Showing posts with label Alcohol/Spirits. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alcohol/Spirits. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giveaway: See, Mix, Drink, a cocktail info-graphic book

Are you ready for some swanky cocktail parties this holiday season? Perhaps this long-lasting economic downturn has you wishing you were in the 50's with those nightly drinks as soon as hubby walks through the door. You don't have to know a thing about drinking or mixing drinks with See, Mix, Drink.

It's all quite visual with the info-graphics. Hardly any reading required. Just take a look through the book with the OpenBook widget below to see for yourself.

If you're visual like me, you'll love how this book is organized. It's all color-coded and full of graphics and photos. It's like a visual tutorial on every page, isn't it?

This is just great for beginners who have no idea how to mix a drink, or for more advanced home bartenders who love to mix, but don't have the myriad of cocktail recipes memorized like the professionals do. There's also lots of information and details for those of us who love to learn.

James Bond fans may already know that a Vesper is named after the beautiful female agent Vesper Lynd. The author tells us it was first served to Ian Fleming at the Dukes Hotel in London prior to writing Casino Royale. History buffs might appreciate a Black Velvet was created when England and Queen Victoria were mourning Prince Albert in 1891. The bartender at the Brooks Club thought Champagne was too celebratory so he added stout.

Brian D. Murphy says his book which focuses on the 100 most requested cocktails "empowers readers to become instant cocktail-making experts."

The recovering investment banker includes the Bellini, the Golden Cadillac, the Greyhound and a Moscow Mule to take us to Boston, the Bronx, Acapulco, an Alabama Slammer, a Singapore Sling, and even Paradise itself. The cast of characters gets colorful with Bloody Mary, the Pink Lady, Harvey Wallbanger, Tom Collins, Freddie Fudpucker, Black Russians, White Russians, the Godmother, the Godfather and Jack Rose as they watch the Blue Lagoon for a Tequila Sunrise and a Tequila Sunset. I think some of them might be in the mood for some Sex on the Beach!

It will be a Dark & Stormy night for a Fog Cutter. The Corpse Reviver used Black Magic to bring back Zombies and Mudslides during this Hurricane so we'll need a Hot Toddy before we can rejoin the New Yorker in his Tuxedo and drive from Manhattan in his Ferrari for a Metropolitan Martini and a French Martini at the Waldorf. We'll need lots of Painkillers and Mimosas in the morning, but in the meantime it's Mai Tai!

You too can have this great party enhancing book ... for FREE! There will be two winners of See, Mix, Drink thanks to the generosity of Hachette Book Group. They will mail one copy directly to your street address in the USA or Canada. "Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if they win the same title in two or more contests, they will receive only one copy of the title in the mail."
Title: See, Mix, Drink
Author: Brian D. Murphy
Publisher: Little, Brown, and company, a division of Hachette Book Group
Category: COOKING
Publish Date: 10/19/2011
Price: $14.99/$16.50
ISBN: 9780316176712
Pages: 232
Size: 6" x 9"

To enter use the new Rafflecopter Widget below, and don't miss my other giveaway for the My Memories Digital Scrapbook Software. Good Luck!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Strawberry glaze recipe for ice cream, cheesecake, yogurt, etc.

I hope you all had a good Passover or a happy Easter.  If you are participating in Monday, Mmm ... Dessert, then be sure to leave your post's link below.

Strawberry season is just starting and will be at its peak all through the month of May and into June depending on your climate and the strawberry varieties.  It's time to enjoy them, every which way we can.  This is a great recipe to use over sundaes or any kind of ice cream.  You can decorate cakes and cheesecakes.  It's delicious poured over yogurt, or it can be mixed into some sour cream for a very sweet and fast dessert.  I know you will enjoy this strawberry glaze recipe.  Enjoy!

Stella ponders whether or not she should steal yet another strawberry from the "human's" curious display of temptation
Flickr/Piccolina Photography
Sweet Stella Steals Strawberries.
Strawberry Glaze Recipe
2 cups strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons liqueur of choice (optional)

Wash and hull strawberries.  Dice 1 cup of the strawberries and pulse the other cup of strawberries in food processor to a thick puree.  Do not liquify or over-process.  Pour all strawberries, sugar, and cornstarch into a saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened.  Remove from heat, add optional liqueur, cover and let stand until cool.

Help spread the word about Monday, Mmm ... Dessert. Tweet this post.

Go post your desserts at A Well-Seasoned Life too.  Kim has just started a brand new dessert party, just like me.  Also invited to share this recipe at Carolyn's Strawberry Linky which continues through May 1st., and at Eating in Winnipeg.

Monday, March 21, 2011

French Desserts: Creme patissiere or sweet custard recipe

A creme patissiere is a sweet custard.  It can be eaten on it's own or it can be used to fill desserts such as eclairs, choux a la creme, or French fruit tarts.

When making a fruit tart, the French also take the fast and easy step to cover the fruit with a glaze.  (Click on the link for the quick recipe.)

Crème Pâtissière
Vanilla Creme Patissiere
Creme Patissiere Recipe
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon alcohol (optional) - possible choices are Chambord, rum, brandy, Kahlua, Frangelico, Kirsh, or cointreau

Be careful not to boil this custard while you are preparing it.  In a saucepan over medium heat, combine flour, sugar and salt with milk, and stir until smooth and thick.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Break eggs in a small bowl and stir in a small amount of the hot sauce.  Return mixture to the saucepan while stirring.  Add butter and continue stirring until thickened.  Add vanilla and optional alcohol, and stir.  Be sure NOT to boil custard.  Serve warm or cold.  Cover until cool.  If using in a pastry shell, it can be added to the parbaked shell while still hot.

Creme Patissiere
Piping creme patissiere into a tart shell.

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to pair desserts and wines

Business class airline lunch dessert:
Selection of cheese with grapes
(Greyerzer, Appenzeller and Camembert)
Roll with butter
Yogurt creme with fruits of the forest
compote and fresh berries
Wine: Cuvee of Pinot Noir, Gamaret,
De Chaunac - Kloster Einsiedeln,
Schwyz, Switzerland 2008
The sweetness of a dessert should not be overpowering or cloying, detracting from the flavors of the dessert itself.  This is particularly important when pairing with a dessert wine.

Dessert wines must be sweeter than the dessert.  Otherwise, the wine's acidity will become too prominent and taste bitter.

You'll notice that in Europe, cheeses and fruit out of hand are usually part of the dessert course.  In this picture, a yogurt cream is also added -- a good pairing with wine since yogurt is more tangy than sweet.

Submitted to Works For Me Wednesday

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Apricot or Red Jelly Glaze Recipe For French Tarts

stohrer patisserie, paris
Flickr/Simmer Till Done
Stohrer Patisserie, Paris, France
First, I want to congratulate all the Girl Scouts past and present.  Today marks the 99th anniversary of the founding of Girl Scouts.   That's pretty impressive.  I blogged about it earlier this week and even included a couple of original recipes for Girl Scout Cookies, so click on the link to see more.

Now, let's talk about French tarts.  You know how they glisten so beautifully, and it makes them look picture-perfect?  One of the ways to make your French tarts glisten is to use an apricot glaze or a red jelly glaze just like so many French housewives and pastry shops do.

It's super easy, and it will add elegance to your desserts.  Just follow the directions in the recipe below.

This post will be submitted to Works For Me Wednesday.

Apricot or Red Jelly Glaze Recipe
(for French tarts)
3/4 cup strained apricot jam or red jam such as strawberry or raspberry
1-2 tablespoons alcohol such as brandy, rum, or Chambord

Over very low heat, melt 3/4 cup of strained jam with alcohol.  Stir for 2-3 minutes.

The glaze can then be painted on top of fruit tarts or fruit tartlets.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fast, Easy New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

You don't have to live in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, and even mid-week, you can make a fast and easy King Cake with a little help from refrigerated canned crescent rolls like the ones made famous by Pillsbury.

Purple for Justice
Gambino's "King of King Cakes" from New Orleans, LA
Instead of forming crescents, you'll form a ring -- coffee cake style -- which you will decorate with colored sugar crystals.  The regal purple means justice, green means faith, and gold or yellow stands for power.  Inside you'll tuck in a "pink baby," but if you don't have one, you can use a large fava bean or any small charm which won't melt in the oven or get swallowed by an absent-minded guest.  The tradition says that the person who gets the pink baby will bring or make next year's King Cake.

If you want to go all out, you can also fill your king cake with jam; cream cheese filling (recipe below); almond paste; or frangipane (click for recipe).

You can read more about the French origins of King Cake by clicking to my post with recipe about the Gallette des Rois.

To decorate for other holidays or seasons, use different colors.  You could even use this easy cake to celebrate a sport team victory or a school graduation -- just change the colors.

King Cake Recipe
2 cans refrigerated crescent rolls (12 individual crescent rolls)

Cream Cheese Filling (optional):
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins, (microwave in alcohol, orange juice or hot water for 1 minute to plump up)
1/2 cup pecan pieces

1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Purple, green, and gold or yellow sugar crystals

Preheat oven to 350 F.  If using optional cream cheese filling, combine all ingredients well and set aside.  Or have ready another optional filling such as jam, almond paste, or frangipane (click for frangipane recipe).

Follow package directions for crescent rolls with the exception of forming a ring instead of individual crescents. Form a ring by overlapping the long sides of the triangles with the pointy ends toward the center.  Press the seams together, leaving the ends of the triangles unsealed so you can fold them up over the filling.

Spread the chosen filling on the crescent ring and tuck in the "pink baby" or fava (see text above recipe).

Fold over the ends of each triangle, enclosing the filling.

Bake according to package directions until golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Prepare icing.  Whisk milk, vanilla and powdered sugar until smooth. Add more milk if necessary for icing consistency. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake and allow some to slowly drip down the sides.

To decorate for Mardi Gras, sprinkle purple, green, and gold or yellow sugar crystals in alternating sections.

To decorate for other holidays or seasons, use different colors.  You could even use this easy cake to celebrate a sport team victory or a school graduation -- just change the colors.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Celebrate National Hot Cocoa Day with spirit and cheers

The official celebration of National Hot Cocoa Day is next monday - get ready to celebrate with these all grownup recipes.  They have just enough alcohol to keep you warm and cheerful on a cold night at home or have your friends wanting more at your next swanky Christmas party.

Need I say drink responsibly?

Click these links to read yesterday's post for 3 child-friendly hot cocoa versions and to enter my latest cookbook giveaway.

Grownups Only Hot Cocoa Recipes 
(Click here for child-friendly recipes)

Chambord White Chocolate Cocoa

Chambord White Chocolate Cocoa

1 - 1 1/2 oz. white chocolate sauce
6 oz. steamed milk
3/4 oz. Chambord®
3/4 oz. crème de cacao
Garnish: Sweetened whipped cream
and fresh raspberry

Fill glass coffee cup with boiling water to pre-heat - then pour out water. Mix white chocolate sauce and steamed milk in coffee cup. Add Chambord and crème de cacao. Garnish with whipped cream and top with raspberry.

Caribbean Hot Cocoa

1.5 oz Zaya Rum
0.5 oz brown crème de cacao
Garnish: 1 oz whipped cream
and cocoa powder

Pour all ingredients (except the whipped cream) into an Irish Coffee glass. Stir well. Float the whipped cream on top of the drink. Dust with cocoa powder.

Mexican Hot Cocoa
Mexican Hot Cocoa

1 ounce Mexican chocolate or bittersweet chocolate
1 cups milk
2/3 tablespoons sugar
Corralejo Reposado Tequila (to taste)
Pinch salt
Whipped Cream
Cinnamon Sticks For Serving/Stirring

Break up the chocolate into smaller pieces using a sharp knife.  In a small saucepan, combine the chopped chocolate, milk, sugar, and salt over medium-low flame. Heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and milk is very hot, but not boiling, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into mugs. Add tequila to taste and stir. Add a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with a cinnamon stick.