Posts Labeled ‘Food & Wine’

Uses for Rosemary

Yesterday I did some long overdue gardening. The herb garden in particular had gotten way too unruly, most especially the rosemary bush. So I took my clippers and chopped away. When finished, I had a garbage bag full of rosemary sprigs and I could have trimmed even more.

I thought it would be a shame to throw it all away so I tried to come up with some uses for it. I made a bouquet out of some and then decided to also make a rosemary simple syrup. I used this recipe from The Kitchn. I plan to use the syrup to make rosemary lemonade or maybe a cocktail of some kind. The simple syrup will keep in the fridge for up to one month so I have time to figure it out.

Have excess herbs you don’t know what to do with? Try drying them, making herb butter, a simple syrup, flavored olive oil… so many options!

Spring Slow Cooker Recipes

I am a huge fan of the slow cooker. It is such a convenient way to put a meal on the table when your schedule is extra busy. It is not easy to find good slow cooker recipes, though. I have found the ones on Williams-Sonoma’s website to be particularly yummy. I wonder how these Spring recipes are from Better Homes & Gardens … the pulled pork sliders look delicious and I think I will need to try them!

Slow cook sliders via Better Homes and Gardens

Valentine’s Day Ice Cubes

Whether you are hosting guests for a Valentine’s Day get together or just want to show that special someone you care, this project is for you! These pomegranate filled ice cubes are easy to make and will instantly make any drink you serve that much more special.

 

Pomegranate Heart Ice Cubes

You can find a step-by-step process on how to make these ice cubs here, but essentially you just put three pomegranate seeds in a heart shaped ice tray. Freeze and then serve in your drink of choice!

 

Summertime Dining: Watermelon Salads

One of my favorite culinary treats in summer is watermelon. Refreshing and bright, watermelon is often a great picnic or BBQ food or a sweet dessert at the end of a simple meal. But watermelon also shines as a star in summer salads. The three below look delicious!

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint from Food & Wine

Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad with Balsamic Glaze from Bon Appetit

Watermelon Salad with Mint and Crispy Prosciutto via Real Simple

St Patrick’s Day Feast

Cathal Armstrong's menu via Epicurious

One of my favorite restaurants in the DC area is Restaurant Eve. I particularly love going for lunch and every time I do I leave so satisfied. The food is always delicious and the atmosphere is cozy and relaxing.

Behind all great restaurants are great chefs and Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve is no exception. That’s why when I found this Irish feast on Epicurious designed by him specifically for St Patrick’s Day I couldn’t resist sharing it. Doesn’t it look delicious?!

 

How does one say “Bon Appetit” in Irish?!

Champagne mix-ins

fun mix-in ideas from Better Homes and Gardens

I made a classic champagne punch for a dinner party the other night and it was a big hit. Champagne (or prosecco for that matter) makes for such a festive start to a party. You can make a punch, or a classic champagne cocktail like a French 75, or offer mix-ins for guests to create their own bubbly beverage. This list of mix-ins from Better Homes and Gardens has some delicious options.

Cheers!

Cranberry-Cherry: Combine 3 cups cranberry juice, 1/4 cup Triple Sec, and 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice. For each serving, pour about 1/4 cup cranberry juice mixture into each champagne glass. Add about 1/4 cup Champagne, filling glass nearly to the top. Gently stir with an up- and-down motion to mix the drink without destroying the carbonation of the Champagne.

Gordal/QueenLavender Syrup: Heat equal parts sugar and water slowly in a saucepan to dissolve sugar. After the sugar dissolves and while the mixture is still hot, add a pinch of lavender; cover and steep up to 2 hours. Strain the syrup through a sieve. Refrigerate in a sealed container. Add a one-count pour into a flute of Champagne and add a lavender flower head as a stir stick.

Citrus Punch: Stir together one bottle of Champagne, 3/4 cup pineapple juice, one bottle of dry white wine, and 1/4 cup lemon juice. Place a sugar cube in each champagne flute and top with the Champagne mixture.

Cranberry Juice: Place one sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute, pour 2 tablespoons of cranberry juice over the top, and fill each glass with Champagne. Finish with a wooden skewer of fresh cranberries as a stir stick.

Pomegranate Juice: Splash 1 ounce of chilled pomegranate juice into 3 ounces of chilled Champagne. Float pomegranate seeds in champagne flutes, if desired.

Peach Puree: In a blender, combine one package of thawed frozen peaches with 1/4 cup sugar; blend until smooth. Stir in 2-1/2 cups orange juice and 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice. Stir with a bottle of Champagne.

Ginger-Infused Syrup: In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup light-color corn syrup, 1/4 cup water, and 3 tablespoons finely snipped crystallized ginger. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup vodka; cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for 4 hours or overnight. Strain to remove the candied ginger; discard ginger. Add a one-count pour into a flute of Champagne.

Brandy-Soaked Pomegranate Seeds: Soak pomegranate seeds in brandy for 4 hours. Float in a flute of Champagne.

How to Have a Well-Stocked Bar

Beckett Bar Cart from Williams Sonoma

Recently, I worked on an at-home party where we were offering an open bar. It required purchasing some of the key staples of a bar and ensuring it will be well-stocked for any request.

Today I found this great article in Matchbook magazine that has a host of tips and tricks on stocking a bar. It covers everything from bar tools to decor to a comprehensive list of alcohol and mixers. If you are considering building or updating your home bar, it’s well worth the read.

Once you’ve purchased your supplies, check out Elle Decor‘s review of the top 10 best bar carts.

 

 

Simple, delicious cranberry sauce

One of my favorite dishes at Thanksgiving is cranberry sauce. The canned kind is good (I love how it comes out as one giant cylinder on the plate!) but homemade is even better. Here is my favorite cranberry sauce recipe, courtesy of Food & Wine magazine. It is easy and delicious.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce with Fuji Apple

One 12-ounce bag fresh cranberries
1 large Fuji apple, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water

  1. Line an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap and spray the plastic wrap with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries with the apple, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently until the cranberries are completely broken down and the sauce is very thick, about 15 minutes. Scrape the cranberry sauce into the prepared pan and refrigerate until chilled, about 3 hours. Invert the jelly onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap. Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary sprigs. Slice with a serrated knife before serving.
MAKE AHEAD The cranberry sauce can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled.

 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Nutella!

A dear friend of mine is crazy for Nutella. And I mean who wouldn’t be? The chocolate, hazelnut goodness can turn a piece of bread into a sinfully good sweet. It’s magical! Here is a roundup of some desserts that feature the beloved spread. Click on the photos below to take you to the recipes.

nutella rice krispie treats from Liv Life

nutella caramel hazelnut brownies from Bella Alimento

Molten chocolate nutella cake from US Masala

nutella sandwich cookies from A Beautiful Mess

Nutella Mallow Pillow Pockets from Picky Palate

homemade nutella via The Eccentric Cook

 

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies from Babble

nutella buttercream cupcakes from Babble

no bake nutter butter nutella pie from Tasty Kitchen

 

Tea Forte cocktail infusions

Tea Forte, well-known for its delicious assortment of tea flavors, is now branching out into the world of mixology. They offer several different infusion flavors that quickly turn a regular cocktail into something fresh and creative. Simply pour alcohol over the infuser, wait for it to steep, and get ready for a delicious beverage.

Their Mixology Set, with two infusion chambers, eight infusers, and a recipe booklet would make a great holiday gift.