Archive for November, 2014

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Apple Tea Cocktail

November 30, 2014

20141127 Apple Tea CocktailThis is a sassy cocktail that will get any festive occasion going strong. The maple syrup, earl grey tea, and apple juice make it perfect for fall and winter gatherings.

You will need:

  • 12 bags Earl Grey tea, divided
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 3 T light brown sugar
  • 3 c gin or vodka
  • Maple syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Unfiltered apple juice (I used a honeycrisp cider from Trader Joe’s)

Then you will…

  1. Steep 8 of the tea bags in the boiling water.
  2. Mix in the brown sugar. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Steep the remaining tea bags in the gin for 2 hours, stirring periodically. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the following:
    1. 2 oz infused gin (or vodka)
    2. 2 oz apple juice
    3. 1 oz maple syrup
    4. 1/2 oz lemon juice
    5. 1/2 oz sweetened tea
  5. Shake and smile.
  6. Serve over ice and share with friends and family.
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Hot Shrimp Dip

November 24, 2014

My mom made this dip for our families to enjoy before our wedding. It was a big hit with everyone during our family gathering. This dip is a nice alternative to shrimp cocktail or other hot dips you might serve at your next big event. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • 1/4 c unsalted butter (or olive oil)
  • 2/3 c red pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb medium (61-80/lb count) fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 c  scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 c sour cream
  • 1 c Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 c mozzarella, shredded
  • 1 t Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/2 t hot sauce
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper

Then you will…

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
  3. Add the red pepper and garlic. Saute until fragrant and lightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  4. Mix in the shrimp and cook through, roughly 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish or pie plate.
  6. Mix in the scallions, cream cheese, sour cream, and cheeses.
  7. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper.
  8. Bake until lightly browned and bubbly, 30-35 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve with crackers or baguette.

20141107 Shrimp Dip 02

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Tomato and Mushroom Soup with Barley

November 16, 2014

This is a simply, earthy soup that is perfect for the fall. D and I just got back from getting married, and we returned to a crisp day that demanded soup. We didn’t want anything that took too long to put together. This was the perfect solution!

20141116 Mushroom Barley Soup 01

You will need:

  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • 1/2 c sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 4 T miso paste
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c beef stock (or whatever stock makes you happiest)
  • 1/2 c barley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. In a large soup pot, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic, stirring to coat.
  3. Allow to soften about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the pot. Cook until the liquid is evaporated, and the mushrooms are lightly browned. Stir occasionally.
  5. De-glaze the pan with the sherry or wine. Scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan; allow some to cook off for about 3 minutes.
  6. Mix in the tomato paste, miso, and the vinegars.
  7. Stir in the diced tomatoes and beans.
  8. Add the stock and bring to a bubble.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Stir in the barley and allow the soup to simmer until the barley is tender (about an hour).
  11. Serve with warm, crusty bread.
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