Category Archives: Recipes

Pink Limoncello

Drink This: LiDestri Pink Limoncello

The summer of rosé has come to an end but the fall brings new ways to drink pink beyond wine.

Here’s what we’ll be sipping: Pink Limoncello.

It’s the first ever pink take on the Italian lemon liqueur. Pink Limoncello is made by LiDestri Spirits, based in Rochester, New York.

If you’ve never had limoncello before, it tastes like intensely concentrated lemonade but better, because booze. Beyond Pink Limoncello’s taste – the ideal mix of sweet citrus and a touch of tartness – the bottle is so pretty you’ll want to display it.

Sure, you can sip Pink Limoncello chilled or on the rocks  but there are so many more ways to enjoy it. It’s delicious in cocktails, and adds a nice pop of color to celebrations. Pink Limoncello is perfect for bridal and baby showers.

Here are some recipes from LiDestri to get you started:

Fizzy Pink Slipper

1 part LiDestri Pink Limoncello
3 parts Prosecco or Champagne

Serve in a champagne flute and garnish with fresh berries.

Pink Party Sangria

1 Bottle of White Wine
1 Liter of Club Soda
3 Cups Pink Lemonade
1 ½ Cups LiDestri Pink Limoncello
1 Cup Fresh Raspberries, sliced
1 Lemon, sliced
1 Tbsp. Powdered Sugar
Garnish with a Strawberry

Mix together in a large pitcher.

Sixpence Blueberry and Rye

Pink Limoncello cocktail1 oz LiDestri Pink Limoncello
4-5 blackberries
4 basil leaves
1½ oz Redemption Rye Whiskey
½ oz fresh lemon juice
2 oz blackberry soda
blackberries for garnish

It even makes a great salad dressing! Whisk together 2 oz. of LiDestri Pink Limoncello with 1/2 oz. apple cider vinegar, avocado oil and salt.

For more information on Pink Limoncello visit pinklimoncello.comClick here to see where LiDestri Pink Limoncello is sold near you.

photo credit: Jeremy Scott


Dress Them Your Best: Organicgirl #FlavCraze Challenge

Since becoming a new mom this summer, I have learned the importance of being able to throw together a meal in minutes.

That’s why I’m such a fan of organicgirl salad mixes. With organically grown lettuces from California that have been washed three times so I don’t have to, organicgirl helps me make a healthy meal in no time.

Even before I was pregnant I enjoyed organicgirl’s salad mixes. Let’s call it convenience, not laziness. Simply put, having lettuce that’s all ready to go keeps you from making excuses for not eating your veggies.

So I was excited when I was offered the chance to taste organicgirl’s new salad mixes and salad love dressings, plus a challenge: to create a dish featuring them.

My dish will be featured on organicgirl’s Facebook page, where it will compete with dishes from other bloggers.

But first, the new organicgirl greens:

Sweet Pea combines tender baby greens with fresh sweet pea shoots, which give the salad mix a springtime, fresh-from-the-garden feel. It also has 5 grams of protein per serving.

The PEPPERGREENS salad mix is rightfully in all capital letters because it shouts spiciness, with baby mustard greens, arugula and cress adding a kick.

organicgirl salad and dressings

Salad love is the new line of organic dressings from organicgirl. All are gluten free, GMO free and vegetarian.

White Cheddar is a tangy vinaigrette of aged cheddar, green onions, parmesan, buttermilk and sour cream.

Lemon Agave is a vegan-friendly vinaigrette with fresh lemons, extra virgin olive oil and blue agave nectar that is reminiscent of homemade lemonade.

Fresh Tomato Italian is tomatoes, basil, parmesan, garlic and extra virgin olive oil. It’s like bruschetta in a bottle, and so tasty you’ll want to use it as a dip too.

Kale Parmesan is made with baby kale, mint, basil, chives, parmesan and spinach. It tastes like you’re drinking pesto sauce – truly decadent.

organicgirl salad love dressings

The Sweet Pea and PEPPERGREENS salad mixes are so good on their own that all I need is a little olive oil. But that’s certainly not going to win me any votes!

So here is my entry:

White Cheddar Marinated New York Strip Steak with

Organicgirl steak

I love a good dry aged steak, but unless it’s a special occasion I buy the standard supermarket cuts. When I tasted the White Cheddar salad love dressing it was like a light bulb going off – maybe by marinating the steak in the dressing it would impart some of those delicious flavors that you get from dry aging.

Inspired by the flavors of Argentina, I decided to try an organicgirl spin on chimichurri. Instead of using parsley and oregano for the traditional green sauce, I used the PEPPERGREENS mix and the Kale Parmesan salad love dressing.

I finely chopped the organicgirl salad mix by hand, then whisked it together with the Kale Parmesan dressing, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and salt. I’ve shared the full recipe at the bottom.

Organicgirl chimichurri

I marinated the steaks overnight in the White Cheddar dressing, then seasoned them with salt and pepper before grilling them to a perfect medium rare.

After plating I topped the steak with the PEPPERGREEN chimichurri, and served it with the PEPPERGREENS mix and locally grown heirloom tomatoes. Bonus: the PEPPERGREEN chimichurri made excellent dressing for the salad!

AG Organicgirl steak

The dish tasted even more delicious than it looks in the picture. The White Cheddar marinade imparted tangy and aged cheese flavors (especially on the parts that were charred from the grill), and all the savory elements of the steak worked so well with the spiciness and vinegar of the chimichurri.

For such an easy to make dish it made a big impact – and made our weeknight dinner feel like a special event.

AG Organicgirl steak3Naturally we decided to pair our Argentine-inspired meal with an Argentine Malbec. We selected a bottle we brought back from our last trip to Argentina, a 2010 Marcus Gran Reserva Malbec.

If you’d like to try this meal in your own home, I recommend the Septima Malbec, which can be found a few aisles over from organicgirl in many grocery stores.

Look for organicgirl salad mixes and salad love dressings in the refrigerated produce section of Publix, Whole Foods and other natural food markets.

For more information visit

>> Connect:
Facebook: iloveorganicgirl
Twitter: @iloveorganic
Instagram: @iloveorganicgirl
Pinterest: organicgirl

White Cheddar Marinated New York Strip Steak with PEPPERGREEN Chimichurri


  • 2 New York Strip steaks, approximately 1.5 lbs total
  • 1/2 bottle organicgirl salad love White Cheddar dressing
  • 4 cups organicgirl PEPPERGREENS salad mix
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp organicgirl salad love Kale Parmesan dressing
  • 2 cloves garlic (or more if you love garlic)
  • 1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
  • freshly ground black pepper for seasoning


Marinate the steaks overnight in the organicgirl salad love White Cheddar dressing.

To make the chimichurri, finely chop the organicgirl PEPPERGREENS salad mix and garlic by hand or in a food processor.

In a separate bowl whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar and organicgirl salad love Kale Parmesan dressing. Add the chopped PEPPERGREENS salad mix, garlic and salt, and stir to mix.

Without removing the excess marinade from the steaks, season the meat with salt and pepper. Grill the steaks until your preferred doneness.

Top the steaks with the PEPPERGREEN chimichurri and enjoy!

Serves two hungry adults

Full disclosure: The Amateur Gastronomer received complimentary salad mixes and salad love dressings from organicgirl.

Kevin Gillespie Celebrates Pork in New Cookbook

Love all things pork? Can’t get enough bacon? Then you’ll want to pick up a copy of Pure Pork Awesomeness by Chef Kevin Gillespie.

The cookbook out March 31st features recipes from around the world with pork as the featured ingredient. The Atlanta chef, restaurateur and Top Chef fan favorite shares his love for pigs and offers dishes for any occasion or day of the week.

Pure Pork AwesomenessYou’ll have a new appreciation for how delicious and versatile pork can be with more than 100 recipes like Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder, Pork Vindaloo, Thai Red Curry Pork, Slow Cooker Country-Style Ribs, Ham Burgers, Bacon Popcorn and Bacon-Molasses Chipwiches.

The book is full of information on pigs, from guides to breeds, parts and labels to cooking methods and techniques. It even answers the question, “why do pigs have snouts?”

Fans can join Chef Gillespie for a special cookbook release party on Sunday, March 29th from 2 to 6 p.m. at Gunshow. Admission includes a signed copy of the book with a rare edition of the “lost” chapter and an array of appetizing pork offerings. Guests will also enjoy drink specials including beer from SweetWater Brewing Company. Tickets are $50 and are available through Xorbia.

Chef Gillespie opened Gunshow in Glenwood Park in May 2013. His second restaurant, Revival, will open this June in Decatur. Chef Gillespie’s debut cookbook, Fire in My Belly, was selected as a James Beard Award Finalist.

Pure Pork Awesomeness: Totally Cookable Recipes from Around the World by Kevin Gillespie with David Joachim is published by Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC, and is available for $29.99.

For more information visit

D.B.A. Barbecue Launches Monthly Sauce Making Class

Feeling saucy?

D.B.A. Barbecue is launching a monthly barbecue sauce making class in March. On the last Wednesday of each month the Virginia-Highland restaurant will give barbecue enthusiasts the chance to make their own special blend, along with enjoying plenty of drinks and D.B.A.’s award-winning hickory smoked barbecue.

DBA sauce making classAfter an opening cocktail and snacks, the evening kicks off with a moonshine tasting – three Junior Johnson Midnight Moon moonshines and a Four Roses Bourbon.

Then it’s time for the main event. Owner and pit master Matt Coggin is your entertainer and guide, helping you to create your perfect barbecue sauce – whether you prefer sweet, spicy or tangy.

Once you pick your base and add the sweeteners, it’s time to get creative. With a variety of spices and seasonings, there are limitless flavor possibilities.

DBA Matt CogginThen comes the tastiest part – sampling your sauce and other guests’ sauces with a plate of ribs, pulled pork, brisket, chicken wings and cream corn. There’s also a bowl of banana pudding to end the evening on a sweet note.

You’ll get to take your barbecue sauce home, along with a bottle of D.B.A.’s barbecue sauce and a $10 gift certificate to use at a later date.

The first barbecue sauce making class will be held on Wednesday, March 26th, from 7pm to 9pm. The cost is $40 per person, $70 for two, and $130 for a group of four.

barbecue sauce spicesSpace is limited. To make a reservation call D.B.A. Barbecue at (404) 249-5000 or sign up through their Facebook page.

Upcoming dates for the barbecue sauce class are: April 30th; May 28th; June 25th; and July 30th. All start at 7pm.

D.B.A. Barbecue, 1190 North Highland Avenue NE Suite B, Atlanta, 30306. (404) 249-5000

>> Connect:
Twitter: @dbabarbecue
Facebook: DBABarbecue

photo credit: Teodora Nicolae

Sauvignon Blanc Cocktails

Looking for a new way to enjoy the Sauvignon Blanc you’ve been sipping all summer? Try it in a cocktail or even a popsicle, with one of these recipes from Brancott Estate.

Brancott Estate was the pioneer of Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand’s Marlborough region, planting vines in the mid 1970s. Today the company is New Zealand’s largest producer and exporter of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Brancott Estate also produces Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio.

For more information on the wines of Brancott Estates visit

Brancott Berry

Brancott Berry

• 3 parts Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
(or Chardonnay or Pinot Gris)
• 3 strawberries, chopped
• 1 part Gin (like Beefeater or Beefeater 24)
• agave nectar to taste
• juice of ¼ of a lemon
• garnish: strawberry slice

In the bottom of a mixing glass, muddle the strawberries in the lemon and agave nectar. Add remaining ingredients and shake well with ice. Strain over ice into a wine glass. Garnish with strawberry slice on the rim of the glass.

Minty Peach Sangria

Brancott Sangria

• 3 parts Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
(or Chardonnay or Pinot Gris)
• 3 parts peach nectar
• 1 part orange-flavored vodka
• mint leaves (for every one serving, use 8-10 mint leaves)
• garnish: mint sprig and fresh peaches (when in season)

Slap the mint leaves between your palms to release oils, then drop into glass. Add ice and remaining ingredients and stir. Garnish with mint sprig and fresh peaches. Can be served in a pitcher.

Peach Bellini Sauvignon Blancsicles

• 2 cups sliced peaches (fresh or thawed from frozen)
• 1 cup Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc
• 1/4 cup orange juice
• popsicle molds
• wooden popsicle sticks

Combine wine, peaches, and orange juice in a blender and process until smooth. Pour the blended mixture into your popsicle molds and place in the freezer for about 1.5 hours uncovered without the sticks or popsicle mold tops. Insert the wooden popsicle sticks after the pops have had time to set a little, so you can place them directly in the center and they will stay upright. Allow to freeze for 3 to 4 more hours.

South City Kitchen’s Fried Green Tomatoes Recipe

South City Kitchen Midtown is celebrating its 20th anniversary in April. Bring a taste of the sophisticated southern restaurant into your own home with their recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes and Red Pepper Coulis.

Fried Green Tomatoes

fried green tomatoesIngredients:
• 4 green tomatoes sliced into ¼ in slices
• 1 lb goat cheese
• 1 cup flour for dusting
• 6 eggs whisked
• 2 cup bread crumbs
• salt and pepper
• oil for frying

Season green tomato slices generously with salt and pepper. Place about one tablespoon of the goat cheese on the tomato slices with a spoon.

One at a time, dust with flour, dip in egg and coat with bread crumbs. Deep fry at 375 °F and deep fry until golden brown.

Red Pepper Coulis

• 6 sweet red peppers
• 1 large onion
• 6 cloves garlic
• 6 fresh basil leaves
• 1 cup tomato juice
•  ½ cup white wine
•  ¼ cup sugar
• salt and pepper to taste

Cut onion and peppers into one inch pieces and smash garlic with the side of a knife. Sweat onions, peppers and garlic until translucent. Add sugar and stir. Add white wine and reduce by half. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes. Puree in food processor and strain. Season with salt and pepper.

photo provided by South City Kitchen Midtown

Toast to National Absinthe Day

Can’t get enough of absinthe or have yet to sample the anise-flavored spirit? Try a glass of the green fairy on March 5th in honor of National Absinthe Day.

National Absinthe Day has been celebrated since 2007, the year when Lucid Absinthe became the first true absinthe to be approved for distribution in the United States since 1912.

Lucid Absinthe Supérieure is distilled from grande wormwood, green anise, sweet fennel and other European herbs. It is naturally green in color.

Celebrate National Absinthe Day with absinthe served the traditional way (with water and a sugar cube), or try one of these cocktails:

The Green Lantern

1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
1½  oz. Midori
Ginger Ale
Garnish: 2-3 muddled limes and long green lime spiral

In a rocks glass, muddle lime wedges. Add ice, Midori and Lucid and transfer to a shaker. Shake thoroughly and return into rocks glass. Add ginger ale and lime spiral.

Lucid Frappe

1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
½ oz. Simple Syrup
6 to 8 Fresh Mint Leaves
1 oz. Soda Water

Muddle mint leaves in the bottom of a frappe style glass. Add absinthe, simple syrup and fill with crushed ice. Pour mixture into shaker and shake vigorously. Pour contents into glass, top with splash of soda water and garnish with mint sprig.

Van Gogh’s Garden

1½ oz. Lucid
½ oz. Simple Syrup
Club Soda
Kiwi Fruit
Garnish: muddled cucumber, kiwi fruit on the bottom, kiwi wheel on rim

Muddle two cucumber wheels & two peeled kiwi wheels with the simple syrup in a double rocks glass. Fill with ice and add the Lucid. Top with club soda and add an un-peeled kiwi wheel on the rim.


1 oz. Lucid Absinthe
1 oz. Melon Liqueur
1½ oz. Lemonade
½ oz. Sweet and Sour Mix

Squeeze lime and drop into shaker. Shake ingredients and strain into martini glass. Float with 2/3 Sprite and 1/3 soda. Garnish with lime.

The Traditional Way to Serve Absinthe

Pour 1¼ to 1½ oz. of Lucid into a chalice glass. Rest the slotted spoon across the rim of the glass and place the sugar cube atop the spoon.*

Slowly drip ice-cold water over the sugar cube, dissolving it into the absinthe. The cold water causes Lucid to louche (“loosh”), a process in which the distilled herbal essences “blossom” into an opalescent cloud, the essence and flavors come to life and perfume the air.

The louching is done when the water and Lucid have become completely cloudy and opaque. Sip and enjoy.

*Sugar cube is optional. Water may be added directly to absinthe.

photos credit: Lucid Absinthe

Fire in My Belly: Debut Cookbook from Chef Kevin Gillespie

Talented chef and Atlanta favorite Kevin Gillespie will be celebrating this month’s release of his debut cookbook with a party at Woodfire Grill.

Fire in My Belly features more than 120 recipes developed by Gillespie. Starting with the philosophy that when the season changes the menu changes, Chef Gillespie has shared dishes and techniques that will get home cooks thinking like chefs.

“Real cooking is flying by the seat of your pants. It’s finding some inspiration among the ingredients in front of you or your favorite techniques and putting them together to make something good to eat,” writes Gillespie.

The release party on October 9th will include a tasting of hors d’oeuvres from recipes in the cookbook. From 6pm to 10pm guests will enjoy mushroom toast, fried green tomatoes, ribs, squash tarts, banana pudding and more.

Tickets cost $75 per person in advance ($35 without a copy of Fire in My Belly) or $90 at the door, pending availability. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Gillespie recently announced he would be leaving Woodfire Grill to open up Gunshow in spring 2013. The restaurant to be located in Glenwood Park will have a home-like atmosphere and a menu of seasonally rooted, locally focused food.

For more information on Chef Gillespie, Fire in My Belly and the nationwide book tour visit

Fire in My Belly Release Party at Woodfire Grill, October 9th from 6pm to 10pm. 1782 Cheshire Bridge Road, Atlanta.

Get Inspired by Biltmore’s Century Wines & Win a Weekend Getaway

This summer bring a taste of Biltmore to your table – and enter for a chance to win a wine and culinary weekend at the Asheville, North Carolina estate.

Biltmore produces a range of white, red, rosé and sparkling wines using grapes grown in North Carolina and California. The Biltmore Century Collection, first released in 1999 to commemorate Biltmore’s 100th anniversary, are among their most popular wines.

The Biltmore Century Collection was crafted to be fun, approachable and delicious, and to enable people to re-live their Biltmore experience at home. Each wine comes in an etched bottle depicting the Biltmore House.

The Biltmore Century White Wine is an aromatic blend of Gewurztraminer, Muscat Canelli, Riesling and Symphony (an American viticulturalist-created cross of Muscat and Grenache Gris). The majority of the grapes came from California, with a small percentage from the estate’s vineyards in North Carolina. The wine is light and refreshing with gently sweet flavors of lemon, lime, honeydew, lychee and rose. The Biltmore Century White Wine is enjoyable as an aperitif or with Asian or spicy cuisine.

The Biltmore Century Rosé is a blend of Syrah and Grenache from California. Light magenta in color, the wine has off-dry flavors of raspberry, strawberry and violet. It’s a great wine for brunch or for sipping outdoors on the patio. Serve it with turkey, pork or white fish.

The Italian-style Biltmore Century Red Wine is a fruit forward blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Zinfandel from central and northern California. The wine spent 10 to 18 months in French and American oak barrels. Smooth and easy to drink, this red has flavors of boysenberry, black cherry and plum, with a touch of vanilla and smoke. It’s great with hamburgers, steaks or barbecue.

The Biltmore Century wines are priced around $15 per bottle. They can be purchased at wine shops or online. Click here to find a retailer near you.

Let one of Biltmore’s Century wines inspire your meal for the chance to win a culinary and wine weekend at Biltmore!

Submit your best original recipe (appetizer, entrée or dessert) and recommend one of Biltmore’s three Century Wines to pair with it. Submissions will be presented before a panel of Biltmore’s top chefs. For more information and to enter the contest visit The contest runs through August 31st.

Here are the prizes:

Grand Prize Winner Receives a Culinary & Wine Weekend at Biltmore in Asheville, North Carolina
— Two night accommodations at the Inn on Biltmore Estate for winner and one guest (1 room/double occupancy)
— Two length-of-stay daytime admission tickets to the estate grounds
— Chef’s breakfast buffet daily at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
— One lunch for two up to $100 value at Stable Café on Biltmore Estate
— One dinner for two at Bistro on Biltmore Estate up to $150 value at Biltmore
— A private winery tour and tasting, guided tour of estate vineyards and Field-to-Table garden on west side of estate
— One $200 pre-paid gift card to supplement travel expenses
— Recipe will be featured on the menu of an estate restaurant and on

Two First Place Winners Will Receive Wine & Food Pairing Dinner at a local restaurant
— Dinner for winner and three guests at a local restaurant nearby winner’s place of residence up to $300 value
— Where legal and available, wine and associated corkage fees will be provided by company to pair with meal
— Recipe will be featured on

Fan Favorite: The three recipes with the most votes in each category will receive:
— Biltmore-inspired food and wine prize pack
— Recipe featured on

Click here to enter the Biltmore Savor Summer recipe contest

Croft Pink: A Port for Mixing

By Robin Alix Austin

How do you make a centuries-old fortified wine new again? You mix it up!

Introducing Croft Pink Porto, a port that, in addition to being the world’s first rosé port, was crafted to be mixed.

“We want people to be rebellious,” said Robert Bower, brand manager for the Fladgate Partnership. Robert shared a taste of Croft Pink during his visit to Atlanta for the High Museum Wine Auction.

While the idea of mixing port in cocktails may make port purists clutch their pérolas (that’s pearls in Portuguese), Robert hopes that Croft Pink will get Millennials to see the Portuguese fortified wine in a new way.

“We want to break the tradition of port being the after dinner drink with the armchair.”

Croft Pink also serves as an introduction to the many styles of port. From port cocktails it’s not too far of a jump to ruby, tawny, vintage port and beyond.

Just as with rosé wine, Croft Pink gets its pink color from the grape juice’s short exposure to grape skins – 12 hours to be precise. From there it undergoes a seven day cold fermentation which preserves the fresh fruit flavors. A neutral grape spirit is added, and the fortified wine spends one year in casks. Croft Pink is 19.5% alcohol by volume.

Croft Pink is sweeter than most port because it is intended to be diluted. On its own, Croft Pink has cherry, strawberry and raspberry flavors. When you add club soda, lemon and ice, it becomes the perfect summer drink.

Croft Pink is delicious with a seemingly unlimited combination of alcoholic and nonalcoholic mixers. Try one of the cocktail recipes below, or create your own and share it on Croft Pink’s Facebook page.

The Fladgate Partnership includes Croft, Taylor Fladgate and Fonseca.

Pink Diamond

1 part Croft Pink
1 part soda water
lemon wedge

Fill a highball glass with ice and add Croft Pink and soda water. Squeeze the lemon wedge into the glass and stir. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Bubbles and Pink

3 oz. chilled Croft Pink
4 oz. Champagne or Prosecco
½ oz. Cointreau
2 dashes of bitters
lemon twist for garnish

Pour all the ingredients into a Champagne flute. Stir gently and add lemon twist garnish.

Croft Sangria

24 oz. Croft Pink
3 oz. amber rum
6 oz. fresh orange juice
3 oz. fresh lemon juice
1½ oz. simple syrup

Combine ingredients into a pitcher and stir. Serve over ice and garnish with slices of apples, oranges, lemon or other seasonal fruits.


2 oz. Croft Pink
1 oz. Gin
2 dashes orange bitters
3 oz. ginger beer
mint sprig and seasonal fruit for garnish

Fill a highball glass with ice and add the ingredients. Stir briefly and add garnishes.

Visit for more cocktail recipes.