strawberries and cream frozen cocktail with cardamom and pistachios

I have a funny relationship with strawberries! I didn’t used to like them, which was three times more embarrassing than my banana phobia because people are supposed to love strawberries the way they love summer and baby animals. When I was a kid I didn’t really like any fruits or vegetables, so this was pretty on brand and most grownups in my life went with this but strawberries were often treated like an exception. Surely you’d eat a strawberry, they are like candy! Nope, no, they’re slimy and getting the way of the chocolate and vanilla in my Neapolitan ice cream. This came to a head in high school, when during a concert band tour of Germany, I stayed with a host mom who greeted me with a big bowl of strawberries and sugar. She didn’t speak English except for when she left the room and I whispered to my friend that I didn’t like strawberries and she overheard me. You don’t like strawberries?? She asked, poking her head back in. I felt so bad! I pretended like I was kidding and choked some down, discovering that I actually kind of enjoyed them but was not yet ready to admit it. 

Eight years later, with grownup tastebuds, I was back in Germany during strawberry season and had an opposite experience, where I braved a downpour in the name of small juicy strawberries from the market that were red all the way through and perfectly sweet. They were marvelous! I still have never had anything else like them. And even though sometime in the course of those eight years I grew to not fear them, I can still probably count the number of other times I’ve deeply connected with a strawberry on one hand: chocolate dipped strawberries on the lawn of Ravinia with Jaclyn and Katie, a shortcake at Blue Hill, and a daiquiri sipped out of a cocoa dusted glass at a speakeasy in Hong Kong. 

So maybe it’s that I’m making up for lost time or maybe it’s that I’m in need of vitamin C, but these days I have strawberries of all forms on hand at all times. *Slathers on strawberry scented lip balm*. And right this moment I am craving one of these here strawberries and cream frozen cocktails but it is morning time and don’t tell me that it’s five o’clock somewhere, I am too old for that today. 

What makes this a cocktail is Prairie Organic Vodka, which is from Minnesota! I was so excited to find out about them. It’s distilled from organic single vintage yellow corn that is grown on family farms, just a little south of where we live. I’ve always known that corn is super common around here, we have corn farmer friends, but Prairie Organic is the first vodka I’ve tasted made from it. It is so smooth, even a little bit creamy, which is why it goes so well in this cocktail. And I love that its ingredients can be traced back to sustainability conscious Minnesota family farms, just like Eggboy’s!

A great thing about this cocktail is how unfussy it is. I’ve always been extremely impressed with my friends who can welcome me into their house and carry on a conversation as they fiddle with fancy tools, light things on fire, drip precise amounts of bitters into a glass, and spin me a very complicated cocktail. I am not that person yet, maybe one day, but for now I appreciate a simple fun thing that is good by way of great ingredients. A nice glug of cream, strawberries (bonus points if you picked them?!), and a smidgen of cardamom, which will add beautiful dimension. I also like a pistachio rimmed glass for crunch, nuttiness, and color.

Cheers to the weekend, friends!!

Strawberries and Cream Frozen Cocktail with Cardamom and Pistachios

makes 2


A drizzle of honey 

Finely chopped raw or roasted pistachios and freeze dried strawberries, for rim

2 c (280g) frozen strawberries

1/4 c (50g) sugar

1/4 c whole milk

1/4 c heavy cream

1/4 c Prairie Organic Vodka

1/2 tsp vanilla

A good pinch of ground cardamom

Dried rose petals, optional


Apply a thin even layer of honey around the rim of two glasses (I find it’s easiest to drizzle it directly on the top outside edge of the glass and then use a small rubber spatula or knife to spread it all around) and then coat it with the pistachios and freeze dried strawberries. Set the glasses aside.

In a blender, combine the strawberries, sugar, milk, cream, vodka, vanilla, and cardamom and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and top with pistachios, dried rose petals (if using), and another tiny pinch of cardamom. Enjoy!


Thank you so much to Prairie Organic Spirits for sponsoring this post! This recipe is only intended for those of legal drinking age (21+) and should not be shared or distributed to any underaged persons. Please enjoy responsibly! 

Photos by Chantell and Brett Quernemoen

stream of consciousness day

to ring in my birthday, rob and maria and i engaged in stream of consciousness day: a 24-hour piece of performance art centered on doing whatever we want, when we want it. obviously there's not much planning to be done aside from taking a vacation day from work and mentally preparing yourself for the possibility that your stream of consciousness could lead you to a tattoo parlor or the lunchable aisle of the grocery store or, heaven forbid, staten island. luckily our streams didn't lead us to do any permanent damage. i was mostly looking to eat as many breakfast sandwiches as possible, maria and i got massages and our nails did, and rob went to the party store to buy those absurd clown glasses for us. we ate cake balls and nougats and... we just didn't hold back when it came to eating and drinking. the day ended with sangria and bacon cheeseburgers on the hudson as the sun set, some really strong coconut cake at good enough to eat, and belly aches that carried on into the next day. hehe, oops. 

what i'm drinking right now

stoopie made it for me and she used a lot of the vodka that we were originally going to to use to spike the watermelon tonight... it's called a {hold on let me ask stoop}
"bluebee smash...featuring basil from the garden"

now stoopie will explain how to make it:
"ok. take a glass, put some blueberries in the glass and then go into the garden, harvest some basil from jody's [mum's] garden, put the basil in the cup, squeeze half a lime into the cup with one tisp of sugar and muddle. muddle with a small wooden spoon. until the bluebees are smooshed. uh... fill the cup with ice and as much vodka as you please. stir. top with lime-flavored la croix. that's it!"

enjoy your memorial day!!


the hurricane club, featuring donuts and coconuts

the best thing about having a friend from jewish summer camp who now lives off the path and who is friends with the guy who wears the ear piece at the hurricane club is that you get secret crab donuts. 
mmm hm.
i'll start from the beginning:
the hurricane club is not a restaurant i would normally choose for a friday night dinner. as of late my friday night dinners are spent at the greasy pizza place around the corner where the guys behind the counter know me by moelly. but when summer camp boy said the magic words {secret menu items!} i hopped on the next cross town shuttle, hurry scurried down park avenue and rolled through the entrance corridor with negative three minutes to spare. 
 sporting a secondhand red leather jacket and a scarf the size of france, i immediately saw a bump-it and said to the imaginary terrier at my feet,
we are not on the upper west side anymore.
so fast-forward to the part where we eat warm sugar donuts filled with crab meat and catch me while i die. because you know how the only thing you ever want in a crab cake is more fried shit? this is the answer. yeah, it's weird, especially because they were dusted with powdered sugar, but it worked. it was the whole sweet/salty thing with a spritz of the sea and a doughy texture. you want them now. why they're not on the menu, i don't know. 
maybe because it would force the place to strictly be a donut joint.
the rest of the meal included some super tasty ducky sandwiches,
and the highly anticipated croque monsieur spring rolls. 
a croque monsieur spring roll, as i found out, consists of cheese and hammies inside of spring roll wrappers and served with mustard. which is a little anticlimactic when you're imagining the filling of a normal spring roll colliding with béchamel and pigs and then broiled for a crispy edge. but they tasted good, so i'm done complaining. 
the cocktails were out of this world and then some. my second one surprise arrived and it was in a coconut. that's never happened to me before. it was delicious. i have no idea what was in it, but something* tells me they're all that quality. 
{*i swear i didn't taste about a third of the menu. promise.}
and that was before the rum fountain. there's a rum fountain. in the basement. did you know that rum fountains exist? i didn't. you just get a little bottle and fill her up. just like a water fountain! the end there was steak, chicken brushed with gold dust, and a delicious chocolate cake.
it was a total experience meal. 
and forever those donuts will be in the history book that is my diary of favorite things.

the hurricane club is on 26th and park. wear heels.