Cherry Daiquiri (Virgin) and BDTK/Anita from Hungry Couple

virgin daiquiri

Hi folks.

I am so thrilled to share this week’s Burning Down The Kitchen with you. I have a special treat and a special guest.

My life has been so hectic lately and I keep thinking about that book “If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I doing in the Pits”. My mom was such a huge Erma fan. I love her humour. I love her book. I love cherries.

So what do Erma and cherries have to do with today? Well today’s special guest reminds me of the wise cracking, witty Erma. She is sharp as a tack, funny as hell and sweet with just a hint of tart. Anita from Hungry Couple was my willing victim this week and let me just say any time you work with her it’s going to be a blast. You’re also going to get responses that make your family think you’re in the office watching bloopers on youtube cuz you burst out laughing with each new email. This woman makes me giggle and you all know I love a good giggle. Almost as much as I love cherries.

I met Anita through the now defunk Foodbuzz. Foodbuzz is how a lot of us food bloggers met. It used to be such a fun place to connect with other foodies. People like Anita. Now Foodbuzz has morphed into something else entirely and I don’t use it any more. But my friendship with Anita is intact and for that I’m grateful to the site that introduced us.

When I think of Anita I think “queen of the cocktail”. Don’t get me wrong, that is not all she does. She whips up great desserts and meals too. But she’s very known for her drinks. I always enjoy seeing what she has concocted. I can’t drink due to my illness. It’s my biggest trigger, to the point that I cannot touch alcohol at all. If I do I pay for it for days to come. But I love looking at gorgeous drinks and think there’s something so sexy and seductive about a martini or daiquiri. I wish I could partake but it’s just not in the cards for me.

I went around and around Anita’s site looking for a dessert recipe. She has so many amazing treats on her site I could not decide which one to make.  I was going to make her Lushest Creamist Cheesecake Ever, then I eyed her Chocolate Chip Scones, then moved on to her Flourless Cake, then almost settled on her Orange Cranberry Bread, then almost dove into her Chocolate and Peanut Butter Crunch Cake. Then it occurred to me that I should be a grown up and make one of her meal recipes. I fell in love with her Wheatberry, Wild Rice and Butternut Squash, and then got sidetracked by her Shepherd’s Pie until I saw her Most Tender Meatballs Ever before I moved on to Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage then flipped out over her Veggie Lasagna Roll Ups. Then I realized I should just be a serious grown up and make a cocktail. Minus the alcohol cuz I have a sissy tummy. I kept going back to her Key Lime Daiquiri. The drink just looks all kinds of refreshing. I like lime, it’s fab with so many other things. One of those things is cherry. I’d made a Shirley Temple before and then the idea of sort of combining the daiquiri and Shirley Temple came to mind. Then I googled cherry daiquiri cuz I wasn’t sure if they existed. They do and I was sort of mesmerized, er, stunned, er, horrified, that there are people named Cherry Daiquiri on twitter and facebook. But let’s not go there. The visions still haunt me at night. Let’s just say cherry daiquiri’s exist and are drinks and not strippers. Yah, that’s right. Just drinks.

Okay so that’s how I came about deciding what to make. But you’re all here to read silly Q & A with Anita, so let’s do that first then we’ll get to the stripper drink recipe after the interview.

Rapidfire Q & A with Anita of Hungry Couple:

1. How did you get started blogging?


Hungry Couple actually began a number of years ago as a place where Brian and I could write restaurant reviews together.  We didn’t have that many interests in common and this seemed like a project we could both work on.  I’ve been cooking since I was a teenager but it never occurred to me to publicize my recipes until I started getting more involved in the blogging community.  Once I started adding my recipes to the blog, it quickly became the main focus and everything evolved.


2. What do you love most about it?


I really like everything about it.  I’ve always been the kind of person who needs to have a project to work on.  The blog is now my great, big, ongoing project and it allows me to be as creative as I want.  I’ve also loved “meeting” my fellow bloggers and feeling like part of a close community.


3. Is there anything you don’t love about it?


I blog on a M/W/F schedule and sometimes I’ll find myself stressing on a Sunday evening that my Monday post isn’t ready yet.  But lately I’ve just reminded myself that it’s supposed to be fun and shouldn’t interfere with other fun.  So, if I’d rather spend Sunday evening cuddled up with Brian and the pup, watching a movie, so be it.  The blog post will still go up on Monday but it might not be first thing in the morning.


4. How do you decide what to publish and what not to?


I know that some bloggers cook for their blog but I blog what I cook.  So, if it was on our dinner table and we liked it, chances are it will show up on the blog.  I try to make the blog a reflection of our lives and that includes food, travels, restaurants and puppy adventures.


5. How much time do you spend on photos after making a dish?


Up until now the photography and post-photography has taken up huge chunks of time but I’m working to ease that.  I’ll be upgrading to a better camera and possibly adding lighting so that I’m no longer dependent on a sunny day and lots of retouching.



6. What kind of camera are you using? Any special lenses? Lighting?


I’ve been using an inexpensive Cannon A1200 point and shoot.  But I work in manual mode, know my camera very well and adjust to conditions as best I can.  While the P&S is capable of a lot more than most people do with it, its biggest limitation is the inability to control aperture.  That is the reason I’m having to spend so much time editing.  It’s gotten me quite a few FoodGawker acceptances but the time spent is no longer tenable.  In the next month or two I’ll be upgrading to a Cannon DSLR with a micro lens.


7. Do you have a special place in your house where you do most of your writing?


I have a little home office set up in a corner of my large living room, right by the windows, and that’s where I do my writing.  I have my photography table set up nearby and a basket of toys for the pup.  She can usually be found under my chair playing with her “lambie” toy while I type.  I wish I had a kitchen large enough to hold a computer desk but, otherwise, I like my little space.


8. Where do you find inspiration?


I literally find inspiration everywhere!  I’ll be watching a cooking show or even a cooking segment on the news and think I want to make that or adapt it.  I try to recreate dishes we’ve liked at restaurants.  I’ll adapt recipes from fellow bloggers.  I’ll see a great food photo and it will give me an idea for something else.  It’s pretty fun, actually.  Brian gets much more involved in the cocktail recipes and, if a restaurant has a specialty cocktail menu, we’re absolutely ordering some different ones to try.  Sometimes we recreate them as exactly as we can and sometimes we adapt them but the experimentation is always fun!  When I write my blog posts I usually include the source of inspiration because it’s part of the story of our lives and what we eat.


9. Do you have a favourite post that you’ve done?


I fall a little in love with every new post once all the words and photography come together.  When it goes live on the blog I admire it and think this one is my favorite.  But then the same thing happens with the next post! :)


10. How do you balance it all with a busy life, hubby and puppy?


I have an advantage (if you can call it that) in that Brian runs his own busy and successful business and is on the road most of the week. So Monday through Thursday it’s usually just me and the pup. He calls every night from his hotel room and we recap our day but otherwise I can schedule whatever I need. And although we call her the “pup” Hadley is actually a sweet young lady of 3 and is extremely well trained and properly behaved. She’s my little companion and I try to take her with me wherever I go but she’s really no trouble at all. I’m also a pretty regimented person and have my days structured so as to get the most amount done. On weekends, though, Brian and I both try to turn it off which is why you generally won’t see much social media interaction from me. I consider myself a Type A personality in partial recovery. :)


11. Soup or salad?


Yes, please.


12. On the rocks or neat? I’ve always wanted to ask someone that!




13. Milk, white or dark chocolate?




14. Sweet or savoury snacks?




15. Coke or pepsi?


I have a recurring diet Coke dependency.  I’ll rehab with water for a while and then relapse. :)


16. What is your favourite restaurant and why?


Despite the fact that we write restaurant reviews, we’re more likely to either eat at home or stick to a few tried and true places in the neighborhood.  Neither of us likes crowds and we don’t feel any need to see and be seen.  Give us a casual local place with great food and great service and we’re loyal.  In warm weather we’re partial to outdoor cafes that let us bring the pup.


17. If you could have your dream job what would it be?


Basically it would be the opposite of the career I’ve always had.  Working my way up the ladder in big Madison Avenue ad agencies always meant ridiculously long hours and high stress.  Plenty of camaraderie and late night drinks and fun but no real time for one special man and certainly no pup.  I started slowing it down about ten years ago and looking for another path.  These days I’m happy taking freelance assignments, trying to build my independent business and working at my pace, not someone else’s.  I’m still a work-aholic but it’s very different when you control your own schedule.


18. Question and answer to follow below, this one needs to be explained so you can laugh as hard as I did!!!


19. Apron or no apron?


No apron.  I’m a pretty neat person.  I usually cook in a t-shirt and sweats or yoga pants and rarely get anything stained.  The pup sometimes gets a light dusting of flour, though.


20. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Is blogging still a big part of the picture?


I would like to think that blogging will still be part of the picture but it will be interesting to see what else evolves.  I’ve always stayed in New York because that’s where the ad agencies are.  But if I’m successful at working on my own and remotely, I can consider moving further away.  Brian and I have talked about Connecticut but any part of New England would make me happy.


Anita and Hadley on Cape Cod!

Dare Portion of Burning Down The Kitchen:


Take a photo of your 3 favourite things in your kitchen!


1.  Rarely a day goes by without me needing to grate some cheese or zest a lemon so my grater is one of my favorite kitchen things.


2.  Although I love to cook, I dislike getting my hands into ground beef to make meatballs or any other dumpling type food.  I do it but it’s always a chore.  Then one day I saw a 1 oz. scoop in a kitchen wares store and my life got much better.  I use it to scoop everything!


3.  Hands down my favorite tool is my Wusthof santoku chef’s knife.  For years I was uncomfortable with chef’s knives until Brian took me knife shopping and I realized that most were just too big for my small hands.  This 7″ knife with a 5″ handle is the perfect size for me and it feels like a natural extension of my hand.


I always tell my interviewee’s that if there’s a question that doesn’t make sense for them to let me know and we can replace it with another. I had asked Anita something that didn’t really apply to her. So since we have a jokey sort of friendship this is what I sent her to replace it:


If you could be a cocktail which one would you be?
Fave drink of all time?
Fave place to buy stemware?
How do you always stay so positive?
How much does Kim annoy you?


Anita’s response- I answered the last question.


This is her answer:


Usually Kim is a lot of fun.  She lives in my Google Reader and I pull her out when I need a good laugh and a turtle recipe.  Sometimes she fools you when you read a 10 page long post about Weight Watchers followed by 37 pictures of ice cream.  But normally she’s the virtual friend I turn to when I need a smile.  Until, that is, you agree to be interviewed by her.  Then you get a questionnaire that begins with toilet training and ends with what you had for breakfast this morning.  And if any of the answers are insufficient, she will chase you around demanding to know what kind of cocktail you would be, if you could be a consumable beverage.  The whole experience is sort of like a therapy session on acid.


This is where I was in my blog room busting a gut and waking the family cuz I could not stop laughing. I adore this woman. If you all know me as well as Anita does you know not much ruffles my feathers and I love to poke fun of myself and others. I am not sensitive when it comes to a good laugh and Anita had me in stitches during the interview process. It’s nice when people accept you for all the crazy you really are. And still love you when they figure out all your quirks. It’s a cool thing to be accepted and have friends you can really let your hair down with. I fear for any place where me and Anita finally meet in person. It’s going to be a wise-cracking, sarcastic, rowdy, bawdy good time. Just the way I like it!!!


virgin daiquiri


Cherry Daiquiri (Virgin):
Author: cravings of a lunatic
Recipe type: Drinks


A great recipe for a virgin cherry daiquiri!
  • 4 oz cherry juice (any kind)
  • 8 oz sprite
  • 1 oz maraschino cherry syrup
  • 2 oz grenadine
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 cups ice
  • maraschino cherries
  • lime


  1. Pour everything into your blender and mix it up.
  2. Pulse until the ice breaks up.
  3. Pour into a pitcher or glasses.
  4. Serve with a big old cherry smile!


Adjust the amounts according to your taste. If you want to add fresh lime juice to cut the cherry a bit feel free.




virgin daiquiri

Thank you so much to Anita for allowing me to the pleasure of torturing her this week. It was so much fun to get inside your head a little bit. There’s nothing quite like getting to know your fave bloggers on such a personal, silly level. I enjoy the heck out of this series. It’s people like you who keep me inspired.


I would love for you all to stop by Anita’s blog, Hungry Couple and stalk the bejesus out of her. I mean follow her everywhere. Us bloggers like being stalked on as much social media as humanly possible. You can find Anita on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

A quick note to the readers:

I apologize for any wonkiness with this post. This one seems to be giving me a run for my money with formatting. I’ve posted it intact but it needs tweaking when I’m calm and don’t want to throw my laptop against a wall. Sometimes these interview posts get off kilter while cutting and copying info. I’ll tweak the post tomorrow so it looks normal.

Toodles and smoochies! xx


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  1. says

    I love these burning down the kitchen posts… I especially like hearing about photography and stuff. I learn so much from these. It was great getting know Anita. :)

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Ramona. I am the same. Really love finding out about what people use for cameras and whatnot. So interesting. So glad you like reading them. I’d love to have you do one. Maybe we can talk and work that out for the new year.

  2. says

    This is a great interview KIm, I check out Anitas cocktail weekly. Love them. Hope you are feeling better. I have been totally lax in visiting blogs lately, I am trying to get up to speed, but lots of other activity going on lately and a new project. Enjoy your virgin Cherry Daiquiri, I will have mine with a splash of Vodka, thank you, LOL.

    • Kim Bee says

      Thanks Suzi. I adore all the drinks she does. Wish I could drink them, makes me feel so weird I can’t partake at all.

      No worries. I am the same way. My commenting had died off during and after my illness on the trip. Sometimes life just gets in the way. But that’s a good thing cuz it means you’re out there living and having fun.

  3. says

    What a lovely post. I’m in love with Hadley. I have a poodle/kcc cross and he’s my best friend. I’m pretty sure he’d be anyone’s best friend but he’s all mine.

    I don’t often make virgin cocktails but if I did, I’d make this one! I might deflower it and increase the alcohol tempo. :)

    • Kim Bee says

      I have a little westie. But she’s really bad. We used to have a sheltie so the bar was set high. Malia just needs to calm down a little I think. She’s just a year and a half now. Still wild. But we’re working on it.

      I am dying laughing at your comment. I cannot stop giggling. I wish I could drink. Seems so square to make virgin drinks but my tummy just won’t allow me any wiggle room on it.

  4. says

    ya i’m not really sure how to jive with the new foodbuzz either… but i am glad that i met your blog through it and that i still come to check it out and find fun and inspiring posts & recipes!

    • Kim Bee says

      I didn’t join the new one. I keep thinking about it just to reconnect with some folks I’ve lost touch with. But I don’t like the terms in the thing you have to click. I am so thrilled we met though. It definitely introduced me to wonderful people and I’m forever grateful for that. I miss the sense of community it had. No other site seems to compare to the old foodbuzz.

  5. says

    That drink is so pretty and the interview was interesting especially because I know Anita from the Facebook group but don’t actually know her. I love her pup – what a great companion for her.

    • Kim Bee says

      Anita is a riot. Some of the stuff that comes out of her mouth makes me fall on floor laughing. She’s sharp as they come.

      I loved that drink. I actually froze some for tomorrow cuz I have a day of paperwork to do. Figured it would make the time pass better.

    • Kim Bee says

      I do. I miss the community feeling. And it’s hard to keep up with everyone now. They were great at bringing us together. I wish someone would come up with a way to mimic the old fb so we could all connect again.

      Thanks. I adore Hadley. I keep thinking she could teach my little Malia some manners.

      I hear you. I swear my days are not complete unless I have something cherry to eat or drink. I finally found cherry pepsi locally. I was so happy the day I found it in our town. Sad but true.

  6. says

    Hi Kim! What an interview, brilliant! I read it tree times (yes, it’s 3) just to enjoy! :) Thanks you both, Kim and Anita!
    Now, back to business with Kim. I think I lost my subscription to your blog, don’t know when and how it happened, but I don’t receive any e-mails alerting me of your new posts. I signed up again, let’s see if that would work. I do have you in my Google reader, but I prefer to start my day with a cup of milk while reading what my friends have posted… :) This explains why I am not here every post, and I hope from now on it would be fixed. Kim, I love my morning “dose” of you on this blog! Love you, my friend! :)

  7. says

    Kim, great to be introduced to Anita (torturing and stalking her this week? lol…) and love the idea of a cocktail that’s so festive looking. Sounds fabulously tasty. Oh yes, know exactly what you’re talking about with Foodbuzz. Miss it in that it was so much easier to connect and keep up to date with blogger friends. Cheers to you and Anita!

  8. Lora @cakeduchess says

    So nice to meet Anita on your blog. Great interview and lots of fun questions. Love this daiquiri recipe, Anita:)

  9. says

    Haha…you’ve turned into Barbara Walters with your probing questions! I love both you and Anita and this may be your best BDTK interview yet!


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