or Connect
ChefTalk.com › Articles
596 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

Building a Gingerbread House-A Family Affair

  • by PeteModerator

  One of my favorite pastimes during this season is making Gingerbread houses. I have made all kinds of Gingerbread houses from the very large and ornate to the small and simple; I love making them all. I have created a number of large “centerpiece” houses for various functions and benefits, my favorite being the large church I created as the centerpiece for the gift table at my own wedding. It was over 2 feet long and the steeple stood almost that high. With large, candy “stained glass windows, Golden Grahams as roofing shingles and a full array of bells in the... read more

Egg Nog French Toast with Bananas Foster Sauce

  • by PeteModerator

  For someone who isn't a hug fan of Egg Nog I sure seem to have a number of recipes that use it as a flavoring agent. Go figure! I first served this for Christmas a few years ago and it was a big hit. Since then I have made a few times for groups both big and small, with positive reactions every time.   While I consider this a “Christmas” meal, it is a great breakfast anytime during the holidays as it is simple to prepare and seems rather upscale-you don’t have to tell anyone how simple it is! This would also make a great breakfast for New Year’s Day, after a night... read more

Winter Warmers for the Holidays

  • by PeteModerator

  I wished that I lived in an era and society where we valued hot cocktails more than we do, nowadays.  Of course, that wasn't always the case.  For the better part of human history, warm, alcoholic beverages were a symbol of hospitality, at least in the cold, northern climes.   The holiday season is a great time to revive many this custom once again.  There is nothing better, in my opinion, that walking into someone's house, after having braved the icy cold, winter conditions, smelling the heady aroma of cinnamon and citrus and being offered a mug of something hot,... read more

Christmas Traditions-Egg Nog

  • by PeteModerator

  The holidays just aren’t complete without, at least, 1 batch of Egg Nog. I have had a love-hate relationship with the stuff over the years. As a kid I loved the stuff, but then somewhere along the line I lost my taste for it and wouldn’t be caught dead drinking it. But, in recent years, I’ve come to enjoy a glass or 2 during the holidays. It’s still not something that I could drink every day, but a few glasses, to celebrate the holidays is something I enjoy, especially if spiked with a bit of Bourbon or dark rum.   There are lots of recipes, and variations for Egg... read more

Pistachio Bonbons-A Quick Lesson in Candy Making

  • by PeteModerator

  Tis the season to be baking. Fa La La La La… This past week both my wife and I got off our butts and did some holiday baking and candy making. One of the items that I made are these tasty little Pistachio Bonbons. I love these things, but you really have to like pistachios to enjoy these candies. The filling is an intense pistachio “marzipan” that seems to concentrate the pure essence of pistachio making these things little flavor bombs. This recipe is a little more “advanced” and time consuming than many of my recipes, but then again serious candy making is often... read more

The Dirty Snowball Cocktail

  • by PeteModerator

  A few years ago, while still writing a blog, I did a Christmas Cocktail Advent calendar.  Basically, I posted a drink a day during the month of December, leading up to Christmas.  Some cocktails were adaptations of drinks that I was already familiar with, others were adaptation of drinks I found on the internet and yet others were brand new creations that I came up with.   I am particularly proud of this cocktail that I invented. I really like the flavor combination and the drink packs quite a kick as it is pure alcohol with no mixer in it. This is one of those... read more

Christmas Cocktails-The Christmas Kiss

  • by PeteModerator

  Christmas is just around the corner.  I love this time of year.  There are so many traditions around the holidays and while I am not strictly bound, or tied down, to traditions, I love the comfort that they bring.  Each and every family has their own traditions, some dating back for generations and some recently created.  To me they are both meaningful.   One of my favorite, new traditions is our yearly “St. Nicholas Reindeer Brunch” at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. We get all dressed up (which we don’t do often enough) and take the 45 minute drive to enjoy... read more

Cocktail Party Food-Crab Cheesecake

  • by PeteModerator

  Now that Thanksgiving is over, Christmas is just around the corner.  For many people that means attending and/or hosting holiday meals and cocktail parties.  When I host a cocktail party one of the things that I try to do is make as much ahead as I can, so that I can enjoy the party and not spend too much time in the kitchen, or behind the bar.  For the bar that means making punches and large batches of pre-mixed cocktails, and for the food that means coming up with dishes that can be made ahead but still have a wow factor to them.  This Crab Cheesecake fits the... read more

Nothing Says the Holidays Like a Champagne Cocktail

  • by PeteModerator

  No holiday party is complete without, at least, 1 toast with a glass of bubbly. Champagne is the drink for celebrations and adds a touch of class to even the most mundane of get-togethers or dinners, or elevates a simple toast into an event. While I love to serve champagne and sparkling wine straight it is also fun to, occasionally offer up a champagne cocktail. Any champagne cocktail makes a great holiday drink but one of my favorites is the St. Germain Cocktail.   The cocktail only requires 2 ingredients, champagne and St. Germain Liqueur. If you have never... read more

The Red Stag Manhhattan

  • by PeteModerator

    Not all cocktails have to be complicated affairs. Just like with food, sometimes simple is better. Many of the “classic” cocktails follow this rule. I’ve got nothing against complicated cocktails, or drinks with numerous ingredients, as exhibited by many of the drinks I have posted about, but I also enjoy cocktails with few ingredients, especially when those ingredients are top notch. One of my favorite cocktails, being a Bourbon fan, is the classic Manhattan. With only 3 ingredients, this drink allows the Bourbon, or other styles of whiskey, to shine through.... read more

ChefTalk.com › Articles