Peter Salerno’s Family Recipe for Homemade Sangria

The Perfect Homemade Family Summer Sangria Recipe

Peter Salerno isn’t just a master kitchen designer, he loves spending time in his own kitchen entertaining family, friends and guests. This love of cooking and creating recipes filters up and down the Salerno family for generations, and has produced some time-tested, delicious recipes.

July 4th Red, White and Blue Sangria recipes (recipes & photo courtesy Epicurious)
Our family Sangria recipe) photo courtesy Epicurious)

When Peter Salerno married his wife Tracy, she brought with her a wealth of delicious recipes, cocktails and other “secret family recipes”. Tracy’s father, Mike Cavallo, was a master of many of these – but one of the family’s favorite creations from Mr. Cavallo was his famous sangria.

What makes the “Cavallo family sangria” recipe so delicious? It might be the perfect mix of ingredients, or the use of brandy and triple sec at the base. Or it may just be the special amount of love with which Mike made it.

In any event, it’s a sangria recipe that’s sure to please, and we’re sharing it with you. It’s the perfect summer sangria recipe for entertaining guests!

Mike Cavallo’s Perfect Summer Sangria Recipe

Ingredients

  • 7 Up/Sprite
  • Triple Sec
  • inexpensive brandy (something like Christian Bros., no need to go over the top!)
  • a bottle of red wine, preferably Merlot or Shiraz
  • ice
  • oranges (you can add apples and pears as well)

Preparation

  • Fill a *large* pitcher with whole slices of orange (leave the peels on), use a wooden spoon to press on the oranges to get a little bit of juice at the bottom.
  • Fill a 1/3 of the pitcher with ice
  • Pour even parts 7 Up/Sprite and wine (pouring both at the same time is the easiest way) until 2/3 of the way filled
  • Pour equal parts brandy and triple sec to taste (usually about 1/2 -2/3 a cup)
  • Fill remaining with the rest of the wine
  • Stir and let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator
  • Enjoy!
If it comes out too strong for you, it can be diluted by adding more soda.
DON’T add sugar, citrus fruits (lime, lemon, pineapple), or bitters!

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious Scores Again With Thai Green Bean Summer Salad Recipe

Epicurious, you have to stop this. We’re starting to develop real feelings for you.

Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating a little bit. But Epicurious has long been our favorite recipe blog here at Design Your Lifestyle, and no matter what our trending tastes happen to be, their staff seems to have the right recipe for us.

This time, it’s a summer take on a classic Thai salad that left us scrambling for seconds – and thirds… and fourths…

Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!
Give your green beans a kick in this awesome Epicurious recipe for Thai Green Bean Salad!

After a long 4th of July weekend of delicious burgers, ribs, hot dogs and more, we were feeling a bit overstuffed on meat dishes. But no matter how hard we tried, it was difficult to find a vegetable or salad dish that left us feeling completely satisfied.

Enter Epicurious’ Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer. This grilled green bean salad isn’t your usual “light fare” that leaves your stomach growling. Add in marinated tofu, in-season avocados and a zesty homemade papaya-salad dressing with lime and jalapenos, and you have a real winner and crowd pleaser.

We love the texture contracts between the grilled green beans and the tangy citrus of the dressing, and the tofu is surprisingly more than filling – especially when paired with the avocados!

If you’re a fan of Thai dishes and love taking adventures with your home meals, then this is a great recipe for you. All credit to Katherine Sacks at Epicurious for this tremendously inventive take on summer salad and Thai food.

For the full recipe for Epicurious’ Grilled Thai Green Bean Salad for Summer by Katherine Sacks, please click the article.

 

May 9th is National Moscato Day: Find The Best Moscato Here!

Which Moscato Wines Are REALLY Worth Drinking?

Ah, Moscato. Perhaps no other beverage has created such divisive opinions within the community of wine aficionados as the product of the Muscat grape. Although the classic Moscato D’Anti originated in Italy, derivatives and clones of the Muscat grape are now grown from Oregon to New Zealand as demand for the fruity wine soars.

The Gallo Family created National Moscato Day in 2012 to celebrate the light, sparkling sipping wine that’s taken dinner tables, wine wholesalers and liquor stores by storm over recent years.

A fresh bunch of Moscato Bianco grapes, just in time for National Moscato Day! (Credit: Wiki Commons)
A fresh bunch of Moscato Bianco grapes, just in time for National Moscato Day!

Like it or not, the Moscato craze appears here to stay!

If you’re a lover of Moscato wines – be they Orange Muscat, Muscat Blanc or Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains – then May 9th is bound to be one of your favorite days of spring. But celebrating May 9th (National Moscato Day) in style isn’t quite as simple as picking up a pedestrian bottle of the fizzy wine.

As Richard Jennings, author of over 45,000 tasting notes, once noted:

America’s in the midst of a much bigger wine phenomenon than the sudden upswing in Pinot Noir sales following the 2004 release of the movie Sideways. Sales of slightly sparkling sweet wines with underlying acidity made from the Muscat grape have exploded over the past two years among younger buyers, especially Millennials — the 21 to 30 age group.

Some of these wines, especially from Italy’s Asti region, are terrific. Others, produced by huge wine conglomerates on an industrial basis looking to cash in on the latest trend, are truly dreadful.

So this National Moscato Day, how can you tell which Muscat to enjoy in your dining room, sitting room or custom wine cellar?

Imagine the custom wine cellar of your dreams. Peter Salerno makes it. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)
Imagine the custom wine cellar of your dreams. Peter Salerno makes it. (Credit Peter Salerno Inc.)

Here’s a great, short list of fabulous Moscatos to enjoy May 9th (or any day)!

Best Moscatos to Enjoy on National Moscato Day

1. Borgo Maragliano La Caliera Moscato D’Asti, 2014 (Italy)

At between $12-16 a bottle at most retailers, La Caliera is our favorite Italian Moscato D’Asti when it comes to a combination of taste and price. While each edition from 2013-2016 is a real winner, our selection is the 2014 vintage, full of green grape, pear and yet not overly sweet. This Borgo Maragliano Moscato D’Asti is a great pair with most desserts (even chocolate!).

The winemaker describes La Caliera as carrying a “fragrance of candied fruit, acacia flowers and a typical musky but delicate bouquet”.

2. Foris Moscato, 2013 (Rogue Valley)

Foris is a great Oregon-based brand that has a knack for versatile, light Moscato. 2013 is our favorite (2012 and 2016 aren’t half-bad either) for its low alcohol content and intriguing citrus quality. Rated an 87 by Wine Enthusiast, we also love Foris for use in mimosas and other wine-mix beverages – primarily due to the low alcohol content and orange flavor we mentioned.

At a price tag of roughly $15-17 per bottle, this is an affordable, enjoyable Moscato.

Custom wine cellar from Peter Salerno Inc. Man Cave Classics.
Custom wine cellar from Peter Salerno Inc. Man Cave Classics.

3. Stemmari Moscato, 2013 (Terre Siciliane)

This beautiful pale yellow Moscato sits neatly at 8.5% ABV and, unlike many Moscatos, serves exceptionally well as an aperitif rather than a dessert wine. Like its Foris counterpart, the 2013 vintage is exceptional, garnering a rating of 90 at the Ultimate Wine Challenge. (The 2012 is also excellent, receiving a score of 86 from Wine Enthusiast.)

Sweeter than some of its counterparts, you’ll also find the price tag a bit sweeter as well – retail average for this bottle is just about $10. If you feel like venturing out of the Asti region and into Sicily, you’ll be highly satisfied with this effort from Stemmari.

Our Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes

Design Your Cinco De Mayo Cocktail Recipes

Cinco De Mayo is right around the corner! This May 5th, Cinco De Mayo will once again be observed as a celebration of freedom, democracy, and Mexican heritage and pride.

No matter what your home bar looks like, we’re here to help you get your Cinco de Mayo cocktail recipe list in order! Whether your home bar is a world-class stunner (like when Peter Salerno Inc. turned a ’59 Corvette into the most amazing bar in the world), or a more humble affair, Cinco De Mayo is the perfect time get behind your custom bar (built by Peter Salerno, of course!) and wow your guests with an assortment of amazing Cinco De Mayo drink recipes.

Here are Peter Salerno's favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)
Here are our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes. (Credit Wiki)

Every year, we check out Delish for their updated list of Cinco de Mayo drink recipes – specifically their outstanding collection of updated margarita recipes. From the Bulldog Margarita (you MUST try this if you’re a fan of citrus) to their Perfect Cuervo Margarita, consider this your go-to margarita recipe source for this year’s Cinco de Mayo celebration!

So let’s check out some of our favorite Cinco De Mayo drink recipes, courtesy of our friends at Delish.

Design Your Lifestyle’s Favorite Cinco De Mayo Drink Recipes

All drink recipes courtesy of Delish.

Bulldog Margarita (our latest favorite!)

Ingredients

  • 4 c. ice
  • 2/3 c. lime juice
  • 1 c. tequila
  • 1/4 c. Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • Coarse salt, for rim
  • 4 Coronitas (7 oz. each)
  • Skewers topped with sliced citrus, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine ice, lime juice, tequila, Cointreau and sugar in a blender, pulsing to combine.
  2. Place salt on a shallow plate. Dip the rim of each glass in lime juice or water, then in the salt.
  3. Fill each glass with margarita mixture. Pop the caps off of the Coronita bottles, then flip each one upside-down into the margarita glass. (A little beer will empty into the cup, but once the neck of the bottle has sunk into the frozen margarita, it will stop pouring out.)
  4. Garnish each with a fruit skewer and serve.

La Paloma Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz. Don Julio Reposado Tequila
  • 4 oz. grapefruit soda
  • 1 wedge lime

Directions

  1. Add Don Julio Reposado Tequila and grapefruit soda in salt-rimmed, ice-filled highball glass.
  2. Garnish with lime wedge.

Perfect Cuervo Margarita

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Especial
  • 3 ounce(s) Jose Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix
  • 1 wedge(s) lime
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt

Directions

  1. Rub rim of a chilled margarita glass with half a lime.
  2. Dip into salt to coat.
  3. In a shaker with ice, add José Cuervo Especial and José Cuervo Lime Margarita Mix.
  4. Shake vigorously.
  5. Strain into the margarita glass.
  6. Garnish with lime wedge.

Cucumber-Jalapeno Margarita

Ingredients

  • Coarse sea or kosher salt
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1/2 cup(s) peeled, finely diced cucumber, plus a cucumber slice for garnish
  • 4 slice(s) (or up to 6 slices; thin) jalapeño, with seeds
  • 1/4 cup(s) cilantro sprigs
  • 3/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 ounce(s) (1 1/2 teaspoons) light agave nectar
  • 2 ounce(s) (1/4 cup) 100-percent blue agave silver tequila
  • 1/2 ounce(s) (1 tablespoon) Cointreau or triple sec

Directions

  1. Pour an even layer of salt on a plate. Rub the rim of an 8-ounce rocks glass or tumbler with lime wedge and invert glass into salt to coat rim.
  2. Combine cucumber, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, and agave nectar in a 2-cup cocktail shaker. Using a muddler or pestle, gently muddle mixture.
  3. Fill the shaker halfway with ice, then add tequila and Cointreau. Cover and shake well until shaker is frosty and cold.
  4. Fill prepared glass with ice. Strain margarita into it and garnish with the cucumber slice.

For more information about custom home bar design, fill out the form below.

Exclusive Culinary Institute of America Recipes: A Sneak Peek!

Learn Culinary Institute of America Recipes And Tips!

No, don’t worry – this list of “CIA Secrets” won’t get you in any trouble! Recently, Peter Salerno (of our parent company, Peter Salerno Inc.) and his son Anthony took a trip to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, to experience a day of cooking and culinary craftsmanship with master chefs.

While each chose to take a separate CIA cooking class, both learned incredible CIA chef recipes that they will certainly use for the rest of their lives. Anthony attended the Under the Sea (seafood) course, while Peter Salerno chose the Mediterranean Cuisine cooking class.

Peter Salerno and his son Anthony at Culinary Institute of America in New York.
Peter Salerno and his son Anthony at Culinary Institute of America in New York.

We know what you’re thinking – isn’t the Culinary Institute of America just for aspiring chefs? No! There’s an exclusive section of the CIA website for “Enthusiasts”  that promises “CIA classes to satisfy your culinary cravings”. You don’t have to enroll in a full course of study – take individual classes that fit your passions!

From Boot Camp Culinary Vacations to cooking and baking classes to wine and beverage courses, the “Enthusiasts” program is a real winner. Check out their locations here.

Both Peter and Anthony raved about their experience at the Culinary Institute of America – not to mention they each brought home enough food for days!

Peter Salerno was so enamored with the recipes he learned at his CIA Mediterranean Cuisine cooking class, he’s sharing two of them with you today:

  • Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Golden Raisins
  • Paella with Quail, Shrimp and Chorizo

Both dishes are fresh takes on classic Mediterranean fare, and Peter and his family were thrilled with the results. We hope you are too! Please enjoy these recipes and share them with your loved ones.

CIA Chef Recipe: Chicken Tagine with Apricots and Golden Raisins

CiA chicken tagine recipe

CIA Chef Recipe: Paella with Quail, Shrimp and Chorizo

CIA paella with quail recipe

CIA paella with quail recipe

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Our Favorite Epicurious Creation

St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Our Favorite Epicurious Creation

It’s bound (well, snowbound) to be a white St. Patrick’s Day for a lot of us, but it seems the worst weather has passed. So it’s time to put on your green and celebrate St. Patty’s with vigor and spirit!

Hopefully, you’ve already been inspired to “green” your home design. This isn’t just a St. Patrick’s Day trend, but a real design movement based around green spaces and the selection of Greenery as the official Pantone Color of the Year for 2017. Now that your space is properly decked out for the holiday, it’s time to get your St. Patrick’s menu in order!

Put that green kitchen to use with this St. Patrick's Day Epicurious recipe! (Photo: Peter Salerno Inc.)
Put that green kitchen to use with this St. Patrick’s Day Epicurious recipe! (Photo: Peter Salerno Inc.)

As followers of Design Your Lifestyle know, we believe there’s no better place to turn for a great new recipe than Epicurious – in our opinion, the finest food and recipe destination on the Web. As usual, Epicurious has put together a wonderful menu for your 2017 St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

From a simple slow-cooker pot roast to corned beef and cabbage, Epicurious has a delightful menu prepared for your St. Patrick’s Day guests. But believe it or not, our favorite Epicurious recipe for this St. Patrick’s Day isn’t even a main course. It’s a soup!

And why wouldn’t we pick soup? After all, with much of the Northeast (and East Coast in general) stuck in an unseasonable deep freeze, there’s nothing better than a rich, hot soup recipe to warm you up and get you feeling the Luck of the Irish.

So here’s a wonderful, hearty recipe for Green Pea, Asparagus, and Parsley soup from our friends at Epicurious (and specifically, contributor Rachel Beller) that’s sure to liven up (and warm up) your St. Patrick’s Day meal this year.

Epicurious St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Green Pea, Asparagus, and Parsley Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leeks
  • 8 cups frozen green peas
  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 bunches of asparagus (30 to 40 stalks), tough ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Himalayan or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme (optional)

For the rest of this awesome Epicurious recipe, click on over to the full recipe page on their site.

A Papal Panettone: A Sweet Gift Commissioned by The Pope!

A Glimpse At the Delicious Panettone Commissioned by Pope Francis

If you are an Italian (and especially an Italian Catholic), chances are you’re familiar with the Italian presepe (Il Presepe), or representation of the Nativity scene. A presepe nativity scene is the special exhibition, particularly during the Christmas season, of art objects representing the birth of Jesus, that is traditional to the Napoli (Naples) region of Italy.

The Pope's Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!
The Pope’s Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!

Nothing’s quite as sweet as the Dolce Presepe, a beautiful Panettone created by Fiasconaro. The Dolce Presepe is a delectable Panettone with white chocolate Nativity elements, and is a staple of the Italian Christmas tradition.

Every year, a small batch of Fiasconaro Dolce Presepe are commissioned by Pope Francis himself to celebrate the Christmas season. This year, one of these rare “Papal Panettones” was given as a gift to Peter Salerno and his family by his cousins Setimo and Joe, owners of E&S Foods.

This Panettone was crafted by dessert artisans in Castelbuono, Sicily. With an annual allowance of just 4, these Pope-commissioned Dolce Presepe are a treat to be savored with love and gratitude!

The Pope's Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!
The Pope’s Panettone: a Dolce Presepe commissioned by Pope Francis!

Precious gifts like this one remind us all that Christmas is truly about two things – celebrating the miracle of the birth of Jesus on Earth, and celebrating the miracle that is the love and warmth of our families and loved ones.

On behalf of our parent company Peter Salerno Inc., Peter Salerno and his family (wife Tracy, Anthony and Eve, Gabrielle and Brian), we wish you happiest of holiday seasons and healthiest, most blessed of New Years to come.