Category Archives: holiday
Dec 15 comments
This season has made me realize how truly, incredibly, overwhelmingly blessed I am. It's been a hard few months, full of happiness and good fortune and time with family but also loss and heartache. It's always a balance, but every once in a while something amazing happens that reminds you that you are loved. As silly as it sounds, that something this month has been the results of this crazy whirlwind contest- the Colombo Marsala Recipe Contest. Going into it I was hopeful but didn't have any expectations of winning. I did my best to create a recipe that I was proud of, I encouraged my friends, family, and readers to vote (and tried to walk the line between enthusiastic and obnoxious), and I crossed my fingers. And while I was sitting there hoping, something magical happened. I watched people I love sharing the link, over and over, encouraging their friends and family to vote. My aunt texting the extended family once a day to remind them. People I hadn't seen or spoken to in months or even years rallying for me. My sister in Dublin asking people who came into her boutique to vote. My dad asking people at the bar with us for their vote. It was inspiring. It was humbling. I am so grateful. Voting ends tonight and I'm up by a fair margin. For that, I owe you all a debt of gratitude. The winner will be announced on the 20th and it will be determined by the number of votes, the quality of the recipe, and the merits of the blog post. Whether or not we go to Italy, I am so grateful for what this contest has taught me. These past two weeks have shown me the type of love and small acts of kindness that this holiday season is supposed to be all about; it's a small and silly thing to vote for someone in a recipe contest but it has meant the world to me. Please know that I am so thankful, that you all have made my world a better place. Consider this pie, a traditional vinegar chess pie, my thanks. It's a sweet and simple pie that is warm and filling. The perfect balance to hot chocolate and peppermint and the decadence of the Christmas dessert table. And, with the help of a heart shaped cookie cutter, the perfect way to add a little love to your plate. Vinegar Pie pie dough 2 1/4 cups flour 2 tbsp sugar 1 tsp salt 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1 1/2 sticks butter Ice cold water chess 5 eggs 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar 1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp flour 1 tsp ginger 1 tsp cinnamon 1 tsp nutmeg 1 tsp cardamom 1/2 cup butter, melted Begin by making your pie dough. Mix together dry ingredients. Using your hands, work in the shortening. Cube the butter and cut that in, until the dough has the consistency of cornmeal. Add ice water, as needed, until the dough clings. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. To make the chess combine your dry ingredients. Using an electric mixer, beat them together. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the butter, melted. Add in vanilla and vinegar. Heat your oven to 325. Roll out your pie dough and press into pie dish. Pour filling into the dish. Bake for 45 minutes or until the pie is brown and mostly set. Let cool. Serve at room temperature.
Dec 07 comments
Generally speaking, Dan and I are beer and wine people. We know very little about what makes a good wine, we know a fair amount about good beer, and (most importantly) we drink what we like. With the exception of the year that Dan was really into Scotch, it's not often that you'll see our bar stocked with more than South American whites, spicy Malbecs, and craft beer. One of my favorite activities on Avery Island was our mixology workshop with Kirk Espinotal. Kirk demonstrated three different fun and delicious recipes, including a type of mixed drink that was completely new to me- the cobbler. A cobbler (the cocktail variety) is a liqueur that is shaken with fresh fruit and ice. Simple and delicious. The cobbler we tried at the Marsh House was Chartreuse, citrus, jalapeños, and Tabasco's jalapeño pepper sauce. It was fantastic, something I've been dreaming about since we left the island. When we started planning our annual holiday party I knew that I wanted to try to recreate Kirk's masterpiece. I couldn't find yellow Chartreuse in Wilmington so I decided to combine lime, fresh satsuma, and St Germain, which is an elderflower liqueur. The finished drink was lovely- fresh and fruity with touches of citrus and elderflower. The benefit of the cobbler is that it's not too heavy or too boozy, making it a good option for brunch or holiday parties where you want to celebrate without getting too crazy. We'll be absolutely reprising this during the holidays. It may even be the new Christmas Morning Special. Satsuma Cobbler makes 2 6 jiggers of St Germain or elderflower liqueur Satsuma or clementine, peeled and sectioned Lime, sliced Champagne or prosecco (optional) Ice Combine liqueur, fruit, and ice in a mixer. Mix vigorously for 30-45 seconds. Strain and split between two glasses with additional lime and satsuma. For a lighter option top each glass with a jigger of champagne.
Nov 17 comments
Yesterday we hosted our annual B&S holiday party. The day each year where we cook a full holiday meal for our friends, photograph all the recipes, and tie a nice bow around all the recipes I'll be posting throughout the holiday season. It's my favorite day of the year for many reasons, particularly because it combines everything I love about the holidays-- cooking and sharing food with people I adore-- without all the usual pressure of the holidays. It's a magical day. The first course was a risotto with caramelized onions, bone broth, fresh pumpkin, dry white wine, and pomegranate seeds. Thanks to the bone broth the risotto was rich and creamy, and the pumpkin added a heartiness perfect for this time of year. The pomegranate seeds sprinkled on top were a delightful surprise, bringing a freshness and tartness that lightened the overall flavor of the dish. It was a fantastic way to start the meal. Pumpkin & Pomegranate Risotto 1 fresh pumpkin 1 yellow onion 3 cloves garlic 1 pat butter 2 cups arborio rice 5 cups bone broth or stock 1 cup dry white wine Salt to taste 1 pomegranate Halve and gut pumpkin and roast at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until pumpkin is soft, but not mushy. Dice onion. Melt butter in a large skillet and begin to cook rice over medium- low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are browned. Mince garlic and stir in, along with dry rice. Toast rice for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add in 2 cups of bone broth, room temperature, along with salt. Stir the risotto until all the liquid is absorbed, then taste. Add the remaining broth and, if desired, more salt. Continue to stir until all the liquid is absorbed, then add in the wine. Stir until fully absorbed and then drop the temperature to low. Scoop the pumpkin out of the skin and add it to the risotto, breaking it into bite sized pieces as you go. Stir to combine, then transfer to a serving dish. Halve pomegranate and break apart with your hands. Sprinkle seeds over top of the dish and serve hot.