Tag Archives: Cocktails

Vintage Cookbooks: The Sheldon Gallery Cookbook

21 Feb

Before I returned to journalism and started this blog, I worked at the Sheldon Museum of Art. I’ve always loved the graceful Philip Johnson-designed building on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus.

If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend checking it out the next time you’re in Lincoln. It’s free. One current exhibition includes a collection of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid photographs, and another focuses on the tumultuous nature of artist’s relationships (and includes work from Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Arthur Dove, Edward Hopper, and Robert Henri.)  The museum also has a lovely store that sells lots of beautiful items, and also loads of books, including the gem I’m writing about today.

The Sheldon Art Association (then called the Nebraska Art Association) published the book in 1978. It includes recipes from board members, but also from artists.

I would like to try Keith Jacobshagen’s chili and Robert Motherwell’s Late Supper.

Of course, Runzas.

A list of glamorous-sounding party meals (and one for 200 diners!)

Norman Geske, former director of Sheldon, loves a Negroni. In fact, the museum served them at his 95th birthday party, which happened while I worked there.

The best thing of all, though, is that the Sheldon Gallery cookbook is still available for purchase in the Sheldon Museum Store. To get your own copy, visit the museum or call 402-472-2461.

Top image courtesy of the Sheldon Museum of Art. All other images courtesy the Sheldon Gallery Cookbook.


Mulled Wine Party

27 Dec

It’s a tradition on the Hansen side of my family to have a wintertime mulled wine party. My mother-in-law brews up a big vat of mulled wine along with hot chocolate and hot tea and my father-in-law builds a big campfire in a pretty clearing next to Indian Creek, near their house. Fixings for s’mores are, of course, mandatory.

Lots of friends and family come to the party, which this year was unseasonably warm. We’ve mulled wine in much colder weather and drank it while shivering and standing in ankle-deep snow before, so not even having to wear a winter coat this year was a welcome change.

I share a recipe at the end of this post that’s similar to Sally’s recipe. A big batch would be a great way to ring in the New Year.

Mulled Wine, via Epicurious
serves 8

2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
5 cardamom pods
3 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1 (750-ml) bottle dry red wine such as Côtes du Rhône
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 small orange, thinly sliced
1 small lemon, thinly sliced

Special equipment: a 6- by 4-inch piece of cheesecloth; kitchen string

Wrap cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, peppercorns, and cloves in cheesecloth and tie with string. Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 5-quart heavy pot, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then add spice bag, wine, vanilla bean, and fruit. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

An appreciation: Caffé Italia

13 Dec

Caffé Italia, hidden in a tiny strip mall in one of Lincoln’s off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods, is one of those places that people who love eating dream of finding.

I first went to Caffé Italia with my now husband when we had just begun dating. One of our old college professors that Matthew kept in touch with hung out at the restaurant every Friday night. He invited us to join his eclectic group of friends — artists, scholars, writers, photographers — for Caffé Italia’s Friday night dinner.

The menu only had one item each night, and everyone got it. Over the years, I remember eating some delicious lasagna and lots of homemade, light pasta tossed with perfect sauces. When the restaurant ran out of the menu item that night, that was it.

The restaurant’s half-dozen glass-topped tables were filled with an eclectic crowd. Noise levels in the small space could become deafening as the night went on. It wasn’t music, though, or kitchen noise that filled the space. It was good conversation.

During that first dinner — and the many that followed — I talked to people about books they were writing. Photography projects they were working on. International travel. Politics. Cooking. Documentaries they were filming. The future of journalism.

I also learned to love drinking from a tiny, frosty glass filled with tart Limoncello.

Caffé Italia doesn’t serve its dinners any more. After closing temporarily, the restaurant re-opened for breakfast. A barista makes all sorts of drinks with Italian Lavazzara coffee and there’s a selection of scones and biscotti. The restaurant served both coffee and sweets before it closed. Now, it just draws a crowd in the morning rather than the evening.

I had a latte and a buttery, flaky scone dotted with figs and pistachios. Matthew ate his scone with an inky-black, rich Americano. Caffé Italia is still as good as ever.

That morning, we missed our college professor by just a few minutes.

Caffé Italia | 2110 Winthrop Rd | Lincoln, NE | 402-489-4949

My crazy week, in review.

1 Dec

So Chick-Fil-A and it’s soft opening and opening took over my life earlier this week. I can’t say I’ve ever seen so much frenzy over a fried chicken sandwich (or so much controversy over the politics of restaurant owners, for that matter.) I also had to finish writing my story that ran Wednesday about creative hostess gifts (seriously, check out the cheese board that’s featured with the story — it’s amazing) and write my review for tomorrow’s paper and of course compile dining notes. Tomorrow’s review is a good one. I can’t wait to share it here.

Oh yeah, and I have a little column called art notes that always seems to get lost in the fray.

On Monday, I escaped my desk for a photo shoot for the gift story. Yes, that’s my back at left (and my own hand wrapped gift and front door, I’ll add.)

So those are all the reasons that Omavore has been quiet this week. But I’ll be back on track next week, beginning with a recap of this weekend, which I’m spending in Kansas City with my husband. His favorite band is playing a show Saturday night — can’t wait. Next week I’ll tell you about all the good food we eat and the good things we drink over the weekend.

Until then.

Omavore Cocktail Night

8 Nov

We had a few friends over recently to try some cocktails created with Patron XO Cafe, which the fine people at Patron sent to me and asked me to try. My friends happily obliged, and my talented friend and fellow Word-Herald employee Alyssa Schukar agreed to take some photos. (I think I need to hire her full-time as my personal Omavore photographer, because these images are beautiful.)

Anyway, we tried a few of the suggested seasonal cocktails made with Patron XO Cafe, which is tequila flavored with coffee. The drinks were rich — we each ended up finishing about one. The Butterscotch Treat won the seal of approval of the group, and the creamy, sweet concoction would be the perfect after dinner drink at any seasonal party. I’m sharing the recipe below.

Patron XO Cafe Butterscotch Treat

* 3/4 oz. Patron XO Cafe
* 1/2 oz. Butterscotch Schnapps
* 1/2 oz. White Creme de Cacao
* 3/4 oz. half & half
* cinnamon and sugar

Shake all ingredients vigorously in a mixing glass, and strain into a martini. Makes one.