Tag Archives: punch

Make Your Holidays Sparkle With These Cocktails ~ Pear Prosecco Cocktail+ Raspberry Prosecco Christmas Punch

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.

cork

blog cocktail

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.

Serves 6

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.

december pear

water

Cindy also served sparkling water with fresh cranberries and rosemary ~ refreshing and delicious!

Prosecco Raspberry Christmas Punch

Serves 4

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

Ice

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.

Christmas kittyChristmas kitty maxineChristmas kitty ziggy

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays And Best Wishes For A Bright New Year!

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Tempting Tailgating Recipes

My husband and I recently attended a Tailgating Extravaganza Cooking Class at the Shenandoah Club in Roanoke, Virginia.  Chef Roger Light shared with us his favorite tailgating recipes.  And this was no “mess o’ chicken wings”…this was fancy tailgating with surprisingly simple recipes! Thank you Chef Light!

sangria

We were greeted with our choice of Sangria:  Traditional Red Wine and Fresh Fruit Sangria or Falling Pear Punch.

Here’s Chef Light’s recipe for his fabulous Falling Pear Punch ~

Falling Pear Punch

20 ounces GREY GOOSE®  La Poire (Pear)

15 ounces Sparkling Wine

5 ounces Grand Marnier ®

5 ounces Pear Puree

5 ounces Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

7.5 ounces Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a punch vessel and chill using a large block of ice. Stir gently. Serve in cocktail cups with pear slice garnish/ground cinnamon on top.

This would produce a punch that has a volume of 57.5 ounces.

sangria cup

I consider Sangria to be the 5th food group since it has so many ingredients that are good for us! So I was very happy to get Chef Light’s recipe:

Sangria

1 bottle Red Wine

1/3 bottle Orange Juice

1/3 bottle Vodka

1/3 bottle B&B Brandy

1 Green Apple, diced

1 Orange, zested

1 Cinnamon Stick, cracked

1 cup Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  Cover and chill for several hours in the refrigerator. Pour sangria into a pitcher and serve ice-cold in chilled cocktail cups.

shrimp

The first tailgating tidbit we were served was pickled shrimp. Perfect for stand-up snacking at the game. Followed by delicious deviled eggs, warm bar nuts, ham and gruyere baguettes with mustard butter and avocado and bleu cheese dip with apples.

tailgate eggs

 

Then came the GRILL! We feasted on grilled beef tenderloin and salmon. One of the most delightful treats of the evening was the Texas Barbecue Dry Rub Ribs ~ grilled over charcoal.

tailgate ribs

…here’s Chef Light’s recipe ~ serve with Harvest (Vinegar Based) Slaw

Texas Barbecue Dry Rub

2 tablespoons Chili Powder

2 tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 teaspoons Black Pepper, freshly ground

1 teaspoon Dry Mustard

1 teaspoon Cumin, ground

1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper, ground

tailgate sea salt carmel peanut browniesCoffee with hearts

And for dessert ~ moist chocolately caramel sea salt peanut brownies.

tailgate chilitailgate chili jar

Chef Light sent us home with “Chili-Cornbread Jars” to  enjoy at our leisure.  What a fabulous idea – spicy chili layered with homemade cornbread topped with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onion. Perfect for a hearty snack before the big game!

HAPPY TAILGATING!

wine not sign

Kittens

Kitten Update:  Ziggy Elman (grey kitten) and Artie Shaw (tabby kitten) are lovin’ life in their new forever home (day 3).  They are devouring their food, ignoring kitten toys because the other kitten’s tail and my fingers and toes are much better to chew on! Ziggy likes to put both feet in his water bowl (go figure)!

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fiesta-friday-2016

 

 

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