Suzi's Blog

Brian’s Strawberry Margarita


Spring is tomorrow. You know, spring. Sun. Flowers. Warmth. Scents.

I’m looking out my window now at the pre-spring landscape. Not a lot a green leaves yet. There is, actually, eight inches of snow. I can’t drive anywhere. The roads are ice. And I’m listening to an NPR program on global warming.

I would open my window and scream, “I’m mad as hell,” but it’s cold out there and I don’t want to disturb the deer. There are six of them ten feet in front of the house, standing in the snow and eating the last remnants from Suzen’s herb garden. They are lucky Suzen is not here to see this because I can assure you that when it comes to deer-eating-her-plants, Suzen is not a pacifist.

What am I to do? Fortunately, I have strawberries. It may not be spring here, but it is somewhere. This strawberry margarita is not just good but really, really wonderful. This weekend Suzen was careful to pick strawberries that were ripe and naturally sweet. Not over the hill, not meekly red. Strawberries just perfectly ready for our Vitamix.

For this beverage I used “Silver” tequila. Silver means new. It’s a waste to use more aged tequila here because that richer flavor will actually compete with the strawberries.

Brian’s Strawberry Margarita

Yield: 1 cocktail


  • 2 ounces Silver tequila
  • 1 ounce Mandarin Napoleon Liqueur [for orange flavor]
  • 2 ounces freshly squeeze lemon juice [not lime!]
  • 2 ounces simple syrup
  • 8 stemmed strawberries, fresh is better but thawed is okay
  • 1-2 cups of ice cubes


Put the ingredients in your blender, liquid first and the berries last — particularly if they are still frozen. You want your blender blades able to start up unimpeded.

Process until smooth. Add the ice cubes to your taste. More ice is colder but diluted.

Garnish, if you wish, with a floating strawberry. And, you can rim that glass with sugar or salt.

Source: Brian O’Rourke



Chef Daniel O’Rourke’s 45 Minute Strawberry Banana Smoothie



My twin grandsons are mirror twins. That’s like being a SUPERTWIN. They look alike, but they “mirror” certain things. One is right handed, and his mirror brother is left-handed. One is artsy, and one is analytical. One is destined to be a chef and the other will be his lawyer.

That’s Chef Daniel in the picture. His brother, Reid, is on the sofa to the right, out of sight. Reid is watching TV. Actually, so is Daniel, which helps explain why this smoothie took 45 minutes to make.

Reid had asked his mother, Michele, for a smoothie. She made him one. Reid, who may turn out to be a food critic and a lawyer, said he did not like it.

“I’ll do it,” said Daniel. That’s when the clock started. Like his father, Daniel is a natural cook but a very meticulous one. He did not use a cookbook here, he did survey every shelf in the refrigerator and freezer and pantry for ingredients, and he was taste testing along the way.

He created the smoothie below. Because Daniel is already preparing his own private collection of recipes, I cannot reveal here the exact proportions of ingredients, but Daniel did agree to share the ingredient list. With Suzen, we have guestimated the ingredient amounts shown below. Daniel may, in the future, choose to share some of his other recipes. Suzen and I will strive for full disclosure.

Oh, Reid tasted this new smoothie and still was a tad dissatisfied. “Too cold,” he commented.

These guys may be mirror twins, but they do share one characteristic: they are total perfectionists. Twenty years from now, you really will be astonished at the food in Daniel’s restaurant while you sit with Reid going over every detail of the contract he has drawn up for you.

As their grandfather, all I can do is hope for a discount.


Daniel’s 45 Minute Banana Strawberry Smoothie

Yield: 1 drink


  • 1 banana, peeled of course
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1 small container of strawberry yogurt
  • 1 cup of ice



Place the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Adjust the ice as necessary to attain the texture you desire. Add more yogurt to increase fluidity.

Source: Chef Daniel Scott O’Rourke, Austin, Texas