Too Tired to Write Up a Real Recipe (Or How to Make a Mojito)

Today my apartment and I are recovering from a midsized dinner party. This basically means my dishwasher and I are working overtime to remove the remnants of pork carnitas from the plates while listening to Patsy Cline and fantasizing about naps.

I promise I’ll post the recipes for the salsa verde, the slow cooker cola carnitas, and the guacamole next week, but I’m just not ready to do it now. See, I was so busy mixing drinks, frosting cupcakes, making rice, and talking and whatnot that I totally forgot to photograph the food I served. (Oops!) I’m going to repeat the menu for another dinner party on Friday (different dinner guests, obviously), so I’ll have a second shot at a food photo shoot then.

So anyway, today I’m going to tell you how I made the mojitos — partly because I’m just too tired to get into anything more elaborate and partly because a few of my friends asked for the recipe. If you’re wondering why I’m so particularly tired today it’s probably because I didn’t go to bed until well after midnight and then a certain impetuous puppy woke me up at 6 am to take him out…. He has no regard for my exhaustion because he sleeps all day long. Well, that is when he’s not trying to crawl into the lap of an unsuspecting dinner guest, pretending he’s a 65-pound lap dog. (I digress.)

Back to the mojitos. Mojitos are possibly my favorite thing ever, but they can go so terribly wrong that I rarely order them in restaurants and I NEVER order them in Vegas because I swear they make them with Sprite there. This is why I had to figure out how to make them on my own. (Note: the proper method does not involve Sprite. Lemons do not belong anywhere near a mojito. Ever.)

There are two ways I make them, and I outline them both below. I personally prefer the powdered sugar method, but that’s just me. I think the slight grittiness of the sugar helps to release the juice from the mint during the muddling process, and the increased surface area (compared with regular sugar) aids in the proper absorption into the drink. Enough with the chemistry lesson, though, and on with the drinking. The recipe is below.

Mojito Recipe

10 large mint leaves
2 T of powdered sugar (or 2 T of simple syrup)
2 ounces of fresh lime juice (from one medium lime)
8 ounces of soda water (1 cup)
3 ounces of white rum

Tear the mint leaves in half. Place them in the bottom of a sturdy glass or a cocktail shaker. Add either 2 T of simple syrup or 2 T of powdered sugar. Using a muddler (or the end of a wooden spoon), muddle/smash the mint leaves to release the flavor.

Squeeze the fresh lime juice into the glass. Add rum. Pour in soda water. Place ice cubes in a serving glass, and pour the contents of the cocktail shaker (or mixing glass) into the serving glass.

Drink. Smile. Repeat.

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*Simple Syrup Recipe

1 C water

1 C sugar

Pour the sugar and water into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Cool.

Tomorrow’s To-Do List (Or I Procrastinate on Pinterest for Hours)

So, it’s Friday night. I have no less than 10 people coming over for dinner on Sunday, and I haven’t committed to a menu yet.

I have paint splatters all over the hallway from my birch tree stencil experiment.

Even Albus is dismayed by the state of our hallway.

There are bare nails peppering my empty walls as a result of my complete indecision about the artwork in basically every room of my apartment.

I also need to do something about the arrangement of those fluffy orbs. They’ve been hanging unfinished for weeks.

Nails all over my very naked walls. Indecision hurts aesthetics, folks.

PLUS, I have unfinished drawings scattered all over the place that are intended to replace the “ocean-scapes” that line the backs of both of my aquariums.

Even Albus agrees the hideousness has to go. It’s so 1984, and not in a good George Orwell kind of way…

Oh, and did I mention my balcony resembles the Sandford and Sons’ Salvage Yard?

This is an epic mess. I want to cry every time I go outside to water the basil.

So, what am I doing?

Oh, playing on Pinterest, listening to My Morning Jacket, and procrastinating, of course.

I’m telling myself I’m looking for a good carnitas recipe for Sunday. That sounds like a plausible explanation, right? I vowed to put the final touches on the birch tree walls tomorrow. Once I have stenciled the red bird in the trees (long story for another time), I will get out the Goof Off and fix the paint-splattered floor. I promise I’ll explain the bird, the birches, AND tell the whole stencil story next week. You know… just in case you feel like stenciling an entire room with black paint yourself.

Hell, maybe I’ll even make up my mind about the beads and the ribbons on the lights as well. I’m only about a month overdue on those decisions.

There’s nothing like ten people converging on your home to motivate you, which just may be the real reason I’m having a dinner party in the first place.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why I’m home on a Friday night and not doing something fabulous like drinking overpriced martinis in a bar teeming with metrosexuals… well, I don’t really have a good excuse for that. I’m just not in the mood to be bothered by boys who don’t own any power tools tonight. I’ll add that to tomorrow’s to-do list.