All posts filed under: Test Kitchen

A Few of My Favorite Things…

Well actually, this is just one of my favorite things. There are many things I look forward to in the holiday season; the food, the time with family, the gifts. But, there is one tradition I look forward to all year long…going to the ballet to see The Nutcracker. There’s just something so magical about it, you can almost taste it in the air. Everyone gets dressed in their most elegant attire to enjoy a night on the town, the way it used to be done before motion pictures ruled the world. If you are looking for something new and exciting to try this holiday, check out your local performing arts center for dates and tickets!

Charred Orange & Vanilla Vinagrette

Vanilla isn’t just for desserts! This fragrant spice lends itself for many applications and works well with almost all the seasonal ingredients. The charred orange adds just the right level of acid to the natural sweetness of the vanilla, which helps to balance out the dressing. This dressing is the perfect topping to a mixed greens salad with spiced pumpkin, dried cranberries, goat cheese, crispy bacon, and toasted walnuts. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the flavors of the season in a healthier way. What you’ll need: 3 vanilla beans, seeds scrapped 2 oranges, cut in half 1/3 cup of roasted garlic 1/4 cup of sugar 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/4 tsp thyme leaves 1 cup apple cider vinegar 2 cups walnut oil(substitute with blended oil if you can’t get walnut) Combine the vanilla bean seeds, roasted garlic, sugar, extract, and thyme in a blender, set aside. Get a dry sautĂ© pan nice and hot and place the halved oranges face down on the hot surface. It’s going to sizzle, don’t be scared, let the pulp …

5 Holiday Drinks to Wow Your Guests

Keeping your guests happy isn’t an impossible feat; set a festive mood, feed them, and keep the libations coming. But if you want to raise the bar from keeping them happy to making your party a force to be reckoned with, you need to go above and beyond. Nothing will keep your guests talking like a delicious signature drink with the flavors of the season! Here’s our list for must try cocktails! Hot Buttered Rum This one is a classic, there’s nothing like a buttered rum to warm your soul. Not to mention is can be frozen to drink all winter long! White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Martini The sophistication of a martini with all the childhood fun of the candy cane! It even includes a recipe for homemade white chocolate liqueur(a great gift) or you can substitute with the ready made Godiva version. Snickerdoodle Martini Snickerdoodles are one of my favorite cookies, and this easy to make cocktail has all the flavors accounted for…how cute are the cinnamon-sugar glass rims? Warm Apple Pie Cocktail Who …

Beginning to smell a lot like Christmas…

We are in the business of making memories, and nothing triggers a memory quite like your sense of smell! One whiff of something familiar and you can feel like you’ve been transported to a time and place long forgotten. So, we feel that the first and most critical step in making lasting holiday memories is to fill your home with the irresistible and heart-warming smells of the season! Stovetop Potpourri is nothing new, as I quickly found out when I went running to my mom with this awesome new idea. I remembered bowls of the dried up fruit and twigs around my house as a child, and they did smell nice when you put your nose up to them. Never did the idea of simmering the mixture pop in my head and to be honest, its brilliant! You can use this method and customize the ingredients to your preference, plus coming up with new combinations is half the fun! You could also package the ingredients in a jar or bag with instructions as a thoughtful …