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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Peppermint Martini

This recipe was featured in the KC Star a few weeks back. The recipe comes from Mike Catlin of My Martini in Arlington TX. It sounded like the perfect recipe to serve for Christmas, so after going to 3 different stores to find the 3 liquors that go in to it, I finally had the ingredients. I then almost forgot to serve them. So after mixing them and serving them, my family and I decided that they were kind of gross. So this recipe is posted as one of those that you should not try.

Peppermint Martini

10 oz. pepper vodka (yes, that is pepper. Absolute has one)
4 oz. white creme de menthe
1 oz. peppermint schnapps
Mini candy canes for garnish

In a tall martini pitcher, mix liquors with ice.
Strain into frosty glasses, garnish and serve.

Blackberry Wine Cake

This recipe comes from my friend Jan. She served this for dessert once and I thought it would be the perfect cake for Christmas dinner. The recipe calls for the cake to be made in a bundt pan, but my sister gave me this snowflake cake pan for Christmas and I thought it would look nice. As it was, the cake turned out very nice in the pan and the flavor is amazing. Since the cake uses Jell-o and wine, you can use any flavor combo, like peach Jell-O and peach wine if you so desire.
Blackberry Wine Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 3 oz. box blackberry Jell-O
4 eggs
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 cup blackberry wine
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Grease bundt pan and sprinkle nuts on the bottom. Mix the rest of the ingredients, beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Pour batter over nuts. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees.
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup blackberry wine
Combine in a small saucepan and bring to a hard boil. When cake is done, remove from oven and pour 2/3 of glaze over the bottom of warm cake while still in the pan. Let it cool for 30 minutes and turn out of pan. Add more powdered sugar to thicken glaze (approx. 1/4 cup) and drizzle over cake.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Classic Creme Brulee

Creme Brulee is one of my favorite desserts. If I order dessert at a restaurant , it's usually creme brulee. This is a very easy recipe that I have been using for years. I served it Sunday night for some friends and they thought it was wonderful. The recipe comes a little book called Elegantly Easy Creme Brulee by Debbie Puente. Along with this recipe comes some very nice variations and other custard type desserts.

Classic Creme Brulee

8 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles.

Divide among 6 ramekins. Place in a baking dish and pour warm water 1/2 the way up the sides of the ramekins, making sure not to get any on the mixture. Bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Larger, deeper ramekins may require more time. Remove from oven and leave in water bath until cooled. remove cups and chill at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of sugar over each. Melt sugar with small, hand held torch. If you do not have a torch, place under broiler to melt sugar. Rechill for a few minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chicken Noodle Soup

I recently purchased Tyler Florence's new book Dinner At My Place and so far have not been disappointed. The cook book is full of what look like some great recipes. I prepared this chicken soup the other night and it was good and simple. using a store bought rotisserie chicken makes this one a no brainer.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 store bought deli roast chicken
2 Qts. cold water
2 carrots, washed and sliced into circles
3 celery ribs, roughly chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/4 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (4 sprigs), leaves only
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups dried pasta noodles
1/2 lemon, juice only
1/4 bunch fresh parsley (about 4 sprigs), roughly chopped

Place chicken in large stockpot and add water, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and thyme. Place over medium heat and slowly bring to a boil to extract flavors of chicken. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, then remove chicken. Remove meat from chicken; shred meat. Discard bones and skin. Season chicken stock in pot with salt and pepper; add chicken and pasta. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked. Finish with lemon juice and parsley.