pull out the poblano and scrape the skin off using the back of a knife. Cut the stem off, and remove the seeds. Cut the stems off the jalapenos, but leave all the guts. Cut the root ends from the onion quarters and add everything into the blender. Add the juice from the lime, and 2 of the lemons, saving the 3rd to use as garnish. Depending on the size of your blender you may need to do this step in batches. I only have a Walmart blender that cost less than $20 ten years ago, and I was able to get everything blended at once. Blend til almost smooth, then add your flavorings – Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, celery salt, salt and pepper – and blend some more. At this point give it a taste, and decide if it needs anything else. Initially I didn’t think my mix was very spicy, so I added about a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce and blended some more.

Now comes the pain in the ass part (assuming everything else went smoothly haha). Unless you like your mix super super pulpy, or you have some fancy blender/juicer that will do this for you, you’ll want to strain the mix through a fine mesh strainer, pushing the juice through with a spatula. Since I don’t like a super thick Bloody Mary, and you don’t peel or seed the tomatoes before hand, this was a must step for me. In the end, it didn’t take that long, but be sure to at least rinse, if not wash your strainer right away or it will never be the same!

Once everything is strained and tasting good, refrigerate the mix for at least an hour, but the longer the better because it’ll give all the flavors a chance to meld. I left mine over night, since I work nights and all, and can’t really be drinking before I go in. But I can have one for breakfast!

Good morning

I forgot the bacon salt rim!!

When I was still blending I thought the mix wasn’t very spicy, even with 2 jalapenos, and it had a strong horseradish smell but after letting it sit, it really changed quite a bit. The flavors were very subtle, just a tiny aftertaste of horseradish, and no shocking hit of spice, but after drinking a few sips you realize your tongue has a delightful tingle. There’s a hint of smoke from the grill, which had I charred my veggies more, I imagine would be stronger. It was nice though, and not overwhelming like the smoky Bloody Mary I tried in St Louis. It tastes nice and fresh, nothing overpowering.

Good morning!

Good morning!

The recipe is supposed to make enough for 4 servings, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate. It’s a very thick mix though, I had to add some water to my glass, plus the ice (and vodka), to get it to my liking. I added some to my pitcher as well, so you could stretch the mix to serve more if needed. It’s a tasty mix, but it is definitely time consuming, so it’s unlikely I’ll do it again. It was fun though!

Bloody Mary Crockpot Chicken

I can’t cook.

Sure I perfected hot pot macaroni and cheese, and heating up a can of spaghettios in college, but I did not inherit my mom and grandma’s love and knowledge of cooking. When I had my first kitchen in college, and then my first apartment after, I lived on frozen burgers (the pink slime stuff, yuck!) cooked on a George Foreman grill, microwaved hot dogs, instant mashed potatoes (which I do still love) and pasta. I lived for a year on frozen dinners by Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine. I wanted to make corn muffins one time, but found out my oven was broken, so I figured I’d cook them in the toaster oven. FYI, that does not work. One time I accidentally bought filet mignon at Wegmans for $27, and panicked because I knew if I tried to cook it I’d ruin it – so I took it to my mom to cook for me.

I’ve had my mom and my friend Adrienne show me how to cook chicken in a pan, but leave me on my own to do it, and I can’t. I am so paranoid about meats being under cooked that I over cook everything. I don’t know what temp to cook things on, so I’ll burn the outside but the inside will be raw.

But the last few years I’ve collected quite a few recipes on Pinterest, things I think I can handle, and I have been successful! I’ve perfected cooking chicken breasts in the oven, since I am (still) incapable of cooking chicken in a pan. But I have no skills, so when a recipe says there is 10 minutes of prep time, I’m easily taking 30 minutes. How on earth do you peel an onion quickly? I watch the Food Network, and it’s *wham bam zip smash voila* peeled onion. I stand there, my nails digging into the onion, trying to break the skin away a little bit at a time. 5 minutes later, my oil is burning and my onion still isn’t chopped and ready to be added to the pan. Because besides the onions being impossible to peel, I can’t manage my time properly, so I’ll still be chopping something when it’s more than ready to be added to the pan. And stir-fry is out of the question because I have no idea when to add each item so that it’s cooked properly. Oh well. I’m light years ahead of where I used to be.

For 12 years I’ve worked overnights, but since I’ve been on “special assignment” since December, and working in the afternoon I’ve discovered crock-pot cooking. I found a bunch of interesting recipes on Pinterest that I could turn on before leaving for work, and when I got home at midnight, I’d have dinner ready. And most of them are pretty easy – dump things into the pot, and turn on for 8 hours. I can handle that! When pinning things the other day I came across a Bloody Mary crock-pot chicken recipe. Basically it was chicken and a bloody mary mix cooked for 8 hours. I had been looking for something to do with the Burning Asphalt mix that is too thick to drink, so I figured why not try it. I altered it a bit though. And now that I tasted it I’d do a few things different.

(food photographer, I am not.)

Basically you combine chicken, chopped onion, garlic, and bloody mary mix in the crock-pot and cook. Add in rice or quinoa at the end. Done. It tastes pretty good! However next time I think the onions should be softened a bit in a pan with oil before adding to the crock-pot for the rest of the cooking – they are still a bit crunchy. I also think it could benefit from a can of diced tomatoes.

(cooked and shredded)

I used the Burning Asphalt mix that was already open, I had about a half a bottle left. So to make sure the chicken was fully covered by liquid I added some chicken broth I had in the fridge, and about a cup of water. If you had enough mix to cover the chicken, you wouldn’t need to add much more liquid. If I add diced tomatoes next time, it will need even less additional liquid.

(yeah, it doesn’t look great, but it tastes good!)

So here it is, my very first, very imprecise recipe!

Bloody Mary Crock-pot Chicken
Prep time: No idea, but it’s not too much
Cook time: 7-8 hours
Servings: um…4?

2 chicken breasts
1 small/medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Bloody Mary mix of your choice*
1 can diced tomatoes
Chicken broth or water if needed
Rice, quinoa, or other “filler” of your choice

Cook the chopped onion and garlic with some olive oil in a pan until softened. Combine the chicken breasts, chopped onion, diced tomatoes and bloody mary mix in the crock-pot. If needed add additional broth or water to ensure the chicken is fully covered by liquid. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Once the chicken is cooked, or nearly cooked, cook your rice or quinoa on the stove following package instructions using as much liquid as you can from the crock-pot. Shred the cooked chicken in the crock-pot and stir in cooked rice/quinoa. Serve.

*The taste will be based on the mix you use, so use something you like.