On our recent safari trip to Africa our game drives began just as the sun was rising. Sometimes I felt like we were waking up the animals. I loved watching the lions stretch and yawn just like my pet cats at home do, but on a much larger scale.
The mornings were chilly…40 degrees Fahrenheit in an open-air jeep. The guide gave us wool blankets, fleece lined ponchos and “bush babies” (hot water bottles with a fleece cover) to keep us warm until several hours later when the sun began to warm the earth.
After a long day of morning and afternoon game drives, with brunch and a siesta in between, we were ready for our sundowner. A beautiful way to transition from the heat of the day and the calm quiet night, our sundowners were prepared by our safari guide, often with a little cocktail table covered with a white tablecloth, topped with a candle, gin and tonics and flavorful snacks.
The sundowner snacks were served from a three tier metal container (reminded me of the metal food containers that boy scouts carry on hikes). The snacks were easy to pick up with our hands, one or two bites and easy to transport – puff pastry, dried fruit and beef jerky.
My recipe for Boursin Cheese Palmiers is perfect as a sundowner snack:
BOURSIN CHEESE PALMIERS
The palmiers can be prepared a day ahead. Prepare the palmiers, do not bake, place them on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Bake them just before service.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 (5.2 ounce package) package Boursin herb and garlic cheese
1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (Mozzarella and Provolone, Parmesan,Fontina, Romano and Asiago)
Place puff pastry sheet on a cutting board that has been dusted with flour. With a rolling pin, roll the dough until it’s 13 by 13-inches square. Spread the puff pastry sheet evenly with the Boursin cheese. Sprinkle the Italian blend cheese over the Boursin cheese. Roll each short end to the center of the pastry, making sure to roll tightly and evenly. Freeze rolled log for 20 minutes, until very firm but not frozen. Slice crosswise into 3/8-inch slices. Place the palmiers on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with vegetable spray. Brush tops of palmiers with melted butter. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 6 to 10 minutes or until nicely browned. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn.)
We enjoyed Amarula in our coffee. Amarula is a cream liqueur from South Africa. It tastes much like Bailey’s Irish Cream. It is made with sugar, cream and the fruit of the African marula tree.
Here’s a rich, velvety and seductive Amarula martini from the Cocktail Hunter: http://www.cocktailhunter.com/
- 2 oz Amarula
- 1 oz Hazelnut Liqueur
- 1/2 oz Banana Liqueur
- 1 oz Cream
1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
3. Shake vigorously.
4. Strain into a martini glass.
5. Garnish with an orange twist.
The recipe is from the Amarula official web site. This is a cocktail to fire all your senses with its chocolaty, creamy, and hints of nut flavor.
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