Dana Slatkin

Barefoot Peach Bellinis, Sugar-Free

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June is a month of goodbyes. My kids graduate — from preschool, elementary school, and junior high — leaving behind familiar classrooms, teachers, and friends. My oldest takes off for camp in Maine. And the rest of us bid our annual adieu to L.A. as we recamp to a tiny mountain town in Colorado. There will be tears of joy and farewell hugs. And (you know me so well by now) my kids will get a good dose of mom wisdom to pocket for their journeys ahead. But lest you think I’m about as much fun as fish oil, I assure you there will be numerous festivities. We’ll mark the milestones with bubbly drinks, bountiful fare, and plenty of togetherness around the table. This effervescent summer cocktail is what I’ll be … [Read more...]

Lychee Grapefruit Limeade

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What’s your idea of romance? These days, there are a a million ways to buy it — chocolates, greeting cards, iTunes compilations, roses. But I prefer mine simple, handmade, and enduring. Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always my favorite holiday. I would stay up late the night before, glueing red and pink hearts onto doilies for my classmates and wrapping cookies for my teachers. Even our terrier, McDuff, got a special red bone to chew on. It was a day to exchange little tokens from the heart, when nothing else seemed to matter. Fast forward to a grown-up life with three busy kids, a husband, work and travel. There’s not much time for grand gestures. But what’s romantic to me now is still pint-sized. Sure, … [Read more...]

Caramel Apple Champagne Cocktails

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Just in case you’re still hunting for Thanksgiving ideas, here’s a fun and festive way to kick off any feast. Don’t worry if you can’t find the caramel apple syrup (pumpkin spice and gingerbread syrups are delightful, too). You can substitute apple cider spiked with a little maple syrup.   These adorable caramel apple lollipops would make perfect cocktail stirrers. But this Farmgirl will be taking a break from all that to volunteer at a soup kitchen. Sometimes a little bit of reality is the best garnish.   Wishing you all a memorable, relaxing Thanksgiving! The 90210 Farmgirl is on Youtube! Watch my Vegetarian Thanksgiving Playlist for my top 5 favorite holiday cooking vids! Photo credit: SingleMindedWomen.com … [Read more...]

My Favorite Way to Get Buzzed

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Coffee and I have been pals ever since my college days. On bleary-eyed morning walks to campus, long afternoons at the local café, and studious late nights at the library, coffee was always there for me. These days, my entire family wakes up to coffee each morning (the four-year old drinks decaf, of course), its warm comfort rousing us into our day.   Apparently we’re not the only ones with a coffee obsession. It’s no secret that Americans are totally addicted to the stuff. And, according to recent statistics, bean drinkers are getting younger and younger. But now that nutritionists and health scientists are embracing coffee in all its antioxidant splendor, I’m happy to be part of the jacked-up crowd. Here … [Read more...]

Flavored Water

Flavored Water

My list of resolutions doesn’t wait until the New Year. In fact, by the time summer is in full swing, I’ve already made plenty of fresh ones… Keep it simple. Read more books. Stop stocking sodas and landfill-clogging bottled drinks. And the one to heed right now — stay hydrated. So what’s a flavor-seeking farmgirl to drink when it’s hotter than a pickle in a pepper pot? Straight-up water can be downright dull. But infuse it with fruit, vegetables, and herbs and you have a genius thirst-quencher that will keep you sipping all summer. This is less a recipe than a means of inspiration (If you were hoping for a proper recipe this week, hey, it’s my vacation, too.). Simply fill a glass pitcher with … [Read more...]

Green Monster Pineapple Kiwi Punch

Pineapple-Kiwi Punch

Just as I was about to post a recipe for a warm, comforting Fall soup, summer finally hit Los Angeles. It didn’t just creep up slowly. All of a sudden, the city turned into a sauna. Yesterday was so hot that it broke the all-time record (since 1877) — as well as the weatherman’s thermometer. And overnight, we Angelenos finally stopped complaining about the traffic. So I’ll save the soup recipe for a cooler spell. Instead, I thought you might appreciate this refreshing punch, a variation on my Pineapple Lime Mint Agua Fresca that I developed for goodbite.com. I was chosen recently as a new contributor and, in a few weeks, you’ll be able to watch me demonstrate how to make it on my website and theirs. But there really are … [Read more...]

Pineapple-Lime-Mint Agua Fresca

Pineapple Agua Fresca

It’s hard to admit that summer is almost over. The back-to-school catalogs are clogging my mailbox, my appointment book is crammed with check-ups and haircuts, and my kids are desperately trying to finish their summer reading. Even though there are plenty of sunny days ahead, I can’t help wishing summer would last forever. How do you maintain that carefree spirit even when we are all back to the grind? I say, bring on the fruit. Agua Fresca is a classic Mexican drink, made with equal parts fresh fruit and water. For this recipe, blend the juiciest pineapple you can find (frozen defrosted fruit will work, too) with lime or lemon, filtered or bubbly water, and just enough sugar to make it all sing. Spiked with mint and perhaps a splash … [Read more...]

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate

I could spend all day browsing in a bookstore. Surrounded by worlds awaiting discovery, jazz music playing in the background, the toasty aromas of lattes and muffins thick in the air, I slink into a trance… On a recent vacation morning where the kids’ activities all thankfully aligned and I was left with a few hours to myself, I stopped by Explore Booksellers, a charming bookshop in a Victorian townhouse, the only one in Aspen that has managed to endure against all odds. Of course, I bee-lined for the cookbook section. Curling up into a corner labeled Food Writing, I delved into Molly Wizenberg’s A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table and Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink. Two hours later, … [Read more...]