My friend has a large and prosperous kumquat tree and asked if I wanted some of the fruit before they were all gone. I jumped at the chance, as I love to snack on kumquats. But when I came home with almost 3 pounds, I knew I wouldn’t even be able to make a dent in my newly acquired stash before they all went bad. I had never tried making fruit jam before so I did a little internet research and found a simple kumquat jam recipe from Food in Jars. The result was amazing, slightly bitter but sweet and with intense kumquat flavor. However, here’s your warning: taking apart the little kumquats is tedious and monotonous, especially if you’re making a large batch. So I suggest you do what I did and make this jam when you have some time to spare, turn on the TV and do a marathon run of trashy television shows, and try and enjoy the process, because it’s totally worth it!
I’m often surprised I don’t see more wine cocktails. Sure, there’s sangria, mimosas and the like, but wine can also hold a variety of the characteristics we seek in a good everyday mixing ingredient: acidity, sweetness, and aroma. For this wine cocktail I wanted intense dark fruit flavors. Muddled blackberries evoke the jamminess of the wine, which paired well with the spice of a bold rye whiskey.
Whenever I throw a party, I have this slight phobia that there won’t be enough food for my guests. A cheese platter is the perfect solution. Anytime I’m entertaining, I almost always put a platter out, whether its a full and large set like the one here or just to supplement other starters. With a beautiful cheese platter to graze on, none of your guests will go home hungry!
I typically pick out 3 or 4 different cheeses and supplement with nuts, cured meats, preserves and olives. The key is picking out a range of cheese so that you have something that suits everyone’s palate, so serving a blue, a soft, a hard and an aged covers most everyone’s preferences.
One of my favorite times of the year is when fresh berries first arrive at the farmer’s market. It’s impossible to describe how excited I get. What follows is a month-long binge of everything berry: smoothies, parfaits, syrups, pies and of course. . . cocktails. Here are a few berry images that make my mouth water just looking at them. What berry inspires you most?
Chocolate ganache is incredibly easy to make and is used in so many desserts. It’s essentially melted chocolate with cream and depending on how you’re going to use it, it can be a thicker or thinner consistency. This particular recipe is perfect for dunking churros into!
Churros are probably my favorite sweet – their crunchy fried exterior and moist interior is irresistible. I’ve tried many churro recipes before and played around with just as many shapes. Frying is not a glamorous job and frankly, it’s rather tedious and messy. So instead of standing over hot oil, carefully pipping in a couple of churros at a time, I decided to scoop small spoonfuls into the frying oil. The results were amazing. It’s as if a donut hole married a churro and created a beautiful child! Honestly, YUM.