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

nutella egg cream

hey, my husband's name is eggboy and i just made an egg cream. hold your tongue on the jokes, i already made them all, they are already so last week. (actually if you have a good one, i wouldn't be opposed to you saying it.)

but ok, egg creams! a classic new york drink that has nary an egg, just whole milk, seltzer, and chocolate syrup. my percussion teacher in college, gordon, informed me during one of our timbale lessons that it has to be fox's u-bet syrup. absolutely has to be. (it's not an egg cream without fox's, molly, now please show me how much cascara you practiced this week...something like that.)

past the basic ingredients, everybody has a different way of making it and everybody's way is the best. some add the syrup at the beginning, some add it after the milk and seltzer, some have strong opinions about the type of glass used... and i am just a shy middle-of-nowhere dweller, very far away from the closest fox's and there is a nutella stain on my pants. do you get where i'm going?

here's a photo of rob and me on the night i had my first egg cream, at sammy's roumanian. r.i.p. my bangs. i didn't hate my first egg cream, i didn't love it, but over the years the sensation of drinking a fizzy chocolate milk has grown on me so much, especially because it makes me all nostalgic for sammy's and rob and brian and my earlier years in new york. it's a fun drink, a festive chocolatey one, and something that everybody should try twice.

nutella egg cream

makes 2


1/2 c nutella

3/4 c whole milk, very cold

1 c seltzer, very cold


in a bowl of measuring cup, whisk together the nutella and 1/4 cup of milk to make a syrup.

divide the remaining milk between two glasses and then top with the seltzer. mix in the nutella syrup, dividing it evenly between the glasses. enjoy!

this post is part of sherrie + renee's #drinkthesummer party!!!! i wish it was an i.r.l. party bc holy crap is it hot in israel. i need a cold drink. but it's on the internet, the second best party place in town! go to their blogs to check out all of the other amazing drinks that are part of this party!


harissa pimento cheese + the aperol spritz

this is a post about orange foods. 

or, orange and white foods.

because for a very long time, back in the day, i didn't eat anything else. 





the orange starbursts.

they were all the best and i didn't need anything else because i wasn't old enough to read articles that told me i wouldn't live to be a hundred if i didn't eat an abundance of leafy greens.

(damn those articles.)

mum eventually picked up on my preference for orange foods and started requiring that i ate carrots if i was going to have dessert. that's when things went downhill, or uphill, depending on how you look at it. 

orange foods are still my favorite (even though i've kind of developed a hate for the color orange) and i recently discovered two new orange foods* that i really really love. ones that i can't believe i went so long without. ones that i can trust will please pretty much any party guest, no matter how little i know them, unless they come out of the gates with something silly like, "i just don't like cheese." 

*that's a lie, one of them is a drink 

1. pimento cheese. at its core, it is cheese and mayonnaise and sweet peppers. a cheese spread that is perfect on anything, even your fingers, even a stale unidentified corn chip. having never spent much time in the south, i guess i understand why i didn't eat it growing up, but what i don't understand is how anyone outside of the south can taste it once and then not go around spreading the good word of pimento cheese. i first really learned about it from hannah, who has some great rules which i have followed and also broken. i've made it so many times now and each time i make it, no matter how offensive my interpretation is, it gets gobbled up with a smattering of oohs and ahhs, and i feel like i've tricked my party guests because it is just that easy. here, i've added harissa powder because i love a smoky spiciness. 

2. the aperol spritz. i am in an aperol spritz phase of my life, which is best described by the circumstances under which i popped my aperol spritz cherry: three months ago, over a walnut cream pizza in midtown with a newly pink-haired marian as she filled me in on her recent solo trip to disney world, which sounded like truly the most bizarre and enchanting experience that a person can have. which is to say that i intend the aperol spritz phase of my life to be 30 times more colorful and weird than the college-y gin gimlet phase and, oh god, the skim white russian phase. because an aperol spritz tastes like a grown-up fizzy orange capri sun and it is extremely fun and i love it and i want you to have one too. 

where does that leave us?

have an orange party and be summery about it. 

it's easy, i'll show you.

harissa pimento cheese

mix these together:

4 oz shredded sharp cheddar

2 oz cream cheese

1/4 c mayo

1/4 small onion, minced

4 oz pimentos, chopped

1/2 tsp harissa powder

salt + pepper to taste

serve with bread or crackers

the aperol spritz

fill a glass with ice and add:

3 parts prosecco

2 parts aperol

1 part sparkling water

garnish with an orange wedge

tweet about your #spritzbreak???


thank you so much to aperol for sponsoring this post!! all opinions are mine. all claims to being in an aperol spritz phase are mine. all stories are mine. go have a #spritzbreak! 

the egg girl (an aquavit & rosemary cocktail) + scenes from our little married life

my first weekend as a married lady was a lot like sunday afternoons in the juilliard dorm when we were just too hungover to drum. it included a lot of buttered toast and a lot of oh, just one more office episode! not having a wedding to plan or a wedding dress to fit into has yielded things like many many cheesy pickles with our new volleyball team (we are called the cheesy pickles), three batches of vanilla cake, a loaf of bread baked by eggboy (!?!!?), and an impromptu adventure to the woods outside of duluth.  

our little trip came right after the wedding when our hangovers turned into colds and our last out of town guests had departed. we downloaded all of serial, packed our bathing suits, and set off for the cutest lodge we could find that had a sauna. there we stayed until 2015, when we decided that we had better explore downtown duluth. and oh, for cute! i wanted to put it in my pocket and bring it home. we watched boats go by and met a very funny moose. we ate bison pastrami and elk burgers and local string cheese, and then washed it all down with a lumbersexual at emily's amazing distillery. it was approximately zero degrees but it's ok i had my husband to keep me warm (*sorry* that was mushy overload). it was the perfect preview of our honeymoon next month, titled mr. and mrs. egg don't do anything for two weeks except eat schnitzel and look at alps.

upon our return, we cleaned and stressed out about serial and then segued into the aforementioned lazy lady weekend. life as a married person is actually kind of pretty much the same, just with less ikea dishes and more fancy things like a smeg toaster and vitamix blender. so what i'm really trying to say is, my first nine days as a married person were everything i wanted them to be.

ok! i made a cocktail about myself. we did that thing at our wedding where we had his and hers drinks except eggboy's was just glenlivet neat, so that's why there's no recipe for an eggboy. (side note: thoughts on the space between egg and girl? egggirl looks like it was a mistake and eggirl actually is a mistake so, um, never mind...) we tossed around so many ideas for what our drinks could be. his: chamomile tea, hers: a shot of vodka. his: lemon water, hers: cake batter. his: spinach, hers: hot dog water... 

rosemary obviously played a huge part in our wedding. we had a rosemary girl instead of a flower girl, the boutonnieres were made out of rosemary, and then, yes, this rosemary cocktail emerged as the one for me. we chose to have aquavit in it as a nod to eggboy's norwegian heritage, and we specifically chose vikre's aquavit because it comes from minnesota and the distillery is owned by emily, the lady behind five and spice and one of my most faaaavorite food52 columns, and her husband, joel. they are the coolest!!! i was able to personally thank them for my wedding hangover when we were in duluth, and holy smokes, they are treasure troves of knowledge when it comes to distilling. the caraway in their aquavit is super strong and wonderful, it made the perfect partner to all of the challah and prosciutto that i scarfed down at the start of the cocktail hour. and the rosemary syrup is one of the easiest things to make. 

the next time you're feeling blah because it's january, a.k.a. the monday of months, whip one of these up and you'll be good!

the egg girl

makes 1

fill a glass with ice

add 1 ounce aquavit,

1/2 ounce rosemary syrup (see below),

and fill to the top with fizzy water.

garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a twist of orange peel


rosemary simple syrup

whisk together 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water, add 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, and simmer for 15 minutes.