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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Since appearing on season 4 of Top Chef, life has been pretty hectic for Spike Mendelsohn. Besides opening an empire of restaurants in the Washington, DC area—including Good Stuff Eatery, We, the Pizza and new Capital Hill French bistro Bearnaise (slated to debut in late February)—the celebrity chef can be seen delivering funny one liners on Bravo’s Life After Top Chef and competing in Food Network’s Next Iron Chef.
As if his plate wasn’t already full, Spike has recently teamed up with Captain Morgan to create unique recipes featuring the spiced rum and their newest signature liquor, Black Spiced Rum—a bold flavored Caribbean rum blended with natural spices. So how’d this new partnership come about? “I’ve always been a fan of Captain Morgan, so for me it was an exciting opportunity to partner with them. As a chef, it was kind of an adventure to create these new food and cocktail recipes for the brand. It’s been really interesting and a very fun campaign.” Spike shared with me.
And how he got creatively inspired? “Literally, I pictured myself in a pirate’s outfit on a pirate ship, sailing around the Caribbean and being inspired to create some really delicious food and drinks that incorporate Captain Morgan.” he mentioned. Aye aye, Captain Spike.
Spike was kind enough to share a few of his exclusive recipes, which are sure to spice up all your holiday celebrations. Enjoy!
Captain Morgan Spiced Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
Bake sweet potatoes on 375°F for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Remove pulp with a large spoon and place in a large bowl. Stir together the sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg allspice orange juice and Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum. Salt and pepper to taste. Next, butter a casserole pan and layer sweet potato mixture then marshmallows. Do as many layers as you can, finishing off with the remaining marshmallows. Lastly, sprinkle brown sugar on top. Bake at 350°F for 20 – 30 minutes, or until topping is golden brown.
Black Apple Harvest
In a shaker, add ice and shake it like your momma taught you. Fill a rocks glass with ice, take a lemon rind and rim the glass. Next, take a thin slice of ginger and rim the glass and then put both garnishes in the glass. Pour cocktail through holes of the shaker. Cocktail should still have some apple sauce texture, but shouldn’t be thick. Lastly, drizzle with honey.
Note: If you don’t have apricot liquor on-hand or don’t want to make a run to the store, feel free to try without it.
Port Royal Punch (serves 25)
In a punch bowl or large serving vessel, add the above ingredients and stir. Serve over ice in a punch glass – or glass of your choosing.
Additional recipes can be found on Captain Morgan’s Facebook page.
Images courtesy of Taylor Strategy and Kraut Rocks
What’s better than bar hopping around NYC, enjoying dozens of drinks specials with your Santa hat-clad friends, and supporting a great cause while you’re at it? On Saturday, December 8th, the annual 12 Bars of Christmas Bar Crawl is back—and this year should be better than ever.
Close friends of mine started this holiday-themed crawl back in 2006, and it has quickly become one of the most anticipated local events of the season. After receiving a red Santa hat and commemorative mug at the first bar, participants will journey through a spirited series of bars in the West Village (you can sign up for either the West Pole or East Pole route), partaking in exclusive beer and cocktail specials at each locale. And to cap off the festivities, both groups will meet at the same 12th bar so everyone can celebrate—and fill up on holiday cheer—together.
Besides having a jolly good time, you can feel great knowing that event proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of NYC to help feed hungry New Yorkers. Last year alone, they raised approximately $14,000!
Want in on the fun? Get into the holiday spirit and register today at 12barsnyc.com. Donations of $25 in advance or $30 at the door are kindly required from each participant. Happy crawling, my friends!
Impress guests this holiday season with flavorful, easy-to-make Bourbon Balls. These sweet and chewy, no-bake confection will have dessert lovers (and especially bourbon fans) swooning. Get creative with tasty toppings—colored sprinkles, granulated sugar, chopped nuts, melting chocolate—for a box of bourbon-flavored beauties that’s perfect for gift giving. Now, grab a bottle of your favorite Kentucky whiskey and get rollin’!
Holiday Bourbon Balls (makes about 4 dozen bourbon balls)
Recipe adapted from the Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookies E-Book