Blood Oranges and House Sitting

For the past few days and for the remainder of the weekend, I’m house-sitting at my mom’s house. Hallelujah. I’m amazed at what a little change of scenery can do for a girl. And before I get into that and the magic I’ve created with a few blood oranges, I want to thank you all for your comments on the last post. I feel so lucky to have such amazing readers, friends, and family. Thank you one hundred times over.

Onward: Remember how I used to live at my mom’s place before moving into the city? She lives about thirty minutes north of San Francisco in San Rafael, a beautiful but sleepy sort-of suburb. It’s great to be back hanging out in the blooming backyard, snuggling with her dogs,  catching up with bad gossip magazines, watching cable (such a luxury now!), feasting on homemade lasagna and brownies, and getting a good night’s sleep. I’m actually really nervous to go back to my place on Monday, but I know I need to face my life there, too.  There are changes to be made and conversations to be had. Oy. You know what makes facing life just a little bit easier? The bottle.

Now of course, I jest. Sort of. Now that I think about it, I’m actually not sure if we’ve discussed my penchant for very strong cocktails. There’s nothing I hate more than eating out and ordering a weak drink. I like to really taste my liquor. My friends and family are used to me ordering an extra shot of tequila to throw into my margarita or ordering doubles just in case. And fairly recently, I’ve discovered the wonderful world of Manhattans. Those always seem to hit the spot. So that should give you a little insight into this cocktail.  These babies are strong.

I’m sure you’ve been seeing blood oranges in your local market lately. When I lived in Boston, February was always the hardest month to get through in the winter–and ironically, it’s the shortest. The holidays are over, it’s damn cold and gray and slushy…and cold. So I remember always giddily scooping up these beauties when they’d start arriving in the stores with tangerines, glistening lemons, and big meaty grapefruits. Even though I live in California now, I still find myself grabbing for color wherever I can find it.

The recipe for this cocktail can certainly be adapted. Feel free to use Triple Sec instead of Cointreau if you like–and play with the proportions as you go. If you want it a little juicer with less kick, squeeze another half a blood orange in and see how you like it.  People take cocktails so seriously these days, but I tend to kind of throw a little of this and a little more of that in until I’m happy. So have fun with this. Heck, if we can’t have fun with our cocktails, there’s a lot more than February that’s looking bleak, right?

What are you up to this weekend? Hibernating? I’m working a catering job tomorrow, visiting and photographing a new burger place with a friend for a review I’m writing, and lounging with Netflix (Paper Heart-seen it?), the new Vanity Fair, and Tara Austen Weaver’s new book on welcoming meat into her life. As a once-vegetarian for almost fifteen years, I relate to her struggles with learning how to eat, prepare, and think about meat again.  Check it out. See you back here early next week with a great breakfast recipe. Hint: break out the good butter and the marmalade. Until then: Cheers.

Blood Orange Margarita

Blood Orange Margarita

  • Total time: 5 mins


1 1/2 oz. freshly-squeezed blood orange juice (roughly 2 blood oranges)
1 oz. tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
sliced blood orange for garnish


Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake vigorously, and pour into a glass that makes you happy to look at. Enjoy.


  1. marla {family fresh cooking}

    That book sounds very interesting, to welcome meat back must be a really big deal. Your drinky looks great. I have some blood oranges here that need some love! Have a great weekend.

  2. Chez Us

    Oh we love blood oranges & they make the ultimate margarita - don't they. We have a great recipe for one with ginger .... "slurp"

  3. Suzanne T-H

    Megan, If you every want to retreat to even more of a back water, come on up to Chico. We'll fix you a really strong manhattan. Hang in there! Suzanne & Don

  4. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Cheers to you Megan! What a beautiful post, both in words and pictures. Such lovely light you have there at your mum's house. Glad you were able to spend some time there - sounds like just what you needed (and of course, snuggling with the dogs is always welcome!). Gorgeous cocktail too - wish I could be there to enjoy one with you!

  5. arugulove

    I'm obessed with blood oranges. I put them in everything. I've been mixing them with vodka for martinis, but looks like I need to go buy some tequila now!

  6. Sanura

    Love blood oranges and vodka, but tequila is the favorite...

  7. Manggy

    I'm not much of a cocktail man (or an alcohol man for that matter--shhh), but bread and marmalade sound phenomenal to me (and what they hey, I'll take a sip, it looks so nice).
    Good luck with all your current projects!
    There are places *north* of San Francisco?! (kidding!)

  8. Corinne

    Marilyn founded me your blog, this is the first posting I've read. Not only are your photos beautiful the art of your writing is very refreshing. I will enjoy following your work. Cheers!

  9. Kristen

    Totally agree, love a strong drink. A Dirty Gin martini is my weakness!

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