Tag: holiday

New Year’s Eve Decadence 2017!

New Year’s Eve, that last little bit of recklessness before the new year takes hold and we start to feel all responsible and such. Whether I am sitting around in sweatpants with friends or dressed to the nines, I love the feeling of being carefree and not thinking about what looms (back to work, resolutions) after the first.

The Eve itself is such a weird dichotomy. On one hand, I think it is overrated and amateur night.  On the other hand, I love permission to indulge in the decadence of food, drink and of course getting all glammed up.

Decadence takes many forms and it is up to you to decide what that means for you.  Maybe you want to have a pajama party and have breakfast for dinner. Maybe for you, it means eating all the rich, fatty foods you plan to give up the next morning and getting all dressed up. Or maybe it means, wearing your favorite jeans, not seeing a ton of people and having a good old-fashioned burger and fries and bathing in multiple glasses of La Marca Prosecco. It’s all up to you to decide.

Of all the New Year’s celebrations, I’ve been a part of, the one thing that has been pretty consistent is the menu. It usually includes some kind of steak, cheesy potatoes and lobster. And ALWAYS a lot of champagne. I spent many a year with close friends dining on that exact menu.  It makes me smile each time I think of those nights.

So let’s think about that champagne and lobster and how we can make it extra special for 2017-2018. You do not need me to tell you how to make a steak. Everybody has their own trade secret and potatoes are pretty simple (HINT: these days you can even buy great Scalloped Potatoes at Trader Joe’s). That leaves me with Lobster and Champagne. How should we cook them? How about lobster poached in champagne and served over linguine? Fabulous! This dish is going to be the epitome of simple elegance. Some ingredients do all the work for you.

The first rule is never to cook with champagne or wine that you wouldn’t drink.  Second is it’s ok to use champagne, sparkling wine or prosecco. They all work. And its’s okay to sample as you cook!

Lobster Poached in Champagne
Print Recipe
Servings
2 people
Servings
2 people
Lobster Poached in Champagne
Print Recipe
Servings
2 people
Servings
2 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Combine Champagne, shallot and salt in a deep skillet.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a medium-low heat and add lobster.
  3. Cover and simmer until lobster is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Remove lobster to plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Stir cream into Champagne reduction and bring back to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and let cook until sauce is reduced to 1/3 cup, stir occasionally.
  7. Whisking constantly, over low heat, start adding butter, one cube at a time. Make sure that each cube is fully incorporated before adding next. The sauce should be smooth and coat the back of a spoon. See note below.
  8. Remove lobster meat from shells and cut into medallions.
  9. Place medallions over lightly buttered, cooked, linguine. Spoon sauce over lobster and noodles.
  10. Garnish with fresh tarragon or parsley, chopped. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

Can use up to 1/2 cup of butter. You want to have a thick smooth consistency, so stop when you have that.

Sorry about the stock photo. I am making this for NYE and will post pictures after.

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Valentine’s Day is Red Hots!

Valentines Day is approaching quickly. I admit that my love of the holiday comes and goes. This year I am looking for something simple to do. It seems that this year we are very busy with all sorts of activities, holidays and sports going on.

Tradition says we should give and receive chocolate and other sweets. I think one of the most charming sweets is Red Hots. I love the cinnamon flavor of theses heart shape imperial candies. They are sweet but not super cinnamon-y and spicy. I thought it would be fun to add these cinnamon treats to a butter cream frosting. They add the flavor and a pink and red sparkle to the frosting.

The next question was what to put this fabulous frosting on. I decided on brownies. I really like the contrast of ooey, gooey chocolate with the sweet and spicy frosting. I also happened to dip chocolate chip cookies and even shortbread in the frosting. I don’t think you can go wrong with any baked good. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Red Hots Candy Frosting
Print Recipe
I crushed the heart shaped, cinnamon flavored candy and added it to a vanilla frosting. The result was a sweet, slightly spicy, pink and red spreckled frosting. I put it over brownies and love the way it tastes with chocolate but you use it on anything you would frost.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 10 minutes
Red Hots Candy Frosting
Print Recipe
I crushed the heart shaped, cinnamon flavored candy and added it to a vanilla frosting. The result was a sweet, slightly spicy, pink and red spreckled frosting. I put it over brownies and love the way it tastes with chocolate but you use it on anything you would frost.
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 cupcakes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. Using a hand or stand up mixer, beat butter until it is creamy and light.
  2. Add the vanilla and keep beating on a slow speed
  3. Slowly add confectioners sugar. You will need to scrape the bottom and sides. If you need extra moisture, you may add a teaspoon of milk at a time. Don't overdo the milk
  4. Once all the ingredients are breamed together, fold in the crushed red hots. Make sure they are completely crushed so they don't clog a frosting tip.
  5. Frost your treats
Recipe Notes

I had a hard time finding Red Hots in the grocery store.  I may have been too early.  However, you can usually find cinnamon imperials in the cake decorating aisle.  They are really the same thing.  You can really use ay cinnamon flavored candy.

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Saint Patrick’s Cupcakes!!!!!

St. Patrick’s Day is this week. I’m not much of a drinker or a bar hopper. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to enjoy the party. Many years ago, I developed a recipe for and Irish Car Bomb cupcake. The chocolate cupcake is enhanced with Guinness Stout. The beer really seems to pump up the chocolate taste to another level. The frosting is an Irish Crème liqueur based frosting. Can you say yum? I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as I did creating them.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you!

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Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups supefine sugar
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup, or more, Guinness Stout, for after baking

Preheat oven to 350

Cream together butter and sugar, until fluffy

Add egg yolks, one add at a time, blending after each

Beat egg whites until stiff

In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients

Blend dry ingredients, by thirds, into butter/egg mixture, alternating with milk

When well blended add vanilla

Fold in egg whites until just incorporated

Scoop batter into greased and floured muffin tins

Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean

Remove from oven and while cakes are still hot poke holes int each cupcake and spoon 1 Tablespoon of stout into each cupcake.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely

Frost with Irish Creme Frosting and serve

Irish Creme Frosting

  • Servings: 24 cupcakes
  • Print

  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Irish Creme Liqueur

Cream Butter thoroughly and gradually add in powdered sugar

add in vanilla and salt

add liqueur one tablespoon at a time until blended thoroughly.  You may need to add a little more powdered sugar to get consistency right.

I make a reduction of Irish Whiskey and sugar then drizzle over the top of frosted cupcakes (optional)

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