Lump Crab Cocktail

This is an easy, but fancy thing that I make for quiet nights at home.  Usually with a nice glass of bubbly or as an appetizer before a steak dinner.  The lump crab is a little pricey, so we reserve this one for special occasions.  This recipe is quick and easy to put together, but it goes a long way.   If its more than a party of 2, you can add lettuce to the bottom on the glasses to make the crab go further or these would be gorgeous in martini glasses.

  • I lb can of LUMP crab meat (make sure it says "lump")
  • lemon wedges

Empty to crab into a bowl and gently, toss with your hands to be sure that there are no shells. Be careful not to break up the lumps.    Lightly sprinkle with juice of 1/2 a lemon.

For the quick cocktail sauce:

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2-3 splashes of hot sauce (how hot to do you like it?)
  • 2 tbsp. horseradish
  • 2-3 splashes of Worchestershire sauce
  • zest of the lemon, juice of the lemon

Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To assemble:

In a glass, add lettuce leaves (optional), spoon in cocktail sauce, top with some of the crab. Add a lemon wedge for garnish. 


xo & a pinch, 

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Pineapple Shrimp Ceviche

Pam's husband Paul a.k.a McSweeney, Paulie, Uncle Paul or most affectionately, U.P. sometimes travels to exotics lands for business; Brazil, China, Rio, Amsterdam, etc.   U.P. is a lucky guy, but he's modest about it.  Sometimes, if I catch it right and I get him talking, I can get a nice dose of travel (& food) inspiration.  

Most recently, we talked about his trips to Mexico and his visits to ceviche bars.  Places were you can casually belly-up to a bar that serves fresh, delectable ceviche, paired with exquisite sipping tequilas.   U.P. said "you would LOVE it!"  Yes. I would.

Here's my version of exotic Mexican, coming from my very plain, Jersey Shore kitchen.

What you'll need:

  • I lb. raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and tail removed
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple, chopped
  • 2 limes, plus extra for garnish
  • cilantro, 1 bunch, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • Hot sauce (we love Outer Limits Hot Sauce)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • garlic, 1 clove, minced
  • 1 light beer, optional (we love Corona)

1.  In a large pot over high heat, bring beer and about a quart of salted water to a boil.  To the water, add lime slices and cilantro to infuse flavor into the shrimp.

2.  Add the shrimp and let cook for 5-8 minutes until opaque. 

3. Strain shrimp and let cool.

4.  Meanwhile, in an large bowl whisk together ketchup, garlic, zest and juice of 1 lime, salt & pepper, hot sauce.  

5.  Stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion and pineapple.  

6.  When the shrimp is completely cooled, roughly chop into bite-sized pieces and add to mixture.

7. Gently fold in the avocado chunks and a handful of chopped cilantro.

8.  Chill for up to an hour or overnight.

9. Serve, garnished with extra chopped cilantro and lime.


xo & a pinch,



Pineapple St~Germain Martini

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And just like that, its summer!  

Scroll down, our last post is about cozy, rich French onion soup.  What a difference a day (or two) makes!  

We've been revisiting our old friend, St~Germain by adding it to practically every drink we make.  Its so versatile, but also special.  Here, we're celebrating the promise of tropical weather- a little sunshine in a glass!

  • 1/4 oz lime juice
  • 1 ozSt~Germain Elderflower Liquor
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz pineapple juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and pour into a chilled martini glass.   Garnish with pineapple or lime slice.

Feet up, deep breath, sip... & repeat!


Measure & Pinch

* Thank you Red Bliss at Home for the gorgeous Gold Nexus Coaster Set. They are simply stunning!


Strawberry Salsa

I think there is universal agreeance (yes, its a word) that sweet & salty food are simply irresistible. The combination of juicy, sweet fruit and salt, lime and cilantro is perfection, and on a tortilla chip, totally addictive.  This time of year, we usually chop up a big batch of mango salsa as an addition to our Cinco de Mayo festivities.  To me, the mango is the sweetheart of all fruits.  I just cant say enough wonderful things about the sweet, pretty mango. But strawberries have been having a tough time lately.  They made it to the ever shameful dirty dozen list.  Poor strawberries... happens to the best of us.  Don't believe the hype and just hunt down some organic berries.  This salsa is too special to pass on.  Its kind of like a fresh strawberry daiquiri on a chip. Strawberry Fields Forever!     

Chop up the following:

  • 1 pint of strawberries, hulled   
  • 2-5 plum tomatoes, cored (discard the wet seeds with a spoon)
  • 1 (medium) red onion 
  • Bunch of cilantro 
  • Salt & pepper
  • Lime, juice

Try to chop the berries and tomatoes to be about the same size.  Combine all ingredients and enjoy with tortilla chips.


xo & a pinch,




The Mezcalita

Hold on to your sombrero!

My husband, Paul (a.k.a "McSweeney") has already been dubbed the ultimate margarita maker here in Measure & Pinch land (a.k.a "The Shore"), but hasn't stopped him from upping his game.     

So, Mezcal... There was a cool article in the New York Times back in 2009 about it making a comeback.   It seems to be taking its sweet & smoky time coming back, but we're still convinced it's the next big thing!   Mezcal is very special because it's still made in Oaxacan Villages, which may also explain the slow come back... travel time. 

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For 2 lovely, smoky, spicy drinks:

  • 1 oz Reposado Tequila
  • 1 oz Silver Patron Tequila
  • 1 oz Mezcal
  • 1.5 oz Cointreau
  • 3/4 oz lime juice
  • 1/4 oz agave nectar
  • 1-2 slices of fresh jalapeno and lime for garnish

Enjoy, responsibly - xo Measure (a.k.a Mrs. McSweeney)

Guest Home Chef: Denise

Kelly's big sister, Denise is big supporter and contributor to Measure & Pinch.  Today, we get to hear from her directly as she takes the reins on our webpage all the way from sunny Florida! 


In Florida, there are always lemons in abundance.  These beauties are from a neighbors tree.  Rather then letting them fall to the ground and go to waste, she brings them to me!  This recipe takes 30 days, so if you are looking to have it today, it's not going to happen!  Trust me, I am not a patient women but this is worth the wait.

This recipe makes a double batch. If you wish, you can easily cut in half.

What you will need:

  • 2 1.75 liter bottles of mid range to cheap vodka (don't use the good stuff, no need)
  • 15-20 lemons (if they are small, use 20)
  • simple syrup (2 cups of water, 2 cups of sugar that has been boiled and cooled)

What you will do:

1.  Peel all the lemons.  Be sure to leave as much as the pith as you can (white part of peel).  The more pith, the more bitter it will be.

2.  Put all the peels in a container large enough to hold the vodka with the peels.  The container you use should not be transparent, and it must have a lid.

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3. Pour vodka over lemon peels, seal up the container and place in a cool dark space.

4. Wait 30 days... patiently...

5.  Finally, after 30 days, strain and then add simple syrup.

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6. Put in pretty bottles and either store in fridge or freezer (I love the freezer - it will freeze but it will be a terrific temperature!

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Pucker up!

xo & a squeeze,

At Measure & Pinch, we believe that we are all stars in our own kitchens!  We celebrate our Guest Home Chefs by taking a page out of James Lipton's book and do a little "Inside the Actor's Studio"- inspired interview.  We leave out the question about the favorite curse word though.  We try to keep it clean! 

Here is Denise's interview:

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD?  potato chips and onion dip


WHAT TURNS YOU ON?  I love to sit outside with a beautiful glass of wine.  This is my happy place.

WHAT TURNS YOU OFF?  A dirty house/bathroom and especially a dirty port-a-potty!

 WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO COOK?  I don't like to cook every day meals.  I like to cook big meals and have family over.  I also cook one day month but freeze a lot of it so when I come home from work, nothing to cook- just heat up & eat!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE DRINK?  a fresh squeezed margarita. 

WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO?  I would love to be a "Orange County Housewife"  they are always eating and drinking on the show.



We are looking forward to hearing from Denise again soon!

Holiday Re-Post: Candy Cane Merry Martini

Happy Friday!  Every Christmas season we pull out our red bows, twinkly lights, gold garland (!) and our favorite holiday recipes!  This is one of them.  We are remembering Christmas past and looking forward to a magical season this year!  Cheers!

  • 1 1/4  oz vanilla vodka
  • 1 1/4 oz white crème de cacao
  • 3/4 oz peppermint schnapps

Shake with ice until freezing cold, pour and enjoy!

Merry Christmas!

Measure & Pinch

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St~Germain Summer: The Vodka Germain Gimlet

"Have you tried St-Germain?" 

This has been the question of the summer.  We have been asking everyone because, quite honestly, its the best thing that ever happened to drinks... all drinks!

St-Germain is an elderflower liquor that has a wonderful, slightly sweet, delicious flavor that adds wonderment to any drink.  As the makers say:

"Neither passionfruit, nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly.  It is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating.  A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of its favorite nectar."

So now, you have to try it.  Here's the perfect start.

  • 2 parts Vodka
  • 1 part St-Germain 
  • 1/2 part lime juice

Pour all into ice and filled shaker & shake with vigor.

Strain into a martini glass, garnish with lime twist, sip and enjoy.

We are St-Germain obsessed!  You will be too.

a votre sante! (cheers!)

Measure  & Pinch

* This is not a sponsored post

The Painkiller


My husband and I spent an entire.  week.  alone. with.  no.  kids in St. John USVI, or as I call it Caribbean Heaven.   We drank many of these luscious babies, right on the beach.  When we returned home to our real lives & all that includes, these were the best medicine.

Heres what you'll need for 4 drinks ( yes, 4. you'll drink them):

  • 12 oz of dark rum
  • 4 oz Coco Lopez cream of coconut
  • 16 oz pineapple juice
  • 8 oz orange juice

Pour over ice, shake.  Top with ground nutmeg and garnish with an orange.


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Feel better,

xo & a pinch,


My Big Sister's Bloody Mary

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I have a big sister.  Her name is Denise.  Its impossible to describe her without taking up your entire night.  In a nutshell, Denise has admitted "I cant find my 'off switch'."  Its true.  I've witnessed this personally.  When she's having fun,  there is no tomorrow.

Like any good big sister, Denise has taught me many things:

On food:  Eat what you want, as long as its delicious.   Denise lives on Lay's potato chips and maintains adorable tiny-ness.  Its hateful.

On kids:  Love them until it hurts, but at 7 PM, its bedtime.   Even in summer when the sun is still shining and neighbors are splashing away in their pools... When the clock strikes 7:00- To bed for the kids and the margaritas start blending. 

On men:   Let them chase.  When we were young, Denise would sometimes go missing at 7PM on Saturday nights, leaving my poor Dad to say to her dates "No. I'm sorry, she's not here... No. I don't know when she'll be home."   Terrible.  Denise has been married to my amazingly awesome, brother- in- law, Joe for 28 years.    (Yes, Joe got the Saturday night "I'm sorry" from my Dad)   Persistence.

On fashion:  If you try too hard, you look like you've tried too hard.

On having fun:  Ok. There is a tomorrow, but there's always spicy Bloodies!

Denise was happy to share her ingredients, but to nail her down to measurements was an exercise in futility.   Here's my take on Denise's recipe for two:

  • 3 oz vodka
  • 3 oz V8 juice
  • 1/2 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp olive juice
  • juice of one lemon
  • hot sauce,  3 shakes (we like Outerlimits Jalepeno Lime)
  • celery salt (A MUST!)

Fill a shaker with ice, half way.  Add the above ingredients and shake until combined and cold.  Pour into glasses filled with ice.  Garnish as you like with olives, celery, lemon, lime, etc.

Denise insists on celery salt on top.  I got yelled at ( a little) for not showing it in my pictures.  She said "make sure you say celery salt!"  So.. celery salt. 


xo & a pinch from Denise,



Denise &  me with our Nanny at Christmas, 1972.

Aperol Spritz & Gratitude!

Measure & Pinch began this summer as our fun way to share our recipes and stories.  We started out with about 5 readers (Thank you Millie, Mom Read, Bean, Garvin and Sis-Denise!). Over the past few months, we've had helpful critiques, great comments, shared recipes, Guest Home Chef participants and overall, amazing support!

Today we have a wonderful reason to celebrate...  over 100 Facebook followers!!

We are so excited, happy and mostly very grateful!  

THANK YOU for reading and sharing your thoughts and comments with us!

Here's to a great fall and many more recipes to come!

Our Classic Aperol Spritz:

  • Aperol, 1 shot
  • Prosecco, 2 shots
  • Club soda, to top it off
  • lemon peel


xo- Measure & Pinch


Summer Deadly Sips # 7 : Pink Sangria


Ingredient shot! 

Ingredient shot! 

McSweeney and I are from Boston. One of our most favorite parts of the greatest little city in the states is the Back Bay. If I could have a brownstone in the Back Bay to host my family up there for all holidays, I would in a second, probably on Marlboro Street.

Newbury Street is the most famous, shopping, restaurants, etc.

One of our favorite restaurants there is Tapeo because we love all things Spanish and of course, Tapas. Tapeo also has the greatest Sangria on the planet. And, when we decided to throw a party when we got engaged, Tapeo was a hands down the winner to host it!

This Rose is an homage to Tapeo and the best possible way to end the summer of 2014!

What you'll need for a modest batch, 3 bottles plus another 300 ml

  • Three bottles of Rose, don't spend a ton of money on it, you're dumping other stuff into it.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 2 1/2 cups Orange Juice
  • Rasberries (2 pints, one of the mix, one for the garnish)
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 2 oranges

Mix all the ingredients into a beautiful big plastic or glass dispenser or a giant pitcher (3 bottles + is a lot of wine!)  You can pretty much add whatever you want to sangria in your glass, peaches, apples, orange slices, etc... I've enclosed above what we're using in this fabulous treat!

Ready to enjoy! 

Ready to enjoy! 

Mix it up, but let it sit for at least 4 hours. You'll serve this in wine glasses (red or white) on tons of ice with the fruit above in small pieces as a garnish. 

We LOVE this, enjoy and happy end of Summer! 

Complete with beautiful hand made coasters from Mexico!

Complete with beautiful hand made coasters from Mexico!

Enjoy, Measure & Pinch xo

Summer Deadliest Sips #6: The St Germain Grapefruit FiZzzzz

St Germain Grapefruit Fizz

St. Germain is a French liqueur flavored with elderflowers.

St. Germain is a French liqueur flavored with elderflowers.

Christine (aka "Bean") is one of my dearest friends and anytime she visits, we have a yummy-bad-for-you treat.  I'll spare you the details on our most favorite- quickest disappearing yummy-bad-for-you treat (it involves Lipton onion soup mix and a bag of Ruffles...)  ... mmmmm..lost in salty heaven...

Anyway, the last time she came to visit she did the coolest thing for us! We had a cheese tasting party!  Ok. I'm all over the place with treats and Bean. So, I digress..  During this last visit, in between cheese nibbles,  Bean introduced me to the St Germain Grapefruit Fizz which I absolutely loved because, ST GERMAIN!  It's so refreshing and certainly NOT a guilty pleasure.  

Easiest Summer Sip of all,  thanks to Christine Bean and St. Germain! Here's what you need.

Equal parts :

  • St. Germain Liqueur
  • Gin
  • Grapefruit Juice (fresh squeezed)
  • soda water

The fizz is optional but who could resist a few bubbles?

Add all the ingredients into the shaker with ice cubes and shake, shake it!

Pour over more ice in a glass and enjoy fresh, flowery, Frenchness!

It's too fresh not to shoot with flowers! 

It's too fresh not to shoot with flowers! 

Enjoy, Measure xoxox and.... Bean!

Seven Deadly Sips #5: Le Poire Blossom


Tasty refreshing cocktail of the summer #5

One day at the liquor store McSweeney & I stumbled on pear vodka. Shortly thereafter, Le Poire Blossom bloomed.

Magical Garden!

Magical Garden!

This blossom is very refreshing and a perfect sip on a summer evening. It's also pretty girly because it's pink so, if you're looking for a celebratory cocktail for a girlie theme party, a bridal shower, a bachelorette or if your just feeling French & flowery, this is for you!


  • 2 oz Grey Goose Vodka, Le Poire
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1/2 oz Lime Juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 1/2 oz Cranberry Juice
  • Ice
  • Shaker
  • One blood orange

Add ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake until you can't hold the shaker anymore because it's so cold! Then, grab a towel & wrap it around the shaker, then keep shaking! Pour into a chilled martini glass and top with a slice of blood orange.

Enjoy & Sante,

xo Measure & Pinch

ps. And, if you're incredibly lucky, it will grow right out of a hydrangea plant!

amis pour toujours!

amis pour toujours!

Summer's 7 Deadly Sips #4: The Dream Overholt

The Dream Overholt 

His & His 

His & His 

Girls have the Cosmo.  Boys have this- The Dream Overholt.

interestingly, this drink takes a bit of preparation, care and a very special American Rye ("high maintenance", maybe?)  The key?  Cardamon seeds & a bit of patience.

This is one of those creative cocktails inspired by a NYC bar plus a little experimentation with our dear friends/loyal tasters, Peter & Delynn.   We changed the name and morphed it a bit but it remains an absolute favorite any time of year!

Old Overholt is an American Straight Rye Whiskey distilled by A. Overholt & Co established in 1810.

Old Overholt is an American Straight Rye Whiskey distilled by A. Overholt & Co established in 1810.

You'll need:

  • 1 oz Cardamon Syrup ( see recipe below) 
  • 1 oz Fresh Lemon juice
  • 2 oz Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey 
  • ice cubes, generous (M&P insists on the cubes from the liquor store)
  • Lemon wedge for garnish 

The Syrup: 

In a medium sauce pan add; 

  • 3.5 oz of cardamon seeds
  • Smash seeds (with a heavy pan, rolling pin or your preferred smashing tool) 
  • Add 4 cups water to seeds & simmer for 20-30 minutes 
  • Add equal parts honey (approximately 4 cups) 
  • Bring to boil, then simmer for 20-30 
  • Let cool, refrigerate (make ahead 1-3 days) 
  • Drain seeds to create syrup

Girls, be careful, this dream is smooth and strong.  Boys, carry on.


xo- Measure & Pinch


Summer's Seven Deadly Sips #3: Mac's Margarita


Mac's Margarita- It Gives You Wings!

Have you ever had a fighter pilot make your margarita? Thats what we've got going on here every weekend with McSweeney.  He's annoyed as he reads this, but too bad.

This is one of his signature cocktails and, I think, our most favorite!

Mac's fresh squeezed Margarita.

Here's what you'll need for just one margarita (which he has never ever)

  • Patron Silver Tequila, 2 oz
  • Cointreau, 1 oz
  • Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice, 1/2 oz (limes should be smooth with a little yellow on the skin...they're the juicy ones!)
  • Agave nectar,  1/2 teaspoon (don't add too much)
  • Water, 1 oz (optional...if you really like tequila, skip the water)
  • ice cubes (liquor store small cubes - a must have)
  • Salt (optional)

For margaritas our tequila preference is Patron Silver but any good silver tequila will work. We love Reposado, but that's better for sipping!

Pour all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.  Shake it up and pour into a cocktail glass full of ice!

Drag a lime wedge around the edge of the glass then drop it in your drink.

For those who like a salted rim you can drag a lime around the edge of the glass then dip in salt.  This is too much work for us.

Enjoy...and Happy National Tequila Day!

Have a great weekend!

Measure & Pinch


rumson punch

Summer 7 Deadly Sips

The Rumson Punch is really just delicious island inspired rum punch made in our favorite town.

The Rumson Punch is really just delicious island inspired rum punch made in our favorite town.

Theres nothing like a summertime backyard BBQ.   Spaghetti strap dresses, hot dogs grilling, kids running around with Pop-ice streaked arms.  Yes, we really class it up!  But it gets even better when we carry out the star of the show.    This punch is the sweet, cool, refreshing beauty queen that all partygoers gravitate towards.  

Every time we serve this punch- every time- I get tons of requests for the recipe.  So here it is, by popular demand- our first of summer's seven deadly sips!

Please know- One can hardly call this a recipe.

In a large bowl add:

  • 1/2 bag of ice from the liquor store (cubes, a must)
  • Meyers Rum (1/2 bottle or pour and count to 15... "one Mississippi two mississippi... I'm not kidding)
  • Malibu Rum (1/2 bottle or pour and count 15 Mississippis)
  • 1 can of Dole pineapple juice
  • 3 cups of orange juice
  • grenadine syrup - a few drops and stir until you get your happy color.
  • cubed fresh pineapple, frozen ahead of time
  • cherries, fresh or maraschino
  • nutmeg - a sprinkle on top...and then add more rum (kidding, or not)

Enjoy responsibly and have a sweet summer!

xo and a pinch,