During the holidays I spend an inordinate amount of time in the grocery stores…Most of that time is spent wrestling with plastic bags ~ trying to open them ~ in the fresh produce section! Today I asked the lady that was working in the produce section how to open the bag. She told me a little trick. She said “Rub your fingers on a cucumber or some produce that has wax on it and then the wax on your fingers will help you open the bag easily.” I tried it and it works. Of course I would end up purchasing the cucumber, but until I find a better solution…please let me know any tricks you all have up your sleeve to open these tenacious bags.
Pear and Prosecco Cocktail
My bubbly friend Cindy treated me to lunch to celebrate the holidays. She served this lovely cocktail which was absolutely fabulous! Instead of using the traditional Barlett pears, she substituted Asian pears. The fun thing about Asian pears is that they are always ripe. They are picked at the perfect stage of ripeness so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you pluck them from the market.
Cindy purchases Asian Pears from Virginia Gold Orchard which is a fun day trip from Roanoke, Virginia: http://www.virginiagoldorchard.com
The original recipe for the Pear and Prosecco Cocktail is a Southern Living Christmas Cookbook recipe.
Pear simple syrup:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped peeled pear (or Asian Pear)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) pear liqueur
Ingredients to finish the cocktail:
6 thin pear slices (or Asian pear slices) Cindy put the pear slices in the pear simple syrup to keep them from turning brown while she prepared our cocktails.
1 (750-milliliter) bottle prosecco, chilled
Combine water, chopped pear, and sugar in a small saucepan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Pour through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a measuring cup; discard solids. Stir in liqueur. Divide evenly among 6 champagne flutes. Place 1 pear slice in each glass, and top with prosecco.
Cindy also served sparkling water with fresh cranberries and rosemary ~ refreshing and delicious!
Prosecco Raspberry Christmas Punch
The citrus spice sugar mixture requires it to sit overnight to infuse the citrus spice flavors into the sugar.
6 tablespoons fine sugar
Peel of one Meyer lemon
Peel of two Mandarin oranges
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
6 ounces fresh raspberries + (reserve a few of the raspberries to use for garnish)
1/2 cup gin
1.5 ounces blood orange liqueur
1.5 ounces Cointreau
1/4 cup Meyer lemon juice
1 bottle Prosecco
Citrus peel twists for garnish
In a small container with a tight-fitting lid combine the sugar, lemon and Mandarin orange peels, cinnamon stick and star anise. Seal the container and refrigerate overnight. Turn the container over several times while it is in the refrigerator to mix the sugar, spice and citrus.
Place raspberries in cocktail shaker. Muddle raspberries with the back of a wooden spoon. Add gin and stir gently. Add citrus sugar mixture, lemon juice, Cointreau and blood orange liqueur. Fill shaker with ice and shake to combine all ingredients. Pour mixture through fine mesh strainer into a pitcher. Add prosecco and stir gently. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve. Serve in champagne flutes garnished with raspberries and citrus peel twists.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays And Best Wishes For A Bright New Year!
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