Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ladies Night, Holiday Edition

Tuesday night I got to have dinner with some of my favorite people, and we had a great time. Dana made dinner, a delicious goat cheese stuffed chicken breast, covered in prosciutto, with a pear arugula salad. For an appetizer and we snacked on Liz's homemade dip and large variety of cheese. The wine was flowing and the conversation never ceased, it was on of those evenings I wish happened far more often. It was also an evening I wish I had brought my camera, but I suppose iphone images will have to do. Although I'm sad that ladies night doesn't happen every week like it used to, I'm glad everyone can get together over the holidays and make it happen. So cheers to you lovely ladies, I had a great time and I hope we can do it again soon!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Holiday Catchup Time!

Oh man, it has been a while since I've posted I'm afraid, but the holidays will do that to ya. I suppose it's a good thing as it means I've been busy with friends and family, and haven't had a moment to sit, but I must say this random Wednesday off to relax and catch up is much appreciated. That said, it's catchup time!

One of my gifts I made this year, which is definitely going to become a holiday tradition, is home made vanilla coffee liquor. It's one of those things that although simple to make, you have to commit to ahead of time, as it needs to be bottled for at least a month before drinking. Here is the recipe:

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup instant espresso powder
2 vanilla beans
3 cups vodka

Bring sugar and 2 cups water to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Add coffee and reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook, stirring to fully dissolve the espresso, for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a large glass jar or seal-able pitcher and let sit until more or less cool. Meanwhile, split vanilla beans open and se the back of a knife or a small spoon and scoop out the teeny tiny seeds (it seems more like a paste). Add seeds and pods to the coffee syrup. Pour in vodka. Seal and put it away for four to six weeks. Remove and discard vanilla pods.

I've personally been enjoying it over ice with a little milk, which I highly recommend. It makes a great dessert drink, as it would over ice cream. I have yet to have it in my morning coffee (surprisingly) but I hear it's a nice little winter warmer. 

Bottle it up and you've got a tasty homemade Christmas present!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Home made pot pie

A few weeks ago (before Thanksgiving) I was feeling particularly domestic and festive and thought I would attempt to make a chicken pot pie. For no other reason than I got home from work and had nothing to do with myself, and wanted to go to Pies and Pints but didn't feel like driving. Surprisingly I had most of the ingredients already, well minus the chicken which I had to run to the store for. Ok, ok, and the crust which was curtsy of Betty Crocker (damn she's good).

I wish I could be blogging about how I opened the cabinet and gracefully whipped together a filling off of pure instinct, but alas I am a slave to my William Sonoma cookbooks I inherited from my Grandma, and for good reason! I can honestly say I have never made something out of those book I didn't like. That said, with a little help from William and Betty, I created a pretty damn good pie if I do say so myself. Not in the least bit healthy, but I honestly don't give a damn, it's winter, and it was good.

Fresh out of the oven

Excellent pairing