December 29, 2011
What’s New Year’s Eve without a sparkly cocktail? Although I know folks are firmly on either side of the fence about them. ‘Tis the season, I say.
Just about everyone loves a little (or perhaps a lot, God love ’em) bubbly this time of year. Give your glasses of sparkling wine, Cava, Prosecco, Asti, Crémant, Champagne (the choices really are almost endless, really), a little extra glee with a splash of Middle West Spirits‘ OYO Stone Fruit. This year’s seasonal vodka is kissed with sweetness from Montmorency cherries, peaches, apricots and loveliness. I think it pairs deliciously with an Asti (which deserves another look; it’s not what it used to be) and is perhaps even better garnished with a homemade maraschino.
Cheers to another great year!
OYO Stone Fruit Sparkler, makes one
1.5 oz Stone Fruit Vodka, chilled
1 dash orange bitters (Fee Brothers are good)
5 oz sparkling wine
In a champagne saucer or flute, combine the vodka, bitters and top with the sparkling wine. Imbibe.
Playlist included Shampain, by Marina and the Diamonds.
December 24, 2011
May all your Christmas wishes come true.
Linens from great grandma, dishes from an aunt and uncle, glassware from mother-in-law, antique ornaments from Grandmother, antique ball jars from a Twitter friend, food from our kitchen. (Plus cute clementine place card holders for whimsy.) I love a meaningful table.
Playlist included I’ll Be Home for Christmas, by the Carpenters.
December 15, 2011
In the Abode of the Dead they are known exclusively as moules, and, when served, Hades will eat them in breathtaking quantities. They are mussels — tiny, meaty, sweet little jewels that are revered like no other ingredient in these parts. I must admit, they are strangely beautiful. Their black and pearly shells contrast with the orange-yellow flesh inside, and a full pan of these yawning bivalves is quite striking indeed.
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December 10, 2011
I love pressing a small gift into the hands of a host when I visit. And you know me, I like it even more if it’s a quick little homemade something.
This cranberry clementine chutney takes just a few minutes of care and stirring and is quintessentially wintery. It is fantastic with cheese, delicious with pork, lovely smoothed on buttery toast. The ingredients aren’t at all exotic, but combined transcend into something special. And this is one of the easiest recipes ever: combine and stir. You can do it!
Spiced Cranberry Clementine Chutney, makes one small jar, with a bit leftover for you to enjoy
12 oz fresh cranberries
2 clementines, zest and juice
1/4 c dried currants
3/4 c sugar
1 whole star anise
1 cinnamon stick
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December 7, 2011
Tonight’s dinner wasn’t really planned, per se.
And lately I’ve been trying to formulate a way to express just how meals come together at our house. Because I think it’s kind of important. Cooking is a part of almost all that I do. But not in an intrusive, takes-up-all-my-time kind of thing. It’s easy. I keep saying that because I think everyone can look at how they use their time and fill in a spare five or ten minutes with a few small tasks that really elevate meals into something special. Even if a portion of it is takeaway from a grocery store.
Yesterday I picked up some crab cakes from Fresh Market (December is buy one get one free salmon fillets and crab cakes on Tuesdays). And I knew that I had a good piece of butternut squash in the fridge. A whole roasted pie pumpkin from over the weekend was in there, too.
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