All posts filed under: Appetizers and Drinks

Dates Stuffed With Goat Cheese and Almonds

We’re hosting a Christmas Eve cocktail party. Now, Dad Cooks Dinner, but Mom is the Mixologist; she’s responsible for the drinks, I’m responsible for the nibbles. Here is one of my favorite appetizers. Sweet and salty, sour and crunchy; the dates, goat cheese, and almonds combine into one tasty bite. Even better, I can make it a day ahead of time – stuff a date with goat cheese, add an almond, repeat – and pull it out of the fridge when it’s time to serve. I made my picky eater try one. He took the tiniest of nibbles, and stuck his tongue out. “I don’t like goat cheese.” “Pop the whole thing in your mouth” I said. “You need to get all of it at once.” He gave me the “jeez, dad” look, hesitated, gently put it in his mouth, and started chewing. He grimaced. Then got a thoughtful look on his face, shrugged, and said “eh.” Well, at least he tried it. Later, he came over with a sheepish look on his face. “Are …

Sous Vide Limoncello

<…In the car, listening to america’s test kitchen podcast…>Wait…I can make my own limoncello? Phew! Christmas list solved. I’ll look up the recipe when I get home. <…At home, searching the web…> Darn…it has to rest for weeks, if not months. Christmas is too close. Hmm. <…adjusting search terms…> Aha! Sous Vide to the rescue! I can speed the infusion time up from weeks to hours. Next, I need 190 proof grain alcohol. <…remembering a particular party in college…shudders. Moving on…> Darn, again…I can’t buy Everclear 190 in Ohio without a prescription. It’s 127 miles to Pittsburgh. I’ve got a full tank of gas, ten organic lemons, it’s snowing… <…one bootlegging run to Pennsylvania later…>  Excellent warning labels on this bottle: “Caution! Extremely Flammable! Contents may ignite or explode.” That’s what you get with 95% alcohol. I got to work scrubbing and zesting lemons. And…that’s it. Lemon zest, Everclear, a quart mason jar, and three hours sous vide yield lemon infused liquor; simmering water and sugar gives me simple syrup, and the two combine into …

Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned with Grilled Orange

This post is sponsored by Knob Creek® Distillery and the Original Brothers of Bourbon website. I enjoy the bold, spicy taste of Knob Creek® Rye Whiskey while I grill. The other day, as I sipped my drink and waited for the grill to preheat, the penny dropped. I can grill my oranges, adding smoky, caramelized fruit flavors to my Old Fashioned. Why didn’t I think of this sooner? How do I grill an Old Fashioned? While preheating the grill for the main course, I put an orange wedge on the grate for a minute or two, long enough to give it good grill marks. After the wedge cools down for a minute, I squeeze a little of the orange juice into a rocks glass, muddle it with sugar cubes and a dash or two of bitters, and stir in some Knob Creek® Rye. Add some ice, the squeezed orange wedge, top with club soda, and I have a tasty beverage – just what I need to fortify myself for an evening of grilling. Recipe: Knob …

Caffè Tonic

Intrigued / grossed out by this. RT @TastingTableNYC Meet coffee’s new mate. Tonic water.@Francis_Lam via Twitter My first thought: Espresso and tonic water? No way. There’s no way that tastes good.My second thought: That’s so weird, I have to try it. It actually works! The bitter, roasted flavor of the coffee mixes with the sweet, spicy flavor of the tonic water. I tried it with the bottle of tonic water I had at home, and it was good; I went out and found the Fever Tree Tonic that Tasting Table recommends, and it was fantastic.It was so good that I’m restraining myself. Writing this makes me want to go make another one right now, but I’ve hit my self-imposed espresso limit for the day. Four shots is enough, right? If your coffee addiction started with something sweet (like cafe mocha at Arabica Coffee on Coventry back in the day), but your tastes have matured, try a caffè tonic. Recipe: Caffè Tonic Adapted from: Coffee Tonics are the New Iced Tonic Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook …