Cocktail: Margarita

IMG_2089In case there were any doubts that global warming is happening, it hit 90 degrees in New York this week. 90! After what felt like a week of beautiful spring weather, I guess it's already summer. Which is why you need this margarita in your life.IMG_2096 I made these a few weeks ago when it was still feeling rather wintery and after the first sip, said to Ari, "These should be drank on a beach." (And not in a small first-floor apartment.) While I still agree with that sentiment, margaritas taste equally good after a long day at work when you need something not too sweet that goes down easy–preferably accompanied by some guacamole.

Margarita (Makes 1, very slightly adapted from PUNCH)

1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila

3/4 ounce orange liqueur (preferably Cointreau, but I used triple sec)

3/4 ounce lime juice

Salt (to rim the glass)

Prepare a coupe, cocktail or rocks glass with a salted rim if desired (to do so: rub a lime wedge around edge of glass. Pour coarse salt onto a small plate, then twist glass rim in salt until evenly covered. Tap off excess.) Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into prepared coupe or cocktail glass, or over ice into prepared rocks glass.

Chicken & Cabbage Salad

_MG_5439This time of year, I remember why I love New York. All of the streets are lit up, there's a crispness in the air that isn't bitter cold yet, and you can't help but smile at all of the holiday decorations and Christmas trees. But with December comes a rush of holiday parties and with them an abundance of sweets, drinks and delicious little cheesy cocktail appetizers (you know what I mean). Some nights, you might just want a salad. Personally, I need salads with a lot of crunch, and some interesting elements besides just lettuce (and I can't always justify adding cheese and bacon). This salad has quickly become one of my favorite weeknight meals -- quick, inexpensive and delicious. _MG_5446

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Chicken & Cabbage Salad (adapted from Bon Appétit, serves 4)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1/3 cup vegetable oil or olive oil 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 teaspoons  brown sugar 1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam) 1 teaspoon grated peeled ginger Kosher salt
1/2 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced (about 5 cups) 2 medium carrots, peeled, shredded 6 scallions, whites and pale greens only, thinly sliced 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken or 3 chicken breasts, roasted and shredded 1 cup baby spinach, thinly sliced 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 avocado, thinly sliced

Whisk chile, oil, lime and lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, fish sauce, and ginger in a large bowl; season with salt. Add cabbage, carrots, scallions, chicken, spinach, and cilantro; toss to coat. Top with peanuts and avocado slices.