Today I have a truly phenomenal use for those farmers’ market peaches (or nectarines!). It takes a tiny bit more work than some of the other cocktails I’ve featured but it’s worth it. Grilling the peaches for this drink causes the sweet syrupy sugars of the stone fruits to caramelize, a taste that pairs beautiful with the rich smokiness of good whiskey. If you’ve never had peaches grilled with thyme it is high time you do! Trust me, you won’t regret the effort;)

copyright all right reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

  • 1 peach cut into wedges
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme simple syrup
  • sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3 dashes of cocktail bitters
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 ounces whiskey

~ Lightly coat peach wedges with olive oil and grill on both sides until lightly charred and the natural sugars begin to caramelize.

~ Muddle a couple peach wedges, fresh time sprigs, bitter, thyme simple syrup and whiskey in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake shake shake.

~ Pour over ice and garnish with grilled peach wedge and a sprig of thyme.

thyme simple syrup:

~ Use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water accounting for the number of cocktails you plan to make. Add several thyme sprigs.

~ Heat in a pan to a rolling boil until sugar fully dissolves. Steep for 3 hours and store in the fridge.


copyright all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

food photographer, food photography, los angeles, crystal cartier

So I’ve been working on some new cocktails as a fun way to beat this crazy summer heat. Too many days over 100 degrees can make a girl a bit loopy! If we’re going to be loopy, we may as well put a boozy spin on things. To kick off this little cocktail series I want to start with one of my favorite new creations. It’s a smash to get you smashed! Ha!

It’s super simple and uses all fresh ingredients. Get some cherries before their gone and give this baby a whirl!

copyright all right reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

  • 6 fresh sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 wedge orange
  • 1 wedge lemon
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 whole cherry for garnish

~ Muddle cherry halves, orange, lemon, and mint in a cocktail shaker.

~ Add syrup, bourbon, and ice and shake hard. Strain in a glass of crushed ice. Top with more crushed ice and garnish with whole cherry.

***Crushing ice: simply throw a bunch of ice cubes in a food processor and process until fully crushed or powdered.

***Simple syrup: Heat equal parts honey or sugar and water in a pan to a boil and stir until completely dissolved. Let cool and refrigerate.


copyright all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

food photographer, food photography, los angeles, crystal cartier

So I know the thought of having leftover ribs is a bit of a joke, but once in a while we throw a big party and over do it a bit in the ribs department. Sometimes even stretchy pants aren’t enough to make it happen! When that situation arises, I turn to soup! No big deal, I thought as I google searched baby back rib soup. Well, I found diddly on the vast world wide web on what to do with my rib leftovers so I went to the kitchen to see what kinds of random goodies I had for this experimental soup.

This is the delicious baby back ribs recipe that I used to make these ribs. We don’t slather our ribs with bbq sauce until we grill them so this recipe would be great for leftover ribs that have been dry rubbed and baked but not brushed with sauce. Also, this soup is insanely good with leftover cut kernels from the grilled dirty corn recipe. Then it’s truly a barbecue soup! The quantity of the ingredients is up to you. I liked loads of squash and corn but alter the proportions based on your tastes and amount of meat.

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

  • a few racks baby back ribs – meat pulled off the bone and shredded with fingers
  • 1/2- whole butternut squash or 2-3 sweet potatoes – made into ribbons with a peeler
  • grilled “dirty” corn kernels
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock or enough to cover all the ingredients
  • paprika – generous but to taste (I never know how much I use because I just keep adding more!)
  • cumin – to taste
  • 2-3 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 TB+ smashed garlic
  • dried thyme
  • rosemary infused olive oil

~ In a stock pot or dutch oven heat oil and add garlic, onion, and squash ribbons. Saute until they soften a bit then add thyme and bay leaf.

~ Add some cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper to the pan, add rib meat and corn and stir in the chicken broth.

~ Bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer until squash is cooked (less than 20 minutes if ribbons).

~ Add more paprika and cumin to taste. Salt and pepper. Serve.


all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

food photographer, food photography, los angeles, crystal cartier

We’re grilling masters these days taking full advantage of outside cooking 1) because it’s soooo good and 2) because the last thing we want to do is turn on the oven and heat up the house in this weather! After all, grilled corn is greater than boiled corn any day! This recipe is dubbed “dirty” because it looks like it fell on the ground and we just picked it up and threw it back on the coals. PS- we didn’t do that;) The dirtiness comes from herbs, salts, and char from grilling inside the husk. Delish! You cook the corn in husk for half of the time then pull back the husk, butter the cob and sprinkle generously with herbs and salt (and paprika if you like!) to make that corn fantastically filthy!

Get some friends together, start up the grill and get messy!

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

  • corn on the cob in husk
  • butter (or olive oil)
  • sea salt – medium coarseness
  • thyme
  • marjoram
  • black pepper
  • paprika (optional)

~ Soak full ears in husk under water in the sink for 15 minutes. This helps steam the kernels a bit and, I think, prevents the husks from catching fire.

~ Place cobs in husk on heated grill. Cook for 5 minutes or so on each side, turning once.

~ Peel back husk, wipe off any silks, brush with butter and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper, thyme, marjoram and paprika (optional).

~ Place the cob with husks peeled directly on the grill and let cook for a few minutes on both sides until some kernels start to brown and caramelize a bit.

ENJOY the dirtiest corn on the block!!

all rights reserved Crystal Cartier 2012

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