Saturday, December 20, 2008

DIY Bartending... with a Twist!

My boss & his brother hosted an awards dinner this week, & one of the special guests requested that we have Absolut with a twist of lemon for him when he arrived. One of my coworkers (my boss' assistant) was in a bit of a frenzy about the term "twist of lemon" - what it meant, what it entailed, how it was prepared & whether or not she was likely to screw it up.

To make sure she was doing it right, she grabbed me & we headed to a local restaurant, Urbana (remember my birthday dinner with the porn star?), to ask the bartenders there for a little bit of their expert guidance. The result? The hostess & bartender teamed up to not only explain to us what a "twist of lemon" means but to actually create two of them for us & our Absolut-drinking guest. How's that for hospitality?

Nuts to you -- & to me!

This post is coming a bit late, but as Chanukah begins tomorrow, I suppose it's just in time. Recently, a nice lad over at Oh! Nuts, a New York-based nuts & candy company, contacted me to ask if he could send along some free Chanukah goodies for me to review on my site. I, of course, said yes, because who turns away free stuff? Especially free food?

I told him he could surprise me, that I wasn't particularly picky about my free treats, so he sent along two boxes of gelt (bittersweet & milk chocolate), a bag of blue & white Jordan almonds and a bag of mint chocolate lentils.

Let's start with the lentils, because their name is probably confusing you as much as it bewildered me. "Chocolate-covered lentils?" I thought to myself, "Well, that's new!" In fact, the lentils were actually just lentil shaped, little M&M-sized buggers with slightly misleading names. They're crunchier than M&M's and less chocolatey (which is good news for me because I'm not a massive chocolate fan) & the mint taste is light & unexpected. They're something you'd find in a bowl at a party -- a bowl you'd park yourself next to so you could sneak candy out of it as often as possible.
If we're being honest, the truth is that I spilled about half the bag of these on the floor of my cubicle, but I picked them up & ate 'em anyway because I couldn't stand to waste any.

Next up: Jordan almonds! At age 15, my first job was woking in an Italian bakery, where I often stole the occasional Jordan almond out of the jar on the counter. I haven't had them since them, so I was darn glad to find them in my mailbox. A couple people in my office didn't like these because they said they were too crunchy, but I think if you knew what you were getting into (i.e. knew that Jordan almonds are always crunchy!) then they were a delight. I polished this bag off with a couple coworkers -- good for staving off the midday snacking blues!

The gelt was, well, exactly as gelt ought to be. Not one to snack on straight chocolate, I took these to my office's Chanukah soiree, where they were promptly gobbled up by every other Jew in the place.

Long story short? I'm nuts for Oh! Nuts. If you want more info, check out my friend Chavi's blog, where she reviewed candied cashews & almonds last month. And in a shameless act of promotion, I encourage you to get on over to Oh! Nuts for all your Chanukah, Christmas and secular snacking needs. Happy winter, lovelies!

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