Off The Record Podcast Eps 13 – Quarantini Time with Andrea

Off the Record Podcast takes a different turn with Andrea of Quarantini Time.

Andrea is a busy mom and entrepreneur who was a part-time bartender at Olive Garden, and then sheltering-in-place hit where she found herself as a stay-at-home teacher to two littles. An outlet was needed, so Quarantini Time began! 

Andrea shares on what it takes to go live and put yourself out there, what to do when there is a pumpkin shortage, and Scott gives a definition of when to call yourself a “Chef” and why he never eats his own food when filming “The Sporting Chef” TV show.  

Follow Andrea’s Quarantini Time LIVE Facebook shows every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Follow her on Instagram  

Michelle and Andrea were drinking Sparkling Pumpkin Whiskey drink:

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Off The Record Podcast – Episode 9 – Transcript

Andrea: The pumpkin I get, I make two pumpkin pies in November and I usually eat them all myself. And then I’m good for the year.


Intro: Good day and welcome to Off the Record. You’ll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up, so let’s listen in to The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath, and outdoor industry insider, Michelle, as they talk wild game, wine, and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go off the record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Michelle: Alright. Welcome to, Off the Record podcast, with The Sporting Chef and Michelle and we have another special guest here today. Welcome, Andrea.

Andrea: Hi. [chuckle]

Michelle: Thank you for being here. Now, no one knows Andrea.

Andrea: Thank you for having me.

Michelle: Scott met you very briefly. Because you were both at my house for a luau party, imagine that, last summer.

Andrea: Yes.

Michelle: But Andrea is a good friend of mine. We were golf buddies, I guess that’s how we met.

Andrea: Yeah. Stone Ridge, right?

Michelle: Yeah, so many years ago. And recently… Then you had kids and that just sort of threw everything for a loop. But anyway.

Andrea: It derailed all the fun.

Michelle: Yeah, it did. It really did. [chuckle]

Andrea: A new level of fun, a new level of fun.

Michelle: Yeah, just wait. Recently and why you’re such a perfect guest on the show, you started something called Quarantini Time

Andrea: I did.

Michelle: During sheltering in place, during COVID. I thought we need to have you on the show. Scott and I need to chat with you about Quarantini Time and why you started it and what you’re doing and all the effort and work you’re putting into this. [laughter] It’s a lot, you guys.

Andrea: For nothing. No. [chuckle]

Michelle: Yeah. For nothing. Yeah.

Andrea: Hopefully, we’ll get there, hopefully.

Michelle: Yeah, tell us about yourself, besides the kids and the husband and all that.

Andrea: Yes. [chuckle] Well, I am a mom and a wife and well, I have been basically a house mom for forever, or well, since right before I had kids, a year before I had kids. I take care of the kids and run them back and forth, all this other stuff. And then all of a sudden, coronavirus comes and I have to be a teacher. I did not go to school to be a teacher, I did not have aspirations to be a teacher. That was something that I absolutely knew I did not want to do. [chuckle] And now I’m stuck teaching my kid, five days a week, kindergarten no less and Spanish immersion. I did take lots of Spanish in high school and in college, but I am horrible at it unless I get a few drinks in me and then it kind of just flows easier.

Michelle: Yeah, yeah.

Andrea: But I just feel like people frown upon me getting a little sloppy while I am trying to teach my kid some…

Michelle: Trying to teach your kids. [laughter]

Andrea: ABCs. I don’t think I’m gonna teach them the right words, Michelle.

Michelle: Right. Then you decided to make it official and call it Quarantini Time. Is that the deal? [chuckle]

Andrea: I did. Well, I was posting my frustrations with becoming a stay-at-home mom-teacher. And I was cracking myself up, I’m like, I remember writing some of these posts and I’m laughing at myself like, “This is hilarious, I’m funny.” But it did… I’ve got a lot of reactions and people commenting and whatnot. And that’s just my personal Facebook page, which I have a lot of people on there anyway.

Michelle: You’re so popular.

Andrea: And then, I was starting to make jokes. We would be finally done with school work and lunch and whatnot around 2:30-3:00 and I’m like, “It’s Quarantini Time.” And I made myself Dirty Martinis. And I couldn’t tell you the last time I made myself a Dirty Martini at home. Because normally it’s just, crack open a beer, open a bottle of wine.

Michelle: Yeah.

Andrea: Whatever.

Michelle: But we should tell people, you are a bartender.

Andrea: Yes, I guess I do, do that. I don’t see that as a job. I moonlight, as a bartender, one night a week at my local Olive Garden. I basically did it… I’ve actually been with the company since 2001. It was my first… It wasn’t my first serving job. My second serving job, I guess. And I think…

Michelle: But it’s a way for you to get out of the house. Yeah.

Andrea: Yeah and it’s a way for me to get out of the house. And I have so much fun going and doing that. Never have I had a desk job where I got to leave or was excited to go to work in the morning. [chuckle]

Michelle: Yeah. Who is?

Andrea: It wasn’t really my calling.

Michelle: Yeah. [chuckle]

Andrea: Yes, anyway, I did make drinks. I know how to make some drinks. I would never say I was a mixologist or the best bartender in the world. But people liked me, I had the personality for it. And I just do my own thing.

Michelle: Do you believe that, Scott? Are you seeing that?

Scott: I am. I’m just gonna listen, ’cause I don’t know that you all need me today. But, go ahead.

Michelle: [laughter] You’re just, yeah, just drink. It’s cool. Yeah.

Scott: I’m with you.

Andrea: Because when I switched Olive Gardens to one that actually became my local Olive Garden, I actually had a couple… A lot of regulars that came back every Thursday. And if I wasn’t there they’re like, “You weren’t here.” And I’m like, “I’m sorry.”

Michelle: Yeah.

Andrea: “Didn’t have a sitter. Kids were sick. I was sick.” Yeah and then I couldn’t work either. I had no outlet. I couldn’t go anywhere. I couldn’t even leave the house to go grocery shopping, ’cause my husband was working from home, I am a stay-at-home mom. I’m supposed to be teaching. I can’t just leave two kids, five and four… Actually, Gabby was three at the time, in his… And he’s in meetings and taking phone calls and stuff, I couldn’t even… I switched to Instacart doing all my grocery shopping. I couldn’t leave the house.

Michelle: You and millions of other people. Yeah.

Andrea: Yeah. Anyway, then I did get to escape once and I bought the largest bottle of Ketel One from Costco and a two-pack of giant things of olives. And I’m like, “School shopping, done.” [laughter]

Michelle: That’s a meme right there.

Andrea: So then… Yeah [laughter]

Michelle: And you did it in real life.

Andrea: Yes, I did. [chuckle]

Michelle: I love it.

Andrea: And then, yeah, I remember this was like nerve-wracking because I didn’t do stories, I didn’t really go live, I did it ’cause I sell Norwex also, I’m multi-faceted and I do tons of lives with my Norwex group, but I never do a…

Michelle: Personal.

Andrea: A live with my personal Facebook page where like everybody could see, high school friends could see, high school people that I’m friends with on Facebook but we never talked in high school, those weird relationships that in high school, you’re like, “Oh my God, Susie’s gonna make fun of me.”

Michelle: Yeah, except with…

Andrea: They’re gonna talk shit behind my back.

Michelle: Right, [chuckle] but what did you learn about these high school people though?

Andrea: I learned that and I actually learned this through Norwex, because there was a customer that I had or my mom invited her, ’cause they worked, ended up working together and when as soon as I saw she joined Norwex, I was like, I don’t want this person on my, like I don’t want her to see my stuff, she’s gonna hate on me behind my back, like, one, why do I care? Why do I care? I’m not even gonna say how old I am, but why do I care? And I’ve learned and even more now, through Quarantini Time, I don’t care. If you don’t like me and you just wanna hate on me from afar, go for it.

Michelle: You want the haters…

Andrea: I don’t freaking care.

Michelle: ‘Cause that means you’re popular, right?

Andrea: Yeah. [laughter] Please do a YouTube video about me, [laughter] hating on me. No, it’s just like I learned, I just bit the bullet and I was still like, I was not seeing a lot of responses ’cause I did a story where I’m just like, so I’ve been doing a lot of Quarantinis after the kids’ schools work’s done and I get a lot of reaction from you guys, do you want me to go live and show you how I make my Quarantinis? And then I put the little vote yes or no and my jerk neighbor down the road, he was joking, but ’cause he didn’t realize that I could see who voted what. [chuckle] I texted him like, “Oh, you voted no.” But I only got three responses, I got two yeses and Mel’s no and I’m just like, “Oh, I feel stupid for even putting myself out there,” right? But then…

Michelle: It’s hard to put yourself out there, very hard. Scott doesn’t understand what we have to go through to put ourselves out there, because he just does it and gives two shits.

Scott: Is that bad?

Andrea: There’s a lot of insecurities that had to be overcome…

Michelle: It’s hard.

Andrea: In order to do that and it was kind of funny, I was feeling silly, the very next day, I wasn’t even gonna go live that day, I was planning two days later, so I like prepare and I knew what I doing. My daughter and I did a make-up day, I literally had blue eye shadow all over my face.

Michelle: Was this part of school?

Andrea: I looked… Huh?

Michelle: Was this part of school, school training?

Andrea: Yeah. [chuckle]

Michelle: Yeah, was this art, art class?

Andrea: No, it was just… I was done with Chase. Like I… He cried, I cried, we were done with our homework. Gabby needed attention. So we…

Michelle: You were crying during homeschooling? [chuckle]

Andrea: No, I only ever cried once and that was at night in bed, I’m just like, “Why is this happening?” [laughter] But no, it was just like we both just were at each other, so he didn’t wanna do it, I didn’t wanna do it. We both knew it.

Michelle: Right, no one wants to do it.

Andrea: I’m like, “You gotta do it.” [chuckle] Then I… I don’t know, I had all this Smurf make-up and I just kind of…

Michelle: I remember this.

Andrea: Talked to myself, I’m like, “Oh, this would be hilarious if I did my Quarantini Time today and I like had all of this, like my face was entirely blue and I did a blue drink.” And then it was just like, “Oh wait, I know I have blue curacao over there,” and I’m like, “Oh, look.” And I’m like, “Simple syrup, or sweet and sour, like sour. How do I make that?” And I’m like, “Oh, easy, I have that.” And I’m like, I quick, like literally within 15 minutes threw together some sour, I didn’t realize how much sour I made, that was… I was making two drinks, one for me, one for Brian, so I needed maybe, maybe at max two ounces of sour.

Michelle: And you made like five cups?

Andrea: I made four… I made like four or five cups of sour, almost like…

Michelle: Yeah, yeah, you were good.

Andrea: But I went live and I did it and then it was done. I ripped the band-aid off. It was done. I did it.

Michelle: Yeah, now do you always make a drink for Brian every Quarantini Time? Does he always drink with you?

Andrea: I did and then he became some sort of like a wet blanket and then wasn’t drinking with me and I was like, “What’s your problem?” [chuckle]

Michelle: He’s probably not gonna listen to this, so it’s okay. [laughter]

Andrea: No. And I’m just like, “Oh my God, what’s his problem? Do I have a problem now or not?” [chuckle] Is it me that has the problem?”

Michelle: No, no, no, you’re perfectly fine. Scott, what do you… Scott, you gotta get in here. What do you think about all this?

Scott: Has it gotten easier since you’ve been doing it? Obviously, the more you do things like that, that you don’t quite get so stressed over it, right?

Andrea: Absolutely, yes. For this week or this last couple of weeks at the pumpkin stuff though, the pumpkin puree, like it’s kind of like, I start the day being like… Because I don’t prep these drinks. I’m not one of the people that are like, I’m gonna make this drink a couple of times, make sure it tastes good, tell them that this is the recipe and then this is telling me to taste better, I don’t do that, that’s part of… That’s my shtick, is ’cause I just like, we’re gonna wing it. I do have some background, but I am not a mixologist. I don’t know, there was a non-alcoholic drink I did and I’m like, I’m gonna put vodka in this and I did it two different… I did two non-alcoholics ’cause it was different, I had two different flavors that I put in and then I was just like, “I think one I’m gonna do the vanilla vodka, ’cause I think that’d be amazing and one I’m gonna do is the citrus vodka ’cause I…

Michelle: Well, you’re a bartender.

Andrea: That’s obviously gonna work.

Michelle: I mean, you know.

Andrea: Yeah. And I’m like obviously, if I was a mixologist, I would have learned that, would have known that vanilla was not the right flavor to put with these beverages. [laughter]

Michelle: And Scott, I don’t see Scott, I actually disagree with Andrea ’cause she and I have talked about this before, ’cause she also does make-up and I call her make-up artist and she also disagrees that she’s not a make-up artist. When you say… When someone calls himself a chef or calls himself not a chef, but they’re so very obvious a chef, what do you say to them?

Scott: I didn’t call myself a chef until other people started calling me a chef. I grew up in the restaurant business, I bartended, I did all of those things but to me, a real chef, there’s a very distinct difference between the real chefs that have, whether they’ve gone to culinary school or learned on the ranks on the way up, as opposed to a line cook, that’s not really a chef or somebody who just decided they’re gonna call themselves a chef because they are good home cooks and they write cookbooks and things like that. Chefs to me, real chefs, I meet very few of that are really, really intimidating that know everything. There’s a very qualitative difference, the guy at the Olive Garden…

Michelle: Okay, so labels matter?

Scott: The guy that’s cooking whatever at the Olive Garden, to me, could be a really good cook, but he may not be a chef, but I have a question. Okay, when I was back in another lifetime, when I was bartending, the rule number one making a cocktail was “Fill the glass with ice.” They don’t do that anymore.

Andrea: Oh, they don’t? ‘Cause we do. [laughter]

Scott: I know and I still do too, but what I see all over the country is people putting in all the liquid first and somebody said, “Well, that’s so the customer knows that they’re getting a fair drink.” But I see it all over the place now, the last thing they do is fill the glass with ice. So, you’re not doing that?

Andrea: Well, it must have started after COVID, we don’t know. Olive Garden is like “You fill the cup with ice.” Because a lot of our signature beverages we are told are, even our non-alcs, the mix is formulated to incorporate all that ice, it’s part of the measuring and then the watering down of the beverage.

Michelle: Every time you order this drink from Olive Garden, no matter where you are, if you’re in Sacramento or Minneapolis, it’s the same?

Andrea: Absolutely and they want that… What’s the word for it? Cohesiveness?

Michelle: Yeah, consistency.

Andrea: Consistency. Sorry, words. This is why I’m not a good teacher.

Michelle: And I’ve never seen that either, Scott. Now, granted, I have not been to bars in a while.

Scott: I have seen it. I’ve seen it for years.

Michelle: Really?

Andrea: But have you seen it…

Scott: And I know there’s people listening that have seen it.

Andrea: Have you seen it at a short-order restaurant? Or a…

Scott: More upscale.

Andrea: Upscale. Yes, I could definitely see that. And that’s another reason why if I went to Ruth’s Chris we’ll say, I don’t know, they would not hire me as a bartender even though I have years of bartending experience, ’cause they want me to know everything. I don’t even think… I don’t consider myself a good bartender ’cause I wing it a lot. [laughter] Just like “Oh.” there’s some drink that I’m like, “I should know how to make them all, I don’t remember.

Michelle: But can’t you Google it? Can’t you just whip out your phone and Google it?

Andrea: I do, I do. Well, ’cause there are some customers that they want a rusty nail. I don’t have that in my Olive Garden Rolodex of drinks.

Michelle: Yeah.

Andrea: And there’s certain ones they just want their classic old school tiny kind of cocktail and I was like, “Oh, we don’t have a card for that, so let me look that up.”

Scott: Well and how often do you get called on to make a rusty nail and you have to find out where that bottle of Drambuie is anyway and it’s probably got dust all over it, right?

Andrea: Well, the Olive Garden keeps their bottles pretty out in the open, yeah, it’s basically a big tier and I’m like, “It’s here somewhere.” [chuckle]

Michelle: Well, I still think, I understand what you’re saying, Scott, back to our original thing about chefs and labels. Labels do matter, but I do think that if you have the years of experience, now granted you didn’t go to school, you didn’t go to like for a chef maybe you didn’t go to Cordon Bleu, but you might have the experience. I don’t know.

Scott: No, no, no, no. And you don’t have to go to school to get the experience. You can work under a whole lot of really good chefs and what I always recommend for people that wanna get into the business is, don’t go to culinary school.

Michelle: Oh, really?

Scott: Go work in restaurants, work in a whole bunch of different restaurants, work in the Italian, the French, the Mexican, all of those restaurants, work for good guys, learn how to do those kinds of things, pay attention, work your way up, you’re gonna get paid to learn how to be a chef. ‘Cause, you’re probably not gonna make a whole lot more money just because you happen to go to CIA, as opposed to just being a really good capable chef.

Andrea: Well and I agree with that because I get that you learn, but there’s only so much in these short-order restaurants these days, like the Olive Garden, there’s only so much prep work. There’s only so much that you do there because it’s the consistency. They want you to have the same bowl of Zuppa Toscana and the same stuffed mushrooms that you get at the Minnesota Olive Garden as you do in the Tampa Olive Garden. They want it across the board. You maybe are learning some basic skills, but you’re not learning how to, those chefs are really good at making Mexican food out of the Italian ingredients that they are provided when it’s… [laughter]

Michelle: When you’re working there?

Andrea: Yeah. But yeah, it’s just, you gotta go to the craft kitchens and where they’re hiring the chefs and they need a sous chef and they prep all their ingredients fresh and stuff like that and I see these people who they know… They come up with these cocktails and their garnishes are pristine and they know how to use the bitters and stuff. And I just got a bottle of mole bitters.

Michelle: Ooh.

Andrea: Yeah. Like a chocolaty… Well, that’s in mole but, mole bitters and I hated the drink I used it in. I literally used like two drops of this bitters and I’m like “Well, now I need to start searching drinks on how to use this in a good drink.”

Michelle: Or in cooking, can you use bitters in cooking, Scott?

Andrea: I did.

Scott: Very little. How was that?

Andrea: I was making chicken noodle soup and I didn’t have celery or celery salt or celery seasoning or any of the herb celery things. And I was just like, “I need some celery flavor in here,” and I’m like, “Well, I have celery bitters.” [chuckle]

Michelle: You had celery bitters, so you put that in there?

Andrea: I mean it tasted…

Scott: Did it work?

Andrea: Yeah. It tasted like soup. I mean, maybe… I think it did. I was happy with it. It tasted like soup. Didn’t ruin it. That’s for dang sure. I’m just like “This works.” ‘Cause, that celery bitters actually tastes really good. It tastes like you want your blood… Like I wanna put this on my Bloody Mary. Put the mole bitter…

Michelle: Right. I know they had celery bitters, I didn’t know they had mole bitters, I didn’t know they had…

Andrea: Oh my God, they have walnut bitters.

Michelle: Oh my God.

Andrea: Walnut bitters, I have and I’ve never made the drink that I needed, did I? No. There’s a punch bowl drink that I wanted to make this summer with, having the neighbors and I had like a walnut liquor and walnut bitters in it and I have those two things ’cause I was starting to piece it together and then I was gonna do it all when I went up north because we were all gonna make, but it just… And it got to be too much stuff to do with two kids and fishing and boating and all the other things that we needed to bring up.

Michelle: Right, let’s talk about the drink that you and I are drinking, ’cause it’s pumpkin season.

Andrea: Yes.

Michelle: Right now, I don’t know if it’ll be pumpkin season by the time this episode gets out, who knows? But right now and we’re drinking and it’s pumpkin season. On Quarantini Time, which you can find on Facebook, at… Was it

Andrea: Quarantini Time with Andrea.

Michelle: With Andrea. She’s on there three days a week, which I don’t know how you do three days a week, but right now you’re doing pumpkin and you made this whiskey pumpkin purée with Apple… Sparkling apple water?

Andrea: Sparkling ice, apple crisp. So it’s like a flavored…

Michelle: It’s just a sparkling water, right, with apple flavoring?

Andrea: Yeah.

Michelle: Anyway, I think it sucks, you like it. [chuckle]

Andrea: I don’t dislike like it and I don’t like whiskey, I don’t like whiskey at all. I’ve had very few whiskey drinks that I’ve made and I was just like, “Oh, add this to my list of favorite things to drink.” But this one… And I didn’t have very much of this in it, because…

Michelle: You had too much ice?

Andrea: It said four ounces of this, I had this much room at the top of my class and I was like…

Michelle: You put too much ice in it.

Andrea: What kind of rock glass are you using? [chuckle] Goodness.

Michelle: I have my Yeti tumbler, is what I’m using.

Andrea: I made Brian one without the pumpkin purée.

Michelle: Yeah and I’m not really a whiskey person either. I had four choices of whiskey, which is amazing. I don’t really drink it, [chuckle] but I literally have four different bottles of whiskey. [chuckle]

Scott: What if you made the same drink, but with vodka, or something other than whiskey, would that work?

Michelle: Vodka, pumpkin purée, lemon juice.

Andrea: Oh, that got better, I added more… It wasn’t bad to begin with.

Michelle: But you added more sparkling water?

Andrea: But it got better with a little bit more of that ice, yeah. I can still taste… Whiskey is a big player in this beverage, I can taste it, it’s there. Granted, I am getting… Trying to get over a cold, so maybe my taste buds aren’t working to their full capability, but I’m not tasting the pumpkin.

Michelle: No, I’m not… I don’t know, I don’t know what I’m tasting.

Andrea: And I didn’t taste the pumpkin in the last night’s drink, either. And that was actually really good. What did we do last night? What did I do?

Michelle: The pumpkin makes it a really…

Andrea: Was it coconut milk. Oh, it was a pumpkin colada, that was good.

Michelle: The pumpkin makes it a real ugly looking drink too, like ugly, like kinda piss.

Andrea: Oh, yeah. The pumpkin color. Am I getting vitamins?

Michelle: Sure, sure.

Andrea: Am I getting good vitamins out of pumpkin purée?

Michelle: Can we just talk about, for a second, why it’s so fucking hard to get pumpkin purée right now in grocery stores. Can we just talk about that for a second? What the hell is going on? [chuckle]

Andrea: One would think… Go ahead, Scott. Sorry.

Scott: Just use canned pumpkin, that’s not pumpkin pie.

Michelle: You can’t get any of it, you can’t get any of it.

Andrea: It’s so hard.

Scott: Is that a COVID thing?

Michelle: Is it a Minnesota thing?

Andrea: It’s either that or it’s too early. I’m thinking, I couldn’t find it at Hy-Vee, I couldn’t find it… I thought I found it at Aldi and then it got kicked off my list, I got refunded for it, so they couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find it at Target, I couldn’t find it at Cub, I couldn’t find it… Granted, this is all… And then none of those places had it. I even looked, I’m like, I guess I’m gonna get the big Costco jug of… [chuckle]

Michelle: Pumpkin?

Andrea: Pumpkin pie, pumpkin purée, but no, Costco didn’t have it, Sam’s Club didn’t have it. Lunds-Byerly had it.

Michelle: Oh, interesting.

Andrea: Yep, that’s where I had to find it.

Michelle: It’s just random. I’m just… I get upset, Scott. It’s just randomness.

Scott: Well, you get upset about a lot of stuff, but they… Do you guys drink the pumpkin spice lattes and all that kind of stuff too? ‘Cause I’m not that guy.

Andrea: No, I like my coffee black.

Michelle: I do.

Andrea: So, no, I don’t. [chuckle] No, I would just… Somebody asked me about pumpkin or… I responded because I’m like, normally, the pumpkin I get, I make two pumpkin pies in November and I usually eat them all myself. [chuckle] And then I’m good for the year. I love me some pumpkin pie. I will make two, I try not to share too many of them with kids, ’cause…

Michelle: You make two and you eat both of them? [chuckle]

Andrea: They’re just delicious, Michelle. I love me a pumpkin pie. [chuckle]

Scott: And see I like adding pumpkin purée to cold weather soups, ’cause it gives it body, it’s kind of a thickener and unless you overdo it and it just kinda overtakes the flavor. If you add some of that pumpkin purée, not the pumpkin pie filling, just pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin, then I think it adds great flavor to your soup.

Michelle: Well, ’cause it’s a squash, right?

Andrea: Yeah. But pumpkin purée would just be 100% pumpkin, no sugars or anything, right?

Scott: Right, right.

Andrea: But the pumpkin pie filling would already be spiced and sugared and everything. Like just in your crust, right?

Scott: Yes. And then it just tastes like a pumpkin pie, which isn’t what I’m trying to do.

Andrea: No. Well, and the thing is… Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen… I don’t know, I never buy that. I always buy the stuff that I have to add all the sugar and spices and stuff.

Scott: Right, right.

Andrea: ‘Cause then I feel like a baker. I feel like I tried hard.

Michelle: Right. Well, anyway, there’s a pumpkin purée and pumpkin pie shortage here in Minnesota.

Andrea: Yes.

Michelle: Please send your pumpkin cans to Michelle and Andrea. [laughter]

Andrea: No, I made my mom pick up… I have six of them.

Scott: When you guys go to a restaurant or a bar, do you look at the drink menu?

Andrea: This is coming from a woman who has two kids that has to find a babysitter to go out…

Michelle: Well, before that? Before that.

Andrea: Well, before that? Yeah, probably. Before that, yeah, ’cause I probably drink the sugary drinks and a lot of like whatever, but now when I go, when I have to get ready to go to a nice restaurant, I’m like, I can’t wait to get my dirty martini on, I am so excited and then I’m gonna have a really nice glass of red wine, probably a cab and it’s gonna be the best night ever. [chuckle]

Michelle: You have your whole alcohol evening planned. [chuckle]

Andrea: I do, talk to Sarah. Sarah is our mutual friend and I’m like, first, I’m gonna have this, then I’m gonna have wine and then I’m gonna switch to vodka waters with lemon and then I’m gonna be good the whole night.

Scott: I know what I’m gonna drink before I leave the house. When we get to a restaurant, my wife will go, I said, “You know, they’re gonna ask you for your order here in a minute, so you may wanna think about it,” and you know, this as a bartender, when people go, “Oh boy, let’s see what sounds good,” and you’re going “Look, just pick something.” And I’ve never…

Andrea: Let me know when you’re ready.

Scott: I don’t think I’ve ever ordered anything off a drink menu because I’m just not that guy and it’s usually sweet stuff. When I walk in, I’m gonna order a vodka soda of some sort and then I’m gonna follow that up with red wine and that’s gonna complete my evening.

Andrea: Oh, Scott, you and I need to go out to dinner, sometime.

Scott: It’s so very simple that way.

Andrea: My husband will look at the drink order, but he is very… He’s always making sure that no one’s holding anybody behind, so he will look at the thing and he’ll usually get a gimlet, like we had… I don’t even know if this restaurant’s around anymore.

Michelle: He drinks gimlets?

Andrea: He’ll try something. He’ll drink anything, like anything. We have this… Is it Red Dog, Mad Dog? I don’t know, it’s canned wine that I bought years ago, I don’t even know if it’s good.

Michelle: Does canned wine age?

Andrea: I have no idea. We just didn’t ever throw it out ’cause I don’t know, we’re those people. It’s in the garage fridge, it’s not taking up any room. He drank two of those the other night and I’m like, “Are you gonna die tonight?” Like, what’s happening? [laughter] Oh my God.

Scott: He’s just using up the inventory.

Michelle: Right, he’s tryna drink it out.

Scott: And Michael David, by the way, they have… Their Freak show wines are in six-ounce cans now and four of those equals a bottle.

Michelle: Yeah, we can get those here. I don’t know, I keep looking at Total Wine to see if they have them. I don’t know if they do, but yeah. I still have a thing about canned wine.

Andrea: I didn’t like the one that we have in the fridge, ’cause that’s why it’s still in the fridge.

Michelle: Yeah. I’m afraid of getting the transfer of the tinny and aluminum taste into the wine.

Andrea: Yeah, I agree. I feel like…

Scott: We’ll have to go blind tasting.

Michelle: Okay. [laughter]

Andrea: You had me at blind. [laughter]

Michelle: Alright, Andrea. I guess just to kind of wrap up, I just, I wanted you to share why are you doing Quarantini Time three times a week?

Andrea: I don’t know, ’cause I felt like that’s… I don’t know. Because I think it started every day. I think I was doing it…

Michelle: You were doing it all during sheltering in place? Yeah.

Andrea: Yeah. And then when kids were done with school and things were a lot less stressful, then it was just like I was seeing, I’m like, “Alright, this is a lot to do every day.” Then I went to three days a week and I feel like when things, if hopefully soon do go down to normal, then maybe it might not be every three days a week. And I don’t think it would necessarily be on a Friday, for sure. Maybe Monday, Wednesday or something, or Monday, Thursday or something.

Michelle: If people actually go out again on a Friday, they might not be tuning in.

Andrea: Yeah, exactly.

Michelle: But the other night, you said you had almost 20 people tune in live.

Andrea: Yeah. Yeah, I had… Last night was…

Michelle: Which was exciting.

Andrea: Yeah, last night was a big night and one night a couple of weeks ago was close to that too or a little over that actually and yeah, that was pretty awesome.

Michelle: And you get your first piece of fan art? Someone sent you.

Andrea: I got my first piece of fan art, yes. [chuckle] It’s a picture, it’s my logo and it says, “My house, my bar, my rules.” Apparently, I say that a lot, which I do. I like, lick my spoon and stick it in my drink and I’m like, “Don’t do this if you’re a bartender but it’s my house.”

Michelle: Scott gets that a lot with people critiquing his cooking skills on national TV.

Scott: They don’t like it when I pat my dogs on TV while I’m cooking. Fuck them. [laughter]

Andrea: Your house.

Scott: My house, my dogs, my food.

Andrea: Exactly, exactly. They’re not getting dog hair in their food. You are and you don’t care, they’re your dogs.

Scott: Right. And I’m not feeding anybody else.

Michelle: Scott doesn’t even eat his dish… He doesn’t even eat his food that he makes on air.

Andrea: You don’t even try it?

Michelle: He doesn’t even taste it.

Andrea: Yeah.

Scott: Well, okay. Have you ever seen anybody taste their own food on TV and not swoon over it and not talk about, “Wow, that’s the greatest thing ever.” It’s very disingenuous and so if there’s somebody else on my show, I’ll eat their food, but I just find it so silly to eat your own food and then talk about how great it is.

Andrea: Yes and see, that’s what I do. I make all these drinks and I don’t know what they’re gonna taste like before or after or beforehand and so there’s times I’m just like, “Yeah, don’t do this one, this one is not a winner.”

Michelle: Yeah. Well, and maybe that’s helpful in that it’s not your recipe, it’s not your drink, you have no ownership over. You’re just following someone else and…

Andrea: I’m spending the money getting all these bottles of liquor.

Michelle: You have mole…

Andrea: That you don’t have to. [chuckle]

Michelle: I don’t know. 2021, Andrea, I foresee a huge party at your house, so we can drink up all this alcohol that you have.

Andrea: Yes and there’ll be bottles.

Michelle: Alright. Well, Scott, do you have any other questions for Andrea?

Scott: I’m good, other than, are the big ice cubes gonna be around to stay, the big round ice cube? Michelle, you must love those.

Andrea: Yeah, I do. Actually, my husband… In fact, I bought some crazy… It was from China, it took forever to get here. It was a rose, so he’s got a rose in his glass, like the top of the ice cube is rose flowered shaped. But yeah, because when you’re drinking things like, I don’t know, whiskey, scotches, when you want it on the rocks, the more surface area of an ice cube that it hits, the more that it’s gonna melt and water down your drinks. The fact that there’s that less surface area with one giant ice cube, it melts a lot slower and it waters down your drink less. I know a couple of things.

Michelle: He’s got science, it’s science.

Scott: Yeah, whatever. [chuckle]

Andrea: Yes. I feel like… And then obviously, they try for a clear ice and that is the whole directional freezing situation. Huh?

Michelle: You did clear ice on one of your Quarantini Times, didn’t you? Didn’t you show people how to do it?

Andrea: I talked about it because we got it from one of the restaurants, local restaurants here, ’cause they were doing drink kits when they couldn’t even be open. They were doing these drink kits and they’d give you clear ice, but it’s all about directional freezing. So like you want to freeze from the top down in an insulated vessel, a lot of the people that do it at home use a cooler with a removable lid. They’ll fill it up, they’ll freeze that cooler for 24 hours, then they’ll get to it and like this much of their whole cooler, like four inches or whatever of their whole cooler is ice and then there’s this dome where there’s still water in the inside and maybe just a little outside and they take that off and then they saw their cubes with a serrated knife and make their perfectly square ice cubes.

Michelle: That sounds like a lot of work.

Scott: That’s way too much work to make a cocktail.

Andrea: Yep and you need a freezer space and you need…

Michelle: Wow. Okay. Well, I’m not gonna be doing that with my cooler.

Andrea: With your Yeti, your Yeti Cooler?

Michelle: Yeah, Scott’s got… Scott, you’ve got Grizzly Coolers, don’t you?

Andrea: The Grizzly Cooler?

Scott: I’ve got them all. I have all.

Andrea: That would take forever to freeze.

Scott: I have all the coolers people send me, yes.

Michelle: Yeah, whatever. [laughter] Alright, well, thank you, Andrea, thank you, Scott, for being here. Follow Andrea…

Andrea: Thank you so much for having me.

Michelle: Yeah, @QuarantiniTimeWithAndrea on Facebook, she’s there three nights a week. It was at 2:30 in the afternoon, now it’s more around 8, 9 o’clock at night. [chuckle]

Andrea: You gotta change with the times.

Michelle: Yeah. Well, you were kinda getting shit from people too, weren’t you, when you were doing it in the afternoon? Or were they being kind of judgy?

Andrea: Some people were working and I’m like literally, “I need this.” I was like, “I need this, I need to start drinking after I’m done teaching my kid things, because it’s too hard.”

Michelle: Yeah.

Andrea: No, I wasn’t getting too much crap, but people did say that and then it was just… Like school ended and we didn’t have school anymore and it was just like, well, I didn’t have to be at odds with my kid for the first half of the day, so I don’t necessarily need to drink right now.

Michelle: Yeah, at 2:30. Yeah, yeah.

Andrea: Yeah.

Michelle: Well, people can be judgy, so let them be judgy, that’s fine.

Andrea: Yeah, whatever. All the episodes are there to watch at a later time. At some point, I will get them on the YouTubes.

Michelle: And there’s a Quarantini cookbook coming, Scott.

Scott: Alright.

Michelle: Recipe book. Yeah, wait for that.

Scott: My drink recipe book would be a pamphlet. It would have… [laughter] You could put it on a matchbook, do they still make those?

Michelle: Yeah. Alright, well, thank you two and we will talk to you soon. Thank you, everyone for listening to Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.


Outro: Well, time sure flies when you’re loading up on good food, good wine, and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at , where you can also nab a free wild game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media, and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV. For more Michelle, check out She runs her own marketing communications firm, handling PR, social media, and more for some of the biggest names in the outdoors. That’s it for now. We’ll see you next time when, again, we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

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