Monday, December 19, 2011

Candy Cane Martini

Tis' the season to be Jolly! 
I believe in Celebrating Christmas in every way. Right after Thanksgiving I make sure that if I am not baking some holiday goody, then there are candles that smell like I am. I start serving my husband festive drinks and we have an entire month to Celebrate the season. I threw together this cocktail last night for my husband when he got home from work. 
What a great way to get in the mood!
Romantic Tip: Let Loose, Act Silly, Be a little Crazy. How can being silly make for a romantic interlude?" The answer  is that by being silly, you make yourself vulnerable, but it also shows off how comfortable you are with being you. Dance, Sing, Make people stare. The point here is that you are having fun and your man will want to share in the fun with you.

2 oz. Vodka
2 oz. Peppermint Schnapps
2 oz. Whipped Cream Vodka
One Peppermint stick or Candy Cane.

Crush half of your peppermint stick. Dip the Top Rim of your Martini glass into peppermint schnapps, then roll in crushed candy cane to decorate. 
Add all ingredients except Candy Cane to a shaker. Shake well and strain into decorated Martini glass.  Add remaining candy cane as a stirrer. 
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Southwest Essence Seasoning

My husband and I were laughing today recalling my early years cooking. I have always been able to cook, but with 5 kids and a busy schedule working full time and being a full time student, I had to learn to a lot of quick meals. There was not much gourmet in our early years. My husband used a lot of hot sauce to add a spicy kick to his dishes. I am proud to say we don't buy too much hot sauce anymore. 
I have been making this seasoning for years. I keep it on hand for anytime I make seared Ahi or a seared steak for my Man. It is a great addition to any cajun dish as well. It is the perfect way to add a little kick to any dish.  

Romantic Tip:
 Find some common ground. Find things that you and your favorite love person like to do together. It helps to make that bond even stronger. Go to a concert or a show. Go to a baseball game or an ice hockey game. Do you like movies, playing video games, going to wine tastings, going to markets and window shopping, dancing? Do it! It's all about having fun together.

Southwest Essence Seasoning

makes ½ cup

2 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp dried oregano
Combine all ingredients thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Proposal Mahi Mahi

                                                    Sauce “Proposal" Mahi Mahi

My husband and I love to watch the iron chef. The other night we got cozy and watched Marc Forgione battle with another chef. Marc blew him out of the water. The winning dish had "Sauce Proposal" on it. When asked why it was named that, Marc said it was because he had been proposed to several times after making the sauce for customers. First thing I thought: "I must find out how to make that sauce". The judges could not stop raving about this sauce. One even picked up his plate and tried to drink the remaining sauce on his plate. That has got to be one good sauce! So I set out to find the recipe. Success! This sauce would go good with any white fish. Or... you can just lick your plate like the judge did. 
 There are a lot of steps to this dish. Don't get worried. You can do it! One step at a time and it really isn't hard at all. All you need is a little time. Read the recipe through completely first. You can make the brown butter the day before if you need. Just make sure to chill it before use. The key is in the details. Follow this recipe and maybe a proposal will come your way!

Tip: TOUCH...Touch his arm, hand, thigh, or whatever... lightly while making conversation. Touching makes a connection and it can definitely serve as a prelude - to whatever. 

Adapted from Marc Forgione

Sauce “Proposal:” 
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup braggs amino acids or soy sauce
4 ounces unsalted butter
1/8 cup chilled brown butter (see directions below)
½ roasted onion, brunoise cut (see directions below)
1 tablespoon chopped capers
6 tablespoons roasted cauliflower floret pieces
1 tablespoon chopped pistachio's
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (omit if you don't like spice)

Cauliflower Purée: 
1/2 head cauliflower
1 cup heavy cream

Mahi Mahi
Olive oil
2 Mahi Mahi Filets
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 clove garlic minced

What is brown butter, and how do I make it
It has a slightly more delicate taste than black butter, and it's also used on fish, as well as white meats and vegetables. To make it you  Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan so that the butter doesn't burn.  Remove from heat when butter turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma.
What is a Brunoise Cut?
Brunoise Cut is a culinary knife cut in which the food item is first julienned and then turned a quarter turn and diced again, producing cubes.
How do I roast the onion?
It is very simple to roast an onion. You can do it in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, with a little olive oil drizzled on top and salt and pepper. OR you can use a garlic roaster if you have one. I cut the onion up a little to be the size of a large head of garlic. Drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled salt and pepper on top, closed the lid and hit the button. Perfect roasted onion. 

How do I roast the Cauliflower?
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a large casserole dish. Put florets in the dish and drizzle olive oil on top. Toss around to spread. Salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes.  I used both green and white cauliflower for color.

For the Sauce “Proposal:”
Bring the lime juice and soy sauce to a boil, then remove from the heat. Emulsify the butter into the soy mixture over low heat. Once emulsified, whisk in the brown butter. Mix with a hand-held immersion blender until light and airy. When ready to serve and the fish has been cooked, stir in the remaining ingredients.
For the Cauliflower Purée:
Blanch cauliflower in salted water. Heat the cream gently. When the cauliflower is fully cooked, purée with and emersion blender with hot heavy cream on highest setting until smooth and light.

For the Mahi Mahi:
Heat the olive oil in a very hot pan, and sear until brown. Flip and add butter, garlic, and thyme, basting until fully cooked.
 Remove from the heat and plate.

To Assemble and Serve:
Add Cauliflower puree to the plate.
Top with Mahi Mahi
Add Proposal sauce

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops

Tip: Compliments. Remember how your Mom always said that it is just as easy to find something nice to say as something that's not nice? Find something to Compliment your Man on today when he gets home. Whether you want to compliment your darling about his eyes, clothes, cologne, haircut, whatever you notice... say it!
I read Snippets of Thyme's gorgeous post on Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops. If you have not already read it. I really recommend it. Beautiful pictures. I could look at her pictures all day long. 
This is a very simple dish to make but it looks like it is something you slaved over all day long. Here is the simple process I used.
1 pound scallops, rinsed and dried

1/2 pound thin sliced maple bacon strips cut in half.

Sea Salt
Fresh ground Pepper

Preheat your oven broiler. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. 

Wrap each scallop with a piece of halved bacon and secure with a toothpick.

Place the bacon-wrapped scallops onto the prepared baking dish and season them with salt and pepper. Cook them under the broiler on high for about 20 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked through and the top is browned.
I served mine with a light Cucumber, Tomato, Balsamic Salad.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tom and Jerry

I think all of you know by now my husband loves a good hot cozy drink during the Winter. I got this recipe from my friend Deborah. My Husband loves Tom and Jerry's. This is the perfect blend. He told me not to change a thing because it is perfect. What is so great is you can make up the concentrate well in advance and store it in the fridge or freezer until you need it. It makes it a breeze to whip up a fancy warm cocktail for your man. 

Tip: Variety is the spice of life. Mix it up! Go find a sexy dress that you have in the back of your closet just sitting there. Go do it! Jewelry, Heels, The works. Do your hair in a different style. It will spice things up. Just when he thinks he has seen every side of you... give him another!

1/2 quart vanilla ice cream
1 stick of butter
One Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1/2 TBSP pumpkin pie spice

Soften the butter and ice cream
whip until creamy
add sugar and spices
This will make up the concentrate and you can store it in the fridge or freezer in a jar.

To make the hot buttered rum add:
2 TBSP buttered rum concentrate
1 cup boiling water
1 or 2 shots (depending on if you like it strong or weak) of Captain Morgan Spiced rum
Stir and serve. You can can top with whipped cream if you want it even better!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sexy Cranberry Mojito's

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! What do you have planned for you and your significant other? I think this time of year is the perfect time to get closer to your lover. I find it very easy to make my home  festive and warm this time of year. Having a Cocktail ready for my Man when he gets home is a great way to start a little love and laughter.
Tip: Laugh! If you remember nothing else from this blog, keep this one point with you all of the time. There is nothing so inviting, so appealing and so utterly attractive as someone who is having a rip-roaring good time. Think about it. You are around someone who is laughing and what do you think? You think, I want to be a part of that party! You are thinking that that person is flirting, having fun and having the time of his or her life. You know that you want to be in on it, so why not be it? Your Man will think this, too - and will thank you for it more than you can imagine.
8 oz. fresh cranberries
1 cup agave nectar 
1 cup water
20 mint leaves
2 Tablespoon lime juice
4 oz bicardi rum
6 oz. club soda
Put cranberries, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Then lower the heat a bit to medium-low and continue to cook for about 10 minutes, before your berries start bursting. remove from heat.
Once the berry mixture has cooled, Strain them and reserve both the juice which will be the cranberry syrup and the berries separately.
Put about 10 leaves of mint and a T of lime juice in each glass. With the back of a wooden spoon or a muddler mash the mint up.
Now put ice in each glass and pour 2 oz. of the cranberry syrup and add 2 oz of rum to each glass.
Top off each glass with club soda. Add some of the reserved cranberries in for garnish. I also added lime and mint for garnish. 
Makes 2 Sexy Cranberry Mojito's
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