festivals and events
raves and reviews
the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
While the weather outside might not be frightful just yet (what’s up, El Niño), it’s still the most wonderful time of the year. And there’s no better way to embrace the spirit of the season than with boozy holiday drinks. To help spread the joy, I tracked down some of best festive cocktails available now in New York City.
Check out my recent feature on Thrillist here highlighting the best drinks to get you into the holiday spirit at top watering holes including Anfora, Cafe Clover, Cedar Local, Clover Club, Evelyn Drinkery, Gotham Bar and Grill, Hecho En Dumbo, Maharlika, Mr. Jones, Park Avenue Winter, Piora, Spritzenhaus 33, Wallflower, and White Oak Tavern. Cheers!
Image courtesy of Anfora
‘Tis the season for temptations. And for gift giving. So if you’re looking for the perfect holiday present, treat your family and friends to some festive handmade candy. As easy to make as they are impressive, these luscious Bourbon–Sea Salt Caramels can make a thoughtful hostess gift and are sure to delight all the sweets lovers on your list.
Special Equipment: A candy thermometer
Lightly coat an 8×8” baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2” overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.
Bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 8–10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240°. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into ¾” pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.
Do Ahead: Caramels can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store wrapped tightly in plastic in airtight container at room temperature. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. A time to give thanks for all of life’s blessings and share a bountiful feast with loved ones. As a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection, I was invited to a special Thanksgiving-themed live taping of The Chew, that will air on ABC at 1PM on Wednesday, November 21st. Be sure to look for me at the Tasting Table, gobbling up dishes from all the co-hosts :)
Throughout the taping, the entire cast and production crew made the experience a complete blast, while co-hosts Mario Batali, Carla Hall, Michael Symon, Daphne Oz and Clinton Kelly also provided incredible holiday mealtime inspiration and helpful entertaining tips. All the wonderful Thanksgiving recipes and ideas that The Chew crew shared can be found at ABC.com/TheChew.
One of the show’s recipe standouts was Carla’s cranberry pear relish, which she generously scooped over her brined carved turkey. It was perfectly tart, sweet and zesty all in one—and complimented the poultry beautifully. The below is Carla’s recipe to a tee, with my additions of nutmeg and cloves (two of my favorite fall flavors), some mandarin oranges for extra sweetness, and grated lemon peel garnish. Enjoy!
Cranberry Pear Orange Chutney (adapted from Carla Hall’s recipe)
Place onions, sugar, red wine, ginger, lemon zest, cloves, nutmeg and salt in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add the cranberries and pears to the pot, and continue to simmer for an additional 20 minutes or until the cranberries and onions have softened, and the color is a rich scarlet.
Remove lemon zest strips. Mix in mandarin oranges; allow relish to cool. Serve at room temperature. May be made two days in advance. Adjust seasoning, if necessary. Garnish with grated lemon peel.
TIP: Prick each cranberry with a pin or needle before cooking them. This will keep the cranberries from bursting and getting mushy as they cook.
Hungry for more from The Chew? Tune in weekdays on ABC at 1PM EST for flavorful recipes, easy-to-make crafts, and tons of fun with the show’s multi-talented celebrity hosts.
A heartfelt thank you to ABC and Cooking Light for sending me to the show. And I wish you all a safe, healthy & happy Thanksgiving! xoxo