The St~Germain Cocktail

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So, M&P has been a little quiet lately. We decided to try for a screen-free summer to focus on family, friends, fresh air and the delicious things right in front of us.  It was a pretty successful endeavor; allowing us to lift our heads from our computers and stretch our necks.  Speaking of stretching, we've been bitten by the yoga bug!  Who knew?  Kelly,  once described as "zen-phobic" and Pam, who is too busy to breathe, have both become (or trying to become) bendy, breath-y and serene.  (insert prayer hands)

Of course, none of these new things have been an impediment on our cocktail hours!  When getting back into our little website (over drinks), we realized we've never shared The St~Germain Cocktail, the most heavenly of all cocktails.   How could we do this?!   Such a huge miss!!  But see what happens when you take a little break?  Clarity. (insert more prayer hands here)

This drink is a true favorite.  Its easy to drink and goes with almost everything.  Its effervescent, light and refreshing with a bit of sparkle. 

Fill a large glass with ice, and pour:

  • 2 parts dry white wine (or Prosecco)
  • 1 1/2 parts St~Germain
  • 2 parts sparkling water

Stir, garnish with a little citrus and enjoy.

Cheers to new beginnings!

Measure & Pinch

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,




Sausage & Cannellini Stuffed Eggplant

During these gorgeous golden days of early fall, we are still enjoying summer's harvest and eating outside.  Every last minute cherished before it becomes completely Siberian and we are under blankets, eating carbs. 

This weekend I noticed that our basil is still full of green leaves and eggplants at the market are gorgeous and abundant through October.   I love stuffing eggplant this way. I've featured it here before with tomatoes, basil & cheese.  I love eating a half an eggplant as my dinner... and then the other half for lunch the next day.   

Here's what you'll need for two halves:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 16 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper or 3-4 baby peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • olive oil, 3-5 tbsp
  • 3 links of Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1 16 oz can of cannellini beans
  • red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp
  • salt & pepper
  • mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup, shredded
  • parmesan, 1/4 cup, grated
  • basil, a bunch chopped or torn (some for cooking, some for garnish)

Here's what you'll do:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

2.  Prepare the eggplant:  Cut the eggplant in half.  Scoop the meat from the halves and chop.  Coat the eggplant shells with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Place on a baking sheet, cut-side up and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes; until the eggplant shells are tender.  Remove from the oven and reserve.

3.  Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the sausage, crumbling the meat at it cooks.  Once completely browned, remove the sausage from the pan and reserve.

4.  In the same skillet over medium high heat, add 3 tbsp. oil, garlic, cubed eggplant, chopped peppers, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.   

5.  Cook on the stovetop until the vegetables become tender.  Add the tomatoes and beans.  Return sausage to pan.  Stir in most of your chopped basil, combine and simmer about 15 minutes.  Taste to adjust seasoning. Add salt & pepper if needed.

6.  Scoop the eggplant/sausage mixture into the eggplant halves.

7.  Top each half with mozzarella and parmesan.  Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.

8.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with torn basil leaves and more grated parmesan.


xo & a pinch


Grilled Figs with Fresh Ricotta Dip

Sometimes the most delicious food is the simplest.  This dessert is perfect for after dinner drinks with guests. Its easy to add to an already heated grill and its only 3 ingredients!

  • 8-10 figs, halved, skewed and grilled for 5-8 minutes
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • honey, drizzle

The key is the fresh ingredients.  Fresh ricotta really makes a difference here and if you have local honey, all the sweeter!


xo- Measure & Pinch


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Avocado & Jicama Guacamole


In the world of Measure & Pinch, the avocado and the jicama are best friends.  They're cute, quirky and get along beautifully. They're not exactly beauty queens, but inside they are wonderful and delicious, but completely opposite.  Avocado's creamy, soft, buttery inside is a perfect match for Jicama's crunchy, light sweetness. Together they make a great team and thanks to our friend Chef Peter, who generously shares his recipes, tips and expertise with us home cooks,  we learned that jicama is the key to making the ultimate guacamole! 


Serving 4-6 Measure & Pinch people  you'll need: 

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 small white onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled jicama
  • 1 lime (zest,) 
  • 2 garlic cloves (pressed or finely chopped) 
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Jalepeno pepper (optional) 


Ripe avocados are not always in the store so, if your avocado is bright green, ask for a dark one. Squeeze to test ripeness. It should give a little when you squeeze it but, not squish it. To get the meat out of an avocado you want to take a large knife and press it lengthwise  into the avocado until you feel it hit the pit, you want it to touch it then drag the blade full circle. When the blade makes it back to the original cut, push the blade harder into the pit so that the knife sticks. Now, pull the avocado apart and one side will still have the pit in it. 

With a spoon, spoon out the first avocado half onto a cutting board. The one with the knife in it will need a little help but, the pit will come right out as it's stuck in the knife! (Good trick, huh?) 

Once you scoop out the three avocados give them a rough chop into eighths. Take a fork and give them a mash but, not so that they're smooth, just so they're not chunky. Add your lime juice.

(Keep in mind when you open the avocado it will immediately start to turn brown unless you squeeze lime on it so, once the avocado is free from it's shell, and diced  & pressed, squeeze the lime juice on it...)

Press your garlic and add, then add about 1/2 cup of jicama.  If you follow the "pamelita pico" recipe for everything except the avocados & jicama, just add it all into your bowl and you'll have your guacamole. 

This is a party favorite, for sure. 

Enjoy, xo 


Stuffed Eggplant

Vegetables are beautiful! I love making eggplant this way because you keep the gorgeous form of the fruit (Ok, yes. Its a fruit).   This recipe is a celebration of the summer harvest; using tomatoes, basil and eggplant.  Its also so rustic Italian, I'm compelled to blow the dust off of my Rosetta Stone discs!   

Heres what you'll need for three stuffed eggplant halves (pictured):

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 cupstomatoes, chopped (we used cherry tomatoes and sunbursts, but any tomato will do)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • basil, large bunch
  • olive oil, 3-5 tbsp
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (or white wine)
  • red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp
  • salt & pepper
  • mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup, shredded
  • parmesan, 1/4 cup, grated
  • bread crumbs, 2 tbsp.  (optional)

Here's what you'll do:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

2.  Prepare your eggplants:  Halve both eggplants.  Scoop the meat from 3 of the halves and leave 1 half to chop for the filling.   Coat the 3 halves with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  (use your hands to season & coat the outside and inside).  Place on a baking sheet, cut-side up and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes; until the eggplant shells are tender.  Remove from the oven and reserve.

3.  Meanwhile, chop the remaining half eggplant into cubes.

4.  In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 3 tbsp. oil, garlic, cubed eggplant, chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper.   Add handful of torn basil. 

5.  Cook on the stovetop until the mixture combines about 20 minutes.  Add stock or wine to create a sauce-like consistency. Taste to adjust seasoning.  The mixture is done when the eggplant and tomatoes are softened.  

5.   Scoop the eggplant-tomato mixture into the 3 eggplant halves.

6.  Top each half with mozzarella, parmesan and bread crumbs.

7.  Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.

8.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Garnish with torn basil leaves and more parmesan.

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Mangiare le verdue!  (& frutta)

xo & a pinch,

Greek Chopped Salad

Right now tomatoes are my middle name; beefsteak, plum, cherry, you name it in Jersey we're eating it! 

This salad is one of many I'm eating on on the weekends! It's super easy and it requires no lettuce. Is it still a salad without leafy greens?  We say YES and this salad is a must-have! The fresh, crisp cucumbers, sweet tomatoes and the salty, creamy feta! YES. Who else is in? 

  • 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cucumbers, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • Dill, 1 small bunch, chopped
  • Feta cheese, 4 oz crumbled

We dress this salad simply with the juice of a lemon, swirl of olive oil, salt & pepper. Toss and share with your friends! 

And, since I'm all about the salads lately, take this one if you love it only leave out the dill and add these next four ingredients instead. You'll still have an amazing salad just a different version! 

  • I can of chick peas, strained and rinsed
  • Mint, 1 small bunch chopped
  • Kalamata olives, about a cup and go for the ones w/out the pits! 
  • And, yup, one head of romaine lettuce, chopped! 

Two salads for the price of one entry! :) 

Enjoy, xo Measure! 



Mediterranean Summer Salad

I call all Greek food "Goddess food."  Is it because its usually so healthy and beautiful?  Or maybe its because I think that if I eat like a Greek Goddess, maybe I will start to look like one!   You are what you eat, so I'm sticking with the Goddess food...with my fingers crossed.   

This salad combines my favorite Greek elements; chick peas, cucumbers, mint and feta with a few local, fresh vegetables that seem to find there way onto most summer tables.; corn & tomatoes.  Its kind of Jersey Greek... or better, Shore Goddess!   Beautiful!

Heres what you'll need:

  • 19 oz can of chick peas, rinsed
  • 3 ears of corn, cooked, kernels removed
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 8-10 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • mint, 2 tbsp chopped, plus a few sprigs for garnish
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 ozfeta cheese, cubed

    For the dressing, whisk these ingredients together:
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon dressing
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

 In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together with the dressing.  Garnish with mint, extra cucumber or lemon wedge.  Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

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Eat Beautifully,

xo & a pinch,


Chicken Sausage & Garden Vegetables over Spaghetti Squash

Its a that wonderful time of year when gardens are bursting with delicious things!  Total summer abundance!  .. well, not in my yard.  One of my dreams is to have a gorgeous, healthy garden in my backyard.  Right now, I have only a couple of struggling herbs.  I blame it all on the squirrels.  

Until my garden dreams come true, I enjoy the farmer's markets and the generosity of my green-thumbed friends!    Here I used a bunch of local veggies and some chicken sausage to create a chunky "sauce" to put over spaghetti squash.  It makes a great, easy, healthy dinner.  It would be more delicious over regular spaghetti, but I also have bikini dreams... I blame it all on ice cream. 

  • 6  chicken sausages, casings removed  (we love Premio)
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • garlic, 2 cloves, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large spaghetti squash
  • parmesan cheese, grated 1/4 cup, plus more for garnish
  • olive oil, 2 tsp
  • butter, 1 tsp
  • salt & pepper
  • red pepper flakes, a pinch
  • parsley, for garnish
  • chicken stock or white wine, a splash

For the spaghetti squash:  

1.   Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2.    CAREFULLY cut the squash in half.   Spaghetti squash are really hard and round.  They are not easy to cut.  PLEASE do so with caution.  Scoop out the seeds. 

3.    Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Place the squash, cut side down onto the sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes.

4.  To test for doneness, poke the squash rind.  If there is "give" its done.  Let cool. 

5.  With a fork, scrape the inside flesh from the squash.  It will release as threads (resembling our long-lost friend, spaghetti.)

For the sauce:

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, swirl olive oil.  Add the sausage, casing removed.  Cook 5-8 minutes or until browned.   Remove from the skillet and reserve.

2. To the same skillet, add all vegetables.  Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

3.  Add the sausage back to the vegetables, toss with splash of wine or stock and butter.  Stir in parmesan cheese. Taste to adjust seasoning.

To serve, spread spaghetti squash shreds in a shallow bowl.  Season lightly with salt & pepper.  Top with sausage and vegetable sauce.   Garnish with extra grated parmesan and parsley.


Sweet Dreaming!

xo & a pinch,


Fiesta Corn Salad

This recipe is inspired (copied) from my father-in-law.  While preparing for a family party at my in-laws, I offered Mom my hand with cooking.   She asked me to prepare Dad's Corn Salad and I was really happy to do it.  I've always loved it and was curious about the makings. To make the salad, I was given a "recipe" that simply said:

1 bag of corn

1 can of beans


1 Jalepeno


1 Red Onion

1 Lime

Clearly, my father-in law is a "pinch!"  I threw it all of the ingredients together, then Dad added his magic touch and it was delicious, as always.  When I got home, I couldn't wait to try it on my own.  I made a few changes.  I left the peas and  jalepeno out because I'm feeding picky little boys and I used roasted corn (confession: I used left-over roasted corn).  I also tossed the salad with an agave lime dressing to give it my own spin.   Dad would approve! 

Heres what you'll need:

  • 8 ears of corn, roasted or boiled, cooled  (or a big bag of frozen kernels, defrosted)
  • 1 can (15 -19 oz) can of beans  (red or black beans) rinsed
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1-2 baby red and orange peppers, sliced (or a red pepper sliced)
  • 1 tomato, seeded and chopped
  • Cilantro, a bunch, chopped

Cut the corn from the ears.  You should have 3-4 cups of kernels. 

In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, beans, chopped onion, sliced peppers, tomato and cilantro.

For the dressing:

  • 1 lime, juice and zest  (plus more limes for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp. agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped plus more for garnish
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 

Toss all ingredients together and garnish with lime and cilantro.

Happy Summer!
xo & a pinch,


Garlic & Lemon Dijon Grilled Shrimp

My favorite recipes are usually the ones where I say "this can hardly be called a recipe."  They are the recipes that I usually describe as quick, easy, healthy and festive.  To me, all food should have those elements.  Why make things difficult?  More importantly, why not have a little fun?

And yes, to me, a pile of grilled, delicious shrimp is fun!

Heres what you'll need:

  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail-on
  • 2 lemons, 1 for juice and zest, 1 for garnish.
  • parsley, bunch, chopped for garnish
  • garlic, 1-2 cloves, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil, about 2 tbsp

For the marinade:   Whisk the juice and zest of 1 lemon, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, olive oil, salt & pepper in a bowl.   Taste for proper seasoning.

Pour over shrimp and toss, coating all.  Place in a large food storage bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. 

For the grill:   Using a slotted spoon, transfer marinated shrimp onto a grill pan (a pan with holes).  On high heat, cook shrimp for 8-10 minutes, turning as needed to avoid over browning.   Grill until shrimp are curled and opaque.

Garnish with squeeze of lemon, lemon wedges and chopped parsley.  

Have fun!

xo & a pinch


Chilled Corn & Basil Summer Soup

I never believe it when people say "I'm too hot to eat!"  How could that be true?  Ok, maybe some days are too hot for meatballs and Chianti but... well, is that even true?   

Now, "I'm too hot to cook"  I get.  Hanging over the grill or the stovetop is not ideal during a heat wave.  This little chiller resolves that issue.  It also answers the old summer time question of "what do I do with all of this corn and basil?"  Its delicious and satisfying too.

Heres what you'll need for 4 small bowls:

  • 4 ears of corn, cooked (we roasted ours, but boiled is just fine)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup milk (fat content, your choice... we use whole organic milk)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • salt & pepper
  • olive oil, for garnish

Equipment:  Standard Blender or Immersion Blender

Here's what you'll do:

1.   In a large bowl, combine the kernels from THREE ears of corn, (reserve the kernels from one ear for later), lime juice, minced garlic, milk, chopped basil, salt & pepper (about 1/4 tsp each).

2.  Blend everything together until you achieve your desired consistency.   Add more milk if you wish.   Taste for proper seasoning.

3.  Once youre finished blending, stir in the kernels from the last ear of corn.   Chill for at least an hour before serving.   Ladle into bowls and garnish with basil and olive oil.

Stay cool.

xo & a pinch,



Arnold Palmer Bar

For my step-son's 16th birthday celebration, we created an Arnold Palmer bar.   Iced tea, lemonade, ice and fruity add-ins!  Its hardly a recipe.  We didn't even brew the tea or squeeze lemons, but tiny effort sometimes bears festive results.  The birthday boy loved it. He loves a good Arnold Palmer and he's actually a golf caddy, so perfect!

For our bar, we had a pitcher of lemonade, a pitcher of iced tea and ice.   For our add-ins we chopped fresh cherries, raspberries and peaches.   We sprinkled a bit of sugar on them so that they macerate and get a little saucy.  We also sliced lemons & limes and picked mint from the garden.  The Ball jars are perfect for this because you do your little prep-work early, cover them up for the day, twist them open when your ready to set up and Voila! Instant Iced Tea Party! 

What add-ins would you use?

Oh, and did you know that a vodka-spiked Arnold Palmer is called a John Daly? 

Happy Summer!

xo & a pinch,



Stove Top Clam Bake

It was a gorgeous summer weekend here on the Jersey Shore.  From Friday to Sunday, we were in swim suits, slathered in sunscreen, eating ice cream and burgers, swimming, playing games, enjoying time with family and friends.  For us, its what summer is all about and we are truly grateful for these wonderful times. 

On Saturday, we celebrated my step-son's 16th birthday and this is what we served- a back yard clam bake!  All the deliciousness with no sand in your pants!  

Once you clean your seafood and do your chopping, it only takes about 30 minutes before you have a knock-out classic New England clam bake from your stovetop.  The end result is totally festive and shouts out "HAPPY SUMMER!" 

Heres what you'll need to generously serve 8-10 people.  We used two large platters. Only one is pictured here:

  • 6 dozen clams, washed
  • 4 dozen shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 4 polish kielbasa, chopped into chunks (we used Hillshire Farms)
  • 10 ears of corn, husked and halved
  • 3 lbs of red potatoes, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • parsley, a large bunch, chopped
  • garlic,  5 large cloves, chopped
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 1  28 oz. box of chicken broth or seafood stock
  • Old Bay seasoning, 1 tsp
  • red pepper flakes,  1/2 tsp
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • salt, 1 tsp

1.   In a very large pot, over high heat add wine, stock, garlic, Old Bay, red pepper flakes, salt, 1/2 of the parsley.  Bring to a boil.

2.  Add potatoes, corn & kielbasa. Cover to cook for 10 minutes.

3.  Add shrimp. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes until opaque.

4.  Stir everything and add clams. Cover for 10 minutes or until clams are opened.  

5.  To serve, use a large slotted spoon to scoop everything into a large serving platter.   Spoon some broth over the entire dish.  Garnish with lemons and parsley.

6.  Accept kudos, compliments and maybe even, applause from your guests.


Happy Summer!!

xo & a pinch,


Planter's Punch

There's nothing like that dusting of nutmeg over an icey rum- spiked punch that transports you right into island mode.  Make a pitcher, sit back, sip & dream...

For a Pitcher, about 8 drinks:

  • 16 oz dark rum
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 12 oz orange juice
  • 12 oz pineapple juice
  • 4 oz lime juice
  • 4 oz agave
  • 1 oz grenadine

Fill a large pitcher with ice.  Add the above ingredients and stir.  Garnish each drink with orange slices, maraschino cherry and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

xoxo Cheers!

Measure & Pinch

Tomato Mango Gazpacho

A perfect pool-side snack or light lunch.  We love gazpacho.  This is a sweet, tropical variation inspired by Pam's mango salsa.

Tomato & Mango?  I know, sounds weird, but it really works.  Think mango salsa, chilly and on a spoon... its delightful!  

Gazpacho is the perfect way to fill up on good-for-you raw fruits and vegetables.  This one introduces mango to the mix.  Mango is my most favorite fruit.  (all apologies to my daily blueberries).  Mango's tropical sweetness adds a wonderful dimension to this slightly spiced gazpacho.  Its chilled and refreshing and as it rests in your fridge, it just gets tastier.  Make some today and enjoy it all week.  

What you'll need:

  • 6-8 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped with the peel on
  • 2 ripe mangoes, chopped
  • 2 limes, zest and juice (we use a microplane to zest our citrus)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper


What you'll do:

Combine all of the above items in a large bowl.  Toss everything together and taste a few bits to be sure its on your level with salt and spice.   Then, blend everything.  I use a standard kitchen blender on the "pulse" setting until I get a small chunks.  I do it in batches and combine the blended gazpacho in a large Tupperware.  Be sure to CHILL your gazpacho at least one hour before serving ( a very important step ).   Garnish with cilantro and lime. 

xo & a pinch,

Repost: Lemony Pasta Salad with Arugula and Parmesan

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We make this salad or something resembling this salad almost every weekend in the summer.  Its vibrant, delicious and versatile.  We sometimes use cavatappi or spiral pasta.  We sometimes add peas or green beans, but the base is always the same.; pasta, arugula, parmesan and a lemon- Dijon dressing.  Its a crowd-pleaser.  There is something about the fresh lemon and pasta together that's really addictive and comforting.  Its a great accompaniment for any BBQ.  Here it is... feel free to change it up and make it your own.

  • I box of pasta (bow ties, spirals, cavatappi)
  • 1 bag of baby arugula, about 2 cups
  • 1 lemon, juice and rind
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
  • olive oil, about 2 tbsp
  • parmesan, about 2 tbsp. for garnish
  • salt & pepper
  • OPTIONS:  1 cup of baby peas (my favorite) or green beans 

1.  Cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water.

2. Drain pasta, stir in a swirl of olive oil and let cool.   (Don't run under cold water, just let it cool)

3.  To make the dressing, in a medium bowl whisk together the rind of the lemon (we use a microplane), the juice of the lemon (no pits!),  the mustard, Worcestershire, salt & pepper.  Add olive oil, whisking until completely combined.  Taste for seasoning.

4.  To assemble the salad, toss together the pasta, arugula and dressing.  Mix in freshly grated parmesan and add some to the top for garnish.

lemony arugula pasta.JPG

Let us know how you make yours!

Happy Summer!

xo & a pinch


Red, White & Blue Salad

Could this be prettier? And, perfect for the 4th of July! 

Once again, we're mixing fruit and cheese- the ultimate combo that tastes great in any variation... any variation.  Apple & Cheddar,  Strawberry & Feta, Cherries & Gorgonzola, Pear & Blue Cheese... Tomato & Mozzarella!   We have many of these delicious couplings on our weekly menu & on this blog.  We dare you to try it... any fruit, any cheese.  Try it and report back.

This salad is taken to the next level with blueberries, strawberries and goat cheese.  A fantastic mix of flavors and colors- very patriotic.  win-win! 

This may sound strange, but I have sentimental feelings about this dressing.  Its truly my favorite and an ode to my food hero, the wonderful, Ina Garten. There are few staples in my kitchen and one of them is Ina's book collection. This dressing is a version of hers so, if you love it (you will), give a virtual hug to Ina Garten and check our her cookbook collection. 


My salad: 

  • The mesclun mix in the plastic container, not the bag (it's a portion thing, nothing else) 
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries ( quartered )
  • 5 oz log of goat cheese (wait until the last minute to pull it out of the fridge, you want it cold when you crumble it 
  • 3.5 oz bag of Pecan Pieces (honey roasted) 
  • And, of course, 1/2 lb of bacon (optional)

When you put the salad together, the best bet is to layer it (I do two layers) that way it looks nice but, when you mix it you increase the chances of everyone getting a scrumptious bite!) 

And, my take on Ina's dressing: 

  • The juice of one large orange
  • One teaspoon of the orange's rind 
    • (use a microplane or other grater and remember if you see white, you've grated too much!)
  • One teaspoon of Dijon Mustard 
  • One tablespoon of Mrs. Butterworth's syrup
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • Olive oil (between 1/4 and 1/2 cup

Mix the first 4 ingredients, then salt & pepper, give it a taste. Now, stir in oil, whisking whisking feverishly. Taste it. If you love it, you're good to go. If you don't, add salt if you still don't love it, squeeze more orange.

Hugs & happy 4th,

xo Measure