Cranberry-Clementine Simple Syrup

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syrup2

Enjoy the bounty of the season?with this simple Cranberry-Clementine Simple ?Syrup recipe. Use it to jazz up cocktails (like my Suburban whiskey cocktail), drizzle for dazzling French toast or pour over ice cream for captivating color and flavor.

Cranberry-Clementine Simple Syrup
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Cranberry-Clementine Simple Syrup
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain into jar and cool for at least one hour.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
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The Suburban – Think Outside the Glass

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cocktail2I do love me a good Manhattan. So using a favorite as inspiration, I?ve created my own rendition of the classic cocktail. Call it the Suburban, well, cause I don?t live anywhere near Manhattan. Not even Manhattan Beach. I live in the burbs, but I promise, you don?t have to live there to enjoy it.

Made with a seasonal, homemade cranberry-clementine simple syrup (click here for the recipe) and rye whiskey, this simple but impressive cocktail will surely become one of your favorites. I know purists will turn up their noses (and close this window), but I have a little thing for?North American Whiskey. Though my go-to is usually?George Dickel or Blantons (which is a blend of corn, rye and malted barley), the Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye Canadian Whiskey is quite good in a cocktail. All on its own, you?ll find it sweet with caramel and molassas, distinctive with apples and pie spice and smooth, without being alcohol hot.

The Suburban - Think Outside the Glass
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The Suburban - Think Outside the Glass
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Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place ice in cocktail shaker, add whiskey, vermouth, syrup, and bitters.
  2. Rub the orange peel around the rim of the glass.
  3. Strain cocktail while pouring, garnish with orange peel.
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Meatball Bahn Mi – NOT Bang Me

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bahnmiYeah, there’s a story there.

Sadly, Bahn Mi will forever remind me of the ex-boyfriend and my most unfortunate but?funniest damn-you-auto-correct to date. It’s one of those memories that no matter how sour the relationship got, I’ll still always smile sweetly when I think of that day. Thanks Siri.

We were getting ready to go camping?(our first weekend outing)?and he was food shopping with his buddy, texting me?for lunch ideas. As I innocently suggested “Bahn Mi”, my brilliant and incorrigible Autocorrect changed my words?to “Bang Me” without my noticing, making me not only the joke of the weekend but?providing endless giggles.

Fast forward a few years, and it’s still my favorite sandwich, despite the bittersweet association to the ex. Though I’ve prepared this recipe a number of ways (with sliced pork tenderloin, and breaded?chicken strips), this version?(based on Bon Appetit’s with slight modifications) has become?my go-to.

It’s a bit of work, but the holy trinity of meats will sing hymns in your mouth?while?the candied jalape?os?(recipe here)?try to steal the spotlight.

Meatball Bahn Mi - Not Bang Me
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Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Meatball Bahn Mi - Not Bang Me
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Instructions
To Make Meatballs
  1. Gently mix all meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Roll meat into 1-inch balls and chill on baking sheet (you can skip this recipe if time is a factor, but you can also do this a day ahead).
  2. Heat sesame oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Saut? meatballs, turning on all sides until golden brown. Transfer to oven safe dish and keep warm until ready to use.
Pickled Vegetables
  1. Toss all ingredients for pickled veges into a ziplock bag and let stand at room temperature for one our, tossing occasionally.
Mayo
  1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl, cover and chill.
Sandwich Assembly
  1. Cut each roll in half and spread with chili mayo.
  2. Fill roll with 4-5 meatballs, top with drained pickled veges, cucumber, jalape?os and cilantro
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Candied Jalape?os – A Relish to Relish

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jalapenos2As often is my experience dining out, I enjoy something so much in a restaurant, I can?t wait to go home and recreate it. So, after recently enjoying a a juicy rib eye steak topped with candied jalape?os at Laurelhurst Market, that?s exactly what I did.

The plan was to make Bahn Mi sandwiches for lunch, which are typically topped with jalape?os. So taking that recipe?up another notch, I used this recipe for candying the jalape?os and discovered something so delicious, I now want to put them?on everything I make.

Candied jalape?os(also known as Cowboy Candy) are?the icing on the cake for my Meatball Bahn Mi sandwiches?(recipe here), but they’re?are equally devourable atop cornbread, grilled steaks, as a relish on burgers or brats, will spice up any old turkey sandwich, makes Gouda grilled cheese all grown up, and make crackers with cream cheese a gourmet treat. I?ll also be trying them out in a martini, on vanilla ice cream (maybe just the syrup) and on some form of pizza, but will let you know more about those experiments later.

You can store them in a jar in your fridge for about a month, and though they are great to eat right out of the pan, they do get spicier over time. So, make a big batch,?let them sit, and see how fun and versatile they are.

I honestly wish I had discovered these morsels of goodness years ago, or at least before the holidays, as I would have made them for everyone I know. I guess all my friends know what they?ll be getting next year!

Candied Jalape?os - A Relish to Relish
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Candied Jalape?os - A Relish to Relish
Print Recipe
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wearing gloves, remove the stems from the peppers and slice into 1/4-in rounds (do not removed seeds).
  2. In a large pot, bring vinegar, sugar, lime juice and spices to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 5 minutes, until mixture is syrupy and sugar is dissolved.
  3. Add the peppers, bring temperature back up to simmer, and cook about 5 minutes until jalape?os soften and darken.
  4. Using a slotted spoon, remove jalape?os from heat into one large or several smaller mason jars. (If you know how to can, and would like to store the peppers for months, prepare jars for canning prior to use).
  5. Return syrup to heat, bring up to a boil, and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in lime zest, and then ladle syrup over peppers.
  7. Seal and refrigerate for up to one month (if they last that long).
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WillaKenzie Aliette ? A Wine for all Seasons

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willakenzieThough red and white wines can be?perfect any time of year, there?s something to be said for drinking with the seasons. The heavy, hearty stews of fall and winter scream for big red wines; holiday season means a glass of bubbly at the ready; and summer salads and lighter fare typically call for bright whites.

And then there?s pinot noir. Its flexibility and food-friendly acidity makes it a perfect wine for all seasons, and WillaKenzie Estate 2012 Aliette (named after a beautiful woman and not to be confused with the french word “Alouette“) fills that bill and more.

Made of 100% pommard fruit, this wine is lithe, lush, silky, smooth and sexy. It?s a glass of pure romance and is exquisite when paired with the warmth of a crackling fire and someone to snuggle with. Add a mix of dinner and some enticing conversation and you’ll have yourself a night to remember.

Pay attention to the wine and you may notice flavors of red plum, ripe raspberries, soft vanilla and a dazzling spicy white pepper finish. The flavors are harmonious, the wine?s clarity is as translucent as Oregon pinot noir is known for, and for a warm vintage, you?d never know it, for the wine is perfectly balanced. Winemaker Thibaud Mandet is some kinda winemaker genius; his wines are dependable, distinctive, consistent and always, always delicious.

Pair this wine with seared duck breast and savory compote, braised short ribs with parsnip pur?e, duck confit with ratatouille, pork sugo over polenta and any salmon preparation. Enjoy with dinner or all on its own, this wine not disappoint.

Persimmon Drop Cookies

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My cousin Marla is a serious?baker; her loaves of bread rival any professional bakery and make me regularly long for my?days of gluten. Recently, she posted a gorgeous picture on Facebook of these Persimmon Drop Cookies that she made from a co-worker’s great grandmother’s recipe. And with persimmons aplenty and holiday cookie exchanges begging for something different and unique, I asked if I could share the recipe here.

Enjoy?with Kramer Vineyards Celebrate! Sparkling Thurgau (complete review here).

Photo credit and recipe adaptation by Marla Northcutt.

 

 

Persimmon Drop Cookies
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Servings
3.5 dozen cookies
Servings
3.5 dozen cookies
Persimmon Drop Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
3.5 dozen cookies
Servings
3.5 dozen cookies
Ingredients
Servings: dozen cookies
Instructions
  1. Cream sugar and shortening.
  2. Add egg.
  3. Mix together dry ingredients (except baking soda) and add to egg mixture.
  4. Mix the fruit with baking soda.
  5. Add fruit to egg mixture to combine.
  6. Using a tablespoon, drop onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 350? for 15-20 minutes.
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Celebrate! With Kramer Vineyards Sparkling M?ller Thurgau

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kramerI’m going to let you in a little secret. Kramer Vineyard’s?Sparkling M?ller Thurgau. You can thank me later.

While?Champagne is typically a blend of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot meuniur, other sparkling wines can be from any number of grapes. Cava is made?primarily from a grape called?macabeu, while Prosecco is made from the?Italian white variety, glera. It’s not often, however, that you find a winery producing a sparkling wine from M?ller Thurgau, and totally rocking it, but that’s exactly what winemaker Kimberly Kramer at Kramer Vinyeards is doing.

Kramer Vineyard’s Celebrate!?M?ller Thurgau is all estate-grown fruit and 100% stainless steel fermented, which allows the brightness and clarity to shine like a holiday star and lift your spirits. The tropical flavors of the grape add unexpected interest and delight and the bubbles dance gracefully across your tongue.

At just $22 (winery price, I found it for under $20 at my local market), it’s perfect for holiday parties, impressive as hostess gifts or any cause you may have to celebrate (the weekend, breaking up with a partner?who didn’t deserve you? I’m sure you can find a good excuse reason).

Beyond the bubbly goodness, you’ll be treated to a luscious, dry-style sparkler with tastes and aromas of juicy apricot, mandarin oranges, sweet persimmon and crispy asian pear. Serve?with spicy food, oysters, popcorn, brunches, light dessert (like these Persimmon Drop Cookies), or just pour a glass and enjoy it all on its own. It’s totally worthy.