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596 article submissions by the ChefTalk.com community.

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

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

  • by PeteModerator

  It seems to be a universal truth that kids hate brussels sprouts and who can blame them, especially if they were all served like my parents served them; cooked to death then drizzled with vinegar. It’s no wonder that many of us ever outgrow that hatred. That’s too bad because brussels sprouts can be a wonderful vegetable. Sure, overcooked they can be mushy, slimy and sulfurous, but when cooked properly they have a wonderful earthy quality about them and just a hint of a sharp bite that makes them lively.   While many people still prefer to blanch them whole, or... read more

Cranberry Old Fashioned

  • by PeteModerator

  I need to start this post with a disclaimer. I live in Wisconsin and here in Wisconsin drinking Old Fashioneds is a way of life. They serve them by the buckets full in Supper Clubs all across this state. But, Old Fashioneds, here in Wisconsin, are very different from those made in pretty much every other part of the country, so I discovered soon after moving here. First off, in Wisconsin, if you ask for an Old Fashioned it is going to be made with Brandy. That is the default liquor. Not Whiskey. Secondly, here in Wisconsin, they tend to build their Old Fashioneds... read more

Holiday Sangria

  • by PeteModerator

  When it comes to holiday party planning, one of the things I look to do is make things as simple as I can once the party starts so that I can enjoy my guests and not have to spend the time mixing drinks, preparing food, etc.  That means that I often look for drinks that I can pour into punch bowls or pitchers so that guests can help themselves.  As such, I often serve Sangria.   People usually associate Sangria with warm weather, and I agree it does make a refreshing drink in summer, but its adaptability really makes it suited to any season or any occasion. Be... read more

Turkey and Sweet Potato Hash-Thanksgiving Leftovers

  • by PeteModerator

  My family isn’t super big on breakfast, at least on the weekdays. It’s usually a grab and go affair as both me and my wife would rather spend the extra few minutes in bed than get up and make something substantial, although we always see to that our daughter gets a good breakfast. Things change on the weekends. If we don’t go out for breakfast then we will usually cook a substantial meal. My wife usually does the cooking in the morning as I am not much of a morning person, though I do a fair share of the breakfasts.   I love to make hashes of all kinds.  Hashes,... read more

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