Thanksgiving Cocktails

I don’t know about you but I love Cocktails. Thanksgiving is one of those days where I love to plan out some good spirits to enjoy throughout the day. Since I’ve already shared my Thanskgiving Must Haves with you, I wanted to share my cocktail menu!

As always, wake-up time requires some good coffee! I’ll probably get out my french press and enjoy some delicious Kona Coffee that I picked up a few weeks ago. Who knows, maybe some Baileys will find its way into my mug? :)

Next up…Blood Orange Mimosas. All morning long. Our favorite thing to do is watch the parade while sipping on Mimosas! I just fill the champagne glass up 2/3 of the way with champagne, and top it off with a little bit of freshly squeezed Blood Orange juice. You don’t want to dilute the champagne too much, lol. Then I garnish with a slice of a Blood Orange.

This year we will have two featured cocktails, all from the wonderful Sunny Anderson! I’ve tasted these cocktails at her Sliders Party at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, and they were out of this world!

Sunny’s Brooklyn Iced Tea

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces limoncello (recommended: Toschi Italian Lemon Liqueur)
  • 3 ounces dark rum
  • 3 ounces tequila
  • 1 (24-ounce) bottle sweetened iced tea
  • Ice
  • Lemon slices, to garnish

Directions

Pour the limoncello, rum, tequila and tea into a pitcher filled with ice and stir vigorously. Serve in ice filled highball glasses with a straw. Garnish with a lemon slice on the rim.

My tip – I like to freeze some lemon slices and then throw one in – it not only gives it some great flavor, but keeps it cold without watering it down!

Mr. Curly Fry is a HUGE fan of this cocktail. It’s his absolute favorite. So I knew I had to make it for Thanksgiving. I enjoy it very much myself. Since this is definitely a One Curly Fry Fave, we always keep these ingredients on hand!

Bourbon Cider Twist

Ingredients

  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) bourbon
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • Lime wedges, for garnish
  • Ice, as needed

Directions

Add the apple cider, bourbon, and the lime juice to a pitcher and stir. Pour over ice. Serve with a lime wedge.

I had this cocktail at the latest Sliders party and it was delicious! I knew it definitely had to make the cut for the Thanksgiving Cocktails!! I’ll probably freeze a few lime wedges for the garnish!

What Cocktails are making their way to your Thanksgiving table this year?

Sunny Anderson’s Baked Purple Mash

I was shopping in Reading Terminal Market over the weekend and I was so excited when I came across Purple Potatoes! When I saw them I knew I had to get them so I could make Sunny Anderson’s Baked Purple Mash. She made this dish on the Comforting Classics episode of her show Cooking for Real and it looked absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3 pounds purple new potatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, warmed
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, divided
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Coat the bottom and sides of an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter. Set aside.

In a large pot, add enough water to fill 3/4 of the way, and then add the potatoes, garlic and a hefty pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until a fork is easily inserted, but the potatoes still hold their form, about 20 minutes. Strain in a colander and place back over the empty pot, allowing the remaining heat to evaporate some of the moisture from the potatoes and garlic, just a few minutes. Mash the contents of the pot well, and then add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and the heavy cream. Mash until smooth, but if you like it chunky, leave it chunky. Then stir in 1 cup pepper jack cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Spoon into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly. Stir together the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, 2 tablespoons jack cheese and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the top of the potatoes. Bake in the oven until the top is golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Let me just say how wonderful this was! I loved how creamy the mashed potatoes were. It was the perfect amount of cheese, and I loved the flavor that the garlic added.  Mine don’t look as purple compared to how Sunny’s turned out. Maybe her potatoes had more purple in them. :)

I served it with Flat Iron Steak and Corn on the Cob, and this meal was a huge hit!  I have these little personal Au Gratin dishes and I figured they would work out well for this recipe!  They turned out very good!

The only change I made to the recipe was that I substituted cheddar cheese for the pepper jack cheese. We are not pepper jack cheese people so I made a cheese substitution and it worked out very well.  I loved the crunchy topping! I’m a huge panko bread crumb fan (that’s all I keep in the house!) and so I was excited to see it listed in the recipe.

This recipe will definitely go in my recipe box to make again.

Week 8: What’s in the Box?

You know what today is! What’s in the Box Wednesday! Now I know a lot of people aren’t really interested in getting Lettuce in their box, but I am! So I’m happy to see the Romaine Lettuce in the box this week! I plan on doing a nice salad with Romaine Lettuce, Radicchio, White Baby Cucumbers, Grilled Chicken, Dried Cherries and Gorgonzola! This is the perfect lunch to take to work.

I love to steam Broccoli for a nice side dish, but the broccoli I got wasn’t even enough for one person! So I cleaned it and popped it in the freezer to use at a later date with some broccoli that I already have in there.

This week there’s a new kid in town – Cauliflower! Now, I’m not normally a fan of cauliflower, but when I went to watch Sunny Anderson tape a few episodes of Cooking for Real, she made this dish called Cauliflower in Curry Cream Sauce. That dish smelled SO GOOD when she was cooking it that I need to try it. I said that when Cauliflower came in my CSA box I was going to try making her recipe. I have everything else that I need for the recipe, and now I have the Cauliflower!  I can’t wait to see how it tastes!

I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with the Rainbow Chard – I’ve never had it before. How do you prepare it?


THE BOX:

1 Bunch Fresh Sweet Onions – Certified Organic – Eagle View Organics

1 Bunch Rainbow Chard – Certified Organic – Friends Road Organics

1 Head Broccoli – Certified Organic – Organic Willow Acres

1 Head Romaine Lettuce – Certified Organic – Bellview Organics

1 Head Radicchio – Certified Organic – Bellview Organics

1 Bag White Cucumbers – Certified Organic – Liberty Branch Farm

1 Bunch Curly Parsley – Certified Organic – Noble Herbs

1 Head White Cauliflower – Certified Organic – Plum Hill Organics

2 Green Zucchini - Certified Organic – Rolling Ridge Farm

FRUIT SHARE:

1 lb. Sour Cherries – IPM – Cherry Hill Orchards

1 Half Pint Blueberries – Certified Organic – Little Buck Organics (Sourced from Hammonton, NJ)

1 Half Pint Black Raspberries – Certified Organic – Maple Valley Organics

So…Sour Cherries. I’m excited! I love fresh cherries. I’m going to make a Cherry Pie this weekend with the cherries that I got, but I think I need to buy some more because I don’t think the amount I got will be enough.  My mouth is watering for it as I type! I’ll use the Blueberries in Smoothies.  I was so excited to see the Black Raspberries. My Grandmother had black raspberry bushes in her yard and I always picked them as a kid. They are delicious! I’ll probably eat those with Strawberries and Raspberries for breakfast.

Get Your Tickets Before They’re Gone!

It’s the middle of June, so that means we’re getting closer and closer to the Atlantic City Wine & Food Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey! I’m super excited about it this year. It’s going to be so much fun, and it’ll be so nice to get away for the weekend.  As I said in my previous post, the festival runs from July 28 – 31, 2011.

Did you buy your tickets yet? If not, what are you waiting for?!

I’m going to four different events, and I’m sure they’ll be a lot of fun! Here’s what I have on the agenda…

Friday July 29, 2011:

Guy Fieri’s Cheese Steak Battle
Time: 9:00pm – 12:00am

Hosted by Guy Fieri, chefs representing signature regional restaurants are heading to the Atlantic City beach to find out, once and for all, which makes the best cheese steak.

 

Saturday July 30, 2011:

Guy’s Big Bite Brunch
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
A little tired from Friday night’s Festival events? Need a little “hair of the dog?” Start your Saturday morning off with a bang at Guy’s Big Bite Brunch. Because no one is better equipped to smack the cobwebs out of you than Food Network star Guy Fieri as he expertly creates a brunch to remember.

 

Sunset Sliders
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Join Sunny Anderson for some Sliders and Spirits on the Rooftop Pool at Caesar’s!

 

Sweet and Stylish
Time: 9:00pm – 12:00am
Sunny Anderson of Food Network’s Cooking For Real, along with some of your favorite Food Network stars, will host this ultimate nightlife event. Blend designer fashion, sensual desserts and cocktails to create a one of a kind showcase of style and decadence. Sunny will serve her favorite specialty cocktails, featured chefs will serve their most loved desserts for your tasting pleasure, and the hottest models will walk the catwalk in today’s hottest trends.

So it looks like Saturday is going to be a busy day, but it will definitely be worth it! I’m sure after Guy’s brunch I’ll need a nice long nap to prepare for Sunny’s fun festivities that evening!


If you’re going to the Atlantic City Wine and Food Festival, what events are you attending?

5 Ingredient Friday: Hanger Steak with Shallot Cherry Sauce

This week’s featured recipe for 5 Ingrident Friday is Claire Robinson’s Hanger Steak with Shallot Cherry Sauce. Let me start off by saying that you can use any cut of beef that you want. Heck, this would be good on any kind of meat – chicken, pork, beef, etc. So this is a very versatile sauce. I used Flat Iron Steak because they had some really beautiful Grass Fed Flat Iron Steak at Whole Foods when I was there the other day. I served this with homemade Macaroni & Cheese and Sunny Anderson’s Easy String Beans and Onions.


 

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil, divided
  • 2 1/2 pounds trimmed hanger steaks, or approximately 4 (8-ounce) pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup cherry preserves

Directions

Heat a grill pan or outdoor grill to medium.

Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil over steaks and season all sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Put on a hot grill pan or outdoor grill. Allow the meat to cook for about 3 minutes on the first side without moving. Turn, and cook until preferred doneness is reached, another 5 minutes (just a bit more for larger cuts). Remove the steaks from the grill to a cutting board and allow to rest 5 to 7 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a medium saucepan over high heat, add the shallots and remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until golden. Deglaze the pan with pomegranate juice, scraping up the brown bits, then stir in the cherry preserves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Thinly slice the steak against the grain and arrange on serving plates. Serve with the cherry sauce.


My thoughts…

I love love loved this sauce! I will say that it was  a wee bit on the sweet side, so I think the next time I would buy some Cherry Preserves with No Sugar Added. But to kick the sweetness a bit I added a few tablespoons of beef stock – that evened it out a bit.

As usual, I made my own garlic olive oil and that worked out very well.

As I mentioned before I used Flat Iron Steak – 2 lbs to be exact. It was enough for the two of us to have for dinner and there is extra leftover for lunch today.

I have some extra cherry sauce leftover that I will more than likely use on some pork chops this weekend – I think it’ll be delicious! Give this sauce a try – you’ll be glad you did!

Recipe courtesy Claire Robinson, 2010
Show: 5 Ingredient Fix
Episode: Steak Frites Spin