Showing posts with label Champagne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Champagne. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

10 Lucky Foods for a Happy New Year and A Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail from Cleo Coyle

Behold the Pomegranate
Champagne Cocktail

Why pomegranate? Because pomegranate is one of the foods believed to bring good luck in the New Year. That's why my recipe for you today is a beautiful Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, along with tips on how to open, de-seed, and enjoy this highly healthy fruit. But first...

Did you know that many cultures believe you can eat your way to a better tomorrow? Here is a fun list of 10 "Lucky Foods" to start 2015 right.



1) Grapes are eaten at midnight in many Spanish-speaking countries, one for each stroke of the clock. Sweet grapes represent good months, sour less fortunate ones. 

2) Lentils are served in Italy because their abundant seeds symbolize wealth, and when cooked they plump with water to represent swelling fortunes.





3) Collards, kale, and other greens are lucky because they resemble paper money. The more you eat, the more prosperous (and healthier) you’ll become.



Click 
here
for my recipe.



4) Pork is eaten in Europe and America because its fat implies richness, but in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and Austria hogs are also a symbol of progress because they never move backward. Cookies, candies, and cakes shaped like pigs are considered lucky too.



5) Long noodles symbolize longevity in many Asian countries, and the longer the noodle the better. It’s customary to eat them on New Year’s Day, and the noodles must never be broken or shortened when cooked.



Click
here for
Lucy Burdette's recipe.


6) Black-eyed peas are served in the American South in a dish called Hoppin' John. There are some who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. 

7) Cornbread is another Southern tradition. It’s color mimics gold, and sometimes coins are cooked into the bread, bringing additional luck to the person who finds it (without chipping a tooth).

8) Fish is a New Year’s dish in Asia, and is served with the head and tail intact to ensure a lucky year from start to finish. Similarly, in Europe and Scandinavia eating herring ensures abundance because their silvery color resembles coins.

9) Cakes, breads, and fruits in the shape of a ring or circle are good luck, and cookies shaped like coins bring prosperity to those who eat them.

10) Pomegranates are good luck because their color mimics the human heart, their medicinal properties (think antioxidants) promote good health, and their many round arils are believed to bring prosperity.




In ancient and present day Greece, 
a pomegranate is hung above the door throughout the holiday season. When the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve, that pomegranate is smashed against the door. As it bursts open, the fruit's ruby-red arils are revealed. The more arils, the luckier the New Year will be.

To celebrate this old and rather messy tradition, I have a modern pomegranate cocktail that may or may not be lucky, but it will certainly help you ring in the new year with beautiful color and bubbly good cheer.





Cleo Coyle has a partner in 
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here or here.


Cleo's Pomegranate
Prosecco Cocktail

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon pomegranate arils (to ride
   the pretty bubbles)

1 ounce (one part) pomegranate juice
3 ounces (three parts) chilled Prosecco


Directions: Place the pomegranate arils at the bottom of each glass. Add the pomegranate juice, and then the cold, sparkling Prosecco. There are many bottled pomegranate juices available, or you can squeeze your juice fresh. Scroll down for more info on this process...

Virgin variation: For a non-alcoholic option, replace the champagne with sparkling water, sparkling apple cider, or bubbly ginger ale.




For tips on cutting and de-seeding a fresh pomegranate, watch a short video by clicking here.


How to juice - After de-seeding the pomegranate and removing any parts of visible white pith, buzz the seeds in a blender or food processor. This will release the pulp and juice from the arils around the seeds. Now you must strain the liquid well to remove the crunchy hulls. Although it's an extra bit of trouble to obtain fresh juice this way, the taste is outstanding compared to bottled, which is why, for an amazing Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail, fresh is best.






May you drink (and eat) 
with joy and have a...

Happy New Year!



~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries





Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here


* * *

Once Upon a Grind:
A Coffeehouse Mystery



* A Best Book of the Year
Reviewer's Pick -
 
King's River Life



* Top Pick! ~ RT Book Reviews

* Fresh Pick ~ Fresh Fiction

* A Mystery Guild Selection


Delicious recipes are also featured in my 14th 
culinary mystery, Once Upon a Grind, including...

* Black Forest Brownies 
* Cappuccino Blondies 
* Shrimp Kiev 
* Dr Pepper Glazed Chicken
* Silver Dollar Chocolate Chip Cookies
* "Fryer Tuck's" Ale-Battered Onion Rings
* Poor Man's Caviar 
* Caramel-Dipped Meltaways

...and many more recipes, including
a guide to reading coffee grinds...


See the book's
Recipe Guide (free PDF)

* * * 



Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries 


Get a free title checklist,
with mini plot summaries, by clicking here.
Or learn more here. 




For More Recipe Ideas, visit the special
Mystery Lovers' Kitchen seasonal page
"Recipes for a Happy New Year"


* * * 




Sign up for Cleo's Coffeehouse Newsletter here.
(Recipes, contests, videos, fun info)



* * * 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Maple Madness: Smoky-Sweet Maple Vinaigrette from Cleo Coyle



Stack your pancakes, everyone. All that frigid, white stuff that blanketed the Northeast this winter is going to give us a banner year in maple production, according to a recent story in The Wall Street Journal.


Cleo Coyle, mad for maple,
is author of The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
"Icy nights and warmer days are essential to a good syrup season," wrote reporter Kristen Miglore. "The end-of-winter rhythm of freeze and thaw coaxes sap from the trees for as long as they can resist the urge to bud, usually four to six weeks..."

That's right, this is the season for tapping trees and boiling down maple syrup. For far too many years, I mistakenly thought winter was the time for maple syrup production. (My romantic notion was, no doubt, engendered by the plethora of bucolic photos showing snowy Vermont woods with slate gray buckets hanging from craggy, brown tree trunks.)



Wrong, wrong, wrong. Spring is the season of sugar! One fine year, I hope to visit a maple syrup farm in Upstate New York or New England. Until then, I'll have to content myself with the fruits of the farmers' labors via online shopping (or a trip to my local market). On the other hand, thanks to our friends at YouTube, we can take a *virtual* trip north anytime...




For those of you interested in how
maple syrup is made, take a *virtual* trip
with me to the Bushee family farm in Vermont...




With all that sweet maple syrup on its way, I’ll be sharing some maple recipes with you over the next few weeks, starting with a few suggested by chefs quoted in The Wall Street Journal...



Maple Ice cream Topping

New York Chef Gabrielle Hamilton (of restaurant Prune) told The Journal she enjoys serving butter pecan ice cream "drowned" in a pool of syrup, finished with a shower of coarse salt. I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds like heaven—and surely looks like that legendary Yankee treat of "sugar on snow" when hot maple syrup is poured over a bowl of freshly fallen snow.


Maple Marinade

Once again, according to The Journal, the cooks at the Vermont restaurant Michael’s on the Hill steep trout in a maple brine, along with caraway, fennel, and celery leaves. The trout is then smoked over maple chips and served with a horseradish crème fraiche. A lovely idea to try at home with trout or pork or...well, The Journal suggests that anything from "duck breast to pigs’ feet" can benefit from long soak in maple and salt.


Maple Dressing

When Chef Tony Maws (at Craigie on Main in Boston) suggested maple as an "almost sinister substitute for honey in a vinaigrette," I had to try it that night for dinner. Unfortunately, Chef Maws didn't share a specific recipe, so I experimented with a favorite honey-mustard dressing and came up with a delicious smoky-sweet salad dressing that I've been enjoying for a weeks now. I hope you do, too...




Cleo Coyle's
Maple Vinaigrette

Maple can offer a smoky-sweet note to many dishes. In this salad dressing, it serves as a sultry substitute for honey.




For a free PDF of this recipe, along with a bonus recipe for my Leftover Champagne Vinaigrette, click here.



 
Servings: This recipe makes about ¼ cup of dressing, enough to dress 4 small salads or 2 large ones


Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons lemon juice*

Sea salt and ground pepper (to your taste)

*Yes, there is no vinegar in my maple vinaigrette, but I really do prefer the flavor of the lemon juice in this dressing.

Directions: First, please note that I'm using both Tablespoons and teaspoons in this recipe, so be sure not to confuse those measurements. Using a fork, whisk up the olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and lemon juice. Pour over fresh greens and toss. Add sea salt and ground pepper to your taste. (See below for my favorite salad using this dressing.)





Cleo's Spinach Salad with Maple Vinaigrette


Servings: This recipe makes 4 small salads or 2 large ones

Ingredients:

9 - 10 ounces (about 12 cups) fresh, raw spinach (see my note)*
¼ cup maple vinaigrette (see recipe above)
2 - 3 slices bacon (I use thick-cut) cooked crispy and chopped
1 hard boil egg, chopped

*I often use the "triple-washed" packages for convenience. Fresh, bunched spinach is delicious, but be sure to wash at least three times to remove all grit.

Directions: Toss spinach leaves with vinaigrette. Garnish with bacon bits and chopped eggs, and...

Eat with joy!
~ Cleo Coyle, author of
The Coffeehouse Mysteries



To get more of my recipes, win free coffee,
or find out more about my books, visit me
 at my *virtual* coffeehouse:

 
Click on the book covers above
to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.

******************



A final, quick note for our mystery reading fans.
The latest Mystery Readers Journal with the theme Hobbies, Crafts, and Special Interests is now available.


The issue, edited by Mystery Fanfare's Janet Rudolph, includes many mystery authors who have guest posted for us over the past year. You can check out the contents by clicking here, which will also give you info on how to purchase a copy (hard or electronic) for yourself.


******************

Monday, May 24, 2010

I can fondue, can you?



I can fondue, can you?


Yes, I'm being silly, but what better to celebrate moving into a new house than a glass of champagne? And why not add a little champagne fondue to the celebration? Fondue

isn't just for winter time. It's for party time.



For this fondue, I used Gruyère de Comté.

Gruyère de Comté is made from an old recipe, dating back to the reign of Charlemagne.

It comes in 70-pound wheels. It was created by local villagers in alpine dairies called “Fruiteries.” The aging process is not hurried. The reserved wheels are aged for one year, which results in a smooth, sweet, nutty flavor, satiny in texture with holes the size of hazelnuts.










Back to the party theme of this blog.


The fun part about fondue (and partying) is being with friends. Dipping, dripping, laughing.


As we head toward summer (yes, summer!), remember to spend time with a friend. Call one, write one, hug one.


And remember above all to share a good read with a friend (Julie's new one is out in less than two weeks).


Champagne Fondue


Ingredients:

12 oz. Jarlsberg cheese

1 cup dry {brut} champagne

2 garlic cloves, roasted

1 Tbs. lemon juice

2 Tbs. Triple Sec

1 Tbs. potato starch

½ tsp. nutmeg


Directions:

Crush garlic and place in foil. Seal and put in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes.


Meanwhile, shred Jarlsberg and set aside.


In a bowl, dissolve potato starch in Triple Sec. Add 2 Tbs. champagne. Stir.


Heat remaining champagne in fondue pot over medium heat.


Slowly add cheese and Triple Sec mixture. [This is a tasty little addition.] Stir, stir, stir.


Add nutmeg.


Remove garlic from foil and stir into cheese mixture.


Serve with cubes of crusty sourdough bread, dipping the bread into the cheese mixture.

[For gluten-free diners eating with regular folks, put your GF bread cubes on your plate and scoop a heaping portion of the cheese onto your bread. Then let the rest of the guests dip and sup.]


Enjoy!!!




Julie’s first book in the Manor of Murder Mystery series,
Grace Under Pressure (starred review in Publishers Weekly!), debuts June 1st! To help launch the book and to celebrate its release, she's running a very special contest: Pre-order Grace Under Pressure any time before May 31, 2010, and you're eligible to win a $25 gift certificate from Mystery Lovers Bookshop! (and if you've already pre-ordered, you just need to let Julie know!) No receipts required. Just email Julie at JulieHyzy@gmail.com with thedate that you pre-ordered and thename of the bookstore you ordered it from, and your name goes in! (Please put "CONTEST" in the subject header. Thanks!)

Here are a few helpful links to get you started:
Independent Bookstore List: here
- Mystery Lovers Bookshop (free shipping on book orders over $10!) - Centuries & Sleuths (Julie's local mystery bookstore)

And don't forget to check out my website: Avery Aames for fun stuff, tidbits, and upcoming contests. Only six weeks to the launch of The Long Quiche Goodbye.


Friday, January 1, 2010

Cleo Coyle's Leftover Champagne Vinaigrette




This post was named
a Foodbuzz Top 9 Pick.
Thank you, Foodbuzz!
~Cleo Coyle


Got Leftover Champagne?Waste not, I say…

So the countdown is toast, the ball has dropped, and the last of the champagne has gone flat. You know the stuff I’m talking about, the dregs in that bottle sitting in your fridge.

Well, for heaven’s sake, don’t pour that sad, fizzless liquid down the drain. Do what I do every New Year’s week. Use it to make champagne vinaigrette.


Yes, I know, champagne vinaigrette is typically made with champagne vinegar, but my version is a nice alternative for frugality and fun. My vinaigrette is light, bright, refreshing, and the delicate flavor of champagne comes through very nicely, too.


A fresh salad is also an especially intelligent way to start off the New Year. Why? Lettuce is mostly water and hydrating will help set your body right after an evening imbimbing to excess (aka attempting to pickle yourself).


My amateur sleuth, Clare Cosi, actually received this same advice from her
ex-husband, Matt, a guy highly skilled
in the art of party survival.
To learn more about my mysteries,
click here or on the book cover.

Got a hangover? My in-house editor Mr. Fellows says:
"Drink lots of water. Hydrate with salad. Even better, dress those crisp,
healthy, greens with a hair of the cat that bit you..."


Cleo Coyle’s Leftover
Champagne Vina
igrette

Servings: This recipe makes about 3 tablespoons of dressing, enough to dress an average salad for two people.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons champagne (fresh or leftover)1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon white rice vinegar (or white or cider vinegar or lemon juice)1 clove garlic sliced into big pieces (optional)
Combine all ingredients (but the garlic) in a small bowl and whisk well with a fork. Add the garlic and let stand 15 minutes (this optional step will impart a light garlic flavor). Remove all of the raw garlic. Whisk again with fork and pour dressing over your favorite salad. The salad you see pictured is one I often make: romaine lettuce and mixed greens, grape tomatoes sliced in two, sunflower seeds, and dried cranberries.

*CLEO'S FINAL TIPS: Oil: the oil flavor really shines through in this vinaigrette so choose a good quality extra virgin olive oil. Salt: sea salt and Kosher salt are much better choices than table salt for flavor. Pepper: I often use black pepper or a pepper mix for this dressing, but if you want a really nice presentation, use white pepper. Grinding it fresh always gives you better flavor. Vinegar: I like white rice vinegar for this dressing, but any white vinegar will impart that needed note of astringent brightness, which will balance the sweetness of the champagne. If you don’t have any white vinegars on hand, use lemon juice to taste. I would not recommend red or balsamic vinegar for this vinairgrette. Not only will those darker, heavier vinegars overpower the delicate champagne flavor, they will change the dressing’s color and defeat the culinary concept. (Then again, if you’re hung over, snow is piling up outside, and it’s all you’ve got on hand, go for it!)


Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle
author of the Coffeehouse Mysteries

You can get more of my recipes
at my virtual home...


Coffeehouse Mystery.com
"Where coffee and crime are always brewing..."



HOLIDAY GRIND
National Hardcover
Mystery Bestseller




ESPRESSO SHOT
National Bestseller

Now in paperback.



Click here
or on book covers to learn more about Cleo's culinary mysteries.


"Holiday Grind by Cleo Coyle, a new addition to the coffeehouse mystery series…adds in jolts of souped-up coffee, sweet cooking…and super sleuthing to deliver a fun and gripping fa-la-la-la latte surprise."

~ The Huffington Post
2010
HAPPY NEW
DECADE!


Text and photos in this post are copyright (c) 2010 by Alice Alfonsi
who writes The Coffeehouse Mysteries as Cleo Coyle
with her husband, Marc Cerasini