Monday, January 2, 2012

Foodbuzz 24x24: Seasonal Sips

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully you have all cured your hangovers by now and are beginning the New Year in style :).  I wanted to make sure that I ended 2011 with a bang, so I was so excited when Foodbuzz selected me for this month's 24x24.  Granted, I would have had this party regardless, but it was great to know that I could share it with all of you!


Now, as many of you know I have been back in grad school, so when I finished for the semester, I was pretty upset that I could not relax and have a drink because I got so sick! After 2 weeks, I am finally better, so all the more reason to drink up! However, I did not just want to have wine, beer, and champagne.  I decided that I wanted to create drinks that represent the holiday season and the coming of a new year.  But don't get the wrong idea... we of course still went through wine and beer too, which probably explains my headache.  At least it's a good headache - the remnants of an amazing night! Plus, I made some waffles this morning to make my tummy feel better :).




So without further ado, here are my Seasonal Sips....

The Maple Butter Kiss Martini (courtesy of the Food Network)



This Martini is so delicious and easy to make! The flavors are amazing and encompass the flavors of the season in a glass! This was definitely my go to drink last night!

Ingredients:
-Ice
-1.5 oz vodka
-1/2 oz butterscotch schnapps
-1/4 oz maple syrup
-1 oz half and half
-Dash of nutmeg

Directions:
Pour all ingredients, except for the nutmeg, into a martini shaker.  Shake vigorously and pour into martini glass.  Sprinkle the top with a dash of nutmeg and drink up!

Glühwein (recipe courtesy of the German Kitchen)


David and I were so excited to get our hands on this wine this year! It is so delicious and filled with flavor that you do not even realize you are drinking wine! This is a traditional German drink that is served around the holiday season, and it is best served warm.  They usually sell a limited amount of this wine in liquor stores (so I of course stocked up), but you can also make it at home.

Ingredients:
-1 bottle of red wine
-3/4 cup water
-3/4 cup sugar
-10 whole cloves
-1 cinnamon stick
-1 orange

Directions:
If you are able to get your hands on a bottle of Glühwein at the store, then all you have to do is pour it into a pot and heat it up - just do not boil it.

If making it at home, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a saucepan.  While stirring, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Squeeze the orange juice into the pan and then add in the orange peel.  Continue to cook until the mixture begins to thicken like syrup. Then, pour in the wine and stir.  Make sure to not boil the mixture after this.  Remove the orange peels and serve.

Sgroppino 


This is a traditional Italian cocktail that is so easy and delicious! I decided to add this to the lineup of drinks because not only does it use prosecco, but also the lemon flavor reminds me of spring and summer weather and hopefully the happiness to come in 2012! Now, I have made this drink so many times but I have never actually used a recipe or measured the ingredients, but this is about what I do:

Ingredients:
-Lemon sorbet
-Prosecco
-About 1 to 1.5 ounces of vodka

Directions:
In a champagne flute, put in one or two scoops of lemon sorbet.  Pour in about 1 - 1.5 ounces vodka, and then top off with the prosecco.  Make sure to pour the prosecco slowly as it will fizz up on you.

Mo's Cup (or David's "2012er")




The "Mo's Cup" or "2012er" as I like to call it, was a concoction of David's.  It is not really anything too spectacular in terms of creativity, but when you've had a few you get excited! :) This drink came about a couple of months ago when David and I were trying to make mojito's, but did not have all of the ingredients.  We both love mojito's so much though so we were trying to think of ways to flavor it up a bit.  David looked over and saw that we had some Pimm's Cup kicking around, so, one thing led to another, and "Mo's Cup" was born!

Ingredients:
-Mojito Mix or Mojito Recipe
-1.5 ounces Pimm's Cup
-Ice

Directions:
In a glass, pour the mojito mixture (or make the mojito) and ice. Top off with Pimm's Cup, stir, and enjoy!

And finally, New Year's Eve just is not the same without some good old Champagne!


Now although we did a lot of drinking, I of course made sure to serve plenty of picky foods/appetizers so that I didn't have any sick people on my hands! Even though the cocktails are the focus of this post, I had to share my two favorite side foods from last night.  They are so extremely easy and delicious that I just had to share them since they are great for anyone who needs an appetizer but does not want to waste a lot of time.

Veggie Bites



Ingredients:
-1 package crescent rolls
-Cream cheese
-Broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper, chopped

Directions:
Keeping the crescent rolls attached, roll them all out flat into a rectangle.  Bake in the oven for 9-11 minutes at 350, or until golden.  Allow to cool.

Once the bread has cooled, spread a layer of cream cheese over the top of the crescent roll rectangle.  Then, sprinkle the bits of carrot, broccoli, and red pepper, evenly over the cream cheese.  Cut into squares and serve.

S'Mores Bites 



Ingredients:
-Ready made graham cracker crusts in the mini tart pans
-1 bag chocolate chips, melted
-Marshmallow crème

Directions:
Pour the melted chocolate into the prepared graham cracker crusts and allow to cool.  Place the marshmallow crème in a bag to pipe out (optional) on top the chocolate.  Place under a broiler or use a kitchen torch to brown the marshmallow.

I hope enjoyed my seasonal sips and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2012!



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