Inside Out cocktail

Presenting my signature cocktail inspired by the film “Inside Out”.  I wanted to capture some of the luminous beauty of the memory orbs in a refreshing, tangy, gin-based cocktail.

Inside Out cocktail

Inside Out cocktail

The memory orbs are simple enough to make, and may be created up to several days in advance.  I wanted to keep their flavor neutral and in balance with the drink, and also fine tune the intensity of their color, so chose to use unflavored gelatin with lime juice and pure orange essence to make the gelatin memory orbs.  The only special equipment you’ll need is a small melon baller.

gelatin memory orbs and a melon baller

gelatin memory orbs and the melon baller used to shape them

Go see “Inside Out”, then make this cocktail to toast this beautiful film.  Enjoy!

Inside Out Cocktail
(makes two servings, with lots of extra memory orbs)

3 oz good quality gin
1 oz simple syrup*
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
2 each of the five different colored gelatin memory orbs

Prepare two cocktail coupes by placing one of each of the different colored gelatin memory orbs in to each coupe.  Shake together the gin, simple syrup and lime juice with ice until very cold.  Strain into the two coupes.  After sipping your cocktail, slurp up the memory orbs for a little extra fun.  Enjoy!

for the gelatin memory orbs:
2 envelopes Knox unflavored gelatin
6 TB sugar
1/4 cup cold water
2 TB fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp. pure orange essence (optional)
1 1/3 cup boiling water
liquid food colors: red, blue, green, yellow

To make the gelatin orbs:  pour the 1/4 cup cold water & lime juice in a large Pyrex glass measuring cup.  Sprinkle the gelatin on top and allow to hydrate for a couple minutes.  Then add the sugar and boiling water.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the orange essence, if using.  Pour into five small flat-bottomed bowls, so that the height of the gelatin mixture is about 1/2 inch or more.  Stir liquid food color into each of the bowls, one drop at a time to create red, green, yellow, blue and purple colored gelatin.  (for purple, use red and blue in equal amounts).  Place in the fridge until completely cool and jelled.  Use a small (about 1/2 inch) melon baller to scoop out spheres of gelatin.  (Dipping the melon baller in warm water between scoops helps to create clean cuts)  Store in the fridge until needed.

*simple syrup is just one part sugar to one part water.  Make in advance and store in the fridge.


Coconut Green Curry


Coconut Green Curry with green beans and tofu

Here’s a versatile, flavorful green curry to try.  Rich with coconut milk, fragrant with kaffir lime, and spicy with green curry paste, this simmer sauce adapts beautifully to many vegetables.

IMG_0019 (1)

clockwise from top: green beans, green curry paste, onion, red bell pepper, kaffir lime leaves, lime, coconut milk

Which vegetables to choose is personal taste — just remember to adjust simmering time based on what you’re cooking.  Some ideas: green beans, bell pepper, cauliflower, carrot, eggplant, snap peas, summer squash, anything fresh and delicious will work.  Add chicken breast, mild white fish, or firm tofu as you please.  Serve with brown rice for a deeply flavored, nutritious meal.  Enjoy!

A special thank you to my husband, John, for a new camera for Valentine’ Day.

Coconut Green Curry

1 can coconut milk
1 – 2 TB green curry paste
one lime, juiced
one onion, diced
2 TB vegetable oil
3 kaffir lime leaves
salt to taste
2 cups of fresh prepped vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups chicken breast, tofu chunks, or fresh white fish
fresh cilantro, for garnish
(note:  if you’re using fish for your protein, add some fish sauce to build the flavor of the sauce)

Heat medium saute pan over high heat until hot.  Add oil and onion.  Saute for a few minutes.  Begin layering in the remainder of your vegetables and meat/tofu pieces based on how long they will take to cook through.

Add coconut milk, green curry paste, kaffir lime leaves, and some salt.  Simmer with vegetables for just the right amount of time for everything to cook through to tender perfection.  Add the chicken, fish or tofu chunks. The goal is to have everything cooked to the right temperature and texture at the same time.  For example, in this dish, using fresh green beans and a bit of red pepper I added the beans three minutes after the onion and waited to add the tofu until just 3 minutes before serving.

Adjust seasoning to taste — adding more salt and lime juice for a balanced flavor.  Remove kaffir lime leaves before serving.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.